Memorie.al publishes the unknown story of the family of Preng Gjonmarkaj, originally from Oroshi of Mirdita and derived from the royal door of Captain Gjon Markagjoni, who during the years of the Zog Monarchy, served as soldiers in the Gendarmerie weapon. The rare and painful testimony of Filip Gjonmarkaj, the son of Prenga, who tells the tragic story of his father, uncle and grandfather, Deda, since he was sentenced to 101 years in prison in the trial in the city of Shkodra with him the son, Mark, who was sentenced to death, asked the trial panel to change the sentence with his son, if possible, so that his life would be forgiven as a young man, and he himself would be sentenced to death. The court took his request into account and Markut was pardoned and later died in Shkodra prison, while Deda was hanged two years later for the murder of Bardhok Biba, where 14 innocent Mirdita were executed. The other son, Prenga, a former deputy interior minister during the occupation and custodial period in Shkodra, who had been released from prison by many communists, spent 30 years in the prisons of Enver Hoxha’s communist regime.
“With the coming to power of the communists, our towers in Orosh of Mirdita were burned by them, while my father, Major Preng Gjonmarkaj, who during the war had held the position of Deputy Minister of Interior and Questor in Shkodra, as well as many other anti-communists fled and climbed the mountain. After escaping for some time with his cousin Mark Gjonmarkaj, who loved him more than his brothers, in 1945, he was arrested in the city of Shkodra and sentenced to death. At the time the father was convicted, even our grandfather Deda, who had been a military man in the Monarchy with the rank of captain, had fled to the mountains with his other son, Mark. His grandfather, Deda, returned home after an amnesty granted at the time by the communist government of Tirana, but he was arrested again in August 1949, on the occasion of the murder of Bardhok Biba, and was the first to be hanged on a rope. 14 people who were executed in retaliation for his murder. Prior to the hanging, his grandfather, Deda, demanded that at least his son, Mark, be pardoned and sentenced to death, which was taken into account, and that Mark died in the Shkodra prison where he had been sentenced to death. 101 years. The man who speaks and testifies for the first time for Memorie.al, is Filip Gjonmarkaj, a former officer with the rank of captain in the Republic Guard after the ’90s, who tells the whole tragic story of his family flowing through the door. the famous Gjonmarkaj of Mirdita, where her suckers were executed, imprisoned, or deported for 45 years by the communist regime of Enver Hoxha.
Gjonmarkaj family, from the door of Kapidan
Filip’s father, Preng Gjonmarkaj, is from the village of Orosh in Mirdita, where the family of the most famous in Albania originates from. The family of Preng Gjonmarkaj, derives from the same trunk of the famous family of the Captain of Mirdita, Gjon Markagjon, who is otherwise known as the Prince of Mirdita. The Gonmarkaj door of Mirdita, which is considered one of the first gates of Albania, has been composed of three branches: Lleshi i Zi, Preng Pasha and Preng Markola. Preng Pasha, or Preng Bib Doda, who held the post of Minister of World Affairs in the Government of Ismail Qemali, left no heirs after his death, and that branch of the Gjonmarkaj tribe disappeared altogether. The family of Philip’s father, Preng Gjonmarkaj, has its origins and derives from the trunk of the family of Preng Markola, from which the door of the Prince of Mirdita, Gjon Marka Gjoni, came. The first of this house, Preng Markola, was very well known as one of the military leaders of that family, who led his bajrak and the Mirditors in the wars against the Ottoman invaders. For this, he was mentioned by Padre Gjergj Fishta, in his major work “Lahuta e Malcisë”, where, among other things, it is said: “The brave have been lined up for one Preng Markola has preceded Gjonmarkaj and belongs to Albania has no older doors / doors ”. The old lands and foundations of the tower of the family of Preng Gjonmarku and his ancestors were in the village of Ndërshen, very close to Orosh, where the mansions of their cousin, the Captain of Mirdita, Gjon Marka Gjoni, were located.
