103 LETTERS FROM COMMUNIST PRISONS
Letters from Shkodra prison (1951-1953)
Letters from Burrell Prison (1953-1965)
Memorie.al/ Sunday 29.01.1967, still without dawn, and the darkness was towards the departure, when no living person was seen on the street, I knocked hard on the door of the Franciscan Assembly, in the neighborhood “Arra e Madhe” of the city. Duel guard (or goalkeeper).
– I am looking for Father Frano Kirin.
“He slept,” he replied.
– Take it, I have to inform you about the death of a friend!
After a while the door reopened and I faced Father Franon. As soon as he saw me, I changed his face, as if he were numb, he thought well and did not speak for a moment, and finally without comforting me, he said to me: “Son, he has left you rich!”. On the way home by bike, where a mountain of work and trouble awaited me, I thought very little about the words I heard. So quickly I asked myself: What happened to us? Our movable and immovable property was confiscated, it was confiscated… we were left alone, his family: aunt, sister, wife with three sons and two graves.
The good and enviable legacy…, but above all it left us a good name: glorious work for the benefit of the Homeland, national education, culture and Islamic fees. He left concrete works, published writings, manuscripts… yes, yes, he also left us letters from communist prisons with that beautiful writing, to express his love for his family perfectly artistically.
These 103 letters were preserved as expensive, as relics, as the greatest left treasure from him. When I got home, in the Parrucë neighborhood, I was calm and alive. I was full of energy to face that mortal day, which was also known as a day of victory, because we: father and family, arrived with triumph over 7000 days of suffering with deprivation of liberty, in forced labor camps and prisons, and for about 500 days (after being released alive from prison) we lived very happily in the 200-year-old house of the Mukejs, in Shkodra.
In 1997, prof. Vehbi Hoti, professor of Psychology at the University “Luigj Gurakuqi” of Shkodra, defined the letters from prisons in this way: “Letter of exchange with the family… are an expression of his versatile personality. They are prose with poetic inspirations, very exciting and educational. They can rightly be called a “handbook” for education in general and family education in particular. They represent an intimate conversation with the family, especially with their children. He advises and guides them, seeks them out and encourages them to always move forward. “108 Letters from prisons are one of the ways in which the prisoner had the opportunity to communicate mainly with his family. In order to be “released” they had to meet the requirements of the regulation: to be short, about 1 page of a notebook, to be written clearly and understandably, on issues related to the health and needs of the prisoner; 1 letter per month was allowed. After the letter was checked, her fate to go to the family or not was left to the operative court… Many times, the letters did not come, because in certain situations, especially when prisoners were in labor camps, or when prisoners were punished for “breaking the rules,” communication and receipt of letters and food were cut off. (This has often happened in Burrell Prison), so letters are not regularly filed every month. During the time that Sheuqet Muka was serving his sentence in Shkodra, he sent a few letters. this is because we meet after 1 pair of thick bars at a distance of 1 meter away. From Shkodra prison in this book are presented the first 12 letters (20.IX.1951- 15. III. 1953), while the other 91 letters are from Burrel prison (1953 – 1965).
Correspondence from Burrel prison, which was over 100 km from Shkodra, has been more frequent. For nearly 19 years in prison, his family has been guarding 103 of them. Absences as a result: they are not allowed to be sent (are forbidden) or they cannot be guarded by us. These are the preserves, they are all being published, without any changes and some of them (the readable ones, which are not written in pencil), can be scanned. The purpose is to understand some aspects of the conditions, yes and to show how we achieved communication, uninterrupted, with the father in prison, to keep in touch with us, to send in the last years of imprisonment every week (to eat) a letter and every mid-month a telegram with reply. Communication kept him alive and the gratitude of this political prisoner of conscience is boundless, as will be read and described in beautiful touching words in these letters. This regularity by letters, simple family communication telegrams, was evaluated by the prison command and recommended to the prisoners as an example to follow.
Derg. Sheuqet Muka. Prison of the Enemies of the People, Shkodra
Send. of Rep 321, Burrel
Letters from prisons, beginning in 1951 and ending with the letter August 1, 1965, are rare in their kind and perhaps the only ones that are preserved and being published. Their evaluation belongs to the reader.
