Republika e Shqipėrisė


You find the years 1909 - 1924 here!  Postal Stationary you find here.


A conservative Muslim landlord, Ahmed Zogu, proclaimed himself president in 1925 and king - under the name Zog I - in 1928.

King Zog's original name was Ahmet Muhtar Bey Zogolli.  He was born 8th October 1895 at Castle Burgajet in Albania and died 9th April 1961 in Hauts-de-Seine in France.  Already at the tender age of 16 he replaced his mentally unfit brother Xhelal Bey as governor of Mat.  After having been detained at Vienna 1917 - 1918 and in Rome 1918 - 1919, he returned to Albania in 1919.  He served as Governor of Shkodėr 1920 - 1921 and Minister of the Interior in March - November 1920 and 1921 - 1924, and he was chief of the Albanian military 1921 - 1922.  Then he served as Prime Minister of Albania 1922 - 1924, but had to flee the country after Fan Noli became President.  But Zog returned with an armed force and overthrew Noli in January 1925.  Zog then served as President from January 31st until 1928.  As President, Zog (meaning "bird" in Albanian) managed to unite Albania as a nation, but had some trouble with Kosovar leaders.

On September 1st, 1928, Zog was crowned King of the Albanians "by the will of the people" (Mbret i Shqiptarėve in Albanian), and same day declared Field Marshal of the Royal Albanian Army.  He claimed to be a successor of Skanderbeg, a lineage which was correct to an extent.  During the worldwide depression of  the early 1930s, Zog's government became almost completely dependent on Mussolini - even to the point that the Albanian National Bank had its seat in Rome.  But Zog's reign was a time of stability for Albania, although he is said to have survived over 55 assassination attempts.  As a curiosity can be mentioned that his two favorite activities were playing poker (usually with his sisters) and smoking perfumed cigarettes - about 150 of them a day!

King Zog married 27th April 1938 Countess Geraldine Margit Virginia Olga Maria Apponyi de Nagy-Apponyi, born 6th August 1915 in Budapest in Hungary, died 22nd October 2002), known as Queen Geraldine and the "White Rose of Hungary".  They had one child, Crown Prince Leka Zogu born April 5th, 1939.  Already two days after their son's birth, the Italians invaded Albania, and the king and his family had to flee the country.  From 1946, they lived in exile in Greece, Turkey, England, Egypt (where Zog was a good friend of King Farouk), United States, France, Rhodesia, Spain and finally South Africa. King Zog died in Hauts-de-Seine in France in 1961 at the age of 65.  In June of 2002, she was invited by forty members of the Albanian parliament to return from South Africa to live in Tirana.  She returned, but continued to assert that her son Leka was the legitimate ruler of Albania.  She died 22nd October 2002 at the age of 87 in a military hospital in Tirana.  Her son, since the death of his father in 1961 titled Leka I, King of the Albanians, also lives in Tirana. 





Black box registered letter from Tirane 26th April 1925 to New York.  Transit Bari Ferrovia 27th April and Torino Ferr. America 29th April, arriving in New York 11th May and Madison Square Station 12th May 1925.





Letter with Michel 136A Zogu, cancelled Durres 29th March 1926 and addressed to Elbasan.  Note the advertisement for Singer sewing machines!





Letter with Michel 138 Zogu (issued 24th December 1925), cancelled Korce (southeast) 26th October 1926 and addressed to Bąle (Biel?) in Switzerland.






Black box registered, commercial letter cancelled Shkoder 2nd April 1927, addressed to Chicago, Illinois in USA.  The stamps are attached to the back.  Transit Cetinje 3rd April 1927, arriving in New York 17th April 1927.





Registered letter with Michel 190 and 193 Zogu proclaimed king, cancelled Shkodėr 29th May 1928 and addressed to Rome, Italy.  The letter is cancelled in transit in Bari - Ferrovia 30th May 1928 and arrived 31st May 1928.  Thirty qind. is the correct amount for registered letter to Italy at this time. 


Registered letter with Michel 194 Zogu proclaimed king, cancelled Shkodėr 11th January 1928 and addressed to Schwertberg i Austria.  The letter is cancelled in transit in Bari - Ferovia 13th January 1928 and in Udine 14th January 1928.



Black box registered letter with Michel 194 Zogu proclaimed king, cancelled Tirane 13th November 1929 and addressed to American Express office in New York.  The letter has also a violet American Express cancellation on the front side.  Transit cancellations Durres 15th November, Bari Ferrovia 14th November and Torino Ferr. America 16th Novermber.  The letter arrives in New York 29th November 1929. 









