The first part
Memorie.al/publishes some archival documents extracted from the Central State Archive in Tirana, (the fund of the former Central Committee of PPSh), which belong to the year 1979 and are part of a file where there is also a record of the daily meeting of the secretaries of the Central Committee of the PPSh, chaired by Enver Hoxha, attended by: Hysni Kapo, Ramiz Alia and Hekuran Isai, where it was taken into deep analysis and discussed about the training of the Brigade of First, which, according to Enver, had completely failed, not meeting the objectives set by the Ministry of People’s Defense led by the minister, Mehmet Shehu. In the meeting in question where the three secretaries of the Central Committee of the PPSh discussed, Enver Hoxha, after criticizing the work done by the two deputy ministers of People’s Defense, Maliq Sadushi and Veli Llakaj, who had requested that the exercise be repeated, with the march of the First Brigade, (which he categorically did not approve), suggested to Hysni Kapo, taking into account the advice of doctors, regarding his health, as General Commissar of the Army, to find time and to go to meetings, with the wards and large military units, as the Army needed his thoughts and his word. Similarly, in the daily meeting with the secretaries of the Central Committee of the Party, which was held on February 9 and 12, 1979, Enver Hoxha, from the position of Commander-in-Chief of the Army, threw accusations against Mehmet Shehu, among others states: “
The secret document with the minutes of the daily meeting of the Secretaries of the Central Committee of the PPS, where Enver Hoxha analyzed the failure of the 1st Brigade march training
February 9, 1979
After being informed about the training of the First Brigade, Comrade Enver Hoxha took the floor.
COMRADE ENVER HOXHA: It is imperative that the committees and basic organizations of the Party work intensively and take an interest in instilling a strong communist consciousness in our people for the issue of protecting the homeland. This great task makes some strong, strict demands and requires a high spirit of sacrifice. For us, it is important to work properly to make the soldier aware so that he understands that in any case, in time of war, he may run out of bread and clothes, but he does not must abandon the task, the position, but resist and fight until the end.
The experience of our war is like that. We know that our partisans during the National Liberation War have resisted, even in very difficult conditions. But, when we talk and are aware of these things, we must also implement them and not just say them formally and, when it comes to their implementation, they remain in the middle of the road, without realized.
Therefore, we must clearly understand that the best and most conscientious cadres, those who are people of sacrifice, with horizons and broad political-military knowledge, should be included in the commands of free military schools. Even if someone does not have enough military knowledge, he should be given the task to learn, to make an effort to equip himself with this knowledge, to train and be prepared as best as possible.
If we do not make it clear to the cadres of the active army that our active army is something very small, compared to our entire great people’s army, we have not done anything. It is the officers, the cadres of our active army, whether old or young who learn in schools that must be educated to be interested not only in the active army, but in the whole mass of the armed people. However, there are still impermissible concepts and attitudes in these matters. I have read reports where it is said that there are cadres of the active army who are guided by concepts that the district should be interested in free schools and not the command of the unit that has it in its own territory or vice versa.
If such concepts really exist, they will prevent us from properly strengthening and compacting our entire people’s army and will not allow us to prepare well and properly for the defense of the homeland. Our army, in the Leninist form we have established, also requires good organization. But the organization requires, in the first place, a clear political and ideological understanding; it also needs actions and measures that must be fully realized in life. If we understand only in words the importance of the free military school, while in reality we neglect this and charge the seniors to run it, or we separate the cadres of this school from those of the active army, etc., then Lenin’s teaching does not will be implemented. With such a practice we do nothing but fill ourselves with empty spoons. This problem should be looked at in two ways.
