From Agim Musta
The seventh part
Memorie.al / On the fourth anniversary of the passing away of the well-known historian, researcher, writer and publicist Agim Musta, (July 24, 2019), former political prisoner, his daughters Elizabeta and Suela, gave him the right to exclusivity for the publication, by the online media Memorie.al, of one of the author’s most prominent publications, such as the ‘Black Book of Albanian Communism’. This work contains numerous data, evidence, facts, statistics and arguments unknown to the general public, on communist crimes and terror in Albania, especially against intellectuals, in the period 1945-1991. The publication for the first time of parts of this book is also the realization of one of the bequests of the historian Agim Musta, who, from the beginning of 1991 until he passed away, for nearly three decades was engaged with all his powers, working to raise collective memory, through book publications and publications in the daily press. All that voluminous work of Mr. Agim Musta, concretized in several books, is a contribution of great value to the disclosure of the crimes of the communist regime of Enver Hoxha and his successor, Ramiz Alia. A good part of the publications of Mr. Agim Musta, is also translated into English. Thanking the two daughters of the late Musta, who chose Memorie.al, to commemorate their father, from today we are starting the publication, part by part, of the “Black Book of Albanian Communism”.
Continues from last issue
-Political trials of the Albanian communist regime-
It should be noted that 90% of those convicted by the Special Court of Tirana graduated from the best universities in Western Europe. Most of them died in prisons, while serving their sentence, and those who managed to get out of the communist hell alive, were thrown into internment camps until they died. We find it necessary to mention a conversation between Enver Hoxha’s mother, Gjylo, and Koçi Xoxa, a day before the decision was handed down by the Special Court. This is what the widow of Koçi Xoxe, Mrs. Sofika Xoxe, said in 1992.
“One day before the decision was given, Aunt Gjylua, Enver’s mother, came to visit us. After the usual questions about health, Gjylua addressed Koçi: “Aman Koçi! Save my Bahri from death! (Bahri Omari had Farija, Enver’s sister, as his wife and had helped Enver Hoxha’s parents’ family financially for many years – A.M.). Koçi was stunned and turned to Gjylua: “Why don’t you tell Enver about this, but you turn to me”?! “Enver told me that Koçi is in charge of this matter, that’s why I came to you” – answered Gjylua.
“Birbua lied to you”! – Koçi told him with his mouth on the gas. And he continued: “Yesterday at the meeting of the Bureau, Enveri insisted that Bahriu should be among the first to be sentenced to death.” Gjylos, reddened his face and left as if in a daze without greeting us”!
The execution of those condemned to death took place during the day, on the outskirts of Tirana, in the place called “Priest’s Hill”. The condemned were put on a military truck, tied hand and foot with ropes. They were accompanied by a ward of “Division of People’s Protection” (D.M.P.). At the head of the convoy was a “Fiat” car where stood the “black crow”, the prosecutor, Bedri Spahiu.
From both sides of the road to the “Grave of Bami”, crowds of Laramans had gathered, shouting to the sky “reactionaries on the rope”, “Bullet to the forehead, enemies of the people”, “Long live the Albanian Communist Party”! And other slogans, commissioned by the secretaries of the basic organizations of the Communist Party. There were no stones or bottles thrown at the 17 unfortunates, which led to their death. During the execution, the 70-year-old former minister, Fejzi Alizoti, escaped without being hit by the bullets.
He stood up and addressed Bedri Spahi: “According to international law, I ask that my life be spared”! “We don’t know the laws of the bourgeoisie” – Bedri Spahiu told him and shot a cartridge magazine in his head. After 3 days, a gang of cemetery thieves discovered the common pit where they had buried the 17 executed, hoping to find golden watches and rings among the corpses. In vain they labored for several hours, the thieves of corpses, that what they were looking for had been snatched by their executioners in time. Enraged, for the trouble that goes to them in vain, they left the corpses without covering them. The stench of the decomposing corpses disturbed the nearby inhabitants of the “Priest’s Hill” and forced them to perform the work of gravediggers.
The trial against the “Albanian Democratic Union”
On June 17, 1946, the press and Radio-Tirana of the communist regime announced the beginning of the Special Military Trial in the hall of the “National” Cinema of Tirana (which would later be called “November 17”) against “37 enemies of the people and saboteurs of the People’s Power”.
