Asia Minor catastrophe and the Treaty of Lausanne
After the Asia Minor catastrophe and the signing of the Treaty of Lausanne, approximately 400,000 Muslims left the Greek territory, while about 1,200,000 Christians arrived from Turkey.
Before the end of the Second World War, another ‘movement’, one of the most violent in the history of the world, left its indelible mark on the urban fabric and the collective memory of many Greek cities. The Greek Jews were arrested by the Nazis and taken to concentration camps. Very few of them survived and returned to their places of origin.
Simultaneously, there were large migration flows within the country, as a significant part of the rural population resettled in the urban centres where industrial activity was concentrated.
Approximately 1,000,000 Greeks migrated between 1947 and 1977 in an unprecedented migratory wave involving almost 1 in every 8 Greeks. Of the post-war migrants, 6% moved to the countries of Western Europe, mainly to West Germany, about 160,000 resettled in Australia, 135,000 in the USA, 100,000 in Canada and the rest in other countries overseas.
After the fall of the Soviet Union, about 700,000 migrants from the Balkans, most from Albania, settled in Greece, mainly in the urban centres.
Migration from the Global South
Gradually, Greece became a transit country, but also a place of resettlement for migrants and refugees arriving from the Global South, mainly from Asia and Africa.
The economic crisis, the increase in unemployment, and the decline in wages led approximately 450,000 residents of Greece to migrate, most to Northern European countries.