Në përkujtim të Faik Konicës
nga Romeo Gurakuqi
Në kulmin e aktivitetit diplomatik për njohjen e udhëheqësisë politike shqiptare,
përkrah Aleancës Antifashiste në Luftën e Dytë Botërore,
populli shqiptar dhe emigracioni shqiptar në Amerikë,
do të mbesë pa kreun më të lartë dhe më me autoritet të përfaqësisë
Më 15 dhjetor 1942, ish Ministri shqiptar në Washington, Faik Konica vdiq në Boston pas një infrakti kardiak.
Ceremonia e varrimit të Faik Konicës u zhvillua me 20 dhjetor 1942, në Boston.
Kjo ceremoni ishte njëkohësisht edhe një moment reflektimi dhe programimi të qëndrimeve përfaqësuese shqiptare, të mishëruara këto në fjalimin në funeral të mbajtur nga Imzot Fan Noli.
Fjalimi ishte ndërtuar në një formë të atillë, jo vetëm për të vlerësuar shqiptarin më të ditur të kohës, por edhe për t’i tërhequr vëmendjen autoriteteve amerikane mbi çështjen shqiptare dhe mbi faktin se bëhej fjalë për ambasadorin e një shteti sovran, të pushtuar nga një vend agresor fashist. Për rrjedhojë, përmes nderimit të merituar dhe të naltësuar të Konicës, Noli synonte ta impenjonte diplomacinë amerikane për detyrime të mëtejshme në përputhje me Kartën e Atlantikut, mbi pavarësinë, integritetin dhe vetëvendosjen e Shqipërisë. Pikërisht ky synim siç duket ka qenë, kur në fjalën e fundit, Noli përmend angazhimin e USG për dërgimin e trupit të Faik Konicës në vendlindje. Mirëpo, me sa kuptohet, kjo deklaratë e Nolit ka qenë vetjake, paraprirëse dhe nxitëse dhe jo e bazuar mbi një vendimarrje të vërtetë prej SD, mbasi në muajin janar 1943, SD do të deklaronte se nuk ekzistonte ndonjë vendimarrje e tillë prej USG.
Faik Konica u largua nga kjo botë pikërisht në momentin që Shqipëria kishte më shumë nevojë për atë në aspektin e mbrojtjes diplomatike të çështjes shqiptare në Perëndim.
Përsa i përket bibliotekës së lënë nga Faik Konica në Washington: sipas sekretares së Konicës, zonjushës Graham, ai para se të vdiste, e kishte lënë me gojë dëshirën e tij, që biblioteka personale të përfshihej brenda Bibliotekës Kombëtare në Tiranë. Deri atëherë, librat dhe objektet personale të Faik Konicës, përfshirë monedha shqiptare në ar, gioeli, një mbajtëse cigaresh në ar, etj., u depozituan në emër të “Vatrës”. pranë, “Fidelty Storage Company” në Washington D.C., ndërsa kujdesin për pasimin e postit të tij në SHBA, e morën mbi vete Federata Panshqiptare “Vatra” dhe Ipeshkvi Fan Noli, në cilësinë e Kryetarit të Kishës Orthodokse Autoqefale Shqiptare në Boston.
Por Nolit, me vdekjen e Konicës i ishte dëmtuar siguria kryesore vendimarrëse, saktësia dhe forca përbashkuese e dy mendjeve të mëdha në konsulencë.
Më poshtë në shënime keni versionin e saktë të fjalës të dërguar nga vetë Noli, Sekretarit të Shtetit Cordell Hull.
Funeral Oration of Faik Konitza, delivered by Bishop F.S. Noli, Boston Mass., December 20, 1942.
“Ladies and Gentleman,
We are gathered together here to pay our last respects and say farewell to one of the most distinguished sons of Albania, Faik Konitza. As you all know, Faik Konitza was one of the greatest master of Albanian prose-writing.
Moreover he is the man who rediscovered the old Albanian flag of Scanderbeg. There are three titles which even his bitterest opponents would not dream of denying him: Albanian Flag.
