Memorie.al publishes the unknown memoirs of Colonel Hamit Keçi, a former classmate of Mehmet Shehu at the military school in Italy and later at the Moscow military academy, who during the war was one of the main leaders of the guerrilla units in Tirana. together with Beqir Balluku, and for that contribution, he was entrusted with the task of Commander of the XXII Assault Brigade, after the War that of Chief of Intelligence at the General Staff at the Ministry of Defense where he ended up in prison after a conflict with Enver Hoxha. Keçi’s testimonies about Enver’s involvement in the sensational murders of the communists in Tirana, from the three Heroes of Kodra e Kuqe led by Vojo Kushi, to the five communists from Fier led by Ferit Xhajku, and Koci Xoxen, to whom Enver suggested to build a barrack, where the Italians arrested him…?!
One of those people who after the ’90s cast shadows of doubt and made direct accusations against Enver Hoxha, making him the main responsible in the murder of some of the main communists during the War period in 1939-1944, has been also retired Colonel Hamit Keçi, one of the first communists in Tirana and later commander of the 22nd Brigade and the First Corps of Tirana. After the end of the War, he graduated from the Military Academy in the Soviet Union and served in the Army General Staff at the Ministry of Defense, holding the position of Director of Intelligence. In 1949, he was arrested while trying to break into Enver Hoxha’s villa, where he wanted to clarify some conflicts that had arisen with the main cadres of the General Staff. After that he was sentenced to 15 years in prison, after Enver Hoxha remembered that he had gone to kill him. Following Hamit’s sentencing, the same fate befell his two brothers, Isufi (Deputy Chairman of the Tirana Executive Committee) and Maliqi, as well as their sister’s husband, the Minister of Transport, Colonel Njazi Islami, who was killed by the Security of State, declaring it as suicide. After the 1990s, Hamit Keçi began to write his memoirs about the war period, where, among other things, he accused Enver Hoxha of being the main culprit for some of the sensational murders that took place at that time in Tirana. Some of those events the retired colonel Hamit Keçi testified to us publicly shortly before he passed away, while in the following article, exclusively for Memorie.al we are publishing some other events from his memoirs left in manuscript.
“Discovery of the weapons depot”
One of Hamit Keçi’s first accusations against Enver Hoxha is that he says that Enver told the Italians the location of the secret weapons depot, which was in the basement of the house of Shyqëri Këllez, one of the members of the Communist Youth Group of Tirana… According to Keçi, Enver did it to implicate and hide the contribution and work of that group for the benefit of the War, whose leaders, Anastas Lula and Sadik Premten, he saw as the main rivals for the leader of the SNP. Regarding the discovery of the warehouse by the Italians, among other things, in his memoirs, Hamit Keçi wrote: “Around 1940, Anastas Lulo and Sadik Premtja built a room in the yard of Shyqëri Këllez’s house. Below the room they built a secret basement, in order to put there the weapons that would be collected for the partisan troops that would be formed in the district of Tirana. The weapons were brought to Tirana in parts during the period when the Italian-Greek war was taking place and their transport was done by the comrades of Vlora, led by Fejzo Gjomema. Thus, in that basement built especially for this purpose, a total of 6 light machine guns type “Breda”, 24 rifles, 17 revolvers and two boxes with hand grenades were housed. Enver Hoxha never spoke about this weapons depot in his memoirs, because Enver never admitted that Anastasi and Sadik Premtja were for the war against the occupier. At the time when those weapons were hidden there, in the house of Shyqëri Këllez, Miladin Popovic came and took refuge, whom he released from the camp of Peqin, Mustafa Gjinishi. In his memoirs in his book “When the Party was born”, among other things, Enver writes: “We put Miladin on a secure footing”. But he does not say that in that base, which was the house of Shyqëri Këllez, there was also a weapons depot. Also, Enver does not show the fact that on that basis Miladin was brought by Anastas Lulo, who collaborated with Gjinishi for his behavior in Tirana. Very few were then aware of that base, and I knew from the mouth of Anastasios, who had instructed me several times to check whether those weapons were well placed and packaged, so that they would not rust from humidity. This action was interrupted by the placement in that room of Miladin. Asked three years ago about the fate of that weapons depot, Shyqëri Këllezi testified that the police had gone there three times for control and only the third time they had been able to find the secret entrance to the depot. “There is no doubt that only Enver Hoxha handed over this depot to the enemy.”
