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 was dealing 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 Nikol 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
In the United States.
Xhafer Deva helped the League press with articles, memoranda, protests and other types of writing in Albanian, English, German and French, using all his skills to recognize and arouse the League’s interest in American and European diplomatic circles. It is worth mentioning here that with the beginning of Xhafer Deva’s new political movement, the press of Belgrade and that of Tirana (in 1963) started the campaign against him and the ‘League’. Fejtone published articles in the newspapers Vecernje Novosti and Zeri i Popullit, using their entire arsenal of propaganda, with accusations of being known as Nazis, fascists, criminals, and calling the ‘League’ a chauvinist organization aimed at destabilizing Balkans and the realization of Greater Albania, etc. Like any other organization that goes through difficulties due to friction, the ‘League’ had its problems before and after the two Congresses, when Deva was president. The problems in question occupy a special place in Deva’s correspondence, both with collaborators and close friends, such as Dr. Krasniqi.
Before the first Congress convened, persons playing a role in the Canada Branch, where the ‘League’ Bulletin was issued, initially came out with the demand for Kosovo as an independent state, which, among other things, required the change of the National Flag. Such irresponsible actions bring boredom to Deva and Krasniqi. They did their best to maintain the proper national seriousness in the ranks of the ‘League’. The person who played an important role in resolving the conflicts was Mehmet Agë Rashkoci, for whom everyone had respect, especially Ismet Berisha. Regarding disputes, Deva writes to Krasniqi: “You and Mehmet Aga, I told them in time that we do not have the dough and serious people to reorganize the ‘League’, which in the first place must be serious and a worthy representative of the ideals for realization of ethnic Albania, nothing more nor less. Therefore, it is up to you and Mehmet Aga to fix things until the first Congress, then we will sift through all the problems that conflict with the above… “! (25/10/1964).
Overcoming these difficulties finally arrived the first Congress of the ‘League’ (26 – 27 November 1966), where Deva sifted through all the disagreements, removed from the ranks of the ‘League’ the persons he described as “politically immature” and that “they do not know what they want”! The first congress takes place in a simple way, but as Xhafer Deva and the ‘League of Prizren’ deserved. Antoni Athanas, President of the Federation “Vatra”, who in a tangible speech vowed that “Vatra” would faithfully follow the ideals of the ‘League of Prizren’ for the realization of ethnic Albania Selim Damani, Halim Begeja, Prof. Jusuf Luzaj , Vasil Germenji, Rexhep Krasniqi, Dom Zef Oroshi, Sali Myftia (former Mufti of Shkodra and the prefecture of Kosovo), etc., and special letters and greeting telegrams from King Leka, Hasan Dosti, Ernest Koliqi, Captain Nue Gjomarkaj, Ismail Verlaci , Baba Rexhepi, Muharrem Bajra ktari, Ago Agaj, Ymer Bardhi, etc., were a powerful demonstration in support of Xhafer Deva.
In one folder are some thank-you notes sent to personalities who were present at the Congress. Xhafer Deva writes to the Chairman of “Vatrë”, Mr. Antoni Athanas: “Your participation in the first Congress of the ‘League of Prizren’ was a special honor for me and a guarantee of the continuation of the ideals of” Vatra “towards the realization of ethnic Albania. Your speech touches and the commitment that, “you will resolutely support the rights of the Albanian population of Kosovo, for union with the free Albanian state”, I am convinced that it will be heard in Washington with respect and seriousness… “. A few days after the Congress, Xhafer Deva returns to California and the “League of Prizren in Exile” begins its official activity, based on this Statute approved in a special session of the Congress:
STATUTE OF THE ORGANIZATION “PRIZREN CONNECTION”
- In support of the decisions taken by the Congress, convened in New York on November 26-27, 1966, where the Albanian population, today under the rule of the colonial state of Yugoslavia, was represented by intellectuals, professionals, freedom fighters and ordinary people from bay of what happened in the free democratic world, the organization “League of Prizren in Exile” is founded.
- Relying on the historical ideal of the ‘League of Prizren’ of summarizing the Albanian Nation in a single, free and independent state, in an ethnic Albania. Relying on the general free will of the Albanian population, in the state called Yugoslavia, displayed at the Congress of the ‘League of Prizren’ in September – October 1943, of the union with the Albanian state of 1913, the Organization “League of Prizren” in Exile ”, primarily strives for the realization of Ethnic Albania, and, based on the principles proclaimed in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the United Nations Charter (UNO), fights for the protection of human rights , national and political rights and the right of the Albanian population to self-determination in the so-called Federation of the Yugoslav Republics.
- Appendix A) “The League of Prizren in Exile”, has a purely Kosovar character and does not interfere in the party political issues of Albania of 1913. He will always be ready to help strongly in the liberation of Albania from the communist tyranny. It seeks the understanding and support of all Albanian political, social, religious, cultural, nationalist and Albanian groups in the free world, for its efforts to unite the Albanian land and population in Yugoslavia with the Albanian State of 1913.
- The “League of Prizren in Exile” will try to establish relations with the organization Federalist Union of European Ethnic Communities (FUEN) and with organizations of this kind to ensure the right of its membership as the only legal representative in the free world of the Albanian population in Yugoslavia.