But who were those “culprits” and why did the iron fist of the communist state fall so cruelly on their heads?! In the fall of 1945, the communist government was preparing to be legalized through the December 2 elections for the National Assembly. All the information was that the elections for the People’s Assembly (Parliament) would be neither free nor democratic. The elections would be a farce of the communist regime, which came to power at gunpoint and held it, with violence and terror. Many nationalist intellectuals, democrats and merchants robbed by the power of terror, began to seriously worry about the fate of the motherland and set to work to prevent the rigged elections of December 2, 1945 from taking place.
But who were those patriots who, regardless of the danger they faced, became the first martyrs for free and fair elections in Albania? They were 37 people who were grouped to prevent the farce of December 2, 1945, where among them there were intellectuals graduated from the best universities of Europe and the American school of Harry Fultz. They were lawyers, officers, academics, diplomats, businessmen, who anxiously followed the path towards the abyss, where the Communist Party was leading Albania.
They had tried to create an opposition group and had submitted to the head of the British military mission, Colonel Palmer, a memorandum on the intervention of the Anglo-American missions, near Prime Minister Hoxha, for free and democratic elections. All their efforts failed and they had no support in the international arena.
The elections of December 2, 1945, turned into a tragedy-comedy and the Albanian Communist Party, disguised as the Democratic Front, without any opposition, “won” over 90% of the votes.
Right after the end of the voting, which was done with rubber bands, an unprecedented terror broke out, with arrests and deportations against those who did not participate in the voting or were suspected of throwing rubber bands into the black boxes. In Tirana, 37 people were arrested and subjected to inhumane torture, including: Shaban Balla, a graduate of Fultz’s American school, Musine Kokalari, a graduate of Sapiensa University in Rome and the founder of the Albanian Social-Democratic Party, in October 1943 , Gjergji Kokoshi, former first Minister of Education after the war, graduated in philosophy in Turin, Xhahit Koka, diplomat, graduated in Bucharest, Sami Qeribashi, lawyer and successful businessman, graduated in Istanbul, Qenan Dibra, graduated in Paris for Jurisprudence , Suad Asllani, prominent jurist and diplomat, Mehmet Beshiri, graduated in business in Vienna, Hivzi Golja, studied administration in Thessaloniki and Istanbul, Ali Kavaja, graduated from the school of Fultz and close friend of Shaban Balla, Enver Hasa, officer academic, graduated in Modena, Italy, Reiz Hasko, university student in Rome and one of the biggest wealthy men in Albania, Profit Çoka, successful merchant from Tirana and unfairly taxed with astronomical sums, Mahmut Mëniku, businessman from Tirana, with western ideas, Lluka Biba, lawyer, graduated in France, Semiraz Verlaci, ex-wife of Prime Minister Shefqet Vërlaci, 70 years old, with perfect behavior and other people from the elite of Albanian society.
The chairman of the Special Court, which would convict the 37 innocent culprits, was Major Frederik Nosi, who had long ago sold his soul and mind to the red devil, although he was the grandson of the prominent Elbasan patriot, Lef Nosi, who was executed that same year, by the cruel Enverist regime. The prosecutor of the trial was the well-known sadist Nevzat Haznedari, master of torture, who often executed the victims, not with bullets, but by breaking their skulls with iron crowbars, in the prison yards.
The chief investigators of the group were the chiefs of the cruel Security, Nesti Krenxhi and Kadri Hazbiu, who, for the diligence shown in committing monstrous crimes, within a few years, were promoted to ministers and generals and reached the level of members of the Political Bureau.
In the infamous trial at the “National” cinema, in those tragic days of June 1946, the indictment of prosecutor Haznedari was full of stereotypical Bolshevik phrases, calling the accused “sworn enemies of the people’s power, saboteurs, and terrorists”, and diabolical epithets, that only the perverted mind of the sadist Haznedari, could come up with.
Frederik Nosi, begins the court session with Shaban Balla’s question, which was considered by the indictment, as; the main knot of the conspirators (in quotation marks). The chairman asks Shaban Balla, if he admits that he was part of a terrorist organization, which aimed to overthrow the people’s power? Shabani, although cruelly tortured, during a period of 6 months by soul-searching investigators, answers with dignity, that he admits that he was part of an anti-government group, but in no way, a terrorist group.