Girl: “Enver showed Ferit Xhajkon”
One of the accusations and other suspicions that Hamit Keçi has thrown in his memoirs about Enver Hoxha, is the one where it is said that Enver told the Italians about Ferit Xhajko and his friends, who were arrested in 1942 on the outskirts of the city. of Fier. Regarding this event, among others, Keçi wrote: “After Koçi had spied on Xoxen to the Italians, Enver did the same, putting in prison Sinan Gjoni (Rrumbullak), who at that time was the organizational secretary of the Communist Circle of Vlora. On April 12, 1942, Sinan came to Tirana illegally to attend the meeting of the SNP asset, together with Hysni Kapo, who was the political secretary of the Vlora District. At the end of the meeting, Miladin Popovi e praised Sinan for the good work and full of activity done by the Vlora Regional, which at that time had organized the action of opening wheat warehouses by distributing them to the people, as well as blowing up warehouses of Italian ammunition in Rradhima. After the meeting, Enver separated Sinan from Hysni, and in his memoirs he says: ‘We kept Hysni for some work in Tirana, while we sent Sinan to Vlora accompanied by three illegals’. But the truth is different, there were not three, but five illegals: Hamdi Mëzezi, Ferit Xhajko, Nikolla Tupe, Spiro Dhima and Niko Arapi. In his memoirs, Enver Hoxha continues the lie, saying: ‘Hamdi, Ferit, Nikolla and Sinan were arrested in Fier, Sinan was exiled to Italy, and the three companions, after torturing them, hanged them’. With that testimony, Enver seeks to tarnish Sinan Gjoni, who he says was exiled to Italy, while the three companions hanged him. In fact, the truth is this: the five illegals and Sinan, in a five-seater car, left for Vlora. At the exit of Fier, at the checkpoint, the police stop the car and a policeman forces them to get out of the car. During the search, in the back pocket of his pants, he found a communiqué of Ferit Xhajko. Police then searched the entire vehicle, where they also found five revolvers hidden in its engine. After finding the weapons, they immediately arrested them and sent them to Fier, where after torturing them, they took them from there and brought them to Tirana. Even in Tirana, they were tortured by the police station, but did not show anything. Based on this, they bring them to trial and sentence the fifth to death, and the driver to 15 years in prison. After they were convicted, they brought them to the old prison where I and I were at the time. One day they came from the Military Court asking again one by one, where they were going the day they were arrested and what their intentions were. They were promised that their lives would be forgiven if they told them, but they did not open their mouths. After three days, Ferit, Nikolla and Hamdi were hanged, while Sinan, Spiros and Nikos were spared their lives. The three who were pardoned then joined us and Sinan, whom I had known for a long time when he came to my house before the formation of the Party, told me the truth about how their arrest had taken place. A few days later, Sinan was taken and exiled to the island of San Stefano in Italy, from where he returned in 1944. In early 1945, Sinan was arrested and imprisoned, without being tried at all, and take one night and shoot him. Even today it is not known where his bones are. This event came to my mind when I read Enver’s book “When the Party Was Born”, and since then, knowing the whole event, I have created the full conviction that they were betrayed by Enver Hoxha.
