By Hysen Selmani
Part thirty nine
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
EGYPT, JANUARY 1, 1950
“His Majesty, King Zog, together with the Queen and the Princesses of the suite, on January 1, 1950, went to visit the countries of the Pharaohs such as: Luxor and Aswan. Of course, the Egyptian Government had made available Toufik Dos Pasha as well as Mahmut Beu. We also had Dr. Omar Shaukina. Both in Luxor and in Aswan, we stayed close to a month. It was a very good and clean time.
On the 6th of Kallnur 1950, the French military attaché from Tirana came to us at Customs. He was appointed as the Military Attache of France to the Albanian Communist Government in Tirana. He was also doing the duty of the Minister. “As soon as he entered the Hotel in Asua, he immediately asked to get in touch with Colonel Hysen Selman, who was the chief adjutant of King Zog and the head of the Royal House. They tell Colonel Selman that a French colonel wants to meet you because he has a very urgent job. “Okay, – I said to Captain Zenel Shehi, – enter the salon below. Now I’m coming too.
“Immediately, I went to the salon and there I found him together with captain Zenel Shehin. As we greeted each other, I asked him what he wanted to drink. The French official simply asked for a coffee. As soon as we ordered the coffees, he told me that: “I am the military attaché of France in Tirana, Colonel G. I come directly from Tirana. I was in Alexandria and without stopping I came here. I have a very urgent and secret order, only to submit to His Majesty, the Zog King, in person. It will be possible to come back.”
“Yes, well,” I told him, “stay here for a while.” I immediately went up to King Zog and submitted it to him textually. The king ordered me to immediately climb it up to him.
I went down and accompanied him to the private salon, where the King was. As he was introduced, I left, but first, I said to the King: “I’m leaving you alone.” “Okay,” said the King, “if needed, I’ll call you.” Just send the waiter to bring us coffee.” I went out to the next salon. They talked alone for almost 3 hours, so that, when lunch time came, the King stopped them for lunch, to eat together.
When lunch was over, King Zog addressed me: “Colonet, your friend Colonel G., is going to stay here for four days. He is my guest and you can walk him everywhere”. The French immediately gave a figure to his French legate in Tirana that he talked with the King every day about the mission entrusted to him. After 4 days, where every day there were long talks with His Majesty, the King, even on the last day, he held 3 hours of talks.
After they finished, he went directly to Tirana and was very satisfied. The king, when he shook his hand, said: “I agree, don’t worry and you, colonel, whenever you see a direct need, come to my house, in Alexandria.” Colonel Selmani sent him to the airport and they greeted each other and he left for Tirana.
After the French colonel left, the military attaché in Tirana, His Majesty King Zog, called me and ordered me to leave immediately for Athens, Greece, Italy and France. His Majesty gave a message to the entire Albanian nation and emigration, in which he noted:
“I am of the opinion that a movement, no matter how small, if it gives shape to the uprising in Albania, today it will not bring any benefit, except for risks in the damage of the territorial integrity of the state. Any premature uprising is to the detriment of Albania. We must never forget that Greece has land claims over the “Albanian Epirus”, where a minority of 27 thousand Greeks lives.
Greece wanted to consider all 100,000 Albanian Orthodox, of Vorio-Epirus, as Greeks. It would benefit before the coup, which would cause an uprising in Albania and would intervene more quickly, to unite the region of “Epirus” and for which it has not stopped claiming throughout the Second World War.”
King Zog made it known that: I will never accept that any movement is made against today’s communist regime in Albania, because until an assurance has been given for the Albanian borders, from the 3 Great Powers, from the States of United States of America, Great Britain and France, every little thing, should not be done in opposition to today’s regime”. This was the message of King Zog.
The Greek press took this statement as insulting. This was not a new thing for the Greeks, but what had become common in their brains was that, without measure, they had sent delegations to negotiate with vain claims. Something that had completely lost its fat.
