By Hysen Selmani
The fortieth part
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
NEW YORK, AUGUST 4, 1951
His Majesty, King Zog I, was invited to go to Washington. He immediately left and was accompanied by Colonel Hysen Selmani, Nuçi Kotte, Mizrail Pasha and Peter Kolonja. When all the visits were over, he called the American senators one after the other. Senator Tahti was one of them and was the Chairman of the Republican Party in America. He was very Lord. King Zog, in (Washington, for every evening, there were 20 senators and high American dignitaries.
“This went on for 12 days straight, and then we went back to New York. In Washington, everything went pretty well. But President Truman was sick with a bad flu. Here, at lunch and dinner, we had number great generals of the Pentagon. We had among others also many ministers, heads of sections, and others. These were all, as long as we stayed there.”
In New York, the King wanted to buy a nice house. So we found a house on Long-Island with 110 acres of garden and land. It was a house like a Palace, with a total of 45 parts, all in good condition. There were also 4 other large houses. We bought this for $150,000. It is understood that this made a lot, but the master who sold it, did so because there were heavy taxes, while King Zog did not pay tax. That’s why we got it so cheap and paid for it. We left Major Lev Sukachev, who was with lawyer Boris Komara, to keep an eye on him. As a llama guard, an Albanian, because King Zog, had decided that, after a while, he would settle in America.
This was not decided yet, but he bought the house so we could have it. Even in Alexandria, we had a big house with a whole garden, which had cost a full 20,000 pounds. We sold the house in Alexandria to Prince Telat, who was the son of the King of Saudi Arabia, Abdyl Aziz. But the Prince prevented us, because he did not pay us the money immediately, which was 285,000 dollars. This thing hindered us and hurt us so badly that it will be noted later. Waiting for payment to be made, we delayed until the Egyptian Revolution took place.
NEW YORK, SEPTEMBER 27, 1951
His Majesty, King Zog I, on September 27, 1951, left New York for Europe. He was escorted to the New York airport by more than 300 people. They were American-Albanians, Greeks, Yugoslavs, and police guards. It was truly, an incredibly grand send-off. He went directly to France, where he stayed in Paris for 12 days. He visited the President and many French dignitaries.
Of course, he made every effort to realize the interests of the Motherland. Everywhere, he was well received. And, after finishing all the visits in Paris, he left for Egypt. In Paris, he met twice with Prince Telat, who had bought the house in Alexandria. The latter gave him his word that, within 10 days, he would pay all the money, and he would come to Alexandria to take delivery of the house.
PARIS, OCTOBER 5, 1951
His Majesty, King Zog, on October 5, 1951, left for Egypt. “After finishing all the work in Paris, we arrived at the Cairo airport. It was night and Her Majesty, Queen Geraldine, with all the princesses and Tofik Dos Pasha, Theoderos Pasha and Hasan Nehas Pasha, with the Lady, were waiting for us there. There were also many Egyptian authorities, such as Tahir Pasha, Prince Omer Faruk and all the personalities of the Palace.
There we greeted everyone. Then, we stayed at the “Hilipolis” hotel for an hour. We gave him a coffee and then, we headed straight to Alexandria. King Zog is now in Alexandria. He is preparing to leave for Europe, saying goodbye and talking, perhaps for the last time, with all his Arab friends.
King Farouk used to come every day and was very sorry that we were leaving Egypt. But he himself sees that King Zog’s position in Egypt is not so favorable for the interests he wants to pursue for his country. Thus, the King, every day he has dozens of friends who wish him a path full of success. He is always waiting for Prince Telat, who would hand over 100,000 pounds sterling for the house. Immediately, we also sent the spoils to the company “Farosse”, to send them to France and occupied two houses in Cannes.
ALEXANDRI, OCTOBER 20, 1951
On this date, October 20, 1951, comes His Highness, Prince Telat. He said to King Zog: “I have you as my father. I broke the money, I only have 25,000 lira left and the rest, I will only pay them in installments, within three months.” Surely this upset the King so much that he canceled the whole program. But it was not what to do. They immediately called the lawyers; the King had his own, while the Prince had the lawyer of the Saudi Arabian Embassy. The notarial formalities were completed and the house was handed over to the King provisionally.
