|Founder of the Legaliteti movement|
August 6, 1892|
Akçahisar, Ottoman Empire
Today Krujë, Albania
|Died||17 January 1976
New York City, United States
Abaz Kupi (1892–1976) or Abas Kupi also known as Bazi i Canës, was an Albanian military officer. Kupi was born in Kruje.
He served as commander of the gendarmerie of the town of Kruja, and later of the town of Durrës. As a royalist, he created the Legality Movement in Albania, which promoted the return to the throne of Zog of Albania. During the Cold War Kupi was a member of the Albanian Free Committee, which intended to overthrow the communist regime in Albania and to return the monarchy.
Born on 6 August 1892, in the Varosh neighborhood of Akçahisar (now Krujë). In 1913-1918 he entered the service of Essad Pasha Toptani. In 1922 he took part in the coup d'état of Elez Isufi that attacked Tirana to overthrow the government, but the rebels were defeated by the courage of Captain Prenk Pervizi and their soldiers come to the aid of Ahmet Zog, back then Minister of Interior. British Ambassador Hayres persuaded Elez Isufi to return to Dibra.
During the revolution of 1924, Abaz Kupi remained neutral and, when Ahmet Zogu returned, his friend Prenk Pervizi brought him close to Zogu, who made him head of the gendarme of Kruja with the rank of captain. The Italian invasion of Albania found Kupi with the rank of major in Durrës, but he was not capable of organizing the defense and had to flee before he was taken by the Italians. With the Italian invasion complete, Kupi moved to Turkey, where he remained until there was a new opportunity to fight the Italians. His family was deported to the south of Italy.
World War II activity
When the United Kingdom entered World War II the British forces were looking into possibilities of creating an antifascist resistance in Albania. At this times the best fit figures of Albania was Muharrem Bajraktari, Prenk Pervizil Hysni Dema, Fiqri Dine, Gjon Markagjoni, Myslym Peza, and Mustafa Gjinishi (a communist). Abaz Kupi went from Turkey with the intention of leading the resistance. The Yugoslav government was against such action, but when a German attack on Yugoslavia was imminent it gave the green light. On April 1941, a small group led by Abaz Kupi, Xhemal Herri, Gani Kryeziu, and Mustafa Gjinishi with the support of Muharrem Bajraktari entered Albania from the Yugoslav frontier. Because of poor supplies and lack of coordination, the expedition was trapped in the mountainous regions of northern Albania and failed. At this times captain Xhemal Herri, chief of secret services of King Zog and his faithful man, was treacherously killed by Abaz Kupi in Kruja in 1943 in obscure circumstances. This crime was a great shame and indelible stain for Kupi.
Abaz Kupi collaborated with the communists and was elected a member of the General Council of the National Liberation Movement known as LANÇ'. Kupi participated with the communists in the Mukje Agreement organized by the Balli Kombëtar (National Front). Soon after the event, he was forced to leave the communists, (National Liberation Front) and created the Legality Movement, which aimed for the return of King Zog to Albania. Apart from some sporadic fighting in September 1943 in Krujë (while he was stiil with the communists), his forces did not attack German troops, although pressed to do so by the British mission, which was established with them. At these circumstances the British mission was protected by General Prenk Pervizi, one of the most important nationalist personalities and head of the Albanian army. When the Albanian communists First Storm Division attacked in northern Albania from August to October 1944, the British mission left Albania. Anti-communist leaders fled to the mountains in agreement with the Allies. Instead, Kupi fled by boat and was taken by the Italians and put in prison in Ancona.
After his arrival in Italy (rescued by an Italian military ship, lost at sea with his companions), Kupi was liberated by Allied troops from Ancona prison and then kept in a refugee camp. Meanwhile, the communists had taken over in Albania, pushing several important nationalists, Zogist, and anti-communist personalities to exile, including Muharrem Bajraktari, Fiqri Dine, Prenk Pervizi, Zef Pali, Abaz Kupi, Abaz Ermenji, and others. In 1949, the Albanians formed in Paris the Free Albania Committee with President Midhat Frashëri, of which also Kupi it took part with other important Albanians. U.S. State Department representatives. Kupi continued his anti-communist activity until he died in New York City in January 1976.
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