Card showing a street in Sckodėr.  Note the old system of disposing affluants from the houses...  The stamp is Michel 221 Zogu, cancelled Shkodra 23rd June 1933, and addressed to Luton in England.  Upon arrival Luton 28th June 1933 it is readdressed to Wallasey in Cheshire.












Post card showing Dürres from the hights behind the city, but cancelled Vlone-Port 9th May 1937 and sent to Germany, bearing 5, 10 and 15 q of the 1st September 1930 Achmed Zogu issues (Mi 219-221). 



Registered letter from Skhodėr 6th December 1937 to Bucks in England, bearing Mi 102, 25q surcharged with red cross, type II (1924), and 5, 10 and 25 q of the 1st September 1930 Achmed Zogu issues (Mi 219, 220 and 222).  On the back, the letter is cancelled transit Rijeka 7th December 1937.



Letter from Tirane 11th December 1937 to Wien in Austria.  Stamps are attached to the back.




Card from the wedding of  King Zog and Countess Geraldine Margit Virginia Olga Maria Apponyi de Nagy-Apponyi on 27th April 1938, bearing 1, 2 and 10 q of the wedding issue (25th April 1938), Mi 264, 265 and 267, sent to Belgrad in Yugoslavia.  


Italy annexed Albania in 1939.

In March 1939, Italian troops occupied Albania.  Mussolini ordered on October 28th 1940 Italian troops from Albania to invade Greece.  Surprisingly, the Greeks not only stopped the Italian advance, but pushed them back into Albania.  And in the process, they again occupied the disputed area from World War 1, southern Albania (Nothern Epirus).  And again the Greeks drew support from the regional Greek minority.  But when Germany forced a military alliance including Hungary, Romania and Bulgaria and launched the Balkan campaign in June 1941, the Greek front falter.  All of Yugoslavia and Greece were occupied.  All areas with Albanian population majority, i.e. Albania proper, Kosovo, a strip of land in western Macedonia and Greek Epirus, were now under Italian administration.  Italy signed an armistice in September 1943, and German troops now took over the hitherto Italian administrated regions on the Balkans peninsula, including Albania proper.  In September / October 1944 the German occupation force withdrew from Greece, and on November 29th 1944, the Communists, lead by Enver Hoxha, were in control of Albania.



Registered letter from Dürres 1st May 1939 to Basel in Switzerland, bearing the 5 and a block of 4 of 15 q of the 12th April 1939 issue (Mi 286 and 288).  It has Basel 1 and Basel 2 arrival cancellations on the back.




Letter from Dürres 12th May 1939 to Basel in Switzerland, this time overland, bearing the 10 and 15 q of the 12th April 1939 issue (Mi 287-288).



Air mail letter cancelled Tirane 27th October 1939 and sent to New York, bearing 5 and 25 q of the 1939 pictorial series of Italian Occupation of Albania (Mi 301 and 304), and the 20 q air mail issue of 4th August 1939 showing King Victor Emanuel III of Italy, and a Savoya-Marchetti S 73 airplane over Albanian mountains.  It is also cancelled on arrival Roma - Ferrovia 27th October 1939.





Postcard sent from Vlone 26th September 1940 to Switzerland, bearing four of the 2 q 1939 pictorial series (Mi 299).  The motive of the post card is the coast at the Himara region of Vlone.






Even though this cover doesn't carry Albanian stamps, it still belongs in an Albanian collection.  USA issued stamps with flags from all over the world, and this particular stamp is for Albania.  Good Friday 1939 was the time of invasion, and the message on the cover is that we will not forget.  Albania will be free one day. 






This is a somewhat strange postcard.  It is first cancelled Tirane 13th June 1933 on a 25 q red cross 1924 type I (Mi 98), and then 13th March 1944 on a 1 q on 3 q stamp og 1943.  It must surely be a philatelistic product, but still interesting.  The motive is the same as the card above; the coast at the Himara region of Vlone.


Communist guerillas under Enver Hoxa seized power in 1944, shortly before the end of World War II.

A Provisional Government, dominated by the Communists, was recognized conditionally by the Big Three in December 1945. 



Registered letter from Tirane 16th April 1951 to Napoli in Italy, bearing a full set of the 15th December 1950 airmail stamps (Mi 489-494), cancelled in transit Brennero - Bologna 27th April and Napoli 28th April 1951 on arrival. 





Registered letter from Tirane 7th May 1953 to Bilisht, with arrival cancellation on the backside 10th May, bearing the 2.50 and 5 leke stamps from the series commemmorating the 5-year jubilee of the establishment of the Albanian People's Army, Mi 456-457, and the 0.50 on 2 leke surcharge (Mi 521) issued 26th December 1952, a very rare stamp especially on letters. 





For Postal Stationary, see here!


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