I think that free schools are undervalued, there is still not a proper concept for them not only from the active army cadres, but there is a great and impermissible negligence from the Party committees themselves and from the grassroots organizations, instead of these properly leading the work to carefully implement the decisions we have made for the best functioning of free schools. For example, I do not find the opinions expressed by the leaders of the Ministry, Veli Llakaj and Maliq Sadushi, to be once again the training of the First Brigade to be right. They misdirected the training; the deadline set for it is now over. Everything that was done during that exercise was analyzed and they themselves received a zero mark. For the shortcomings in the organization and management of this exercise, some cadres received punishments; conferences were also held with the effective.
Now, to order this exercise to be repeated as the leaders of the Ministry of Defense demand, means to take people out of production once again for several more days for the same work, which was not done, through no fault of them, but for the fault of the army leaders who were in charge of preparing and conducting this exercise. However, this thing, in addition to the large material and monetary expenses, means that the participants do double the number of days that was set. By what right is such a proposal made? These things should be looked at carefully, friends, and not be talked about so lightly. Then, why will we only train with the First Brigade? She did the training and it didn’t turn out well, that’s why the leaders in charge should be given zero marks and not rubbed their arms, but not as Mehmet Shehu told them: “You embarrassed the First Brigade”!
No, they did not embarrass the First Brigade of the National Liberation War at all, they embarrassed themselves. The exercise that was carried out, as it was carried out, was a very bad example. Why did this happen? Maybe, as we are told, because people went to watch a football match!? It seems to me that this is not the point. There were those who left because they could not stand the cold, and from this, it is quickly concluded that these people are not stable. Yes, in reality it should not be like this and our army is not like that! Therefore, the military cadres should learn from what happened, put their finger on the head, and not take the issues lightly. In no way should we think that this resemblance to the First Brigade is a coincidence. I think that, along with good people, there are also some who lie to us, so let’s show them their place. Let’s be very careful, friends, to protect ourselves from lies, and we will achieve this only by organizing strong control.
Okay, so who will control the military? Like any other sector, it will be controlled by the Party. But the Party will only control in general how the duties are implemented? No, the Party will check and must check concretely and discover and correct even those reprehensible shows, such as, for example, the insults of that officer who made the soldier in this exercise. So, it is the Party that must control everything, work and people, even the commander, control the commissar, control and evaluate every action in the army, as everywhere. I asked Mehmet Shehu, on this occasion, how active officers work in their departments. Since it was about these units from Tirana, I pointed out that I request that they stay and sleep in the ward with the troop. Moreover, I told him, when they come to train, they must constantly stand on the ground with the troops in training, wear them out and endure hardships in snow and rain, day and night, watch the people on the march or even when they are resting. , to be constantly interested in their condition, needs, equipment, food, sleep, health, etc.
“And the same with the bodies”, he told me. And they didn’t, I added, because I know that there are some of these cadres who, during the training in question, had completely left the troops alone, instead of the officer, as it is his duty, to bond closely and live with the soldiers these days. When the officer himself goes to the soldiers or reservists in the tent and asks them: “How are you, comrades, how are you guys”, and sits down and talks with them, their difficulties are eased, their morale rises. When the officer enters the tent at the time of rest and can find the soldiers sleeping, when someone sees that he has been discovered and covers him with a blanket, the soldier, who at that time tries to wake up, seeing the love and care of his superior him, is willing to throw himself into the fire for him. How can a man be an officer of our army, who does not take care of his subordinates like this?!
We have never said that the officer should be separated from his family, from his children and not to dedicate a part of his free time to them, but he should not spend all his time at home and not stay close to the soldiers. If we have any such cadre, it is not related to the mass of soldiers and then it is better to be removed from the army and sent to another job that would be more suitable for it. As it seems, it is necessary to do political and ideological work in the army much deeper and more organized than until today, because I have the impression that it is becoming superficial. I have repeated it many times, Comrade Ramiz, and whenever I have been worried about the way of teaching in the army, that it is put into the framework and done with formulas by those who develop the political work, that they do not think to closely connect the theory with life, or they fail to connect the theoretical learning with the problems that come before them in the ward, in training.
