LAST WORDS BEFORE DEATH: A FINAL LETTER
Alexandros Akritidis, tradesman of Trapezounta (Trabzon)
1921 7pm, 5 Sunday
My beloved Clio,
Today in prison virtually all of us, from different regions, undertook mass and holy communion. It has been decided that we are all to be killed by hanging. Tomorrow 60 of us including 5 from Trapezounta will be taken to the gallows for execution.
On Tuesday I will no longer be alive. May God claim the skies and give you His blessing and patience so that you don't encounter any more hardship.
When you learn about this deplorable event, do not spoil the world, have patience.
The children must continue to play and dance. I hope you can organise things as you know best.
Let my dear Theodore undertake the fatherly duties and not do wrong to any of the other children. Yergon should finish his schooling and become a good citizen. He can take Gianni to work with him. Of the little ones, send Panagioti to school, and Valentini must learn to sew. Do not leave Fofo from beside you for as long as you live.
To Stathis I give me best wishes and his obligation to you, to fulfil all the family duties that I would normally do without pay.
To Priest Simeon may he keep me in his memory for as long as he lives. Give 5 liras to Filoptochon, 5 liras to Merimnan and 5 liras to Lykasti's school May all my brothers and sisters in law forgive me, as well as all my siblings and friends.
Goodbye, I go to our father and may you all forgive me.
Al. G. Akritidis
The Brotherhood of Kromni Kalamaria, Greece
'Living Memories of Pontus'
Merimnas Pontion Kirion, Thessaloniki, Greece 1988
translated from Greek