Memorie.al publishes the unknown story that took place in the district of Vlora in the years 1943-’44 where the Communist Circle was divided and divided into two parts, because Enver Hoxha had attacked and demanded the physical elimination of Sadik Premtes, one of the founders of The Communist Party, which he had declared “traitors” along with Ansatas Lula, chairman of the Communist Youth Group. Enver himself went to Vlora to liquidate the “Factionist Group of Sadik Premtes”, engaging there the highest communist leaders of that district, by Hysni Kapo, Mehmet Shehu, Abaz Fejzo, etc., whereas a result of the clashes that were created in between the group supporting Sadik Premten and those on the side of Hysni Kapos, many were killed. The rare testimony of Mehmet Imeri, about the murder of his brother, Nekiu, commander of the “Plaka Çeta” of Vlora who supported Sadik Premten, regarding the much talked about event in the Mill of Kota where they were killed by Mehmet Shehu’s partisans, Hydajet Micoli and Xhemil Çakërri, as well as the event at the Gjorëm Village Bridge, where Neki Imeri and his two friends, Xhaferr Dalani and Hodo Halili, were killed, as well as Shyqëri Alimeriko (“People’s Hero”) and Sadik Zoto, two partisans who had ambushed. Enver Hoxha’s subsequent revenge against the village of Gjorëm in Sadik Premtes, by the partisans of the First and Fifth Brigades, who when they looted and burned the village.
“The murder of my brother, Neki Imeri, and Xhaferr Dalani, shocked not only our families and the village of Gjorm, but also the entire province, as well as the main leaders of the Albanian Communist Party. Nekiu had a lot of confidence in his comrades, Hysni Kapo, Mehmet Shehu, etc., and he did not trust the news that came from time to time about the assassinations that were being organized by the Communist Party. When Kadri Avdiu, from Brataj in Vlora, sent a letter to Neki saying: ‘Neki, beware that they will kill’, he took the letter and wrote to him: ‘Save Kadri for yourself because I also have a brother. next, you close it completely ‘. And return that letter to Kadri Avdiu with the same man. ” This is how Mehmet Imer Hoxha remembered that event, who told us the whole story of the murder of his brother, Neki Imeri, or as he was otherwise known by the nickname of the War, “Vangjo”, the former commander of the Vlora Plaka Squad, murder and which from that time and continuously, to the present day, has aroused much debate and discussion. Who was Neki Imeri, what was his past, and what is the truth of that murder that was carried out directly with the order of the top leaders of the Albanian Communist Party?
Harry Fultz student
Neki Imeri was born in 1914 in the village of Lepenica in the province of Kurvelesh, where the family originates, one of the most famous in the area. After graduating from the primary school in his native village in the mid-1920s, with the help of Arshi Halili, (the father of his close friend, Mynyr Xhindi), who served as Mayor of Vlora, Nekiu was able to win a state scholarship to study at Harry Fultz American Technical School in Tirana. During the years he studied at that school, (in the branch he prepared for students to pursue higher studies in Mechanical Engineering), Nekiu and his close friend Mynyr Xhindi met and first came in contact with communist ideas. They got to know that doctrine through the literature and conversations they had, among others, with their fellow villager, Sadik Premten, who was in charge of the Communist Youth Group, which consisted mainly of students from that school. After graduating from the American Technical School with excellent results, Nekiu graduated and was appointed as a municipal employee in the city of Saranda. In 1939, when Italy undertook the fascist aggression against Albania, Neki Imeri was one of those young Vlora men who took up arms and went to fight on the coast of Bestrova, where the invaders put up strong resistance for several hours. In 1941, Nekiu left his job in the Municipality of Saranda and returned to his native village of Lepenica to deal with the organization of the anti-fascist resistance. He did so at the behest of the Communist District of Vlora, where Nekiu was one of its most active members and had been involved since the founding of the Communist Party’s first cell in Vlora. Regarding this and Neki’s activity during the first years of the beginning of the anti-fascist resistance, his brother, Mehmet Imer Hoxha testified: “When Neki left his job in Saranda and returned home, his father asked him: Why do you leave your job? son? Nekiu replied: “I came to fight and together with my friends we will liberate Albania from the invaders who have occupied our hearths”, Mehmeti recalls the words of his brother, Nekiu, at the time when he ordered the Communist Circle. of Vlora, left his job in Saranda, and returned to his native village.
