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Këshilla (literally meaning "Council" in Albanian; Greek: Ξιλία, romanizedXilia) was an Albanian administration in Thesprotia, Greece, during the Axis occupation of Greece (1942-1944). It was set up during the Fascist Italian occupation with the aim of annexing the Greek region into a greater Albanian state and continued its operations under Nazi German occupation until the defeat of Axis Powers and the end of World War II.[1] This initiative was undertaken by the Cham Albanian leaders of the Dino family, in particular the brothers Nuri and Mazar Dino and received support by the majority of the Cham community, who had collaborated with the Axis.[2][3][4] The policy of ethnic cleansing perpetrated by the Këshilla and other paramilitary organisations under the Dino clan was used by EDES resistance forces at the end of the war to expel the Muslim Cham community from the region, with the exception of small groups who had not followed them.[5][6]


Following the Italian invasion of Albania, the Albanian Kingdom became a protectorate of the Kingdom of Italy. The Italians, especially governor Francesco Jacomoni, used the Cham issue as a means to rally Albanian support.[7] As the final excuse for the start of the Greco-Italian War, Jacomoni used the killing of a Cham Albanian leader Daut Hoxha, whose headless body was discovered near the village of Vrina in June 1940. It was alleged by the Italian-controlled government in Tirana that he had been murdered by Greek secret agents. Hoxha was a military leader of the Cham struggle during the inter-war years, leading to him being branded as a bandit by the Greek government.[8]


In October 1940, the Greek authorities disarmed 1,800 Cham conscripts and put them to work on local roads. On the following month, after the Italian invasion, they seized all Albanian males not called up and deported them to camps or to island exile.[5] Under these circumstances,[5] as Italy managed to control Greece after the German invasion, several hundred Cham Albanians formed a local administration called Këshilla in 1942. These armed bands took part alongside the German army in burning Greek villages. But the local beys and the mufti did not support such actions.[1][5] In 1943, this organization was completed with its own armed forces as well as a gendarmerie.[1]

Although the Italians wanted to annex Chameria to Albania,[7] the Germans vetoed the proposal. An Albanian High Commissioner, Xhemil Dino, was appointed, but his authority was limited, and for the duration of the Occupation, the area remained under direct control from the military authorities in Athens.[7]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c Kretsi, Georgia.The Secret Past of the Greek-Albanian Borderlands. Cham Muslim Albanians: Perspectives on a Conflict "Albanian political administration called ‘Këshilla’ was founded in 1942, and after 1943 it was completed with its own armed forces as well as a gendarmerie".
  2. ^ Γκότοβος, Αθανάσιος (2013). Ετερότητα και σύγκρουση: ταυτότητες στην κατοχική Θεσπρωτία και ο ρόλος της Μουσουλμανικής μειονότητας. University of Ioannina, Dodoni Journal. pp. 44, 66. Εφοδιασμένος με γερμανικές πιστοποιήσεις, όμως, δεν ήταν μόνο ο Nuri Dino , αλλά και ο αδελφός του Mazar, ο οποίος έχει έδρα την Παραμυθιά, είναι πρόεδρος της «Ξίλια» και διοικητής του λόχου των Αλβανών της «Τσαμουριάς»..Η τραγωδία, όμως, της υπόθεσης αυτής δεν βρίσκεται στην αυτοκαταστροφική πορεία της ηγεσίας των μουσουλμάνων Τσάμηδων της Θεσπρωτίας, ... παγίδευσε το σύνολο σχεδόν των ομοεθνών της να συμμετάσχουν στην υλοποίηση της αλβανικής μεγάλης ιδέας, να υπολογίσουν σε λάθος σύμμαχο για την πραγμάτωση της ένωσης της Θεσπρωτίας με την Αλβανία
  3. ^ Meyer, Hermann Frank (2008). Blutiges Edelweiß: Die 1. Gebirgs-division im zweiten Weltkrieg [Bloodstained Edelweiss. The 1st Mountain-Division in WWII] (in German). Ch. Links Verlag. p. 705. ISBN 978-3-86153-447-1.
  4. ^ Russell King, Nicola Mai, Stephanie Schwandner-Sievers, The New Albanian Migration, Sussex Academic Press, 2005, ISBN 9781903900789, p. 67.
  5. ^ a b c d Mazower, Mark. After The War Was Over: Reconstructing the Family, Nation and State in Greece, 1943-1960. Princeton University Press, 2000, ISBN 0-691-05842-3, pp. 25-26.
  6. ^ Γκότοβος, Αθανάσιος (2013). Ετερότητα και σύγκρουση: ταυτότητες στην κατοχική Θεσπρωτία και ο ρόλος της Μουσουλμανικής μειονότητας. University of Ioannina, Dodoni Journal. pp. 65–66. Η εκκένωση του συνόλου σχεδόν του μουσουλμανικού πληθυσμού της Θεσπρωτίας - με εξαίρεση τους λίγους μουσουλμάνους μαχητές που ήταν ενταγμένο στο αντάρτικο του ΕΔΕΣ κυρίως από το χωριό Κόντρα της Γκρόπας ήταν, ίσως, μια από τις λίγες ρεαλιστικές αποφάσεις που πήρε ο Nuri Dino
  7. ^ a b c Fischer, Bernd Jürgen (1999). Albania at War, 1939-1945. C. Hurst & Co. Publishers. pp. 75–76. ISBN 978-1-85065-531-2.
  8. ^ Vickers, Miranda. The Cham Issue - Albanian National & Property Claims in Greece. Paper prepared for the British MoD, Defence Academy, 2002.ISBN 1-903584-76-0.

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