Memorie.al publishes some parts of the unknown memoir entitled “Denkschrift uber Albanian” (Memorandum on Albania), written by Prince Wilhelm Wied and published in Germany immediately after the First World War, where the German prince who reigned only six months in the small Balkan country, in a special chapter he wrote a political-economic program for Albania, where he presented his ideas that he thought to implement during his reign. All the ideas of the German prince written in his political-economic program, through which he thought that Albania would develop and prosper, published for the first time in that book that was translated by the Institute of History in Tirana in 1956, but who never saw the light of publication, where Wilhelm Wied, among other things, has long dealt with the history of Kosovo, presenting facts and documents, even demanding that it be returned to the mother trunk, Albania , as it was an injustice to the small Balkan country on the Adriatic, that the Great Powers, at the London Conference, for political conjuncture severed almost half of its territory.
In his memoir entitled “Denkeschrift uber Albanian” (Memorandum on Albania), which was first published in Germany immediately after the First World War, the German Prince, Wilhelm Wied, (1876-1945) has published a chapter of long, where he presented an economic-political program, which he had made ready to implement in Albania, in the small Balkan country where he reigned for only six months. A special place in that program is occupied by Kosovo and other Albanian areas unjustly left outside its natural borders by the London Conference in 1913, for which Wied demanded that they be returned to Albania immediately. That request, Prince Wilhelm Wied, did not present it simply as a wish of his, but he argued it with facts and documents, writing that it was a legitimate right of the small Balkan country on the Adriatic, which, the Powers the Great, for instant political conjunctures and to satisfy the ‘appetites’ of the neighbors, unjustly severed almost half of the territories of its trunk. In this regard, from Wied’s memoirs originally published in his book “Denkeschrift uber Albanian” (Memorandum on Albania), a book which in 1956 was translated by the Institute of History in Tirana, (if you did not see it never published), Memorie.al has selected only a few parts of it, where he talks about the political-economic program, where the German prince, Wilhelm Wied, has presented his ideas, how it would progress and develop Albania.
Prince Wilhelm Wied’s political-economic program for Albania
The direction of Albania’s foreign policy in the future clearly shows the cooperation of its prince and the Albanian people with the central powers. As the oldest people in the Balkans, it does not tend to Serbs, Montenegrins or Italians. On the contrary it will form, as the mortal enemy of the two mentioned Balkan Slavic peoples, a strong bastion against their invasion. Only with close political and economic cooperation with the central powers do we see; me, my people and its best mayors a happy and peaceful cultural development of the country.
The central powers, and above all Austria-Hungary and Bulgaria, grasp the importance of the moment in which Albania, for a distant future, wishes to voluntarily associate with them and generously show a good understanding of Albanian desires more than just ones., then they link Albania even more closely with their decisions, than would ever be possible from a split or an occupation. For centuries, Albania made continuous uprisings against the Turkish election! Such a people even now would never endure captivity under another foreigner and would always break the shackles. As a result, she will open the gates to the scammers of the enemies of the central power and hope for their liberation. Any cultural development will be suspended from such active and passive internal existence. The behavior of the European powers before the war made the worst impression on the broad masses of the Albanian people and especially on the country’s intelligence.
“Guarantee the ethnic borders of Albania”
An institution like the previous audit commission should never be established again. In order to avoid border riots, it is necessary to guarantee these borders of Albania by the central powers, and even not only the old borders, but also those new lands, which belong ethnographically in time and which will now be given politically. Albania must surely expect an enlargement to respond to the truly ethnographic and economic-geographical circumstances, more honest and just than to date, an enlargement through purely Albanian lands, which were arbitrarily and without good judgment separated from it, in Serbia and New Montenegro.
In desperate uprisings, the Albanian tribes living there defended themselves against the extermination of their oppressors, the Serbs and Montenegrins. Reunification with the other Albania will not only avoid the inevitable riots and uprisings of these tribes, but that these fertile and economically very important regions would actually form the best assurance for an internal reinforcement of the whole of Albania. The need for this enlargement of Albania has been emphasized by Austria-Hungary, on the occasion of the founding of the country and now of course it has its full value.
Albania should include in its bay all the lands of the Balkan Peninsula, which are inhabited by the majority of the Albanian population, as long as the geographical condition of these lands allows. Without wanting to occupy myself today with the description of the borders which is geographically right and therefore to be politically biased as Albania needs for its sound development and that it is fully applicable, without doing injustice to neighboring countries, it should be noted that, especially in the north and north-east, opposite and quite arbitrarily. But even in the south they do not correspond at all to the ethnographic borders, ie the borders of the united lands that speak Albanian in the majority.