Commander of the “Plakë” Squad of Vlora
But what was the subsequent activity of Neki Imeri and why was he appointed to the position of Commander of the Plaka Troop of Vlora? In this regard, his brother, Mehmeti testified: “In March 1942, Nekiu was engaged in the formation of the first armed partisan unit for the entire district of Vlora and a few months later, in the first days of December of the same year. , that partisan unit added with many other villagers, was called “Çeta Plakë” of Vlora. Nekiu was appointed commander of this gang, and its commissioner was Qazim Çakërri, nicknamed “Difi”. This partisan formation, which was the first for the whole district of Vlora, together with the nationalist forces operating at that time in the villages of our province, carried out some very fierce fighting against the Italians, where it is worth mentioning those of Gjormi, Selenica, Bestrova, Drashovica, etc. At the time of the formation of the “Plane Squad” in Vlora, led by the Communist Party of Albania, there were two Yugoslav emissaries, Miladin Popovic and Dusan Mugosha. Nekiu did not like the fact that they both made the law in the Party and he always expressed that openly. I remember once when Hysni Kapo and Dushan Mugosha came to our house. It was afternoon when they arrived at us by bicycle. Hysni did not stay with us at all and came only to bring Dushan, who that night stayed in our house in the company of many other gjormiots who came to accompany him. Among them, I remember Veledin Hadëri and Sami Avduli from Lepenica. The next day, after Dushan left, his father, Imeri, asked Neki: ‘Who was he? Neki replied, “A Serb, but I didn’t like him at all.” In the conversations that Nekiu had with his friends who came to our house, he openly stated that “the fight against the Italian fascists should have been led by the Albanians themselves, without the help and intervention of foreigners”, Mehmet Imeri recalls, regarding his brother and his, Nekiun, who since the beginning of the war, was against the dictatorship of two Serbian emissaries, Mugosha and Popovic.
Nekiu supports Sadik Premte
In the early spring of 1943, the long-running controversy between Enver Hoxha and Sadik Premtes, Neki’s brother-in-law (he had Neki Imer’s sister, Refien), began to escalate. Those contradictions had started with the establishment of the Communist Party, because Enver Hoxha was against the Communist Youth Group led by Sadik Premtja and Anastas Lulo. At the time that Enver Hoxha launched the attacks on Sadiku, Neki Imeri sided with his brother-in-law, which caused a great rift between the main leaders of the Communist Party and those of the Vlora District. In this regard, Mehmet Imer Hoxha testified: “The decisions of the leaders of the Communist Party, which were later supported by a part of the Vlora Region, were not only against Sadik Friday, but also against all his supporters, led by Neki. . Based on that fact, the top leaders of the Albanian Communist Party, decided not only the physical elimination of Sadik, but also of Neki. For this reason, for the elimination of my brother, Neki Imeri, Enver Hoxha charged the Mallakastra gang, which at that time was commanded by Mehmet Shehu. After that, on May 7, 1943, Neki received a letter from “Vjosa” (pseudonym of Mehmet Shehu), who asked him to leave urgently for Mallakastër. Nekiu consulted with Sadik Premten, who advised him not to go to that meeting, because he suspected it would be some of their traps. Sadiku smelled it as it had not been more than two weeks since his close friend, Anastas Lula, had been killed. Nekiu told Sadiku: ‘I heard you once not to go to Skrapar, and now if you are not alone and in Mallakastër, the responsibility before the Party will fall on me. We will come and talk, so that we can all unite and not be divided “, Mehmeti recalled, when his brother, Nekiu, became one of the main supporters of his brother-in-law, Sadik Premtes, in the conflicts he had with the main leader of the Communist Party, Enver Hoxha.
