By Hysen Selmani
Memorie.al Often times, the European and American press has addressed the topic 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
Morocco, January 31, 1943
For 10 consecutive days, Franklin Roosevelt, Winston Churchill and the Anglo-American Supreme Court gathered in Casablanca for a conference. “General De Gaule and Cirauld were also there. It is said that there were also some neutral countries, such as Spain and a representative of Flanders”. The conference ended and President Roosevelt arrived in America.
Nothing is known about Churchill yet. The military continue their briefing. At the conference the plans for 1943 seem to have been decided and submarine warfare was studied in particular. It was announced that the Allied Powers would not accept any agreement with the Axis except an unconditional surrender. The French case made little progress, and it was decided, or remained, that the two groups would have some connection between them. The commander-in-chief of the Allied Forces in Africa is American, General Eisenhower. The Chairman of the General Staff is British, General Mountgomery, and the Commander of the French Forces is General Cirauldis, a French citizen.
The changes in the Africa Army Command are explained as proof that an attack is being prepared not only against Tunisia, but also against the Balkans and the Italian islands. General Catroux was appointed by General De Gaulle as liaison officer to General Cirauld. This causes the condition to improve.
It is said that an agreement was made between General Cirauld and General De Gaulle, on the basis of which, the former takes over the military affairs, while the latter takes over the political affairs of the French Empire. General Catroux remains as liaison between the two services.
Yugoslavia, January 24, 1943
Now we have a situation in Yugoslavia, which is related to the Albanian situation: It seems that the situation between the detachments of the general, Drazha Mihailovic, and the partisan detachments, is very tough. Where the Slovenian detachments have accused Mihailovic of being related to the fascists of General Nedic. It seems that the last change of the Yugoslav Government in exile was intended to take two Croats. This is to bring the Croats who are angry a little closer. The political situation was not yet resolved among the Free French. Several new arrests were made, where a plot to assassinate General Cirauld and the American minister, Murphy, was dictated. General de Gaulle made a proposal to General Cirauld for all French forces. It is expected that this proposal will completely clarify the situation one way or another.
Istanbul March 22, 1943
His Majesty, King Zog I, sends a telegram of instructions to Colonel Hussein Selman, to the Albanian Legation in Istanbul. In that telegram, it says: “I received your last report, stop. I am making all the arrangements for your going to Albania, stop. Don’t lose contact with the people in Albania, stop. Do everything possible for unification, stop.”
London, March 22, 1943 FIRST ZOG
King Zog’s message to the Albanian people from London
His Majesty, King Zog, made this message to the Albanian people, inside and outside. This is the original text of the message:
“The fourth year of the occupation of our country, by the common enemy and the democratic peoples, is coming to an end. We have fought the invader and we are still fighting it. But our right must also be included in the International Family of the United Nations, because in no way is it smaller than that of the others.
For immediate political reasons, we are still left out. To believe in the sense of justice of Great Britain, the United States and Soviet Russia, and those of the United Nations, and to intensify our efforts, to ensure the acceptance of Albania with a Legal Government, as an ally of the Democracies. This is the best way, ensuring the independence of our country, with national borders.
The existence of our quick union, around the legal right of Albanians, is a great weapon for our fight. Every Albanian has his own place in this union, regardless of political or social purpose. For this reason, I invite all those fellow countrymen, without exception, to reinforce this union to ensure the integrity and independence of our Motherland.
As I publicly announced in Paris in 1940 and in our message in 1942, Albanian leaders abroad that, as soon as our country is completely free, a National Assembly will be freely and democratically elected by the Albanian people. Which will be invited at once, with the establishment of the political and social regime of the new Albania.
With this spirit, I am ready to cooperate with all those Albanians who are ready to fight for the independence and border of our homeland. And, I ask of you, do not avoid sacrifices, after our brother, they are not saving themselves by shedding their blood in our mountains”.
