By Idriz Lamaj
From the works of the apostles of ethnic Albania
In light of his own letters and other diaspora revelations
Memorie.al/ Probably like many others, I often browse letters with my friends and associates, who are no longer in this life. Browsing through them, for a moment unfolds memories that it seems to me that some of them can serve our history. Then, I return to the awareness of the current difficult situation in the ethnic homeland, caused by the quadruple of Albanian politics, I say to myself: “What can my memories of others or the letters of the people of dead? ”
Without being the ominous instigator of pessimism, thinking as always of a better future, I return to my obligations to my friends, and as an icy observer of time, without any claim of historical service, when I am given the opportunity of publication, write what I have in mind, always based on their writings and letters. This principle is also followed in this book about Xhafer Deva. I knew Xhafer Deva in person; we exchanged visits and had a strong correspondence.
I spent days off at his house and inherited all of Xhafer Deva’s correspondence with Rexhep Krasniqi, his closest friend, for more than 40 years. After many years, I talked on the phone with Mrs. Deva’s daughter and son-in-law. In the conversation going on, taking advantage of the old friendship, I asked about his letters and they informed me that it was all Qefali Hamdia, a friend of their family.
In June of last year (2001) I went to Kenosha, Wisconsin, a guest of Qefali Hamdia, to look at Xhafer Deva’s correspondence, which Mrs. Deva sent her years ago, when she, due to her advanced age, was closed his house to go to the house of his 5th daughter and son-in-law, Mrs. Burgl Dagmar and Rev. Dennis Logie.
After reading the bulk of the letters, in the languages I knew, I took with me more than a thousand pages of his correspondence, covering a period of over 30 years, 1945 – 1978. Xhafer Deva spoke and wrote seven – eight languages. His correspondence is: Albanian, English, German, Italian, French, Turkish and Serbian. Xhafer Deva’s letters and writings, with the exception of those in Old Turkish and Serbian in Cyrillic, are mostly typewritten, well-kept, and alphabetically arranged, with the persons he dealt with.
That includes his family letters. He carefully kept a copy of every letter he sent and every letter he received. Mrs. Oswalda Deva, daughter Burgl, son-in-law Dennis Logie and Mr. Qefali Hamdia with family, expressed his heartfelt thanks for the trust they gave me. With special gratitude I recall here the help given to me by my brothers – Captain Nue Gjomarkaj and Nikoll Gjomarkaj, in the preparation of one of the most important chapters of this book.
Kapidan Nou, in addition to making available the subject on Xhafer Deva’s relations with the ‘Independent National Bloc’ and sending paratroopers to Albania and Kosovo, reviewed with me each document of that period, and we formulated the text in the form of a conversation; while Nicholas, deciphered the letters, transcribed and translated from Italian, the unpublished materials to date, which were published in this chapter.
Continues from the last number
Xhafer Deva’s life and activity in exile
– Kosovo in the time of ethnic Albania –
Xhafer Deva in the light of his own letters
Xhafer Deva’s relations with the ‘Independent National Bloc’ and their parachute missions in Albania and Kosovo
Text of the Letter: The Captain of Mirdita. Fruer 1949.
The difficult situation that arose in our country after the furious attack of the gangs led by Russian agents in 1944, forced me to leave the Homeland together with my son Nuen (second son) to find refuge in foreign lands, where, together with comrades in exile – I tried as hard as I could – to defend the national rights of the Albanian people, sod cruelly violated by centuries-old enemies. In order not to leave only the people of Mirdita, I left in place my two sons, Mark (the eldest son), Lleshi (the third son), who have tried with all their might to protect them from the right, until, – finally – they gave their lives, only to serve the homeland and return freedom to Albania.
After I could not give up the war we started, and after I could not betray the ideal and blood of my sons, Markut e Lleshi, I am sending my cousin, Nue Pjeter Gjomarkaj, to lead the Anti-Communist Movement in Mirdita. To this end, I authorize, through this letter, to administer in my name, so that I can organize a useful resistance to the rights of the people and the nation, who are so cruelly suffering under the barbaric rule of communism. I order him in a special way, to form the Executive Committee of Mirdita as soon as possible, and through him to reach an agreement, and to make connections with all the freedom-lovers of Northern Albania, in order to establish a Standing Committee, which will have for the purpose: fight against communism and freedom of Albania and the Albanian people!
I also order the organization of an information center as soon as possible, which will try to establish secure relations between the provinces of Albania, especially with the groups of Dibra and Kosovo. Together with Nue Pjeter Gjomarkaj, I am also sending Nue Gjon Melyshi, who has the right to have his right arm. The talks of each meeting should be verified and secured so that they do not fall into the
hands of Russian agents, who are members of the cruel government of Tirana. I order in a special way, all the people of Mirdita, especially those who today roam the mountains with weapons in hand, to go well in their honor, to become brothers and to follow the principles of the Canon: loyalty – Honor – is a man!
