Cultural testimonies in a book

Tirana Times
By Tirana Times March 11, 2019 13:17

Cultural testimonies in a book

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  • These papers comprise a special interest for the reader, because they don’t only display the historical development of events, but go beyond that by contextualizing the of administrative, educative, scientific, and socio-politic progress in the subsequent set-up of the Albanian state.

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TIRANA, Mar. 6- “The complete history of the humankind will be written when Albanians will participate in it,” has said albanologist Maximilian Lambertz. This phrase was used by current Austrian Ambassador to Albania in the introduction of a collection of papers titled “Austro-Hungarian Monarchy and Albania in 1916-1918.” The book was introduced during a scientific conference held in the framework of the Austrian-Albanian year 2018.

This book comes after an intensive work among of the Austrian Embassy in our country, the Foreign Ministry of Austria, the Albanian Ministry of Culture, and the National History Museum in Tirana. Maximilian Lambertz is one of the most renowned Austrian albanologues, who was the only scholar in the Albanian Literary Commision in Shkodra during 1916-1918, which on its behalf was the first meeting that led to a unified Albanian language.

“This collection of research papers can be described as a contribution to writing humankind’s history, because in it have contributed history professors, military professors, archeologists, museologists, linguists, political scientists, and albanologues both from Albania and Austria. These papers comprise a special interest for the reader, because they don’t only display the historical development of events, but go beyond that by contextualizing the of administrative, educative, scientific, and socio-politic progress in the subsequent set-up of the Albanian state,” said Sattler in the conference.

Ambassador Sattler mentioned some examples written in the papers. For instance the building of the first railroad line in Albania that went from Shkoder to Berat, the establishment of more than 231 Albanian schools, the establishment of the Albanian Literary Commission, the first interinclusive Albanian census, etc.. He recall that during the Austro-Hungarian military administration in Albania, the institution, the military, the infrastructure, and the language itself experienced a modernization burst.

However, this was a period of war and invasion which apart from the many positive effects Albanian received, there were many negative aspects too, which are more than rational under such circumstances. The scholarly book also mentions all these facts and angles to allow a more comprehensive historical perspective on the period.

Authors to have contributed in the book are Paskal Milo, Tamara Scheer, Marenglen Kasmi, Valentina Duka, Kurt Gostentschnigg, Proletar Hasani, Beqir Meta, Ledia Dushku, Ilir Kalemaj, Enriketa Pandelejmoni (Papa), Erwin A. Schmidl, Gentiana Kera, Anila Omari, Aljula Jubani, Bendis Kraja, Izer Maksuti, Rovena Vata, Luan Perzhita, Dorian Koçi and Skender Bushi.

Historian and director of the National History Museum Dorian Koci observes that the report in the collection speaks of a short historical time-frame filled with many complicated processes of political, socio-economic and cultural characters. As a result it creates an empathy in the public opinion too, apart from the lines of scholars. Koci mentioned that 1916-1918 corresponds to an independent Albania under the suffocating atmosphere created by War World I (1914-8), especially in a small, newborn country like Albania.

“As history tells us, the Albanian territory would turn into a world war zone at the beginning of 1916, with the scope of the center bloc forces where Austro-Hungary and Bulgaria were included, and their confrontation with the Antanta bloc,” said Koci.

He added that this was a period characterised by high nationalistic sentiments by the neighboring countries, which took the shape of an armed war that led to a territory annexation in damage of the Albanian state. Regardless of the context of war riots, inner conflicts, and efforts to preserve the borders through diplomatic or war means, the relations between the two countries displayed attempts to revive the culture and science in the life of the citizens. In this framework the diversity of the relations between Albania and Austro-Hungary in 1916-1918 are much wider than what the conference time-restrain allowed to express.

Dr. Koci stressed that it is precisely the nature and intensity of these reports regarding the impacts of politics, diplomacy, cultural, educational, scientific, archeological, museological, and linguistic developments, united the scholars to share their research in the fields of study.

Tirana Times
By Tirana Times March 11, 2019 13:17