By Dr. Nikol Loka
Part twenty eight
“PRENGA BIBE DODA, THE SHADOWS OF A CITIZENSHIP”
Memorie.al / The newest book “Prengë Bibë Doda, a phenomenon in Albanian political life”, by researcher Nikollë Loka, not only expands the scope of historical studies on Mirdita, the Door of Gjonmarkaj and the figure of the Mirdita Prince, Prengë Bibë Doda, but it is also a contribution to national historiography. The very rich archival material, the literature used or consulted, oral traditions, etc., make this book a real study treasure, giving the science of history a scientific monograph that enriches our knowledge of Mirdita, its captains, tradition, history etc. To study such an important and complex figure, as the figure of Prengë Biba Doda, is a high scientific responsibility that not everyone undertakes. Nikollë Loka, has done a great job of research and treatment by the professional researcher, giving us the portrait of the Prince and the general Mirditor, with the true contours. Dr. Loka has adhered to the end of the space and time, in which the multidimensional events and their protagonists have developed.
THE MONOGRAPH “ABOUT BIBË DODA, A PHENOMENON IN ALBANIAN POLITICAL LIFE”, A VALUABLE SCIENTIFIC STUDY THAT ENRICHS THE FUND OF OUR HISTORICAL STUDIES
(By Mr. Sc. Murat Ajvazi, March 2017, Switzerland)
Continues from last issue
Prince Bibë Doda had gathered the mayors of Kosovo, Elbasan, Tirana, Tuscany and Shkodra in Shkodër to discuss the government. (578) Due to obstacles on the part of the internationals, it was not possible to take decisions on the matter in question in Shkodër. In those efforts that the Albanians were making to survive the war, a National Congress is organized in Elbasan. Ahmet Zogu, who was the chairman of the Organizing Committee, invited Prengë Bibë Doda, together with the two delegates from Mirdita, to participate in this Congress, which would be held in Elbasan on March 5-18, 1916. (579)
Dec. You Prenk Bibdodë Pasha
We have the honor to inform you that it was decided to meet here in Elbasan, on March 5/18, a National Congress to discuss Albania’s affairs.
Please order and honor us, with two delegates from Mirdita.
Elbasan, March 3, 1916
Chairman of the Commission
Ahmet Muhtar Zogolli. (580)
The reasons for Prenga’s non-participation in that Congress are not known; however, he had appreciated the invitation and appointed Nikoll Ivanaj as his representative in that country. (581)
Letter of Representation
They love Lord Ivan very much
I didn’t go to Mirdita, for whatever reason, I had to explain to you, for this reason, I don’t have time to mention Merdita, but if you mentioned it, it’s my speciality, what about all the reasons the good of Shkypnis, the hero of the country, you spoke to me in my name, because I know the black homeland, I know that, nothing but a work of honor, comes from you.
Good luck and know me as always.
On 2/15 March 1916
Your old friend, P. Bibdoda (582)
The end of the First World War, with the victory of the Entente powers, again brought foreign invaders to Albania. Although it had gained independence in 1912 and was recognized by a collegial act by the Great Powers, on July 29, 1913, the winning states of the war divided Albania into 4 different occupation zones. There was no other country with such a small territory that was then divided between so many powers. (583)
Shkodra was internationalized by the French, British and Italian detachments, under the command of the French colonel De Furto. (584)
Meanwhile, Prengë Bibë Doda continues the project of creating a nationwide government. For this purpose, he wanted to hold a congress in Shkodër, but the commander of the allied armies, the Frenchman B. Furto, did not allow it to be held. This meeting was held in Lezha on December 9, 1918 and was attended by; Prengë Bibë Doda, Fejzi Alizoti, Luigj Gurakuqi and Avni Dabulla, but since there was not the desired participation, it was decided that the congress would be held in Durrës. (585)
Deputy Prime Minister of the Government of Durrës
In a meeting that was held in Tirana by Albanian patriots after the Austrian withdrawal and the occupation of the country by the Italian army, the necessity of convening a congress was discussed at length, to discuss and decide the direction of the national policy. Despite the opposition of the Italians, it was decided not to elect a Committee, but the Government. That congress was held in Durrës. In the book “Historical documents 1912-1918” by Lef Nosi, it is written: “Secretary Mr. Sif Nosi, sang the following order of the day, presented by Namik Bey Delvina and Riza Dan, on the formation of a Provisional Government:
“The delegates of all the provinces of Albania, gather in the city of Durrës, in a General National Meeting:
“I have full confidence in the decisions made by the Great Governments of the Agreement, on the protection of the rights of small nations;
“We were founded especially on the decision of the London Conference 1912-1913, which recognized and proclaimed a free and independent Albania, with the state form determined by it; Mr. Mr. Mehmet Bej Konica and Myfid Bej Libohova, on the need to create a national body; they decided with complete wisdom, the establishment of a Provisional Government, to face the current needs of the Motherland.
