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
German Press 8. VIII. 1943
“Germany shows a calmness about Italy’s situation. And, it calls the intervention an internal matter. It believes that Italy knows how to continue the war. It attaches great importance to the bombing, which the allies are doing. According to ‘Radio Moscow’, it is said that the Albanians attack in the district of Korça as well as in the districts of Tirana. In addition, they have cut many roads.”
Istanbul, August 29, 1943
“The fall of Mussolini has produced a satisfaction in all of Albania. It’s just that there is a fear that our country is becoming a battlefield, since all the strategic places have been taken over by the Germans. This includes the coasts and other places. They are very savaged against the Italian army, which is in Albania. The Italians, for their part, in Albania have lost all hope and know that the war is one hundred percent lost. But they are very afraid of the Germans, who are very strong and arrogant. In many countries, they began to disarm them, but a part of the Italians began to cooperate with the National Liberation. As soon as the news of the fall and imprisonment of Benito Mussolini was given, General Pariani and Ekrem Libohova fled in Italy. And it is expected that Ekrem Libohova will return, but General Pariani does not come to Albania anymore. No one agrees to form the government anymore. Now there is complete anarchy in Albania. And especially, in recent times, fratricide has entered in a large measure between the Ballistas and the National-liberator. So are some departments of the Government, against the communists. This bloodshed is now taken as honor and men, women and children are killed. There are also burning of houses, and others, so that the first does not understand the second. Foreign missionaries are destroying the country.
Nacional-Liberator has gained a lot of momentum. It has all the support not only from Tito, but from all the allies. It is being supplied with all the necessary means and these are considered to be a power next to the Allies. Officially, now they have got great power and now they have many Armenians, who were prisoners of war. And, a large part of Italians, have joined them with all the materials of war. Now, they have spread that; Nacional-Liberator has made a treaty with Tito in Bihore, as an ally. This is confirmed by both the London Radio and the Mediterranean Radio, that those who fight the National Liberation are considered enemies of the Allies and others.
The Royalists have no support from the Allies. Although we have 3 British missionaries and quite a few good men, they bring us no benefit or hope. Although we obey them and assure them, that nothing bad will happen to them. They say they are friends of King Zog, but we don’t know what to do until you come here. Indeed, here among us, faith has also been lost.
We are waiting for the decisions of the comrades, among the different countries and especially those of Tirana, Rauf Fico, Vuçiterna, Teki Selenica and Omer Beshir. Gaqo Goga is closely related to them, as he is almost our most active person, to christen the Royals, with a party name. Gaqi is also with some others in Shkodër and in the South, on the side of Qemal Shtino”.
Istanbul, October 7, 1943
This is how this day is expected among Albanian monarchists. “Now the re-creation of the situation in Albania by the occupation of the Germans is going to get even worse, because it will hurt the Germans, as well as the Italians. They have caused great damage.
The entire Italian army in the Balkans was disarmed by the Germans, except for a part that escaped and joined the National Liberation. All the Italian material has been looted and more than that, the National-liberators have benefited.
Tirana, October 28, 1943
The Germans formed a Regency in Albania
The formation of the Regency and the Government, under the German occupation in Albania, was made by the persons we are marking below. We still don’t know their program, but of course they followed the interests of the Germans.
- Mehdi Frasheri, Chairman of the Regency
- Father Arapi, Member of the Regency
- Fuat Dibra, Member of the Regency
- Lef Nosi, Member of the Regency
The government is composed of the following persons:
- Rexhep Mitrovica, Prime Minister of the Government
- Xhafer Deva, Minister of the Interior
- Musa Gjylbegu, Minister of Education
- Koço Muka, Minister of Education
- Vehbi Frashëri, Minister of Foreign Affairs
- Rrok Gera Minister of Finance
- Tromara, Minister of Agriculture
- Ago Agaj, Minister of Trade
- Colonel Preng Pervizi, Defense Commander
Mehdi Frashëri, as soon as he took office as Regent chairman, addressed his speech where he invites all the groups and the whole people, for a union and a fraternal agreement between them. However, no one answered this call, except for those of the “National Front”, because they had 2 members in their government. Thus, the efforts of Mehdi Frashër were not realized. The fratricide has reached its peak and there have been untold massacres. “Balli Kombëtar” was supported by this Government with means, as it had formed 3 walking battalions, which follow the communists. Also, Xhafer Deva brought 2,000 Kosovars, they fight in every country against the National Liberation. This fratricide also entered Dibër, but everywhere the National-Liberator is superior, with the Yugoslav organizers.
Here we had Mustafa Gjinish, who told us that again in the National Liberation Party, a British mission had arrived. There is a general, Davis, English, with how many others, but under the orders of agents of the Russo-Yugoslav Cominform. They bring you a lot of weapons, clothes, medicines and other things, food and these three friends who are with us are quite good men, but it seems that they also do the same task. Maybe against their will”.
