April is a month in which Albania remembers a great historical figure in the distance of three days. He remembers a politician, a statesman, a man of merits and defects, a controversial man, and he is Ahmet Zogu, the man who proclaimed himself King of Albania.
The 5 April 1939 is born Leka Zogu, the prince. The 7 April and always in the 1939 the fascist occupation occurs for Albania and the 9 April 1961, the death of King Zogu happens (in a hospital in France and buried in Paris), the only Albanian king proclaimed after the name of Scanderbeg. Name that failed to defend him until the end due to circumstances and too many mistakes during his reign.
Ahmet Lekë Bej Zog, known as Zog I Scanderbeg III King of the Albanians, was born in Burgajet (Burrel) 8 October 1895. He is recognized as Prime Minister by the 1922-1924, President of the Albanian Republic 1925-1928 and King of Albania 1928-1939.
Zog proclaimed himself King of the Albanians 1 September 1928 by establishing a constitutional monarchy, similar to the one then present in Italy.
He created a strong police force, invented a Zogite greeting (flat hand on the heart with the palm facing down), amassed gold coins and precious stones that were used to support the first paper currency of Albania.
He created a new penal, civil and commercial code. In the Civil Code civil marriage and divorce were known.
Established a national education system. In the 1939 633 elementary schools and 19 middle-level schools had been built. A large number of Albanians were sent abroad to continue their university studies.
But the weak point that turned into a failure for him was the economy. Fiscal dependence on Italy grew at a time when Mussolini was extending his influence in the Balkans and exercised increasing control over the Albanian finances and the army. The Zog government became totally dependent on Mussolini. Wheat had to be imported from abroad and many Albanians emigrated.
In April of 1938 he married Countess Geraldine Apponyl de Nagyappony, a Catholic who was half Hungarian and half US.
From their marriage the only son Prince Leka Zogu II is born, the 5 April 1939. Only two days after his birth, Italian troops entered Albania.
Albania entered the Italian orbit, while maintaining an autonomous government, and Victor Emmanuel III assumed the title of King of Albania.
Zogu and his family began the long ordeal of exile starting with Greece, Turkey, Great Britain, Egypt and finally in France.
He fled with his family and his court, bringing with him two bags full of gold.
For this reason, from the regime of Enver Hoxha, he was called a traitor and an enemy of the people.
After the fall of communism in Albania, the figure of King Zog began to be re-evaluated by analyzing and studying various documents in order to understand and bring to light his character with all its nuances.
Despite the many errors, the figure of Ahmet Zogu is compared to that of the Ataturco. He made his country a respected nation and made it a state.
Indro Montanelli in his book "Albania one and a thousand" of 1939 wrote:
"President Zog disbanded the old army (a jumble of unruly and treacherous mercenaries) without renouncing his tribal militia, he created with the help of Italy the National Bank of Albania; started a public works program; he had a penal code approved, a civil code and a commercial code; all inspired by those of Italy and other Western European countries. "
In an article written in the 1965 for the Corriere, Montanelli acknowledged to King Zogu the merit of having left the scene with a certain elegance.