Aleksander (Aleko) Schinas (or Alexandros Schinas, Greek Αλέξανδρος Σχινάς) (born in Volos , or in Asvestochori or in Serres), was a Greek[1] anarchist who assassinated George I of Greece in 1913.

Aleksander Schinas

Alexandros Schinas

Schinas worked in the pantry of the Fifth Avenue Hotel in New York City and a waiter remembered him as an avid reader of socialism-related literature and spending nights in the East Side "making friends with radical and fervid thinkers".[2] Schinas was against governments and especially against aristocracy and monarchy.

He started an anarchist school in Volos which the Greek government closed for spreading anti-government ideas. Two of the leaders of the school were sentenced to prison, but Schinas escaped without being imprisoned. The authorities also seized a number of books and pamphlets published by the school, which were deemed to contain anarchist doctrine and denounced the king.[3]

On March 18, 1913, at around 5:15 PM[1], Schinas shot from a distance of two paces in the back King George I while the king walking in Thessaloniki near the White Tower. The king was wounded by the bullet which entered below the shoulder blade and made its exit through his stomach. The bullet pierced the heart and lungs and by the time he arrived at the hospital, he was already dead.[4]

The assassin, Schinas, had an age of around 40 and was taken in immediate custody, initially refusing to explain the reason of the crime, but when asked by an officer whether he had no "pity" for his country, he answered he was against governments.[4] As Schinas remaining calm for the entire event, there have been suggestions that he was not "responsible for his actions".[4]Later, Schinas declared that he killed the king because the latter refused to give him the money he asked for.[5]

Schinas was tortured throughout the following night, being "forced to undergo examinations", but he refused to give in the names of any accomplices. [6] He allegedly commited suicide by jumping out of the window.

Various theories on the reasons of Schinas circulated later, including that Schinas' murder was directed by Bulgaria, as a form of revenge for its lost territories, Austria for political reasons or Germany for dynastic reasons, however there is no evidence for either of them.[7]


  1. ^ a b King of Greece Murdered at Salonika; Slayer Mad; Political Results Feared By Marconi Transatlantic Wireless Telegraph New York Times March 19, 1913; pg. 1
  2. ^ The Assassin Lived Here. Special to The New York Times. New York Times; March 20, 1913; pg. 3
  3. ^ King's Murderer Is Educated Anarchist, by Marconi Transatlantic Wireless Telegraph; New York Times; March 20, 1913; pg. 3
  4. ^ a b c Died Before Reaching Hospital. New York Times; March 19, 1913; pg. 1
  5. ^ Sorrow Throughout Greece, by Marconi Transatlantic Wireless Telegraph; New York Times; March 19, 1913; pg. 2
  6. ^ <no name> New York Times; March 20, 1913; pg. 3
  7. ^ Why Powers Forced Kings on Greece, by Walter Littlefield. New York Times, March 16, 1924; pg. E7


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