Name Anton Harapi
|Religion Roman Catholic|
Political party Balli Kombetar
|Born January 5, 1888
Shiroka, Ottoman Empire (1888-01-05) |
Died February 15, 1946, Tirana, Albania
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Dom Anton Harapi (January 5, 1888, Shiroka - February 15, 1946, Tirana) was an Albanian Roman Catholic priest of the Franciscan Order, as well as a writer, political figure and Axis collaborator.
Anton Harapi was born on January 5, 1888, in Shiroka and educated in Shkodër. He had gone to secondary school at monastic schools in Meran and Hall in the Tyrol by the Franciscans. He had also studied theology in Rome. Anton Harapi supported and respected the diverse religious differences of Albanians, due to that religion had never divided Albanians, which he viewed themselves as a single blood brotherhood.
From 1923 to 1931, he taught at the Franciscan college in Shkodër and was its director. Anton Harapi was highly esteemed for his patriotism and persuasiveness. He was highly regarded throughout Albania for the depth and eloquence of his talks and for his erudition on religious topics.
World war II
After the Union with Italy was officially dissolved; many of the laws passed after Italian invasion were revoked, and Albania was declared an independent state. The assembly announced that Albania would be governed by a regency of four- one representative from each of Albania's four major religious communities. Albanian Catholics were represented by the prior of the Franciscans in Shkodër, Father Anton Harapi, who maintained connections with both the Kosovars and the Albanian partisans. Learning of his appointment, partisan emissaries unsuccessfully attempted to dissuade him from accepting. Hermann Neubacher seemed to have developed a warm personal relationship with Harapi, in part because Harapi had received some of his education at the monastery school of Meran and Hall in the Tyrol.
The leadership of the council was originally designed to rotate, but Anton Harapi argued that as a Catholic monk he could accept no position in which he would be forced to sanction the death penalty.
After the partisans declared victory in Tirana and the Germans began their withdrawal, Hermann Neubacher earnestly besought Anton Harapi to leave the country and offered him his aircraft. However, Harapi thanked him, but informed him that God had called him to be where he was and, if it were God’s will, he would die where his duties were as a priest.
The communists, who were looking everywhere for him, broke into the house where he was staying, but could not find him. On departing, they noticed some dentures in a glass of water and went back to talk to the owner of the house. When they began to mistreat the fleeing owners, Harapi crawled out his hiding place and surrendered.
On February 14, 1946, Father Anton Harapi, along with fellow Regency Council member, Lef Nosi and former Prime Minister, Maliq Bey Bushati, were sentenced to death by the Military Tribunal in Tirana, accused of being quislings in the services of Italy and Germany. The General Prosecutor, Misto Treska, ordered their execution and confiscation of their property. During the night they were taken from their prison cell to the firing squad and shot. They were buried in an unmarked grave at an unknown location on the outskirts of Tirana.