Prek Cali

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Prek Cali
Prek Pjeter Cali.jpg
Born (1872-07-29)29 July 1872[1]
Vermosh, Scutari Vilayet, Ottoman Empire now Albania
Died 25 March 1945(1945-03-25) (aged 72)
Shkodër, People's Socialist Republic of Albania
Years of service 1908–1945
Rank Commander
Commands held Kelmend
Battles/wars Albanian Revolt of 1908
Albanian Revolt of 1911
Albania during the Balkan Wars
Uprising in Montenegro

Prek Cali (1872–1945) was the bajraktar ("flag-bearer") of Vermosh, part of the Kelmendi tribe of northern Albania. He was a veteran of the Albanian rebellions and the Balkan Wars. He was killed in 1945 by the Partisans.

Early life and rebellions[edit]

Cali was born in Vermosh, part of the Kelmendi tribe, at the time part of the Scutari Vilayet (now northern Albania). He became the bajraktar ("flag-bearer") of Kelmendi.[2] He participated in the Albanian revolts of 1908 and 1911 (fighting at Deçiq) against the Ottomans.[citation needed] He then participated in the Balkan Wars.[3] He led his tribe against Montenegrin forces.[3]

After the fall of Fan S. Noli's cabinet (1928), Cali came in conflict with King Ahmet Zogu while trying to establish autonomy for the Kelmendi tribe within the state.[3]

World War II[edit]

Plav and Gusinje[edit]

At the beginning of World War II Prek Cali had between 200[4] and 1,200[5] armed men around Vermosh under his command. His forces took control over Plav and Gusinje in 1941, before Italian forces occupied it.[6]

Cali participated in the Italian counter-offensive in August 1941, during the Uprising in Montenegro. Italian General Alessandro Pirzio Biroli reported that Albanian forces from Vermosh commanded by Cali supported Division Venezia that advanced from Podgorica to insurgent-controlled Kolašin and Andrijevica and re-occupied them despite fierce resistance.[7]

Cooperation with Chetniks[edit]

Montenegrin Chetnik leader Pavle Đurišić was transferred to Plav in 1939, after Italian occupation of Albania, and was given a task to establish and maintain intelligence network to be used in case of Axis attack on Yugoslavia. This network was not much helpful during the Axis invasion of Yugoslavia but was successfully used for struggle against Communists in Montenegro and Albania.[8] Pavle Đurišić successfully agreed on Prek Cali's support and bases for Chetniks on the territory of northern Albania, Plav and Gusinje.[9] According to Rudolf Perhinek, Prek Cali was politically opposed to the Muslims from Kosovo and he openly admitted that he used Cali to inspire conflicts between Catholics and Muslims in northern Albania.[10] Prek Cali invited Chetnik officer Marko Vučeljić to have a meeting in Vermosh, which was accepted, Vučeljić sent his brother Tomo to meet with him above Vermosh.[when?][11][12] Chetnik captain Marko Vučeljić established Chetnik military base in Vermosh.[13] In 1943, Draža Mihailović paid Prek Cali for his services and also delivered him some arms.[14]

Prek Cali became a blood brother of Chetnik commander Pavle Đurišić.[15][16] A 25 January 1943 document mentions Cali addressing Muslims in Gusinje not to attack local Serbs.[17] In April 1944 Chetnik commanders reported to Mihailović that Prek Cali distinguished himself by supporting Chetniks, not only through providing Chetniks with accommodation in Vermosh but also through participation with a number of his men on Chetnik side in the campaign Chetniks undertook towards Andrijevica, sometimes with Vulnetari from Plav and Gusinje.[18]

At the end of 1944 Prek Cali was a member of delegation sent by Đurišić to discuss with the Albanian fascist government over the safe retreat of Chetniks to Greece through Albania.[19] When Mark Gjon appointed Prek Cali part of the Albanian delegation, Ljubomir Vuksanović jokingly remarked "take him from us, that is the best guarantee that all will go well".[20]


By the end of the war, the main military and political force of the country, the Albanian Communist Partisans, concentrated towards the north of Albania in order to destroy the anti-Communist forces and to eliminate their rivals. They met an open resistance in Nikaj-Mërtur (now in Tropojë District), Dukagjin and Kelmend, whose chieftains were openly anti-Communists. On 15 January 1945, a battle between the 1st Brigade Partisans (supported later by the 23rd and 24th brigades plus Yugoslav Partisan forces) and anti-Communist forces was fought at the Tamara Bridge. The Partisans had 52 losses; consequently, their Communist terror was unmatched. About 150 Kelmendi people were killed, burnt alive, mutilated, buried in holes or cruelly tortured. Their leader Prek Cali was surrounded in a cave in Vukël for a week; after that he surrendered. He was executed by the Communists on the feast day of Palm Sunday.[21][unreliable source?]


