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Robert Elsie

Texts and Documents of Albanian History


1000 — 1799

1800 — 1899

1900 — 1919

1920 — 1944

1945 —


Albanian History
1945 —

Ymer Berisha:
Memorandum of Besa Kombëtare

Appeal by the anti-communist Besa Kombëtare organization in Kosovo in late October 1945, sent to Brigadier General Hodgson, head of the British Military Mission in Albania.


Brigadier Edward Hodgson:
Report on the Present Administration of Albania

Head of the British Military Mission in Albania reports on the situation in the country half a year after the communist takeover.


Harry Hodgkinson:
Impressions of Albania

A British military figure reports on events in Albania in April 1945.


British Report on the First Cham Congress of Vlora

A British military document reporting on the First Cham Congress held in Vlora (Valona) on 23 September 1945.


Ralph Skrine Stevenson:
Kosova in the spring of 1945

A report by a British diplomat describing the turbulent state of events in Kosova (Kosovo) and western Macedonia in the spring of 1945.


The Albanian Treason Trial

Excerpt from the transcript of the Special Court for War Criminals and Enemies of the People, held by the new communist authorities in Albania in March 1945. This session led to the condemnation (and execution) of Enver Hoxha’s own brother-in-law, Bahri Omari.


Samuilo Mandil:
The Jews in Albania

A newspaper report by a Serbian Jew who took refuge with his family in Albania during the Second World War.


Final Report of the German Wehrmacht in Albania

A unique report on German-occupied Albania by a Nazi administration official, drafted in February or March 1945, a few weeks before the capitulation of the Third Reich.


Abschlußbericht der Deutschen Wehrmacht in Albanien

Dieser einmalige, wohl aus dem Monat Februar oder März 1945 stammende Abschlussbericht über die deutsche Besatzungszeit in Albanien wurde kurz vor dem endgültigen Zusammenbruch des Dritten Reichs verfasst.


Committee of Cham Albanians
on Greek persecution of the Chams

A protest by the Cham Anti-Fascist Committee following the expulsion of the Albanian Cham community from Greece.


Galeazzo Ciano:
Diary of Events on Albania

Excerpts from the diary of Count Ciano, Italian foreign minister under Mussolini and architect of the Italian invasion and annexation of Albania in 1939.


W. F. Stirling:
A British Officer in Albania, 1923-1931

Excerpt from the memoirs of a British officer sent to Albania as an advisor to the Ministry of the Interior under the rule of Ahmed Zogu to inspect the new Albanian gendarmerie.


Ekrem Bey Vlora:
Beiträge zur Geschichte der Türkenherrschaft in Albanien

Integrale Typoskriptfassung der 1.200-seitigen „Beiträge zur Geschichte der Türkenherrschaft in Albanien“ von Ekrem bey Vlora.

Ekrem Bey Vlora:
The Ruling Families of Albania in the pre-Ottoman Period

Study of the ruling families of Albania in the 13th and 14th centuries by Albanian historian Ekrem bey Vlora, a nobleman himself.


Hermann Neubacher:
A Nazi Diplomat on Mission in Albania

Hermann Neubacher was the special emissary of the German Foreign Office for Southeastern Europe. This chapter of his memoirs deals with his high-ranking activities to organise the German occupation of Albania.


Ali Këlcyra:
Historical Reminiscences (1923-1936)

A political opponent of King Zog denounces the dictatorship in Albania, furthered as he claims by British interests.


Arshi Pipa:
Communism and Albanian Writers

Albanian scholar Arshi Pipa spent ten years in prison in communist Albania before escaping to the United States. He provides a first-hand account of the fate of many writers and intellectuals under the Stalinist regime in power.


Tajar Zavalani:
Tragedy of Good Friday, 1939

This chapter from Albanian exile writer Tajar Zavalani’s history of Albania focuses on the Italian invasion of Albania in 1939.


Milovan Djilas:
Albania - Swallow it!

