From Agim Xh. Dëshnica
-FAN S. NOLI AND COMMUNISM-
Memorie.al / On January 6, 1882, Fan S. Noli was born in Ibrik Tepe, Turkey. This documentary article aims to present only a part of the diverse life of this great democratic patriot. In the official publications of the Government of King Zog, “Albania in 1937”, on the occasion of the celebrations of the 25th Anniversary of National Independence, in the chapter on the history of culture, it is written: “The most beautiful and sad names of writers are associated with him to be past. Each alphabet had a long series of ace writers, but above all only four shine like peerless stars, Naimi, Fishta, Konica and Noli”. In perfect albums with unretouched photographs, next to the outstanding figures of the nation, the elegant portrait of Fan S. Noli shone.
That same year, Faik Konica would say: “Father Noli will remain in the history of Albania, as the man who managed to be the first to speak the Albanian language at mass, thanks to his willpower and subtlety. The day he celebrated mass for the first time is a white omen on the way to our progress. And we don’t forget it, nor can we let others forget it.”
In the years of the Second World War, in a series of news stories, Noli’s great concern for the fate of the Motherland in the face of fascism and communism can be felt. He is ready to cooperate with all those who have stood up and are trying to save the Albanian people, from any danger. Due to lack of space, we give only a few notices starting from 1939 to 1968.
Newspaper “Dielli” with articles about Noli
“The Sun”, December 7, 1939. Under the heading “Our Flag”, it is written: “It was raised on November 28, 1912 – captured again on April 12, 1939…! The words of Bishop Noli increase the hopes of the people for the liberation of Albania”. The war that the Allies are waging in Europe is aimed at maintaining democratic governance and saving small nations from the captivity of greedy powers. Albanians must work for their national freedom, because freedom is not won without sacrifice”.
“Dielli”, March 27, 1943. After receiving the letter from Tajar Zavalani, Fan S. Noli writes the main article: “Origin, development, and expectation of the Holy Union”: … Then the job remained to talk to Faik Konitza and did I invite to the idea of the Holy Union. Konitza strongly opposes the Holy Union with the Bird at the head…! I fought for several days and nights in a row to convince him that there was no better dish than this. Finally, Konitza fell. I believe and stand by his word until the hour of death.”
“Dielli”, August 11, 1943: “The war in Albania did not stop when the Italians invaded Albania on Black Friday. The Albanian people did not give up their arms that black day; He swept them away and took the mountains.” On this date, the names of the anti-fascist commanders were announced: “Captain Hysni Lepenica, Myslim Peza, Dr. Safet Butka, Colonel Muharrem Bajraktari, Baba Mustafa Martaneshi, Kristo Peshtani and Karagjozi etc.”.
“Dielli”, September 18, 1943: “King Zog requests Albania’s entry into the circle of the United Nations”.
“The Sun” September 25, 1943: “The National Liberation Front and Zogu, like all true patriots, demand the unification of all Albania.”
Dielli October 2, 1943: “Mr. Noli’s speech on the radio made a great impression in Albania and outside Albania”.
Noli and his ideas from the democratic patriot
As before and after 1946, Fan S. Noli had no illusions about the communist system, both in Albania and in the world. It is enough to read the letters sent to Konica, where he devalues the books: “Capital” and “Communist Manifesto”. Noli’s true manifesto is the enlightened creation, Hymn to the Flag. For the ideas that this optimistic poem carries, only two stanzas are enough:
O Blood Flag, O Vulture Flag,
O brother and sister, father and mother,
Wet with tears, burnt with flag,
Red flag, Black flag!
Flag flying Saint Kastandini,
Reconciles Islam and Christianity,
Promote brotherhood among religions,
Generous Flag for Humanity.
In 1944, by the order of Enver Hoxha, after animal torture, the democratic patriot, the former chairman of the Society “Bashkimi” Zai Fundo, would be killed, as he fought alongside the Albanian nationalists, for the freedom of Kosovo. For this barbaric act, Noli said: “What is left for Albania, if we are ruining great people, like Fundoja?”
On October 18, 1951, Noli announced: “I am not and have never been a member of a communist organization. I have never in my life made a communist or pro-communist or anti-American sermon. On the contrary, I have exalted the American democratic way of life and emphasized the historical fact that Albania owes its independence to America and, in particular, to President Wilson.
Never my Church, nor I, are under the jurisdiction of any foreign Synod or Patriarchate, communist or other. As the Albanian Orthodox Church in America, which I lead, this is administratively independent. I have nothing to do with the appointments or resignations of Bishops or Archbishops in the Orthodox Churches of Albania. Therefore, I am not responsible in any way for the resignation of Archbishop Kisi and the appointment of his successor, Archbishop Vodica”.