Therefore, Party workers, when they deal with a political or theoretical problem, should closely connect it with the events of the country, with the problems where people live and work, so that this work serves the improvement of the situation, the timely and efficient resolution of tasks. It seems to me that in the army, as in many cases in the field, political and ideological work is done in a formal way. When I draw some attention to the lecturers or propagandists, they work well, but there are those, about whom I have also talked with you, Ramiz, that when they come to speak, for example, about the book “Imperialism and Revolution” they read whole parts to the listeners his. To read to them, it seems to me, there is no need, because everyone reads the book themselves. It is important to talk to people concretely about the problems, to analyze them. The referrer can also take a phrase or a quote from this book, in order to make the thesis elaborated there more alive, so that the Party’s policy sticks well in the listener’s head, but not to read whole pages to people from the book.
Also, I am of the opinion that, especially in the army, the old way of summarizing and analyzing the teachings and orientations of the Party is still practiced. Mehmet Shehu gave a long speech for many hours at the annual activity of the Army in Durrës, and immediately after the activity, the military cadres were ordered to analyze this material for every issue. And they are making efforts to do this work. It seems to me that to break down this long material for each paragraph is a pointless job. Such an analysis, as it is being done, has no value, because every issue that is addressed there is connected to many other problems. To make a valuable analysis of a material, you must start from the problems you have in front of you to solve, then make efforts to expand your knowledge of these problems. If you have new things, you should also present these as examples to illustrate the material, etc.
I think that it is not done like this, that such work is not done even in the Party organizations on the ground. But this is necessary, because the whole mass that participated in this exercise consists of people who came mostly from the field. Those who participate in the training are young people, the vast majority of them are not even party members, but they have been or are still members of the youth organization. Therefore, we have to look a little deeper at the work with the youth, the education that is given in this organization, because it seems to me that this work is done more in a bookish way. Therefore, let’s dig deeper and find the reasons why we see manifestations of lack of discipline in the youth, lack of discipline in factories, in the fields or elsewhere. Here we should be careful not to see the work of the youth in general, not to be blinded by what we say every day and which is completely right, that the youth has given and is giving a great contribution to the construction of socialism and to the protection of homeland, if we look a little more concretely at this phenomenon in several directions, for several reasons.
Surely there are several reasons why these negative phenomena occur. We must try to find the causes, point them out, connect them with concrete situations and then draw theoretical conclusions for improving the situation. I have the impression that in the army newspapers are also read to pass the time. It has become a habit to stand up, the team-commander or youth leader comes and says: “Sit down now, teammates, we will take a little break and during this time I will read you the newspaper”, without letting them people a free drop. Instead, it would be good if he spoke to his teammates for a few minutes about an important article that was published in the newspaper that also relates to their concrete problems, drawing lessons on how to correct flaws and weaknesses of the team and the department. The next day he may comment on another article, which may not be directly related to the problems of the guild, but which deals with some important problem and serves the training and education of the soldiers.
So the ideopolitical work with people must be improved, just like in the field and in the army. I had, comrades, one more issue, that of the organization of work here in the apparatus of the Central Committee, which we must constantly think about in order to perfect it. It is good to see if we got it right and if the form of organization of the apparatus, which we decided a few years ago, has borne fruit. We then wrote the directorates, we made the instructors of general profile, we also discussed the method and style of their work, how they will take the Party’s line and directive to the districts and to the base and how they will bring the experience here to the center of the base. We have also said that in the ongoing work we will educate, in the first place, comrade-comrade with the good and bad things encountered in the work of the Party at the base, in state, administrative, organizational, theoretical, practical, military work, opening wide horizons in all this activity that we need to develop and move forward.