“His Excellency Turhan Pasha is elected as president of this government, and as vice president, His Excellency Prenk Bib-Dodë Pasha and as members, Mr. Mr. Sami Bej Vrioni, Mr. Luigj Bumçi, Myhid Bej Libohova. Dr. M. Turtulli, Mehmet Bej Konica, Luigj Gurakuqi, Mit’hat Bej Frashëri, Lef Nosi, Fejzi Alizoti, Mehdi Bej Frashëri, Pjetër Poga, Mustafa Kruja. Of these members, some would defend the rights of ethnographic Albania, at the Peace Conference, and others would remain active internally”. (586)
The delegates of the government of Durrës requested a review of the borders of 1913 that; Prizren, Gjakova, Peja, Prishtina, Mitrovica, Skopje, Tetova and Dibra, to be included in the Albanian state. (587)
The government was divided into two: the external delegates to the Peace Conference headed by Turhan Pasha, with members Mr. Bumçin, Mehmet Konica, Dr. Turtullin, Luigj Gurakuqin, where Mehdi Frashëri also joined later. In this delegation, Father Gjergj Fishta participated as an expert. The other delegates dealt with the internal affairs of Albania. Prengë Bibë Doda, as deputy prime minister, had the responsibility of running the country. (588)
The government of Durrës had many pro-Italian elements in its composition. From the internal delegates: Myfit Libohova, Fejzi Alizoti, Mehdi Frashëri, Sami Vrioni and Mustafa Kruja were for Italian politics. While the Vice President of the Government, Prengë Pasha, was dissatisfied with the Italians and the Italians with him. Prengë Pasha, at the beginning of 1919, sent a letter to Mark Kapidani, where he said: “The Italians intend to send a company of soldiers to Orosh, to nominate Mirdita”. Later it was found out that this letter had fallen into the hands of the Italians… This thing, among other reasons, increased the anger of the Italians against Prenga Pasha, which ended with the plot to assassinate him on March 22, 1919. (589)
In March 1919, Salih Vuçiterni, inspector of Education in Mat and Zogu’s personal friend, came to Durrës, where he found Prengë Bibë Doda, very upset. Pasha proposed to Sali Vuçiterni that they go together to Mirdita, for cooperation, if the need so desired. Sali Vuçiterni understood from Pasha’s words that he intended to carry out an activity against the Italians. (590)
The murder of Preng Bibi Doda
In the Balkan war, Shkodra was emptied by the Turkish army and taken over by the international powers, in the spring of 1913. At that time in Lezha, Gjeto Coku, one of the priests of the Mata Coast, was appointed as sub-prefect. Prengë Kolë Brunga, from Blinishti in Mirdita, begs Prengë Pasha to find him a suitable job. Prenga, with a letter of recommendation, sends him to Gjeto Coku, who appoints him gendarme in Shengjin.
Prengë Kolë Brunga commits a crime and as a punishment, his rifle is taken from the post-commander Pjetër Lleshi. After this event, he calls himself a priest and under the influence of the habit, in order to wash away the shame that was done to him, he kills the sub-prefect. The family of Gjeto Coku blames this murder on Prengë Pasha, because the killer was recommended by him, while Prengë Pasha had no idea what was going to happen. On March 22, 1919, Prengë Bibë Doda, at first wanted to travel to Shengjin, by sea. Whenever he went out to Shengjin, he was usually accompanied by the mountaineers of Shkreli, who lived in the districts of Shengjin, who escorted Pasha all the way across the Drin. That day, March 22, the Italian Command called in the morning Sadri Zeka from Shkreli, a resident of Shengjin. When he appears at the Command, they tell him to come in the afternoon, in order to prevent him from appearing before Prengë Pasha.
