By Petraq Xhaçka
Memorie.al / The purpose of this book is to unite the help in the efforts that are made, to present the truths and horrors of the communist dictatorship in Albania. The main purpose of the book is not to show our people or anyone else, that we oilmen have been innocent, because this has become known from publications in our press, from foreign televisions, as well as from direct meetings with the International Forum and the Albanian Human Rights. The author’s desire, is that through this story, together with other stories, fight any manifestation in any form, even moderate, that he may have to create a communist society. I think that even through this bitter personal history, the cruel, treacherous and overbearing face of Enverism will appear, that for half a century, held the knife with the tip in the chest of the Albanian people, with a pine eye, intercepting the movements for salvation from the outside, or rebellion of the people themselves, ready to push the knife to the heart, at the first movement. The events are set in the economic fields where it has appeared most strongly, such as the oil and gas industry, where I was fortunate to pour my energies, for a lifetime, and become a participant and witness in those events. All the events that are written in this memoir are true, not only without any exaggeration or embellishment, but perhaps, I don’t know how much I was able to present the terrifying force of the events that took place in that decadent system of socialism, where no there was no human feeling.
Continues from last issue
In this nest of the State Security, the Minister of the Interior himself came for a short visit, who that day in the annex of the Fier Tourism Hotel, had offered as an alternative: either accept and sign this document of hostile activity and we will release to go home free to your children and your wife, because we will forgive you, since you are from a good family, or if you don’t sign, we will arrest you right now, and we will take you to prison for these thoughts you have shown! Choose and get it!
– The document you are about to sign, – explained Hekuran Isaj, – we want to have it as a warning for you. So that you don’t talk like that again, contrary to the orientations of the Party! In fact, this was a dry lie, a ruse to create artificially a document, a thread with which they would later elaborate the “big plot”, about the dirty and shameful scenario, which the party leadership had built for its low purposes against our group.
During these five days that he was kept in custody, the family did not know anything about Mynyri’s whereabouts. People had gone to the ministry several times to ask where he was and why you hadn’t called them. Was he sick? At the Ministry of Geology-Mining, they had replied that they did not know where their employee, Mynyr Arapi, was. He told me in prison that, in the end, before this terror, before this ultimatum, it seemed more right to him to sign the false document and return free to his family and work.
Then he hoped that he would clarify this confusion with the state leadership.When I met him on the street near the ministry, Mynyri had passed this tragic fate. In those days, he kept the hope that the Minister of the Interior had not lied to him, since he had sworn on his honor that nothing would be done to him in the future. The lies, infidelity and cynicism of these people knew no bounds. They had grown up with the lie and the lie had grown up with them.
Later, when Mynyri was telling me with whom he had talked about the oil barrenness, and when we were guessing who could have made his words, I was more surprised by the fact that one of them was a seismic engineer, his father of which, he had been in prison as a ballistic missile. Therefore, the Security operative of the Institute and the seismic enterprise often told us that engineer Tomori would be removed from the geophysical enterprise, for biographical reasons and moreover, that he was not working properly. He thought that after that, we would trust him more and talk to him about sensitive topics.
Even I defended the engineer several times, because as a specialist, he was good, was very sociable with everyone, made humor and was very active in study topics. It is difficult for a person to be guarded by everyone, and to be suspicious of everyone. Recently, whenever Mynyri came to Fier on business, he invited him to come to his house to sleep, because his family had moved to Tirana. It is understood that at home they had all kinds of technical conversations about research problems. He, it seems, carefully prepared for the questions that he would direct to the guest, so that the combination across the strips became possible. And all of this was recorded by him, on a special tape recorder.
I also associated his name with an event that happened to me quite unexpectedly, before my arrest. We were working on a joint study topic, where, now it is understood, he was introduced to extract the subject, which the Department of Internal Affairs wanted. It was in the late hours of the night and in the clash of technical thoughts, he was pushed into the conflict and burdened me with some words, which I had not heard in my address, neither from him nor from anyone else. My state of mind in those days was very abnormal, so that I ran out of patience and rushed at him to hit him hard, and managed to do this several times, for I had a strong physique from a healthy youth. Other colleagues stepped in and took it out of my hands.
This event would never have happened with my polite nature, with my prudence and especially with my age. But, as I said, my nerves were breaking and he knew it well. I am convinced that he did this provocation, with a specific purpose. We were seeing that more and more people, regardless of cultural height, were easily recruited into the dirty jobs of the Enverian Security. Recruits easily agreed with their conscience and harmed their neighbor, with the slander that was the staple of the secret police, in order to secure their own well-being.
