By Hysen Selmani
Part thirty one
Memorie.al/ European and American press have often addressed the subject of the memories of the Albanian King, Zogu i-r, which he wrote and dictated during his exile from Albania. Considering the notes and syntheses that his assistant, Colonel Hysen Selmani, compiled over the years in his service, – always, next to the King of the Albanians, both at home and in exile, these notes, more or less with parts of detached, without strictly following the usual criteria of memoirs, and without having the definite, final form of an edition, they are prepared by Hysen Selmani himself, who has dedicated most of his life, as in Albania, as well as during the exile, serving the First Zog, the King of the Albanians.
Continues from last issue
Istanbul, July 10, 1944
His Majesty King Zog I sent me a letter of instructions to the Albanian Legation in Istanbul, where he wrote:
Dear Colonel. I am satisfied with your report that you sent me on May 1, 1944. You should send me more often reports on the situation in our homeland. At present, I do not see fit to send you letters about our people. Our actions must be coordinated with those of the British Government. Therefore, without consulting the British Government, we cannot give any other instructions than those we have already given you. Because we don’t want to be an obstacle to the plans of the Allied Supreme Command. To the British Government, we have made all the appropriate proposals in time. But, until today, we have not received any positive response! Naturally, the aspirations of our Neighbors make the Government here not to give the Albanian issue the complete solution it deserves. But, we must have faith in the justice of Great Britain, for the small nations, who, at the right time, will show it against us as well.
But now liaison must be continued with all our powers, which must be ready for action at the right moment. The general union must be done, without excluding anyone, and without excluding those who have committed assassinations against me. Only those who, for their own personal interest, join the enemy are excluded. This is my order, which is inspired by the national interest. If the union like that of Prizren and Lushnja is ensured, I hope that all matters will be fixed.
With that, I send you my heartfelt apologies.
London, Palmoor – 7 – July – 1944
THE FIRST ZOG
“As ordered by His Majesty, the King, a union of all Albanians is very necessary for the interest of the Motherland. Yes, it cannot be achieved, especially now that irreconcilable quarrels have been invented between different groups. Also, there is also the propaganda of foreign leaders”.
The British command in the Mediterranean, it is written in the chronicle in question, – always keeps us with promises, but without any results. This, as can be seen, has a desire for us to enter Albania, but is afraid of the protests made by the communists. They do not accept Colonel Husein Selman’s visit to Albania, that it is true for the communists, that it is a big obstacle. The facts clearly show us that the Balkans remain as an area of Soviet Russia. Our bad luck is that we were also composed in that area and we had a hope in the promises of Ragip Frashëri, but unfortunately nothing was done.
Istanbul, September 20, 1944
Colonel Husein Selmani receives an urgent report from the Royal Centers in Albania, where they declare: “Today, Albania is completely in anarchy. The fratricide between the ‘National Front’ and the National Liberation Front is at its peak. There are murders, burnings, and massacres so great, so much so that it blows your mind. History does not describe this anarchy with the right notes, unfortunately.
The Royalists are at war against the German occupier. Matches are held everywhere, in Mat, Krujë, Dibër, Lumë, and other places. It is the only power today that is fighting the German occupier, while other groups are fighting each other. Unfortunately, the bloody sacrifices of the Kings against the common enemy are not recognized by the allies. Although they know well and are aware of the British missionaries, who are next to them.
It is quite certain that the power is being taken over by the National Liberation, i.e., the Communists of the Russian-Yugoslav Cominform. As these now have an organized force of Armenians and Italians, with modern material. They, too, are aided by allies with the thing and now, it took shape openly and was revealed.
The agents of the Yugoslav and Russian Cominform gathered the leaders of the National Liberation Party in Përmet and now, after the murder of Professor Mustafa Gjinishi, Myslim Peza, Haxhi Lleshi, Baba Faja and Faik Shehu and Spiro Moisiu, they stripped them of their powers. These possessed the greatest powers of the National Liberation, putting their forces under Dali Ndren, Mehmet Bajraktari, Mehmet Sheh, Gjin Marku and Tahir Kadaren, Husen Stafa, Hulusi Spahina, and others. All of them had communist tendencies.
Whereas: 1-Ymer Nishanin, 2-Enver Hoxha, 3-Sejfulla Malëshova, 4-Koci Xoxen, 5-Myslim Peza, 6-Haxhi Lleshin, 7-Baba Faja, 8-Bedri Spahina, 9-Medar Shtylla, 10-Ramadan Çitakun, 11-Karaman Yllin, 12-Hysni Kapon, these together with the Russian-Yugoslav agents, gathered in Përmet, and there they declared the formation of the Albanian Communist Government. We have been clearly informed that this Government was also recognized by the Allies.