Yugoslav political figure Milovan Djilas, Tito’s emissary and later Tito’s foe, met Stalin in Moscow in 1948 where they discussed the fate of Albania, to which Stalin was eminently indifferent.


Ekrem Bey Vlora:
The House of Vlora: Albanian Nobility ...

Writer Ekrem Bey Vlora stemmed from the wealthy landowning Vlora family. In this chapter from his memoirs, he describes his early life and his family in the last decades of Ottoman Albania.


Stuart E. Mann:
Albania Then and Now

Memories of British linguist Stuart Mann who taught school in Albania from 1929-1931.


Titos Jochalas:
On Albanian Migration to Greece

A study by Greek scholar Titos Jochalas about the history of Albanian migration southwards into central and southern Greece and their settlement there in the 14th century.


Musine Kokalari:
How the Social Democratic Party was created

Musine Kokalari was the first woman in Albania to publish a book. Here she describes her attempt to create a Social Democratic party in 1943 and how she was persecuted by the communist regime for the rest of her life.


Abas Ermenji:
Overthrowing the Communist Regime

Abas Ermenji was a leading anti-communist resistance fighter during the Second World War. In 1949-1950 he was involved in a half-hearted Anglo-American attempt to overthrow the communist regime in Albania. In this interview, Ermenji describes the activities and how they were sabotaged by Soviet agent Kim Philby.


Rexhep Qosja:
The Albanian Question and its Solution

Kosovar intellectual figure Rexhep Qosja provides an overview of the Albanian question in Yugoslavia, written during the last decade of Serb rule in Kosovo.


Gottfried Schramm:
A New Approach to Albanian History

A controversial approach to the origin of the Albanians that caused furor when it was published.


Jusuf Vrioni:
Back to Tirana, 1943-1947

Jusuf Vrioni was an Albanian nobleman and a well-known literary translator who was raised in Paris. He made the mistake of returning to Albania during the Second World War and was not able to get away when the communists took power. In this chapter from his memoirs, he describes the atmosphere immediately after the war and the moment of his arrest.


The Hague Tribunal (ICTY):
The Attack on Celina Village in March 1999

An account of the attack by Serb forces on the Kosovo village of Celina in March 1999, taken from a Judgement of The Hague Tribunal.


The Hague Tribunal (ICTY):
The Events in Gjakova in early April 1999

An account of a Serbian police operation in a neighbourhood of Gjakova in western Kosovo in April 1999, taken from a Judgement of The Hague Tribunal.


The Hague Tribunal (ICTY):
The Victims of Vushtrria

An account of the attack by Serbian forces on the town of Vushtrria in northern Kosovo in late March 1999, taken from a Judgement of The Hague Tribunal.


Miranda Vickers:
The Cham Issue

British writer and analyst Miranda Vickers presents a lucid overview of the issue of the Chams, the Albanian minority expelled from Greece during the First and Second World Wars and still not allowed to return.


Dayrell R. Oakley-Hill:
An Englishmen in the Service of King Zog

British Colonel Oakley-Hill was involved in organising the Albanian gendarmerie in the 1930s. In this chapter from his memoirs, he describes the situation in the country under King Zog.


Oliver Jens Schmitt:
Scanderbeg: an Uprising and its Leader

In 2008, Swiss historian Oliver Schmitt published a scholarly and highly controversial biography of the Albanian national hero Scanderbeg. The concluding chapter of the book, given here, provides a synthesis of his interpretation of Scanderbeg as a tragic figure.


Declaration of Independence of Kosova

After five centuries as part of the Ottoman Empire and 87 years under Serbian rule, Kosova (Kosovo) declared its independence in February 2008. Given here is the text of the declaration as read out in Parliament in Prishtina.


Kolec Topalli:
Communist Persecution in Albanian Studies

Albanian linguist Kolec Topalli provides an overview of suffering and terror in Albanian intellectual circles during the Stalinist dictatorship. He was one of its victims.


The translations in this anthology may be copied, downloaded and used for non-commercial purposes if the source is appropriately documented. | Robert Elsie