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Ipek, Kosovo Vilayet, Ottoman Empire
|Died||February 11, 1939
|Known for||Communist activity
Participation in the Spanish Civil War
Ali Kelmendi (born 1900 in İpek, now Peć, Kosovo Vilayet, Ottoman Empire – died 11 February 1939 in France), Hero of Albania under the communist government, was a Kosovar Albanian communist, an organizer of the communist movement in Albania.
Ali Kelmendi was born in 1900 in a poor peasant family in the town of İpek in the Kosovo Vilayet of the Ottoman Empire (in present-day Kosovo[a]). In 1920 he fled to Albania after all communist activities were banned in Kingdom of Yugoslavia. There he joined the left-wing political movement "Bashkimi" (English:Unity) of Avni Rustemi, Llazar Fundo, and Fuat Asllani.
In June 1924, he participated in the resurgence led by Fan Noli in Albania as a fighter. After the fall of Noli's regime (December 1924) he emigrated to Brindisi, Italy, thereafter to Austria. Kelmendi joined the anti-Zogist group KONARE (English: Revolutionary National Committee, Albanian: Komiteti Nacional Revolucionar) founded by Noli.
On 8 October 1925 Kelmendi went then to the Soviet Union together with other 13 Albanians based on an study-related invitation from COMINTERN. He passed one year in the Dzerzhinsky Academy in Leningrad (today's "Grand Duke Mikhail Pavlovich"), and after that he moved to Odessa to work as customs official. There he joined the Albanian communist group affiliated to the Balkan Confederation of Communist Parties belonging to the Communist International.
In 1930, the Communist International sent Kelmendi to Albania as an organizer of the communist movement. He also made some organizational work in Kosovo. However, his work bore no considerable fruit since Marxism hadn't found any favorable soil in Albania and the clandestine work was very difficult because of the activity of the security police. Kelmendi was arrested several times and in 1936 he was exiled. He went shortly back to Russia in March 1932, and after the exile from Albania to Greece and then Moscow. He later server as an intermediary between COMINTERN and Albanian communist groups. Kelmendi participated in the Spanish Civil War.
In 1939, he edited a propagandist newspaper in France together with other Albanian communists. He died in Paris, France on 11 February 1939 after complications from a stomach surgery, while suffering of tuberculosis.
Notes and references
|a.||^ Kosovo is the subject of a territorial dispute between the Republic of Serbia and the Republic of Kosovo. The latter declared independence on 17 February 2008, but Serbia continues to claim it as part of its own sovereign territory. Kosovo's independence has been recognised by 107 out of 193 United Nations member states.|
- Ali Kelmendi, Krsta Aleksić, Rilindja, Prishtina 1970, OCLC 8991273