– “Albania and Kosovo in the Russian Archives” –
Memorie.al / The Russian secret archives of the post-World War II period, recently published (summarized in the book; “Albania and Kosovo in the Russian Archives”, by the authors Hamit Kaba and Ethem Çeku), clearly reflect the fact of the breakdown of Albania-Yugoslavia friendship. In the April-May period of 1949, this breakdown in relations, turned into hostility, worried Stalin, who put his diplomats to work. Although the Kremlin welcomes the Albanian leaders and gives them gifts (with a special decision of the Council of Ministers), the critical and extremely difficult position of Albania (political, economic and military) is on the agenda. Especially with the August 2 provocations of the Greeks in the south. Meanwhile, Enver Hoxha has discovered the hostile group of Koçi Xoxes and has ordered the trial against him…!
Document with the decision of the Council of Ministers of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, on gifts for the government delegation of the People’s Republic of Albania, Moscow, April 2, 1949.
USSR COUNCIL OF MINISTERS
Decision of April 2, 1949, No. 1273 – 454 c Moscow, Kremlin
“On gifts for the government delegation of the People’s Republic of Albania”.
The Council of Ministers of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics decided:
- On behalf of the Government of the USSR, presented to the Chairman of the Council of Ministers of the People’s Republic of Albania, Enver Hoxha – a gold tobacco box; To the Chairman of the State Plan, Spiro Koleka – watch with a chain of the “Pobjeda” brand, all made of gold; to the Deputy Minister of Trade, Vasil Kati – box with artistic works; to the Deputy Minister of Industry, Xhafer Spahiu – box with artistic works; Deputy Minister of Public Works, Shinasi Dragoti – box with artistic works; to the deputy chief of the General Staff, Nexhip Vinçani – box with artistic works.
- The members of the delegation, in addition, will be given gifts for their wives (silk and woolen cloth) and food sets (caviar, chocolate, vodka, champagne) with a total value of 11,000 rubles.
- The Ministry of Finance of the USSR (comrade Zverev) is instructed to allocate from the reserve fund of the Council of Ministers of the USSR, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the USSR, the appropriate financial means to cover the expenses for the purchase of the gifts specified in this Decision.
CHAIRMAN OF THE COUNCIL OF MINISTERS OF THE USSR
DIRECTOR OF ADMINISTRATION IN THE COUNCIL OF MINISTERS OF THE USSR
(Source: SF BE, T. II, APRF, P. 3, Op. 64, D. 46, L. 1. No. 22. Original).
ENVER HOXHA’S CONVERSATION WITH THE SOVIET AMBASSADOR, CHUVAH
From the diary of D. S. Chuvahin
Recording of the conversation with General-Colonel Enver Hoxha
Tirana, on May 20, 1949
Specimen no. 1
Today, May 20, I met with Enver Hoxha. The following issues were discussed during the conversation:
- On the work of the party conferences of the cities of Lushnjë, Korçë, Gjirokastër.
Enver Hoxha, on his wn initiative, announced some results of the work of the regional conferences of the party in the cities of Lushnje, Korçë and Gjirokastër, where Liri Belishova, Manush Myftiu and Gogo Nushi went respectively on behalf of the Central Committee of the Labor Party of Albania. . They announced that at the party conferences, the last two points passed satisfactorily, that according to the accountable reports of the secretaries of the regional committees, there was room for sound criticism, and that the local workers, although not to the right extent, began to reconstruct the work of them in accordance with the instructions given to you by the last Plenum of the Central Committee of the Labor Party.
It is about the April Plenum of the Central Committee of the Labor Party of Albania, which, as instructions-directives for the regional organizations of the party, accepted and approved the report of the general secretary Enver Hoxha. However, at the party conference in the city of Korça, it was not without hostile work. Thus, even during the verification of the election ballots, it emerged that in two ballots all the candidates proposed in the composition of the regional committee were deleted and that 8 general ballots were not submitted. According to Enver Hoxha’s opinion, in this case; “we are dealing with sworn enemies of the Party”.
Focusing on the work of the Lushnja region party conference, Enver Hoxha said that; the results of the elections of the regional party committee and the very situation in which they took place cannot satisfy the Central Committee of the Party and that these elections, as he thinks, should be canceled and others scheduled. According to his words, at the party conference, the work of reactionary elements, who had entered the ranks of the party, was “felt”. He emphasized that the candidacies proposed by the Central Committee of the Party, for the first and second secretary of the regional committee, had received the smallest number of votes, compared to the other persons elected as part of the regional committee of the party.