“Your absence here,” he writes to the adjutant, “has completely destroyed us, so much so that we don’t know what to do. Someone says one word to us, and someone another, the whole message of the foreigners is not to hinder the National-liberator, i.e., that all our sacrifice goes to them, the orders you gave us, we are trying to implement them, but here the situation changes day by day.
In these recent times, we had some news that you would come as soon as possible with friends. But now, we hear from the National-Liberator, that you are banned, that even this mission of ours is not in favor of you coming here, and this has demoralized us a lot. After this news, we did not believe the words that they told us, that we are in contact with H. M. Tij, King Zog, for the night. That your prohibition does not agree with this flattery of these. One day we proposed to our friends that we would like to bring Colonel Husein Selmani here. They lied to us that it will come soon.
We are waiting for you. Just know that you’re not coming soon will cause us to be devastated. That here every day they opened different propaganda, and we assure you that, despite the fact that we are not organized, because we do not understand each other, everyone does as they please. Also, we have had no support from anyone, not material, but not even moral. With you at the helm, we will soon be superior to others in every respect.
The National Liberator, now in recent times, after the news that the Allies have unloaded on some islands of Italy and their center with General Davis, has entered into contact with the Mediterranean Command, they have also sent a delegation to Marshal Tito. J. Tempua also went with this delegation for final instructions. As it seems, they have no faith in Professor Mustafa Gjinishin, as political commissar of the National-Liberator. This is opposed by the Communist Group and, of course, now they are stronger than the Russo-Yugoslav organizers. They have the confidence of the communists, as far as Myslim Peza, Haxhi Lleshi, Professor Gjinishi, Faik Shehi and Spiro Moisiu and Baba Faja are concerned. They lie to them, but Mustafa Gjinishi does not lie. He is the most eloquent and eloquent of all the others. And this has the possibility to disappear.
We welcome you to come to us, with full conviction and hugs: Don’t forget what we told you. Long live the King!
Sul Kurti, Jusuf Selmani, Dyle Allani, Jusuf Çela, Selman Mena, Major Murat Basha, Hafus Hasa, Fadil Allamani, Bajram Sata, Beqir Dervishi, Ahmet Perhati, Jashar Lela, Hasan Kalija, Bilal Kola, Xhemal Vata. Ali Kaleci, Halil Keta, Hysen Sula, Mehdi Kaca, Rahman Hysa and others.
We are waiting with open arms day and night to see you.
Vike, September 3, 1943 My regards Gafurri
Mat, November 15, 1943
Now the fratricide between the “National Front” and the National-Liberator caught fire. These were seen as early as August 2, 1943, at the meeting in Mukje, where this decision was taken unanimously by the “National Front” and the National Liberation Front. But the “Mukaj Agreement” was not respected. From this it was decided to organize ourselves.
“The royalists had not yet emerged as political organizations in themselves. They were always working for a national union to fight the common enemy. Even often, our jobs were taken over by others. After both the ‘National Front’ and the National Liberation, the members of the Royalist Movement had reached the most terrible bloodshed and decided to emerge as a separate Party:
And so on November 21, 1943, the Royal Congress was held in Herraj, Tirana. Where more than 300 people and delegates participated, coming from all over. Thus, with everyone’s wish, the decision was made that the circumstances imposed on us at this critical moment that we were going through: She gave you the name:
“NATIONAL ORGANIZATION OF THE LEGALITY MOVEMENT”
So, the Congress chose the leaders. She organized the provincial committees. It gave you a boost of propaganda by announcing the cases. At this time, it is worth noting the tirelessness of Gaqi Gogo, who with every sacrifice made thousands of posters, sticking them everywhere. The leadership of the Movement was entrusted to you by Major Abas Kupit.
The coming out of the Movement, with a certain program based on the “Albanian Royal Statute of 1928”, it seems that this, on the part of the leaders of other organizations, does not feel a satisfaction. “Because we are no longer with them, and according to their opinion, we should remain their supporters, without an organization.”
The position of our Movement, as it has always been and continues to be, in accordance with national interests, is that we have striven for “national” honor. Who demanded that, as with national freedom and independence, the regime established by the Albanian people should return to Albania? Our political position allows us to better protect the vital interests of the Motherland, according to our legal status, presented to the whole world, as the Legal Representative of the Albanian State.
We asked for the return of Albania, in the state before April 7, 1939. Because before that date, our Albania was with all the apparatus of a sovereign state. She was known ‘de jure’ and ‘de facto’, from all over the world. The brutal aggression of April 7, 1939, does not change that situation from the point of view of International Law. But even, it empowers him. Because the legal basis of such a problem is the “statuquo ante” doctrine.
In seeking the return, we do nothing but seek what the whole world and the League of Nations recognized us for. But they did not want to know, they were following a program that does not match these interests. This forced us to officially join this political organization. We hope to have the best time possible, and we welcome you with open arms.”
Istanbul, February 15, 1944
Colonel Husein Selmani receives an urgent report from Albania on this day, where he is informed that a very bloody match has taken place in Martanesh, between a government force, united with the ‘Ballists’ and the National Liberation. Captured severely wounded, General Davis, Englis.
