By Idriz Lamaj
From the works of the apostles of ethnic Albania
In light of his own letters and other diaspora revelations
Memorie.al/ Maybe like many others, I often browse letters with my friends and associates, who are no longer in this life. Browsing through them, for a moment unfolds memories that it seems to me that some of them can serve our history. Then, I return to the awareness of the current difficult situation in the ethnic homeland, caused by the quadruple of Albanian politics, I say to myself: “What can my memories of others or the letters of the people of dead? ”
Without being the ominous instigator of pessimism, thinking as always of a better future, I return to my obligations to my friends, and as an icy observer of time, without any claim of historical service, when I am given the opportunity of publication, write what I have in mind, always based on their writings and letters. This principle is also followed in this book about Xhafer Deva. I knew Xhafer Deva in person; we exchanged visits and had a strong correspondence.
I spent days off at his house and inherited all of Xhafer Deva’s correspondence with Rexhep Krasniqi, his closest friend, for more than 40 years. After many years, I talked on the phone with Mrs. Deva’s daughter and son-in-law. In the conversation going on, taking advantage of the old friendship, I asked about his letters and they informed me that it was all Qefali Hamdia, a friend of their family.
In June of last year (2001) I went to Kenosha, Wisconsin, a guest of Qefali Hamdia, to look at Xhafer Deva’s correspondence, which Mrs. Deva sent her years ago, when she, due to her advanced age, was closed his house to go to the house of his 5th daughter and son-in-law, Mrs. Burgl Dagmar and Rev. Dennis Logie.
After reading the bulk of the letters, in the languages I knew, I took with me more than a thousand pages of his correspondence, covering a period of over 30 years, 1945 – 1978. Xhafer Deva spoke and wrote seven – eight languages. His correspondence is: Albanian, English, German, Italian, French, Turkish and Serbian. Xhafer Deva’s letters and writings, with the exception of those in Old Turkish and Serbian in Cyrillic, are mostly typewritten, well-kept and alphabetically arranged, with the persons he was dealing with.
That includes his family letters. He carefully kept a copy of every letter he sent and every letter he received. Mrs. Oswalda Deva, daughter Burgl, son-in-law Dennis Logie and Mr. Qefali Hamdia with family, expressed his heartfelt thanks for the trust they gave me. With special gratitude I recall here the help given to me by my brothers – Captain Nue Gjomarkaj and Nikoll Gjomarkaj, in the preparation of one of the most important chapters of this book.
Kapidan Nou, in addition to making available the subject on Xhafer Deva’s relations with the ‘Independent National Bloc’ and sending paratroopers to Albania and Kosovo, reviewed with me each document of that period, and we formulated the text in the form of a conversation; while Nicholas, deciphered the letters, transcribed and translated from Italian, the unpublished materials to date, which were published in this chapter.
Continues from the last number
Xhafer Deva’s life and activity in exile
– Kosovo in the time of ethnic Albania –
Xhafer Deva in the light of his own letters
Xhafer Deva’s relations with the ‘Independent National Bloc’ and their parachute missions in Albania and Kosovo
Mirash Nikolla and Llesh Karaçi are sent in search of Gjoni. Frrok Voci is sent in the other direction. Gjon Gjinaj, thinking that the landing could not be done in those difficult atmospheric conditions, returns to the base and starts moving and leaving for Spaç. After many hours of traveling, he arrives in Prrue t’Krrezit near the village of Kimëz. After settling in and arranging the center, he goes in search of someone loyal who could help him. The first meeting was with Pjeter Kimzen, who vowed to supply him with food. This is where communications radio comes in. Let us decipher some of these narrations together.
