SHP presents from its collection, a particularly important letter from the Greek General Theodoros Kolokotronis to his son Ioannis (Gennaios) Kolokotronis, which was sent in July 1826, when Ibrahim Pascha had occupied almost the entire Peloponnese, and the Greeks had lost their morale.

Theodoros Kolokotronis. Sketch by the German officer Philhellene Karl Krazeisen, (1794-1878).

Ioannis (Gennaios) Kolokotroni. Son of Theodoros Kolokotronis.

We retain two points from this letter.

The first is that Kolokotronis asks his son to write to all the villages, and for men to get out of “their holes”, and to come and help, because “what will save them is their breasts”. That is, their struggle and their efforts.

The second point has to do with a report made by Kolokotronis on the Philhellenic Committees of Europe. He notes in his letter that he received in Astros (Peloponnese) a consignment of animal feed from the island of Kythira (under English rule). He then informs his son that the President of the Philhellenic Committees in Europe, told him “to ask what he wants and he will have it”. Weapons, ammunition, food. “Provided we ensure some action and not sleep”.

This request has many readings. In addition to the obvious, there is a much more important one.

Three months after the fall of Messolonghi, and while the flame of the Revolution had begun to fade, the Philhellenic Committees were active and present, ready to offer full assistance of all kinds to the Greeks. In fact, the Philhellenic Committees had set up mechanisms for sending supplies and equipment, ensuring their safe delivery to the Greeks.

However, the Greeks had to move and not to fall asleep for another reason.

It should be reminded here that it was a matter of absolute priority for the Greeks to prove that the Revolution had not been extinguished, because otherwise the request for the establishment of an independent Greek state could not remain on the agenda of the diplomatic fora and negotiations.

The action, the pressure that the Philhellenes were exercising on the governments throughout Europe, would have no reason to exist, if the Greeks had capitulated or compromised with the Turks, and the conflicts had stopped.

This letter constitutes a piece of evidence of historical value, on the commitment and the importance of the Philhellenic movement in Europe, something for which Greece will express eternally its gratitude.