Updated: 14 october 2020
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Although Albania is a small country with a modest population situated on the edge of Europe which has only been independent since 1912. It has ''enjoyed'' (if that is the right word) a complicated, bloody and fascinating military history. This history is largely unknown to British and American readers but after only a short period of study it is easy to get hooked, as I was.
Albanian history is dominated by three men. One is Enver Hoxha, the brutal communist dictator during the Cold War period; another is King Zog, the colourdful and flamboyant monarch during the interwar years. But the most fascinating to me is Prenk Pervisi, a gifted and charismatc Army officer, who dominated Albanian military history from 1918 to 1944. Unlike many European anti-communiusts, Prenk survived the Second World War and escaped to Western Europe, spending the last eleven years of his long and eventful life in Brussels.
Prenk Pervizi deserves to be remembered and his son Lek has written several books on his father, unfortunately (from the point of view of British and American historians) in Albanian. I am attaching here a striking photograph of Prenk Pervizi as the General commanding the Albanian Army in 1944, together with an English translation of the foreword of one of Lek's books. It makes fascinating reading.
WHY DID WE WRITE THIS BOOK?
The question, of course, is why this book is being written. Why so late, for a military and patriotic figure known and mentioned in the Albanian world. A surprising point for historians who are indoctrinated or unindoctrinated who have not included it in the pages of their books. An unforgivable mistake on their part. When it is universally known that he has been an active companion of all Albanian history from 1914 to 1946, he stayed in Albania, and later in exile until the last day of his life, September 6, 1977. So there is a reason, and that is what relates to the Italian occupation and the communist dictatorship. For more than half a century, the name of Prenk Pervizi could not be mentioned and no longer included in the pages of books, press, publications, other forms. On the other hand, his sons and I were locked up in prisons and internment camps, where we fought for our very existence. Under those conditions, we did not have the slightest opportunity to describe his life. Not that you find such writing expensive. Thankfully he had washed his memories of us orally. Every document written by him and other documents had ended up in the flames that the "liberating" partisans had set fire to our houses in Lac and Skuraj. As well as the confiscation of the house in Tirana. Thus, all that was preserved from the life and activity of my father disappeared, and he remained to rely mainly on his narratives. These memories are also reinforced by people who knew and served him under his command. Five decades of silence have accumulated on it the dust of oblivion, which we now seek to shake after so many years. The communist dictatorship, in spite of such figures, although well acquainted with their life, intellectual and patriotic activity and importance, pursued a policy of annihilation, denial, silence and oblivion. This found proper application in the academy of sciences and its historians, completely indoctrinated. They completely overthrew and falsified the history of Albania with all its protagonists: military and civil society personalities, who had made a valuable contribution to the creation and strengthening of the Albanian state, the first in our history, of Europe and world., which was established at the Congress of Lushnja on January 21, 1920.
So I signed, his son, who miraculously survived the communist persecution, I was faced with the problem of reviving that figure, through the memories he himself had passed on to us. Attached to them were my personal belongings, those of my brothers, relatives and co-workers who share my life and duties with him. Ths, so that his life and activity would be known not only by the Albanian public, but so that we, our parents and his people, would know our father, to the fullest extent possible. Whether in family life or in that of duties as a companion of Albanian history. The book is of great value to historians, as it sheds light on unknown or underestimated events, even the ignored and falsified ones that would be worth a fair list of history.
We say that this book is being written according to the memories of a logical reason, because with the burning of the houses, everything inside them was destroyed. This annihilation was not enough, because even later after his death in exile, some unconscious and unprincipled Albanians, unmarried people, even agents of the communist regime, seized his belongings and documents, destroying them, without accounting to anyone. The latter was like a second blow to death, because it sought to eradicate what had escaped the communists. Also, his file disappeared from the Kruja archive, which was miraculously preserved until after the collapse of the dictatorship, for which no explanation has been given. Why and for what interest and for what purpose? Mystery!
