From Lek Pervizi
Memorie.al / Late May evening, sweet and calm. An evening similar to the others for its banality, where life follows its unchanging course and nothing had to do with me in a disorder of the life process of that day. Nature did not show any sign that any event could be foreseen outside of the normal course of life of the sector where we lived. It seemed as if she followed her unconcerned rhythm, and didn’t even want to give a damn about people who thought only of hurting each other.
Continues from the previous issue
Sania stood up against her will. She sat a little in silence as if shy. One of the friends had a stroke on her leg, and she got up the courage to speak.
– Comrades, I have a duty to tell the truth, as the Party has taught us. Beba, as far as this matter is concerned, has not said anything other than what she spoke here before us. I don’t know who informed otherwise. After speaking, Sanija sat down in her seat. The hall remained a little quiet. What did this entail? Why was it a crime for us to say that the villagers eat corn bread?
Filip Boçi was forced to speak:
– I thank my friend Sanie, who told us the truth about this matter. We will consider her testimony. Yes, let’s continue. Juliana has made a more serious mistake. She praised her father, showing his photo, and saying that he lived rich and happy, in the heart of New York. Thus, she praised the capitalist and imperialist system. This is open agitation and propaganda against our socialist system. Do you know that you have to give an account for these things, before the popular justice and that you can be punished? What do you have to say?
Beba could not contain herself to those absurdities.
– I have never known my father, not even in a photograph. I was so envious of the other children who had a mother and a father. I have lived 33 years, without a single day for him. I was interned with my mother at the age of four months. I was just a baby. That’s why the name Beba stuck with me. Recently, I took a picture of him, and out of nostalgia, I showed it to my friends, to show them that I, too, had a parent, like them.
If I behaved like that, I did not do it to denigrate the system or anyone. I never accept to be accused of deliberate work, which never occurred to me. I admit that I showed the photo to my friends so that they would know that I also have a mother like them. But I am not proud that my father lived rich and happy in New York. If I have said such a thing, in this room are the female colleagues, let them talk.
– Look how much of a lady this is! Look, look, how well he speaks, how well he defends himself. However, we recognize its hostile attitude against our socialist society. We know that she talks up and down and sows revisionist and imperialist propaganda, directly and indirectly.
Is there anyone in the room who can corroborate her statements?
Nobody moved the country. Suddenly, from the end of the hall, a tractor driver known as a fanatic and ignorant communist, whose name was Ismail, started shouting:
– Why this useless meeting? This Juliana, hidden under the name Beba, should be arrested and brought to account before the court and punished as she deserves. Or wasn’t we also the granddaughter of the princess of King Nicholas. To be excluded from the sector, to be deported, here in prison, here in a lost mountain village. On the other hand, I ask the authorities to clear our sector of the enemies of the people who are interned here. I add that she is married to an interned man, the son of General Prenk Perviz, this sworn enemy of the people and the party.
Another individual, his friend, was led into the audience, shouting like a madman: “Long live the Party! Long live our great and beloved leader, Comrade Enver Hoxha, who lights our way to communism!”
The whole hall rose to its feet, clapping and shouting: “Parti-Enver, we are ready anytime”! And that person continued to scream: “Death to the enemies of the people and the Party! Down with capitalism and imperialism”! The hall was shaken by the clatter of feet on the cement floor, like an earthquake.
– Let’s remove Juliana and her whole family from the sector and send them to a lost cooperative, where they will die for the bread basket.
The atmosphere was fierce. It was the turn of the chief of staff, Rexhep Guga, to speak. It was known that the leaders of the cadre cooperated with the State Security.
– People of Pluk sector. I must remind you that this meeting was organized to examine Juliana’s case, to expose and criticize her for any accidental mistake. In short, for her lap. But, as far as the husband is concerned, we have nothing in our hands, because he directly depends on the Ministry of the Interior, so it is the state that deals with him and his family.
We will focus only on Juliana. We have received some negative information about her. Some hostile behavior and expressions towards our socialist society. This information is not based on factual evidence. But, in any case, we will bring this woman, mother of children and worker of our farm back to the right path. Then, you know everyone well, because she has been a resident of Pluk since childhood.
She grew up, lived and worked for 33 years in this sector. Where has she been and is a distinguished worker. Therefore, this meeting is worth it to get back on the right path and be careful when you speak. Because as they say, there is no cure for the wound of the word. Therefore, be clear, for the internees, the state answers. We, as a civil and working society, ask, in our case, that the people of Plugo do not allow harmful words to be spoken for the state and our party.