“Nik” is the nickname of Kol Çuni. According to your sources, based on Xhafer Deva’s correspondence, this nickname could have been proposed to Kola by Roger Hollingshead. For Roger, it’s up to you to talk. I can only say this: – He has been our most loyal American friend. He has helped us in every way. While, I was looking at a folder with radio communication letters, marked in Albanian and Italian, Kapidan Nou, threw in clean, as an illustration, some handwritten notes of prof. Ernest Koliqi, who had recorded at the time of their broadcast from the northern mountains of Albania:
Nik – Mes. 2.2. “For the landing of the center group, we informed them that I could cause the discovery of our presence.” Nik – Mes. 15. 2. “Today a group of 15 people started in the direction of Fushë Laje to secure the landing. Among them are Gjoni, Bardhoku, Zefi and Nou ”. For Nick – 22.2. “The atmospheric condition predicts the delay of landing. Stay in the area until March. “Nik – 24.2.” Atmospheric difficulties with people staying longer in the landing area. “Nik – Mes 26.2” Three guards in the area saw the plane but not the parachutes. “Nik – Mes. 2. 3. “In Fushë Lajë, at dusk, Çup Paluca, Nikoll Marka Preni and Pren Kola, saw one fire but not five fires”. Nik – 28.2. “The weather is very bad. A group is starting to look for the material.” Nik-1.3.
“Bardhoku, Frisku, Zef Voci, Pjeter Gjeta and two others, were killed in Fushë Lajë in an attempt with the police.” Nik – 7.3. “I announce the arrest of couriers Zef Ndreca and Kol Marka Gjoka in Kukës. “I’m worried.” Nik-24.2. “Difficulties of the time, strong dimen, ten hours’ drive from Prrez i Krrezit in Fushë Lajë, our uninterrupted movements cause me great concern, therefore the date of landing, I have to set it myself.” For Nik – 22.2. late ”. With this news Nik (Kol Çuni) asks for the postponement of the date, but the landing, without announcing it, had taken place the night before. Preparation for the landing of the people was in the hands of aviation technicians, who studied time and atmospheric condition. The landing of the Elbasan group, in an unknown area except for the Mirditors, was destined to go bankrupt. Nick’s anger had peaked. Only Mirdita’s group provided landing insurance.
“To deny the loyalty of the Mirdita group is a denial of the issue for which we sacrificed our lives”, added on the radio Kole Çuni, angry and noted Prof. Koliqi, the following text: Nik – 8.3. “No one, not even the best technicians well, they could not think of landing among these atmospheric conditions, without notifying us. I assure you that for landing failure, there is no dispute or fault with us. Our attempt to prepare the landing, the movements of people from Krrez to Fushë Lajë, with a 10 hour journey, great care not to be discovered by the police and the difficult to supply food, have gone in vain. On the other hand, the loss of friends without a purpose kills the conscience of those who made the premature and unannounced landing. But we will continue our work. Alushi has days. Why did Alushi not stay 24 hours instead of landing as per the conditional rule, but left without taking care to get in touch with Nik’s group? “All the material that Nik was waiting for has been lost.” And announces: Nick – 20.2. “The two couriers, Zef Nreca and Kol Marka Gjoka, have been released. I am worried.”
Five days later, Alush Leshanaku announced that he was in the Kruja area, traveling to Elbasan. Meanwhile, Captain Nue Gjomarkaj, says: “Mirdita was tight-lipped. Young and old waited and watched the wars of freedom without fear fragile, they would run to the wars and crouch on the slope of the mountain; they would be given their bread. “The truth conveyed the noble and national feelings of the fighters to the point of death, but not to surrender alive to the bloody communism. Kole Çuni, communicates with the center in Rome: Nik – 2/3 “I announce the call under arms in our Mirdita. The people are almost opposed to me popular.
The province of Shkodra is quite representative. Even that of Kukës (Luma)”. After transcribing the notes of prof. Koliqi and some analysis about the first communications of parachutists with the center in Rome, Mr. Gjomarkaj continued: “The request of Nik (Kol Çuni), to send weapons and ammunition, was added to every telegraphic message. The dissatisfaction of the people had reached its peak. He could not stand it anymore but alas, it was international circumstances that prevented such an attempt which we lack, any attempt at insurrection is destined to go bankrupt.Therefore we recommend great care.