It is understandable that in some cases, State Security forced them to become such, by means of pressure, but often times, the characters of these people made the work of State Security easier. Enver Hoxha’s system destroyed the virtues of our people. Only a few days had passed since the conversation with the minister in Tirana, when the event that was expected to happen to Mynyri happened. This happened in the infamous cinema hall of Patos, where I was already inclined not to believe that any film had ever been shown.
I was also notified to go there.
At the appointed hour, as the hall was packed with oil workers, delegates from the capital, the Minister of Geology-Mining, leaders of the party in the district and people from the Ministry of Internal Affairs took their place in the presidium. The person who opened the meeting briefly said that; in oil, we continued to have enemies, who fought against the orientations of the Party, and the lessons that Comrade Enver left us about oil. One of these, he said, was Mynyr Arapi.
It seemed as if everything had been carefully prepared. Mynyri was immediately invited to stand up and read his self-criticism. He stood up, took out the paper already prepared and began to hit himself. Everyone listened in deep silence. Immediately, I remembered the order of the Minister of the Interior and listened carefully to find out where the hostile activity of Mynyr Arap was. He had nothing hostile, except that in some conversations with his colleagues, he had said that our country did not have a good prospect for oil and gas. He had said that; “we don’t have enough structures for research”, that; “there is no gas in Durrës”, and other similar opinions with a geological character. While listening to them, I was wondering how you could have said these things to Mynyri.
We met often, not only in consultations, but also in meetings of specialists, and he had never shown such thoughts, so skeptical, about oil research in our country. Not that they weren’t true, but at least I was convinced that he knew the danger of expressing such opinions, especially after all those hardships. But when I heard that in these self-critical words, where he condemned himself as an enemy, it was Mynyri himself, of course I couldn’t help but believe him, that he had said such nonsense. This came from the fact that at the time, I did not know about his detention in the annex of the Tourism Hotel, I did not know the behind-the-scenes practices used by the State Security to force people to publicly admit things they had never done or thought. in their lives. The dirty work of the Security, no one had the courage to tell.
One thing must be said, though, that I was angry with Mynyri, for the immaturity with which you had shown those opinions, to unfaithful ears, regardless of the little perspective of our territory, at that time he was completely right. She was something real. Life itself in later years, down to the present time, is showing the accuracy of that geological prediction. No ideology can change the geological reality. So, for example, in my doctoral dissertation, I made predictions about some possible structures that could exist in the sea and this with the logic of geological laws, because we did not have marine seismic to study there.
And about the perspective of this area, I spoke with reservations, but without denying it, that even if I wanted to accept it, I could not write it. And the practice of sea research by foreign companies has not ended positively so far. If this opinion were said openly, wouldn’t it be beneficial to the economy to avoid big expenses? Wouldn’t it be more criminal and uneconomic to recklessly spend large amounts of money and get nothing? So, do those bureaucrats who are still alive understand what a great crime they have committed, by restricting us, or rather they have forbidden us then, to tell the naked truth, to express the geological opinion, just as we felt these were they arguing freely?
So who, I ask once again, were the real enemies of that country, those specialists who, with their knowledge, with their intellect, correctly assessed the value of the underground perspective, or the leadership of the party, with its narrowness of mind, with its ignorance in the field of technique, he preferred slogans and put all his might so that those slogans would become taboo?! These were some of the points of the indictment, which should have had their trial in the period of democracy and not the expenses of the block, of several tens of thousands of ridiculous dollars. At the end of his self-criticism, the hall demanded that Mynyr Arapi be arrested, but the main leader of the meeting said that the party was generous and would not put Mynyr Arapi in prison. She would leave him, work and pay off the guilt with unsparing work.
The next day, the same meeting, with the same delegates, took place only with employees of the Oil Institute. As a difference, it was requested that discussions be held here, by specialists from the Institute and the geophysical enterprise. The Presidium raised me as well, and as I had the order or the order from Minister Isaj, I held a discussion, where I spoke from the technical side, that the country has prospects for oil and gas research, that the new reserves have not been completed, but that they are looking for a job larger study. Likewise, based on Mynyri’s condemnation of himself, I naturally condemned his attitudes, as did all the other discussants. Only later, I found out the plan, why they called me and ordered me to punish you; “hostile concepts” of Mynyri.
