From Qerim Lita (Skopje)
Aqif Lleshi, the uncle of former President Haxhi Lleshi, for the services rendered to Belgrade and its politics, starting from February 1, 1927 and until April 1941, (when the Serbo-Croatian-Slovenian Kingdom was dissolved), was awarded regularly, with 37 thousand dinars per month.
Memorie.al / In this issue of “SHENJA” magazine, we saw fit to publish some diplomatic and military documents of the former Kingdom of Serbo-Croatian-Slovenian – later Yugoslav, through which the argatlık of Aqif Lleshi and the suite of his, in the realization of anti-Albanian plans and projects, drawn up in the kitchens of Belgrade, in the period 1925 – 1941, respectively until the dissolution of that kingdom.
As the general Albanian opinion is informed, on September 23, 2020, in the yard of the Municipality of Dibra, the bust of Aqif Lleshi, the most loyal collaborator of the Serbian hegemonic cause, between the two world wars and of Yugoslav communism, during and after the War, was placed the Second World War. Unfortunately, behind this shameful and ugly act, there was the Municipal Council of Dibra and the Association of Political Prisoners in Macedonia – the branch in Dibra, despite the fact that in advance this initiative was strongly opposed by a very large number of the population Albanian.
It should be noted that well-known Albanian researchers and intellectuals, such as: Uran Butka, Saimir Lojla, Qerim Lita, Tofik Jegeni, Samir Shatku and Bujar Kapexhiu, who through a public letter, published in the daily press in Tirana, Skopje, came out against this initiative of Prishtina, offered indisputable arguments that: Aqif Lleshi, together with his brother, Halit Lleshi, “who would be executed as a traitor”, was one of the close collaborators of the leaders of the Serbian chauvinist cause, in the first half of the last century…”! In addition, they, always referring to national and international archival sources, rightly emphasized that: Aqif Lleshi, was “one of the recruiters of Albanians” who were “executed in Tivar, by his nephew, Haxhi Lleshi” .
Bearing in mind the fact that in the letter of the aforementioned Albanian researchers and intellectuals, the anti-Albanian activity of the two brothers Halit and Aqif Lleshi, as well as their two descendants, Haxhi and Mustafa Lleshi, is described in detail in this issue of the magazine “SHENJA” deemed it reasonable to publish some diplomatic and military documents of the former Kingdom of Serbo-Croatian-Slovenian, – later Yugoslav, through which the arguability of Aqif Lleshi and his suite in the realization of anti-Albanian plans and projects comes to light drawn up in the kitchens of Belgrade, in the period 1925-1941, respectively until the dissolution of that kingdom.
Of course, his pro-Slavic activity continued during and after the end of the Second World War, but now, together with his grandson, Haxhiu, he will become a servant of the “Yugoslav communist cause”. In this regard, the well-known Albanian publicist and nationalist, Tahir Zajmi, in his book “Lidhja II e Prizren”, published in 1964 in Brussels, described the violence and terror of the “Serbo-Bulgarian, Montenegrin and Albanian” brigades on the Albanian population in Kosovo, among others it states:
“…After the invasion of Kosovo by Tito’s communist Yugoslavia, the efforts and fighting of the nationalist groups in the mountains and in the plains have not stopped during our year 1945, they gave you hundreds and thousands of martyrs. It would be too long if we continued and described here in detail the various phases of these battles and the very powerful efforts of the Prizren Connection organization, which with its forces and modest means has kept the war going of defense on the four fronts of the borders against the communist Serbo-Bulgarian and Montenegrin and Albanian Brigades, the latter led by Shefqet Peçi and Aqif Lleshi, who, when bullets and mortars rained down on their Kosovar brothers, you shot them in the back…”!
It is important to note that, after the recapture of power by Ahmet Zogut (December 1924), Aqif Lleshi, on the recommendation of Nikolla Pashiqi’s closest collaborator, Milisav Jeliq, left Belgrade to return to Albania, “restored” relations with Ahmet Zogu, which were broken in 1922, when his brother, Halit, was assassinated by some Albanian patriots from Lower Dibra. It didn’t take long and they got irritated again, as Aqif Lleshi continued his cooperation not only with the diplomatic and military accredited in Albania, but from time to time he traveled to Belgrade, holding secret conversations with the political, police and military circles Serbian.