These works, of course, are done with active combative contacts of employees and departments of the apparatus with each other and not in template forms, not only with the presentation of findings, but by exchanging ideas. The point is, the problems of agitation and propaganda, how they develop in the field, in the women’s organization, in that of the professional unions or the youth, I think are not only of interest to the propaganda sector, but also to the instructors we have in the apparatus for military affairs , which friend Hysni reports to. If they don’t know how to work in the field, they can’t do the job well even in the army. Therefore, the instructors of other sectors of the Central Committee apparatus must cooperate closely with those of the military sector, because there may be routine in this cooperation. Organizationally, we made the union of instructors, because we understood the importance of this organization, however, some are attracted by the practical side, not everyone fights for the generalization and exchange of experience.
The instructors should stay for several days to listen to the opinions and remarks of the base, ask questions about the work, discuss and find out who is to blame for the mistakes, for the weaknesses of the work in the field, in the youth, etc. I think that the organization of the Party, in the district and at the base and in the army should be revived by this work of theirs, that it will be helped to deal better and see the problems from all sides, in the ideological, political and organizational and not deal, it seems, only with discipline. Many problems arise in life, such as, for example, do the communists regularly pay their dues, are the meetings of the organization held properly, how are admissions to the party done and how should they be accepted, is work being done properly for the communists to raise their ideological and political level, did they do well in the exercises that are organized in the army or not and, if not, what are the reasons, that maybe they have problems or there are some concepts and practices that are not in the way of the Party, etc.
Where will all these problems be looked at? These will be looked at and should be looked at, first of all, in the Party organization. Therefore, work everywhere to strengthen the Party. But the Party is not strengthened by being interested only in whether the meetings are held or not, but by concretely helping the grassroots organizations to discuss, brainstorm, decide and provide solutions to the problems that have arisen, such as for the army, for the economy, for the education and mobilization of the youth, why it is not working well in oil, etc. All these problems must be seen by the Party organizations in the army, that those who serve there are at the same time soldiers, also builders of socialism. We separated the Political Directorate from the Ministry of Defense. The work that was done by this directorate is now done by the apparatus of the Central Committee. When we took this measure, it was proven that in the army the command over the Political Directorate dominated! Therefore, it seems to me that this work has now been put right; only that work must be done to implement it well. The issue here is how to properly follow the problems of the army and defense by the Party organs and the authorities on the ground.
COMRADE HYSNI KAPO: It was done correctly, Comrade Enver, yes, as you said; it should be well implemented, especially in relation to the terrain, for example. The problems of the army and defense should be better pursued, both by the Party in the army and by the Party in the field, establishing close cooperation or, so to speak, integrating the whole Party on defense issues.
COMRADE ENVER HOXHA: Come in, here’s what I think about working with the army. First, I advise you to follow the health rules and doctor’s orders well, in order to become fit and able to work as soon as possible. I ask that you do not go with services everywhere, as you often went before, and do it very well. However, even in your current state of health, the army must see you; it must see its General Commissar from time to time, because, in fact, you are the General Commissar of the Army. That’s why they should see you there, as General Commissar of the Army, which you are; people should see that it is the Party that commands the army. By this I do not mean that you should now start breaking the health rules that have been assigned to you, because the Party does not gain anything from this. I do not advise you not to preoccupy yourself, because preoccupation with military matters is and should be constantly great for all of us, of course, not for all problems, but only for the most important ones.
You have to take care of yourself, and this is achieved by following the advice of doctors, but also by carefully observing the events that take place in the army in certain objectives, which you can do regularly with the help of all the frames you have on your camera. for the army. Except to be careful not to try to follow the work of the Party in the army all by yourself. Always taking care of your health, you have to wear it in some important meetings in the army. And there is no need to speak for several hours, because being concise, just one hour is enough to speak and your words will have an effect, even without raising your voice at all, and without shouting as Mehmet did, to tell them to the truths in the face of people who are not okay, and to pull themselves together. When extraordinary events occur or someone takes a flagrant stance, this should be followed carefully, regardless of whether or not there is hostile activity; we should look at it very carefully and be vigilant in this regard. Memorie.al
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