Dodecanese Federation event in UConn in Rhodes Memories of Bloody Easter 1919
The Federation of Dodecanese Societies celebrated the 100th anniversary of the bloody Easter in Rhodes in 1919 at the Paideia Hellenistic Center on the Storrs campus of the University of Connecticut. Photo: Courtesy of the Federation of Dodecanese Societies
STORRS, CT The Federation of American Dodecanese Societies celebrated the 100th anniversary of the bloody Easter in Rhodes in 1919. The event took place on October 12 at the University of Connecticut's campus Storrs at the Paideia Hellenic Studies Center and highlighted a passionate desire. Dodecanese Greeks to join Greece while the islands were still under foreign occupation.
In early 1919, 17 Dodecanese mayors, led by the Italian mayor of Rhodes, signed a document in support of the Italian islands, which was presented at the Paris Peace Conference after World War I despite Eleftherios Venizelos' ardent claim that the Dodecans were and always were Greek and
Tensions continued to rise as the situation remained unresolved, which eventually led to the bloodshed on April 7, 1919, when the people called for Greece to join. In a speech delivered at the rally, Metropolitan of Rhodes Apostolos Trifonos called for joining Greece, referring to US President Woodrow Wilson and his ideas for peace between peace.
The Dodecanese Societies's Federation dance troupe performed at the Paideia Hellenic Studies Center at the University of Connecticut. Photo: Courtesy of the Federation of Dodecanese Societies
The Italian authorities responded with violence and arrests to silence the protesters, including the arrests of two teachers, Konstantinos Pantazis and Nikolaos Magafas, and the deaths of local priests Papa Loukas and Anthoula Zervou, a woman. he was known to have made a remark about a 12-year-old child who had been hit during the rally.
The Treaty of Paris was signed in July 1919 with the Dodecanese Islands, which will be annexed to Greece, and only Rhodes will remain under Italian occupation for another five years. The Treaty of Sevris (1920) called on Turkey and Italy to waive all claims against the Dodecanese, and the events in Asia Minor proved fatal for the Dodecanese as well. The Treaty of Lausanne (1923) ceded the islands to Italy and the occupation lasted until the end of World War II.
The British Isles then occupied the islands as a military protectorate for two years, 1945-47, and the annexation of the Dodecanese to Greece was finally completed in 1947.