Send me the envelope. Sheuqet Muka. Prison of the Enemies of the People)
Shkodër with the initials at the top of each letter V.F.L.P. (Death – Fascism, Freedom – People). Posted by Rep 321 Burrel (address of this A.M. prison)
103 LETTERS FROM COMMUNIST PRISONS
Letters from Shkodra prison (1951-1953)
Letters from Burrell Prison (1953-1965)
Letter from Shkodra prison
Letter no. 1
- 09. 1951
I am a good seed and I spent Eid happily. I saw that you were all in good health. I especially thank Myhsin and Sabrije, who reminded me on the occasion of Eid. If you receive a letter from Meserret and Nazim, I look forward to sending it to you, and I wish you well, both of you. Aunt Xheva, how am I? You and Feten have never been more tired than Symen. The boys and the grave and Zijaja make me happier. Do not worry about me, for I have no choice but to grieve. For Ragip and his bride and Sabahet, I was very happy that they did better. Uncle Elezit greetings and my respects, also to his family. Hakas and Zades with us have things to do with the Domnor family and who’s asking you for me.
I grabbed everyone with a lot of longing, especially Nexhatija and Lirija, he kissed them hard.
I am waiting for a letter from Adnan Zija.
- IX. 1951
Letter no. 2
- 11. 1951
My beloved and you Adnan;
I received your postcard, the letter of Meserret and Zija, from the last one I received a telegram yesterday. I’m glad you did well. I myself enjoy full health. Let me know immediately how Uranus’ work was completed. I am very healthy for Meserret. When I was going, I thought of writing a letter to wish him a happy birthday, but I had to tell Hakis of Perteva about Sabahet, which hurt me a lot. Until the meeting starts, you should write to me twice a month and send me the letters you should receive from Meserret and Uranus. Whenever you write to them, bring them to me and bring them my grains.
To get a copy of the decision, I have the concept to take it to you. If possible instead of yogurt and cheese, bring me some olives. Now that the winter season is approaching, in case of bad weather, you can bring me the dish in two days, because there is no fear that it will spoil and, in this way, Nexhatija does not have to come for days. Even Ali Vadejes, had the opportunity to bring the dish as before to boil for two days. Do not bring cheese.
I need you to bring me my winter clothes: thick old trousers, donat, white fandelion, write your name on it, a pair of toes (if you can get it from the old hat), a pair of slightly flat tires (with rubber at the heel and at the top) the necks of the socks, the shores (without hooves). I have the jacket here. I also kept a white bottle here because I need it for the bathroom. Faculeta I have enough.
Quilt sheet for now for once do not take me. How is Aunt Xhevan? What about Symen’s sister Fete? How do Lirija and Nexhatija go with lessons? I expect good grades from them. I expect even better results from you than in other years, no matter how much you write to me that you are not the first one, I expect much more!
I hug you all with longing, especially Lirija and Nexhatija, I grabbed them and kissed them hard. Hakas with his son and son-in-law, middle nephew, uncle Elezit of the family circle, Zijas with what he has all the others who ask for me and Jakupi greetings very much.
- XI. 1951
On top of me take a paper envelope with a postage stamp and 2 razor blades. Now I also received the letter of Uranus with yesterday’s letter of Ziya. I was very healthy. I got the dictionary.
Letter no. 3
- 01. 1952
To my loved ones and to you I am Adnan;
I received the 3 postcards of Zija, your letter with Meserreti and the postcard of Kahreman, to whom I thank the honors for the congratulations he gives me. Now that I am writing this letter, I also received the letter of Uranus dated 13 / I / 1952. I was very healthy. I myself am a good seed. I wish you all as you are, to enjoy full health. I am very happy for the health of Meserret, for Uranus which is good and for Nazim who wrote to you. I am also very healthy for Nur, who has a son. I had more life and Hakas brought the congratulations. When you write to your nephews, greet them with a loud voice, and lead them to kiss me and hold me by the hand. Uranus specifically instructs me to meet with Teufiq and Qirjak and, if possible, to try to find a course suitable for the Vedas. How Uncle Elezi became? Tell me about his health and show me my honors and greetings to him and his family. Even the Domnori brothers greet me. I am healthy for Jahin and Myzafer, who are well. I took the qi clothes you brought me. I need a red mattress sheet. Tell me Zijas that the number of my sentence is: 195 d.26 / 6/47 and not: 218. Send me the copy of the certificate that was issued to me. I greet Aunt Xhevas, Fetes, Symes, Zijas, Vishos and all the others who ask for me. He kissed Nexhatija hard.
Let Zijaja address the House of Arts and Culture and tell her that I am ready to make the dictionary of Turkish words in a short time, which they have in our language, enough to send me only a letter from her. Turkish dictionary by Sami Frashëri.