Gjon Gjinaj, had started contacts with the fighters and met with them to review the situation. From Kthelli he had contacts with the Kurbin fighters, who had informed him that they were available for close cooperation. For this reason, Kurbin’s squad, Nue Lala with his brother, Pal Lala and Nue Gjergji, led by Pashk Sumes and Mark Melyshi, arrive in Krrabe. There was talk of cooperation and I feel for the Kurbin group. The influence of the group was increasing day by day. From Yugoslavia, groups sent by the UDB entered Albania in order to spread the influence of Yugoslavia and to discover the radio broadcasting center in Mirdita. Everyone met with Gjon Gjini, but none of them got in touch with our center, only Nue Melyshi, whom ‘Blloku’ trusted; we were sure that Nou would not cross into Yugoslavia. ‘Mirdita Group’ with leader Gjon Gjinaj, goes to Mount Zep (Fand) to wait for a supply landing.
This group was composed of: Gjon Gjinaj, Nue Melyshi, Pjeter Gjoci, Gjon Shkurti with Brother Bardhok Shkurti, Zef Nreca with sons Marka Zefi and Nue Zefi, Marka Lleshi and others. As they were preparing for the landing, they were surrounded by numerous communist forces and a fierce battle broke out. Remain to kill: Gjon Shkurti, Zef Nreca with his son Nue Zefi, Gjon Gjinaj is seriously injured. When he saw that everyone was being killed, they decided to attack with hand grenades and with a lightning attack they broke the siege with Gjon Gjinaj and wounded him. John is sheltered in a cave and Nue Melyshi, who had medicine with him, stays and treats him. Nik (Kol Çuni) with his group, was located in Puka, but in close contact with the fighters of Mirdita, from whom he received constant news. In July 1951, Kol Çuni communicated from Puke: “… I do not change the numbers”.
This news made us doubt it, thinking that someone might have tried to change the schedule and communication figures. This attempt would not only damage the activity, but would annihilate the group. Col. Chuni has remained unwaveringly loyal and his loyalty to the mission has elevated his dignity as a loyal fighter. Nik’s group (of Kol Çuni) with Gjon Gjinaj as the leader, had started such an intense activity that the people started to admire him. The doors of the houses of the people of Mirdita were open to them. The cordial reception, the food with which they had, was unconditional. The warriors in the mountains began to unite and secure connections. Mirdita, the most persecuted province in Albania, under the pressure of my specialized police officers, who were killed on all four sides of the checkpoint day and night, summed up as much as considered dangerous for the regime. It was the spirit of sacrifice that pushed the people to persevere.
It was the constant and savage action of the communist regime that forced the people to react. It was the steam of the blood of the martyrs and freedom fighters, which obliged him to stand with a rifle in his hand until death and not to surrender. It was the instructions, the legacy, the sacrifice and the heroic death of Mark Gjomarku, the slaughter of tradition that kept alive the flame of nationalist patriotism. In this national road, which no one can defeat and subdue, the people of Mirdita have triumphed over the centuries “.
Telegraphic radio communication texts, painfully heroic documentary. According to the archival data of Mr. Nue Gjomarkaj and the texts brought here, just for illustration, the radio was often broken. Although the telegraph operator, Kol Çuni (Nik), was a master of radio use, there was still something technically lame there. On the other side of the Adriatic, in Rome, any communication from Albania was urgently expected. Many of the deciphered texts were recorded by prof. Ernest Koliqi, who seems to have stood by the radio, especially during 1950. Deciphered texts, manuscript on striped letters, by prof. Koliqi, are mostly in Italian and some in Albanian. Although the texts of prof. Koliqi today is difficult to read, due to a special type of his manuscript, other texts, especially those in Albanian, are even more difficult because they were written by Italian and American military officers.
At the moment it was broadcast from Albania to Rome, the figure Shkodra – Skopje, prof. Koliqi, or the military who recorded the communications in question, notified Xhafer Deva in the most urgent way in Bari. This figure, and two others, was the announcements of the ‘Kosovo Group’ and no one made the slightest contact with them, except Xhafer Deva. Nik 5/3/1950 17 o’clock. “Within a few days, we will inform you of the decisions that will be taken (points). Everyone prefers revolution and we see this as reasonable. (Points) We are in contact with many influential people, who only expect weapons (points) Lezha, Shengjini and Kuksi are taken in hand with a rifle battery (points). How not to do this, we lose faith in the people (points). Please advise and study once again our situation (points). 808 30/5/50 “For the landing in Macukull, you are talking about Englishmen and Americans, who wanted to join Bilall Kolen, a gang commander in that province.