He took a place at the Mediterranea hotel for two months, according to the Prince’s promises, that he would pay him the money. The prince had with him one of the Embassies. His name was Feidan and he took over. That’s how we left the house, 46 of us gathered at the “Mediterranean” hotel. We were supposed to stay for two months. This will destroy us completely, both economically and politically.
The next day, King Farouk came, as always, and they were talking about the trip to the United States of America. Shyqyri Kuatly and the Mufti of Jerusalem also came to the conversation. Everyone was very sorry that King Zog was leaving Egypt. They had a great sympathy for him, and he himself invited them to dinner, where they began to talk about affairs in America. The men spoke of both conversations in New York and Washington. They called him on the phone and told him about the event in Switzerland, where they had published a very useless article.
“Then, – said King Zog, – I begged you, for my sake, not to publish it. They removed it.”
“Yes, – said King Farouk, – Mizrail Pasha told me. That’s how it was, but after it was published, like in Switzerland, in France and in “Lajit”, let it be published. It wouldn’t make any more impression”. The “Farose” company packed all the material it was transporting to France. There were more than 20 boxes, books and silverware.
Everything, there were personnel from both houses, like that of the King and the Queen and like that of the Princesses. The furniture was not moved from the place. Unfortunately, we could not take them, the houses were furnished, all in the modern system. Yes, the “Farose” company wanted to transport the luggage to France”.
“Yes,” we said, “they are waiting for you.” “We had a small part of the archive with us. Of course, what they require every day to work with. Most of it was packed in the Society: “Farose”. Meanwhile, we were at Hotel “Mediterranea” and the situation it was very complicated, since the “Mediterranean” hotel was old. They even asked us to release him, because two months had passed and the Prince had not even been heard from. We don’t know what to do anymore.” The government of Neha Pasha could not do anything about the peace of the country. One evening, they set Kairos on fire.
They were all damaged, so much so that the “Shepet” hotel, which was well-known, and many warehouses and clubs, also burned down. “A state that evens the mind does not understand”. After that, the Government of Neha Pasha resigned because it had no chance to stabilize peace. Many university students went out every day and always on strike. The police were not believed, but in the army, an ingrained microbe had entered. Everywhere there was no authority and the measures to ensure peace were difficult.
ALEXANDRI, MAY 8, 1952
His Majesty, King Zog, was occupied with the great affairs of the day. He was also bored and ready to go with a large staff of 43. For days he had friends, especially Arabs, who felt sorry for him because he was leaving Egypt. They had great sympathy and admiration for the Zog King. However, the King still had a lot of problems: “The buyer of the house was still not coming and he was not paying the money, according to the terms. This was quite a large sum and almost two hundred thousand dollars were to be received. The King, meanwhile, he occupied two houses in Cannes, France and paid for them for 6 months.
The entire packed luggage, meanwhile, had remained in the “Farose” company. At this time, he left the “Mediterranea” hotel and took a large house in Ramleh Marash-Pasha. There he installed himself waiting for payment to leave. And, when he finally saw that the payment was not being made quickly, he decided to go out, but all the money was in the “Miser” bank. To withdraw the money, we had to pay a full 76,000 Egyptian pounds. The king wanted this, that with the money from the sale of the house, they would send the money to the “Miser” bank and withdraw all the gold, which was in dollars, gold, American.
EGYPT, APRIL 12, 1952
The situation in all Egyptian cities is getting worse every day. The government has completely lost its authority before the people and, especially after the fall of Neha Pasha’s Government, successive governments came, month after month, but to no avail. It is not only a bad state, but also a complete anarchy. An uprising was expected every day, we understand neither the Government nor King Farouk, what they think, and why they don’t take measures, this situation has scared even foreigners. Everyone is leaving and all the rich are taking measures to get rid of their wealth. His Majesty, King Zog, was very upset after this and thought: “I will go out, because the two houses in Cana are occupied and paid for for 6 months.” But what to do, when still Prince Telat. didn’t answer?
ALEXANDRI, MAY 10, 1952
King Zog, on May 10, 1952, had a large audience. He was in the parlor downstairs and always had the pain of an ulcer. But on this day, he had put on more weight and was not feeling well. When all the waiting was over, at 12 o’clock in the day, he got up and started to climb the stairs. He had two officers with him, accompanying him. The captain, Muharrem Gjoka, was closer.