“This man with his friends and some Italian officers were with Baba Faja, in the Quarter of the National Liberator. This is the person who was going to go with Colonel Husein Selmani to Albania, but they stopped the latter from entering Albania. An Albanian patriot from Çermenika and Elbasan, Haziz Biçaku, took him and sent him to his home to treat him, but General Davis was afraid of the country’s treatments and begged him to hand him over to the Germans.
And, after his insistence, he surrendered and was admitted to the State Hospital in Tirana. After this bitter news, which happened to our British friend, General Davis in Martanesh, the Royalists were immediately notified”. That with every sacrifice, the British friend, General Davis, would be taken out of the Germans and reunited with the other British friends. Even, and to be protected without suffering any harm, like this and others and not to suffer any harm. These are the wishes and orders of King Zog, because the British are the friends and supporters of Albania”, says the adjutant.
“The royals immediately arranged the removal from the Hospital of the British friend General Davis. They have sent Captain Masar Pustina, with a power, to get him out of the hospital and reunite him with his other British friends, without being dictated to by the Germans at all. But General Davis flatly refused to leave the hospital, and he himself was confident in our men, who tried hard to get him. So it was impossible, because he didn’t want to in any way. So they informed us that we are ready to get him out of the Germans, but he doesn’t listen, to leave. We don’t know the reason.”
Of course, says the King’s aide-de-camp, I immediately called the Chief of the British Information Office in Istanbul, Cameron, and read the report verbatim in an English copy. I gave it translated by Mr. Peter Andoni, to present to the Mediterranean Command. I added that I am always ready to be put in charge of the task and showed my regret for this misfortune, which resembled our friend. Of course, Cameron felt sorry for him. But, at the same time, he told me that: You did your duty, if you had been there, this disaster would not have happened, and he assured me that he would submit the report immediately. In particular, I presented a report like that of Albania and this one of the Mediterranean Command to King Zog in London. On Cameron’s side and I gave Avni Derralla with me, they went. I sent the same to the Turkish General Staff, in Istanbul. I did this with Captain Avni Deralla, in the Turkish language.
The situation in Albania is very critical. Now it is more clearly seen that the National-liberator will take it in hand, because all the aid is given to them.
In Martanesh, the head of the National Liberation Quarter was Baba Faja and General Davis, English, British missionary. Next to the National-liberator were also three Italian colonels, who had joined the National-liberator and Faik Shatku, as an advisor. In the match that was played by Haziz Bicak, with a volunteer force from Çermenika, many were killed and among them, General Davis, seriously wounded. He was taken prisoner and 3 Italian colonels, Faik Shatku. Baba Faja escaped, thanks to the difficulty of the heavy snow. He was saved by the Kings, by Beqir Dervishi. Haziz Biçaku was only interested in the British friend who took him to his house, and as for the others, he didn’t even pay attention.
Colonel Husein Selmani was always in contact with the British, but the hopes were few. “It seems that in the Balkans, the Soviet influence imposes and not the Anglo-American one. Now communism has put its noses and roots everywhere in Albania, and especially in the youth. They see the all-round help from the allies, while the nationalist forces are not showing any will to capable against them. They are completely unorganized and in opposition to each other. Whereas the National-Liberator is organized on a large scale. The National-Liberator has a treaty with Tito and is known as an ally. So this is a death for Albania, why did the allies put it under the soviet sheets.This is a mistake and an irreparable mistake for the Anglo-Americans.
“And don’t assume that Great Britain has no interests in Albania. You will see, when Albania and the Adriatic remain a Russian area, then you will understand the importance of Albania, that this is also the death of Greece. But I remember that you still have time to help us, to take measures, that we hope to take control of Albania quickly. We have the people with us, but your propaganda in favor of the left is hindering us, as well as the aid the harm you are giving them”.
“Think a little about tomorrow, quotes the adjutant – that this has been a great loss for you in the Mediterranean as well. You are the organizers of the Russian-Yugoslav Cominform, who administer and poison the youth, with ideas incompatible with Albanian traditions, and you are always helping them. A mistake, that for their interests, you stopped me from entering Albania, which was a profit for you too, because this situation would definitely change. But still, it is a hope, and it is not too late, if this activity is to be taken up again, the Cominform element would have no place in Albania. Except for Anglo-American friends, we are ready to go, but if it is you, you find it necessary. In this way, you will definitely let Greece go, but in the same disaster that you let us go. So, you will soon understand”.
With these words, under great pressure, he told me that: “You are right and I completely agree with you. Today I presented both the Mediterranean Command and the General Chief in London this report, as well as the report you are giving me about King Zog, in London. I hope that the British leaders will see fit, I am convinced of a firm decision. Regarding an operation of this hand in Albania, I also have to add my opinion, above all the reports that come to you. I know you very well, your sympathy in Albania and your strong activity”. With that, Avni took Deralla and left. Memorie.al
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