By Hysen Selmani
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
Chaeteau Mery Paris, March 16, 1940, ZOG I – r
We immediately communicated the message of His Majesty, King Zog I, to all the centers in Yugoslavia and photocopied it verbatim, the adjutant recalls.
The groups in Yugoslavia, the message of His Majesty, are received with an indescribable enthusiasm where they write to us that neither suffering nor fatigue cause us anything, we are always ready, in the excellent orders of our Genius Leader, Savior of the Nation, the First Zog, the King of the Albanians. “Long live the King” and “Long live Albania”, the signatures.
Versace Diber Valjevo
Mustafa Gjinishi, Akif Lleshi, Colonel Kucuk Ullagaje.
Hasan Reçi, Gani Serdari, Major Murat Basha.
Shaban Tirana, Shaqir Dema, Captain Hamza Drini.
Abedin Çiçi, Haxhi Lleshi, Captain Shyqyri Bahtijari.
Istanbul, May 10, 1940
His Majesty, King Zog I, sends a letter of instructions to Colonel Hussein Salman, which we record here:
“Dear Colonel. With pleasure, I read your reports of April 6, 1940. I am very pleased with your tireless activity and high quality. I will soon give you instructions, by the special man, that I will send there. Along with it, I have to send you the program of organization. Remember that, everything must be kept secret, without falling into the eyes of anyone and in wisdom.
To all our comrades, as I told you, go well and always continue the relations with the officers and others in Yugoslavia and in other countries, in which, I have absolute faith, that they will fulfill their historic mission. To whom, according to your list, I have sent a quantity of money through the Bank, where I hope they have received it. I will write to Prime Minister Kotta and you always continue to discuss with Kotta. I agree to continue the organization within this program. I send you my heartfelt apologies, to you and to all of you, as well as to the officers of the other groups.”
Paris Cheateau Mery, May 6, 1940, ZOG I
“As soon as I read the King’s letter, I immediately went to Prime Minister Kotta, recalls the adjutant. Koço Kotta, as soon as he shook my hand, said:
‘Oh how well you did to come. Now, I just received a letter from the King. I’m reading it to you.” I said: “Yes, I also received a letter. Let me read it to you. Rather, I came for this”. As we read both letters, we saw that the Prime Minister’s had more details. Of course, she also had the part of going to Greece. After that, we talked about the situation in Albania, according to reports, which they had come to us from Yugoslavia.
After the whole situation in Albania was studied in detail, we agreed to immediately submit a detailed report on the latest events to the King in Paris. This, since the situation was very bad and it is understandable to ask for the instructions. If Italy teaches Greece, that seems quite correct. “We just have to wait for the day. Also, in the talks with the Greek Prime Minister Metaksain, it was advised that, until when we need to talk about our situation in Albania”, recalls the adjutant.
We called our Minister, Asaf Xhaxhuli, and he immediately came, where we talked about a conversation program between Prime Minister Kotta and Prime Minister Metaksai. This was decided, in case there is a sincere form for a fair agreement, to discuss our actions against Italy, at the time of one of its lessons, against Greece. And if the talks become insincere, without any hope of an alliance, just as he is reserved, Prime Minister Kotta is also reserved,” continues the adjutant.
Istanbul, May 13, 1940
Colonel Husein Selmani received a letter from the Albanian Royal Legation in Paris, from the Charge D’Afaire, Milto Noçka, with which he communicates an order of King Zog I, as it is written: ‘The Honorable Mr. Colonel, according to by the orders of His Majesty, the King, our Sovereign Augustus, and in accordance with our national interests, you are requested to enter into close contact with the person who brings this letter. To give him all the information, without reserve, that you have and that you will receive from the Motherland’.
“As I will write to you and the King himself, you are requested to communicate with you as soon as possible, to the captains Kadri Rustemi and Myslim Tushi, who are in Yugoslavia, that the order of the Sovereign is that these gentlemen must fulfill the instructions exactly and completely which they have, to be received from a person, who will be presented with a letter directed from our Legate at Paris. At the same time, the said captains will be instructed that their mission will remain entirely secret, that is, without was heard by no person. Also your contact with the bearer of this letter will be kept entirely secret and secret. But the King alone will be informed of these proceedings, with a special report and reservations.