Deda and Prenga, soldiers of the Monarchy
Preng Gjonmarkaj was born in April 1913 in the village of Ndërshen in Orosh, Mirdita and was the first child of two sons and a daughter (Markun e Marten) who had Dedë Gjonmarkaj, who at that time served as a soldier in the government of Vlora. was headed by Ismail Qemali. Dedë Gjonmarkaj continued his military career even during the years of the Zog Monarchy, serving as a soldier in the Gendarmerie weapon with the rank of major, in the districts of Gjirokastra, Kukës and Mirdita. Deda’s father, Preng Gjonmarkaj, was also a military man with the rank of major, and for many years he served as inspector of the Royal Court in the Shkodra Region. While Deda’s son, Preng Gjonmarkaj, the youngest, received his first lessons at the Orosh Dormitory, which had then opened the door of the Captain of Mirdita, Gjon Markagjon, where he taught for five years as an external student. At the time when Prenga was studying near that dormitory and had very good results in lessons, his father, Deda, wanted to send him to a military school, so that he could follow the family tradition of their home and become an officer. . Regarding the past of his father’s military career, Filip Gjonmarkaj testifies: “After finishing the unique school in the Orosh Dormitory in 1929, my father Preng Gjonmarkaj was sent to attend a military course for the Gendarmerie weapon, which was opened at that time by King Zog and under the care of Italian instructors, in Plepat of Durrës. Since his father completed that course with very good results, he was promoted to officer with the rank of lieutenant and was appointed commander of the Gendarmerie Post in Lis i Matit, where he served until 1932. From 1932 to In 1939, his father served as a military officer in the Monarchy with the rank of captain in the Gendarmerie weapon in the cities of Durrës and Tirana, where he was assigned various tasks. In 1935, when the Fier Uprising took place, Prenga served as a military inspector at Zog’s Royal Court, and at that time he was sent to investigate the uprising, which aimed to overthrow the monarchist government. In the post of military inspector at the Royal Court, Prenga served until April 1939, when fascist Italy carried out military aggression against Albania. After the invasion of Albania, Prenga refused to serve in the Gendarmerie again and was relieved of his duties. At that time, he returned to his hometown of Orosh in Mirdita, where he was appointed Mayor of Fushë-Arrëz and Fan of Mirdita “, Filip Gjonmarkaj recalls, regarding the military career of his father Prenga and grandfather Deda , who had served as soldiers of the Zogu Monarchy.
In Tirana, Deputy Minister of Interior
In the municipalities of Fushë-Arrz and Fan of Mirdita, Preng Gjonmarkaj served until 1941, because at that time his cousin, Mark Gjon Markaj, who later took the post of Minister of Interior, called him to Tirana and invited him to served again in the Gendarmerie weapon. At the time, Prenga wore a military uniform with the rank of captain he had previously held at the Gendarmerie, and after working there for some time, he was appointed head of the Political Office at the Ministry of Internal Affairs in Tirana. At that time, he was given the rank of major and the function of Chief of Political Office, corresponded to the function of Deputy Minister. Regarding the period when Prenga served at the Ministry of Interior, his son Filipi testified: “Although my father Preng Gjonmarkaj was deeply anti-communist, he did not use his position in the Ministry to take revenge on the communists. arrested, on the contrary, he was shown to be more humane than them. Father Prenga maintained this attitude towards them during the period when he served as a Curator at the Prefecture of Shkodra, where he was very gentle with the communists and in many cases intervened to release them from prison. One of the well-known communists who was released from prison by his father at the time was Tom Kola (“People’s Hero”) who was later killed in an attempt to become a partisan. The father had intervened so closely with the Italians and Germans to release the arrested communists that he sometimes confronted his superiors, who could not understand his weakness for the Albanian youth, which Prenga did not have. he would like to see him rot in prisons “, testifies Filip Gjonmarkaj, regarding the period of the War, when his father was appointed to the position of Deputy Minister of Interior.
