By Idriz Lamaj
From the works of the apostles of ethnic Albania
In light of his own letters and other diaspora revelations
Memorie.al / Maybe 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 Nikoll 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
Xhafer Deva’s relations with the ‘Independent National Bloc’ and their parachute missions in Albania and Kosovo
Two good fountain pens with ink bottles. A wristwatch for Pjeter Gjoci – his first watch is broken. Fifteen water gourds. Homeless military hat, Bustina type. Two shearing machines – two pairs of scissors and complete arms. A thousand sheets of tobacco cigarettes. Shaving razors. “Money – everything here is expensive.”
No. 1304 19/6/50. “I went back to the base of Gjoni’s group. I went to the village Thirret near Kruja. From there I sent a person with letters to Elbasan. If the letters fall into the hands of my group friends, they will certainly be informed about the situation time”.
– Alushi Nr. 33 undated. “For Count Carobio. Please advise radio telegraphists to be conscientious in broadcasting. If you were not given names, I wish we had Mr. “Hell on the airwaves.” – Alushi 78
No. 424 time 11:25 19/6/60. “We are dictated by enemy forces. We predict danger. We are forced to leave the Kurbin area. We march to Kthella. “We may not be able to communicate regularly, but you stay tuned every day at six – eight and twelve.”
No. 429 undated. “These days in the village of Thirre i Fandit, the dangerous spy Nue Ndrec Loka was killed by the former security captain Llesh Gjet Karaçi”.
No. 5 19/6/50. “We are not able to assign the place of landing, neither for people nor for material, before the twenty-fifth of June. We are maneuvering in-between the enemy forces.”
– Alushi Information no. 434 – 0905 21/6/50. “In the Mamurras locality, the mayor is Ismail Bajrami. The secretary is Muharrem Hajdari. The security commander is Nevruz Belli from Pogradec. The security forces have gone to Milot. The police force, fifteen people, is commanded by Captain Hasan Xhetani from Mati.”
Information no. 434 22/6/50. “In the center of the sub-prefecture of Kruja, there is an Executive Committee. The chairman of the Committee is Muharrem Emiri from Kruja. The secretary is Qamil Guni from Kruja, the former Captain of the Army in the time of Italy. The Chief of Security is Lieutenant Ragip Reça from Gjinokastra Political Security Commissioner is Ali Çunaj from Vlona Chairman of the Party Committee is Shaban Hasa from Kruja, with the rank of Security Lieutenant the police force in the center is fifty people Commanded by a lieutenant the permanent Security Force is thirty people”.
Information no. 435 22/6/50. “In the locality of Ura e Zeza, Tare Raja is the mayor. Secretary, Xhemal Bami. For the Security forces as in Milot and Mamurraz, they are commanded by Haki Toska, with the rank of aspirant. Police Force, fifteen people. It is commanded by a captain.
No. 436 23/6/50. “People have to be thrown into the woods along the Propi Valley. Map Perlati, zero-seven zero-eight forty-one and forty-three. In this area, we have another fire in the shape of a triangle; you have a square down in the stream. Nearly five hundred meters, the airline west of the quota two hundred and six. ”
No. 8 23/6/50. “We are out of danger. To escape the maneuvers of the enemy, we had to disperse our forces in small squads, so now we are only six in the forest at the quota Three hundred and eighty. Map Perlati, zero – five – zero – six – forty-two – forty three”.
No. 441 23/6/50. “The instructions continue. Instruct people in case any remains on any tall oak, do not make the mistake of dismantling the parachute yourself, because it can be killed or injured. Let them wait for someone to come to their aid from their paratroopers, or from us. “If anyone is separated from their friends, let them look for a place to stay and wait as close as possible to the landing area, until one of us finds it through our signs and slogan.”
No. 448 24/6 / missing year. “We confirm six people and five packages. The fires will be four, as we have described to you only one and three in the shape of a triangle. Slogans Shkodra-Skopje. Throwing time, twenty-two today Sunday. Good time. Night without darkness, clear sky. “During the day the sky almost killed them and it rained.”
No. 444 24/6/50. “We confirm the day and time. Do not doubt the Kota of the area. Keep the explanations we have given.”
No. 446 gr. 95 24/6/50. “Twelve other people have recently escaped to Fand, who are staying in the mountains. Only three of them are armed. They are urgently asking for weapons from us. Many others have been arrested and imprisoned in Kukës. All of these are people who they supported our mission in the beginning and they were openly compromised, they gave us an ultimatum, they told us to arm them, or let them cross into Yugoslavia, we think it is not good for these people to be sacrificed by us, to be left with your hands in your pockets today. Please reply as soon as possible”
– Gjoni No. 9 24/6/50. “Please fulfill this wish. Send me with the Kosovar Group, Radio Komplet. A binoculars of the brand ‘Hensoldt / W Etslar’ six by thirty, or Zais. Binoculars should be followed as a personal gift, by Count Carobio. Two binoculars that “I had them, they broke down, you cannot see anything with them. Send me another pair of rubber basketball shoes. I was left barefoot, and I cannot travel to Elbasan. Number forty-two”.
– Alushi. Message received no. 499 28/6/1950 “We have eliminated the only fire. We will have only the triangle of fires. Follow the direction from Lika – Kubce – Poput – Krahe – Lumi Mat one hundred and twenty-seven. So do the landing. The second dumping of the material should be done after you have flown over Fushë Laje, to make a few laps on this field. Do not make the mistake of doing too many laps over the landing area. The noise of the plane can be heard and to be dictated”.