He thinks that this was the result of the subversive activity of the anti-party elements, who had entered the ranks of the party. Enver Hoxha further stated that the party organization of the Lushnje region, in terms of its social composition and the cultural level of its members, was one of the most backward party organizations in Albania, and that under these conditions, anti-party elements were created wide opportunities, for their hostile affairs.
He said, in particular, that there are many elements in the Lushnja party organizations, who during the National Liberation War, were closely connected with the rich kulak elements of this region, with the ballistas, and that many current members of the party during the time of the war with the occupiers, they held a weak position in relation to the reactionary elements, because there are such party members who, during the war, deserted from the partisan ranks, going to cities where they had connections with reactionary elements. According to his opinion, which is based on preliminary information on the results of the work of the party conferences, precisely these elements set the tone for the party conferences.
According to his words, as a result of this hostile work, in the composition of the regional committee, people unworthy to be in the composition of the party’s leading body infiltrated and that in the conferences, candidacies of people who do not deserve this at all are put forward. According to all these judgments, he thinks that the elections that were held these days should be canceled and others should be scheduled.
- On the Orthodox Church of Albania
In accordance with the instructions in force (see the letter of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the USSR, dated January 6, 1949), I raised a number of issues with Enver Hoxha, on the positions of the government and the leadership of the Albanian Orthodox Church, as well as on the government’s intentions to strengthen the Bishopric of the Albanian Orthodox Church, with supporters of the current government. Enver Hoxha stated that the government has not dealt with the Orthodox Church, but also with other churches. Dwelling on the concrete issues I raised, he would state that: the current leader of the Albanian Orthodox Church, Archbishop Kisi, is considered an appointed leader, and that he was indeed quite compromised; however, the government so far has not taken any measures against him.
Regarding the case, if there are new data that could compromise Kis, Hoxha stated that in 1948, the state police bodies, after long searches in the house of Archbishop Kis, found the war criminal, Orollogaj – former minister of Justice in Zog’s government. Despite the fact that the former Minister of Internal Affairs, Koçi Xoxe, talked with Kisi three times after this case, no concrete measures were taken against this open enemy of popular power. From the freshest facts, which testify to Kisi’s connections with the foreign agency in Tirana, we can bring the fact that he received a package from the French envoy, after his return from Belgrade in April.
Focusing more on the issue of relations between the church and the government, Enver Hoxha emphasized that the Central Committee of the Party should seriously study the religious issue, regulate its relations, both with orthodox institutions and with Muslim and Catholic ones. On this occasion, he emphasized that these days, he had received a letter from the Muslim Chief Mufti, who raises the issue of making the Muslim Clergy some facilities, related to the preparation of clergy cadres, and for this purpose, the opening of special schools Muslims, the provision of paper for the publication of the Koran in the Albanian language, as well as raising the issue of financial assistance from the state, for Muslim religious facilities.
In the opinion of Enver Hoxha, the Albanian government should do everything possible to attract the church to its side and to use its great influence on the people, in the interest of the state. In the end, the Prime Minister said that; will study the issue of religions and that the government would inform about concrete measures in this field.
- On the process against the Trotskyist group of Koçi Xoxes
Enver Hoxha informed me that, as he hopes, the judicial process against the Koçi Xoxes group will end in the next two days and that now the Central Committee is dealing with the issue of Bedri Spahi’s final speech, which according to his words, it must be, first of all, a serious act of blame, against Tito’s nationalist Trotskyist clique, and further, it must sharpen attention to internal Albanian problems. The trial against the Koçi Xoxes group, noted Enver Hoxha, is a trial against Tito’s nationalist clique, and this is exactly how Tito’s clique understands this process, judging by the recent articles published by the Belgrade Trotskyists in the “Borba” newspaper. . According to Enver Hoxha, the prosecutor should request the death penalty for Koçi Xoxen, life imprisonment for Pandi Kristo, while for the other defendants – Vaskë Koleci, Nuri Huta and Vangjo Mitrojorgji, the court should sentence them respectively to 10- 15, 7-8 and 3-5 years in prison.
- On further talks with the Americans on the establishment of diplomatic relations between the USA and Albania
I asked Enver Hoxha about the Americans’ proposal to hold the talks started by Behar Shtylla in New York in Paris; for the position of the Department of State, regarding the official proposal of the Albanian government for the beginning of these talks; if the relevant instructions were given to Behar Shtylla and if not, then what is the position of the Albanian government and him personally, in response to the latest proposals of the representative of the Department of State, Kempell. Enver Hoxha answered that; in accordance with the explanations (given to him – ed.) during his last stay in Moscow, he considers it possible to continue the talks started by the Americans, while regarding the issue of the stay, he thinks that we should wait a little and see that how the talks will take place, in the upcoming session of the Ministers of Foreign Affairs, in Paris.
