Albanian Fascist Party
|Albanian Fascist Party
Partia Fashiste e Shqipërisë
|Historic Leader||Tefik Mborja|
|Founded||June 2, 1939|
|Dissolved||July 27, 1943|
|Succeeded by||Guard of Greater Albania (Garda e Shqipërisë së Madhe)|
|Youth wing||Djelmnia e Liktorit Shqiptar (GLA)|
|Paramilitary wing||Albanian Militia (MVA)|
|Ideology||Fascism (Italian) Albanian Nationalism|
|Political position||Far right|
The Albanian Fascist Party (Albanian: Partia Fashiste e Shqipërisë — PFSh) was a fascist movement which held nominal power in Albania from 1939, when the country was conquered by Italy, until 1943, when Italy capitulated to the Allies. Afterward, Albania fell under German occupation, and the PFSh was replaced by the Guard of Greater Albania.
The PFSh was a branch of the Italian National Fascist Party (PNF) with Benito Mussolini at its head and organized along autonomous principles, and with its own paramilitary Black Shirts, the Albanian Militia. It was never a mass movement, with membership reported at 13,500 in May 1940; however, during the PFSh's time in power, it did realize the vision of Greater Albania, expanding the borders of Albania into modern-day Epirus and Kosovo. Albanian schools were opened for the first time in centuries in the liberated territories with initiatives taken informally by Ernest Koliqi, Minister of Education and Kol Bib Mirakaj, Minister of Interior, with the help of two hundred and fifty Albanan volunteer teachers.
In early 1943, Maliq Bej Bushati, an anti-monarchist nationalist, reorganized the PFSh as the Guard of Greater Albania and worked to distance Albania from Italy, striking fascist symbols from the flag (two fasces, one on each side of the Albanian eagle) and asserting Albanian autonomy in many spheres. Skanderbeg's Eagle was restored on Albanian military uniforms. After the fall of the Verlaci government. The new Albanan government acted independently seeking to halt the British supported Communist insurgency. However, the Italian surrender led to the country's invasion by Nazi Germany and changed the political situation in the country as the Monarchists and Balli Kombetar joined the Communists in the hope of gaining post war control.
Germany did not exert control over Albania, seeking only strategic security and eventually the orderly withdrawl of its forces from the Balkans, in order to reinforce the defense of Germany as Russian forces advanced toward Berlin. The new Albanian government, consistently with the policies of previous governments, continued to shelter Jews which had found refuge there from systematic persecution, deportation or killings that occurred in other countries. Not a single Jew was harmed in Albania during the entire war period. Albanian volunteers did, however, form an SS division, the 21st Waffen Mountain Division of the SS Skanderbeg (1st Albanian) with the intent to oppose the Communist insurrection.
After the fall of the Third Reich, Albania descended into civil war. The Communists turned against their Monarchist an Ballist allies effectively gaining control of the country on November 29, 1944. A limited resistance held by Nationalist forces continued both in Albania and in Kosovo, with the last of these reported to have ceased fighting in 1951, after the British-American covert support operations were exposed by Soviet agent Kim Philby.
Ministers Secretaries of the Albanian Fascist Party
Ministers Secretaries of the Guard of Great Albania
- "The Jews of Albania during the Zogist and Second World War Periods" by Bernd J. Fisher
- "Rescue in Albania" by Haroey Samer
- States and Regents of the World: Albania
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