Prof. Dr. Ayat Mezini
Memorie.al / Prof. Dr. Stanislav Zuber, one of the famous scientists of the European rank in the oil industry, worked for 20 years in a row in Albania, in the search and discovery of the oil-bearing fields of our country. The cruel and tragic murder of the famous Polish professor, which at that time was kept secret, would never have been known if it had not been made public by the famous Albanian writer, Petro Marko. He, from the first days of the pluralistic press, in April 1991, publicly denounced that ugly crime of the communist dictatorship, describing in detail the last moments of the death of the famous Polish scientist who died in his hands. The famous author of “Hasta la vista”, at that time was arrested in Tirana prison, accused of being an agent of UNRRA.
Stanislav Zuber was born on 14.10.1893 in Lvov, in the family of the prominent geologist, professor of Lviv University, Rudolf Zuber. Stanislav grew up with a love for the science of geology and in particular that of oil, which was the main direction of his studies. After finishing high school, Stanislav Zuber continued his studies at the University of Lviv. In 1924, he received the title of doctor at the University of Lviv, and in 1927, he received the title of professor at the Jagiellonian University in Krakow.
His paper was highly praised by reviewer professors Shajnoh and Noëak. Invited by the Italian company AIPA (Azienda Italina di Petrolio), he worked for 20 years in Albania, until his macabre murder in the prison of Tirana in 1947. In addition to studies, research and discoveries of oil deposits in Albania, he also developed scientific activity in Montenegro and Italy. Prof. Zuber was an excellent professional, a worthy successor of his family’s traditions. As a descendant of an intellectual family, Zuber was a complete specialist, with deep knowledge in the field of geology.
Stanislav Zuber, led all the works carried out by the Italian company in Kuçovo, and is the author of the discovery of the source-place of Kuçovo and Patos. He worked in many other oil exploration areas in our country, from South to North, conducted surveys and scientific studies for surface geology, and is the author of the Geological Map of Albania with a scale of 1: 200,000, as well as the tectonic map of Albania. . He is the author of over 200 scientific expertises. While working in Albania, Prof. Zuberi actively participated in scientific activities, in many international congresses with the presentation of papers and statements from the field of geology of Albania.
In addition to his country of birth, he always appreciated Albania as his country of birth. Professor Stanislav Zuber, was one of the luminaries of the geology of Albania, whose interpretations have been fully confirmed by the numerous oil research works that were later carried out by Albanian geologists. The interpretation of the geology of our country by Stanislav Zuber was based on the Modern Theory of Plates, or the existence of nappes (covers) as it was said in the literature of that time.
For today’s specialist, it is difficult to perceive as a single geologist, in the conditions of complete lack of laboratory base, complete lack of auxiliary research methods of geology, such as paleontology, petrography, seismic, geochemistry, geophysics, to lead with full scientific competence, all the research works for oil and gas, all the works for the exploitation of the Kuçovo and Patos oil wells, and to make the geological map of Albania at the same time.
In addition to high-level scientific activity, Zuber collected sample samples from many types of rocks found in our country and established a geological museum in Kuçovo, which was a very rare model even in the world. The more drilling was done to search for oil and gas in our country, the more Zuber’s predictions were confirmed for the geological construction of our country.
During my life, I have often encountered the greatness of the figure of Stanislav Zuber, not only as the greatest scientist of Albanian geology, but also as a simple man who enjoyed the respect of everyone who had the chance to know him. In September 1958, I enrolled in the Department of Geology, Faculty of Engineering, and University of Tirana. My father told me: “I don’t want anything more from you, just to become half as good as Professor Zuber.” He had known Zuber closely, when he worked in Kuçovo, during the years 1933-1939, and had a maximum evaluation, as a geology specialist.
Later, after I finished my studies and started working, I often came across the studies Zuberi had done, the reports he had made during his career, and all his scientific activity. I dug with great desire and curiosity in the old oil archive, to know more about the scientific activity of this baron of petroleum geology. In 1973, they had me from I was asked to conduct a study for the western part of the source-place of Gorishti, with the aim of expanding it towards the west.
In the vicinity of the region, an oil exploration well had been drilled by the Italians; Val-Vllahina-2, up to the depth of 1516 ml. At the end of the drilling Zuber had gone for inspection and the most important and very interesting conclusion for me was: The bottom of the well is 200 ml. away from the limestone encounter! I was looking for this, because the oil-bearing object was limestone.
But I was in a dilemma: how could I trust such a conclusion, made 40 years ago?! On what scientific basis was this conclusion based, when there was no well logging, paleontological analysis of the age of the last well samples, and no other well to compare to? On the basis of this conclusion, if I believed you, it would be decided to drill a well, which had a high cost. The documentation of the well drilled by the Italians was very accurate. Bearing in mind that for me Stanislav Zuber was an idol of geology, I trusted him completely and designed the well.
