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Platanides: Through The Eye Of The Storm

William Planes

March 2022 979-8-9859596-1-1

This book follows the life, experiences, and Christian Faith of a young boy born in Asia Minor in 1908; how he and his family managed to escape the Genocide of the Greek and Armenian Christians at the hands of Kemal Ataturk on September 13, 1922; their lives as refugees of genocide; how these events and events of World War II on the Island of Crete Greece affected them and their descendants; and the relationship between that boy, in his adult years, and his son, the author. The book deals with life’s storms that the boy and his son experienced and how their faith, in particular as practiced in their everyday lives, affected, and strengthened  

them so that they could move through the storms of life and emerge from the eye of those storms, remaining strong and committed in their Faith.  There is a stark comparison of life under the oppression of Muslim radicals seeking to eliminate Christianity; life under the control of the Nazi and Gestapo tyranny; and life under the Constitution of the United States where we are guaranteed freedom of religion, speech, choice, and the other rights granted Citizens of these United States of America.  The author warns future generations to not overlook the price paid for these freedoms; and that, if ignored, the suppression, tyranny and genocide that was suffered by our forefathers, which still exists in other parts of the world, can be experienced again by us, even here, in the United States of America.




*** Your family's history made for some very interesting reading. I was not aware that the Turks genocide against the Armenians also included the Greek Christians. The courage and fortitude displayed by your ancestors was key to their survival, not only then, but during World War II as well. This is a story that should pique the interest of genealogy buffs and historians of that era, and the "Platanides" family worldwide. Congratulations! 


Frank Burke,  St. Petersburg, Florida


*** I had a chance to read your book over these last two days and I found it interesting and informative. You obviously spent a lot of time on this labor of love not only for your family but also for posterity and especially the plight of Fotis and his family in their escape from Smyrna. I was also touched by your description of my brother's injuries and flight for life. Let's call and talk about others like Corina and Cosmas Davoulas, family pictures and about the Sheridan Avenue address in the Bronx.

Peter Georgopulos, Associate Professor of Physics, Dept. of Physics & Astronomy, University of Delaware, Associate professor Physics Emeritus, Penn State University


***Thank you for informing me about your book publication and I am glad for you that you have made true your dream about it. I have already ordered it and am looking forward to reading it.It was possible to read a part of the beginning of the story and I burst in tears about the hard fate in life of your father.  A hard story among many, of every refugee person that cut violently out of his roots and find himself somewhere else. In 1922 it was the Christians, Greeks and Armenians from the Ottoman empire state, on 2015 the Syrians and, now 2022 the Ukrainians…and nobody knows what will come in Europe.T he film “my beloved Smyrna”, that I referred to you, was premiered in the Berlin, Germany Film Festival. It shows in pictures what you describe in writing! Same story, one of many. If reading books is still an interest for you, then I recommend that you buy the book “ THE BLIGHT OF ASIA”  by George Horton, who was the USA Ambassador in Smyrna 1922 and experience with own eye the events.

Wish you all the best. Greetings from Crete. Anna, (granddaughter of Konstantis Tsalikoglou) Great Historical Family Retrospective!


***Great Historical Family Retrospective! 5 out or 5 stars!!!

I enjoyed the family stories all along this book. Events were confirmed by research, photographs and maps.
A great success story of the American Dream for the Platanides family. Kudos to Bill, the author, for a comprehensive family history.

Satira Mekras, June 2022


***Great Story and Great Cause! Kudos to Mr. William Platanides.

Paul Kotrotsios, Concordville, PA    June 2022


***I read the book, Platanides.  

I was impressed with the historic detail that you used to bring forth the story of your father and grandparents. What happened in Smyrna, not only to your family but also to those of Greek Heritage and the Greek Orthodox Christian community, was shocking. The world needs to know and remember, otherwise it will happen again. THE survivors and their descendants were left with unanswered questions about lost and/or deceases family members. What you’ve uncovered in your research is a memorial, not only to your family, but to all those families lost in this genocide. I hope others will read this book. It is an important commentary. These are actual stories of those who survived the Smyrna atrocities.

Gene Santella, Tarpon Springs, FL  June 2022


This is an inspiring family to read about.  If you ever have doubts about being a free American, read this story.  It shows the truth of how a country and people can fall.  It starts in 1922 and the horrifying truth of genocide. This is a great story of a family who suffered through that genocide and became refugees who came to the US.  I have read a lot of historical biographies, but this book stands out because it doesn’t try to be sensational or exploitative.  Mr. Planes takes the reader on a very honest and interesting approach of the journeys of his family.  They all had an amazing work ethic and that has benefited them greatly through the years. It was fascinating to read about how all the family transitioned to adulthood from a sad beginning, but never allowing their dreams to be shattered.  This book is inspiration in the sense that it shows people who overcome so many challenges but can pass down the best life has to offer to their children.  This is an educational read but also one that will leave you smiling because you witness the human spirit that are able to overcome so much turmoil and yet make a life worth living for their family in a country that allows them to be free.

Amanda Armstrong, Literary Agent,  Austin, Texas.  August 2022


 A fascinating story and very well told.  I knew nothing about the genocide of 1922 perpetuated against the Christians by the Muslims and Kamel Ataturk. This is superbly researched.  Mr. Planes uses great details and yet it is very readable.  This book gave me great insight into the life of those who survived the genocide and became refugees coming to the US.  It is an inspiring account of what perseverance, faith and hard work can achieve in life.  What this family has accomplished in just a few generations to overcome hardships and create a better life for their future descendants.  I highly recommend this book.

Nicholas Armstrong, Creator/Producer, Bandwagon TV, Lampasas, Texas.    August 2022


 The best books are those that make you feel.  The best memoirs are those that make you remember your own experiences and, despite your differences, leaves you able to understand and empathize with the writer.  William Planes does all of that. 

He is an excellent writer who clearly puts everything he has into his family history and memoir.  This is a story of strength.  It illustrates that even in darkness there is some light and good in even most evil situations.  This leaves room for hope.  This is an excellent book about a family tragedy that turns into a life of achievements.

Nick Farris, Rancher and Business Owner,  Lampasas, Texas.   August 2022


Dear Mr. Planes,

I really enjoyed your interview with David. Very moving story.  A very upsetting time in history. I am very sorry your family had to endure something as treacherous as this in their lifetime but at the same time, I am very happy to see how the family line continued and your success.  

Hellenic News of America is honored to be part of the awareness campaign for your book, Platanides-Through The Eye of The Storm.

Best regards, Aphrodite  Kotrotsios, MS Publisher | Hellenic News of America   July 2022