German anthropologist: The skulls that show the most superior race in Europe belong to Albanians

"We are saving for the end the opinion of a great scholar and anthropologist, Professor Virchow. Blowitz, "Times" correspondent, reminds us of his meeting with the doctor" - writes Mit'hat Frashëri in his book.

The fragment that Mit'hat Frashëri brings in this book is a part taken from the writing "Virchow chez lui (La danse des crânes- Les peuples des Balkans – La perle de la collection Vivent les Albanais!- Le savant et l' homme politique)", an article which was published on the front page of number 6442 of the newspaper "Le Matin", Paris on October 15, 1901.

The results of the scientist Rudolf Virchow, the creator of the science of chronology, one of the most vocal scientists of the 1800s, the politician and the famous German anthropologist, about the Albanian race.

Many people may have had the chance to read Mit'hat Frashër's book, "The Albanians" (Zenit Editions 2005), which was translated from the original written in French "Les albanais dans leur pays et â l'etranger". Among many quotes from authors - making comments and descriptions - that Mit'hat Frashëri brings to give a description of the nature and character of the Albanian nation, right at the end, he keeps a quote that he emphasizes as something special.

This quote he makes is similar to those ribbons that are put on the heads of little girls after they have been dressed up.

Since he has spoken about the features, deeds, customs, culture, ability, life and spirit of a nation that has produced history and has left its traces on the latter for many centuries, he, perhaps, thinks that in order to give even a final answer about the character of the Albanian, just as well - and maybe more than history - science can help us.

The fragment that Mit'hat Frashëri brings in this book is a part taken from the writing "Virchow chez lui (La danse des crânes- Les peuples des Balkans – La perle de la collection Vivent les Albanais!- Le savant et l' homme politique)", an article which was published on the front page of number 6442 of the newspaper "Le Matin", Paris on October 15, 1901.

In the article of "Le Matin", this part of the article that talks about the features of the skulls of Albanians bears the subtitle "La race supérieure" (the superior race). Blowitz's original writing was published in the "Times" newspaper in 1878, many years earlier than the reprint of this article in "Le Matin", 1901. Below we will bring as a complete article, precisely the earliest edition of his.

Why did "Le Matin" republish, even on the front page, this article which - based on scientific research - speaks of the superiority and greatness of the Albanian race, against others? The name of Rudolf Virchow, the person who makes this assessment is the correct answer. If such a conclusion had been said by someone else, it would be unlikely that it would be taken as a basis, but the name of Virchow is of such proportions that it is difficult to believe that such a scientist had "lost" when looking at them Albanians with wonder, as the most perfect race.

In 1915, after the unjust division of the Albanian lands, Albania was again threatened by a new fragmentation. It was the year of the secret Treaty of London, which forgave Italy Vlora with its district and allowed a kind of protectorate over Central Albania, while the Greeks took the South Albania and the Serbo-Montenegros the North.

In this year, Faik bey Konica, the well-known Albanian intellectual, raised his voice about the next injustices that were being done to the Albanians. At the time he was in Lausanne, Switzerland. On November 12, 1915, sending an open letter to Mr. Hans Delbruck, close adviser to the government, professor of modern history at the University of Berlin, he exposes the wrong German policies.

The letter written and published in French - "Germany and Albania" (L'Allemagne et L'Albanie) - was published these years by researcher Jup Kastrati in his study "On the literary creativity of Faik Konica", as part of the work " Studies for banned authors" this publication of the Center for Albanological Studies.

The reason we mentioned this letter of Konica is that, among others, he refers to Virchow, to show the German professor, Hans Delbruck, the features of the Albanian nation. Here is what Faik bey Konica writes, among other things:

"...I can inform you about the existence of a Bulgarian-Greek treaty for the partition of Albania, a treaty suggested, approved, sealed and guaranteed by Germany. For this reason, I dare to address you, begged by my compatriots, a question: "How will you manage to reconcile your statement with the brutal plan to dismember Albania?"

Here is a country, here is a people that enters the category of "small nations" and would deserve, in a special way, your kindness and appreciation. Didn't your Mommsen say that the Albanian nation is the oldest in the Balkans?

Has not your Virchow often called the "truly superior nation" of Eastern Europe? Have not your scholars repeated at all times that he is distinguished from his neighbors in language and spirit?"

Before reading the meeting of Blowitz, the "Times" journalist, with Professor Virchow, let us see briefly something about the life of the German scientist. This helps us to understand more clearly his conclusions about the Albanians and the importance of his work.

Who is Rudolf Virchow?

Rudolf Ludwig Karl Virchow (1821-1902) was a German doctor, anthropologist, pathologist, prehistorian, biologist and politician, known for pioneering public health. He is referred to as the "father of modern pathology" and is considered one of the founders of social medicine.

He came from a farming family of German and Polish origin. Virchow studied medicine and chemistry in Berlin at the Prussian Military Academy. When he graduated in 1843, he went to serve as an assistant to the renowned anatomist, Robert Froriep.

One of his greatest contributions to German medical education was encouraging student use of the microscope, urging his students to 'think microscopically'.

Virchow is credited with many important discoveries. Virchow's most widely recognized scientific contribution is his theory of the cell, which built on the work of Theodor Schwann. He is credited as the first to recognize leukemia cells. Virchow published in 1858 his study of cells in "Omnis cellula e cellula ("every cell originates from another existing cell like it"), based on the invention of François-Vincent Raspail. This was a rejection of the concept of spontaneous generation, which advocated the idea that organisms can arise from inanimate matter, first opposed by Francesco Redi and finally rejected by Virchow, to state that the only source for a living cell was another living cell.

Another important (big) discovery of Virchow, is the one he made at approximately the same time as Charles Emile Troisier, regarding an enlarged supra-calvicular joint and lung cancer.

This is known as Virchow's knot. Virchow is also well known for elucidating the mechanism of pulmonary thromboembolism. Additionally, Virchow founded the medical fields of cellular pathology and comparative pathology.

In 1869 he founded the society of anthropology, ethnology and prehistory (Gesellschaft für Anthropologie, Ethnologie und Urgeschichte), which had a great influence on the coordination and intensification of German archaeological research.

In 1885 he carried out a study of craniometry (the measurement and study of the bones of the skull), which produced surprising results that contradicted contemporary racist scientific theories about the "Aryan race", prompting Virchow to denounce "Nordic mysticism" at the Congress of Anthropology in 1885 in Karlsruhe.

In 1861, he was elected an external member of the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences and in 1892 he was awarded the Copley Medal.

Among his most famous students was the anthropologist Franz Boas, who has been called "the father of American anthropology" and "the father of modern anthropology". Virchow was a tireless scholar and left a very large number of written works.

He also developed a standard method of autopsy procedure, which bears his name and is still one of the two main techniques used today. But more than an experimental physician, Virchow was also a passionate advocate for social and political reform. He is widely regarded as a pioneer of social medicine and anthropology. Virchow strongly opposed Darwinism through a lecture in which he emphasized the lack of fossil evidence for a common ape-man ancestor.

Virchow is also credited with founding social medicine, focusing on the fact that often disease is not simply biological, but a social process.

As a co-founder and member of the liberal party (Deutschen Fortschrittspartei) he was a major political antagonist of Bismarck. It is said that Bismarck challenged Rudolf Virchow to a duel and Virchow, given the choice of weapon because he was the challenged party, chose two sausages, one of which was cholera. Bismarck, it is said, withdrew from the duel.


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