Meanwhile, he sees that he is quite pale and orders him to hold him and stay close to him. Suddenly, when he was in the middle of the stairs, the King had a seizure so severe that if the officer had not held him, he would have fallen. There, the officer, Muharrem Gjoka, takes him by the arm and takes him directly to the bedroom. The king was as if passed out because he was bleeding a lot. He immediately called the two house doctors: Doctor Omer Shaukina and Doctor Qemal Yusufati. They immediately treated him with ice and injections.
They could barely bring him back to consciousness after an hour, because he was completely weakened and had lost a lot of blood. After two hours, he came to. He was so tired and so broken that he could not stand up. He had lost a lot of blood and was very tired. That same evening, we also received three ulcer specialist professors and they did all the cures. But, it became very weak and continued like this for 4 days. After four days, the condition improved somewhat, enough to sit in a chair. But only and always in the bedroom and never outside the room. The professors who came told him that he cannot travel before 2 months.
Alexandria, July 12, 1955
We have his Exelenxa, Shyqyri Kuantly. Laughing, he immediately went to King Zog I and said: “Your majesty, everything is over.” Now, the Egyptian government has given all the orders that; Your Majesty; be free when you want to go out. Send and receive the passports, because you have them ready. Likewise, the “Misir” bank has been ordered to withdraw all the money you have deposited, etc. When Kuatly was talking with King Zog, the lawyer Hasan Saoud also comes, who asked to appear before King Zog. We told him to wait because it was President Kuatly, but nevertheless they called in the lawyer as well, who submitted that they had informed him that the trial had not yet ended, as far as the Session was concerned.
They had to leave a guarantee in the bank for the trial, of 12,000 (twelve thousand) Egyptian lira, until the trial was over. “In case you win the trial, this money will be sent to France freely by the bank”. President Kuatly was very sorry that the President of Egypt, Gemal Abdyl Nasser, told him that; there is no obstacle, and he blushed, but said: “Majesty, with these people, one does not know where one is kept. They do not have the slightest manliness. Where are they taking us now that, Sezija, it is not finished!
I will go to Nasser again,” he said, but King Zog took him by the hand and said: “No, no, my friend, there is no problem. We leave those guarantees that the court requires. We better not go deeper, because this amount will not hinder. Only the amount of gold I have in the “Miser” bank, let me be free, because I want to sell from them, to pay 75,000 lira. For three years, I went into debt here in Egypt, between banks, and then I need to withdraw the gold I have in the “Miser” bank.
The king, after that, ordered the lawyer Hasam Saoud: “Better arrange this guarantee according to the law and we will not have any more obstacles for you.” His Majesty, King Zog, was upset to see President Quatly, very upset. The latter did not want to leave this guarantee. But King Zog said to him: “My friend, I am very grateful to you. If it had not been for you, they would not have allowed me another two years. Now we are at peace. Leave the 12,000 lire, let them keep”. With these words, the lawyer went to adjust the deed-guarantee. When we went to the “Miser” bank to withdraw the gold, we got into a lot of trouble there. The whole purpose was, not to allow us to receive gold, but to receive these in Egyptian liras. We had gold there, in US dollars.
“A 5 napoleon of American gold cost 28 Egyptian liras, and they want to exchange 5 napoleon of American gold for 11 Egyptian liras. So there was confusion, so that we had a loss of 147,000 pounds, just with the gold. This caused us more trouble than anything else. We were forced to admit that you just had to sit and spend more. King Zog, he admitted, had nothing to do.
Whereas, President Kuatly tried, but they lied to him, making excuses, turli-turli. The king gave the order to liquidate all the payments as soon as possible and leave for Europe. Thus, after the trial bond was left at the “Miser” bank, the “Farose” Company was also paid for the luggage. We didn’t have anything left, not even to pay for the travel tickets, but we managed. Thus, everything came to an end, with the hotel and other payments and with that, the company as well.
