Balli Kombëtar


Balli Kombëtar

The Balli Kombëtar was an Albanian nationalist and anti-communist organization established in 1939. During World War II, it functioned largely as a resistance group against Italian and German occupation forces in Albania. However, members of the Balli Kombëtar collaborated with the Axis Powers during their occupation of Greece. In 1943, for example, members recruited by the organization participated alongside the Wehrmacht in burning Greek villages. [Mazower, Mark. "After The War Was Over: Reconstructing the Family, Nation and State in Greece, 1943-1960". Princeton University Press, 2000, ISBN 0691058423, p. 25. "Not surprisingly, when the Italians finally took control of mainland Greece in 1941, they found Cham activists willing to call for unification of the region with Albania. Several hundred were conscripted into the anti-communist Bal Komitare to act as local gendarmes. From the autumn of 1943, these armed bands took part alongside the Wehrmacht in burning Greek villages. Such actions, it seems, were not supported by many of the local beys, nor by the Mufti."]

The political program of the organization included the unification of ethnic Albanians in Albania, southern Montenegro, Kosovo, western Macedonia and Chameria in a single state (cf. Ethnic Albania). In 1943, the Albanian Communist Party, under the pressure of the Yugoslav Communist Party, declared war on Balli Kombëtar and threw Albania into a civil war. The Communists won and proceeded to imprison, execute or force Balli Kombetar members into exile, mainly to Europe and the United States.

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