Let me add a few words about the Albanian Flag. As you all know none of the flags of our Balkan neighbors are older than a century and a half. Some of them are less than a century old. Ours is at least 500 years old and perhaps several centuries older. It was the flag of George Castriot Scanderbeg, the national hero of Albania, who fought against the Turks for a quarter of a century and was the last Christian warrior in the Balkans to defy successfully the greatest sultans of Turkey. After Scanderbeg’s death, Albania, abandoned by the European powers, had to succumb. Albania had to groan for four centuries and a half under the yoke of the unspeakable Turk.
During that period, Scanderbeg flag was forgotten – nobody knew of its existence until a young scholar dug it up in a library from a Latin biography of Scanderbeg by Barletius. That Scholar was Faik Konitza and that flag over his coffin, the red flag with the black double-headed eagle, is the one which he re-discovered.
Education: From what I have said, you can imagine that he was a highly educated man. He was trained in French schools and received his Bachelor’s Degree at the College de Lisieux, University of France. Later on he received his Master’s degree at Harward University in the Romance Languages. He was not satisfied with degrees but throughout his whole lifetime, he collected and read books and never forgot anything he read. As a matter of fact he was a walking encyclopedia. Career: At the age of 26, he began to publish his review “Albania in Brussels, in French and Albanian and he continued that publication until 1910 when he came to America. His review is a treasure-house of Albanian history, literature, philology and folklore. It is written in beautiful style, and is the most enduring piece of work he has left us. Harward University has a complete collection in Widener Library where it can be consulted. In America he served as editor of the Albanian newspaper “Dielli” and as President of the Albanian federation “Vatra”. In connection with his journalistic work you all know that he was not exactly an angel, as he sometimes dipped his pen in vitriolic acid in true French fashion, but after all no one is perfect, and we will just let bygones be bygones. In 1926 he was appointed Minister Plenipotentiary of Albania by King Zog and remained at that post until 1939, the fatal year when Albania was invaded by Italy on Good Friday. Last Act: After the Italian occupation of Albania, Mr. Konitza was notified by SD that he could not enjoy diplomatic privileges any longer, because Albania had ceased to exist and the Albanian legation in Washington was closed. It was the period of appeasement policy, but since 1939 things have changed. War broke out, Mussolini was not appeased but joined Germany, and finally the USA was forced into war by Pearl Harbor. Moreover, the Albanians, though forgotten by everybody, did not stop fighting the Italian invaders. Guerrilla fighting was going on all the time in the Albanian mountains until at long last both Washington and London saw that the Albanians were doing some real fighting and could be helpful to the UN. And so, as recognition of their bravery, came that fine statement of the Secretary of State, Mr. Cordell Hull, on the 10th of these months by which Albania was assured of regaining her independence under the Atlantic Charter. King Zog took Mr. Hull at his word, re-appointed Mr. Konitza as his representative in Washington, and applied for official recognition as the head of the Albanian government in exile. Mr. Konitza wrote immediately to the SD in the name of King Zog, regarding this recognition and that was Konitza’s last act. He died a few days later and so he never got the answer from the SD. But there are so many of us waiting and we hope that before long the answer will come and we are quite sure that the answer will be favorable. Mr. Hull in his historic statement of December 10, 1942, concerning Albania said: “Consistent with its well-established policy not to recognize territorial conquest by force, the government of the USA has never recognized the annexation of Albania by the Italian crown”. If that pronouncement has any meaning at all it means that USA still recognizes King Zog and tot the King of Italy as the head of the Albanian Government. Fine Gesture: There is evidence that the answer of the SD will be favorable. The American government has decided to send Mr. Konitza’s remains to Albania in due time at the end of the war. Such courtesies are usually extended only to foreign diplomats who die in active service. This means that Mr. Konitza is recognized as the representative of the Albanian government who died in active service. However, I may be, we deeply appreciated that noble gesture of the American Government and we know that Faik Konitza deserves it. He deserves to find eternal rest in the country he served all his life so faithfully and so loyally. May God Almighty grant him eternal peace.”
Burimi arkivor: NAMP USA, M 1211, Records of the Department of State Relating to Internal Affairs of Albania, 1910-1944, Decimal File 875, Roll 15,
F.S. Noli to Secretary of State Cordell Hull, December 22, 1942.