Memorie.al publishes an archival document with the initials “Secret” issued by the Central State Archive in Tirana (fund of the former Central Committee of the ALP) belonging to the month of July 1990, where the minutes of the meeting of Secretariat of the Central Committee of the ALP held on dt. July 23, 1990, which under the leadership of Ramiz Alia, analyzed and discussed in detail, all the events that took place at the beginning of that month, where hundreds of thousands of Albanian citizens, of all ages, burst the walls of the railings of foreign embassies that were accredited at the time in Tirana and entered there seeking to emigrate abroad as political asylum seekers. The full minutes of that meeting where Nexhmije Hoxha also participated, in the function of the Chairman of the Democratic Front of the People’s Republic of Albania, where besides them, also discussed the secretaries of the Central Committee of the ALP, Foto Çami and Xhelil Gjoni, the secretary the first of the Central Committee of the Albanian Working Youth Union, Lisen Bashkurti, the first secretary of the Party Committee of the Tirana district and a member of the Central Committee, Pirro Kondi, etc. The full discussion of Ramiz Alia and his debates with the participants of that meeting, about the well-known writer Ismail Kadare, regarding his refusal to give an interview in the newspaper “Zeri i Rinisë”, where he spoke openly against those who entered in the embassies, as well as the “indifference of the Albanian intellectuals, who did not say a word about the invitation that the French President, François Mitterrand, made to Kadare to go to France and to participate as a special guest, in the celebrations of the 200th anniversary of the Revolution French ”?!
This document that we are publishing in this part of the book, is of great interest, since for almost three decades, unfortunately and paradoxically, it has been said that: Kadare has spoken about the refugees who entered the embassy in July 1990, considering them as: “The excrement of the nation”. The document in question is a record of the meeting of the Secretariat of the Central Committee of the ALP dated July 23, 1990, (full three weeks after the opening of the embassies) and it is attended by almost the entire dome of the ruling communist regime, including Nexhmije Hoxha, as well as some other guests, but senior officials of the regime.
And from the beginning of the meeting, Ramiz Alia, informs those present that; “They will not relinquish power without blood” and in the context of this situation, he gives the necessary instructions, where among other things he states: “Photo, Pirroja, and you Lisien, here in Tirana you must design an educational work program to establish standing sound opinion. You can also keep around you some well-known and authoritative intellectuals, such as: Dritëro Agolli, etc., that Ismail Kadare is not feeling “. So Ramiz has accurate information that Kadare did not join them, i.e., the regime and the line of official Tirana. And to his question, Lisien Bashkurti answers, saying: “We went to Ismail three times at home, to ask him for an interview for the newspaper” Zeri i Rinisë “, but he refused to prepare….”.
Meanwhile, Ramiz Alia gives the interlocutors an answer that is both suggestive and commanding: “Why don’t you write in the newspaper that Ismail Kadare refused to give an interview?! In this way, you will bring it before the moral responsibility and before the opinion of the whole youth “. So, as can be seen from the ones we quoted above, Ismail Kadare did not speak at all to those Albanians who entered the embassy, even though they went to his house three times to insist on that.
And Ramiz Alia’s rage against Kadare’s refusal to join the party’s choir or propaganda to attack embassy people goes further. Following the meeting, he openly alludes and accuses Kadare that: he has been put in the service of the West and calls on Albanian intellectuals to speak openly in the press against him and the French President, François Mitterrand, who according to him (so Ramiz), invited Kadare for a visit to France, exactly at that time, “when all those planned hostile actions were carried out and he was angry against Albania”. Like the rest of the documents published in this book, this one is given in full.
Followed by the last number
Minutes of the meeting of 23 July 1990
Meeting of the Secretaries of K.Q. of the Party
July 23, 1990
In this meeting, Comrade Ramiz Alia addressed some conclusions, problems and tasks arising from the development of internal and external situations, especially after the events of July 2, 1990 in Tirana. He commissioned the secretary of K.Q. of the Party comrade Foto Çami, the secretary of K.Q. of the Tirana District Party, Comrade Pirro Kondi, and the first secretary of K.Q. of the ALP Lisen Bashkurtin, to get direct contacts with the masses, especially with student youth and intellectuals, to build a qualified and diversified work program and to better coordinate all educational work.
COMRADE PHOTO ÇAMI: I also linked the answer I gave him with an example: If someone went to steal his house, what would he do?
COMRADE RAMIZ ALIA: In this case, no comparison can be made with the theft of the house, because the house is personal property, while the archive of Kinostudios is a property of great state and national value. Of course, when a police officer kills a man who wants to burn down Kinostudio, we do not say, “Well done for killing him!” That man could even be caught and punished for slightly injuring his leg, etc. But we cannot blame the police either, because when a man is shot, he can be killed. These issues need to be clarified and defined correctly. The enemy benefits both from our mistakes and their inflated interpretations, as well as from the shortcomings of the market. For example, I learned that in the Tirana market tomatoes and peppers are sold at a very high price. How is it possible to sell now, at the peak of summer, 5.50 many per kilogram of peppers? Is comrade Llambi Gegprifti a politician? What about the Chief of Trade in the Executive Committee of Tirana, do you judge this issue as a politician? The same situation occurs in the market of Durrës, where only on the beach now there are about 15 thousand people. These actions do not go with the Party line.