The all-powerful Serbian minister in Tirana, Llazarević, on December 31, 1925, telegraphed the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Belgrade, as follows: “Aqif Lleshi, received two months’ leave. I will come to Belgrade. Today he traveled from Dibra, even though I advised him not to take that route. You have to accept it as it is. If he decides not to come back, we need to help him organize Dibra properly. He prays that the issue of all his friends whose houses were burned in the events of 1919-1921 be settled, because he promised them that “Serbia will compensate all those who fought for “.
This is about the period after the suppression of the uprising of 1920, which broke out in Dibër and Luma Jugore, when the Serbian army, together with Albanian mercenaries, including the two Lleshi brothers, expelled over 40,000 Albanian residents from these two provinces, who settled in Tirana, Elbasan and Shkodër, while burning and destroying over 140 villages, 738 people (women, children, old men, men) were killed or burned alive; 6,248 houses, 101 warehouses and two shops, 113 mills, 50 houses, 18 mosques were completely destroyed; 11,057,750 kg of grain was looted or destroyed, 6,228 small and large cattle and 1,535 horses were stolen.
Three days after this telegram, namely on January 2, 1926, the Serbian consul in Shkoder, Vukotiq, wrote to the MFA about Aqif Lleshi’s trip to Dibër te Madhe, insisting that he be invited to Belgrade. On the eve of the Dukagjin Uprising, which broke out on November 20, 1926, Aqif Lleshi, together with 27 gendarmes, again escaped to Yugoslavia, settling in Dibër te Madhe.
On December 15, 1926, the deputy prefect of Dibra Prefecture, S. Libohova, wrote to the Ministry of Internal Affairs in Tirana, that: “…Major Mr. Aqif Lleshi, for unknown reasons, went to Belgrade, which it is said that they are called…! The major in question in Dibër has spread the word that after 10 days he will be able to go to Albania and take over the power that his brother has in Tirana”. Three days later, S. Libohova, through an encrypted telegram, informed the Ministry of Internal Affairs, about the return of Aaqif Lleshi from Belgrade: “Aqif Lleshi, as well as 120 Parsis, went to Belgrade with 15 of the k. Moji returned to Dibra. In order to receive any news from the persons mentioned in the above telegram, we have sent people to Dibre and Struga. When the messenger comes, the news will be presented to you. Until now, it has never been predicted.”
Documents that we will present below, shed light on an agreement reached between the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the sector for Albania, and Aqif Lleshi, according to which, 27 gendarmes of Aqif will be fed for free by the platoon of the XII regiment of the “Car Lazari” infantry in Dibër e Madhe. In addition, Aqif Lleshi, as well as a considerable number of his associates, in gratitude for the “loyalty” they had expressed in the implementation of the Serbian chauvinist policy towards the Albanian nation in general and the Albanian State in particular, from the same the minister, will receive permanent monthly assistance of 37,000 dinars. This assistance, officially, began on February 1, 1927 and lasted until April 1941, namely until the dissolution of that kingdom.
In conclusion of this article, I must say that the publication of these documents has a single purpose, which has this definition: “Aqif Lleshi, together with his brother Halit, next to Ceno bey Kryeziu, constituted the most reliable figure of Serbian hegemonic and chauvinist policy, which policy, as a primary goal, had the destruction of the Albanian Royal Government and of Ahmet Zogu as the King of the Albanians and the creation of a puppet government, which would be under the complete leadership of Belgrade“.
Based on this, I believe and hope that the Municipal Council of Dibra, which consists of the majority of Albanian councilors, will withdraw the decision to inaugurate the bust of a sworn servant of Serbian politics, such as Aqif Lleshi, and instead, to place busts of prominent and undisputed Albanian personalities from Dibra, such as: Ismail Strazimiri, Mersim Dema, Hafiz Sherif Langu, Haki Stërmilli, Shemsi Hatibi, Ukë Cami, Osman Cami, Medat Tërshana, Muhamet Paçuku, and many others, who with their work and sacrifice have left their mark on Albanian historiography.