– Alushi Nik no. 771 q. 116 – urgent. “The Party Council. Some members of the Puka group, tired of suffering for six years, have expressed their opinion to flee to Yugoslavia, despite my best efforts, to persuade them not to do so. Only “An assurance from us, where you show that the international situation is ripe, and that foresees the release of Albania within six months, can stop their decision. For this issue, please answer clearly, without gloves and with great urgency.”
No. 90. For John-Nik-Pal 4/12/50. “Welcome. I remember you all with my honors. Thank you for what you have done for me and I hug and greet you all with all my heart.”
– Alushi, Pjeter Gjoci Nr. 57 26/4/1951. “In Northern Albania, the ‘National League of the Mountains’ has been reformed, from which a Central Committee emerged, for the liberation of the homeland. It represents the will of the people. In February, the official announcement was made and today is known as the highest nationalist authority in Albania.
Gjoni and Alushi had contact with the chairman, vice-chairman and secretary of the Committee and agreed to present the resolution and memorandum to the allies through the ‘Independent National Bloc’. I will communicate the names of the people when Gjoni and Alushi return. The persons of the Committee are ten intellectuals, all of them with political credit to the people and suffering for nationalism “.
Nik no. 45 2/7/1951. “It is more than certain that the Mirdita committee will go beyond the border, the resistance of the Mountains will end everywhere. It is also understandable that in this case, the Yugoslav authorities will show some interest, day by day the reason for our late departure, together with it. The assumptions can be many and all to our disadvantage, when we go out they can greatly harm us in our personal freedom.
We consider it reasonable that on the fifteenth of July, we join the Mirdita group. The wait for Paul’s meeting with the border authorities cannot be worth it, more than we know about Yugoslavia’s political attitude towards Albania. Please reply us urgently telg no. “Twenty-two, twenty-five, twenty-one, thirty-one and forty-one, after preparing for our exit to Yugoslavia requires time and care.”
Nik no. 13/7/51. “Nue Melyshi and Pjeter Gjoci, are in charge of gathering all the fugitives from Mirdita. Their arrival at the Nik base, scheduled for the eighth. The same day they crossed the Drini to secure the area from the Nik police) “All the representatives of Mirdita and Kruja came to the base. Pashk Suma, Mark Melyshi, Luk Perzefi, Nue Gjergj Hasani, Nue Gjok Lala, Gjin Kros Buna. To ensure the informative show, we consider it reasonable to send a part of the group to their area. Please prepare the Radio package, which should not be delayed. “We are waiting for the answer tomorrow.”
Question: When one looks at this material carefully, one’s blood rises. Were you aware that these missions would end in loss and disaster, bloodshed, murder, horrific persecution, and internment in concentration camps? As one of their strategists and inspirers, what do you care about these missions today that you are 87 years old?
Answer: I never call these missions a loss or a disaster. On the contrary, through them, the anti-communist war has been kept alive and the ideal blood has been kneaded for a free nationalist Albania. If it were that time today, even today at my age, I would leave it as a trust, for someone to do the same action.
The only concern I had, not only me but also my friends with whom we have inspired and prepared (as you say) this activity, as prof. Koliqi, z. Deva, z. Verlaci, my father, John Mark John and our true friends, the Admiral of the Italian Navy, Talarigo, Count Carobio and the two Americans, Roger and Hart, we had the only concern, that we had no way to withdraw our forces from the ground. The opportunity was to send them, but not to attract them. Those who escaped, with the exception of one, were forced to cross into Yugoslav territory.
After their transfer to Yugoslavia, they were no longer in our hands, but in the hands of the Yugoslav communists, who used them for their own interests, which were completely against our national interests. For this reason, we kept our strategy in the most secret way, which was also the strategy of two friendly western countries.
Our freedom fighters are trained in special Italian-American military camps, but they have almost no knowledge of military officers, pilots or material resources. At the last moment we ordered the radio-radio to be destroyed and not to fall into the hands of the Yugoslavs, and the truth is that it happened, the radio was destroyed in the country and its pieces were never found.
This has been a mission of mutual mutual interest, between those who strived for the realization of a free ethnic Albania and friendly countries, Italy and the United States. Both sides were aware that our common interests were in complete contradiction with the Yugoslav interests in Albania. Unfortunately, I can only call it the obligation of our fighters to leave for Yugoslavia. Here I must emphasize another factor – Greece. We have kept the mission of our action groups strictly secret even from the Greeks. When our people came out to Greece, you know how they were treated. Some of them were immediately isolated and some managed to be recruited for action in Albania, of course under the umbrella of the National Committee “Free Albania”.
You know what tricks the Greeks did to Mr. Xhafer Deva, when his paratroopers pursued by the Yugoslav and Albanian communist forces, blew up the border and entered Greece. You should talk about this, after you have known Mr. well. Deva and now knows in detail all his activity to rely on his own correspondence. For ‘Blloku’, for my friends of those days, who no longer live, and for me, the misfortune has been and is the influence of Serbian and Greek politics in Albania.
Xhafer Deva was fully aware of all the strategic plans and parachuting exercises of the ‘Bloc’, from February 15, 1949, until their completion, the beginning of 1953. During those years Deva, lived a life deeply engaged in the preparation of strategy of American interests in Albania and Kosovo. His main residence base was Bari, the military training camp.
He was involved in recruiting and training paratroopers who were sent to the field. Provides support to influential people in Northern Albania, made frequent trips to refugee camps in Italy and Greece. He made frequent trips and met various personalities, Turkish, Italian, Austrian, German and American.
Encourages in all fields’ political and military activity against the communist systems in Yugoslavia and Albania. Xhafer Deva conducted this kind of campaign in a perfect way, in complete silence, without pomp, behind closed doors. The Albanian political diaspora did not know much about Deva’s activity at that time. Memorie.al
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