Lambros Koromilas: Hero of the Macedonian Struggle against the Turks and Bulgarians

Lambros Koromilas

Born in Athens, Lambros Koromilas (1856 – 1923) was an economist and diplomat who became one of the most important figures of the Macedonian Struggle (1904-08) when he was the Consul-General to Thessaloniki.

Thessaloniki at the time was still an Ottoman possession.

After completing his studies and working in his father’s publishing business, he took part in the Cretan Revolt (1895-98) and Greco-Turkish War (1897).

He then decided to dedicate himself to the Macedonian cause, learning Bulgarian and Turkish in order to prepare himself.

Koromilas was appointed Greek consul to Philippopolis (today Plovdiv, Bulgaria) before transferring to the Greek consulate in Thessaloniki by 1904.

From here, he became an influential figure of the Macedonian Struggle.

Koromilas’ work as the coordinator of the Greek armed bands across Macedonia, saw him meet with the leaders and chieftains at the consulate building in secret, through a side door which connected to a church.

These talks were to receive updates and talk strategy on how to disrupt Turkish and Bulgarian plans.

Upon learning of what was going on, the Ottomans demanded Koromilas be removed from his post.

Lambros Koromilas

In 1906, Greece obliged as he was dismissed, only to be re-appointed Inspector-General of the Greek consulates in Macedonia, continuing to assist the Macedonian Revolutionaries in Liberating Macedonia.

Once again learning of his activities, the Turks threatened the life of Koromilas and he was relieved of his post, finally recalled in late 1907.

Koromilas was then sent to the US as ambassador. While there, he was successful in bringing unity among the Greek immigrant organisations in the country.

In 1910, he was elected to the Greek Parliament, becoming Finance Minister. He was then appointed Foreign Minister during the Balkan Wars, witnessing the liberation and reunification of Macedonia with the rest of Greece.

The building which then housed the Greek Consulate of Thessaloniki and which was so pivotal for the Greek success in Macedonia, today is the home of the Museum of the Macedonian Struggle/Μουσείο Μακεδονικού Αγώνα.

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