After a few days, we learned that Mynyri had been taken to work as a geologist, in the mines of the northern areas, and not a few weeks passed, when he was brought under arrest to the Fier prison. This was the solemn “promise” that the Party made before the oil workers in Patos, that the geologist would not be arrested! This was the generosity of the Party of Labor of Albania! Against his children, the usual persecution began, like all other political convicts. Concerns and political pressures on his family and relatives began. Some were dismissed from their responsibilities; some were moved to other countries. In addition to the moral suffering, the economic hardship began as incomes decreased, while children were closed to study in higher schools.
On the day of the liberation day, in November 1985, the geophysical engineer, Petrit Sadushi, was arrested. A few months before this engineer of the Petroleum Institute was arrested, he had a difficult time related to an old incident. Petriti had a long working experience in the field of interpretive geophysical studies. He was sent to West Germany in 1972 for several months to train in the use of an electronic field seismic processing center. This center was American made, but used for a long time in Germany, it was taken out of use, obsolete as a technology. Since Petriti had studied for several years in East Germany and had a good command of German, he enabled other colleagues to more easily acquire the technique of using this still sophisticated electronic center.
With great delay, due to the needs that I had shown them and had even been punished for them in 1969, only now the statesmen were convinced to buy this center, which although it was in stock condition, again for our country, was an advanced tool, very important in the field of seismic. During the stay in Germany, the group lived and worked all the time, without being separated from each other. They had an order that wherever they went, for a walk, to sports or to the cinema, they should always be together. This was common for any group of specialists who went abroad, either to symposia, or to exchange experience, or to international technical congresses, or for business, as well as artistic or sports groups.
Our state did not trust its own people and thought that they could be recruited by the secret services of Western or Eastern countries. According to the stereotypical judgments of the heads of the Communist Security, every foreign specialist from these countries was seen as a spy and all the countries, as if they had eyes on Albania, for the danger presented by the country of eagles, with its most advanced system in the world! And these were classifications made by Albania! As funny as this concept was, it was also tragic, because many specialists have fallen victim to these rigid disciplines of going abroad. Most of the foreigners, with whom we had work, did not even know where Albania fell, rather they envied the country whose government had dry bread as the main objective of the five-year plans. But how to convince the communist leaders not to stop the acquisition of advanced experience from the most developed countries of the world?
After the harvest, a long time after the expedition to Germany, the party organization of the Institute, where Petrit Sadushi was a member, gathered and, by order from above, asked to clarify where he had been and what he had done, on one of the days during his stay his with the group of specialists in Germany. Petriti had only been gone for half an hour. But he was told openly: – It is suspected that you may have met with employees of the German secret service!
Although he categorically denied these absurd conjectures, his accusers did not back down from their accusations. It seemed that they had been well ordered to maintain this attitude towards their colleague, with whom they had worked together for years, had drunk coffee day after day, and had never remembered to ask what their friend had done their here thirteen years ago!
He recalled his memory and explained to the members of the party organization that he had left the apartment where the group lived to go to a nearby store to buy some books that a friend of his had asked for. He remembered that at that time, none of his colleagues were in the apartment and that he took the initiative, thinking that the bookstore was very close and nothing would happen. Based on the proposal made, the organization expelled Petri Sadushi from the Party. For anyone who was expelled from the Party, this was considered a political firing, and these people were followed at every step with asphyxiating surveillance.
This event was the prelude. He was expelled from the Party and immediately afterwards he was arrested.
Thus, within a short time, the two oil engineers were imprisoned for political reasons. Physical and psychological torture was immediately applied to them, so that they would accept the charge, according to which they were members of a large group of saboteurs and traitors, who were operating in the oil industry, to overthrow the popular power, and to establish a regime capitalist in Albania. These imaginary accusations of the State Security, of course, were not accepted and rejected with disgust. But the ferocious terror of the prison and the infamous inquisition forced these fatzines to submit.
They saw submission as the only way to protect their families, because they understood that the investigation was quite persistent and they would not be able to escape punishment in any case. To make it easier for them to accept the accusation, the investigator told them that in this group, they were the “little ones”, and they had no responsibility for who knows what! -“Therefore, don’t be stupid! Let others take the lead, why you?! We know who your leaders are”! “Why don’t you, – they said to Mynyri, – accept that there are others in your group”?!
-“Petraqi was the leader of the group, don’t we know? And he discussed and did not defend you, but condemned you in your presence, the day you were self-criticizing. So – continued the investigators, – admit that Petraqi is also an enemy, you have cooperated and the biggest fault remains with him as the leader of the group and not with you. This is how you will show Xhacka that in this world everything is washed away! And, most importantly, it escapes from the bullet. While you were continuing like this, you eat the bullet”. Memorie.al
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