Memorie.al / Dino Shani were one of those arrested in the summer of 1946, accused of being an American agent. He was involved in the famous story of “Larry Post”, an American secret service soldier, schoolmate of Mehmet Shehu at Harry Fultz’s American Technical School and with a dramatic and mysterious story after the establishment of the communist regime in Albania. The document that we bring to the readers today reveals a very important fact, which proves how the investigators were conducted during the communist regime and how torture was used, as a means to often bring up untold stories. But before we reveal the content of this document and the story of Dino Shani, let’s briefly bring up the story of Larry Post, in order to understand Dino Shani’s connection with the accusations of being an agent in the service of the Americans, in the years ’44 – ’46.
“Larry Post” was actually the nickname of Lazar Papapostoli from Ziçishti i Korça. He had immigrated to America in 1937. While in 1943, he had participated in the O.S.S. and where he got the nickname “Larry”. His life would take a different course, as soon as he decided to return to Albania in 1944.
Only two years later, when the world is involved in the Cold War, he is isolated, sentenced to ten years in prison, lives alone in a cell, is threatened and raped, exiled, while Mehmet Shehu is the only one who maintains direct contact with him, until at the end of 1974, where he died under mysterious circumstances, while it was officially announced that he died of a heart attack.
After the arrest of “Larry Post”, with the charge of being an agent of the Americans, Dino Shani was also arrested, who in the document that we will bring below, a letter addressed to the Attorney General of that period, Bedri Spahiu, says that; was in that difficult situation after “Larry Post” had charged him with that false accusation.
Beyond this fact, which could all have been a trap of the investigators, Dino Shan’s confession proves that he was subjected to torture and numerous threats in the investigator. He even mentions several types of torture, with which they threatened him and forced him to admit an untrue fact about himself, that is, his role and activity as an agent of the Americans.
Archival document with Dino Shan’s letter addressed to the General Prosecutor, Major General Bedri Spahi, in 1946
Dino Shan’s letter to Bedri Spahi regarding the accusations made against Dino by Lary Post (Lazar?) – 2 sheets. – It is thought to be after July 1946.
State Attorney General
Major General Bedri Spahiu
Bedri, By this I do not want to exculpate myself or ask for mercy, but only to tell you the truth and simply how my case stands and leave it to your conscience to believe me or have a little doubt , that I am honest about what we are saying.
On the basis of a vile accusation, which is nothing but a slander, by a man like “Lary Post” (Lazar?), I was arrested and put in prison. When the investigation came, I tried to tell them honestly that I had not become the sold spy of the Americans, that I would never commit this treason against the country and the Power, because I had nothing against the Power, because I was not the son of a criminal war, someone taxed or affected by agrarian reform, someone disaffected or entangled with an opposing party, or financially bad.
But the investigator, believing the above-mentioned accusation, did not want to believe me, even though I issued a sincere statement that I had not been the informer of the Americans. The interrogator threatened me that they would torture me using beatings, handcuffs, electricity, clamps on my fingers, pulling out my nails, if I didn’t tell the truth.
On the other hand, they promised me that I would cooperate with them, receiving information from the American Mission and reactionary circles, for the Government. Now out of fear of the horror of these tortures and full of hope and faith in the word that Captain Thomai and Lieutenant Avniu gave me, that I would cooperate with them (so as soon as I got out I would come straight to you, to tell you the matter of true, and for this you can ask Captain Mucha, to whom you told that, as soon as you leave, I will meet with Bedri.
He asked me why, and out of fear that he would torture me about what was going on, I would tell you (the truth), I told him that he would thank him, and I felt compelled to blame myself, saying that he was an informant of the American Mission, that I was taking 1000 francs per month. But the worst thing is that I accused 5 others, four completely innocent: Foni Vardhami, Misto Vardhami, a certain Xhafer (an arborist) and a certain Shyqri (a cheese seller); and the fifth Stefan Caro, partially guilty, i.e., it is true that he wanted to escape (as he himself said), but he was never my informant, I never gave him money, and I didn’t even about the mission.
I met him once in January at “Dajti” and the second time; he came to my house in July, together with Ilia Koto. The first four admitted that they were the informers of the thousand and that they received money from me, following the same promise that was made to them that they would cooperate with the Government as informers and after they tried to convince me that this promise was true. Bedri, I swear that they are completely innocent, and the accusations I made against them, I am eating little by little, because I do not have a clear conscience.