Prenga’s arrest and 101 years in prison
After the Communists came to power in late 1944, Major Preng Gjonmarkaj, like many other military men of the time, fled to the mountains and joined his cousin, Mark Gjonmarkaj, who at the time was the main resistance leader. anticommunist. In this regard, Filip Gjonmarkaj testifies: “Since the communists came to power in 1944, our towers in Orosh of Mirdita were burned by them as a sign of revenge. At that time, father Prenga and 72-year-old grandfather Deda were fleeing to the mountains, together with our cousin Dr. Mark Gjonmarkaj, who loved Prenga, just like his brothers. In May 1945, Prenga was surrounded and arrested by the pursuit forces in the Shllaku area of Shkodra, where he was hiding with his cousin, Gjon Pjetër Gjonmarkaj. The trial against them took place in the city of Shkodra, and prosecutor Aranit Çela, together with the trial panel, sentenced him to death, while for Gjoni, who was very young, he was sentenced to four years in prison. Prenga’s death sentence at the time caused a great deal of controversy throughout the Shkodra Region, because he was well known for his manly character in that city, from the time he had worked as a Questor and left the best impressions. , giving life to many communists. From the respect that the people of Shkodra had created for Prenga at that time, there were many different requests and interventions from the citizens of Shkodra, in order for his life to be forgiven. One of those who apologized was the mother of the “People’s Hero”, Tom Kola, who went to the office of Prosecutor Aranit Çela and testified to him that: Preng Gjonmarkaj had once released his son from prison. . Based on the numerous requests and interventions of the judicial bodies, the trial panel took them into consideration and pardoned Prenga to death, returning him to 101 years in prison “, testifies Filip Gjonmarkaj, regarding his father Prenga, to to whom his life was forgiven, only thanks to the good figure he had left in the city of Shkodra, where he had served as Questor during the period of occupation.
Deda hangs on the rope, Mark dies in prison
At the time when Preng Gjonmarkaj was pardoned and sentenced to 101 years in prison, his father Deda, along with his other son Markun, had fled to the mountains for fear of retaliation from the communists. In this regard, Filipi testifies: “After the sentencing of Prenga, Grandpa Deda, with his uncle Markun, escaped to the mountain together with his cousin Dr. Mark Gjonmarkaj and many other anti-communist Mirditors, from well-known families. In late 1947, they returned home after an amnesty granted by the communist government of Tirana to those who had not committed any crime. But their stay with the family did not last long, as they were arrested again in August 1949, when Bardhok Biba was assassinated, who at the time held the position of First Secretary of the Mirdita Party Committee. At the time, in retaliation for Bardhoku’s assassination, the communist government of Tirana, through the Pursuit Forces, which included two Soviet advisers (Colonels Sokolov and Voleskin), arrested and imprisoned dozens of Mirditors. Fourteen of them were executed in Qafën e Valmirit, at the place where Bardhok Biba was killed, and the first to be hanged was our grandfather Dedë Gjonmarkaj. In that quick trial that took place shortly before the execution, Deda told the court: I and this other men who have arrested us have nothing to do with the murder of Bardhok Biba. However, I am ready to go to the ropes myself, but my son Marku should not be executed, because he is completely innocent “. After hanging his grandfather on the rope, his uncle, Mark, was pardoned and sent to the Shkodra prison, where he died a short time later. At the time my grandfather Deda was hanged, our family (me, brother Gaspëri, mother and grandmother) were interned in the Tepelena camp, where we stayed until 1952, and then we were allowed to return to Orosh. Father Prenga, serving a full 20 years and four days, served his sentence and spent most of his time in Burrell Prison. One of the prisoners who suffered with his father in the Thuman camp (Mark Alia from Mamurrasi) told me that the commander of that camp, Major Novruz Shehu, wanted to intervene with Kadri Hazbiu and release Prenga, as he was respecting them. All of you. When he returned from Tirana, the camp commander, in the presence of all the convicts, told Prenga: “As long as this government exists, you will not be released. We know that you did not commit crimes, but that your last name is inside you. ” After those words, Prenga smiled and replied: ‘I know this well, but my last name is more expensive than life, sir.’ After his release in 1965, he came to Orosh, where on April 30, 1977, he was arrested again and sentenced to another ten years in political prison. “Prenga was released from prison in 1987 at the age of 74 and died of his illness in prison in October 1992, shortly after the fall of the communist regime.” painful family member, Filip Gjonmarkaj, one of the last suckers of that house that flows from the door of the captain of Mirdita Gjon Marka Gjoni, who was massacred in the most barbaric way by the communist regime of Enver Hoxha./Memorie.al