Biographical data on
Dr. Ismail Verlaci
President of the
National Independent Bloc
Dr. Ismail Verlaci, President of the N.I.B. was born in 1917 in Corfu. He did his studies in Italy, graduating from the University of Rome in Economics and Commerce in 1939. He began as a Foreign Minister where he reached the rank of Vice-Consul. He resigned in 1943.
He belonged to one of the most famous, noble and wealthy families of Albania. His father, Shefqet Bej Verlaci, who died in Switzerland in 1946, had an eminent part in the political events of the country. He was a member of the Turkish parliament prior to 1913 (the year in which the independence of Albania was proclaimed) supporting Albanian rights in the capital of the Turkish Empire and working toward the freedom of his nation. Although unpopular with the Turks, he was feared and honored by them, but at the same time under surveillance. In the region of Elbasan, where his personal influence was predominant, he had, through charitable works and with the diligent care of local interests, acquired also the affection of the humble classes, which still today, despite the violent communist wave, retain grateful memories of him. He was elected president of the Council of Ministers for the first time in 1924 and again in 1939. He represented the Elbasan region in all legislatures from 1919 to 1943.
His son Ismail, until the death of his father (1946), did not deal with political matters. Heir to a great name and considerable financial resources (fortunately deposited abroad before the war of 1914), he understood that the Albanian immigrants and friends of his father and his, persecuted atrociously in Albania, had the right to demand on his part understanding and support. And since 1946, elected president of the Block, he devoted himself with all his youthful energies and with his means to the cause of the liberation of the homeland and to the assistance of needy refugees without distinction of religious affiliation and political color. He subsidizes the newspaper L’Albanie Libre, an organ of the BKI, which is conducting an uninterrupted anti-communist campaign.
In the region of Elbasan there are still traces of resistance supported by his friends. Recently, two of his faithful followers managed to penetrate illegally in Albania, and stay there for more than a month and go out to Greece to receive information on the internal situation in the country.