Prof. Ernest Koliqi

Prof. Ernest Koliqi (1903-1975)

Prof. Ernest Koliqi, born in Shkoder, Albania in 1903 was a a poet, writer, teacher, journalist, politician, historian. He is considered as the founder of the Albanian prose. As Minister of Education from 1939-1941 he was able to send 200 teachers to Kosovo to establish Albanian schools. He translated numerous literary works from Italian to Albanian. He wrote numerous poems and books. He is considered a cultural hero in Albania. A school is named after him in Tirana, his books are studied and revered worldwide. His resume is lengthy and his contribution to the Albanian culture is endless. In 1943 he went back to Rome to continue his work at the University there and was appointed Ambassador to the Vatican. In this tumultuous time he also found himself not able to return to Albania and remained in Italy. In 1945 and soon after he was joined by other exiled nationalists; Gjon Markagjoni, Ndue Gjon Marku, his brother Lem Koliqi and others.

On November 6, 1946 the Bloku Independent Kombetar (National Independent Bloc) was founded in Rome by Kapidan Gjon Markagjoni, Kapidan Ndue Gjon MarkuDr. Ismail Verlaci and Prof. Ernest Koliqi. Subsequently, in 1947, he founded the gazette L’Albanie Libre, an organ of the BKI, with the intent of publishing and dispersing information to the world and Albania about the atrocities of the communist regime and as a tool to keep his compatriots informed of the progresses being made in the west to win the fight against communism. Koliqi would continue his work at the University of Rome and remain active within the BKI until his death in 1975.