Was George Castriot Skanderbeg Albanian
Source: http://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Skanderbeg,Wikipedia excerpts:
Gjergj Kastrioti (German Georg Kastriota; May 6, 1405 in the Dibra-Mat region, † January 17, 1468 in Alessio), called Skanderbeg (Albanian Skënderbeu), was a prince from the Kastrioti family. He became famous for his defense of Albania against the Ottomans. Today he is celebrated by many as the Albanian national hero.
Gjergj Kastrioti was the youngest son of Prince Gjon Kastrioti I and his wife Vojsava Branković (or Vojsava / Voisava Tripalda). Gjergj's father has been waging war against the Ottomans almost constantly since 1407. The royal family had four sons and one daughter. In 1423, after his father's defeat, the young Gjergj and his brothers were sent hostage to the Sultan's court in Adrianople, where he converted to Islam as a member of the Janissaries and received the Turkish-language form of the Greek first name "Alexander", İskender, as a new name ( hence his nickname Skanderbeg, in German "Lord / Prince Alexander"). In 1438 he was sent by Murad II as Bey and Wali from Misia, Skuria and Jonima (capital Kruja) to his native Albania.
When the Hungarians defeated the Turks in Niš in November 1443 and his father was murdered at the behest of the Ottomans, Skanderbeg left the sultan's army with the Albanians who were subordinate to him. He seized the fortress of Kruja on November 27, 1443, openly defected from the Sultan the following day and converted back to Catholicism. In the period from 1443 to 1444 he ruled over the principality of Kastrioti, which then became part of a regional defense alliance against the Ottomans.
In 1444 the "Turkish fighter" allied with Albanian and Montenegrin nobles to form the League of Lezha. With this alliance, Skanderbeg successfully waged war against the Ottomans for 18 years, who did not succeed in establishing themselves permanently in central and northern Albania. Kruja was repeatedly attacked by them, in 1450, 1466, 1467 and 1478.
In 1451 Skanderbeg married Donika Arianiti in the Ardenica monastery in southern Albania. She was the daughter of the Prince of Kanina, Gjergj Arianiti. In 1456 his son Gjon Kastrioti II was born from this marriage, the only descendant of Skanderbeg.
In 1461 Skanderbeg concluded a three-year armistice with Sultan Mehmed II. Although there were skirmishes in the following years, another armistice was concluded in Üsküb in April 1463. During this quieter phase of the war in the early 1960s, Skanderbeg had traveled to Italy to solicit money and troops from his liege, King Alfonso I of Naples. This granted Skanderbeg a pension and also gave him extensive land in southern Italy, where his descendants later fled from the Ottomans.
Until his death in 1468, Skanderbeg defended from the fortress Kruja from Albania against the Ottoman Empire. His sister Mamica helped him defend. She later died in battles against the Ottomans, who repeatedly tried to break the power of Skanderbeg with large armed forces. So they besieged Kruja several times without being able to take the fortress. However, the Albanian troops were too weak to drive out the Turks completely, and the hoped-for support from other European rulers did not materialize.
Skanderbeg died of a fever on January 14, 1468 in Alessio and was buried in a church there. His twelve-year-old son succeeded him in the reign. Ten years after his death, the Ottomans conquered Albania in 1478 and ruled it for more than 400 years. Many members of the noble family of the Kastrioti and other Albanians then fled to the promised lands of southern Italy, whose descendants still make up the Arbëresh ethnic group to this day. Skanderbeg's grave and church were destroyed by the Ottomans. Many Ottomans are said to have taken parts of his remains as talismans. Only a few remains of the wall of the Church of the Holy Sepulcher can be seen today. In the 1970s, a memorial with replicas of Skanderbeg's helmet and sword was erected above it. The originals are in the possession of the Kunsthistorisches Museum Vienna and are exhibited in the court hunting and armory in the Neue Burg. On the occasion of the 100th anniversary of the proclamation of the independence of the Republic of Albania on November 28, 2012, the helmet, sword and other personal artifacts were exhibited for a few days in the National History Museum in Tirana.
Skanderbeg became famous all over Europe during his lifetime. Pope Kalixt III. appointed Gjergj Kastrioti the day before Christmas Eve 1457 as captain-general of the Roman Curia and captain-general of the Holy See. For his special services in the defense of Christianity against the Ottomans, he also awarded him the honorary title Athleta Christi (Latin defender of Christianity). His successful fight against the Ottomans not only earned him the status of the national hero of Albania, but also made him the subject of numerous books and dramas; many of them were written several hundred years after his death. Skanderbeg is also the eponymous hero of the opera “Scanderbeg” by Antonio Vivaldi.
The Skanderbeg Museum at Kruja Castle collects all works related to him.
In Tirana and Pristina, the central squares are named after Skanderbeg and are decorated with equestrian statues of him. There are also equestrian statues of him in Skopje, Rome, Geneva, Dibra and Rochester Hills (Michigan).
In 1953, a film about Skanderbeg as a national hero was made as an Albanian-Soviet co-production. In 2007 the film was released on DVD with German DEFA synchronization under the name Skanderbeg - Knights of the Mountains.
There are no pictorial representations that show Skanderbeg's real appearance during his lifetime. All pictures of the Albanian prince are based on oral descriptions and were only painted after his death.
Skanderbeg is even mentioned in Icelandic sources. In the Skarðsárannáll for the year 1466, the only entry is: “The praiseworthy lord and hero Skanderbeg (whose real name was Georgius Castriota) died. He had ruled for 24 years and he has achieved many wonderful victories. "
The mountains around Kruja are called the Skanderbeg Mountains.
From 1944 to 1945, an SS division made up primarily of Albanians carried the name Skanderbeg.
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