I immediately thought it was about the landing I was looking for and went to Macukull on the fourth, to find the place. Surprisingly, I noticed and found the point where I parachuted with fifteen and a half forty. I went to the place where I had a parachute with Blloshmi, which I found rotten from the wet. ” – Alushi Nr. 1303 5/6/50. “At twenty-one I entered Elbasan and handed over the generator to the mechanic Besnik Xhemal Isalia. At twenty-four, the mechanic informed me that the generator was irreparable. This news disappointed me immensely. At twenty-five, I leave again for Mirdita. I will not go to Elbasan, without meeting with Gjon Gjinaj’s mission. I went through Prile – Mullet – Farkë – Kamëz – Krujë – Qafë Bjelekut. I found Gjoni’s slogan. I will stay here until I connect with Gjoni “- Alushi
Notice no. 404 6/6/50. “Alushi left for Elbasan on June 2. He was accompanied by one of our patrols, to the other side of the Kruja-Burrel road. We also have three telegrams from Alushi to communicate with you” No. 408 6/6/50. “On May 26, in the village Delbinisht, an effort has been made which lasts for four hours. In this attempt, John Lok Piroli was injured. “Two were killed and three were injured by police.” Nr. 1101 9289. “In the village of Bafa, I went with Frrok Gjeta, the brother of the late Bardhok Gjeta, part of the North mission. No one knew where John and his group were. I despaired at the peak; I’m going back to Elbasan hoping I could fix the generator. On the thirteenth, I arrived at the map Kruja – zero three – zero – four – thirty-four. At fourteen, I arrived in Fushë Krujë. Today we entered Tirana “- Alushi
No.1505 7/6/50. “Today I leave for Elbasan. I gave John all the necessary instructions for setting up the information network for the discovery of the Sea Coast as well as for marking the landing area. I urgently need a sender on the first flight, a complete radio with generator and feeder, five pairs of shoes and five backpacks. Do not forget to send us first; her life and service are expensive. For news gathering, money is required. “When I get back here, before June 5th.” – Alushi, Information no. 496 10/6/50. “In Golem, there is the command of a company of one hundred and fifty soldiers, of the Coast Guard. The task of this company is to guard the field, the swamp and the forest of Bushnesh with frequent patrols. See Mamurrazi Charter – zero eight and zero submarines – twenty two “Thirty-four – thirty-four – thirty-five. The purpose of these guards is to guard any eventual landing by air or by sea. This service began in September of the fortieth year.”
Information No. 409. “Also a guard post is located at a point five hundred meters north of the eighty-eighth corner. Map Mamurrazi eighteenth – fourteenth – thirty-fourth – thirty-fifth. Command for the Kruja area.” Information No. 426 at 11:54 “The artillery regiment that we announced a few days ago, which passed on the road Rubik – Perlat – Burrel, has been stationed in Klos.” Nr. 1606 7/6/50. “It is reasonable and appropriate for the group Shyqri Bicaku, to land in the area of Elbasan. Since I do not know the area well, I will study it. ”- Alushi 77 No. 415 14/6/50.
“I communicate the list of material for supply. Fifteen pieces of quartz. One hundred meters of wire for the antennas. Small lamps for the transmitter. Ten pieces of paperwork. Five pieces of notation blocks. Ten packs of pencils. Twenty-five Italian rifles, Mod: forty-one. Two uterine rifles like ours. “Bereta” revolver for informants. Forty Italian bombs. Sixty American hand grenades. Thirty automatic cartridges – ct – of forty rounds and six of twenty rounds. Three thousand rifle cartridges. Two thousand machine gun bullets. Five hundred “Bereta” revolver bullets. Two hundred Nagant revolver cartridges. Fifty “Golt” cartridges no. thirty-eight. Twenty-five tent leaves. Twenty alpine backpacks. Two other bags like Alushi’s. Memorie.al
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