By Hysen Selmani
Memorie.al/ European and American press have often addressed the subject of the memories of the Albanian King, Zogu i-r, which he wrote and dictated during his exile from Albania. Considering the notes and syntheses that his assistant, Colonel Hysen Selmani, compiled over the years in his service, – always, next to the King of the Albanians, both at home and in exile, these notes, more or less with parts of detached, without strictly following the usual criteria of memoirs, and without having the definite, final form of an edition, they are prepared by Hysen Selmani himself, who has dedicated most of his life, as in Albania, as well as during the exile, serving the First Zog, the King of the Albanians.
Continues from last issue
Istanbul, March 20, 1946
Here, Colonel Husein Selmani writes a letter in response to Mit’hat Frashëri, which he sent with the help of Prof. Peter Andonit:
“The honorable Mit’hat Bey. More than the sympathy I had for you and still have, today the high interest of the Fatherland, pushed me to address you this letter, to find out your Lordship’s valuable thoughts.
After all, the situation created now in Albania has been foreseen for a long time. I have often sent you letters. And, especially in September 1944, on the side of the British Missionaries, as well as on the side of Gafur Dibra, about which I have not had the chance to find out if they were handed over to them. But the others were taken. If you received those letters, then you understood very well the situation we were in, as well as our thoughts.
We know very well that: the general unfortunate situation for us brought our Motherland to its present state. But let’s hope and think that the political war has not yet ended, but we are facing many events and changes. Where we are given great hopes, if we love and know how to act brotherly and be united and strong, for the sole interest of the Motherland.
But, as you know, such a thing certainly requires a good and sincere preparation and organization, in the common will. Putting aside the past and sticking to the interests that our traditions impose on us, to save the Motherland from destructive anarchy, our race is disappearing. Considering the events developed in Albania, by different parties, during the past 4 years, we should learn from their conclusion.
Based on patriotism and honesty, as well as on the good will of your Lordship and every Albanian who has faith in you, that you stay away from divisions and close to unity for the interest of Albania, so today is the time to open your chest, in front of all Albanians. Not taking into account political trends, not taking into account the past, but only fraternal unity, to save our country from today’s horror.
We also think the same that now is the time to give up any differences and past political opinions. To unite and be a strong pillar, full of will and harmony, so that we can save the country an hour ago, with complete independence and integrity, as well as to gain the respect of the western democratic world, which is the protector of Good luck to the states?
As far as I have submitted to you and what I am submitting I am authorized, therefore I would be pleased to receive a positive response from your Lordship. Also, as it behooves you this time, please accept my warmest regards.
His Lordship Mit’hat Frashëri
Istanbul, April 2, 1946
For this day is Mit’hat Bey’s well-known answer to the adjutant. That the latter has brought it as it is:
Dear Mr. Colonel, Yesterday I received your letter dated March 20, 1946 and I read it with great interest. A week ago, Mr. Hamza Drini, came and told me about your letter and we talked for almost two hours with him. I told Lord Peter the details of this conversation in a letter, which I ordered him to read.
It is true that there have been three parties in Albania: 1-The Nationalist Party, i.e. “National Front”; 2-Communist Party, i.e., directly under the command of Russia and 3-Zogist Party, under the leadership of Mr. Abbas Kupi. Today, there is also a fourth party, which calls itself independent, but in reality, all of them are among those who prepared and cheered the arrival of Italy in Albania.
Since 1942, until today, I have always been in contact and in talks with Mr. Bazin and I have proposed to him in every meeting that we had with him, that he should also have a committee of his party. With which committee, our party could also talk.
These proposals have been made perhaps 20 times, both in Albania and the last time in the “Santa Fara” camp near Bari. But, since the beginning of 1943 and unfortunately until today, we have not reached any practical results. Although, Mr. Bazi, with whom I can say that I have a true friendship, has always made promises to me.
Today, the Zogista, and we, are with one camp, but they have occupied a floor and take care not to have friendly relations with us in any way. They did not want to participate in the National Anthem of the Flag, nor the patriotic songs. I, personally, am still very good with the Mufti, Sali and Efendi, and every time I have seen, I have spoken to advise his friends, not to keep us cold. But, unfortunately, I see that even Sali Efendi cannot dominate the current that some of his partisans have taken.
I also want to make this clear to you that the Zogist party is not really a party at all. There are people like Jak Koçi, Zef Serreqi, Xhemil Dino, and others, who today say that they are also zogista. Unlike when the communists were in Albania, they looked down on the work or, when they were interested, they said that we are zogista.
With these words, I want to confess that; I haven’t lacked the will to reach out, nor patience, and I won’t. Only, I am very sorry, that in this time of danger, it cannot find a will of fraternity, in a group of people who, together with us, must feel their responsibility towards the Motherland and the duty that belongs to them, to unite against the great danger in which we find ourselves.