This woman, whom you know as Beba, and who, as we have information, behaves and gets along very well with you, be careful when she speaks, with intention or without, things that take on the meaning of agitation and propaganda. So we, as a party and government, want to bring it to the end.
As soon as the boss finished speaking, the secretary took over the leadership of the meeting again.
-Another problem involves Juliana or Beba, as you call her. She wrote a letter to her mother in Belgium, that the brothers now did not have to hunt toads, to eat them, or to sell them. This is also a way to denigrate our country. What is the reason that led you to write like this?
The baby was left speechless. So they also checked the family mail. Shocked, she nevertheless decided to answer.
– You can give any meaning to my letters, until you check them. Why I wrote like that is because when they were children, my brothers used to catch frogs with their friends, with whom they used to play. Some of them are here in the hall. Nothing else.
Now they have grown up and work and do not need to collect toads, let alone in Belgium, there are none. It was more in jest that I mentioned them, and for no other reason. I accept the warning that I have committed a violation. What did I need with such stories, but without any malicious intent?
– Yes, yes, it knows how to defend itself well. But, let me understand that, in our socialist society, you have to be careful with your words. No one can talk at will. Every word can be dangerous to our State and Party. We want to trust your sincerity, but be careful that such words can lead you to court and be punished. This would be very difficult for a mother with children. You’re three, aren’t you?
The hall listened in complete silence. People wanted to know why this whole scenario, for a young woman, whom everyone who filled the hall knew, and wondered why they had turned this cinema hall into a trial of the people, by the decision of the party. She was considered a beautiful and proud woman.
But also a caring and hardworking mother. Although we interned him, he never had any problems, no matter how small. She was married since she was 17 years old, to an internee, like Lek Pervizin, after the internees, they could marry only among themselves, because no free person dared to marry them.
In the hall, a feverish anticipation continued to reign as to how that story would end. Among the public, there were also people commissioned by the party to disrupt the meeting. One of them, who worked in the livestock sector, and whose name was Nazmi, raised his hand to take the floor.
– What are we waiting for here? We have been discussing and listening for two hours. Come on; handcuff this Montenegrin princess, enemy of the people. To be tried and punished for the sins he has committed. He deserves prison for those crimes. Our people’s power, our party and our government, do not allow themselves to be deceived by such enemies, who hide under a beautiful appearance and good words.
Comrade Ismail is very right: This family should be moved to a mountain cooperative, from where they will never leave again. Let the iron fist of the dictatorship of the proletariat fall upon them mercilessly. We will always follow the directives and orders of the party and Comrade Enver. Long live the Party! Long live our leader Comrade Enver Hoxha!
The hall rose to its feet once more, completely exalted, with the same ovations, Parti – Enver! Party – Enver! Party – Enver! Accompanied by the usual rhythmic clapping.
Baby, gathered herself not to laugh at that theatrical and funny farce she was experiencing. She remembered the tragic-comic parts that she had read and seen in the movies, but now she had to experience one at her own expense. There he understood how that system had taken people deep into their brains. No one could escape the propaganda that the party had stuck in people’s heads, turning them into robots. Meanwhile, the agronomist, Murat Mullaj, who was closest to her, whispered to her:
-Ask for forgiveness, if you are going to be saved.
– What? Asking you for forgiveness for things I neither did nor said? Never, even if they hang me!
Murat shook his head because he knew well his proud character that could not accept to be humbled. Murat was only an agronomist, but not a communist. Filip Boçi, stood up again.
– I appreciate the intervention of friends Ismail and Nazmi, as well as the enthusiasm of the people of Pluk, gathered in this hall. We know how much you love the Party and Comrade Enver. If it was a case of serious guilt, this young woman, whom you know well, would have appeared before the court, to give an account and to be punished.
But it is only a problem raised by the Party, because we want to educate it and urge it to give up its hostile behavior. Then, if this Baby, or Juliana, will continue her act, then the dictatorship of the proletariat will hit her with its iron fist, mercilessly. We think that she has understood the lesson.
He sat down and the secretary of the party, of the Pluk sector, Fadil Kiptiu took the floor.
-Dear comrades, and the people of Pluk, I thank you for your boundless love for the party, the government of Comrade Enver, our enlightened leader, which you have shown in this meeting as well. I hope that this Juliana, whom we know as Beba, has benefited from what was said and said here. Let this serve as an example and as advice to all those who do not love us and who try to denigrate us and criticize our socialist system, the best in the world, thanks to which the power is all in the hands of the people.
A people both alert and loyal to the party and our great leader, Comrade Enver Hoxha. I declare this meeting closed, hoping that it has served to bring a woman, a mother and a worker of our sector on a good path.