Parmoor Henley London, 7 April – 1943
THE FIRST ZOGU
Kenmore 6780 Telegram
Albanian Orthodox, Church in America
Boston Massachusetts, May 27, 1943:
I am very honored, to have your letter and to say, because the time is not far, when we can meet each other, for the liberation of the country. Let’s hope that, it will be soon because, we have many things to talk about and it is very difficult, to change the views only through the mail.
In the meantime, I really need to assure you that we will have many collaborations for the United Albanian Front under your leadership. And, in my opinion, this is the best way to help Albania and also the United Nations. I am writing in detail through my friend, Mr. Sotir Martini.
Times newspaper, July 9, 1943
“The newspaper ‘Aksham’ publishes an article by the director, Mr. Nexhmedin Sadek. He many times expresses the views of Ankara, in which he discusses the conditions that the Allies can impose on Italy. His Excellency Sadek says that: “Turkey does not there is no desire nor right to meddle with the conditions of peace, which the victors will impose upon you as in other wars. But, being herself, she is interested in peace and especially in the circle that has to do with its security. Turkey will help to correct the international thefts, which were done at the expense of Albania, and will be in favor of the expulsion of Italy from the Balkans.”
England, July 11, 1943
General Sikorski died in an aviation accident and did not return from Africa. His replacement caused some difficulties. In the military field, he was replaced by a general. In the formation of the Government, a member of the rural party was appointed, who has been Deputy/Prime Minister. It seems that between the latter, and the President of the Republic, there seemed to be a misunderstanding, or rather a disagreement.
All internal matters in England, like other pressures, were set aside by the military event of the past week, by the death of General Sikorski.
Istanbul June 12, 1943
Colonel Husein Selman, on this day at home, the head of the British Information Office, Mr. Cameron, arrives. Who handed him a letter from King Zog, from London, in which he expressed: “Dear Colonel. I received your report on May 5, 1943. I am very pleased to see that you always remain the same fighting officer, that I have known for some time. I like your proposal to go to Albania. Even, it seems to me that your trip is urgent and necessary.
Your action in the Homeland will be the organization and increase of members and direction of the guerrillas according to the general plan and directives of the British Command, with which you will be in contact. You also have the opportunity to convince our British friends that the claims of some disgruntled former subordinates, that we allegedly do not have the support of our people, are without foundation.
Your action for now, will have a character of detachments, without taking on the chest of a crowd uprising, because otherwise, if such a movement were to occur before time, it would turn out to be a disaster, both for us and for our British friends. After all our opportunities, we must save them for the most favorable moment, so as not to waste time. Yes, in this way, our people in Albania also have my instructions. When the day of the great action comes, you will receive from me the necessary order. And maybe I’ve been there myself, among you.
Meanwhile, I have complete faith in you, personally and in your loyalty. I send you my warm regards.
Parmoor Henley – 8 June – 1943
THE FIRST ZOGU
Special recommendations, from King Zog
- Your departure must be held by the chiefs. Also, your departure from Istanbul, until you arrive in Albania. All your friends and relatives, don’t let me know. Apart from you alone, and also the office of the competent British Services, is aware. This is necessary, for your insurance, that the success of the operation and the insurance of the friends who are with you depend on you.
- The translator you will eventually hire should have nothing to do with the enemy’s agent circle.
- Taking into account the capacity and great agility of General Parian, and especially among the elements of his Information Service, we should be completely reserved for him, as opposed to one of the services in his service.
- In Albania, you should get in touch with our officers and soldiers, and also with all the committees and those who declare to be against us. You just need to be carefully protected from the enemy’s friends. Now you must forget all personal friendships, but cooperate with me brotherly. Because this is a serious, important goal and mission.
- Later, I want to see you about the Heads of Kosovo”.
