|Born||25 July 1915|
|Died||28 July 1943|
Russia28 July 1943
Albert Preziosi (25 July 1915 - 28 July 1943) was a Free French air officer and war hero, and rumored to be the father of Libyan leader Muammar al-Gaddafi.
Preziosi was born in Vezzani, on the island of Corsica. During World War II, he joined the Free French forces as an air officer. He first fought with General Leclerc in North Africa. His aircraft was shot down in the summer of 1942 and Freziosi was declared missing. However, he had survived the crash, and was taken in by a Libyan family. He stayed for a month before returning to his unit, where he was later transferred to Russia. Flying in the Normandie-Niemen squadron, he was killed when his plane was shot down in 1943. He is commemorated by a plaque in Vezzani, and his story is popular among locals.
It is alleged that Preziosi fathered Gaddafi after an affair with a Libyan woman. Preziosi himself was stationed in Libya at that time. Preziosi's colleagues confirmed that he had indeed fathered a child with a Libyan woman, and that the child was looked after by the woman's uncle and later studied overseas, and that the affair was kept quiet. It has also been noted that in his youth, Gaddafi largely resembled Albert. Albert's brother François claimed that in the 1970s, his mother shouted "Look, it's Albert", after the television showed Gaddafi.
Research by prominent Libyan dissident and historian Mohamed Al-Magariaf, also questions Gaddafi's roots. Magariaf extensively researched the rumors of Gaddafi's birth, and added two facets to the debate. Magariaf did not focus on identifying Preziosi as the father, although he did acknowledge that the rumors that Gaddafi was born to a non-Libyan father could be true. He wrote that an Italian cardinal who was in Libya at the time of Gaddafi's birth had knowledge of his biological father. Magariaf wrote that in 1972, a Gaddafi colleagues named el-Meheshi, who was in charge of the Revolutionary Command Council, received a letter from an Italian cardinal who was working in Libya at the time of Gaddafi's birth. The letter was in Italian, which el-Meheshi could not read, so he asked the Libyan ambassador of external affairs, Khalefa Almuntasir, to translate it. Magariaf questioned Almuntasir about the letter, which he confirmed existed and said that it was from a cardinal reminding Gadhafi of his Jewish and Christian blood. Almuntasir believed that the cardinal was reminding Gaddafi of his religious roots after hearing of the brutality of the Gaddafi regime.
Magariaf also wrote that the facts surrounding Gaddafi's birth are unknown to his own tribe. While researching Gaddafi, he realized that Gaddafi's own family and tribe did not know the date of his birth, not even the month or season, or his actual birthplace. He wrote that with Libya's tribal traditions, the family of such a powerful man would have come forward to claim him as their kin. However, the only elders who claimed Gaddafi were the parents who raised him. Magariaf says that Gaddafi's alleged paternal uncles have never come forward to claim him as their nephew and Gaddafi has never been known to mention his uncles.
- http://www.libya-watanona.com/news/n2008/feb/n18feb8e.htm Charles Bremner, Is Colonel Gaddafi a Frenchman? (contains photos comparing Preziosi to Gaddafi)
- "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 28 July 2012. Retrieved 27 February 2011.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link)
- "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 24 November 2011. Retrieved 12 November 2011.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link) Dana Kennedy, The Mystery Behind Gadhafi's Birth: Some Say He's Jewish (contains a photograph of Magariaf)
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