- Bodies of the League A. Congress. It consists of members of the Superior Council, the Central Committee and delegates from different branches (1 delegate for 10 members); meets once every five years in New York, or any other center of the free world by prior arrangement; discusses and approves the political program, statute and regulations or their respective amendments; elects the chairman and members of the Superior Council and the Central Committee; examines the financial situation presented by the Central Committee; elects for the time of his action a chairman and two vice-chairmen as well as a secretary.
- Superior Council. It consists of members of the Central Committee and one or two representatives of the Committees of 159 Different Branches; has a chairman in the capacity of Chairman of the “League of Prizren in Exile” and one or two vice-chairmen elected by the Congress as well as a secretary elected by its members; The Superior Council, through the Chairman, oversees the actions of the Central Committee and the Branch Committees, regarding the implementation of the political program, the statute, the regulation and the representations in the Congress; is collected according to the circumstances and needs presented; may also act in support of the correspondence of the Chairman and its members.
- The New York-based Central Committee consists of 7 members, 1 general secretary and possibly 1 undersecretary general, all elected by Congress, in support of the proposal made by the Chairman of the Superior Council who is also the Chairman of the League; The Central Committee, which in full agreement with the Chairman of the Superior Council directs and represents the “Prizren League in Exile” in the political, social, strategic, national, international, cultural, financial, propaganda, press and disciplinary fields; treasurer, responsible for press, propaganda and relations with foreign national and international organizations.
Ç. The Branch Committees consist of 5 members, 1 chairman, 1 vice-chairman, 1 secretary, 1 treasurer, 1 responsible for press and propaganda, all elected by the members of the branches once a year, and approved by the Central Committee; The committees in question faithfully implement the political program set by Congress, maintain constant contact with the Central Committee, strive to add to the wall of members with morally and nationally appropriate persons; to propagate the cause of the League through meetings, conferences and manifestations of national and social character, with meetings with political, social, cultural organizations and Albanian and foreign personalities in order to gain friends and support for the work of the “League of Prizren in Exile “.
- The income of the League derives mainly from the monthly contributions of all members, from various campaigns and performances, given in cases made by decision of the Central Committee, from various aids donated by patriots, friends, Albanian nationalist organizations in exile, whose names will be announced in the body of the League, etc.
- Press A). The League shall have a press office and at least one body of it which shall be published under the supervision of the Central Committee at a specified time, in addition to special pamphlets, studies and booklets which may be published as per the needs presented. The purpose of the press is to use articles, studies, folk tales and literature of various natures to make known and arouse interest in the aims of the League, as well as to highlight the history and human, national and political rights of the population. Albanians in Yugoslavia, in the western world.
B). The “League of Prizren in Exile” will open an information office in Europe, possibly in Munich, West Germany, to collect information on the situation of the Albanian territories in Yugoslavia, as well as study materials of historical and political character, as needed. economic, cultural, etc., and will preferably publish a bi-monthly interim which deals with subjects of the nature listed above, in accordance with the program and with the permission of the Superior Council and the Central Committee of the League.
- The identification “Prizren League in Exile” has its stamp, where the words, “Prizren League in Exile” are written, the name of the office and the respective place, can also have a special sign for its members and friends with the words, “League of Prizren in Exile”, 1878 – 1966.
- A special note which is not provided in this Statute and which is not contrary to its articles, nor to the goals and ideals of the “League of Prizren”, can be regulated by decisions of the Central Committee and with the consent of the Chairman.
The text of the Statute was prepared by Dr. Rexhep Krasniqi and served as the League program until the death of Xhafer Deva. This Statute is published in the special booklet: “Congress of the League of Prizren in Exile”, p. 30-31- Waldon Press Inc, New York, 1969.
The Second Congress of the ‘League of Prizren’ in Exile. “Preparations for the holding of the Second Congress of the ‘League of Prizren’ in Exile, Xhafer Deva and other leaders of this organization had begun in early 1971. At a time when everything seemed to be going well, it was suddenly published in the newspaper.” Dielli “an announcement, issued by the General Secretariat of this organization, which would cause the deepest political crisis of the ‘League’ during its leadership by Xhafer Deva. The announcement in the newspaper “Dielli ‘The General Secretariat of the’ League ‘announces through an article the date of the Second Congress.
This article is divided into three points, where the first two points are about the League decision for the development of the Congress and the setting of the date. Meanwhile, in point 3, it is written textually: “To invite the various organizations and political parties of the diaspora in the USA, as a sign of pointing out the facts of their programs, for the daily realization of almost two million Albanians, arbitrarily left under Yugoslavia , for achieving – at least – the establishment of a Socialist Republic of Kosovo in the SFRY, within the borders of which Republic, to summarize all Albanian lands and populations today twice arbitrarily occupied and in flagrant contradiction with the Resolution of the First Conference of the National Council Liberator for Kosovo and the Dukagjini Plain on 31 December 1943 and 1 and 2 January 1944 “. (‘Dielli’ 3, November 1971). Memorie.al
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