Some of the archival documents that shed light on the activity of Aqif Lleshi, in the service of Belgrade and pro-Serbian politics and the rewards in large amounts in dinars that he received from them!
- Letter from the Headquarters of the XII Infantry Regiment – “Car Lazari”, sent to the commander of the Regional Division of Vardar
“COMMANDER OF THE DISTRICT DIVISION OF VARDAR ‘E”
By the act of this command Proc. number 1598, from May 26, 1931, the issue of the liquidation of the documents issued for the food of Albanian emigrants – the people of Aqif Lleshi – who, by order of that command, are led as temporary expenses in the coffers of this command, so since even today of this day no solution has been found in this matter, I beg for information whether the Ministry of the Army and Navy has been requested to deliver the money to the coffers of this command or, in any other way, to accept these temporary expenses of about 200,000 dinars.
I remind you that this is the sixth submission from the side of this command on this matter, therefore the undersigned and the treasurer of this command cannot bear responsibility for these expenses, for which there is an order, as well as timely liquidation.
Please consider this as urgent and bring a positive solution to it.
Represents the Commander,
Matija L. Paraç
- View of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Kingdom of Yugoslavia – sector for Albania, regarding the escape of Aqif Lleshi to Yugoslavia and the provision of food for his 27 gendarmes.
FOOD of the people of Aqif Lleshi in Dibër
After Ahmet Zogu’s return to Albania, towards the end of 1924, Aqif Lleshi was on good terms with him. But soon disagreements arose between them and Aqifi was afraid that Zogu would kill him. For this reason, Aqif Lleshi in 1926 escaped to our territory in Dibër with about 30 of his people.
In Diber, our military authorities took over the provision of food for the people of Aqif.
The document does not show who gave the order for these people to be supplied with food by our military authorities of the XII infantry regiment “Czar Lazari”. But, from May 1928 until now, the Vardar District Division, from time to time, has requested that the amount spent by the XII infantry regiment “Car Llazari” in the name of food for the people of Aqif Lleshi deposited with the said regiment for replenishing the coffers. Attached to these requests are the accounts of the expenses so far for the food of these people.
For the payment of these invoices, the Ministry of the Army has repeatedly addressed our Ministry (Ministry of Foreign Affairs – Q.L.): 1929-30-31-32-33 and 1934. In some cases the invoices were sent and in some cases only intervened for a quick response to the letters with which those invoices were sent.
…The XII Infantry Regiment “Car Lazari” requests the amount for the food of the people of Aqif Lleshi from February 1927 to April 1, 1934. Although in the act of the Vardar District Division Proc. No. 1789 from November 13 of this year / Proc. our no. 29163 from December 20 of this year / is said to have been sent and requested /in number three/ for the food of the people of Aqif Lleshi, from September 1929 to March 1, 1930 in the amount of 38,951.64 dinars. These invoices and implementing acts are not found in the relevant file – in our archives, so they will be able to be requested additionally.
Meanwhile, the following invoices are in the file:
- For the food of the people of Aqif Lleshi from February 1927 to September 1, 1929 – four invoices – in the amount of 202,342.32 dinars and
- from March 1930 to April 1, 1934, in the amount of 263,369.51 dinars.
The total account is 465,711.83 dinars. While the total amount requested by the XII Infantry Regiment “Car Lazari” /counting also these three invoices which do not exist in the file/ for the food of these people of Aqif Lleshi from February 1927 to April 1, 1934 reaches a total of 504,663.47 dinars.
From all the correspondence on this subject, it can be seen that the Ministry of Army and Navy, the Ministry of Internal Affairs, and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs have avoided paying these invoices. Each of these ministries has made sure that I don’t pay them.
However, the invoices were submitted to our Ministry, which are still here today.
In July 1935, we received two more invoices for the food of the people of Aqif Lleshi:
- food supply from September 1, 1929 to March 1930: 38,951.73 dinars;
- food supply from April 1 to November 1934: 28,102.93 din
Total amount: 67,054.66 dinars.