“Kosovo and Epirus must join Albania”
But at least the lands that speak all or most of the Albanian language, of Ipek and Gjakova, Kosovo with Prishtina, the regions around Prizren, Kalkandela and Dibra, should be united with Albania. A just restriction to respond to the ethnographic and economic-geographical circumstances of the Albanian State, Epirus must also join it, which was first robbed from Greece, now from Italy. This just expansion to the south seemed so far in the eyes of Greece and its honest neutral king, now as impossible. Until the latest transformation of Greece, which is therefore advisable, for Albania to withdraw its rightful aspirations to demarcate the borders to the south and to enjoy at least the unconditional observance of the southern border set at the London Conference.
Epirus, this southern province of Albania is a very fertile land inhabited by cultured Albanians. For this reason, it is of great importance that this province remains with Albania. If it seems that it was dictated for high practical reasons towards the Greece of the honest neutral monarch Constantine, this royal mercy, for the realization of the rightful aspirations of Albania, as far as Epirus to give up, then on the contrary there is no reason To the pseudo-democratic Greece of the fanatical and cunning German enemy, Venizelos, occupied lands or asked to be left, over which ay cannot raise any rights and leaving them in the hands of a Venizelos Greece, will say direct threat of free Austrian transport to the Adriatic!
“Albania’s right to expand its southern borders”
But in order to lose words on this, such as leaving Italy in the possession of Epirus, which is occupied by it today, needless to say. No, today it has become a right of Albania, to expand the Southern border as far as it deserves by nature. Austria-Hungary and thus Germany will fulfill against a Venizelist Greece, as against Italy, almost an act of self-defense, if they will return to my country its natural borders, which at that time were shortened only by racketeers of Italy and England.
Albania attaches special value to relations with Bulgaria, its future eastern neighbor. There have never been quarrels between Albania and Bulgaria. A happy fate allows the brave Bulgarian people long ago to gain their freedom and to cross the difficult path for a modern cultural state, which Albania, imitating it, is undertaking. The sympathy that exists between the two peoples and the respect form the guarantee for close friendly relations.
“Domestic policy questions”
Just as important is the demarcation of borders, even more important is the internal organization of the country. Here, too, Albania hopes for the energetic help and protection of the two emperors in the creation of its army, in the formation and education of a layer of officials and for the establishment of various state institutions. For all these, Albania has very suitable material, but completely uneducated. Albanians have been the best and most loyal soldiers of Turkey for centuries.
A large number of first Turkish officials were and are of Albanian origin. 36 great viziers were given by the Albanians to the Ottoman Empire. The current Minister of War, the famous Enver Pashaj, is also Albanian. The bad economy under the old Turkish regime forces many of the best powers to emigrate abroad. In their allegiance to the country most will later return again and sacrifice their power to their country, but for now it cannot be counted.
Perhaps the most important factor in maintaining a state is its military; to shape it is the most necessary thing. Although the basis of the future army could be formed by the Albanian troops that are now fighting under the command of Austro-Hungary against Italy, still this military power in support of the government against internal and external capabilities is weak and disorganized. Their perfection is not deepened and so much so that ay alone, without instructors of the central powers, can obtain new perfections, and thus the necessary enlargement of the army.
The safest body for the formation of a small modern but well-organized army would be to leave 5-1000 Austro-Hungarian troops for several years in Albania occupation troops. These form instructors, divided into smaller units rather conveniently. They receive the perfection of Albanian soldiers and non-commissioned officers under the leadership of German-Austro-Hungarian instructors. The core of the future corps of officers is formed by Albanians who have fought as officers in the Austro-Hungarian or Turkish Army. Perfection of officers that Albania would later need, should be done in Austria-Hungary, declaring these two countries ready to take each 100 young Albanians selected for their perfection as officers in their army, as well as to allow the entry of capable young people into the cadet school.
In this way not only would their finished military perfection be ensured, but that it would be a link between Germany, Austria-Hungary and Albania, which would become even closer, the more these Albanian officers of the future will love the places of their perfection and honor them. The condition for crossing this road for the creation of an Albanian army today is, of course, the obligation of Austria-Hungary to call all the training troops, except for the officers-instructors, after a certain deadline from Albania. The organization of the Albanian Gendarmerie can be carried out, regardless of the army, by German and Austro-Hungarian gendarmerie officers and non-commissioned officers.
