01.09.

1928: The President of a Republic Proclaims Himself King (Ahmet Zogu)

1928: The President of a Republic Proclaims Himself King (Ahmet Zogu)
Photo Credit To Wikipedia Commons

Story Highlights

  • Historical event:
  • 1 September 1928
  • It is interesting to note that Zogu took his oath by swearing on the Bible, and then on the Quran (he was a Muslim). He instituted the Zogist salute, which was similar to the Nazi salute (the right hand over the heart with the palm facing downwards).

The President of the Republic of Albania, Ahmet Zogu, proclaimed himself King Zogu I of Albania on this day in 1928.

Three years earlier, he had been elected the President of the Republic. He was an authoritarian ruler, and Albania became a rigid police state under his rule.

He proclaimed himself King and Field Marshal of the Albanian Army. Zogu claimed he was the successor of the famous Albanian hero George Kastrioti Skanderbeg (1405-1468).

This may have been true –  Zogu was possibly his distant cousin through the maternal line. He even used the royal name Skanderbeg III.

It is interesting to note that Zogu took his oath by swearing on the Bible, and then on the Quran (he was a Muslim). He did so because he wanted to connect the two important religious groups in his country – the Muslims and the Christians (including the Orthodox Christians and the Catholics).

The Muslims live in many parts of Albania, the Catholics live in the northern parts of the country, while the Orthodox Christians live in its southern parts.

Zogu instituted the Zogist salute, which was similar to the Nazi salute (the right hand over the heart with the palm facing downwards).

It is interesting to note that Zogu married the Catholic Hungarian Countess Geraldine Apponyi, the daughter of the Count Gyula Apponyi and the rich American Gladys Virginia Stewart. She was almost 20 years younger than him.

Their descendants still pretend to the Albanian throne, and the current head of the dynasty is His Royal Highness Crown Prince Leka of Albania.

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