Letter no. 4
May 30, 1952
Beloved brother Zija;
During the 15 days of this month, apart from the letter of Uranus, I had no other than you or Adnan. Be well! Uranus wrote to me about the ourselves that he had been hospitalized for 10 days from abdominal pain and about Meserreti that he had been smoked for 4 days from malaria and that now they were well; I have not received another letter from him or from Meserret. Let me hope they are well done! How did you become? Can you improve me properly?
If not here’s a new product just for you! How are your mother and sisters? All greetings from me as well as two daughters-in-law. Are you staying with Uncle Elez? I miss him so much, bring me my honors and his family and Hamid are in good health. In the meeting I was going through, I was pleased that I saw you all well, especially for Brahim, who had grown up and become like an apple, I was very happy; except for Aunt Javan and Adnan, I am in their worry, where I did not see them. I am finishing to wish you full health and to hold you tight and strong, Xhevas, Fetes, Symes, Sabrije, Hakas, my sons and whoever asks for me, many greetings. As for Lirija and Nexhatija, they are kissing their cheeks.
- V. 1952
Letter no. 5
June 15, 1952
Aunt Xheva, sister of Fete and Syme:
18 Eid away from you and away from the smell of my children, I cannot believe it, but this is a truth. I do not spend a sixth of my life on the run, in prisons and internments, and for that reason I meet you with sorrow and grief, and this is what has made me more tired than myself. I am tired, because I still have them alive, I have not sold them, I have not made stones that you do not feel or know, but if we pass for you, and this is the wish, I am the one who is bringing you for this Eid, this wish is I am addressing you, it is full of place, why do you thank the second son Uranus, the time is approaching for me to complete my military service with full glory and honor, and Adnan is succeeding in getting his graduation diploma, so qi for you, yes Agon again a sun the news we want, why around the country you have three boys to grow up and be well educated, capable and skilled for work that can meet the needs you have. If I were to be as good to you as I am to my children, I would have no cassava left, and this is the only point that worries me the most. I see that all three of you are tired and try not to be distracted by what was given to me during the days of the meeting. Especially you Syme, you did not meet me this time and in the next meeting I saw that you were ill. I know that even before you went to prison you were evil and not appearing at yesterday’s meeting pushed me to remember that you are correct and smooth and with this brand I will spend these 2 weeks, when the day comes of the next meeting. With that, you still make me believe that you are good, as they answered me when I asked for you. The news that you gave me about Uranus that he received a reward of 1000 ALL, I am happy that he does not have it, because moreover, it brought me the greatest conviction that he knew how to behave best in fulfilling the task with precision, and I for this let me bring you my pleasure and my congratulations.
Congratulations, greetings and thanks to all those who have reminded me, greetings to all others who pray for me, especially Elez, Zija, Ragip, Vishas, Shuajb and all their family circle.
In the next row, I will write to my two graves who wished me Eid in front of all the others, and I wish you that even the beautiful Nexhatija grows up and becomes wise, good and great as Lirija. I am entrusting you, the three of Hakan, to kiss my cheeks from me.
With a lot of longing
Yes, there was a possibility of a little oil.
I received a letter from Uranus.
Letter no. 6
June 15, 1952
V.F L. P
Beloved Halla Xheva and you, sister Fete and wife Syme;
Firstly, I wish you good health and secondly, I also wish you Eid, like you, Zija, the boys of the two cemeteries and all those who ask you for me. For you, Aunt Xheve, I have many obligations and many unforgettable memories. You were the one who raised me and gave me my first education. As a child, all my needs were met by you. Until it was time to go to school, you would not do anything at home unless you were more comfortable. Keep in mind that you helped me see it even in lessons. And I, then, if not at a young age, could not do my service, you would try to reward him with the love you had for you, ohhh…!
At the that meeting we had last week, you broke my shroud, because I was so tired from the qi flu that had affected me. I hope you do not delay to become stronger again and with you without prep as my heart desires.
For the boy I am in worry. Neither from Meserret nor from Uranus, I have not received a letter for a long time, so they promised to write to me. None of them responded to the letters I sent them, we were worried about them, because both of them had been smoked for some time.
All the mice who have reminded me, thank you especially the Domnori family, Kotrrijvet, Elez Barbullushi and all the others cordial greetings.
Letter no. 7
- 06. 1952
“For the sake of marriage!”
