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SS Kurtuluş - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Greece experienced the "Great Famine" (Greek: Μεγάλος Λιμός) during the time the country was occupied by Nazi Germany starting April 1941, as well as a sea blockade by the Royal Navy at the same time. The famine is reported to have caused the death of 70,000 people according to the official, Nazi-controlled, Greek sources of the period and over 300,000 according to the historian Mark Mazower.[1]

The National Greek War Relief Association, an organization formed in October 1940 by the Greek Orthodox Church, started to raise funds in the United States and to organize relief efforts to supply the population with food and medicine. The British were initially reluctant to lift the blockade since it was the only form of pressure they had on the Axis Powers. However, a compromise was reached to allow shipments of grain to come from the neutral Turkey, despite the fact that it was within the blockade zone.

Turkish president İsmet İnönü signed a decision to help the people whose army he had personally fought during the Turkish War of Independence 19 years previous. The people of Turkey thus became the first to lend a helping hand to Greece. Foodstuffs were collected by a nationwide campaign of Kızılay (Turkish Red Crescent), and were sent to the port of Istanbul to be shipped to Greece. SS Kurtuluş was prepared for her voyage with big symbols of the Red Crescent painted on both sides.

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by A swedish kind of death on Tue May 31st, 2011 at 04:57:22 PM EST
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