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Opinion / Editorial

Prek Mani, the martyr who gave his life for the liberation of the Albanian lands

Prek Mani, the martyr who gave his life for the liberation of the Albanian lands

One of its 53 martyrs is the son of Nikaj-Merturi, Prek Mani, who gave his life in the youth, reddening the rusted peonies of the Albanian land with his fresh blood. He was killed in Judovnik on January 22, 1945 at the age of 23. Prek Mani was born in the village of Tetaj in the Nikaj-Mertur province on June 22, 1922 in a poor peasant family with patriotic traditions. His father, Mani, as well as his uncles Sokoli and Kadria had a positive influence on the formation of Preka. They moved a lot, met with friends in the area of ??Dukagjin, Shkodër, Gjakova Mountains, etc. In meetings with well-known people, they learned a lot and acquired a somewhat high culture, regularly attended churches, loved education, etc. Sokoli and Kadria were participants in Bajram Curri's army, as participants in the Democratic-Bourgeois Revolution of 1924. When Preka was 3 years old, his family was persecuted as opponents of Zog.

They were notified several times to surrender and were forced to escape to the mountains. This was accompanied by the burning of the house, the food base of the cattle and the robbery of the living thing. In the period from the end of 1924 to May 1925, men, women and children stayed in extraordinary conditions. But they were helped in different ways by the people of the village and the acquaintances. This made them more patient and increased their feelings and love for the country. With great pain, they decide to leave their village, relatives, fellow villagers and friends. They settled with one of their fellow villagers, Vuksan Nika, in Ramoc, Gjakoves, where in 1926, Mani, Preka's father, returned to his homeland, after he fell seriously ill and later died, having caught a cold from staying in the mountains. Kadria, Preka's uncle he fell twice in an attempt with the gendarmes where he was also injured. He was later arrested and sentenced to 12 years in prison in Shkoder. While Sokoli, at the age of 23, was killed by Serbian forces on the border with Yugoslavia and was buried in the Ramoc cemetery in Gjakove. Now the troubles of life increased without limit. Preka, as his relatives say, was very dexterous, intelligent, with a tall body, like a native oak. From a young age, you stand out for the demands to get an education, to build the economy, a new house and to create a family.

Despite all the great difficulties that had never separated you, uncle Mark decided and enrolled him in the primary school in Gjakova in 1930. I thank uncle very much and promise him that he would learn a lot and be kind. In the year 1934 Preka finishes primary school, but his family, after arresting Mark, exiles them to Novi Pazar. At the age of 12, Preka suffered a lot, as he was forced to drop out of school. In Novi Pazar, his family led a life of misery. Although at a young age, but matured with the sufferings of life, he decided not to give up, starting various jobs, such as argat, a servant in the family but many times without a job. Even in these conditions, his mind was on school, he was interested in finding a book and reading it. In Preka's house in Tetaj is a very old book with folk songs. In 1937, unable to live in Novi Pazar anymore, he returned to his native village, in Tetaj. Tracked by the regime of that time, he spent very little time in Tetaj, visiting his school friends in Gjakova, but also some friends in Shkodër, with whom he had made acquaintances through his uncles. He works in various jobs, from the most difficult, the arduous and without bread and sleep. These years are at the time of the Italian fascist occupation. Experiencing the cells, beatings, injustices, reprisals and remembering the conversations that his mother had told him and what he had gone through himself, he felt very insulted that he served the invaders.

In the prison of Shkodra, he was saddened by the torture he saw on the detainees who went out in demonstrations. The villagers listened more attentively when Preka spoke about Shkodra, about the beauties of that ancient city, about the people with a big heart, but also about the suffering, misery, unemployment, about the demonstrations, the torture of the demonstrators in prisons and the resentment towards the foreign invaders. In September 1944, Prek Mani was included in the partisan brigades. With the creation of the 25th Assault Brigade, Preka joined this brigade, which took on the mission of liberating the Albanian lands in Yugoslavia. He was appointed commander of the reconnaissance platoon, who stood out as a brave, loving and loyal partisan. In his original notebook, which is kept by his family, and we are publishing it for the first time in "Sot" newspaper, there are many interesting notes.

The last fight that Prek Mani took part in was in the mountains of Judovnik against the German Nazis. In the mountains of Judovnik, the snow exceeded two meters. According to the testimony of partisan comrades, the brigade was preparing to launch an attack. He occasionally rubbed his eye and forehead, as he had a habit from childhood, when a snake caught him on his eyebrow. When the order to attack was given, he fell like a partisan, the friend of Preke's reconnaissance platoon. Preka saw that his friend was injured and went to help him and took him in his arms, but a bullet hit Preka in the left shoulder. His friends sent him to Ivanaj hospital. He did not return to life.

He died in the hands of his Parisian comrades, who buried him with great pain in the Ivanaj cemetery on January 22, 1945 at the age of 23. The partisans of the 25th Assault Brigade spent the period January-April 1945 with Kosovar families, because the winter was extraordinary. About the death of Preka, the whole village and the province had heard word after word. But no one had the courage to tell Lena's mother. When the snow melted and Preka's friends started coming, mother Lena became suspicious and asked why Preka didn't come. Lena decides to look for the other boy until she finds him, but please tell her that Preka died in the war for the liberation of the Albanian lands. The 9-year-old school in his hometown, in the village of Shengergj in Nikaj-Merturi, was named after Prek Man , as the first martyr of the Second World War.