“Government and administration”
I agree with the program of the Albanian nationalists, I consider it necessary the immediate establishment of a senate, which in the beginning will have only a consultative vote, but in time will be given the right to pass the law. The senators who will be appointed by me, as the best and most famous patriots and nationalists, must enjoy the trust of the people. They should represent all strata and classes of the country, generosity, large landowners, farmers, merchants, craftsmen, clerks and heads of various confections.
In his intensive cooperation, he calculates especially on urgent issues of the organism, as well as the unique reformulation of the laws of the country. The senate will later be given a second chamber to be elected. The country, always considering the geographical situation, will be divided into several regions, at the head of which as heads of the entire administration will be prefects proposed by the Council of Ministers and appointed by me. They should preferably belong to the tribe or region of the relative county. Since there is currently a lack of employees with school and experience, it would be urgently necessary for the central powers to leave Albania for a few years to first teach Albanian employees, employees with organizational skills and inclinations.
This is also necessary for financial, customs and tax matters, for which it brings order and supervision to the state finances, to equalize revenues and expenditures, and to be able to guarantee another foreign tax to be levied. Regulated finances are, of course, the necessary bases for Albania to flourish in agriculture, trade and industry; they are after the order and calm in the country the conditions for the trust of foreign states, on which the development of Albania depends.
Albania’s economic exploitation is closely linked to the collapse of a road network, only roads provide the possibility of an active exchange of goods, they increase the security of the country and form through the possibility of communication between each tribe, which until now were generally isolated for due to traffic, a union connection. No country, even the most favored by nature, without
communication can raise natural resources, use its own resources. Albania was indescribably neglected by the bad economy of the first Turkish regime. All proceeds were poured into Istanbul, nothing was done to improve and elevate the country.
Undoubtedly the Austrians gained great merit for the country by hitting the passable roads well in Albania. Even the people, who only now can appreciate the value of good roads, know this without reservation. Of course, although they were hit exclusively for strategic purposes, they still form a good support for the repair of economic roads. When road strikes are the most important and necessary task of the government, for which the funds will be taken from the loan that will be taken, the train strikes will now be left to the capital of the German and Austro-Hungarian companies. At first, trains are considered, which, in addition to depleting the country’s own economy, will allow the transit of goods to Bulgaria, Romania, and Serbia.
For many parts of these hinterlands, Albania with its ports is the most convenient place of transit. Imports to Albania from 1910-1911 (previously we do not have exact figures due to the Balkan unrest), has almost doubled. Transit that rose that same year (mostly to Montenegro) to five-fold. What capacity would those large parts of Bulgaria, Romania and Serbia, for which Albanian ports form the most suitable economic-geographical port-imports, have compared to small Montenegro! This commercial communication, valued before the war in more than 60 Million marks, will take, after the establishment of train connections suitable of course for a greater impetus.
From West and South Germany via Monaco, through Bosnia, Albania and Western Greece, will pass once a world communication route, which in the use of the sea route; Southern Greece-Cyrenaica- which forms for West and South Germany geographically the best line for East Africa, India and China, a first-class botnuer communication route! One of the main measures of the Albanian government should be the establishment of agriculture and livestock, both of which are in poor condition, but which promise to become a strong source of welfare of the country. Not only the fertile fields near the coast, which in part need sewerage, and the river valleys, but also the land in the highlands will undoubtedly yield abundant produce thanks to the fertile soil and suitable climate.
The insecurity in the country and at the same time the modesty of the Albanians had the effect of cultivating only a very small part of the fertile urban land. The large uncultivated Turkish state lands could serve for the settlement of emigrants from the lands that have remained until now under foreign rule and that belong to the Albanian nationality. A law should oblige large landowners to enrich urban land to a certain extent. Possession relations should be regulated, secured and clarified through the Cadastre.
In order to inform the people of the advantages and great fruits of the fertile land by means of a modern and reasonable work, it is necessary for a part of the state property to become model farms of German and Austro-Hungarian farms.
These would also form an important source of direct revenue for the state. The funds for this would be obtained from the loan, which as propaganda capital would have been so extremely well invested. Even the rise of the cultivation of wine, olives, roses, cotton and tobacco, must be supported with all our might. As of now, the annual export of Albanian wool was approximately 500,000 kgr. of cocoons (worms), silk is exported annually almost 50,000 kgr. Here, too, a significant increase is possible. /Memorie.al
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