After fall of communism in Albania, Prëk Cali was decorated and honored with the Medal "Martyr of Democracy" in 1993 by President of Albania Sali Berisha.[22] Seven years later, in 2010, actual President of Albania Bujar Nishani honored him with Order "Honor of Nation".[23] In 2000 the monument of Prek Cali was set put in Shkodër.[24]


Mehdi Frashëri, the Prime Minister of Albania's Quisling government under Nazi Germany, believed that after Cali's death, Albanian and Yugoslav communists disseminated stories about Prëk Cali being a fascist, enemy of Albania, and secret supporter of Chetniks. Frashëri believed such accounts were untrue because Cali and his whole family fought together with the Kelmendi tribe against 800 Serbian partisans, and in August 1912 protected the northern borders of Albania.[25] Luigj Martini also believes that the claims of cooperation between Chetniks and Cali is Albanian-Yugoslavian communist propaganda.[26]


Mihailo Lalić (1914–1992) mentioned Cali in his short story Posljednje brdo (1967)[27] and novel Pramen Tame (1979),[28] and included him in his collection of memoirs.[29]


  1. ^ Martini 2005, p. 66.
  2. ^ Neuwirth, Hubert (2008). Widerstand und Kollaboration in Albanien 1939-1944. Harrassowitz Verlag. p. 216. ISBN 978-3-447-05783-7. ... Prenk Cali, dem Bajraktar von Vermosh...(Prenk Cali, the Bayraktar of Vermosh)
  3. ^ a b c Zef Pllumi (2008). Live to Tell: A True Story of Religious Persecution in Communist Albania. 1, 1944-1951. IUniverse, Inc. p. 12. ISBN 978-0595452989. ..and who had led Kelmendi people against the Montenegrins... He also led them in opposing King Zog, insisting that Kelmendi remain Kelmendi, without having to submit to anybody
  4. ^ Borozan, Đorđe (1995). Velika Albanija: poreklo - ideje - praksa. Vojnoizdavački insitut Vojske. p. 503.
  5. ^ Zbornik dokumenata i podataka o narodnooslobodilačkom ratu naroda Jugoslavija. Belgrade, Serbia: Vojnoistorijski institut. p. 203. ...са Пренк Цалем налази се око Врмоше око 1.200 бораца
  6. ^ Kostić, Dušan (1954). Krajevi i ljudi. Narodna knjiga. p. 27.
  7. ^ Gobeti, Erik. "CRNA GORA U OČIMA PIRCIJA BIROLIJA AVGUSTA 1941" (PDF). Matica (in Serbian). Matica Crnogorska (Winter 2011): 445. Retrieved 15 March 2014.
  8. ^ Pajović 1987, p. 12.
  9. ^ Bojović, Jovan R.; Titogradu, Istorijski institut SR Crne Gore u (1985). Prelomni događaji narodnooslobodilaćkog rata u Crnoj Gori 1943. godine: zbornik radova sa naućnog skupa održanog 19. i 20. XII 1983. Istorijski institut SRCG. p. 224. Једини стварни успјех четника Павла Ђуришића да на просторима Плава, Гусиња и сјеверне Албаније створе своја упоришта и обезбиједе сарадњу у борби против народноослободилачког покрета остварен је у договорима са барјактаром племена Клименти Пренк Цаљем, који је био у директној служби италијанског окупатора, са чином фашистичког мајора.
  10. ^ Marović 1995, p. 339

    U jednom izvještaju Draži on kaže da je „Prenk Calja, komandant sjeverne Albanije, čovjek koji uživa povjerenje katolika, otvoreno stupio u političku borbu protiv muslimana Kosovara, uklanjajući njihove ljude sa položaja, čime se zamjerio ... Perhinek ne skriva da Prenka koristi u rasplamsavanju sukoba između katolika i muslimana u sjevernoj Albaniji...

  11. ^ Narod andrijevičkog sreza 1978, p. 357.
  12. ^ Lekić, Radovan (1961). Andrijevički srez, 1941-1944: prilog istoriji NOB Crne Gore. Obod. p. 335. ... капе- тана Марка Вучељића на нени пријател>ски разговор. Марко није отишао, већ је послао свога брата резервног потпоручника Вучељића Тома, који се састао са Пренком изнад села Врмоше. Разговор између Пренк Цаља
  13. ^ Redžić 2002, p. 313

    Тих дана капетан Марко Вучељић је формирао четничку базу у Врмоши (Албанија) са ослоном на Куче. Тада се у долини реке Црње (подно Комова) окупила јача четничка група. Водио ју је Милан Мартиновић.

