THE BIRTH OF THE REPUBLIC OF KORÇA
[From American Archives]
American archives provide some useful information on the situation in Korça during the First World War. Curiously, such information comes up within the files of the Bureau of Investigations, which preceded the FBI and which, at the period between 1917-1919, was investigating VATRA, Fan Noli and all Albanian activities in Boston. As we can see from the document below, Korça was under Greek occupation for most of the time between May 1913 till December 1916, when the Autonomous Republic of Korça was proclaimed under the Presidency of the revered national leader Themistokli Gërmenji.
In a report by agent Feri W. Weiss, dated November 6, 1918, this information is found:
“Since the first Balkan War, the following governments have been in effect in Korytsa (Korça).
1st. Until December 1912, the Turkish regime;
2nd. Until May 1913, the Greek Military Regime;
3d. Until March 1914, the Greek Civil Regime;
4th. Until July 1914, the Albanian Regime of Prince Wied;
5th. Until October 1914, Greek bands;
6th. Until December 1914, Military regime by Greece;
7th. Until the end of October 1916, Civil Administration of Greece, Royalists;
8th. Until November 23, 1916, Civil Administration by Venizelists;
9th Until December 10, 1916, French Military Authority with Greek Employees;
10th Since December 10, 1916, Independent Albanian Republic under French Military Protectorate.
The reason that the Albanian Nationalists objected to France was on account of France’s friendship with Greece. When a French officer talked to Sali Butka in order to ask him why he was fighting against the French, the Chief of Guerillas answered him: “France, at the Conference of London, was opposed to my country. She tried to give to Greece most of middle Albania. Austria on the contrary, sustained our rights. That is why we were for Austria.”