The well encountered limestone at the depth predicted by Zuber and produced oil. This was a success that belonged to Zuber, because his prediction had come true. As a geological specialist, I find it difficult to perceive how his genius could reach that level. He knew all surface cuttings in detail and with an incomparable scientific intuition, looking at the top of the hole, he found in which part of the cut the bottom of the well remained and how far it was from the limestone ceiling.
Zuber performed the paleontological analyzes himself and determined the age of the samples. He personally inspected all the wells that were drilled and gave the final conclusions. In 1973, I was with a group of geologists in Palavli, a village between Saranda and Delvina, west of the vast Mt. We were doing some surface surveys. There was a shepherd, who approached us and asked us: “What are you?” Petroleum geologist we said. He joked: “I don’t believe it, if you are a geologist, find out what mineral this is”? And took out a green stone from his pocket.
It was a copper mineral and I told him it was Chalcopyrite. The shepherd said that now I am convinced that you are a geologist. “I – he said – have been Zuber’s companion for a long time. And since then I keep this stone as a memory. A geologist like Zuberi does not come to Albania anymore. He was wonderful. He was often called abroad for consultations. I have very good memories of that man. It was very simple and communicative.” Zuber had left an indelible impression even on the shepherd from Palavlia.
Zuber’s works are permeated by the main feature of the geology of our country, by covers and over-riding. Thousands of wells drilled later, for oil and gas exploration, as well as thousands of km. seismic profiles carried out, fully confirmed his theory of covers. His genius lies in the fact that he laid the foundations of modern Albanian geology, and that his views on the geological construction of our country were more advanced than the level of the time.
His thoughts on Albanian geology are current even today, they are a guide for action, and they are the embodiment of his wisdom, professional maturity and genius. Stanislav Zuber is the “Einstein” of Albanian geology. In the scientific conference held in October 1992, organized by Albpetroli in Kuçovo, on the occasion of the 45th anniversary of the death of the famous Polish scientist, Prof. Dr. Stanislav Zuber, I had the opportunity to express my consideration for this scientist.
I told the Polish ambassador who participated in this conference, that I had 30 years of experience in the field of geology, I was the director of geology at Albpetrol and I had all the degrees and scientific titles that exist, but I was not convinced that I had fulfilled the order of my father, I had become “half” of Zuber or not? The communist dictatorship rewarded this famous geologist for his more than 20-year contribution to the good of Albania, with the ugly murder without trial and in a macabre manner.
What a cruel act. Even the biggest criminals. they are not executed without trial. What an ugly crime?! What a shame! But what had Zuberi done?! He was not a politician, but a specialist in geology, who had given a lot to the discovery of oil reserves. He was accused of being a saboteur. And who had he sabotaged, the Italians?! Zuber asked to be released, on the condition that he would work for Albania all his life!
But, He was brutally treated in prison and killed by a guard, who kicked him in the head. This was a serious crime, for which every honest person feels a moral responsibility for this Polish citizen, with universal cultural values, who was treated barbarically. But Professor Zuberi was not killed by Albania, nor by the Albanian people, but by the communist dictatorship, that dictatorship that had previously caused much greater pain to the Polish people, such as the killing of 14 thousand Polish officers, in the forests of Katnica Ukraine.
In contrast, Albania and the Albanian people preserved the memory and bright work of Prof. Zuber, and after 47 years of communist dictatorship, it is giving the rightful place to this outstanding figure. This ugly crime of international proportions, the extrajudicial killing of a foreign scientist by the communist dictatorship, created a bad image for the entire Albanian people.
The former professor of the Faculty of Geology-Mining in Tirana, Luan Peza, had completed his studies in Poland. He told that when he was a student, one day his professor had asked him: where are you from? When he told him that I am Albanian, his professor could not contain his anger and told him: “You Albanians are a barbaric people. You have killed without trial one of the most worthy sons of the Polish people, the scientist Stanislav Zuber?
I felt very close, Professor Luani said. I didn’t know what to say to him. No no! Albanians have never been and never are barbarians. These types of crimes were committed by only a very small part of the communists; it was the communist ideology and dictatorship that committed so many crimes, wherever it ruled. The Albanian people have always honored and respected the simple and knowledgeable person; they have respected the foreigner, who had no bad intentions.
There is no clearer and meaningful example, than the respect that the simple shepherd from Palavlija had, who carried a stone in his pocket for 40 years, as a memory to Zuber, there is no clearer example, than my saying father: to become how half of Zuber?, there is no clearer example of the honor and respect he enjoyed from all his associates. Zuberi was highly respected before the communists came to power, and no one touched him. Our generous and hospitable person, throughout its history, have not fallen on anyone’s neck, and has reacted only when they have fallen on their neck.
But the communists were a very small percentage of the Albanian people, and only a very small part of the communists implemented that inhumane ideology. They do not represent the Albanian people, who generation after generation, have proved his nobility, loved and respected his friends, and knew how to distinguish friends from enemies. However, the Polish professor had encountered this macabre case and certainly did not know the history of our people. An even more clear and meaningful example is the protection that was given by our people to all the Jews who were in our country during the Second World War. Memorie.al