Memoirs of My Years in Albania

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Carl Buchberger:
Memoirs of My Years in Albania,
(1911 – 1914)

Carl Buchberger (1887-1974) was an Austrian diplomat who was seconded to serve Prince Wilhelm zu Wied during the latter’s brief reign in Albania in 1914. After his resignation in June of that year, Buchberger returned to the Austrian Foreign Service and served in The Hague, as civilian commissioner in Mitrovica/Kosovo (1916), in Berlin (1917-1924), as chargé d’affaires in Stockholm (1925-1933), and as Austrian ambassador to Turkey, Persia and Irak (1933-1938). During the Nazi period, he lived in exile in Sweden and took on Swedish citizenship. Buchberger published a short German-language history of the Principality of Albania under a pseudonym of Carl Thopia in 1916, and subsequently left the following personal memoirs, written around or after 1922, of his dramatic months in Durrës.


Count Berchtold was without doubt one of the most enthusiastic supporters of an independent Albania. His activities and endeavours were permeated by his honest enthusiasm for this goal. He regarded this Albania of his as a viable state and much lamented the lack of a unified central government in Albania where four different administrations had arisen in 1913: the provisional government under Ismail Kemal in Vlora, the government of central Albania in Durrës under the ever-scheming Essad Pasha Toptani that was hostile to the Vlora government and notoriously in Italian pay, the regime in Lezha under Ded Zogu, and the Mirdita government under Prenk Bib Doda. The country was in a sorry state – torn and divided politically. The issue of who was to take over the throne and create a unified central government was thus more pressing than ever.

The Conference of the Ambassadors in London promulgated statutes for the creation of Albania on 29 July 1913 that were to regulate the northern and southern borders and set up the International Control Commission, an institution that began its activities in Vlora on 15 October 1913. The work of establishing an Albanian gendarmerie was entrusted to Holland. The Dutch officers under the command of General De Veer arrived in Vlora at the end of October and got to work immediately./ Robert Elsie official website 


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