British missionaries are said to have participated in this congress, where as soon as the congress ended and the Albanian Communist Government was announced, a delegation was sent to the Allied Command in Palermo, headed by Bedri Spahi. And that’s how the Anglo-American allies recognized it, while the Russians had prepared it themselves. Now they function and issue proclamations as governments. Now, they are preparing to call a congress in Berat that the “National Front” has completely withdrawn from the south to the north. Right now, the southern part is administered by the communists and now we are also on the verge of total destruction. Anyone who has lost their will, like our conductors, is nowhere to be seen. It’s your entire fault that you didn’t come here yourself. Thus, as it was today, we formed this Government, not the communists, with the help of our friends. Now there is no hope, only in it is a miracle”.
Istanbul, October 15, 1944
At the congress, which was convened by the National Liberation Party in Berat, a vote was also taken for the Government formed in Përmet. These were the measures, as we note below, says Colonel Selmani:
Communist Congress in Berat
- Ymer Nishani, Chairman of the Presidium
- Enver Hoxha, Prime Minister and Commander
- Koci Xoxe, Minister of the Interior
- Karaman, Ylli Foreign Minister
- Mendar, Pillar Minister of Finance
- Sejfulla, Malëshova Minister of Education
- Myslim Peza, Deputy Prime Minister Disposition
- Haxhi Lleshi, Minister of Economy
- Baba Faja, Disposition of the Presidium
- Bedri Spahija, Minister of Education
- Ramadan Çitaku, Minister of Justice
Now, these people, known by all the allies, after the Berat congress, issued an appeal to the whole people, in the name of the Government and centered in Berat.
“The war takes place in the districts of Tirana, as well as inside Tirana, the communists with the Germans. The communists are helped by the Allied aviation, in the siege of Tirana. The communist commanders are: Dali Ndreu, Gjin Marku, Tahir Kadareja, Mehmet Shehu, Beqir Balluku, Beqir Minxhozi, Kadri Hoxha, Federik Nosi. But, inside Tirana, there are only two German companies. They have three small tanks and the artillery, and when the Germans were receiving an auxiliary force from Elbasan, crossing Kërraba, without falling into Erzen , were so heavily bombed by Allied aircraft that they were completely destroyed.
From this power, the Albanian communists, together with the Yugoslavs, Armenians and Italians benefited and had the opportunity to enter the city. Meanwhile, the two German companies did not give up but took the direction for Shkodër. “Balli Kombëtar” has withdrawn from Shkodra. No resistance is dictated. It is said that Mit’hat Frashëri, with the headquarters of his party, has taken a boat in Shengjin and have left for Italy. The rest of the ballistics is that some are gathered in Shkodër, some in the mountains. They don’t have any program and still in Shkodër and Prizren, there are some German forces, but always withdrawing”.
“The royalists do not have a definite organization. They do not understand each other. A large part wants to gather in Mat e Lure. Here for a while, they have no chance for the communists to destroy them, because even the communists do not they like to be bloody and enmity with the Kings, because it costs you order. But we, we do not agree with each other and our council, all this is not necessary lately. Only in Mat, more than 500 officers and many of the patriots do not know what to do.
Our friends, now in the communist gender, try to keep us indifferent, but who believes you?! If Professor Mustafa Gjinishi had been alive, we would have believed in a coalition Government. But even if he were there alive, he would not deprive Muslims, or Hajja, but these would have the greatest power in their hands. They would play a big role with our support, but now they have no more power. Well, we don’t believe you, not for anything else, but simply because they don’t ask. All power is in the hands of Enver Hoxha and Koci Xoxes. No one else seems to have anything in hand.
Now they inform us that even Major Abas Kupi with 4 people has taken a boat in Shellinze, and has left for Italy. Yes, nothing real is known yet. Now the situation, as we explained to them, we are in a critical atmosphere, so we don’t know what to do. It’s too late for any guidance from you. If we have any hope of changing this situation, we will stay in Mat e Lure for 5-6 months.
Captain Gjon Markagjoni is in Shkodër, united with a large part of the Royals. He has declared that they should stay in Shkodër and in a conversation that was held in Shkodër, it was followed in Lure, Mat, Mirditë. Today in Shkodër, Albanian forces capture close to (6000) people and are mixed from all groups. Here a united power was formed, – the captain tells us – to fight brotherly.
We answered you that: “We agree with every moral and material sacrifice. Stay, because these alone, we will not let go in any way.”
Tirana November 26, 1944
Tirana is completely in the hands of the National Liberator, writes the adjutant in despair. But, it must be said that the northern countries and some parts of Central Albania are still in the hands of the Kings and possess good forces. But they were lying to each other; they never wanted to bleed each other. Also, a part of the National-liberators, who claimed to be nationalists, such as: Myslim Peza, Haxhi Lleshi, Faik Shehi, Spiro Moisiu, Shefqet Beja, seem to have remained close friends with the Kings. They were developing propaganda for a coalition Government with the Kings. It is understood together, until the elections are held in the people. Thus, they almost remained in the faith.