As for Bedri himself, I can be guilty of the sympathy I feel towards the American people, for my going to the Mission (after all, I was preparing an Albanian-English and English-Albanian dictionary), for the translation of the newspapers, which I they themselves asked if I wanted to do this job, but not because I was their informant, not because I received 1000 francs a month, after all the salary I received, I handed it over to my wife, because that’s how I got it out of habit, so ask my wife if I gave her any money while I was unemployed, from 1 Kalnori 1945 until I joined UNRRA on 8 August 1945, and if I sent her any money , after I was dismissed from U.N.R.R.A., on April 8, 1946, and until I started translating newspapers, on July 1, 1946.
Bedri, I believe I would never have done such a thing even if I had had a sympathy for the Americans, but a vile accusation by one person forced me to blame myself, saying that I had given information to the Mission economic, political and military. From the fear of torture, I lost myself and said whatever came to my mouth, terrified. This accusation was made against me by “Lary Post” because I refused to become their informant, Bedri.
In April 1945, “Lary Posti” himself said to me, let’s meet outside: You will regret one day, Dino, for not accepting the proposal that Thoma Stefani made you. Thoma Stefani, has tried many times to convince me, with agitation that; the information was useful to Shqipnis, but I have always answered that I would never do such a thing.
When the investigator told me that I was accused of being an informant of Thoma Stefani, with a pseudonym (that I don’t remember), I hoped that they would confront me with “Lary Post”, so I would expose the truth. But unfortunately, the investigator did not confront me, but used threats and promises, forcing me to blame myself.
I may have made mistakes, but not to the point of becoming a spy. Bedri, we believe that I am telling the truth.
I never believed Bedri, that one day I would be forced to blame myself to escape the terrible torture. But unfortunately this was proven following a slander made by an unscrupulous man. I was forced to take on a stain (American spy) without even dreaming of doing it.
But Bedri assured you that even from the Americans themselves and friendly relations will be established, because the power belongs to the people and is working for the people, and then the truth will come out, who was the spy, I who came openly to the Mission and knowing I was being tracked, or others.
Bedri, the investigator did not want to hear this truth, but you, at least as a statesman, believe me that it is true. It is true that I had sympathy for the Americans, but this turned into hatred, why did they make me a victim of their intrigue, and when Lieutenant Avniu gave me to sign a statement, I signed it with all my heart and honestly, why would I work with everyone my powers for Power, for I know myself honest.
Bedri, I leave it to your conscience to believe me, whether I am telling the truth or not. The day will come when the truth will come out.
A brief history on the life of Larry Post
Born in Katundin Ziçisht – Bilisht, in May 1915, the son of Fotinia and Dhimitri.
He attended primary school in Ziçisht.
In the years 1927-1930, he worked at the “CEKREZI” Typography – Tirana.
In 1930, he received a scholarship at the American Technical School – Tirana.
In 1937, he went to the USA and enrolled at the “ILLINOIS” University, in the branch of Political and Social Sciences. He graduated in June 1941.
Unemployed until January 1942.
On 05.01.1942, until June 1943, he worked as secretary of the Association “Free Albania” and director of the newspaper “LIRIA” in New York.
In June 1943, at the invitation of Mr. Francis CALLNEY, goes to Washington on the O.S.S.
From September 1943, until 21.10.1943, he goes on duty in Cairo near the O.S.S. and at the end of October in Bari, in the service of the O.S.S., as deputy of Major COON, until FULTZI came.
Placed in the villa “AZZON” as responsible, not only for materials and equipment, but also for the membership of Albanians and instructor of lectures.
At the end of October 1944, he left for Albania with the Albanian Mission of the General Command of the National Liberation Army.
Classmate of Mehmet Shehu, at the Technical School of Fultz in Albania, immigrates to America in 1937. In 1943, participates in the O.S.S. and earns the nickname “Larry”.
“Larry Post”, a soldier of the American secret service, with the salary of a major, was Llazar Papapostoli, from Ziçishti i Korça, whose life would take a different course, as soon as he decided to return to Albania in 1944.
Only two years later, when the world was engulfed by the Cold War, he was isolated, sentenced to ten years in prison, lived alone in a cell, was threatened and raped, exiled, while Mehmet Shehu was the only one who had direct contact with him until end of 1974, where he died under mysterious circumstances, while, officially, death from a heart attack was published. Memorie.al