Please accept, Sir Colonel, my most cordial greetings with special respects.
The person in charge of the Albanian Kingdom
In France, Charge d’Affair, Milto Noçka
Paris, May 9, 1940
Colonel Husein Selmani immediately ordered the captains; Kadri Rustemin and Myslim Tushin, who were in Tuzla ‘Nicolla Pasič Ulica-112’, in Yugoslavia. He informed about the assigned mission and ordered them as he remembers about that time:
Immediately, put yourself at the disposal of the person who has to bring you a letter from the Royal Albanian Legations in Paris. And, with full obedience, of every sacrifice, you will implement point by point, the directives contained in the letter and the wishes of the person you will cooperate with.
You must understand that; this mission, which has been entrusted to you, has a special importance, which connects the high interests of the Motherland. So, knowing your ability and character well, he gave you this trust, with the conviction that you will carry it out brilliantly and manfully. Your mission, as well as the name of the person who will bring you the letter, and will be in cooperation with you, must be kept in the greatest secrecy. Don’t let it fall on anyone’s ears, but keep it top secret.
Wishing you the completion of this task, with full success and manhood, I greet you fraternally. And, when you receive this letter, let me know.
To their lordships, Captain Kadri Rustemi and Myslim Tushi
Tuzlla, Nicolla Pasic, Street No. 112, Yugoslavia.
Captains Kadri Rustemi and Myslim Tushi immediately responded to the letter sent, as is being copied below, continues the adjutant:
“Dear Mr. Colonel, today we received the orders that your Lordship sent us on May 13, 1940. We have understood in detail all the orders that you give us. We are very grateful and thank you, for the high trust that you form against to our persons, in the more important mission that you entrust us with, in faith.
We assure you, honorable commander, that with every sacrifice we can, we have to complete the task as best as possible, in all that you order us to do. And we assure you that, you have full confidence that from us, not even the smallest sign, is to be dictated by anyone.
We are ready, waiting for the person with the letter, as you order us, to make it available to you. Immediately, we are to follow exactly as we are commanded, with full obedience, according to Your Lordship’s orders. “Long live the King”.
Tuzla 18 May 1940, Nicolla Pasic, Yugoslavia
Kadri Rustemi Muslim Tushi
Immediately, Colonel Husein Selmani informed the Royal Legate in Paris, Charge d’Affair, Milto Noçke, sending copies of the letters to both captains.
“Also, he remembers, – also the first meeting I had with the person who brought me the letter. Where he put Lieutenant Faik Elmaz at his disposal, for any need, to confirm above all the reports that come to us for each week. And when there is something more important, I talk to them myself, in all of them.”
“I have discussed and studied a very important organization. But, this one has proposed to the command there, for approvals. This is really, quite necessary and it facilitates us a lot, above all our actions. Yes, of course this cannot to be done without the attention of the Yugoslav Government.
Friend, so far, is very pleased. I had it twice for dinner, of course, apart from captain Avni Dërralles and Lieutenant Faik Elmaz, no one knows about it. I wanted to let Asaf know, I’m waiting to see how you judge, that not even the Turks are aware of this work. But, this has been a while, you can see in the command there, on the proposal that he has made.
Istanbul, May 25, 1940
His Majesty, King Zog I, sent an instruction to Colonel Hussain Salman, which the latter has recorded textually:
“Dear Colonel. A personage is shortly to deliver you a letter, directed from our Legate here in Paris. All the information you will have, or will receive hereafter from the Fatherland, to this person, is for transmitted immediately and without reserve.
Upon receiving this letter, you are to order without delay, the two captains, Kadri Rustem and Myslim Tushin, to confirm exactly and completely the letter that our Legate in Paris sent you, by a person.
These gentlemen are charged with the mission to cross the border and enter Albania, to get information of any kind. The facilities of the case and precise instructions are to be given to you by the above-mentioned person, who delivers you the Letter of Legation.