As soon as the leader’s name was mentioned, there were once again screaming calls for Comrade Enver’s party, ovations and frenetic applause. Then people started leaving the cinema…!
The Secretary of the Party, Filip Boçi, was collecting the papers, exchanging some words with the other fellows on the podium, waiting for the hall to empty. Baby, we worried about what was happening to him, he was waiting for them to take him and arrest him. But, in fact, she had noticed that there in the hall, neither the operative officer of the Security, nor the all-powerful, a neither police marshal, nor foot police were present, and when the hall was vacated, Beba didn’t play a part. The secretary saw him and gave him a questioning look.
– What am I doing here?
– Yes, don’t come and arrest me…!
-Listen, Baby, – he told her, – quickly run home, where the children are waiting for you. And watch out, shut that damn mouth now and then, got it? Come, disappear!
So Beba ran home so shocked and excited. We are very worried that they would be removed from Pluk. That’s why he had to collect the spoils. As we have shown, when you enter the kitchen, the children jumped on his neck to hug him, but when they saw him like that with tears in their eyes, the barbell. I was also upset when I saw him in that condition. She continued to speak mechanically between tears: – Let’s collect the spoils. Who knows where they are going to hit us.
When she calmed down a little, we learned from her the whole story, which we told above. Of course, we were surprised when we found out how the work had gone. We had remembered that it was a meeting of the brigades, for matters of work organization. No one had told us why that meeting was held…!
So much so that a card had been posted on the bulletin board announcing the meeting in the cinema hall, for the unmasking of the enemy of the people, the agent of imperialism, Juiana Malaj, etc. We found this out later. I reassured her not to worry, that no one was moving us from there, as she remembered.
– We depend on the Ministry of the Interior. Only she can take action against us! The chief of staff, Rexhep Guga, said it there. He is connected to the Security and knows his business.
These forms of exposure before the people had already become fashionable. Two months ago, they unmasked her sister-in-law, in the Gradishta sector?! In Savër, the cousin, Kristina Gjonin, and many others? Therefore, the same method was used with him, by putting pressure on us, their husbands, and the other internees. But also on the people.
It was about setting an example. This policy of fear served to show the strength of popular power. A demonstrative form, showing that the party did not hesitate to take drastic measures against all those who were considered its opponents and enemies. The internees were included in that category. This was nothing compared to the most serious measures, such as the arrests and sentences of 10 years in prison for some of the internees, mostly men.
This campaign lasted until the death of the dictator. Ensuring the State on his part, through such meetings and stagings, showed that he did not miss anything. He was always vigilant, discovering any kind of conspiracy against the regime. Even rumors and idle talk. That in some cases, they had become complete and had taken people to prison. It was not in vain that Siguimsa’s saying was: we know what is under the hood of every family.
We talked about how he should behave the next day. Beba, who took courage, showed all her pride, to the insults they had to the Kurds in those meetings, and now, it seemed completely ridiculous, just like a theatrical farce. The most beautiful thing was that, from all that tragic-comic performance, she had won the title of princess and granddaughter of King Nicholas, who had been mentioned in the meeting. Not every bad thing is bad!
The next day, she decided to go to work like every other day with her friends. Confident in herself, she showed up at the brigade, met her friends and the brigadier, as if nothing had happened. Surprised, as well as admiring of her courage, her work colleagues and the residents of Pluk were kind-hearted, because that meeting had been nothing more than a comedy, played at the expense of an innocent woman.
In the following days, other things happened. Saying goodbye to my wife and children, I ordered them not to open their mouths about anything at school with their friends. I went to work as usual, in the shack nearby, where I worked as a farm designer. At eight o’clock, I was there. After half an hour, only when all the party of Pluk arrives: the head of the sector, the secretary of the party, the chairman of the Front, the agronomist, and especially, the Operative of the area, the captain of the Internal Branch of Lushnja.
I thought if they didn’t come, I could protest about what had happened to my wife, and if they saw me, I wouldn’t be upset. I remained stoic and did not give them a reason to talk about that event. I didn’t say a word to them, forcing them not to open their mouths either. They did not provoke me. They talked about some work that I should do, like; the completion of the agrotechnical cabinet, for which they were committed to raising it. This, to justify their arrival. They left as they had come, without getting anything out of me.
This story spread to all the other internment camps and the residents of the city of Lushnja. Everyone knew that our family belonged to the most important ones in the north, known for pride and invincible attitude. The event was described as a tragico-comic farce that was played on Beba’s back and for a period this event became the subject of conversations to pass the time. Thats all. Memorie.al