The trap of killing Neki
But how did things turn out then with Neki Imer and did he go to meet Mehmet Shehu, after his letter? Regarding this, Mehmet Imer Hoxha testified: “After Mehmet’s letter, Nekiu left with a part of the battalion for Mallakastër, taking with him the Çeta commissioner, Xhemil Çakërri, who had replaced Qazim Çakërri in that post. Another part of the battalion, following the advice of Sadik Premtes, did not go to Mallakastër. Nekiu went as far as Rexhepaj of Gorisht and from there sent a letter to Mehmet Shehu, telling him that: he was waiting and waiting for an order on how to act. After that, on May 9, the answer came from Mehmet Shehu, in which it was said: Comrade Vangjo, take Milon (pseudonym of Xhemil Çakërri) and tonight we will meet at Bilo’s house ”(pseudonym of Bilbil Klosi). After Neki received this letter from Mehmet Shehu, he carried out his order and, together with all the partisans under his command, went to Bilbil Klosi’s house. But when they got there, they did not find Mehmet Shehu, because he had fled and left only a few simple partisans there, leaving the message for Neki Imeri and his partisans to stay in Kremeuar. In the house where they stayed, Nekiu and Xhemil Çakërri talked quietly with the partisans left by Mehmet Shehu, but at midnight, suddenly they both tied them up, telling them that they had been arrested. After that, they took them out of the house and, accompanied by some partisan guards, sent them towards the village of Çorush in Mehmet Shehu. On the way to the village of Çorush, when they arrived in Kuta, they met with the battalion’s deputy commander, Hydajet Micollin (nicknamed “Dysheku”) from Bolena, who was surprised to see the commander and the commissioner with their hands tied. But the escort group led by Idriz Seiti, in order to avoid any armed clash, but the two detainees, Nekiu and Xhemili, in the nearby Kuta Mill. As Hydajet set off for the main door of the mill in order to free his two companions, bullets hit him from behind and he fell to the ground breathless. Meanwhile, Xhemil Çakërri, from inside the mill, was trying to open the door, but the bullets of the escort team knocked him down as well. At that moment, Nekiu, who had received a bullet in his hand, was tied up and thrown into the waterline of the mill. After that, he managed to get out of the mill, and there he was captured by the partisans of the Mallakastra Squad, who untied him and tied the wound in his arms. After treating him, they sent him to Çorush, where they met Mehmet Shehu, who explained that the whole event had come after a mistake made unintentionally and without any purpose “, Mehmet Imeri recalled, regarding the much-discussed event of the Mill of Kuta, where Hydajete Micolli (Dysheku, People’s Hero) and the Commissar of the Plaka Çeta of Vlora, Xhemil Çakërri, were killed.
Efforts to arrest Sadik and Neki
Meanwhile, Neki Imeri escaped without being killed in the Mill of Kuta, his brother-in-law, Sadik Premtes, had received a letter inviting him to go to a meeting in the place called Tragjas Stairs. Regarding this, Mehmet Imeri testified: “After receiving that letter, Sadik Premtja and Xhaferr Dalani left for the designated place. Meanwhile, in the village of Traqgjas, Jaup Xhezua had seen Kastriot Muço (“People’s Hero”) who had accompanied Paul Terova to Hysni Kapua. Although Paul Terova had been advised not to go before he left, he was told: “When the party asks me, I can’t help but go.” As Kastriot Muçua returned from the Tragjas Stairs, Jaup Xhezua saw Paul Terova’s pistol in his belt, and suspected that they had killed Paul. And the truth was that Paul had just been disarmed and was being tried. While Kastriot was back there, he told Jaup Xhezo that he had also sent Sadik a letter to come. After that, Jaup Xhezo sat down and wrote a letter to Sadik Premtes, telling him that Paul had been arrested and that he should in no way go to the place where he had been asked to be killed. The letter written by Jaupi was taken by Abaz Fejzua (after the war, Major General, died in Burrell Prison) and he was immediately sent to Sadiku. Abazi met Sadiq in the middle of the road and the two returned. On the same day that Hydajet Micolli, Xhemil Çakërri and Neki Imeri were assassinated in Mallakastër, in the village of Tragjas, Pali Terova, Sadik Premtes, and Xhaferr Dalani were trapped. After miraculously escaping the assassination, Neki Imeri tried to convince them that the Kuta Mill event was accidental and he had to be self-critical, “Mehmet Imeri recalled, in connection with the first attempts of the party’s top leadership. Communist, to physically eliminate his brother, Nekiu, Commander of the “Plaka Çeta të Vlorës” Commander, for the sole fact that he was one of the main supporters of Sadik Premtes, opposed more potential of Enver Hoxha.