When Colonel Husein Selmani arrived at Athens airport, he was met by Spiro Milo. He immediately told him that he was shocked by a statement issued by His Majesty, King Zog, against Greece. ‘The Greeks are extremely angry. Greek notebooks show this situation. This statement no longer leaves a path for friendship and the press, gives a very bad form against King Zog and unites him with Enver Hoxha’, he told him.
Colonel Husein Selmani, answered Spiro Milios, with a smile:
“No, my friend. It is not too late for us, according to the Greek press. But, the Greek Government knows very well that King Zog’s statement has nothing against the Greeks. As far as Albania’s interests are concerned, as you know, King Zog, on the contrary, has always wanted and wants a sincere friendship.
Not as they claim with press controversy, because the Greeks, once and for all, must give up their absurd claims. ‘Vorio-Epiri’ is Albanian. The cure of the cure, the Greeks will not enjoy it, because all the blood of two million Albanians is spilled there. If the Greeks want friendship with Albania, these sparks must be removed immediately”.
“But, you are speaking as Enver Hoxha speaks?” said Mr. Spiro Milo.
“Of course, – Colonel Selmani told him, that Enver Hoxha, is an Albanian, and will protect the interests of Albania. Like Enver Hoxha and anyone else, he should do so. If this is rooted, in the heart of every Albanian. You know very well that the Albanians have never submitted to the Great Powers, against their interests”.
Below, the adjutant continues: After I had talked in Athens with those I had been ordered to, for three consecutive days, I set out for Rome and Trieste. Within a week, I completed the mission assigned to me. I left for Paris. I stayed there for 15 days because I had many places to visit. Then I went to Munich Germany and Vienna Austria. And, after a month, as all the instructions were carried out, I returned to Alexandria, Egypt.
Alexander, February 22, 1950
When I returned to Egypt, His Majesty, King Farouk, had commissioned the Government to form Nehas Pasha. He had formed it with people chosen by the Foundation. This was the largest and strongest party in Egypt. But still no measures seemed to have been taken to secure the country, either by school strikes or by disruptive agents.
It seems that they were still in the process of compiling the program. These were true patriots, without any license and Western. They had given the portfolio of the Ministry of the Interior to Fuad Serachedini: a very strong hand and the most loyal person of Neha Pasha. This was the Secretary of the Foundation.
His Majesty, King Zog, before leaving for the United States of America, paid a visit to the Rector of Al-Az-hare. It was received by Sheikh El-Az-har, with the entire team of Az-Har. At this time, with tremendous enthusiasm, Shah Az-har’s speech was in this sense:
“Your Majesty, Albania had the High Islamic Madrasah in Tirana. This religious institute was one of the best Madrasahs in all of Europe. It also sent students to Al-Al-Hare University and also to Pakistan and Lahore.
The fraternal ties between the Albanian people and the Muslim peoples remain excellent in the history of the Orient. From Albanians, more than 27 Satrazemas and many Ministers, as well as commanders, Vali and Sheikhul Islame, who served the Islamic religion and the common homeland, during the time of the Ottomans in Istanbul, have come.
All “El-Az-Har” notebooks published the speech of Sheikh Az-Har and the photograph of King Zog I, at the Lushnja congress, dated 22.01.1920. “Removing and having the chairman of the Albanian Muslim Committee, Haxhi Vehbi Dibra and Hoxha Kadrin Efendi, etc…”, writes the adjutant
His Majesty, King Zog, after visiting the University and the Islamic Museum, all the classes of students, returned to the hall of the Rector of Al-Az-Hare. He was accompanied by all the professors and Shehi, chairman of El-Az-Ahri. There they had a very grand reception and before receiving syrup, they gave you a very historical and touching discourse, giving him the well-deserved award of the Al-Az-Har high institute. Giving thanks for everything, the King’s speech was applauded and made the biggest impression in all of Az-Har.
With these talks, the ceremony in Al-Az-Hare ended. The King received permission from the Shehu to leave. At that time, more than 500 Shehi people stood up. All the Islamic university professors accompanied him until he got into the car and then he greeted them and we left.