The XII Infantry Regiment “Car Lazari” in Dibër, for the supply of food to the people of Aqif Lleshi from February 1927 to November 1934, spent a total of: 532,766.49 dinars, and invoices were sent for this amount which are found in this ministry…”.
Letter from the Command of the Vardar District Division in Bitola, sent to the commander of the III Army in Skopje, requesting the covering of expenses for the supply of food to 27 gendarmes of Aqif Lleshi in Dibër di Madhe
OF VARDAR DISTRICT DIVISION
Proc. E. No. 1321
September 28, 1935
Please make the payment to the ARMY COMMANDER OF DISTRICT III and send the money for the food of the people of Aqif Lleshi according to the deposited certificates
Pursuant to the order sent to this command under Proc. Xh. Ob. No. 304 of February 3, 1927, Proc. Xh. Ob. No. 445 of February 14, 1927 and Proc. Xh. Ob. no. 1266 of April 18, 1927 – and the report of this command Proc. Xh. Ob. No. 3068 from January 17, 1928, invoices for the amount spent on feeding the people of Aqif Lleshi in Dibër were submitted to that Command, as follows:
- for the period January 1927 to March 31 – 1928 81,302,89 din.
- for the period April 1, 1928 to March 31, 1929 88,643.46
- for the period April 1, 1929 to July 31, 1929 25,837.19
- for the month of August 1929 – 6,558.78
- for September and October 1929 – 12,995.09
- for the month of November 1929 – 6,387.69
- for December 1929 and January and February 1930 – 19,568.95
- for the period from March 1 to December 31, 1930 – 67,402.93
- for the period from January 1 to December 31, 1931 – 68,838.02
- for the period from January 1 to July 31, 1932 – 36,916.45
- for the period August 1, 1932 to March 31, 1933 – 34,227.64
- in the period from April 1, 1933 to March 31, 1934 – 55,984.47
- for the period April 1 to October 31, 1934 – 28,102.93
- for the period November 1, 1934 to March 31, 1935 – 19,520.19
- for the period April 1 to June 30, 1935 – 11,513.07
- for July and August 1935 – 8,301.25
A total of 572,101 dinars. –
…Please act, so that the payment of the above amount is made by the Ministry of Internal Affairs and the money paid is sent to this Command to fill the coffers, since this Command has purchased all the underlined invoices from the Regimental Command XII of the “Car Lazari” Infantry.
Represents the Commander
Assistant, Gen. Brig. of the Leg.
Additional overview of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Kingdom of Yugoslavia – sector for Albania, regarding the escape of Aqif Lleshi to Yugoslavia and the provision of food for his 27 gendarmes
Supplying food to the people of Aqif Lleshi
Aqif Lleshi with 30 of his men towards the end of 1926 escaped to our territory.
In agreement with the Ministry of the Army, the Ministry of Internal Affairs and our Ministry, it has been decided that Aqif Lleshi will be placed in Dibër, while his 27 men will be supplied with food to the platoon there of the XII Infantry Regiment “Car Llazari”. The regular supply of food to these people began on January 1, 1927, and the expenses until September 1, 1935, amount to 572,100 dinars.
The military authorities/the staff of the III Army in Skopje has directed the Ministry of Internal Affairs to cover the expenses for the food of these people, by depositing the relevant invoices.
The Ministry of Internal Affairs has submitted these invoices to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, informing them that it “does not have sufficient means to cover these requests” and requested that the Ministry of Foreign Affairs do this, “under the burden of which falls the maintenance of Albanian emigration”.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs has either not responded at all to these submissions or has responded that it too “does not have the necessary credit”, instructing the Ministry of Internal Affairs to obtain a “special loan” from the Ministry of Finance.
The correspondence does not show anywhere who took the burden in 1927 for the maintenance of these people.
I remind you that Aqif Lleshi and other various Albanian personalities, his friends, receive monthly aid of 37,000 dinars from our Ministry, but this aid does not include the people – former gendarmes of Aqif Lleshi who are fed by the army.
Now the new submission of the Ministry of the Army and the Ministry of Internal Affairs has arrived. 572,100 dinars are required”. Memorie.al
Link Proc. No. 28475