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 disconnected, 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
A letter from King Zog to Franklin Roosevelt
Informing you of my last statement, regarding the position of my country, regarding this war declared by the so-called Government of Tirana, I present below the reasons that should not be taken too seriously by Your Excellency:
It is not necessary for me to insist on the fact why the so-called Government of Tirana cannot represent the interests of my people. Allow me to remind you that the government of the United States of America has not recognized or accepted this government either de facto or de jure. The government of Tirana is still the fruit of the Italian occupation and, moreover, does not enjoy any kind of control over Albania’s foreign policy, neither through the Minister of Foreign Affairs nor through the diplomatic corps represented by him.
It is clear that this declaration of war only causes unnecessary physical violence from the Italian authorities, who have militarily occupied my country. In short, any statement that will be issued by this government cannot be called the desire and free will of my people. On the other hand, I personally and my government, who are the only legal representatives of the Albanian people, have declared without any hindrance from the National Parliament, since the first moment of the entry of the Italian forces on April 7, 1939, that a state of war exists, between Albania and Italy. And, on June 10, 1940, the day Fascist Italy entered the war, the League of Albanians in Paris declared, on behalf of my government, the declaration of war against Italy in a public way. In the last note addressed to your government and that of the Alliance, I have clearly expressed who are the interests and wishes of the Albanian people.
A war of Albania against the United States of America is not only ridiculous, but also monstrous, considering the respect that the Albanian people owe to your country, which has done a lot for it since the last war. Expressing to you the wishes and will of myself and my people, I hope you will understand the misunderstanding and slander that has been made. I avail myself of this opportunity to call your attention again as a statesman and as a man of heart to my note of the 23d of September last, and to beg you to use your influence to put an end to this anomaly so unfair to my little country which hopes to find its place in the Alliance soon.
I greet you, Mr. President, and express to you my deep consideration, as well as a sincere friendship.
Letter from Faik Konica to King Zog I
According to the talks, we have agreed to submit these suggestions to Your Majesty. It is important to immediately form a small cabinet, with mostly Albanian members who live in London and who are presentable and speak English well. Also, a representative should be appointed either in London, Britain or in Washington. And finally, a reliable person like your delegate should be sent here to discuss some issues. It would be nice if you could send them soon.
Excellence, Sotir Martini
I received the letter. I agree in principle, but I need to consult with my friends before giving a final answer. When will I have the right support…?
Our personal address is 1530 Sixteenth Street Washington.
“We are writing down only a small part of the correspondence that I wrote down all of them, only they form a volume. (Hysein Selmani)
Also, we will not mark the parts of the notes and notes. This will be done only by a small part. But whoever wants to read them should go to the Albanian Royal Court. That, in his archive, there are all, every type of document, both before and around the Second World War”.
His Excellency, Franklin Roosevelt
Continuing with our previous communication and in the capacity of the sole legal authority of Albania, I have the honor to make the following communication to Your Excellency:
Albania has formally and very convincingly accepted the agreement described as the Declaration of the United Nations, which was signed in Washington on January 1, 1942. I am asking the Government of the United States of America, which has deposited the following declaration, to consider the justification of my country for all intents and purposes.
At the same time, I ask Your Excellency to acknowledge the situation of Albania, for the initiative taken by the Government of the United States and the Allies, to ensure the Triumph of Human Rights and International Justice.
From the newspapers, which were sent to me from America, I learned that you have formed an organization with the purpose of collecting funds to help our people in the favorable case.
With pleasure, I saw that the results of the first year of your activity were so good that they give you courage to continue this patriotic work.
I congratulate you from the bottom of my heart and I am convinced that every Albanian has the duty to join you in this human effort.
I wish you every success and I send you, my thanks.
His Highness Nicholas J. Priest
His Majesty the First Zog
King of the Albanians,
Give me permission to show the satisfaction we felt and the encouragement we received with Madhnis Suej’s letter, congratulating the need for the establishment of the national charitable organization “Albanian-Relief Fund”.
We look to every hope, Madhni, that every compatriot will not spare our division their help and we have unshakable faith that the “Albanian Relief Fund” will realize its ideal in a liberated Albania.
- So.Huntington Avenue Regards
Jamaica Palin Mass.
His Majesty, King Zog, sends a telegram with instructions to Colonel Husein Selman, at the Albanian Legation in Istanbul:
His Excellency, Asaf Xhaxhuli, will update you on the situation, which belongs to the national issue. Also, the way the situation imposes on you.