SHOKU PIRRO KONDI: In Tirana, tomatoes were sold for 1 many per pound, only peppers were sold expensively a few days ago, but now their price has dropped to 3.50 many.
COMRADE RAMIZ ALIA: Agree Pirro. But the issue is that these friends who lead, also do politics, it cannot be done only you and me. Economics and politics are closely linked. We must all work together, on all fronts. If we deal mainly with politics, the comrades who run the economy, deal with the economy, consult with a group of specialists in the relevant sector and see in the political plan these issues that create problems. The party must observe and combat these shortcomings, just as it must work carefully with people who raise issues biasedly, or simply remain in the role of observer. These people must first oppose our basic platform and, once we have agreed on this, then we can say “let’s fight together against these harmful phenomena”. In Kavaja, for example, the enemy found favorable ground for action because there were also many unemployed. But why the Party Committee of Durrës or that of the Kavaja region, did not think before to open working fronts?! Why did they wait for Paul to go and suggest that they produce pottery to put people to work? It is known by everyone that in central Albania, except Farka, Kavaja has been the largest and most traditional center for pottery products, while now there is no more pottery produced there. If a pottery cooperative is organized, another 500 free forces can be hired. The jars of Kavaja can be taken to Zagori, Saranda, and Vlora where there is a great need. There are opportunities for hiring free forces everywhere, but these opportunities need to be explored. This problem was also worrying in Tirana. Now the Party Committee in Tirana has taken over the situation and is looking for a solution. But why weren’t these solutions sought before?! How to explain the apathy and passivity of the communists of our Party organs and power, in the face of the perverted slogans of the enemy!? Friend
COMRADE XHELIL GJONI: It happens that not all people have sound education, faith and conviction for our path and line.
COMRADE PHOTO ÇAMI: The public must be elaborated, convictions must be created for the changes that have happened and are happening for our path and line.
COMRADE RAMIZ ALIA: We must always be on the attack on every slogan thrown by the enemy and for this a special job must be built. For example, word spread in Tirana that the world is looking for labor and there is someone who asks: “Why not export labor?” No one needs unskilled labor today. Vietnamese immigrants were fired in the Czech Republic. The Albanians, who entered the Italian embassy and went to Italy, are only taking them to agriculture. Even they themselves are now saying: “Why, we came to work in agriculture”!? “Others who went to France started stealing.” Radio Paris reports that the French police are looking for the Albanian refugees who have come out and are stealing people and houses in the city of Res. For the refugees who went to Germany, advertisements were placed: “Albanians, do not steal our bicycles”. How is it possible to think that European countries or other countries of the world want to get out of the workforce!? Even if there may be a need for skilled labor somewhere, can we accept to destroy our economy by taking our most skilled people elsewhere? Besides, who would benefit from this kind of morality that accepts the sale of labor power? It is important to try to find jobs for people, to create opportunities for them to work within the homeland, for their interests and those of Albania. Therefore, a very effective work must be built, so that people are convinced of this fundamental issue and then together we fight for what needs to be fixed. But this work faces many difficulties and requires sacrifices. But would not it be fairer and more moral to leave the homeland!? Should we give up power in the face of adversity and sell the land to others? This language should be spoken to those who raise their hands and remain silent in the face of enemy slogans, be they boys, young girls or intellectuals. In particular, work should be done with the Party and Communist organizations. Today more than ever, the example and attitude of every communist, everywhere and before every situation, speaks. We have 25 thousand communists in Tirana. Are they all fighters and militants? Unfortunately, it must be admitted that among them there are many communists who are not worth it. We need to find and raise exactly those who are the most militant, the most determined and the most active. Even the Youth organization in this situation must rely on its liveliest and most active activists. Fotoja, Pirroja, and you Lisien, here in Tirana you have to design an educational work program to raise the healthy opinion. You can also keep around you some well-known and authoritative intellectuals, such as Dritëro Agolli, etc. Ismail that Ismail Kadare is not being felt.
COMRADE LISIEN BASHKURTI: We went to Ismail’s house three times to ask him for an interview for the newspaper “Zeri i Rinisë” but he refused to prepare it….
COMRADE RAMIZ ALIA: But why do not you write in the newspaper that Ismail Kadare refused to give an interview!? In this way you will bring it before the moral responsibility and before the opinion of the whole youth.
COMRADE LISIEN BASHKURTI: When he talked to him orally, Remzi Lani told him that the next interview that he presented to “Voice of Youth” of his own volition, we published immediately, and now the editorial office needs to address him. In a way he put him in charge….!?
