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 dealt 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
Let us see briefly who Xhafer Deva was in the field of political organization, and later of the military one. Talking to Captain Nue Gjomarkaj, about the entry of Xhafer Deva’s parachute groups in Kosovo, realized with joint efforts between the ‘Independent National Bloc’ and the ‘Kosovo Group’, he said: “With the arrival of Xhafer Deva in Rome at the beginning of in 1948, a sincere and serious cooperation began not only had they made everything available to him, but they saw him as one of the key figures in the co-operation of drafting political and military strategy.
Xhafer Deva, with the full support of the ‘Bloc’, started working as he managed to be considered one of the most powerful political personalities in the diaspora. In cooperation with us, he recruited freedom fighters to send parachute missions to Kosovo. The ‘Independent National Bloc’, which had in its heart the issue of Kosovo and the realization of ethnic Albania, emphasized in the first article of its Statute, that it could not give it up as many others removed or remained only declarative. In preparing the strategy for launching Kosovar paratroopers, we jointly decided that the landing of the Deva group led by Captain Riza Ali Osmani, known by the nickname “Oscar”, would take place in Mirdita, the only province that provided security with reception and escort to Malsi of Gjakova – Tropoja, to enter Kosovo”.
Xhafer Deva’s political attitude towards the Albanian issue in general and that of Kosovo in particular, is clearly expressed in this letter he sends to Tahir Zajmi, to be distributed to other Kosovar comrades.
I love Tahir! From the frequent trips I have had recently, I have not had the opportunity to write to you, but I have not received letters from you either. Tashi again on the trip to Egypt and maybe to Turkey – I need to write to you and other friends, to clarify the situation regarding the recruitment that the Committee “Free Albania” has begun to do in Greece and Turkey. I call it my duty to explain with your side, even though Mr. Mentor Çoku, I was charged with making trips and informing Kosovars about the current situation and my views, so that I could then be given the opportunity for each of the Kosovars to act as they see fit.
With all that I will explain to you and the details that may have been given to you in connection with the events and recruitments in question, there is a need for you to have my messages in writing from me as well. As you know, our efforts so far to be able to enter our Albanian family as a group in itself, conscious and factual that we do not pretend to directly represent the interests of Albania, but only seek the realization of our wishes based on our program that is summarized with very few words and it should have become an integral part of Albania, not that they have not found the slightest meaning in the political groups that are represented today in the Committee “Free Albania”, but they have also found their opposition, or better yet of those who have accepted without the slightest objection the orders of foreigners, that the ‘Kosovo Group’ is an irredentist group and should legally be considered a Yugoslav group.
As a confirmation of our efforts, the ‘Alexandria Protocol’ serves best and as a confirmation of the resistance of the members of the Committee “Free Albania” towards the problem of Kosovo, the statement of the late Mit’hat Frashëri, regarding the issue of Kosovo and the acceptance of Mr. Sait Kryeziu in this Committee, not as a Kosovar, but as a representative of the Albanian resistance, without consulting our group. The same Committee, “Free Albania”, has taken the decision to recruit now “irredent” Kosovars and each party represented in this Committee, leads its delegates in Greece and Turkey – where most Kosovars, barely eat a morsel of bread – to recruit them.
The conclusion is that the Kosovo Albanian is Albanian only when they need him (to increase the number of members of a party and advertise with him that he represents the majority), but he is Yugoslav from a legal point of view and does not deserve to be represented together with the Albanian brothers. Even some of us, better said by Kosovars, who then claim all the people of Kosovo in their pocket, such as: Rexhep Mitrovica, Adem Selimi, Ibrahim Kelmendi, on behalf of ‘Balli’, and Hysen Tërpeza with friends , on account of ‘Legality’ have accepted – their reasons, I cannot understand until now – to make propaganda among Kosovars, to register in the ranks of one party or another, to argue that only in this In this way, they can perform their duty to the homeland, completely forgetting that until we are represented where we should be, as a group in itself, in international circles, the occupation of Kosovo is not heard and remains suffocated only among us Albanians.
I foresee the same deeds of some and our very difficult position in the political view of Kosovo Albanians – despite the accusations that have been made and continue to be made against me, by these people, you also describe me as a person who does not accept advice and I am a dictator – I have advised everyone, where I could, and I have tried at all costs to preserve our unity and I have constantly said that by no means should we merge within the political parties of 1913 Albania. Now more than ever I insist on this point, for the sole reason that we Kosovars only unite and completely independent of the political parties of Albania, we can serve with benefit and dignity and remain faithful to the feelings of the entire Albanian population of Kosovo.