And the questions continue, according to the scenarios of the Bolshevik trials of the thirties. From time to time, there are brutal interventions by the prosecutor, which are accompanied by shouts from the crowd: “Death to the enemies of the people”!, “Traitors on the rope”! Musine Kokalari tells the jury that she is not guilty. She and her friends are students of the National Revivalists and have acted according to their teachings. Punishing those means punishing the Albanian Renaissance. But the communists have neither a nation nor a homeland. Their screams in the hall surpass the howls of wolves and desert jackals.
It seems clear that the defendants huddled in the dock were cruelly tortured by the hyenas of the Security. They can barely stand and many of them have lost their sense of hearing. From their depositions, it was understood that they were in a hurry to die as soon as possible, to escape from the situation they were in. Exactly, on June 23, when the trial was coming to an end, Enver Hoxha went to Belgrade to report to his boss, Josif Broz Tito that he had hit with an iron fist a group of democratic nationalists who wanted free elections. !
For this service, Ustai Tito decorated his lackey with the highest medal: “Hero of the Peoples of Yugoslavia”. The decision of the Court was final and unappealable. Nine martyrs of democracy were sentenced to death. They were: Shaban Balla, Qenan Dibra, Xhahit Koka, Mahmut Mëniku, Telat Drini, Sami Qeribashi, Ali Kavaja, Mehmet Beshiri and Hivzi Golja. They were executed 70 years ago, on July 3, 1946, in the death camp, by the Terkuza River, in a common pit. The communist dictatorship took care to disappear without leaving any traces, the corpses of the executed.
Their skeletons were washed away by overflowing rivers, or melted by quicklime, which were thrown into unmarked graves. 28 other members were co-sufferers in the hellish prison of Burrel such as: Llukë Biba, Reis Hasho, Profit Coka, Enver Hasa and others. None of them are currently alive. They have died in time, after an ordeal full of suffering and exhaustion. Persecution also fell on their families for half a century, until in our country, the bloody communist regime was overthrown and the day of Albanian freedom and democracy dawned.
‘Special Trial’, for the punishment of the engineering-technical group, of Maliqi Swamp!
At the beginning of November 1946, after the departure of the Anglo-American missions from Albania, in Tirana, the Special Trial began, against the “saboteurs” of the Maliqi swamp. The purpose of this trial was to unmask before the public opinion, the “hostile” activity of the United States of America, towards the Albanian communist state. Since most of the engineers and technicians who worked on draining the Maliq swamp were former students of Harry Fultz’s American Technical School and later graduated from Western European Universities, they were chosen as victims, for “t “heads were cut off” in the “slaughterhouse” of the Party-state.
The Kobzi scenario was concocted by the Security chiefs, in the Ministry of Internal Affairs, by order of the dictator Hoxha. For the construction of the scenario, they had helped and were interested in the disappearance of the Albanian elite. The trial was led by Major Gaqo Floqi, with the prosecutor, First Captain, the sadist Nevzat Haznedari. The trial took place at the National Cinema in Tirana. In the dock were:
1) Abdyl Sharra, engineer, former student of Fulzi, graduated in Rome.
2) Kujtim Beqiri, engineer, graduated in Vienna, with “Gold Medal”. Fultz’s former student.
3) Vasil Mano, engineer graduated in France.
4) Zyraka Mano, technician – designer, wife of Vasil Mano, of Slovenian origin.
5) Euxenio Skaturo, Italian engineer, held hostage in Albania.
6) Mirush Përmeti, engineer, former student of Harri Fultz, graduated in Turin.
7) Pandeli Zografi, former student of Fultz, surveyor technician.
The defendants were escorted from the cells of the New Prison of Tirana, to the courtroom, by a security platoon under the command of the executioner, Skënder Kosova. Their outward appearance was sleazy and let you understand that cruel torture had been used on them, to affirm everything that the executioner investigators were looking for. On November 24, 1946, the Special Court decided in a non-appealable form: The execution by hanging on a rope of Abdyl Sharra and Kujtim Beqir.