  14. ^ Milovanović & Kljaković 1985, p. 25Mihailović je usluge Prenka Galje novčano nagrađivao, a doturao mu je i nešto oružja.
  15. ^ Ашанин, Чедомир И (2006). На крсту српства. Студио "Огњен". p. 95. Дошао је н>ихов вој- вода Принц Цал>е, то је био побратим Павла Ъуришића
  16. ^ Jokić, Branko. "Fragment from manuscript "(Un)recognized patriot"". Selo-velika. Retrieved 17 January 2014. Чак је смијенила злогласног Пренк Цаљу, касније и побратима војвјводе Павла Ђуришића, са којим се, према партизанским документма, током рата више пута састајао...
  17. ^ "JOKIĆ: Zašto fašističke jedinice Prenka Calje nikada nijesu dolazile u Veliku".
  18. ^ Đaković, Spasoje (1986). Sukobi na Kosovu. Narodna knjiga. pp. 142, 144. Држиш ли везу са Пренк Цалом (барјактар из Северне Албаније са седиштем у Врмоши и често је са вулнетарима са територије Плава и Гусиња нападао на партизане Црне Горе - Андријевицу и Беране...Војвода Пренк Цале је редак пример, који не само да помаже наш покрет пријатељским примањем нашег људства, него је са извесним бро- јем својих војника учествовао у нашој борби ка Андријевици.
  19. ^ Redžić 2002, p. 510

    Тада се на челу албанске владе налазио пријатељ црногорског народа и четника, већ поменути принц Марк Ђон. Делегацију су чинили Љубомир Вуксановић, Саво Вулетић, Дервиш Омербашић, Пренк Цаља, командант црногорске жандармерије мајор Димитрије Бољевић, Лазар Богетић и командант Кучко- ...

  20. ^ Glasnik Srpskog istorijsko-kulturnog društva "Njegoš". Njegoš. 1959. p. 57. Принц се сагласио са нашим предлогом и одмах одредио своје делегате. Кад смо чули име Пренк Цаље, ми смо се са задовољством насмејали и Вуксановић је одмах до- дао: "Ви нам га узесте, то нам је најбоља гаранција, да ће све поћи добрим путем".
  21. ^ Markus W. E. Peters (31 October 2003), Geschichte der Katholischen Kirche in Albanien 1919-1993, Harrassowitz Verlag, p. 144, ISBN 978-3447047845, Und am 25 März, so der Päpstliche Gesandte, werden auf dem katholischen Friedhof der katholische Menschenrechtler Prek Cali und der Pfarrer Dom Ndre Zadeja zusammen mit drei muslimischen Intellektuellen der Stadt erschossen.(According to the envoys of the Pope, on March 25th the catholic human rights activist Prek Cali and the priest Dom Ndre Zadeja were shot on the catholic graveyard together with 3 of the town's Muslim intellectuals)
  22. ^ Klajd Kapinova (8 July 2005), Historitë e pavdekshme të Bacës së Kelmendit Prekë Pjetër Cali (1872 - 1945) (in Albanian),, retrieved 2014-01-23, ...Martiri i Demokracisë: Prek Pjetri (Cali) Hasanaj...[Martyr of Democracy - Prek Pjeter (Cali) Hasanaj]
  23. ^ Frank Shkreli, Kelmendi, Nderi i Kombit [Kelmendi, Honor of the Nation] (in Albanian),, retrieved 2014-01-23, Presidenti Nishani ia dorëzoi Këlmendit – fisit të luftëtarit legjendar Prek Cali - dekoratën Nderi i Kombit" gjatë aktivitetit artistik dhe kulturor (President Nishani handed over the decoration Honor of the Nation to the Kelemendi - tribe of legendary fighter Prek Cali)
  24. ^ Gjovalin Bzheta. Monumenti i Prek Calit Shkoder 2000-Fjala e Gjovalin Bzheta [The monument of Prek Cali in Shkoder, 2000 - Gjovalin Bzheta's speech] (YouTube) (in Albanian).
  25. ^ Mehdi Frashëri (2005). Kujtime: vitet 1913-1933. OMSCA-1. p. 185.
  26. ^ Martini 2005, p. 68.
  27. ^ Lalić, Mihailo (1967). Posljednje brdo: Pripovetke. "Nolit,". p. 211. ... води Пренк Цал>о католике од Врмоше и Вусан>це да се нашьач^у и прославе; да иза н>их не заостане,
  28. ^ Lalić, Mihailo (1979). Pramen tame: roman. Nolit. p. 44. Lijevom stranom, Zeletinom, vodi Prenk Caljo klimenačke palikuće iz Vrmoše da se osvete što su dugih dvadeset godina bili prinuđeni da žive bez pljačke.
  29. ^ Mihailo Lalić (1983). Sabrana dela Mihaila Lalića: . Dokle gora zazeleni. Nolit.