Parmoor Henley – 8 June – 1943
THE FIRST ZOG
“I read the King’s letter and the details he ordered me. Then I asked the Chief of the British Information Office to stay for lunch and of course, Mr. Cameron gladly accepted.” There, the two personalities would talk about everything. Among other things, Mr. Cameron told me that: General Alexander in Cairo, is waiting for an answer from you. He also has the same letter, and it seems to me that he needs it soon. Then the people who will come with you are in Cairo”.
- I present my respects to General Alexander, that as of today, we are ready to start the ordered service, which I have waited for a long time and wished to be in service with your Army, when there are common interests.
- As I told you, I am ready to go and I do not see the need to take many officers with me. This is because we have them all there in Albania. From here, I will take 4 officers, who are necessary to be in Albania.
- Assure the general that our British friends, who are to be at the head of this mission, in every respect, are to be sure, nor are they to feel any suffering, for anything, and I take this responsibility upon myself.
- I give you my word that, between the different groups, today in Albania, there is a fraternal cooperation to arrive, always in the instructions that the British Salvation Army has to ask us. We will be like a regular vanguard, with a considerable force and in addition, I am convinced that the service will be achieved in excess of what is desired.
Now I believe we understood. I submitted these to his Excellency, General Alexander. I am waiting for orders and it is true that they insistently ask us to go to Albania (as a matter of fact, I told Captain Avni Dëralla to read the last report).
It is understood that the head of the British Information Office, Mr Cameron, was very pleased. The same thing that I proposed to General Alexander, on the part of the British mission, I also proposed to King Zog in London. With these words, Cameron asked for permission and left. On Cameron’s side, I submitted a cipher telegram to His Majesty the King, in London, informing him that I received the letters and that I am in contact with the Command in Cairo and understandably ready to leave. I have submitted the copy of the letter that I sent to General Aleksandër in Cairo, as well as to Murat Kaloshi, Avni Dëralla, Haxhi Xhilaga, Rexhep Radomira, which I will have with me. “Until we arrive, no one has to understand anything about our departure,” he promised.
Istanbul, June 17, 1943
The head of the British Office in Istanbul, Mr. Kameron comes to me and informs me that General Alexander is very pleased with the manly words we promised him. He gave me this order: “It is preparing the time of the journey. Be ready as the case may be, I will call you in Cairo, there is also the British mission that will come with you to introduce you. In particular, there you will receive all the instructions on the action in Albania”.
These were Cameron’s words. Of course, we were now ready and had informed our friends that we were taking a walk to Adana and Urfa in Andaol, so as not to let them understand anything of our loss, for how many days we would not be there.
Istanbul, June 28, 1943
I have a telegram in hand from Mr. Cameron, the British Chief of Information. He read something to me, it was a letter from the Commander of the British Army of the Mediterranean, General Alexander. Here is the content of the letter:
“Colonel Hysen Selmani should be asked what means he has to enter Albania so that we can arrange with our missionaries, (I will wait for the answer tonight)”. This was a very funny thing, of course I told him this answer: “Colonel Hysen Selmani, he does not have his means at his disposal, but he is ready to leave by air, by sea, on foot, by any means he has the easy ones. At least he would go to any coast of the Albanian land and everywhere there he would be able to march on foot. And we should not be late, because we have informed some of our centers in Albania and we will leave together with our British friends”.
Mr. Kameron took these notes and told me that he will immediately present them to General Alexander in Cairo. Then, he took leave and went out. I gave Captain Avni Derralla with me, together with a cipher telegram to His Majesty King Zog in London, informing him of what General Alexander requires of me.
How Kamerion and Avni went, I told you friends: I made known to Murat Kaloshi and Haxhi Xilaga, as well as Rexhep Radomira, that I was surprised by this change of General Alexander, because the British Command in the Mediterranean has all the means such as airplanes and submarines the other. But this leaves me wishing that there would not be any way of obstacles from anyone who wants us to be inside Albania. And this, only if it has reached the ear of the communists, but let’s see the answer”. Memorie.al
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