bjoerna.dk Kultursociolog Bjørn Andersen firstname.lastname@example.org
Krudttønden i baghaven
The Back Garden Powderkeg
Version 3.1 - 22.01.2013 - [Version 3.0: 25.09.2010]
Often the Serbs are referring to the Battle at the Kosovo Polje that took place in 1389. The book tells about the battle - the background and about what happened afterwards: the integration into the Ottoman Empire.
The book argues against the use of the History as a key. History cannot decide who has the legitime right to inhabit a specific area.
Apart from this, History did not take place as the Serbs usually say. The Turks were brutal, but coming to terms with them was possible - or even more than that. The Serb princes - and the Albanians too - could manoeuvre and get much out of it. If switching to another partner was profitable, then it was often done. Skanderbeg, the renowned medieval Albanian prince, did just that in the 15' century.
The Serbs oriented themselves to the North, whereas the Albanians got along with the Turks, - but many uprisings took place.
This separation between the Serbs and the Albanians - and the parallel differences in cultural habits - is important in the current conflict in Kosova.
The book tells the story of some fascinating Albanian characters - who are complex politically. One of them was Ali Pasha of Tepelene, who attempted to establish his own kingdom in the first part of the 19' century. His attempts were done at the expense of the Turks, but obviously at the expense of the Albanian and Greek inhabitants too. Even when he succeeded for a long period, he failed in the end. All let him down - and he himself was beheaded - and the Turks displayed his head in Constantinople.
Another important character was the chief Ahmet Zogu, who was strong enough to seize power after the First World War and to proclaim as a king, but the Italians and Mussolini overthrew him. The Italians then made Albania as a colony - as in the antiquity.
Studying the period since the First World War, the Italian philosopher Niccolò Machiavelli is of particular relevance. The book presents Il Principe and discusses some main thoughts of Machiavelli.
Enver Hoxha, the communist leader, did just the same as his predecessors did. He too manoeuvred and leaned in turn against three, different, big powers. First Yugoslavia, then the Soviet Union and at last the People's Republic of China.
Nevertheless, even when the intention was to get most independence, Albania had to pay an exorbitant price: the country did not develop economically and socially as the countries in Western Europe, and when the Hoxha-regime collapsed in 1990, Albania had to face enormous problems - and these problems persist.
The communist memorial to Hoxha - a huge pyramid in Tirana - announced, ironically, the scandalous Pyramid Schemes in the era of Sali Berisha.
Stefan Lazarevic, king of the Serbs in the years after the Battle at the Kosovo Polje, and also Skanderbeg, Ahmet Zogu and Enver Hoxha, can be regarded as vassals, but the old Latin relationship between the patron and his clients call itself into attention. Often the patron and his clients both gained from the relationship - and so it was from time to time in the Albanian past. However, unsatisfied clients have changed to another patron - and the opposite has happened too - as when Mussolini sent Ahmet Zogu packing.
The last years have been quite chaotic. Showdowns have arisen between the old and the new. We can hope for a reconciliation between the two big 'wings', that is the Democratic Party and their allies and the Socialists and their allies, or at least we can hope for an emerging of an understanding, which can open for negotiations and compromising. Obviously the process will take time considering the lack of experience in modern democracy.
Different types of sources have been used from topical news telegrams to writings of Ludvig Holberg (the Danish historian, 1684-1754), Lord Byron, Edward Lear (the English painter and writer), Sami Frashëri (the Albanian writer) and Franz von Jessen (the Danish journalist, 1870-1949). Some sources are reprinted in part. [Holberg, cf.: Holberg om Skanderbeg [in Danish] / Holberg on Scanderbeg [in English]]
A search for the wife of King Zog on the Internet leaded to a book by the American diplomat, John F. Montgomery. Montgomery tells about some clandestine negotiations on Albania between Mussolini and the Serb king Alexandar. Shortly after the negotiations ended - in vain - the king was killed in France.
Some Danes have studied Albanian matters - among those are the philologists Holger Pedersen, Gunnar Sandfeld, Johannes Oestrup and Gunnar Svane. Oestrup translated an Albanian Drama (which is quoted in the book) - and an old Serb chronicle - interpreted by Gunnar Svane - has been of a great value too.
The book is supplemented with many illustrations, a table of contents and a comprehensive subject index.
KRUDTTØNDEN I BAGHAVEN
Hvad kan man bruge Historien til?
Idealisme og pragmatisme
Bør vi investere?
Kosova og vores forhold til serberne
Krav til en analyse
Kort: Nutidens Albanien og dets naboer
DEN ILLYRISKE HISTORIE
Romerne erobrer Illyrien
SLAVISK INDVANDRING OG BYZANTINSK SAMMENBRUD
Den slaviske invasion
SLAGET PÅ SOLSORTESLETTEN 1389
GJERGJ KASTRIOTI = SKANDERBEG
ALI PASHA AF TEPELENA
Kara Mahmud Bushati
Osman Pasha Pasvanoglu
George Byron besøger Ali Pasha
EDWARD LEAR - DEN NYSGERRIGE ENGLÆNDER
Den kulturelle bevægelse
Udvandring til Amerika
BALKAN-KRIGENE OG 1' VERDENSKRIG
Franz von Jessen på hest gennem Albanien
2' Balkankrig, sommeren '13
Kort: Nutidens Albanien
AHMET ZOGU: BAJRAKTAR, KONGE OG FLYGTNING
Græske og italienske krav
Fan Noli-regeringen. Ahmet Zogu's sejr
Jugoslavisk sondering hos Mussolini
Italiensk angreb på Grækenland
Balli Kombëtar. Befrielsesfronten
Kampe gennem '43 og '44. Befrielsen
Skismaet i '48
Integration frem for besættelse
Brug af leje- og hjælpetropper
Ahmet Zogu og Machiavelli
ENVER HOXHA: FØRST VAR DER 10, SÅ ...
Den jugoslaviske fase 1944-48
Den russiske fase 1948-61
Den kinesiske fase 1961-78
Farlige spørgsmål ... ?
PARANOIA OG SELVBEDRAG
Mehmet Shehu's endeligt
BILLEDER FRA EN ISOLERET FORTID
ALIA OG BERISHA: FRA BUNKERE TIL PYRAMIDER
Sali Berisha's afhopninger
Ismail Kadare's afhopning
Sali Berisha's valg af en bi-polær strategi
Albanerne må med i et økonomisk samarbejde
Afledningsmanøvren Leka Zogu
En islamisk fase?
AZEM HAJDARI: EN MAND MED FORBINDELSER
Hvem var Azem Hajdari?
Drabsforsøg i '97
Opgør i Den Uafhængige Fagbevægelse
Eksempel på PHARE-projekt
Kort: Nutidens Kosova
Kosova som selvstændig stat?
Et kompromis er nødvendigt
Modsætningerne blandt Kosova-albanerne
Betydningen for Albanien
ORD OG BEGREBER
Musikken, sangen og dansen
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