1912 - 2012
100th ANNIVERSARY OF THE INDEPENDENCE OF ALBANIA
November 28, 1912
"Sword in Albanian hand through the path of history - towards the socialist world revolution!"
Hoisting the national flag in Vlora was the symbol of the victory of all Albanian regions from the Dukagjini- Highland in the North, to Cameria in the South, from the Adriatic and Jonic coasts in the West, to the Kosova and Tetova-Lowlands in the East.
"The work of Ismail Qemali and the other patriots was a glorious work of historical significance that will always be remembered. It showed the world that Albania, which had contributed strongly to the liberation of all the peoples of the BaIkan, not only existed, what the enemy
has tried to deny, but was now free and independent and lived independently as an independent country with its own government and development."
(Enver Hoxha, Collected Works, Vol 24, p 15)
The significance of November 28, 1912
The Albanians will never forget the historical period, when the Ottaman hordes at the apogee of their power were pushing on irrestibly and threatening the entire European civilization with destruction. In this horrible period, the Albanian people wrote with their blood some of the most brilliant pages of the history of the European continent.
In the middle of the 19th century, the popular movements against the savage Ottoman occupation became broader and more frequent. The battles in the Melesin Mountain (Leskovik) in 1831 and in Shkodra in 1835, in Dibra and Gjakova in 1844, were the forewarnings of the great peasant uprising in 1847 when the Albanians, as a folk song has it, fought "banner in hand for all Albanians". This was the prologue to all the events that followed from 1878 to 1912. In this period, a whole pleiad of outstanding men of "the pen or the rifle" began to rise on the Albanian horizon, they put themselves at the head of the national movement for complete liberation and independence, organizing the struggle to break the chains of foreign bondage, and to establish national independence, to set up the Albanian state, a state which, however, would be no longer a feudal state, but a democratic one.
The Albanians took to arms in 1911 and rose to a man. In 1912 the Albanian insurrections against Turkey entered a new phase, that of the general armed uprising led by a regional insurrectional committee which had its centre in the region of Kosova. The Kosova patriots gave the first signal of the general uprising which spread over the whole of Albania and was crowned with the proclamation of the independence of the country in November 28, 1912 and the formation of an Albanian government chaired by the great patriot Ismail Qemali which had its seat in Vlora.
The Great Powers did not recognize Albania's proclaimed independence. They forced the Albanian government to resign and placed a foreign prince, Wilhelm von Wied, at the head of the new state which had left about half of the Albanian territories outside the mother country - by the delimination of the borders.
During the First World War, Albania was turned into a battlefield where the armies of the imperialists and chauvinist powers confronted one another.
After the war, the imperialist Great Powers - the United States, Britain, France and Italy, most shamelessly tried to sort out their differences at the cost of the peoples (infamous Treaty of London of April 1915 and the Paris Peace Conference of 1919). The publication and denunciation of the imperialist secret treaties at the end of 1917 by the Soviet government led by Lenin, stipulating the dismemberment of Albania, lent powerful support to the anti-imperialist national movement of the Albanian people and raised the vigilance of the mass of patriots.
In January 1920, the imperialist Great Powers were busy planning to give Northern Albania to Yugoslavia and Vlora and its hinterland to Italy, which was also to be given the mandate of the remaining Albanian territories. The Albanian patriots said "No!" The idea of the armed struggle to defend the freedom and independence of the Homeland which was launched at the Congress of Lushnja, expressed the firm determination of the people. The victory of 1920, achieved at Vlora, confirmed a great lesson of the Albanian history, a truth drawn from the century-long battles of the Albanian people, that it is the people themselves, with their inexhaustible forces, who can discharge the missions set by history.
In the years 1920-1924 the expansion of the broad anti-feudal movement for the democratization of the country was crowned with the triumph of the democratic revolution of June 1924. The Fan Noli-government established diplomatic relations with the Soviet Union.
In December 1924, the reactionary gangs of the Albanian feudal lords came into Albania from Yugoslavia and Greece and, with the support of the Yugoslav troops and the White Guards launched a general assault against the revolution.. On December 24, they captured Tirana. Thus, the support of the imperialist Great Powers, the savage dictatorship of the local landowners and the bourgeoisie and a regime of white terror was established in Albania. In 1928, Ahmet Zog instituted the monarchy and proclaimed himself King of the Albanians. Having suppressed all democratic freedom and civil rights, he intensified the oppression and exploitation of the masses of the people by the corrupt ruling class.
Italian military missions and fascist organizations stepped up their activity in the ranks of the Albanian army, preparing the ground for the April 7, 1939 invasion. Zog and his clique fled from the country. The Albanian people did not submit. They expressed their profound hatred for the Italian invaders and never put up with the regime of foreign occupation.
The fascist laws created all over the country an atmosphere of uncertainty and terror.
In fight for more than five years and a half years against the Italian and German fascist occupiers, the Albanian people paid a heavy tribute in blood and sacrifices to bring about the brilliant victory of the peoples against the nazi-fascist aggressors. By fighting for their own national and social liberation, they also fought and shed their blood for the common victory of the peoples against the fascist plague.