At the same time, you will order the captains in question, that their mission must remain completely secret, i.e., except for you and those interested, no one should be exposed.
For the high interests of the Motherland, we want to believe and wish that this important work, which is being entrusted to you, will be carried out with complete success and special ingenuity. In the event that these two persons you appointed are not capable of carrying out this high mission, notify us and at the same time appoint two other persons to replace them.
Accept dear colonel, my greetings and cordial friendship.”
Paris – May 19, 1940, ZOG I – r
A little later, it was Colonel Husein Selmani himself, together with the new news that had arrived from the Motherland, on the part of the groups in Yugoslavia, that I submitted a wide report, with all the details that were being developed in Albania His Majesty To him, King Zog I, he submitted this, in a very reserved manner.
Especially, regarding the two captains, Kadri Rustemi and Myslim Tushi: “These are very capable and loyal career officers. Also, I submitted the order I gave you and the answers that the captains sent me. Just as I had sent them before, to our Legate in Paris”.
Also, I made a presentation to him about a conversation I had with the person who brought me the letter from our Legate in Paris. This proposal he made to me seems to me to be very much in our favor. He submitted this to the command himself and “we have made it available to Lieutenant Faik Elmazin”, says the adjutant.
Istanbul, May 24, 1940
Prime Minister Koço Kotta, today, May 24, 1940, left for France, where, according to the order of King Zog I, he will be stopped for a few days in Athens, Greece. He will have a meeting with the Greek Prime Minister, Metaksain. After finishing the works in Athens, it will leave for France. But, in relation to the talks with the Greek Government, he will be in telephone contact with King Zog in Paris, as well as for instructions.
The Royal Albanian Prime Minister, Koço Kotta, on this occasion, held a meeting of the Ministerial Council, before leaving at 10 o’clock in the morning, on the same date, at the Royal Albanian Legation, “Kunt Palace” in Istanbul. He communicated his departure for Paris, according to the King’s order. But before that, he would stop in Athens for a few days, where he would call us.
“It was discussed about the Government that would remain in Istanbul, until it is settled in Paris with the King. It was discussed where the interest is more, for the Government to stay in France or in Turkey”?!
Below the Prime Minister said: “It is decided to go to Paris, there we will occupy a place together with the Legation and we will immediately send you visas and expenses. As for replacing the Ministerial Council, until I return , will be the Speaker of the Parliament, Hiqmet Delvina. But, if the Government will stay here in Turkey, then I will immediately return here. I also hope King Zog I, that we have the meeting of the National Congress, from the colonies. Anyway, will keep you posted.”
These were the orders of Prime Minister Kotta, on the last day, which was leaving on May 24, 1940, at 4 pm. At 4:00 p.m., on May 24, 1940, the Albanian Prime Minister, Koço Kotta, was escorted by the Government, Mehmet Konica and a part of the heads of the Albanian colony in Istanbul, to the Sekreci station, in Shemendifer.
Where he was accompanied to Athens by an employee of the Greek Legation. At 16:30, the train left directly for Athens, and this was the last greeting of Prime Minister Koço Kotta, a patriot and a man of habits. The Minister accredited to the Republic of Turkey, Asaf Xhaxhuli, with one figure, informed His Majesty, King Zog I, about the departure of Prime Minister Kotta, for Athens and France.
On May 27, 1940, Prime Minister Koço Kota, with a telegram, informed Minister Asaf Xhaxhulin, to let his friends know, that he had succeeded:
“I’m here in Athens, at the Hotel ‘Britain’. Don’t you know how long I have to stay?! I’m in regular contact with King Zog I, in Paris, as well as the Legation”. Then below he added that: “if there is a need for the arrival of Colonel Selman, he must come. But first, I will instruct the King from Paris”.
The minister, Asaf Xhauli, immediately informed all the ministers about the Prime Minister’s telegram. On this day, especially Minister Xhaxhuli and Colonel Selmani, they had a wide conversation about this slogan of Prime Minister Kotta.
“They seem to be in agreement of an alliance with Prime Minister Metaksai. This is what is missing, that Selmani should have been there for the organization of the Albanian forces”, the memoirs say. Memorie.al
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