By shooting death, of: Vasil and Zyraka Manos, Eugenio Skaturo, Hans Vela, Mario Guarnieri, Jani Vasili and Mirush Përmetit. Pandeli Zografi was sentenced to 10 years in prison. The executions were carried out in Maliq, in the presence of thousands of citizens brought from the city of Korça and from the surrounding villages, who screamed like a kennel of wolves for the death of innocent criminals. The Maliqi Swamp, where 62 political prisoners lost their lives, became a symbol of horror, not only for the Korça region, but for all of Albania.
Trial against deputies
On December 2, 1945, the elections for the Constitutional Assembly were organized by the Albanian communist state. The elections were held under communist terror and in many provinces they were completely rigged. The majority of the elected deputies were members of the Albanian Communist Party and high functionaries of the Party-state. All deputies, without exception, were closely associated with the National Liberation Movement, which was led by the Albanian Communist Party, during the period 1942-1944. Finding that P.K. Albanians, a Stalinist dictatorial state was being established in Albania, some of the deputies from the wealthy classes, such as: Gjergi Kokoshi, Enver Sazani and Selaundin Toto, began to whisper to each other, their dissatisfaction with the communist government, led by Enver Hoxha.
Conversations were being amplified among MPs with liberal views, but they never organized a regular opposition group. There is no doubt that the State Security was aware of the “reactionary” conversations taking place among the disgruntled MPs. At the beginning of 1947, without removing the mandate of the deputy, the following were arrested: Riza Dani, deputy of Shkodra, Shefqet Beja, deputy of Durres, Enver Sazani, deputy of Durres, Selaudin Toto, deputy of Gjirokastra, Irfan Majuni, deputy of Dibra. , Faik Shehu, deputy of Dibra, Kosta Boshnjaku, deputy of Tirana and Gjergi Kokoshi, deputy of Shkodra, the first Minister of Education, after the end of the Second World War.
To investigate the group of deputies, the following were appointed: Deputy First Minister of M.P. Interior and Security Director, Nesti Kerënxhi, Deputy Minister of Interior, Zihni Muço and diligent investigators, for the use of torture, such as: Siri Çarçani, Naum Bezhani, Mihallaq Ziçishti, Lefter Lakrori, etc. The MPs were subjected to the most brutal tortures, which had been used until then in the dark cells of the Security. They had degenerated into living corpses and were barely standing on the dock. Gjergi Kokoshi had lost his hearing, Enver Sazan’s eyes had been burned with cigarettes, and Shefqet Bejë’s eyes had been scarred with red-hot iron.
The chairman of the court was appointed, the former baker of Korça, Niko Çeta. During the period 1943-1944, he was a red commissar in the terrorist battalion “Hakmarrja”. The trial took place in the “National” cinema. (Later it was called “November 17” – A.M.) in Tirana, with the same interior and exterior decor, with the same slogans thrown by the irritated crowd, as in the Special Trial, held at the “Kosova” Cinema. Shefqet Beja had the courage to undress in the courtroom, to show the jury and those present in the courtroom, the wounds caused by the red iron on her chest and back.
A good part of the defendants, under the effect of torture, admitted that they had created an “Opposition Group” to establish a capitalist regime in Albania. The decision was given at the end of September 1947 and was non-appealable. For his dignified and very courageous attitude during the trial, Shefqet Beja was sentenced to death by hanging on a rope. The deputies: Riza Dani, Irfan Majuni, Enver Sazani, Selaudin Toto and Faik Shehu were sentenced to death by firing squad, while Kosta Boshnjaku and Gjergj Kokoshi were sentenced to life imprisonment. The decision was executed on October 10, 1947, at 3 am, in the presence of the prosecutor, Josif Pashko.
In addition to the sensational trials that took place in the “Kosova” and “Nacional” cinemas, in the “Tomori” cinema (which was located, where the seat of the socialist party – A.M. is today) a communist trial was wreaking havoc, headed by Bilbil Klosi and with the prosecutor, Major Gjon Banushin, former fascist police sergeant in Gjirokastër. In the “Tomori” cinema trials, several hundred people who served in low positions during the Italian-German occupation, or were leaders of ballistic-zogist units, were sentenced to death. Another part was dispossessed merchants and rich people, who, after having taken their goods and money, took their lives as well. Memorie.al
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