This Sunday we are before your wedding day. I wish you with all my heart like you, like your fiancée, to come out and be lucky for the life of life; rejoice husband and wife, may life be in harmony, flourish and inherit! It never occurred to me that if you were alive, you would not have the good fortune to be with you, neither on the day of the engagement nor on the day of the wedding. As for the Vedas, come on, but I am somewhat sorry, that they are not lucky enough to happen here and participate in the wedding of their uncle, nor the beloved nephews Meserreti and Uranus, who were waiting for this day of joy with so much pleasure and impatience for so long and, moreover, I feel sorry for Symen where he is not able to wait for me and enjoy your wedding, the wedding of his brother, with that spirit of joy as he loves heart, which I guess misses!
With these together, neither nothing nor a lack should be allowed to intervene in the middle, in order to spoil or disturb as much as possible the charm, beauty, greatness and devil of this day and therefore, first of all I am like broke me and threw me away with this congratulatory letter, a melancholy of such hands, which the sentiment had to impose on us to bring to mind and submit to us all that we have listed above. E sod, although me body I do not belong to you, anima, to be more than sure that spiritually I am at the wedding near you: Hakas the beloved of the whole ‘circle and light’ of your tribe, so qi letter, please take me at once and like a qi dance I am taking to the porch with the others around you, when the bride’s life companion will step on the ashes on the doorpost of the house.
Once again, my heartfelt congratulations from the bottom of my heart and this simple letter with two red flowers and the sky, to make room for a modest wedding gift, brought by me.
Shkodër, 30. VI. 1952
Letter no. 8
- 10. 1952
I loved Uranus;
During this month I received two of your favorite letters, written on 28.IX and 14. X.52. I was very happy that you are good and I wish you to always be better and better. I myself am a good comforter. At the meeting I passed here, the bride and I were seen. Even in Hakja, everyone is fine. I have not had a letter from Meserret. How did I find out? from home, his release from service has been postponed until after the holiday. I wrote a letter to Adnan next time, I believe it will lead you to read it too. I’m very happy that he is able to complete the license. I will ask for a copy of the drafting that he has to do on the occasion of graduation. It gives me hope that the first honor of the class will come out. Whenever you write to Uncle Samis, send him my greetings. Mr. Maliq Kacurri also brought my greetings and thanks, as well as to his sons and whoever asks for me.
I am closing the letter with a longing for you and I wish you all your life to be sweet, peaceful and good.
Letter no. 9
- 12. 1952
Uranus and I;
Along with congratulations on the release of my brother and Meserret, I also wish you a Happy New Year. For a year now, like summer near the house, with your sister and brother, mother and aunt, you all wait as your heart desires!
I have never seen in my life more joy than in the day with 14 t.k.m. has seen Meserretin grow for beauty and sound like an apple. Such joy, which pervades the whole body, without leaving the edge untouched and produced where paternal love, which cannot be explained and tried without being enjoyed. News at his release he also gave me your letter, which you had hastened to write to me. May Meserret give me the good news of your release first, so that you may fulfill the duty of the army with honor, just as your brother knew how to do it with a sheet of praise!
In the letter sent to me by Meserret, he told me that with 8 guides, at 2 and 20 o’clock in the morning, he had gotten home. Oh, how healthy they will be when they hear his cry and see it with their own eyes! Of course, they will be melting and talking until the light fades. One might think that you and I have not had the good fortune to benefit from such a hilarious hour. But there was something wrong, because both of us, we are satisfied and rejoice, when the pleasure is enjoyed by those who do not separate anything from them, this joy has reached its peak, on the day when you also flourish among them and, to fill the empty space qi sod has in the gender of our family.
In the meeting we had the day before yesterday, Meserreti came with aunts Xhevan, Symen, Zihnijen, Vishon with 2 sisters. The feud with Zijan and Adnan was missing, because they had forgiven the turn of Zihnija and uncle. They were fine. Zihnija longed for me and lifted my heart weight. They are doing 2-3 times that comes and my boss! Surprisingly, I did not know how to talk to Vishon, who does not forget me. Even at Hakja you had everyone well.
Until I finish the long letter I started to interrupt me to Meserret, I cannot write to him once in a while, but you will not miss it. Meserreti with Zijan and Adnan have to write with him and this time he is closing the letter with your wind.
- XII. 1952
Do not waste a minute, but try to use my time to the core, it would be one of the points that I will write to Meserret a letter from which I have now received the answer. /Memorie.al
Continues in the next issue