In conclusion, I informed Enver Hoxha that the committee for the development of the celebrations on the occasion of the 150th anniversary of Pushkin’s birth, invites the Albanian writer Zihni Sako to these celebrations. I asked further, if Enver Hoxha agreed with this proposal of Moscow. After thanking the Committee for the development of the Pushkin celebrations, Enver Hoxha stated that the candidacy of Zihni Sako, for participation in the mentioned celebrations, is completely appropriate and that, Zihni Sako, will represent the public opinion of Albanian writers with dignity.
And with that the conversation ended.
The envoy of the USSR in Albania,
Year 1949: Lightning trial of the “traitor” Koçi Xoxe!
Breaking with the Yugoslavs, Enveri starts the punishments of collaborators!
The breakdown of relations with Yugoslavia, the arrest and quick trial against Koçi Xoxes of his group, described as pro-Yugoslav, alarmed Stalin. After giving gifts (message of respect and friendship) to the leaders of Albania by decision of the Council of Ministers (Enver Hoxha, Spiro Koleka, Xhaferr Spahiut, Nexhip Vinçani, etc…), the Kremlin activates its envoy for Albania, Čuvah , with General-Colonel Enver Hoxha. The meeting was organized on May 20, 1949 in Tirana. The subject of the conversation (reflected in Çuvahini’s secret diary) is the situation in Albania, the ‘de facto’ breakdown of relations with Yugoslavia, Koçi Xoxes’ attack on his associates as “enemies”, the position of the clergy and religious communities in Albania, etc. .!
Referring to the secret diary of Stalin’s representative in this meeting, it is clearly established the critical situation in Albania, the division between the highest leaders of the state, a state of anxiety and uncertainty of Enver Hoxha, accompanied by severe punishments for those he calls collaborators Yugoslavs, and who worked to the detriment of the country’s interests. Referring to the published documents, for the first time the first clash of the new Albanian state with representatives of religious beliefs in Albania is ascertained.
Enver Hoxha reports to Moscow that; the representative of the Orthodox Clergy, “is a suspicious person”, “a person who sheltered the former minister of Zogu”, also promising that “the problem of state relations with representatives of religious faiths will be looked into soon”, etc. In Enver’s conversation with Ambassador Çuvahini, regarding the trial against Koçi Xoxes, it is clearly evident that Hoxha takes on the attributes of a judge. He confirms to the interlocutor that the death penalty should be demanded for Xoxen, while for his associates, sentences of many years in prison…!
(Source: RGASPI, P. 17, Op. 137, D. 68, L. 55-58. No. 131. Certified copy (certified).
On the day of the Greek provocation, handcuffs to the head of the Army Intelligence
In the middle of 1949, the most difficult test of Enver Hoxha and other leaders of the new Albanian state. The friendship turned into enmity with the Yugoslavs was immediately followed by the military aggression of August 2, 1949 by Greece. Based on the documents of the Russian secret archives of this period (including in the book “Albania and Kosovo in the Russian Archives”, by the authors Hamit Kaba and Et’hem Çeku), this difficult situation, in a way, warned Hoxha of the supporters of his, it was not thought that it would go as far as military aggression from the southern neighbors. On the same day (August 2, 1949), Enver Hoxha requested an urgent meeting with Čuvahini, Stalin’s envoy for Albania. Meanwhile, before today’s meeting, he declared Hamit Keçi, the chief of Army Intelligence, “enemy” and launched an attack on him and his associates…!
From the diary of D.S. Chuvahin.
The recording of the conversation with Enver Hoxha, on the armed conflicts on the Albanian-Greek border, on the arrest of the intelligence chief of the Albanian army H. Keçi, on Albania’s participation in the International Conference on Radio Frequencies
Tirana, on August 2, 1949.
On August 2, I visited Enver Hoxha on his initiative.
Enver Hoxha informed me as follows:
- On the provocation of the Greek monarcho-fascists, Enver Hoxha informed me that on August 2, at 5 am, two battalions of the Greek monarcho-fascist forces entered Albanian territory by force, in Vidohove (southeast of Korça). The Albanian border guards became a determined resistance to the monarcho-fascists. As a result of this provocation, during 11 hours according to the data, the Greek monarcho-fascists had 100 killed and over 100 wounded. Losses on the Albanian side, according to uncontrolled data, are: one killed and two wounded. Right now, the protection against the monarcho-fascists is done only by the border defense forces, while the regular units of the Albanian army are not involved in the fight.