When Sadriu went to the pub, to wait for the time to appear in the office, Prengë Gjeto Coku, the son of the murdered Gjeto Coku, comes to the pub…! Meanwhile, the Italian commander also arrives there, who informs him that Pasha had left for land. Prengë Gjeto Coku immediately leaves for the place of the ambush, to appear in front of the Pasha. Sadri Zeka immediately informs Mano Begu, the Mayor, who calls Shkodër for a car, to send Sadri Zeka to meet the Deputy Prime Minister, but when the car arrived, the job was done. (591)
When they cross the bridge over the Mat River, the car is shot from the ambush. Prenga stands up and shouts: “Kill me, don’t shoot at foreigners, because it’s against our custom.” The English assistant consul was also in the car. Along with Prenga, Zef Ugashi, Ndoc Bardhi and Nexhipi were also killed. English assistant consul Eden and Hamëz Koçi, from Shkodër, were injured.
The murder is detailed in an article in the newspaper “Populli”:
On the 23rd, day of March, there are seven hours, between Spiten and Zejmen, stopped the ugly murder of His Highness, Prengë Bibëdoda Pasha, you came from the Government of Durrci. The Carabinieri of Italy, according to the news they were given, that night they went to carry the body of Preng Pasha, Zef Ugash, Ndoc Bardhi and Nexhip and the seller, Vice-Korculla of Inglis, and Hamz Koçi from Shkodër. , and took them to Lesh by car. Gjindja, who led the way to the rifles, found Prengë Pasha unharmed. They found Zef Ugash strong and mouthy, I knew that an hour had passed, but he also died when they left. Two others have found the dead. To be eaten by 24, this plot was spread on the four sides. Ali Fehmi Begu, Prefect of the Provinces of Shkodra and Vice-prefect of Lezha, Zef Shantoja, sent letters to Mirdi, to inform Dera e Gjomarkaj, about this deplorable event, and in many other places.
On Tuesday, they took from Durrci, a cousin of Prengë Pasha, Captain Marku i Gjon. Along with him came Mr. Fejzi Bey Alizoti, Minister of Finance, led by the Government of Durrce and Colonel Lodi on behalf of the Italian Royal Command in Durrce. The captains of Mirdita arrived in Lesh on Wednesday, 26 at dawn, with 50 people from Mirdita, who saw their prince bloody and hideous of men, who had horns in heaven’s cup that we are Albanians, but this name, they have the byte in vain, because the man only for the words of the century, that makes this plot, it will be known who killed him, and why. Father, Captain of Mirdita, you saw it with a heavy heart, because Mirfilli just cut a star from the Door of John Mark. With 8 French hours, you get it from Barbullushi, the General of Italy, De Negri.
As soon as the army and the officers were rendered in line of honor, the troops were bathed in the morning; the drum of Itale began, the oil for the Prince of Mirdita, and was brought around Lezha, when they arrived at the church of Saint Nkoll, near the mournful sins.
In the field of the church, the altar was prepared, in front of him, lined up the bodies of Prenga Pasha and Zef Ugas. The body of Ndoc Bardhi, left for Mirdi already in advance, and of Nexhip, taken by car. Near the lined up troops, sit the Captains, Mirdita around the house. Officers of the Italian army. The other place was full of people.
The Mass was given by Dom Nikoll Kimza, Vicar of the Bishop of Lezha, and Father Severin Lushaj, parish priest of this city. Today, 452 years ago, the mass of light was given to the greatest Albanian, Skenderbeg, in my church and in my land, and Preng Biba Doda, the Prince of Mirdita. After the mass, Mr. Fejzi Bey Alizoti had a lively conversation. In the evening, the bodies of Preng Pasha and Zef Ugashi were taken in a car, then they gave the Captains of the Mirditas, special cars and left for Shkodër, where they arrived at around 11 o’clock French time.
As they crossed the Bahçalek Bridge, Shkodra found out who had taken Prengë Bibë Doda, that on the way to the road, there was a man who did not know how to speak to them with a silence that was strange to him, you had fallen to the whole country. This took the people, they did not go anywhere and, even more, they increased when they came to Saraje t Pasha, the pastures, the waves and the hail, crossed and pierced the hearts of Shkodra, as if the plumes had pierced, pierced the hearts of those three bodies , qi mat the hours fall there to die.