In the original book “Album-II 1966” Boston by Noli, hidden from the eyes of the readers during the dictatorship, in the foreword of the former editor-in-chief of Dielli, Qerim Panariti, the truth about the satirical poem comes to light, “The Sultan and the Cabinet”, published in the Dielli newspaper in 1961, against the dictator Hoxha and his government, commented quite differently by the communist analysts: In this preface it is also written about the much talked about event of the arrival of a legate or a group of Soviet diplomats in Tirana, without the knowledge of the prime minister Noli and the foreign minister misused by communist historians as a fact of sympathy towards the Soviet Union:
“Noli’s opponents – writes Panariti – have not given up even today to stick the red stamp on him; they haven’t given up even today, when Noli is no longer with us to protect himself. If Noli’s opponents had only a quarter of a pound of mint on their heads and a little nobility, they would have taken it seriously, even if Noli wanted to establish diplomatic relations with the Soviet Union, the political conditions in Albania, in December 1924, were so upset. , as Noli was almost preparing to leave Albania forever”.
This problem has also been addressed by Prof. Robert C. Austin. After examining many archival documents, he comes to the conclusion that at a time when diplomatic ties were established between European states and the Soviet Union, the Albanian governments also held talks on the same ties, without waiting and without Noli’s knowledge. December 16, 1924 a delegation of Soviet diplomats arrived in Tirana.
“The Ministry of Foreign Affairs, – writes Prof. Austin – informed Nolin on December 17 that the visas had been given by the consulate in Vienna…! On December 18, the Diplomatic Missions were informed that, due to the international situation, the Soviet delegation of eight people had been asked to leave and the whole group had left for Italy that same evening…”!
Father Artur Liolin, in the article “Noli and Communism”, explains: “After Noli learned about the brutalities of the communist regime in Albania, he distanced himself, which is clear when he never agreed to return to Albania, not even to receive the titles provided by the Communist Government – otherwise for dark compromising purposes – and neither for scientific research nor to enter into obscure religious matters.
After all, how could the Massachusetts state senate invite Noli to give the opening blessing of the 1963 session if Noli was a “communist”?! Or how the “communist” President Lyndon Johnson could invite Noli, especially to the White House, in July 1964, to bless in Washington and give the speech on the occasion of the 400th anniversary of Shakespeare? Arguments otherwise hold no water.”
Exchange of archives
The series of official letters with the Communist Government of Tirana, on important national issues during 1946, informs us of Noli’s great concern for the Motherland. At the end of that year, you can feel his anger towards the behavior of the delegates sent by Enver Hoxha for talks with strict orders. After criticism and bitter news that arrived from Albania, in 1947 the “blessings” of Noli’s diplomatic relations came to an end.
The patriotic “Vatra” would be described as: “Reactionary organization that defended the anti-Albanian policy of the American government.” In 1960, the patriotic part left it and created the “Free Albania” organization. (?!) So, this is a distortion, when it is known that this organization was created with the help of the communist government. as an opponent of “Vatra” A significant document, published in the newspaper “Dielli”, January-March 2003, clearly speaks about what was said above:
Ministry of Foreign Affairs
N. 353-19 Res. Pers. Tirana 1947
Friend Thedhor Heba
From the reliable information we have, it turns out that among the Albanians of America, who have sympathized with our national-liberation movement, there is a coldness towards the People’s Power, and it is feared that this coldness will eventually take on wide proportions…! Keep in mind that there are also some reactionaries who, with their propaganda, are trying to feed the coldness in the ranks of the Albanians towards us…!
I will make contact with all those who have some influence and will be in constant contact with the heads of the “Vatra” Society and the “Free Albania” organization. You should secretly support the trust only among the leaders of “Free Albania”. “Vatra” and “Delli” have a great history and past and are closely related to national traditions. Therefore, it is difficult for them to continue supporting our regime, in which they value only the liberation war, but do not accept its ideology and system.
Friend Dr. John T. Nasse,*) you will hand over the money**) and confess to him, just enough to receive notice of its contents, the letter addressed to him and attached to this Memorandum”. P. Minister of P. of J
(Hysni Kapo d.v)
P.S –*) Dr. J. T. Nase, supporter of the communist regime in Albania. Chairman of the “Free Albania” Society with the newspaper, “Liria.” **). 5000 dollars.