I remind you that the people who are currently outside our country suffer both economically and morally. They will be most needed when the time comes and they are inside Albania. Therefore, I remember that I should not keep them outside. Only those that will be absolutely necessary. And for this, I have assigned a little help, as much as possible.
They left all personal issues to one side, you consult with their Lord Musa Juka, Abdurrahman Mati and Murat Kaloshi. And, apart from these, that we said above, find 2-3 others that you will like and find necessary, to keep them there. If you know, write me your opinion.
I hope to hear from you always. With that, I send you my heartfelt apologies.
London Palmoor on Henley
Thamas 29 Kalnuer 1942 ZOG I
Now that we received a report from Albania, where they declare to us, about the very critical situation created now in Albania. And rather in the ranks within the Royals:
- Between the Kings, quarrels have begun. So much so, they have lost trust in each other. They only try to discredit each other, not to organize. In case you don’t come here yourself, we are completely ruined. This is required, because today our people no longer accept advice or instructions. If you come here yourself, we are convinced that it will be achieved, not only the organization of the Royalists, but also the union in general and with other groups and especially with the National-Liberator group.
- As we have informed you: the National Liberation Party is very well organized, but divided into three groups. Among these, the strongest today is the communist group, which is administered and trained by the organizers of the Yugoslav and Russian Cominform. However, if you come here, the nationalist group will surely join us.
- The National Front is somewhat organized. But the fratricide with the National-liberator has weakened him too much. This is because, they are much more organized and disciplined and possess better weapons. So is the help from the Yugoslavs and at the same time the allies with the proposals of Marshal Tito. Even the British and American advisers, rather, support them. However, they do not show the need to be completely connected by instructions and organization with the Russo-Yugoslav Cominform. This happens because with them, they have an alliance of cooperation, since it was signed in Bihore, by the Albanian communist group with the Yugoslav one.
- The fratricide has spread so badly among the nationalist nationalists that great damage has been caused to the people. This is always increasing. Here the enemy wins, who remains calm from the fights that take place between each other, where there is murder, burning, robbery. Because this situation has also started in villages and families and it is very bad.
- We, till date, do not have any strife between the groups. So, both with that of the “National Front” and with the National Liberation Party, we get along well. It’s just that we don’t give you help to any of them, because we didn’t want to become enemies among our Albanian brothers. We want to fight the occupier, who has occupied our country and not each other.
- As we have informed you, here in the fighting between each other is the “National Front” and the National Liberation Front. But even those, who are not with these, are directly with the enemy Government and they fight against the National Liberation, alongside the ballisticians. And the damage is so terrible, especially in the South. Now it has also started in Dibër, quite heavily against the National Liberation, i.e., against the communists and others, the National Liberation groups. Because they are also administered by the Russian-Yugoslav Cominform.
- We remind you that we informed you well. And we are not going any longer, because you know us as well as we do, and you know those who are confusing. But when you yourself are here, they no longer dare to make such messes, which brought us to this degree. Even today, we are ashamed and do not know how to clarify even before our measure.
- A large part, who play roles, watch and study with great care our so miserable condition, which some people brought to us for their personal ambitions. Where we were united at the top and in harmony and thinking about the organization. But, if you come yourself, we are fully convinced that a disciplined organization will arrive, just like the one we had in Yugoslavia. Again our power is far superior to those other groups. Here, there are only a few leaders who are ruining us, who do not agree with each other. And, in case you don’t come here, we don’t bear any responsibility. We are alone with the officers. Long live the King.
Remaining in a quick response, we wish you all the best and greet you with special respects.
Sul Kurti, Dyle Allamani, Jusuf Selmani, Jusuf Çela, Major Murat Basha, Major Jahja Çaçi, Selman Mena, Jashar Lela, Beqir Devishi, Hafus Hasa, Bilal Kola, Sali Lloni, Ali Kurti, Rahman Hysa, in the name of all friends.
Tirana, February 12, 1942
With respect, Gafuri d.v.
I submitted this report verbatim to His Highness the Zog King in London. “And, possibly, as he himself can see, it is necessary for me to go to Albania, – believes the adjutant. Otherwise, we will be destroyed where the situation has arrived”. In the event that it is possible to arrange with the British Government, where I remember that it will be in their desire with a program, that they find necessary. I am convinced that we will arrive at the union of all groups, in a single command, to fight the enemy and be as a vanguard of the British Army.