The murder of Preng Biba Doda, is a big and strong dam for Albania, and after you, like the little one, like the pariah, of our whole community. I remember, how much work Albania had, for its own development and progress, without accepting you Preng Biba Doda, it would neither start nor marry. And his word to the people was such an order that few people said it, that when he spoke in a meaningful way, it was not enough for his knowledge, and the people accepted him and ignored him. The aristocracy and the Albanian Paria, his knowledge has been leveled for centuries, both inside and outside, he had always tried it and that is exactly why, as in difficult jobs, he always sought directions for advice. And today, you have such a necessary person, neither the little one nor Paria Xxypatre, I don’t have it.
This is also a terrible thing for Albania, because of the efforts that our comity has with the nation of Mretni, both near and far, because they all have the news. Admittedly, the friends of Albania knew very well that in the trials of Preng Bibë Doda, he opposed me a lot, especially with strong friends that he had behind him and still has today. One of the first things I knew was France. And this noble King, of the many dangers and dangers, who raised his friends for the sake of him, since he was a little one, he did it and asked him, and he assured me that he would always be a god, King Napoleon III, in the year 1868, sent his own, Korcula of France, to celebrate them. With the care of Korcul of France, Gabriel Aubaret, and because of Napoleon’s gambling and ordering, he took to his parish, the florin sword that Preng Pasha has.
Preng Bibdoda’s second friend, this England, who’s King, Edward VII, in 1904, took great care of him. And then Eduard agreed with the Sultan, Abdyl Hamiti, who took him from Kastamun and brought him to Stamoll, from which the capital did not come, and brought him to Albania. His third friend, here in Italy, that its king, Victor Emmanuel III, informed Preng Bibdoda, that he was known to all the tribes of Albania, received him as a European prince, and took care of him among his own gave the pledge and, for the reconciliation of his country, and for the benefit of Albania, he was honored and in 1914, with the mole “Il Grand Cordone della Corona d’Italia.
Welcome to Albania, this man so well-known and respected and, with such a strong friend, is sadly gone. Prengë Pasha died, but his name lives on and time has passed and will not be forgotten. With His deka, the hour of Shpis Gjomark, there is no one, as if from this noble Door, people have come out to be mentioned in history, since the year 1511, even back and forth, as the sun has been shining through the tribes of Albanians.
Everyone in Albania knows, Preng Pasha did not love it, the friends who respected him and took care of him that Gjomark’s Door did not start with Preng Bibëdoda nor with his son, it has nothing to do with it. (592)
“Muneella” (pseudonym of Dom Nikolle Kimza).
Meanwhile, this announcement was posted on the walls of Shkodra:
“At a time when Albania, stronger than ever, feels the need for great people, the famous and scholars, for the fraternal bond, cruel and heartless people, with no sense of community, brutally cut off the life of the bright Prengë Bibi Doda, To the Prince of Mirdita, who always used his power with gentleness, then he became a mediator for reconciliation of blood and enemies, of Shkodra, among others, during its own difficult times, felt his kindness.
The mass is announced by all the ladies, so that you don’t take it to the whole door, this general news is being sent to the ladies, both Christian and Mohammedan, that tomorrow at eight o’clock in the morning, His body will be taken to the funeral home, Spia e its worse.
Shkodra, March 25, 1919. (593)
Prengë Bibë Doda, was buried with great honors in Fushë te Rrmaji in Shkodër. His murder shocked Albania. Mirdita lost her most prominent son and was left an orphan for a long time, for a man of that stature. No other mirditor, he could behave with the country’s greats. He was equal among them and only death stopped him…!
Prince Preng Bib Doda Pasha wore the following decorations: the Great Cordon of Mejidia; Commander of Osmania from the Ottoman Empire.
Star Commander of the Pontifical Order of St. Gregory the Great from the Vatican.
Grand Cordon of the Order of the Crown of Italy, from the King of Italy.
By sultanic decree, Prengë Bibë Dodë Pasha was awarded the rank of “Mirymeralëk”, a rank equal to that of Brigadier General. (594) Memorie.al