The partisan war waged by the Albanian people was, on a world scale, a war in the rear of the enemy. Although its objective was the liberation of the country, the National Liberation War of the Albanian people was a support for the anti-fascist war of the peoples. Right from the beginning, the Communist Party, with comrade Enver Hoxha at the top, linked the war of the Albanian people against Italian fascism and German nazism with the great anti-fascist alliance. As a result of this correct policy, in the course of the Second World War, the Albanian people aligned themselves with the forces of the world anti-fascist coalition. They fought with unexampled heroism and won a place of honour in the war for the defeat of Italian fascism and German nazism. The great victory of the National Liberation War was thus the basis for the successful restoration of Albanian's independence and freedom, the proclamation of 1912 re-entered into force.
The centuries-long the Albanian people struggled for freedom and independence - generation after generation...
They have won their freedom and independence with the blood they have shed.
With the restoration of capitalism in Albania, after the death of comrade Enver Hoxha, the Albanian people lost their freedom and independence under the increasing pressure of the imperialist encirclement of the capitalist-revisionist world.
This is also a grave historical lesson for the peoples all over the world. If you lose socialism - then you lose freedom and independence. Freedom and independence for all people all over the world are only guaranteed in a socialist world. Therefore, the struggle for the socialist world revolution is simultaneously a struggle for the guarantee of the global freedom and independence of the whole mankind. In a world of capitalism there is only slavery and dependence of the people. In this sense, the Albanian bourgeoisie has no right to celebrate November 28, 1912, because this is exactly the class which had trampled the national interests of the Albanian people under foot. Today, the Albanian bourgeois class is a lackey of the same Great Powers which did not recognize the independence of Albania in 1912 and which tried to wipe Albania off the political map of the Balkans !
The capitalist-revisionist encirclement achieved its goal only by the betrayal of socialism. It was the Albanian revisionist Alia-Clique which sold out the achievements of freedom and independence to the imperialists.
Capitulation by the Albanian revisionist leaders in face of the imperialist encirclement - that was the gravest betrayal in Albanian history ! The worst enemy is the inner enemy.
One of the advocates of Albania's joining the NATO was the widow of comrade Enver Hoxha, Nexhmije Hoxha. What is the consequence of this betrayal in the present situation ?
Albanians of today are forced to shed their blood for the interests of the imperialists in Afghanistan.
Moreover, Europe is endangered to be involved in the military conflict in Syria. As one of the 28 members of NATO, Albania is as well forced to defend the fascist Turkey at the Syrian border.
Albania became a lackey of the imperialists and takes part in the most aggressive, counter-revolutionary imperialist military bloc of the world.
This is completely contrary to the attitude of the socialist Albania of comrade Enver Hoxha. The foreign policy of Socialist Albania was an open, principled, independent revolutionary and internationalist policy. It was led by the principles of Marxism-Leninism and proletarian internationalism, it defended the supreme interests of the socialist Homeland, supported the revolutionary movements of the working class and the struggles of the peoples for freedom, independence and sovereignty against the aggressive and hegemonic policy of imperialism.
There is no freedom and independence of Albania in an imperialist world. The Albanian communists of today, therefore struggle for the abolition of the imperialist world, for the re-establishment of a Socialist Albania in a socialist world !
Albania is ripe for the second socialist revolution !
The proclamation of the freedom and independence of Albania from 1912 must be re-established and will be defended by means of the overthrow of the dictatorship of the new bourgeoisie. The Albanian proletariat relies on its own forces, forms itself as a detachment of the army of the world proletariat which is guided by the teachings of the 5 Classics of Marxism-Leninism - Marx, Engels, Lenin, Stalin and Enver Hoxha !
It is now the duty of the Albanian revolutionary proletariat, to create its own Section of the Comintern (SH), for the purpose of taking part in the liberation struggle of the proletarians of all countries - for the victory of the socialist world revolution.
"Over the centuries - the revolutionary sword in Albanian hand for freedom and independence of Albania and the whole world - until the victory of the world socialist revolution !"
"The flag raised in 1912, crowned the titanic struggles of the Albanian people, showed that with their armed struggle, their steel unity for a great aim - the defence of their Homeland, their honor, their customs, their language and noble traditions, the Albanian people had vanquished powerful, savage and perfidious enemies. The Albanian people showed their indomitable, intrepid, wise, unflinching and just spirit, thereby vanquishing their enemies, as they will vanquish in the future any other enemy, no matter how strong and great, attemting to encroach upon their sovereign rights."
On the occasion of the 50th anniversary of the declaration
1912 - November 28th - 1962
in Albanian, English, Russian and French language
This album aims at illustrating with photographic and documentary materials one of the most brilliant periods of the millenary history of the Albanian people: the period of their national renaissance.
The publication of this album is an homage that the new generation, who nowadays live free in their proud socialist country pay to their old ancestors, who, under the conditions of the cruel centuries-old Ottoman regime, at a time when Albania’s political horizon was gloomy and somber on all sides, did not hesitate but worked and fought with unwavering confidence until they came forth victorious to the solemn
day of the 28th of November 1912. whose 50th anniversary we grandiously celebrate this year in the warm climate brought about throughout our country by our heroic Party.
The album is chaptered according to its topics. Through the illustrations evidence has been brought to bear on the main and most important moments of the national renaissance period. These events and moments have been arranged chronologically, starting from the first ideas of the national revival and ending with the declaration of independence. The album presents not only the events, but also the principal personalities of the renaissance in relation to their political and cultural activity.
The material of the album has been mostly taken from the Central Archives of History (Tirana) as well as from the National Library (Tirana), where the personnel has rendered an unreserved assistance. Many other friends and comrades have helped to make up the album offering photographic material. The State Publishing Enterprise «Naim Frashëri» thanks all of them heartily.