He was born about 1924 in the village of Dmbel, Kostur region, to a
poor family and that is why, as soon as he completed primary school,
he joined the battle for bread to eat. Even as a small child he had
to work for himself while, at the same time, helping his family, because
his father Hristo, crippled in one hand, could do no job other than
shepherd or cowherd. Little Koljo too became the village shepherd and
cowherd and worked close to his father. His hard work and enthusiasm
set him apart in his primary school years. He was an outstanding student
and always won the playground fights.
Working as a shepherd and cowherd satisfied Koljo less and less as
the years went by. It was limited work for a person of his energy and
enthusiasm. He needed to become involved in other work. He did not lack
spirituality and desire. At the very start of the occupation, he learned
woodworking, alongside an uncle in Tirana.
In 1943 when the partisan movement was taking big strides, and EPON
was inviting youths to gather under her flag to fight against the fascist
occupation, Koljo with a cousin escaped from Tirana and with the help
of the Albanian partisans reached his own village on foot! Later, at
the first EPON meeting in the village, he was elected the secretary
of the EPON organization.
And the woodwork? Well, as soon as he arrived to install the doors
and windows on the newly constructed single storey house which had gone
up in 1939, it was unthinkable that he would occupy himself with his
"After the liberation," he would respond to orders he was given. Let's
see if even then he agrees to shut himself into a shop - he would reply
to his parents.
"We will put the mills and the factories to the fore," he would always
say to his friends, the youths. "And then, dear, I expect we will have
time to think a little about us, our life together," he would say to
a young woman he was in love with.
He himself completed the hardest and most dangerous missions that the
EPON village committee had to complete. In 1943 in Biglishta (Albania)
the Albanian fascists arrested him and handed him over to the fascists.
He lay in the Lerin gaol but was saved through the effort of his village.
* * *
It was one of the first summer weeks of 1944. Boys and girls were
gathered in a hall at the school. Whenever the Germans appeared, it
was easy to change the gathering into a dance, a party. No one could
imagine that this gathering would be the last. Koljo did not even get
to finish his report when from the village a song was heard. The partisans
of ELAS had started an oro [dance].
"I, comrades, have finished. The most important mission for us now
is to join the partisans. Until now, our organization helped the struggle
for national liberation in every single way we could. Now we must pick
up our guns and join the battle that will strike the final blow against
That is how this last gathering ended and 30 EPON members joined the
partisan's oro dance and set off on the great journey to liberation.
Koljo joined the ranks of DAG from 1946. He participated in many battles
on Pajak mountain and elsewhere. He was promoted to captain for his
bravery, daring and military capability. As a company commander his
detachment led him from success to success. He was wounded in 1947 in
the battle of Sabasko. He was killed in the same year by a bomber in
the village Notia, Karadzhovsko.
A sincere young man and a passionate communist, Koljo Kamburov will
forever remain alive in the hearts of those from his village and will
serve as an example for future generations.
From: For Sacred National Freedom: Portraits Of Fallen Freedom
For Sacred National Freedom: Portraits Of Fallen Freedom Fighters