Enver in Vlora for Sadik and Neki
As Enver Hoxha’s order for the physical elimination of Sadik Premtes and Neki Imeri was not carried out, Enver decided and went to Vlora himself. In this regard, Mehmet Imeri, Nekiu’s brother, testified: Friday and his supporters. All this incursion of Enver in the villages of Vlora, was done in order for him to prepare the ground for the physical elimination of Sadik and the people who were following him from behind. He first came to Tragjas on May 17, 1943 and then to the village of Dushkarak on May 19, where he met with Hysni Lepenica. Enver Hoxha had his last meeting with Nekiu and during that conversation, they did not agree with each other on the problems they discussed. Based on this, Enver Hoxha ordered Hysni Kapo to take Neki with him and take him to the villages of Vlora and Mallkastra, in order for him to deliver speeches in front of the people, speaking against Sadik Premtes. Hysni Kapo carried out Enver’s order and took Neki’s name with him through the villages of Vlora, and when he arrived in Mesaplik, our uncle, Medin Hoxha, asked Hysni to leave Neki at home one night. That night, my uncle and I went to Mesaplik to meet with Neki. I learned that Neki had been allowed to come secretly to Mesaplik, but had been told that he should in no way meet with Sadik Friday. When Nekiu came to one of the stalls in the village of Mesaplik at night, many of the boys from the village and other surrounding villages also gathered there. During Nekiu’s conversation with them, he explained all that had happened in Mallakastër, namely the murder of Fejzi Micolli and Xhemil Çakërri in the Mill of Kuta, and also learned the truth of what had happened at the Tragjas Stairs. Given that very complicated situation, that night it was decided to hold a meeting of the two sides, in the village of Brataj in Vlora, those who supported Sadik Premten and others who supported the Communist Circle of Vlora. Hysni Kapo, who was in the village of Sevaster, was also informed about this, but he did not come to that meeting and that meeting was postponed to another date, in order for the representatives of the Communist Party of Vlora to have the opportunity to come. In the second meeting, from the representatives of Gjorëm village, they went: Sadik Premtja, Neki Imeri, Xhafer Dalani, Feti Premtja, Tasim Zyka, and Selam Emini. But even in this meeting, the representatives of the Communist District of Vlora who were under the influence of Enver Hoxha did not participate “, Mehmet Imeri recalled, regarding Enver’s visit to the villages of Vlora, in order to prepare the ground for Sadik’s physical elimination. Friday of Neki Imer.
Neki’s murder by partisans
But how did the events unfold after Enver Hoxha’s visit to the villages of Vlora, for the problem of Sadik Friday and his supporters? Regarding this, Mehmet Imeri recalled: “Hysni Lepenica, who was appointed Commander of the Armed Forces for the Vlora Region at the Mukje Meeting, was of the opinion that the nationalist forces should join the partisan ones, and for this, he proposed that Neki Imeri, to take command of the two united forces. This proposal of Hysni Lepenica was approved by all the participants of that meeting where the representatives of the Communist Circle of Vlora were absent. After that meeting, the Gjormiots left to go to their village, Gjorëm. At their head were Nekiu with Xhaferr Dalani and a few meters later, they were: Feti Premtja, Tasim Zyka and Sadik Premtja with Qani Shena. On the way, when they approached the place called “Lady’s Bridge”, they fell into an ambush of a partisan unit, which included: Shyqëri Alimerko, (People’s Hero), Luftar Bolena, (pseudonym of Mehmet Jahos) Hodo Halili , Sadik Zotua, Servet H. Brahua, et al. He ambushed the partisan units there, immediately fired in their direction and the first bullets hit Xhaferr Dalani in the head, leaving him dead on the spot. Also, some bullets caught Neki Imeri in the chest, who was wounded and continued to shoot at them with a machine gun. During that exchange of fire, Feti Premtja and Tasimi were also injured, while Sadik Premtja and Qani Shena were thrown from the bridge into the river. The two of them, after coming out of the water, started firing against the group of partisans of the ambush who were retreating towards the forest, who were protected by a machine gun that fired incessantly in their direction. During that exchange of fire, two members of the partisan unit were also wounded: Shyqëri Alimerko and Sadik Zotua, whom their friend, Hodo Halili, managed to pull in the direction of the forest. During their retreat, they were protected by the Luftar Bolena machine gun that was positioned on the road. The fighter retreated to the forest and was not seen again, while Hodua and the two wounded, Sadik and Shyqëri, arrived at a water source and tried to continue on their way. But in those moments, Sadiq Zotua said to them, “You run away, my work is over.” After that, they left Sadiku dead there and Hodua and Shyqëri continued their way towards Lepenica “, Mehmet Imeri recalled regarding the event where his brother, Nekiu, was killed.