Only then, will you be able to be called Mirditas, and as such, occupy the place we deserve in the history of Albania, when you follow these principles, and hold high the Flag of Tradition. Gjon Marka Gjoni, Nue Gjomarkaj P.S. – Together with Nue Pjeter Gjomarkaj and Nue Gjon Melyshi, come Mr. prof. Alush Leshanaku and Xhevdet Blloshmi, who, not only to be supported, but to be provided as much as possible and to be escorted to Elbasan, where they will form their center.
The letter we sent with my father – continues Mr. Gjomarkaj – was an ambush with great enthusiasm by everyone, because it was understood that with that activity, to send Nue Pjetr and Nue Melyshi, Gjon Marka Gjoni and Nue Gjomarku, were considered near them and at their head. That letter has further strengthened the spirit of sacrifice of the freedom fighters, who have realized that without it (without that letter), things do not go well, obstacles arise, things do not go well, or someone unjustly had to appropriate our struggle for nationalism, and present ourselves above all.
In those meetings, the way of reorganization was discussed, as per the orders mentioned in the letter, and another meeting was scheduled for Bukmirë, in order to have all the troops present to organize the connections and to continue the fight as per the directions set out in the letter. After the meeting in Qafëmollë, Nue Pjetri and Nue Melyshi, accompanied by Preng Dod Gjon Keçi, Gjon Marka Çupi and Nue Nikoll, on March 24, 1949, arrived in Karma of Pshqesh, to cross the river Fan i Vogël, but there they met in numerous communist forces, which had surrounded our country and there a fierce battle broke out. You were faced with such a danger, you thought that they had little hope of escaping; they attacked with a swift rush and broke the siege from the communist ambushes. Nue Nikolli was injured in the retreat, but his friends pulled him out. Although the communist persecution was strong and continuous, on April 10, 1949, a meeting was held in Bukmira. 63 fighters were present.
There it is decided:
- I was divided into small groups and circulated in different places to better protect myself from numerous communist persecutions; 2. Meet and talk to the people to have safer housing and activities against the communist regime. 3. Another meeting was scheduled for July 1, 1949, in Shqopen e Munegjes. The meeting took place on July 1. 60 fighters were present at those meetings. The meeting lasted for two days, i.e., until July 3rd. There he decided to organize and strengthen the organization created by Mark Gjomarku in March 1945 and after his assassination on June 14, 1946, Llesh Gjomarku continued, until he also testified on August 9, 1947 in Munegja.
Decision: 1. The Mirdita Military Organization is reformed; 2. After ordering by letter, Nue Peter is elected chairman; 3. The Council of the Organization with the following members: Nue Melyshi, Marka Dod Lleshaj, Mark Jak Bajraktari; 4. Wide council with all fighters; 5. The redemption body enters into force; 6. The death sentence and execution of the communist Bardhok Biba, high commissioner for Mirdita and deputy in Tirana, to save the people from that dangerous man; 7. It was decided to hold another meeting on August 7, 1949 in Shqopen e Morning.
On August 9, they came together to review the situation. 53 fighters were present. If they were discussing, the news reached them that Bardhok Biba had gone to Kaçinar to gather workers and send them to various places outside Mirdita. That day he would leave for Sh’Pal. The news was certain. All knowers decided to execute him. The persons of the revenge body and the qualified riflemen have been appointed for this task, which have been ambushed in Valmeri Neck and have successfully carried out his murder. Nue Pjetri, with firm determination and with my testimony that Bardhok Biba as a communist did not make a difference (change) with the other Mirdita spies to be shot, on behalf of the Resistance Committee, with his signature, issues the execution decision sheet.
Mirdita was fundamentally shaken by that event but did not weaken. The power of the anti-communist resistance in Mirdita has continued even with uninterrupted blows. The rage of the communist regime erupted with sad momentum. The revenge of Enver Hoxha and Mehmet Shehu, started with the shooting of 14 people, the prisons, and the internment of the innocent have not arrived to shoot the people of Mirdita at all. The people of Mirdita, although crippled by that amazing earthquake, with glorious pride have remained invincible in the trenches of national resistance. After this event, a large majority of wars with Nue Peter at the poison, take place in Yugoslavia. From Yugoslavia we are informed about all the events to tell us accurately that in Mirdita there were several groups of fighters stationed and operating there.
