Aims and Purposes of the BKI – CIA – Sep 15, 1949

In September of 1949, after joint operations began into Albania, the CIA laid out their view of the aims and purposes of the BKI. The document represents the positive view which the Allied forces had toward the members, the objectives and long term goals of the BKI.

The trust and optimism of the Allies toward the group cannot be denied.

The Bloc was created by Kapidan Gjon Markagjoni, Kapidan Ndue Gjon Gjomarkaj, Dr. Ismail Verlaci, Prof. Ernest Koliqi, Dr. Lin Shkreli and other intellectuals of varied religious denominations from Albania.

It was described as the most definitely anti-Communist of the political groups in which the Albanian emigres are organized”.
CIA Report RDP-82-00457r003200140008-0-1949 dated 15 Sep 1949

Country:   ALBANIA
Subject:    Aims and Purposes of the BKI

Given below are the aims and purposes of the BKI (Bloku Kombetar Independent – National Independent Bloc), with a list of the most prominent members:

1. The BKI has as the base of its political program two fundamental aims: to use all means to free Albania from the Soviet yoke and to seek every possibility of enabling the Albanian people to obtain the freedom necessary freely to decide its future.

2. It is understood that the BKI is a political organization of a temporary nature, inasmuch as the groups and the individuals composing it are united by a single purpose, i.e. the struggle against the present Communist regime. However, almost three years of joint activity have brought the principal components of the BKI closer together and therefore it may be supposed that, the country having been liberated from the Red tyranny, this temporary organization will bring forth a solid and compact party with a program in line with Western democracy, championing social reforms instituted on the basis of sound criteria inherent in the real needs of the nation, and exalting the best innate traditions of the people, the cultivation of which constitutes a barrier to the diffusion of the subversive ideas of Bolshevism or any other ‘ism’.

3. Communism in Albania is racial rather than social in nature, that is, it serves as a camouflage for Soviet Pan-Slavic imperialism. The deadly danger of Pan-Slavic pressure on the tiny Albanian nation, whether under the form of Czarism or of Bolshevism, remains always the same. The Albanian communist party was created and organized by two Slav agents named Dusan and Miladin, who aimed only to prepare the ground for Russian infiltration.

4. The BKI comprises the majority of those Albanian political emigres who, through family tradition or religious or cultural conviction, are intransigent enemies of Communist theory and practice. Whatever opinion opponents of BKI may express in good faith or in bad, they cannot deny that the BKI is the most definitely anti-Communist of the political groups in which the Albanian emigres are organized. If certain of the figures which belong to the BKI frequently accepted, or rather submitted to, diplomatic compromises, they did it because constrained to do so by the Slav peril. The Albanian people, numerically too small to defend itself alone, through the centuries has frequently had to save itself by choosing the lesser of two evils. Today the leaders of the BKI, convinced that the threat of the dissolution of Albania still comes from the East, look confidently to America which alone can assure its existence and peaceful development in a civilized atmosphere.

5. There are charges that this political organization includes the last remnants of feudalism and some individuals who, in the recent past, enjoyed an authority reminiscent to the Middle Ages. It is sufficient to glance over the list of the principal leaders of the BKI to perceive that this charge does not hold water, since the number of intellectuals of the BKI exceeds the number of representatives of historic families who, in any case, if they occupy certain posts in the Executive Committee, are fully entitled to do so by virtue of the fact that their culture is equal to their nobility. That the entire group is imbued with a genuine and sincere democratic spirit (along the lines of Western democracy) is demonstrated by the second aim of the BKI in its program, that is, to leave to the free will of the people the solution of the question of the Monarchy and of the future organization of the Government.

6. The tenacious and heroic resistance against Soviet Communism in Albania from 1944 to date has been almost exclusively the work of the sons, brothers, relatives and followers of the leaders of the BKI.

7. The numerous nuclei of anti-Communist Partisans who have taken refuge in the labyrinths of the trackless mountains of Albania recognize as their chiefs some of the best known leaders of the BKI and are ready to go into action on orders from them. However, in order to avoid today fierce and inhuman reprisals against the populations of the villages which provide them with food, these nationalist guerrillas are remaining quite inactive while awaiting the proper time for action. All members of the BKI have some followers in Albania who are languishing in prison and are persecuted as anti-Communists.