Weekly New Times, end Ethiopia News
“On 14.02.1942, under the title: ‘Liberty of Albania’ and the translation of the call of King Zog I, it is written: Ethiopia, which despite being members of the League of Nations, suffered from the Italian fascist attack and sacrificed itself for a time since the League of Nations, there is naturally a great sympathy for Albania. Which is also the victim of the fascist attack, at a time when the League of Nations has fallen so badly. In Albania, as in other European countries, there are movement of the left and the right, on internal issues. But all Albanians with a good heart have the hope of liberation from Italian rule. King Zog I, who after a short-armed resistance, against the power of great fascist, left the country, now finally made the following statement in favor of an Albanian effort, united for the common cause”. “This call is well made, because we are learning that Bishop Noli joined the common front. Some other Albanian elements, according to the information we have, want some other guarantees to ensure democratic principles.
Reasonable guarantees should not be denied, but not without reason. On the other hand, party differences should not be allowed to weaken or sabotage the contribution that Albanians are bravely making in the common war against the axis. Which is necessary, for their freedom and well-being. And, for that of all democracies. Everyone should remember that; unity makes power and that fascism will be the winner of any dispute between Albanians. Albania was accepted as a member of the League of Nations and from which it had the right to defend itself, from which it was treacherously attacked by Mussolini’s dictatorship. They protested legally and with weapons. That there was no trusted help is due to the fact that the Great Powers, which presided over the League, resigned from it when the Italian fascist attack against Albania took place”.
King Zog, quoting the memories of the adjutant – adds saying that: “I do not say this to brag to my countrymen, but Albania is the key to the Balkans. It is the ideal place for the landing of the Allied forces, in an expedition, to attack the side Germany’s most vulnerable”. The scene of King Zog’s speech, which was in a lounge of the famous West End Hotel, were: “I witnessed our martyrdom from the bombs, – said King Zog, – like many others. I remembered Great Britain strong, thinking of her material strength and her wealth. But now, I remember that the strength of the British people lies in their character and patience, as a strength that is moral and not material, for a high people.”
In this context, King Zog said that; three years have passed since Albania was unjustly attacked by fascist Italy. “And on June 10, 1940, when Italy declared war against Great Britain and its Allies, Albania officially repeated its declaration of war against Fascist Italy. This historical fact, nothing can be done from the circumstances, which until now, banned the acceptance of Albania, as members of the allies of the great alliance of democracies. Neither the existence of Albania nor the legality of the Albanian representation in exile, can be denied by the states, which claim to fight a holy war, towards justice and of law. Albania’s independence was recognized by the Treaty of London, which ended the Balkan war. It was recognized by the conference of Ambassadors, and after its borders were determined by an international committee, it was admitted to the League of Nations in December of 1921. The Albanian authorities, who are now in exile, are the only representatives of Albania, who have the mandate of their people. Their power was confirmed within an Albania by numerous constitutional elections and abroad by the recognition of all states of Statutory Monarchy. Now Albania still enjoys a certain degree of diplomatic representation”.
No country has legally recognized the fascist occupation of Albania, – said King Zog. Even today, my country, which was the first to resist the armed invasion, with weapons in hand, is not inferior. The Italians cannot make their will reign throughout the country. So, Albania is on that side of the barricade, where the British, the Americans, the Poles, the Greeks and the Yugoslavs and all the peoples who fight for democracy and freedom are. With the Greeks and the Yugoslavs, Albania forms a part of the great majority of the Balkan peoples, who are engaged in this war, for the common cause.
All Albanians, inside or outside our borders, have their minds on this point. We have no conflict with the Greeks. During the 25 years of its independence, Albania proved to the world that it has the right to live freely. In 1920, the country was practically without schools, without roads and was rife with malaria. By 1939, there were 700 schools and 75,000 students, one third of whom were girls. Albania can become free and happy with its mineral wealth and with the work of its people. It only needs capital. King Zog has confirmed that we are only a small people, almost a million and a half. It’s just that we don’t want to exaggerate our importance in the European framework. However, in a time of crisis when even an individual’s contribution has its value, the help of a nation of warriors cannot be called nothing. I believe, said King Zog – that justice will win in this war and without shyness I will say that the fruits of victory and justice will be for all of us”.
This is how King Zog I spoke, in a conversation he had with Mr. Feorges Slocombe and Mr. Norman Hillson, who made many suggestions, where the King had given Great Britain and America, without fail, for the recognition of Albania in the camp of the allies of the war, and of the Albanian Government, which was in Istanbul and regarding Albanians in exile. Memorie.al
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