They were lied to by these friends who had cooperated since 1939. They were together and united by a common program. Also, even in recent times in Albania, these with the biggest insurance, all in Mat. And, when they didn’t believe in lying to them and even as treason. In their faith, they stopped a fratricide, between the Monarchs and the National-liberator. The first to fall victim to their faith were: Jusuf Selmani, Sul Kurti, Major Murat Basha, Major Jahja Çaçi, along with 400 officers. Also, many of the Prime Ministers of the country went as victims.
As for Fiqiri Dinen and Hysni Dema, with a large part that did not give up, the thing was that they were waiting for each to end from the result of the first ones. But, these first ones fell victim, as it was seen that they did not intend to form a coalition government, but a communist government, under the Russo-Yugoslav Cominform.
Thus, almost the entire Royal force was scattered without a program and without any use in the mountains. They remained isolated and suffered great suffering in the mountains in the winter. The people were greatly tortured and feared, but for the Legalists, it had become impossible to stay in the mountains. Likewise, Muharrem Bajraktari, who suffered great damage, concludes his story, King Zog I’s man.
It is November 29, 1944. The Germans withdrew from Albania, marking the country’s liberation. Meanwhile, the condition of the Albanian nationalist fighters is miserable. They also left Greece, a large majority of 600 or so, and many continue to pass through, to Italy and Yugoslavia. A large amount has also gone to Austria, from those that were gathered in Shkodër, the adjutant recalls. They crossed into Austria and from there to Italy. It is the time when the Great Powers become skeptical of the communists and “started to break with the communist government of Tirana, because now they realized that they are led by the Cominform and are against capitalism”. They don’t allow them to walk where they want, the colonel claims. “And they are almost under control, everywhere. They don’t even let the people get in touch with them. Any of the people who get in touch with the Anglo-Americans are immediately eliminated.”
Zogu asks for information about the plight of his people, who are scattered in the mountains of Albania. Meanwhile, from the diplomatic side, it is difficult for him to repair. Now he just has to wait. On this occasion, he sends a memorandum to the Great Powers: the United States of America; Great Britain; Soviet Russia and in addition to these and all the States that participated alongside the Allies in the war. He even sent you to the colonies to protest
Istanbul, November 8, 1945
The representatives of the United States of America and Great Britain withdrew from Albania. This is a political and patriotic mistake made by the leaders of the Albanian Communist Government against the Anglo-Saxons. They, instead of asking for their support and help for the recovery of the poor people, from the terrible evolution of about 4 years; they drove them away as a sign of hostility. Such an action, – His Majesty writes in his memoirs – is truly not explained. The reason for this action remains in the dark and is undistinguished.
Albania is still in a terrible anarchy. Because executions, imprisonments, deportations are confirmed every day. It is almost a painful situation, which does not agree with humanity. And we do not understand why these massacres are carried out among the people, despite the fact that there is no resistance to shake the National-liberating winners. On the contrary, this greatly helps Greek megalomania, in the demands of “Vorio-Epirus”.
On the other hand, the fact unites all nationalists with those who defend the interests of Albanian independence and integrity. Today I want to say that no step is taken against the Tirana regime. Now, even the attitude of a nationalist party, who are still left in the mountains of Albania, has no benefit except to increase their suffering. The damage they can cause to the people is great, because it seems that it is not the time for an action against communism.
It is understood that, without having the assurances, as ordered by His Majesty, King Zog, – that the Greeks have not given up on the demands of South Albania, it is understood that they will never reach that inappropriate dream. Only, they are causing enmity between two friendly peoples.
Albanian immigrants, both in Italy and in Greece, have remained in great fear. The fear is that they will not be handed over, as Tito’s demands are excessive, both for the Yugoslavs and for the Albanians, to hand them over, because they are war criminals. There are many opportunities to deliver them. When they inform us that Mit’hat Frashëri and Ali Këlcyra have been arrested in Italy, there is a fear that they will not be handed over to the communists. This is the reason, says the adjutant, – that King Zog has ordered the minister plenipotentiary in Turkey, Asaf Xhaxuli, to make requests to the Anglo-American authorities, to let them go free.
Even give any guarantee for them. King Zog immediately intervened with the British Government, so that they do not suffer any danger from the communist demands. To be left in free camps, or to draw them to England, or to March to Egypt, beside His Majesty King Farruk, to go to Egypt. Yes, steps were also taken with the Italian Government.
Now, of those who remained in the mountains, most of them withdrew and went to Greece, such as: Colonel Fiqri Dinja, Colonel Hysni Dema, Colonel Muharrem Bajraktari, General Prenk Pervizi, Abas Ermenji, and others. Almost 300 people went with them to Greece, because it was impossible to provide food in Albania, without being dictated by communist agents. In the match, many murders and damage were done to the people by the communists.
Now it is a very small part, but without any activity. They go in and out, but to no avail, except that they are meant to get some information on the positions of the Soviets in strategic places. Memorie.al
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