“Enver told Koçi to build a barracks and he was arrested there”
In his memoirs, Hamit Keçi also wrote about the way Enver Hoxha came to lead the Communist Party, taking the place of the Secretary of the Central Committee, a function which, according to Keçi, in the meeting of November 8, 1941 was assigned to Koçi Xoxa . Regarding the maneuvers that Enver used to come to the helm of the Party, among others, Keçi wrote: “At the end of October 1941, a meeting was held at the house of Bije Vokshi under the leadership of Dushan, in order to smooth out the divergences in between communist groups. This meeting ended unsuccessfully. At the November 8 meeting, Anastas Lulo and Sadik Premtja went there, recalling that it would be a continuation of that meeting, and would discuss again to clarify divergences and then agree on the formation of the Communist Party. At the November 8 meeting, Anastasi and Sadiku faced a trap prepared in advance. Left alone, Anastasi and Sadiku agreed to form the Party first, and then discuss to smooth out the divergences that the groups had between them. Thus, the Party was formed with their votes, while the discussions continued for several more days. The main accusation made against the Youth Group was that they did not accept the directives of the Comintern, while the Korça Group had embraced and implemented them. These were useless bullshit. At the November 8 meeting, Koçi was told that he had been elected Secretary of the Provisional Central Committee and due to deep conspiracy, the voting there was done without names, but only with biographical data. This was not said to the members of the Central Committee. During the meeting of the Party active that took place from 12 to 14 April 1942, in which Koçi Xoxe did not participate as he was in prison, Enver Hoxha was standing near Miladin. All the participants of that meeting who came from the districts, seeing Enver near Miladin, considered him as the Secretary of the Central Committee of the Party. But how did Koçi’s arrest happen? At that time, Enver advised Koçi to build a barracks where he could practice his craft as a tinsmith, in order to eliminate any suspicion from the police and spies. When Koçi was finishing the barracks with the help of Andon Deçka, suddenly two policemen came and arrested him together with Andon. After arresting them, they were both sent directly to the old prison in Tirana. In this way, Enver paved the way for him to take the place of the Secretary of the Provisional Central Committee “.
Keçi’s testimony: Enver implicated in the murder of Vojo Kushi
One of the many accusations of Hamit Keçi for Enver Hoxha is the one for the murder of Vojo Kushi, Xhoxhi Martini and Sadik Stavalec, who are also known as the three heroes of Kodra e Kuqe. Regarding this, in his memoirs Keçi wrote: “In October 1942, after Sadik Stavaleci had returned from the sanatorium of Bari in Italy, Enver appointed him to go to Kosovo. On the morning of October 7, he was found surrounded in the house of Haxhi Farka. On the evening of October 6, Enver Hoxha also went to that house, which was told to me by my brother, Maliqi (Keçi), who had gone there that night to see Xhoxhi Martin, with whom he had many friends. Xhoxhi was staying in that house after he was wounded in the leg, during a gunfight with Isuf Keçi, Mërkur Çela and Xhoxhi with the police, in Isuf Rada’s house. On the evening of October 6, an hour before the traffic was closed, Enver Hoxha came to Haxhi Farka’s house and drove away Maliqi and another person named Muharrem Llanaj, who had come from Mat’s squad, where he had been appointed delegate of the Central Committee of the SNP. Enver expelled them both, telling them that many communists should not be sheltered on a base, that they could be dictated by the Italians, as had happened five months earlier with Qemal Stafa. After expelling them both from that base, only Vojo Kushi, Sadik Stavaleci and Xhoxhi Martini, who were members of the Tirana Youth Group, remained. A few minutes after Enver left, Muharrem Llanaj returned to that base, as he had nowhere to go. As it is known, that base was surrounded by the Italians and the four comrades who were there, fought against them with weapons in hand. As it is known, Vojo, Xhoxhi and Sadiku fought to the last drop of blood in an unequal war, becoming a symbol of heroism for generations to come. Muharrem was captured alive and imprisoned by the Italians in the Tirana prison, where he was introduced not with his name, but with a false name. (Muharrem was later released from prison and after his release he remained in exile in the villages of Lushnja until 1991, never being mentioned as a participant in the Battle of Red Hill). There is no doubt that in the siege of Haxhi Farka’s house was the treacherous hand of Enver Hoxha, who aimed to eliminate Sadik Stavalec, as he saw him as a possible contender for the post of Secretary of the SNP. In this position Enver was elected at the First SNP Conference held in Labinot from 17 to 22 March 1943, where the Central Committee was finally elected, with Enver as Secretary General. It was agreed that at the end of that meeting, another secret meeting was held under the chairmanship of Enver Hoxha, where all the main members of the Youth Group were sentenced to death. Implementation of that decision began very soon after this meeting. The first was executed Anastas Lula and after him Neki Ymer Hoxha, Xhemil Çakërri, Sadik Premtja (he was wounded and escaped from Albania), Pali Terova, Sinan Gjoni, Fejzo Gjomema etc. “/ Memorie.al