Skanderbeg’s Prisoners: On the Debate Regarding the Albanian National Hero Cover Image
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Skanderbegs Gefangene: Zur Debatte um den albanischen Nationalhelden
Skanderbeg’s Prisoners: On the Debate Regarding the Albanian National Hero

Author(s): Michael Schmidt-Neke
Subject(s): Social Sciences
Published by: De Gruyter Oldenbourg
Keywords: Albania’s national hero; Skanderbeg

Summary/Abstract: A new scholarly biography on Albania’s national hero, Skanderbeg, by (as most Albanian critics do not fail to mention) Swiss-born author Oliver Jens Schmitt (currently professor for Southeast European History in Vienna), was published in Albanian in late 2008. It became immediately the subject of blatant polemics, including personal insults and threats against the author, as well as public support. A fierce debate raged not only among Albania’s scientific community, but also in the mass media (including internet fora and newsgroups), and among the political leadership, with President Topi in the lead. Schmitt was accused of trying to deprive Albanians of their best-known and most-respected historical personality. In fact, Schmitt deconstructs the age-old view of an invincible hero who led his people in their epic struggle for freedom. Schmitt’s argument that Skanderbeg’s roots were Orthodox rather than Catholic is among the most controversial. The article documents the Albanian debate precipitated by the book.

  • Issue Year: 2010
  • Issue No: 02
  • Page Range: 273-302
  • Page Count: 30
  • Language: German