Albanian Fascist Party

Albanian Fascist Party

Albanian Fascist Party

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The Albanian Fascist Party (Albanian Partia Fashiste e Shqipërisë — PFSh) was a fascist movement which held nominal power in Albania from 1939, when the country was conquered by Italy, until 1943, when Italy capitulated to the Allies. Afterward, Albania fell under German occupation, and the PFSh was replaced by the Albanian National Socialist Party.

The PFSh was a branch of the Italian National Fascist Party (PNF) with Benito Mussolini at its head and organized along the same lines and principles, and with its own paramilitary Black Shirts, the Albanian Militia. It was never a mass movement, with membership reported at 13,500 in May 1940; however, during the PFSh's time in power, it did realize the vision of Greater Albania, expanding the borders of Albania into modern-day Epirus and Kosovo. It also engaged in some anti-semitism, with Albanian Jews forbidden from joining the party , and therefore excluded from some professions such as education; future communist leader Enver Hoxha also lost his job as a teacher for refusing to join the PFSh.

In early 1943, Maliq Bej Bushati, an anti-monarchist nationalist, reorganized the PFSh as the Guard of Great Albania and worked to distance Albania from Italy, striking fascist symbols from the flag (two fasces, one on each side of the Albanian eagle) and asserting Albanian autonomy in many spheres. However, the Italian surrender led to the country's occupation by Nazi Germany and changed the political situation in the...
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