Enver Hoxha thinks that; the purpose of this new provocation of the Greek monarcho-fascists is old, i.e. to break through the Albanian territory and get behind the Greek democrats. For this, as he pointed out, the current development of the fighting proves – the Greeks do not go deep into the Albanian territory, but with fighting they move to the Albanian side, along the Albanian-Greek border, in order that, reaching a point assigned to the border, to return to Greek territory and hit the Greek Democrats from behind.
According to the words of Enver Hoxha, urgent measures have been taken by the command of the Albanian army. Regular army units are moving towards the battle site – and 3 batteries were activated, including an anti-aircraft battery.
On Hamit Keçin – chief of intelligence of the Albanian army
Enver Hoxha announced that today, on August 2, he ordered the arrest of the head of the Intelligence of the Albanian Army, Colonel Hamit Keçin. The reason for the arrest is as follows: during the discussion on August 1 of this year, of the military training plans at the General Staff of the Albanian Army, Hamit Keçi stated that these plans are harmful and that they were drawn up by traitors of the Albanian people. .
So, according to the words of Enver Hoxha, Hamit Keçi declared that Beqir Balluku – chief of the General Staff and Hysni Kapo – chief of the Political Directorate of the Army (both members of the Political Bureau) are traitors; that the Soviet colonel Lebedjev and some other Soviet officers, who work near the Albanian Army, are enemies of Albania.
Enver Hoxha told me that Hamit Keçi tried to contact him on the phone and that he tried to get into Enver Hoxha’s house. According to Hoxha, the opinion of some military personnel, that Hamit Keçi was crazy, should not be taken into consideration, because Hamit Keçi, according to his words, was acting completely conscientiously, because he showed signs of normal behavior this day, while Hamit Keçi, had spoken with his first cousin, Isuf Keçi (chairman of the Tirana City Council) and with some other friends of the group, about his actions.
In relation to what was presented, Enver Hoxha mentioned to me that Hamit Keçi belongs to the so-called Young Group (group of former Trotskyite Anastas Lula, shot during the National Liberation War, by order of Enver Hoxha) and that this group, in in the post-liberation period, he tried and tries to get into the leadership of the party and for this purpose, he always tries to show himself to the people. Right now, it is difficult to say that he is the leader of this group, but one thing is clear, that in this group, they belong; Hamit Keçi, Isuf Keçi, Njazi Islami (candidate for member of the Central Committee), Abedin Shehu (member of the Central Committee – Minister of Public Works), Shyqri Këllezi (Deputy Minister of Communications, until recently and now director of the Oil Combine in Kuçovo) and others.
Enver Hoxha attaches great importance to this group. He declared that the Central Committee should take seriously the actions of the representatives of this group. He harshly criticized the attitude of the members of the Political Bureau, Beqir Balluku and Hysni Kapo, as well as other employees of the General Staff of the Albanian Army, whom Hamit Keçi openly called traitors, in the presence of other officers. of the General Staff, who did not benefit from reporting this to Enver Hoxha.
Note: Our senior military advisor, Colonel Lebedev, categorically states that; Hamit Keçi was in an irresponsible state for the last few days and that he, Colonel Lebedev, is convinced that Hamit Keçi has played out of his mind. The Albanians are taking measures to determine the real state of Hami Keçi’s health.
On the Albanian representation in the Conference of the First Region, for the classification of radio frequencies.
In accordance with Moscow’s instructions, I informed Enver Hoxha that now in Switzerland, the work of the First Region Conference is being held for the classification of radio frequencies, for the range 255-415 and 1605-3900 kilocycles. I told Enver Hoxha that the Soviet delegation is participating in this conference, therefore it would be desirable for the Albanian representative to participate in the Geneva Conference. (In the period of discussion of the new international frequency registration list for the ranges mentioned above).
After listening to me, Enver Hoxha said that; would definitely send the Albanian representative to Geneva, as long as our common interests require this and that this representative will be Petro Kita. According to Enver Hoxha, Petro Kita can travel from Tirana via Rome, with the nearest plane. At the same time, Enver Hoxha asked me to inform him about the opinion of the Soviet representatives about the work of Petro Kita, who, together with the Soviet representatives, should participate in the proceedings of a series of conferences (Mexico, Switzerland, Denmark) and that, according to his words, he kept in close contact with the Soviet representatives in these conferences.
I promised to look into it.
The envoy of the USSR in Albania, Dm. Chuvash
(Source: SF VE, T. II, AVP RF, P. 07, Op. 22, P. 31, D. 89, L. 40-42. No. 45. Copy). /Memorie.al
(Prepared by K. Boriçi)