COMRADE RAMIZ ALIA: We have the right to say to these people: “This situation in Tirana was instigated and created by the enemy. Here is what the enemy wants! But who are you silent with”!? Is it in the honor of our intellectual not to say a word to President Mitterrand who invited Ismail Kadare to visit France, just at this time when all those hated hostile actions were being carried out and their bourgeois propaganda was inciting hatred against Albania? Democracy and humanism, of which Ismaili speaks, are not abstract rights, nor can they be conceived as such. For which people are these rights demanded if they do not find concrete expression in the interests of the homeland and the people? Outside of these interests any kind of democracy is demagoguery. Can anyone deny now that the themes of the Party, Enver Hoxha, the homeland, socialism, are the main axis that pervades the entire work of Ismail, from the poems “Why are these mountains thought”, “Eagles fly high”, to the novels “General” of the dead army ”,“ The great winter ”,“ Concert at the end of winter ”, etc? The current situation requires Ismaili to render a new service to the people, the Party, and the homeland under the name and attitude of a well-known intellectual. Would this attitude have elevated him otherwise could he have stood on the other side and promised like Tudjman that he once made a mistake when he was young? It is the time when such an intellectual should be told: “You who speak so fervently about democracy, the freedom of the individual, are you indignant why the police use the stick and see what the foreigner is doing against the freedom of Albania? Who cares about your publications when you do not say a word about what you see? I wanted to draw your attention to the fact that there are some types of people with negative tendencies and unhealthy backgrounds. In general, they are young intellectuals, like a lecturer at the Higher Institute of Arts, an employee at Kinostudio, or the literary press, a painter, etc. They must be worked with patience and kept close to break their myths so as not to allow them to become the conductors of a wrong line.
COMRADE XHELIL GJONI: Maybe there is a need to organize with these people some debates in close groups on various issues that seek to be clarified. For example, there have been many questions about getting a loan. They can be invited to different auditoriums of people, competent and level friends, like Farudin Hoxha. The same can be done for other issues. There is a lot of discussion about the problem of Kosovo, as well as the position of the Kosovar intelligence. The reaction and in this matter tries to throw bitterness against us. There is talk of the problem of union with Kosovo with us, which they say is also of interest to America that after this union a general solution can be reached by itself.
COMRADE RAMIZ ALIA: There are those who confuse this issue with the position of some Kosovar intellectuals who propagate that ideology should be abandoned and we should deal with nationalism. Their slogan is Ethnic Albania. But to accept nationalism means to accept the National Front and Legality we cannot sacrifice our ideals for such an ethnic Albania. There can be someone else who exalts for a European house, completely open with lots of floors and apartments if he wants, except with a bourgeois ideology!! I emphasize that in the face of these desires and slogans we should not retreat but attack. Our activity must be effective. The rally that was organized in Tirana, for example, was quite good and achieved its goal, but it was not accompanied by intensive work. All problems must be well known in order to be solved later. A headquarters can also be set up against hostile slogans. Masses with general slogans and words cannot be spoken of today. Sometimes it is more effective to have an honest conversation, even with 2-3 people, where opinions are beaten and conclusions are convincing. It would be good to organize a meeting with a group of 15 intellectuals. You need to talk to them first about how they see the current situation and then break one wrong point of view with one by one. The same should be done with some young people before youth organizations come together. With intelligence, a special work programmed by categories should be built, focusing especially on some large institutions and centers such as Kinostudio, Writers’ League, Radio-Television, etc. The whole activity should be enlivened with young university and school students, both in form and content. Large activities, for example, take place on the occasion of the beginning of the new school year in different environments, in the form of concert rallies and sports games. From now on and throughout the month of August, measures must be taken for the regular organization of life in the dormitories. Through all kinds of activities, we should aim to always keep the youth close to it and feed it with our ideology, because after the failure suffered in the first phase of its program, the enemy will aim to support the student youth. He is interested in touching this delicate layer composed of the sons of the people to attack the Party line. If it was easier for us to take a stand against the actions of some hooligans and raise our opinion because the people knew them as such, it is very difficult to raise this opinion against those elements of student youth who may fall into the enemy’s lap. . Sound opinion should be maintained and action should be taken against families whose members entered the embassies. Attention should also be paid to information for the people regarding the implementation of the decisions of the last plenums on various issues. From the central bodies as well as from some basic bodies there are many delays in the implementation of the decisions taken in the 8th Plenum of the Central Committee of the ALP for the construction of private dwellings. People need more information. Why is it reluctant, for example, to provide public information through propaganda tools for studies such as salary increases that are below 600 many? This study has long since begun. Situations require that every comrade of the Party and state leadership, without the need for large speeches through television or direct meetings with the people, decompose the theses of the last plenums. It can bring more complete information to the sector it covers about the problems and solutions required. This would further increase the responsibility of each of us, but it would also pave the way for many rumors and hostile slogans that there are divisions in the leadership, there are conservatives and liberals. Of course in these positions do not stand any of our comrades, but the slowness and bureaucracy wherever they appear cannot leave no trace in the conscience of the people. They must be fought with perseverance and tireless work, constantly enlivening and perfecting all the means and forms of our information and propaganda./Memorie.al
General Sector Chief
Central State Archive Fund 14 Central Committee of the ALP, (Governing Bodies), File 24. Year 1990