Please accept my heartfelt prayers
Reggio Emilio, March 30, 1946
Mithat Frashëri, d.v.
The honorable colonel
Husein Selman, Kunt Palace, Ayas Pasa.
Istanbul April 15, 1946
Colonel Husein Selmani responds to the letter sent by Mit’hat Frashëri. The written letter is this:
“The honorable Mit’hat Bey.
I have your Lordship’s letter. At the same time, I also read what you sent to Petër Andoni. They are also receiving many letters from others in the camps, where they do not fail to show their desire and good will for unity and brotherhood.
When the truth is like this and the national interest also imposes it on anyone who must obey this holy principle, then what is the real reason for not approaching coldness?! May the extremist mentality continue to exist, of domination in the party?
Having full faith in the virtues that characterize your Lord, I do not want to doubt that in today’s horrified state of Albania, you will not allow such harmful mentalities to exist, when every patriot, eager for unity and common brotherhood . Let each group keep their political tendencies to themselves when the time comes.
Today, it seems to us that we are ahead of time, to put aside the past and party propaganda. But you yourself, like Mit’hat Frashëri, advise everyone?! As it suits you, and as the patriotic will feeds you in your character. So call for unity for the sake of Albania! Let’s all unite around the legal institute, as the national interest and world political circumstances want and in conformity, with the true desire of the people, inside and outside Albania.
Among the explanations you are giving me, about the parties created in Albania, one thing really surprised me: The note about the Zogist party. Which in reality, was not a party and that Seregjet, Dino and Jak Koçët, were Zogista. Let me tell you that these thoughts are not worthy, especially in these critical and dangerous moments that we are in. These, apart from the ramifications of the bull, have no other use.
Please believe me that the thoughts presented above are imposed on us by today’s tragic situation and nothing else.
Accept, honorable Mit’hat Bey, my cordial greetings.
His Excellency Mit’hat Frashërit, Chairman of the National Front
Regio Emilio Refugee Camp, Italy:
Istanbul 16 – April – 1946
Istanbul May 6, 1946
His Majesty, King Zog, sends a letter to Colonel Hussein Selman ordering him to the Royal Albanian Legation in Istanbul:
I love you, Colonel.
I received all the reports you sent me and I was glad you are well. We all arrived safely, but we were not installed properly, that’s why I’m not giving you any more instructions, because I have to write to you, so that you can come here. We have many things to talk about, both for the people inside and for those in the camps. When you come here we talk.
I wish your health and send you my heartfelt thanks.
Cairo – May 2 – 1946
THE FIRST ZOG
Today’s situation in Albania is a horror, with widespread torture and massacres among the people. And there is no more room left for a stay in nobody’s mountains. Quite big matches have been played, but everywhere there, they are in favor of the National Liberator. In the people, the nationalists can no longer find refuge, and are always retreating, in Greece and Yugoslavia.
There is only one hope left here, which is that the Anglo-Americans will be angered by communism, which is carrying out great massacres in Greece and will completely destroy the country. The reason is that the British army could not defeat Gramos and the communists have their nurseries all over the villages of Greece.
And it is clearly seen that it is supplied by the Soviet Union with the help of Bulgaria, Yugoslavia and Albania. This is done with any kind of war material and other food. They don’t lack anything and General Markos has his Quartermaster in Gramoz.
Today, every action in Albania is almost a crime, which brings no benefit, only the destruction of the good people. This energy is saved, when time will allow. It’s just that an organization on immigration is missing, which is in great difficulty, in every way, food, housing, clothing, medicine and others.
And a large part, which also has their families with them, they are even more miserable. His Majesty, King Zog, is endeavoring with the United States of America and Great Britain, to make some sort of arrangement. Likewise, King Farouk is doing his best to regulate them and is preparing a memorandum to attract all emigration to the Arab States, if there is an opportunity, to ensure their livelihood and organization. But a big budget is missing.
Egypt Cairo, May 12, 1946
His Majesty, King Zog I, addressed this message to all Albanian compatriots at home and abroad, the adjutant recalls:
THE ROYAL MESSAGE
Albanian brother and sister:
It has been 34 years since our beloved Motherland gained its independence. But it’s been 7 years since this Independence has remained a dry word that saddens the hearts of all true Albanians.
Living proof is the patriots, who are suffering in exile and in nations, outside and inside the Motherland. But, even in the prisons, there are thousands of innocent people, not for anything else, but for the freedom of the country and our people.