However, after the collapse of the communist regime, his figure began to be remembered and highlighted, where various journalists and people who had heard his story from their fathers and people who had served under his orders played a role. Some documents and photographs from the state archives began to appear. This was nothing more than a rebirth of this military and patriotic figure, who together with other colleagues and patriots had contributed to the history of Albania.
A lecturer officer at the Defense Academy, the late L/Colonel Dr. Pjeter Hidri, dedicated a monograph to him that was published in 2002 and that was welcomed, because it brought to light a tall military figure that had been left in the shadows, say in complete oblivion. Thanks to Dr. Hidrit, the name of Prenk Pervizi was included in the second edition of the Encyclopedic Dictionary. Foreign writers and scholars contributed to his presentation in their works up to and including Wkipedia and other sites in several European languages up to Chinese and Esperanto. All of these facts inspired me to dedicate this book as a tribute to him.
The book follows a free and fluent narrative style without excessive loads. It really defined the various events that actually took place. He regrets when he sees that the ranks of misinformers and forgers also include some well-known figure who, by abusing his name and the positions they have held, have openly fabricated non-existent events and made your being known to others; to peace.
It is worth mentioning that a document of great value is an interview he gave in Brussels, Belgium in 1974 to the Kosovar journalist, Hajrush Haliti-Akturk, which is consistent with the content of the book, in view of the historical facts experienced by Prenk Pervizi. This document became known when we went to Belgium and met with the journalist we mentioned, who had published that interview in the newspaper "Zeri" in Prishtina, in 1995 after the collapse of communism. Ahead of such a thing was impossible. An authentic interview that gives the whole history of Albania lived by Prenk Pervizi in a decisive role. Special thanks go to Mr. Akturk for the preservation and publication of the interview, which remains an authentic document taken directly from Prenk Pervzi. A testimony from a high military authority, very valuable to historians.
In this work, the main care has been to bring to light the personality and character of Prenk Pervizi. High military training, among the most prestigious schools in Europe. His dedication to the Homeland of the Albanian Nation by performing with honor and success the tasks assigned to him and which he undertook himself. The de facto opposition to the foreign invader, such as fascist Italy, by not allowing the Albanian army to fight alongside the Italian, in any case, neither against its own people nor against its border neighbors, as happened in the Italo-Greek war, where by its order the Albanian army abandoned the front. Also important is his concern for the national cause of defending ethnic borders in Kosovo, and the opposition to the Slav-Communists who seized power and betrayed Kosovo by mercilessly and cruelly massacring Kosovar patriots. As long as he was the Commander-in-Chief of the Albanian National Army and Minister of Defense, the Serbian foot did not step on Kosovo.
All this was conveyed with an unbridled emotion, in the memory of a parent who, in addition to high duties for the benefit of the homeland, showed great care for us his sons. To educate and study in the best schools in Europe, to serve Homeland with dignity. As a man dear to the family: to the manly mother who raised him, as an orphan of a brave parent and freedom fighter; to the faithful woman and to decide to face life with the good and the bad as a real Albanian woman. To the near and the faithful, who always stayed close to him, in any difficult situation and who did not hesitate to sacrifice for him. To the men of the tribe, who stood bravely and relentlessly against the oppressive communist regime by writing glorious pages of heroism. To his friends and colleagues, as many patriots and prominent figures accompanying Albanian history.
This emotion and longing, along with the course of his life, was summed up 45 years before his lonely and almost forgotten tomb in Belgium. We, the loved ones and the loved ones, had the opportunity to place a bunch of fresh flowers on that grave, after a very long half-century of suffering and isolation from the civilized world. He was forced to leave his homeland and find refuge in foreign lands, with great sorrow dying away from the sacred lands of the homeland, to which he had devoted his whole life and energies and abilities, serving them with devotion and loyalty.
This, the whole elaboration of the book to remind and appreciate a very important military and patriotic figure of the history of the Albanian world.