That news reinforced our intention to continue with the work started by Nue Peter and Nue Melyshi. After many efforts, we achieved the goal of preparing the second group with the following persons: Kol Çuni, chairman and telegraph operator, Gjon Gjinaj, leader, Zef Lluka, Pashk Letaj, Nue Frisku, Mirash Marku, Bardhok Gjeta, Nikoll Nika and Pjeter Gjoci, telegrapher. This group, although in large numbers, was led by Gjon Gjinaj, a proven warrior, a deep acquaintance of the country (Mirdita), a loyal follower of Mark Gjomark, collaborators with the mountain gangs, since the first hours of 1945. With a word, an expert on such an activity. After much preparation, these loyalists of the national cause, on December 28, 1950, descended to the forest of Qafë Kombit in Fan of Mirdita. After everyone joined, Gjon Gjinaj with great speed, decided to leave the landing area.
After many hours of travel, through fragile places and through the difficulties of bad weather, with snow and ice, they arrive near the village of Thirrë, where they spend their first vacation. But Gjon Gjinaj’s preoccupation was that the group was large (9 people) and the resting place was too narrow and in danger of being discovered. On the other hand, Gjon Gjinaj recalled that after the assassination of Bardhok Biba, the furious attack of the communist regime to exterminate nationalism in Mirdita, he could have weakened the national resistance. These data would force him to be more careful in his movements. But his firm belief was that not everything would have changed, that the faith of the people of Mirdita had not been extinguished, that persons determined to stand by the communist regime would still exist, and perhaps with even greater determination.
With this overview of the situation, as complex but clear, they enter into action with the first contact. Immediately after the first meeting with the platoon leaders and fighters who were present, Gjon Gjinaj reads the message that I had addressed to the Albanian anti-communist forces in the homeland:
Rome, 2 Nanduer 1949. The mission we started in Fruer this year by Nue Pjeter Gjomarkaj and Nue Melyshi, unfortunately did not give the right results, not for their lack of ability and bravery, because they deserve the greatest praise, but for purely technical reasons. After eight months of intensive work we arrived again and once again we started the mission. For this purpose we were voluntarily offered some warriors boys to decide to follow the example of the former, i.e., to come to the aid of the National Resistance. I know your sufferings and sacrifices, and I have them before my eyes every day, so believe me, I have tried as hard as I could, together with my friends to come to your aid and I will never rest, until as long as I have life to live, but to work in this direction.
For this reason, I advise the formation of the Executive Committee of Mirdita, which will emerge as the only national governmental authority of our country. I advise you to do your best to set up the Radio, because without it, everything falters. Speed up the organization of the squads, their harmonization and brotherhood, and from time to time let us know and from here you will receive the necessary instructions. Wishing success at work, I greet you with longing and through you all the people of Mirdita, that in these difficult times, there are days to stand and fight, there are days to hold high the Flag of its national tradition.
Nue Gjomarkaj, Captain of Mirdita
Question: Who was Gjon Gjinaj?
Answer: You have known John and many of his comrades who lived and perished in exile. I need a special biographer to talk about John or any of the warriors of those days. John was a profound connoisseur of mountain life, careful in movement, practical in notice, prudent to stand in front of someone even though he knew people, so as not to fall into any unexpected trap! With this master of mountain life, he had his first contact with the warriors Zef Voci and Pjeter Gjeka. Gjon Kuka immediately joined them, then Llesh Koraci, loyal and careful for the supply of winter food.
The strong winter (frori), with walls, snow and ice, made the life of these heroes difficult in the life of the mountain, and the fragile soil that did not have a sound basis for resistance, worries Gjon Gjinaj, who thought to find the case convenient with change place, in order to approach the center of Mirdita, to have contacts with the people. Movements from one place to another required great attention, even though the group was very large and with some non-Mirditas, who did not know the place and who had never been to the mountains to prove themselves. As they spent the winter, Gjon Gjinaj decided to move from there to Korov. In Korov he meets Çup Palucen with friends. From there they go to Shkoza, to the house of Nikol Marka Preni, who received them and fed them well.
From Shkoze, they leave for Fushë i Lajes, because there they would prepare the organization of the group of Elbasan with Alush Leshanaku with friends. While they were trying to organize the landing, Kol Çuni sent Mark Paluca to tell them to leave Fushë e Lajes and return to the base, because Nikoll Nika had left and he had to block the radio. An unexpected event, which could have caused irreparable damage, perhaps even the annihilation of the group, why Nikoll Nika could have surrendered or been captured by the communist police and shown the base. Kol Çuni broadcast regularly, but this time he announced the departure of Nikoll Nika, and we tightened our grip with the base number, he informed the center in Italy that the broadcast was stopped for two or three days. Gjon Gjinaj, who was in Laje, was begging for such relocation. Memorie.al
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