On This Day January 20, 1950: Truman and Archbishop Discuss Thousands of Missing Greek Children


President Harry S. Truman welcomed the Greek Orthodox Archbishop of North and South America Michael to the White House on January 20, 1950 at 3:30pm in the afternoon. The two discussed an ongoing crisis regarding the repatriation of thousands of Greek children who had been taken captive in Communist countries, following Greece’s Civil War. The two exchanged official cables prior to the meeting, which made front page news in many U.S. newspapers (scroll down for article from the Sun).

January 6, 1950 : IN RESPONSE to your appeal, I am glad to assure you that the United States will continue to give the utmost support to the efforts of the United Nations and the international Red Cross organizations to bring about the return to Greece of the thousands of children removed from that country to eastern Europe during the course of the recent guerrilla warfare. The people of the United States, and ‘particularly the mothers of the United States, are deeply sensitive to the plight of these children and their bereaved families. We pray that the Governments of the countries harboring these children will be moved by a spirit of broad humanitarianism to cooperate in fulfilling the unanimous desire of the United Nations General Assembly that these children be promptly restored to their homes. -HARRY S. TRUMAN

December 28, 1949 Just from Greece as the new spiritual leader of the Greek-American Orthodox people in your and our prosperous and beloved country, I make today an appeal to the civilized humanity and generous American people for the return to their parents of the abducted Greek children. Our Orthodox people here and in Greece who are so grateful to you and to the American people for all given assistance will count very much on your personality. Will you please exercise all your high influence upon the members of the United Nations so that these Greek children are returned to their homes. MICHAEL, Archbishop of North and South America

The book Children of the Greek Civil War tells the story of thousands of children abducted and relocated to communist countries, after Greece’s Civil War. Get the book here.

Click the photo for more details about the book

Click the photo for more details about the book



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