The murder of Shyqëri Alimerkos
But how did the events unfold afterward and were the members of the partisan unit that had organized the ambush against Sadik Premtes and Neki Imeri arrested? In this regard, Mehmet Imeri recalled: “After the gunshots were heard in the village of Lepenica, Hysni Lepenica ordered his forces to surround the entire forest and capture the perpetrators alive. At that time, two dead bodies of Neki Imeri and Xhaferr Dalani arrived in the village of Lepenica, where they were taken by their comrades. While Hysni Lepenica’s forces were combing the area, they surrounded Shyqëri Alimerkon, who was wounded in the leg. Shyqëriu at first did not shoot in their direction, remembering that they had not dictated to him. But when he was called to surrender, he refused, and at that time H.B. shot in his direction, leaving him dead on the spot. After the murder of Shyqëri Alimeroko, Hysni Lepenica immediately ordered that no one else is killed, as they had been killed by two men from both sides. Based on this order, Hodo Halili (nicknamed “Stërralli”, who fell alive into their hands after entering the basement of a house and seeking water, also escaped without being killed by the revolted villagers of Lepenica. Hodo Halili, forced by the villagers of Lepenica, was forced to show all the action they had organized by order from above, for the murder of Sadik Premtes and Neki Imeri. After Hodua told them everything, he was held there for two days and He was then escorted out of the area to the village of Mavrovo. When he arrived in the village, the Communists sued him, accusing him of handing over the ballistas alive and removing all his functions. After that, another order came from the leadership of the Communist District of Vlora, demanding that he leave for the village of Hysoverdhë. When he arrived there, he was given a second trial on the same charges, and he was sentenced to death as a traitor. After that, he was executed. While it happens Under these, Nekiu and Xhaferi were buried in the village of Gjorëm, Shyqëri was taken to Tragjas, and Sadiku was taken by the smokthinjots under protection to protect him from any surprises “, Mehmet Imeri recalled, regarding the end of that event that took place in the place called “Lady’s Bridge”, where his brother, Neki, Imeri, his friend, Xhaferr Dalani, and two of the host’s partisans were killed by the partisan ambush: Shyqëri Alimerko and Sadik Zotua.
Revenge of the SNP against Gjormi
Only a short time after that event, which caused a great commotion not only in the Vlora region but also further, Enver Hoxha ordered the partisan forces to take revenge on the village of Gjorëm. Regarding this, Mehmet Imeri testified: “On November 5, 1943, about 800 partisan forces of the First and Fifth Brigades surrounded the village of Gjorëm, which was protected by only 150 village forces. After 24 hours of fighting, partisan forces entered the village, and the villagers who were defending it broke the siege and fled. In retaliation, partisan forces set fire to 24 houses in the village of Gjorëm and confiscated all their property, starting with cattle found in the village. I remember like now and I remember that day, when while the cattle of the Gjormians were kidnapping, the partisans were singing: ‘Gjorm boys where they are staying / But who did the refugees leave it to’. Two days before this event, those partisan forces had done the same with the village of Lepenica. Similarly, a few days after Gjormi, the partisans burned the village of Dukat. After leaving the village of Gjorm, the partisan forces killed Mynyr Xhindi, the Organizational Secretary of the Communist District of Vlora and a close friend of my brother, Neki, “Mehmet Imeri recalled the partisan massacres in the villages of Gjora, Lepenica, and Lepenica. , as well as the murder of Mynyr Jindi.
Conviction of Neki’s father
But what was the attitude of the communist regime after the war that came to power in the event that five members of the partisan forces were killed? In this regard, Mehmet Imeri testified: “After the end of the war, of the five killed in that event, two were declared” People’s Heroes “and three traitors. Shyqëri Alimeroko and Sadik Zotua were declared martyrs and People’s Heroes, while Neki Imeri, Xhaferr Dalani, and Hodo Halili were declared traitors. Also, in the tombstone built in the village of Gjorëm, in honor of the creation of Çeta Plakë, the names of its commander and commissar, Neki Imeri, and Xhemil and Qazim Çakërri were never written. In the early years after the war, some of Neki’s friends secretly came to our house, but my father was annoyed by the visits of those people who were still loyal to our brother’s killers. Based on this, his father once said to Muço Delos: ‘Don’t come anymore, because there are no sweets’. The same thing was said by Kadri Avdiu’s father that we had a cousin. From these words of his father, which fell on deaf ears, his arrest took place in 1950. After that, our father, Imer Hoxha, was brought to trial and sentenced to eight years in political prison, of which he committed only five. years. But it was not only our family that was persecuted by the communist regime of Enver Hoxha, because the same thing happened to the whole village of Gjorëm, where the Communist District of Vlora maintained a very harsh attitude. The Gjormiots were called ballists and many of them ended up in prisons and internments “, concludes his story, Mehmet Imeri, regarding one of the most talked-about events of the War in the Region of Vlora, which even today continues to provoke debates and discussions./Memorie.al