Commemoration of Noli
On the occasion of the 100th anniversary of his birth, in 1982, the “Vatra” Federation and UNESCO commemorated Fan S. Noli with honor, in a special scientific meeting, as befits the son of the Albanian nation. At that time, an insulting article against him was published in Albania, in the “Bashkimi” newspaper, prepared by Kalemxhins, probably “Nolists”, signed by the dictator Enver Hoxha. For party members, this letter was an order not to participate in the memorial conference! Many invitations were cancelled. The previously assigned Assembly Hall was replaced by the small hall of the Higher Institute of Arts. In the center of the presidium stood the dictator’s bust illuminated by spotlights.
In the upper right corner, the photo of Noli, greatly reduced, by order of the scientific secretary of the Academy of Sciences, had been lost in the twilight. For whom was the memorial meeting held, for Fan Noli or Enver Hoxha? Those who were sitting upstairs were told to go down and, together with the listeners at the end of the hall, approach the first four rows. In those moments when you glanced at the picture in the corner, listened to the professors’ speeches, you had the impression that Noli, in protest, had left the hall. No memorial was erected for Noli in Albania. His name was not placed in any scientific institution, not even in any high school. With the truncated editions, it was understood that the number of Noli’s works should not reach high levels.
In the building of the Academy of Sciences, numerous pictures of the dictator hung everywhere, and his bust loomed large in front of the meeting hall. Suddenly an employee of the Academy discovered in the Archaeological Center, among the boxes covered by cardboard, paper and dust, the bust of Skenderbeu, the work of the famous sculptor Odhis Paskali. Recovered, he carried him to the Academy. Times changed, the iron curtain was torn, the Berlin wall collapsed, the statues of tyrants fell. At the headquarters of the Academy of Sciences, the photographs and the white bust of the dictator disappeared. Now every visitor there breathes freely at the sod Skenderbeu and Fan S Nolin.
“The sun”, in the new time!
The Pan-Albanian Federation “Vatra” with the newspaper “Dielli” in the early 90s, moved to New York. Today’s president of “Vatra” is the patriot Dr. John Bucaj. This patriotic organization, with the historical newspaper “Dielli”, continues to provide its assistance for various national issues. “Vatra” and “Dielli” are inexhaustible sources in the service of the true history of Albania and the outstanding figures of the nation. In conclusion, from the commemorative writings, we single out: “The Sun”, January – March 2005.
What have Albanian dignitaries said about Noli?
Konica for Nolin: “What a loss, that he doesn’t get the chance to organize a popular university in Albania.” Furry with sharp eyes, a smiling physiognomy, ready to take a joke and return it with usury, open minded, connoisseur of Romance and Scandinavian languages. Father Noli, from his culture and character, often reminds me of the churchmen of the Italian East”.
Ernest Koliqi: “Stefan Stilian Noli, one of the most outstanding personalities who expressed the Albanian nation from his own gender, is presented as a polyhedral face, that is, multiple”.
Hasan Dosti: “Fan Noli has been a central figure in the history of our country. This symbolizes the synthesis of the virtues of the arboreal race”.
Agim Vinca: “Noli was never indifferent to the tragic drama of the Albanian people, unjustly left outside the state borders, after 1913, even though he was born outside the homeland, in a colony in European Turkey, he will see Albania, not as torso of 1913, but as an ethnic whole. As a creator, as a spiritual publicist, but also as a statesman, he raised his voice against the tragic drama in Yugoslavia and Greece, in their monarcho-fascist regimes, in the 20s-30s of this century, but even later. Kosovo and Chameria, for him, were wounds that drain blood in the body of the nation”.
Prof. Robert C. Austin: “The main spokesman for a republican and democratized Albania was Bishop Fan S. Noli, determined to uproot the 500-year legacy of Ottoman rule. Although it was undoubtedly visible at the moment, Noli’s temporary victory represented the last opportunity to change the central doctrine of Albania’s internal and external policy”.
King Leka I: “The bitter news of the loss of the great patriot of Monsignor Noli, worried us a lot. The great services he has brought to the Motherland have been and will forever remain invaluable. May his soul rest in peace.”
Prince Skënder Zogu: “Fan S. Noli was a great patriot and writer”.
Yesterday’s “strong” professors do not want to touch these writings and statements. Yesterday their hands were burning, today they are numb.
Noli’s narrative, the long line of documents and writings by many authors, shed light on the truth about his political life in accordance with the stages of development of historical events. The path trodden by this great patriot clearly leads to the gilded European and American West, for the happiness of the people and the prosperity of the Motherland. Memorie.al