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Abaz Kupi
Born 1892
Krujë, Ottoman Empire, now modern Albania
Died 1976 (Aged 84)
New York, USA
Nationality Albanian
Other names Bazi i Canës
Occupation Military person, freedom fighter, and politician
Known for World War II Guerilla

Abaz Kupi or Abas Kupi (1892-1976) also known by his nom de guerre as Bazi i Canës, was an Albanian politician, leader and fighter, known mostly for his role during World War II. A royalist, he created the Legality Movement in Albania which promoted the return to the throne of Zog of Albania. During the Cold War Kupi created the Albanian National Committee, which intended to overthrow the communist regime in Albania and to return the monarchy.


Early life

Abaz Kupi was born in 6 August 1892, in Varosh neighborhood in Krujë. Through his activity in World War I, he became a well known local figure and leader. In 1920, together with Bajram Curri and Ahmet Zogu, Kupi fought against Montenegrin troops in Koplik. In 1921, during the uprising of Mirdita tribes, together with Bajram Curri and Ahmet Zogu, he helped in restoring order, but his coalition didn't last long. In 1922 Elez Isufi and his followers from Dibra marched against the government in Tirana. Kupi marched with Elez because of his ties with him. This uprising was peacefully put to an end by the British counsel of that time. In the revolution of 1924, Abaz Kupi remained neutral and when Ahmet Zogu returned, he appointed Kupi captain of Gendarmerie.[1] The Italian invasion of Albania found Kupi at the rank of Mayor, commander of the Durrës gendarmerie. Abaz Kupi and Mujo Ulqinaku were two of the few Albanian officials who resisted the Italian invasion: at Durrës, his troops, armed only with light arms, kept Italians at bay for several hours and retreated only when the Italian tanks arrived. With the Italian invasion complete, Kupi migrated to Turkey where he remained until there was a new opportunity to fight Italians.[2]

World War II activity

While the United Kingdom entered World War II the British forces were looking into possibilities of creating an antifascist resistance in Albania. The most known figures were those of nationalists Abaz Kupi, Muharrem Bajraktari, Fiqri Dine, Gjon Markagjoni, Myslim Peza, and Mustafa Gjinishi, an Albanian communist. Abaz Kupi went from Turkey to Yugoslavia to meet with Colonel Stirling, a British officer, with the intention of leading the resistance.[3] The Yugoslav government was against such action, but when German attack on Yugoslavia was imminent, it gave the green light. On 7 April 1941, a small group of 300 men led by Abaz Kupi, Xhemal Herri, Gani Kryeziu, and Mustafa Gjinishi with the support of Muharrem Bajraktari troops, entered Albania from the Yugoslav frontier. German troops defeated the Yugoslav forces behind them, while Italian forces were in front; because of poor supplies and lack of coordination, the expedition was trapped in the mountainous regions of northern Albania and failed.[4]

After this expedition, Kupi went to his native region near Krujë and hid from the fascist authorities. He formed a çetë (English: guerilla group) in Krujë and began again his anti-Italian activity in April 1942.[5]

Due to his reputation and actions, he was one of the most well known nationalist figures of National Liberation Front. He was elected member of the General Council, although he was not a communist. Kupi was one of the promoters of Mukje Agreement and after being denounced by the Albanian communists, he left the National Liberation Front and created the Legality Movement, which aimed at the return of the king Zog in Albania. Apart from some sporadic fights in September 1943 in Krujë (while he was still part of the National Liberation Front) and in June 1944, his troops didn't attack German troops, although pressed to do so by the British mission, which was established with them. When the Albanian First Storm Division attacked in northern Albania in July-August 1944, his troops were scattered. He was deserted by British officers and went to Italy in a small boat.[6]

Post war activities

At his arrival in Italy he was interned for some time in American internment camps. He continued his political activity and in July 1948, together with other Albanian figures in migration created the Albanian National Committee.[7] Abaz Kupi continued his anti-communist activity until he died in New York, in January 1976.[8]


  1. ^ Gashi, Luan (2000). "ABAZ KUPI - PINJOLL I NACIONALIZMIT TË KULLUAR DHE BESNIK I IDEVE DHE PRAKTIKËS PERËNDIMORE TË QEVERISË SË MBRETIT ZOG , Fjalim i mbajtur me rastin 28 vjetorit te vdekjes se heroit kombetar, nacionalistit te nderuem Abaz Kupi" (in Albanian). Retrieved 1 September 2004. 
  2. ^ Undercover, the Men and Women of the Special Operations Executive Author Patrick Howarth Edition illustrated Publisher Routledge, 1980 ISBN 0710005733, 9780710005731 p. 60
  3. ^ Pearson 2006, p.5
  4. ^ Pearson 2006 pp. 139-142
  5. ^ Pearson 2006 p. 182
  6. ^ Undercover, the Men and Women of the Special Operations Executive Author Patrick Howarth Edition illustrated Publisher Routledge, 1980 ISBN 0710005733, 9780710005731 p. 67-68
  7. ^ Pearson 2007 p.349
  8. ^ Pearson 2007 p.633




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