FRANCE, ABLON, MARCH 15, 1961
Her Majesty, Queen Geraldine, again summoned Professor Leneger and two ulcer specialists from the Foche Hospital. In the consultation, Professor Leneger said that: “Here is no longer a heart, but an ulcer and it needs to be admitted to the “Foche” hospital for a few days. Meanwhile, King Zog wanted to be admitted to the American hospital, where Professor Leneger worked. But, there were not the tools that the “Foche” hospital had. There were no specialists either, so it was decided to be hospitalized for 10 days. This was done, just to make the needles and as they decided in the consultation.
On March 20, 1961, he was admitted to the “Foche” hospital. He wasn’t that tired. Always, it was with those jokes. But, he smoked a lot of tobacco and coffee and ate very little. An apartment was taken there, where Queen Geraldine was always with the King. We also took two rooms, for two service officers. Every day, the Princesses and all the staff of the Court visited him. Colonel Hysen Selmani was with the Crown Prince, Leka, but three times a day; they went and saw him, where the first week, he was quite well. Even in the hospital, he accepted visits. He had done it, almost like at home. Foreigners and Albanians came every day. There were hundreds of them. It was not difficult for him, but he enjoyed talking with them.
He never quit smoking or coffee. When visitors came, he would wait for them in a lounge, outside the apartment. He never wore a robe to a meeting. And, no one waited without wearing clothes. He was smiling and tireless. When he suddenly began to feel pain and weakness, immediately, the professor, Leneger and the doctors of the “Foche” hospital were called. They advised us to call a professor from Germany and one from Switzerland. Thus, a general consultation would take place. They were immediately called and came and were placed in the “Foche” hospital. On March 28, 1961, a consultation was held in the presence of 6 professors, the most competent in Europe.
They, after seeing all the tests and taking many pictures and examinations, after all these tests, concluded that, in addition to the ulcer, there was also a black lung, in which there was cancer. And this great pain was not from the ulcer, but from the black lung. After many examinations, they confirmed that it is cancer. The professors consulted one another and with many trials, looked to see if he could be operated on. They saw it as impossible, why he had reached the last rank. In this way, they gave the decision. The professors, after all the analysis of photographs and sightings, saw that King Zog I’s illness had no cure. Everything else was useless.
They called Her Majesty, Queen Geraldine, the Crown Prince, Leka, Princess Sanije, and Colonel Hysen Selman, and communicated to you that, in the consultation, it was ascertained and confirmed that: “After all the treatments we have given to King Zog, he not only has the ulcer, but he also has a very sick black lung and all the pains come from that. This is cancer. We did our best to operate on him, but it’s all in vain, because it remains in his hand. That today, he has to continue doing these treatments. If he starts to improve, there is a possibility that we will do an operation.” Then they came out.
The professors, to some extent, advised us that: “With these treatments that we are giving him, and in the event that a small improvement is dictated, the professor of the “Foche” hospital will let us know and we will come immediately. We can “We do an operation, but there is very little hope.” These were the last words of the consultation of the 6 professors. At this time, Prince Leka was so upset that it cannot be described. Due to the great pain that came to him, he immediately took the specialists of the “Foche” hospital and, together with Colonel Hysen Selmani, went directly to a private apartment. He called all the institutes, as far as cancer was concerned, in all the countries of America.
He spoke first in Boston and then successively in other countries. As soon as the specialists found this cancer, they contacted all the professors for 7 hours in a row. While we saw that he could not be of any use, we now remained in the hope that the professors told us: If he gets a little better, we could do an operation on him. After this communication of the professors, the Albanian Royal Court issued an urgent communique, notifying all Albanians in the free world, as well as friends and many personalities, about King Zog’s illness. Here below, we are marking the communication issued, based on the last consultation, of the 6 best professors of Europe.
For your information, I would like to inform you that: in order to be treated as best as possible and under the constant supervision of specialist doctors, His Majesty, King Zog I, King of the Albanians, was admitted to the “Foche” hospital. Our beloved king, in addition to the old ulcer, which he has had for many years, also suffers from black liver. The general state of health continues to be in order, but the King is weakened due to not taking enough food.
At the same time, the most famous professors, as in; France, Germany, Switzerland, and elsewhere, are always in consultation. We have to constantly inform you about the health of His Majesty, our beloved King” sometimes he would lose himself. But he would quickly come to his senses and open his eyes and look at us, but not in pain. He would look at us with a smiling face and twist his beautiful mustache. Then he would let us see that he is fine. Memorie. al
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