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Xhem Hasa

Xhem Hasa
Xhem Hasa(centre) with his brothers, Musli Hasa(left) and Abdullah Hasa(right)
Nickname(s) Xhemo
Born March, 1908
Simnica, Gostivar, Kosovo Vilayet, Ottoman Empire
Died May 6, 1945 (aged 37)
Allegiance Albania (under Fascist Italy & Nazi Germany)
Service/branch Royal Italian Army
Balli Kombëtar
Years of service 1941-1945
Rank Commander
Commands held Balli Kombëtar
Battles/wars World War II in Yugoslavia
National Liberation War of Macedonia

Xhemail Hasani (1908, Simnica, Gostivar - May 6, 1945), aka Xhemë "Xhemo" Hasa–Gostivari, was an Albanian nationalist, in charge of the Balli Kombëtar's activities in the eastern regions of Albania under Fascist Italy and Nazi Germany.


  • Biography 1
    • Early life 1.1
    • Exile in Albania 1.2
    • World War II 1.3
    • Death 1.4
  • Legacy 2
  • References 3


Early life

Xhem Hasa grew up in a poor family with many children. During his childhood, up until his early stages of adulthood, Xhem worked as a farmer on his family's farm. The Hasa family experienced at first hand the cruelty of the Serbian regime, in particular the gendarmerie, who abused the local populous.[1]

Exile in Albania

After constant oppression and ill treatment from the local Yugoslav gendarmerie, Xhem murdered the head of the gendarmerie in Gostivar, who had abused the local Albanians, and fled through Mount Korab to Albania where he sought asylum in 1936.[1] Xhem lived on the outskirts of Elbasan, where he was soon joined by two of his brothers, Musli and Abdullah, and their families.

Despite escaping, the Yugoslav authority put pressure on Xhem's family to convince him to return to Yugoslavia, where he would be tried in a Kangaroo court for the murder of the head of police.[1] The authorities jailed two of his brothers along with Xhem's wife and mother. After imprisonment, The family was expelled to Turkey. On the stop to Thessaloniki, they moved to Elbasan and settle with Xhem in Albania.[1]

World War II

After the Italian invasion of Albania, and the comencing of the Greco-Italian War, many Albanians voluntarily joined the war. Among the first were Musliu, Xhem and Abdullah. The three brothers fought in the Battle of Greece in 1941.[1]
The Albanian National Meeting in the city of Tetovo(center left, Xhem Hasa and center right, Mefail Shehu).
After the fall of Greece and Yugoslavia in April 1941, Xhem returned to Gostivar. In Gostivar, Xhem gathered local Albanians to form a group of fighters. With his fighters, Xhem Hasa took control of Gostivar. In the autumn of 1943, Germany occupied all of Albania after Italy was defeated. The Balli Kombëtar made a deal with the Germans and formed a collaborationist government in Tirana which continued its war with the LNC and Yugoslav Partisans.[2][3][4][5] Xhem Hasa and his battalion was incorporated into the Balli Kombëtar. Hasa's victories in battles led him to being the Commander of the Balli Kombëtar in Macedonia. Xhem's Ballists, as well as the other Balli Kombëtar units from other Albanians, liberated the rest of the Albanian-populated lands. This resulted in the unification of the Albanians and forming a greater Albanian state.

However, both Yugoslav and Albanian partisans casually harassed the Ballist forces. When Maqellarë, midway between Debar and Peshkopi, was recaptured by the Fifth Partisan Brigade, the Germans with the assistance of the Ballist forces of Xhem Hasa launched an attack from Debar, defeating the partisans.[6] Fiqri Dine, Xhem Hasa and Hysni Dema as well as three German Majors directed military campaigns against the Albanian and Yugoslav partisans.[7] Hasa was a close acquaintance of Mefail Shehu and would often send troops from Gostivar and Tetovo to aid him.


The Yugoslav partisans faced difficulty when fighting with Xhem Hasa. This resulted in the Yugoslav partisans in bribing a close associate of Xhem to assassinate him. On May 6, 1945, Xhem Hasa was killed by a close associate. It has been rumored that the associate was his brother in-law. According to another version from Balli co-fighters, he was poisoned (always from his close collaborators on behalf of OZNA) on April 2, 1945. When dead, his head was cut off and sent as proof in Gostivar where it stayed for 2 days. Balli members managed to retrieve it in order to stop the post-mortum humiliation.[8]


Xhem Hasa was one of the most well known Ballists in World War II. Enver Hoxha, Communist leader of Albania, had a great dislike of Xhem Hasa and the Ballists of Gostivar and Tetovo.[9]

He was referred as a traitor by Albanian Communists, in Mehmet Shehu's words:"People of Kicevo should know that their only way for salvation is to immediately join forces with the Macedonian partisans and to cut off and condemn the traitors as Xhem, Mefail, etc...".[10]

In 2010, the Macedonian Albanians political party New Democracy proposed for a monument of Xhem Hasa to be built in Gostivar. A monument of Hasa has already been built in his birthplace, village Simnica, in 2006.[11]


  1. ^ a b c d e
  2. ^ Richard Morrock The Psychology of Genocide and Violent Oppression: A Study of Mass Cruelty
  3. ^ Philip J. Cohen,David Riesman. Serbia's Secret War: Propaganda and the Deceit of History. Texas A&M University Press, 1996 ISBN 978-0-89096-760-7, p. 100.
  4. ^ Nigel Thomas,Peter Abbott. Partisan warfare 1941-45. Osprey Publishing, 1983, ISBN 978-0-85045-513-7, p. 27: "Balli Kombetar, however, preferred German rule to Italian and, believing that only the Germans would allow Kosovo to remain Albanian after the war, began to collaborate.".
  5. ^ Tom Winnifrith. Badlands, borderlands: a history of Northern Epirus/Southern Albania "Balle Kombetar, strongly Albanian nationalist, Muslim and at times pro-German". Duckworth, 2002, ISBN 978-0-7156-3201-7, p. 26:
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