8. The BKI, although including representatives of the three faiths which exist in Albania, enjoys the esteem and consideration of high figures in the Vatican, particularly because of the well known moderation of its members and because of the calmness which characterizes all its political activities.

9. In addition to the President of the BKI, Dr. Ismail Verlaci, leading members are the following:

  • Gjon Marka Gjoni, the traditional leader of the Albanian Catholics, member of the very old Gjon Markaj family, Prince of the Mirdite and custodians of the Kanun of Lek Dukagjni (law of the mountains of Albania); representatives of the Gjon Markaj family were the godsons of Napoleon I and Napoleon III, who sent high officials and gifts to their baptism. The influence of Prince Marka Gjoni on the people of Mirdite is well known and, it may be said, has greatly increased since the loss of his two sons, Mark and Sander, who fell after heroic resistance against the Red forces while at the head of their followers, the first in June 19471 and the second in 19492, and who are today a subject of glorification in the popular songs of the mountains.
  • Ndue Marka Gjoni, the second son of Gjon Marka Gjoni, who is with him in Rome.
  • Dr. Ekrem Vlora, a Moslem man of letters, a former Senator, many times Deputy from Vlone, and Minister representing Albania in Athens and London.
  • Spiro Sheko, from Korce, a member of the Greek Orthodox faith, who belongs to the famous Albanian commercial family which still possesses considerable financial means in Italy, and who gives financial assistance to the BKI.
  • Professor Ernest Koliqi, a Roman Catholic from Shkoder, poet, author and University Professor.
  • Professor Namik Resuli, a Moslem from Fier, a man of letters and a University Professor.
  • Professor Ndue Paluca, a Roman Catholic from the region of Shkoder and for a long time an important figure in the field of education in Albania.
  • Professor Karl Gurakuqi, a Roman Catholic from Shkoder, a man of letters and a University professor.
  • Professor Athanas Gegaj, a Roman Catholic from the Grande Malessia, a man of letters and a historian.
  • Professor Stefan Gazulli, a Roman Catholic from Zadrima; a brother, who was a priest and the author of an Albanian dictionary, was executed by the Communists.
  • Agronom (sic) Ago Agaj, a Moslem from the Vlone region and a former Minister.
  • Vassil Allarupi, a Greek Orthodox Catholic from Korce, and a journalist.
  • Dr. Eduard Lico, a Moslem from Korce, a journalist and publisher of L’Albanie Libre.
  • Dr. Ali Vrioni, a Moslem, member of the old Vrioni family of Berat, a journalist and a former diplomat.
  • Dr. Kadri Myfti, a Moslem from Elbasan and a former diplomat.
  • Tahir Kolgjini, a Moslem from Luma and a former Prefect.
  • Vahib Runa, an influential Moslem, from Laberia (Gjrokastra).
  • Nexhmedin Qoraliu, a Moslem from Tirana, related to the Egyptian aristocracy.
  • Lin Shkreli, a Roman Catholic from Shkoder and president of the Association of Albanian University Professors.
  • Dr. Gligor Buzi, a Greek Orthodox Catholic from Permet, a journalist and representative of the BKI in the United States.
  • Enver Resilija, a Moslem notable from the Vlone region.
  • Pandeli Papalilo, a Greek Orthodox Catholic from Permet and a high official of Public Security.
  • Colonel Luigji Gargjola, a Roman Catholic from Shkoder.
  • Major Safa Vlora, a Moslem from Vlone.
  • Major Alush Lleshanaku, a Moslem from Elbasan.
  • Captain Mahmu Cela, a Moslem from Dibra.
  • Artillery Captain Gorgji Ruco, a Greek Orthodox Catholic from Kolonje.
  • Captain Xhevdet Blloshmi, a Moslem from Elbasan.
  • Lt. Mubareq Toptani, a Moslem from Tirana.

1Correction – 1946

2Correction – 1947