By Frank Shkreli
– THE HORRIFIC KILLINGS OF COMMUNISM IN ALBANIA AND THE STATE THAT STILL HAS NOT CONDEMNED THEM OFFICIALLY, A BLACK STAIN FOR THE ALBANIAN NATION!-
Memorie.al / On July 31, 1948, exactly 75 years ago, the executioners of the dictatorship of the communist regime of Enver Hoxha drowned, after the most inhumane tortures, two, among the first of many Catholic clergymen, but also others – Dom Lekë Sirdani and Dom Peter Chunin. They drowned them alive, according to witnesses and documentary data, for their drowning, after they had been arrested for “hostile activities”, throwing them into a pit, or sewage well in Koplik, where the investigation against these two priests has been conducted innocent. They brutally tortured them in the most barbaric and heartless way possible. After the torture, they put them alive in a sewage well and left there the two innocent clerics, Dom Pjeter Čun and Dom Lekë Sirdani – until they finally died there at the bottom of the well, from the torture of the representatives of the Enverist communist regime. 75 years ago, on July 31, 1948.
These two, as was the case with many of the Albanian Catholic clergy, killed by the communist regime, only because they were such, representatives of the Albanian Catholic Church, who according to the orders of the Serbian-Montenegrin communist founders of the Albanian Communist Party, had to disappear from the face of the earth, because they were the most determined opponents of the Albanian communist regime, founded on the basis of the Slavic-Asian communist ideology and the main obstacle to the establishment of a communist regime in Albania.
Dom Aleksandër Sirdani and Dom Pjetër Çuni, have been two of the most prominent figures, not only of the Catholic Church, but also of Albanian culture in general, especially Dom Lekë (Aleksandër) Sirdani, also one of the most popular figures in the country. His writings were published in many press bodies of the time, especially in the famous magazine of the Albanian Jesuits, ‘LEKA’.
For the executing executioners, it did not matter that the martyred clergy were, in fact, the backbone of an Albanian society organized to withstand the national uprisings from Skanderbeg to Independence Day, that this particular group kept Albanianism alive for five centuries of Ottoman captivity, that this particular group learned the Albanian language and taught it in schools; the history of the Albanian nation does not know a single case when the Clergy and the Catholic faithful have not been participants, and in many cases leaders, in the very centuries-old calvary of our country and, in the wars against threatening enemies, and recently, in the strengthening of a Free Albania that tries to be European, said the honorable Professor Sami Repishti, who spent years in Enver Hoxha’s prisons, together with many of the Albanian Catholic clergy.
Both of these martyrs of Religion and Fatherland have served in the parishes of the Catholic Church in the Great Highlands of Mbi-Shkodra. For their martyrdom by communism, Dom Pjetër Çuni and Dom Aleksandër Sirdani, have been declared blessed (a religious term that defines the first step towards sanctification by the Universal Catholic Church), along with 36 other Albanian martyrs of the communist dictatorship.
Martyrs of Communism – Catholic Church in Albania
The drowning of Dom Lekë Sirdani and Dom Pjetër Çuni, in the most barbaric circumstances, after terrible anti-human torture, but also thousands and thousands of other opponents, victims of the Enverist communist regime, civilians and clergy who have suffered the same fate for itself and for Albania, it was a crime against humanity, then and remains so even today, 33 years after the fall of the Berlin Wall and the so-called “post-communist” political transition.
In the case of Albania, the half-century-old crimes of communism still remain an unpunished crime and not punished as such, by the “democratic”, “post-communist” governments of the two main political parties of the country, during the past three decades in Albania. For the former communist states of Eastern and Central Europe, today members of NATO and members of the European Union, unlike Albania which claims that it wants to be part of all Euro-Atlantic integrations, the crimes of the communist regimes have considered a Crime against Humanity!
They have condemned the crimes of communism all over Europe as crimes against humanity and have officially distanced themselves from the criminal past of the communist dictatorship in their countries during the 20th century. But not Albania! The barbaric crimes of the communist regime there, such as the killing of these two innocent clerics 75 years ago, have left behind a terrible and incurable legacy and traces in today’s Albanian society, not only in the legal and justice system, but and in current political developments.
An anniversary like this reminds us, unfortunately, of the horrors of Enver Hoxha’s dictatorial communist regime. In its diabolical form, this regime may no longer exist, but its legacy and spirit survives with its nostalgics who today exercise the highest duties of the government and the Albanian state. The governments of the two main parties in Albania, for 30 years now, have not had the moral courage or the political will to face Albania’s communist past, to condemn the crimes of communism, as the whole of Europe has done.
But not even to designate a day a year in memory of the innocent victims of communist barbarism in Albania, martyrs, such as Dom Pjetër Çuni and Dom Lekë Sirdani. I have said it often and will continue to emphasize it, until there is a radical change in that country, regarding the crimes and the victims of communism, that unfortunately for the Albanian nation, today’s Albania, a member of the Euro-Atlantic Alliance , (NATO), which at the same time claims that it aspires to become a member of the European Union, is the only former communist country of Eastern and Central Europe, which has not distanced itself, officially, spiritually or morally, from its communist terrorist past.
On this commemorative day of the drowning (barbaric death) of Dom Lekë Sirdani and Dom Pjetër Çuni, I am forced to ask, as in the past: when will Albania and Kosovo recognize the crimes of communism and when will they punish them, officially?! When will the official Tirana and Pristina remember, the Albanian victims of that barbaric Slavic-Asian regime, part of the Albanian lands, for half a century?!
This writing of mine today is in accordance with my deep belief that the efforts of good-willed people today against communism should reflect the memory of the victims of communism, just as the well-known Czech writer Milan Kundera has expressed, that these efforts should be , “A war of memory, against oblivion”.
Not remembering the victims of communism and not punishing the crimes of communism in Albania is a black mark for the Albanian Nation! To remember, therefore, the crimes of communism in Albania and throughout the Albanian lands, in order that those barbaric acts are not repeated and to celebrate, at the same time, the freedom and justice that America offers us.
In defense of the true freedom, although not perfect, which we desire, for which we fight for Albania, for Kosovo and for all Albanians wherever they live in their own lands. But without the official punishment of the crimes of communism and without the serious distancing of Albania from the communist regime of Enver Hoxha, the political current in the country is showing that Albania’s Euro-Atlantic journey has not only taken a wrong path, but that journey has not it is neither safe nor reliable, neither for the internationals nor for the Albanians, one of the factors that is causing Albania to be emptied of its youth and of the nation’s best.
“The crimes of communism in Albania and everywhere are an important issue of justice denied to the victims of communism – living and dead – in that country and throughout the Albanian lands, about which no one even talks about them. We, for our part, will not be silent! May the memory of Dom Lekë Sirdani and Dom Pjetër Çuni and of all the victims of communism, without distinction, in Albania, in Kosovo and throughout the Albanian lands, be eternal. Memorie.al