In order to be useful and not to lose our rights, to accept the fact of the development of events for which we cannot be responsible, I had made some agreement with the only Kosovar in the Committee “Free Albania”, Mr. . Sait Kryeziu, who had promised us that within the Committee, he would perform his duty to Kosovo. We kept our commitment not to fight them. It is now clear that even Mr. Kryeziu, either became a victim of the intrigues of his comrades in the Committee, or no one plows for him. We all know that Mr. Sait Beu, became a member of the Committee at the behest of the British and not with the normal support of any party group or elected by his Committee comrades. Regarding the recruitment of Kosovars in the political parties of Albania, whether the supporters of Sait Bey, Hysen Terpeza or Adem Gllavica, you, my friends, must judge for you to what extent we have reached. You will ask me how you advise.
I am answering you with the utmost sincerity. Until they submit to the Lord of the Committee an agreement where our interests find a deserved respect, in the dacha through the representation of Mr. Seid Kryeziu, in the dachshund with the intransigent side at this point that is our side, I say that no Kosovar should register for recruitment. With all this – as always – I have a duty to say my opinion and every Kosovar, after hearing this opinion, let them act as they see fit; but I say bluntly, the current position of Rexhep Mitrovica, Adem Gllavica and Hysen Terpeza, does not serve our issue in emigration and our collective interests in the defense of Kosovo. I wish you well and we ask you all to accept Mr. Mentor Çoku, as he deserves, as a faithful member of our principles both in the past and today – cordial greetings, Xhafer Deva Rome, August 31, 1950.
Deva’s political pressures to introduce the Kosovo issue as a separate entity within the “Free Albania” Committee force Mr. Hasan Dosti, the chairman of the Committee, to personally request a meeting with Deva and to try, within all the political possibilities of the Committee, for the issue to be resolved without becoming too sensational. In a letter from Deva sent to Sait Kryeziu, we read:
Honest Sait Bey. I have the honor to submit the following: Mr. Hasan Dosti, Chairman of the Committee “Free Albania”, honored me with his visit that you made me yesterday at 18 o’clock in my apartment ‘Albergo Londra’, after he had expressed his desire through Mr. Mentor Çoku, for a conversation with me. In the political conversation that Mr. Dosti in the presence of Mr. Çoku, expressed the need for a close cooperation between Kosovo Albanians in emigration, which would have been to the benefit of the Kosovo issue.
Mr. Hasan Dosti, on this occasion and confidentially expressed his regret that despite all his efforts, the League of Prizren, due to the Balkan political situation pursued by Western countries, has no possibility to be represented as a separate organization within the structures of Committee. Tue presents all my thanks as well as to all Kosovars in emigration, for his interest and efforts on the issue of Kosovo Albanian, I asked him to discuss everything directly with your master as a member of the Committee and chairman of the Party of Farmers and Peasants, but also as a Kosovar. You once again pointed out the importance of the moment, please have the kindness to be interested in the President to consider in the most serious way all the suggestions of Mr. Hasan Dosti. Since I personally will not be in Rome between November 24 and December 5, I charge Mr. Mentor Çoku, to continue the talks with you. When I return to Rome we will talk together. “Sincerely, Xhafer Deva, Rome, November 15, 1950.
Xhafer Deva’s letter, Kryeziu responds with deep gratitude for the “efforts they made to strengthen my position within the Committee”, assuring that: “Kosovo will protect the interests in each case and will put it before any priority other: “” (From the letter of Mr. S. Kryeziu sent to Deva on November 18, 1950). Deva’s correspondence shows that he acts in three parallel directions:
- Recruits Kosovars for parachute missions in Kosovo, making plans for subsequent mass landings in Tropoja.
- It prepares the ground for convincing the Americans that military operations should not be isolated only in Albania but also make plans for the outbreak of war in Yugoslavia, breaking the border between Albania and Kosovo.
- In the absence of a sufficient Kosovar force to break the border, he secures the support of the Captain of Mirdita, Gjon Marka Gjoni, who promises to bring his forces under the command of Xhafer Deva and secures the full support of the colonel. Muharrem Bajraktarit. Xhafer Deva realizes all three plans thanks to his persistent attitude. Deva’s contacts with Muharrem Bajraktar seem to be frequent, although in his correspondence files there are only three letters from Mr. Bajraktari.
In one of them he writes:
“Dear Mr. Deva. Captain John Mark Mark John, in the letter he sends me, notes that Mr. Juej has returned to Rome and announces that you have thoroughly explained to him what we talked about the friendship that exists between me and His Lord, about this Thank you very much, I was interested in the issue we talked about, but for now it is negative, they gave me hope that later they will study your plan. “Hopes are more alive, our return to the homeland is foreseen. This time with that, I offer you cordial greetings, your friend Muharrem Bajrkatari”. Memorie.al
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