Alexander, March 2, 1950
On this date, at 7 o’clock in the evening, King Farouk arrived, together with Prince Aga Khan, and started very critical talks about Egypt. When it was time for lunch, they went to the bread hall, the adjutant continues in his memories. When they finished the bread, they again came to the salon, where they got coffee. King Farouk, deeply shocked by the bad situation, said to King Zog, thus:
“Remember, my brother,” said King Farouk, “that I would never accept either the Soviet Embassy or the Russian Communist Legations here in Egypt. I have known for a long time that one day these will play a role in their interests. Which does not agree with Mohammedan doctrine? But British and American insistence forced me to accept them as early as 1945.
They gave me conditions, like Great Britain and the United States of America, including the Soviet Embassy, that it is an ally. Of course, when this was accepted, so were its cubs: Poland, Czechoslovakia, Hungary, Bulgaria, Yugoslavia, and Romania. These, of course, have worked and are working. Now, the situation was magnified by the disaster of Palestine. I want to tell you that here too; the fault lies with the Anglo-Saxons”.
King Farouk was very upset. He was indeed very patriotic and brave, but he loved the Egyptian people very much. So much so that he did not have the heart to take strict measures and was very sorry. King Zog was looking at him and said:
“I did not understand at all where you wanted me to go with these words. The people want a good shepherd, so that he knows how to train them and give them the reforms that agree with them, in moral and material life. That is not how it works, no in Egypt, but not even in France, which today is an example of freedom in the whole world. Take measures; don’t let the time come, when they will grab you by the throat?!
King Farouk turned and said to King Zog I:
“You told me to give the Government, to form Nehas Pasha with the Vakdistas, I gave it to him with all the powers. What did he do, what is he doing, until today? He has done nothing. There is nothing to do. The situation is getting worse every day, in everything and in every place. They have not taken any measures”.
King Zog I answered: “I, I have told you in time. Look at the army; organize a strong Guard, with loyal officers?! Likewise, the army in Cairo, as well as this one in Alexandria, organizes well. Visit it yourself and don’t leave it to Hajdar Pasha. Fill these two divisions with loyal officers, or if you can’t do it, distribute the security material to the Guard. And keep the Guard loyal, because it plays the role main?! Equipped with the most modern weapons, what do you have here?!
As for the Government, I left that responsibility to Nehas Pasha and his friends. They are nationalists and patriots, because if they couldn’t, to do something else, no one, at all, can bring peace. Nehasi will do it with his friends or no one else. Today the Waqf is Egypt. It is the greatest, most organized and strongest power, which nothing but the army can destroy. Don’t forget that you are its supreme commander, not the Government. So, it is up to you to take measures and ensure the army, because if the army is regulated, it will take the initiative of a revolution. And neither Nehasi nor you have anything to do. Thus, the situation is over,” the King told him.
Alexandria, March 5, 1950
The Greek notebooks do not rest on the statement that His Majesty, King Zog I, made to his people, for the interest of Albania. They write long and wide and we’re getting the most interesting bits:
“Zog I, the King of the Albanians, now openly took the side with complete certainty in favor of the communist regime, of his own Motherland.
The Greeks are alarmed by the breakdown of relations with the Albanian King, Zog I. A high delegation, headed by General Zerva, goes to fix the relationship. “Immediately, General Zerva presented a letter to Marshal Papagos, where he asked for forgiveness and not to notice the press. They are free to speak, he told him”, the adjutant recalls.
The Greek government always wants friendship, the Greeks say, and the purpose of this letter, as well as the talks of the delegates, was that they wanted the Greeks to do a strong operation, so that this time, they would completely eradicate the communist nurseries. In short, they beg the King to help them against the communists, “so that the Albanians also participate in cooperation with the Greek army, as brothers and friends”.
The king denies it, because for him, Albanians are more valuable than Greeks. Even communists. Meanwhile, the Greeks, in a meeting with the King, show the truth of April 7 and their relations with Albania. Meanwhile, Mergata moves piece by piece to the “Free World”. Abaz Kupi, Ernest Koliqi, Xaver Deva, sign a memorandum of understanding with the King. Memorie.al
The next issue follows