Only, we should never despair. Because the fire of this love and faith, its roots have never been extinguished, in our hearts. This is done for a revival, as soon as possible, of our Albania, independent, peaceful and happy, so that all Albanians can enjoy it, and only Albanians are free and united, in the sacred flame of a beautiful national brotherhood, so that pure and unsullied life. Just as you are feeling and showing it today, you yourself, right there in the middle of all those miseries.
Long live the Eagle
Cairo May 12, 1946 ZOG I
King Zog, makes all efforts near the United States of America and Great Britain, to ensure the Albanian emigration, which is located in the camps, such as; in Italy, Austria and Greece. They are in a very difficult situation and almost like prisoners of war, they stay in camps, continues the adjutant.
King Zog’s message to you countrymen raised your morale, and there they all see the untrodden steps of King Zog, who is marching without measure, towards the Anglo-American Allies, to best secure nationalist emigrants in the camps, supplying them with all the necessities. This, once again, increased your love for their savior Leader, King Zog.
They declare: Let us all be inspired by the words of our King! We are completely obedient to the orders, and we will always be ready, with any sacrifice, to manfully fulfill the instructions of our great Leader, the First Zog, and the King of the Albanians.
All Albanians, we will unite in an ideal in a desire of patriotic collaboration, to be always ready, under the orders of our beloved King, says his adjutant.
Meanwhile in Greece, it is a situation so complicated that it cannot be explained. The Greek people, there are many different nations, such as Macedonians and others, and mostly the Albanians, who are loyal to the Greek government, and mostly they are in the Navy.
Communism in Greece with E.A.M.I., is quite strong. However, the British army is fighting quite well with the most modern means of tanks and aviation. In the end, they could not pry them from Gramosi. They are also installed in other countries, so they are not dictated that the different Greek population is more communists, and they cannot be dictated to. Often, they are dictated even inside Athens and do sabotage of all kinds. And, if it had not been for the British army, Greece would have completely fallen into the hands of communism and, as in Albania, the Cominform Government had been formed there.
In these days, the British Prime Minister, Winston Churchill, went to Athens, Greece, and there he had a wide discussion with the Greek Government; on the elections that would be held and at the same time, he told you that within a short time, this communist anarchy should disappear and stabilize peace in all Greek villages. And if necessary, we send you even more air force and soldiers.
The Prime Minister of Great Britain, Winston Churchill, at the end of the talks, went out on the balcony of the British Embassy in Athens and addressed the Greek people with a speech full of praise. But, unfortunately, before finishing the discourse, they shot him with machine guns, but he did not receive any wounds, and immediately went inside. The speech remained unfinished, of course these were the communists, who shot at Churchill, where they wanted to kill him, but God saved him, and this was a serious protest, against the Prime Minister, a friend and ally of Greece, writes the adjutant.
The British Prime Minister, Mr. Winston Churchill stayed three days in Greece. Where he visited many places destroyed and burned by the communists. That a large part of the population had retreated to Athens, because they had nothing to live with. It is understood that Churchill went and visited only those places where there were no communist dangers, and it is understood that he could not go to Gramoz, the districts of Kostur and the forests of Thessaloniki. They were still under communist domination, so it was impossible to pass.
The stay of Prime Minister Churchill, about three days in Greece, had no result. He only made the communists’ jerk even more ferocious. But, of course, there Churchill saw that a great power is needed to put an end, once and for all, to Greek communism. But, it is one thing that, the Greek border; “from Edrene to Butrint Adriatic”, it was in the hands of the communists, that they were sheltered there, they were supplied there. Whenever they entered, they massacred and retreated, like in Albania, Yugoslavia, and Bulgaria. And they did not let go of Mount Gramos in any way. There was the General Headquarters of E.A.M.I., fortified with modern weapons.
From this it seemed that there was a possibility that one day, both the British and the Americans would be angry. If communism is not removed from Albania, Greece will never be free from communism. It is understood that they are supplied from Albania.
Istanbul, September 12, 1946
His Majesty, King Zog, sends a letter to Colonel Hussein Salman, with which he urgently summons him to appear in Cairo, Egypt. Giving some more instructions on this occasion:
The order is this:
Colonel Husein Selman, at the Albanian Royal Legation in Istanbul:
Dear Colonel, I am:
I have all your reports, and also from other Albanians, who are all over the nation.
For some important talks, such as these and the union, you should appear here as soon as possible. You have your visa ready, don’t waste any time, you are leaving here, as soon as possible.
When you depart, it would be very necessary, if you have the opportunity, to stop for a few hours in Athens. Where will you meet with the Turkish Ambassador, His Excellency, Rrechan Estrefi? You will have opportunities there, despite the Greek situation to some extent. I have written to the Turkish ambassador and he is waiting for you to inform him of your achievement. Then you will talk about everything.
Tell me about the departure by telegraph. I send you my heartfelt apologies. Memorie.al
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