Memorie.al/publishes some of the unknown stories of Sajmir Maloku, a former military engineer who graduated with a ‘Gold Medal’ at the University of Tirana, who was arrested by the State Security on May 13, 1976, in the presence of 600 people in a large movie theater in the city of Burrell, accused of being a “potential agent of British Intelligence and of agitation and propaganda against popular power and the communist regime.”
Regarding the real reason for his arrest, Sajmir Maloku testifies: “Because the Albanian Public Television broadcast only 4 hours of television broadcasts per day, I in 1970, reading a lot of foreign scientific literature, managed to build a simple electronic television device (converters of UHF Band to VHF TV signals). This invention of mine made it possible for the Albanian people in the future to watch freely the shows of the Italian and Yugoslav television stations of the UHF Band, especially in the mountainous and coastal areas of our country.
The first question the investigator asked me in the first investigative session was: “You are a famous Western spy, just like Mata Hari. “Show us your vile enemy activity with the Secret Agencies of 17 Foreign Countries of the West and the World.” This is because the State Security had great doubts about my meetings with foreign tourists over 8 years and the numerous postal correspondences with philatelists of the above countries. Today this investigator is alive.
During a search of our home in Tirana and my hotel locker in Burrell City, State Security found and retrieved the Holy Books of the Bible and Quran in English; many old English books and magazines; some dictionaries and blocks with sketches of modern television antennas; my electronic TV equipment with two transistors and TV signal amplifier; etc “.
All these and other events of his life, from: childhood, schooling, youth period with life in Tirana in the early ’70s, pursuit and surveillance by the State Security, graduation, appointment as a military liaison engineer in a department of Burrel, arrest, trial and public unmasking, investigation, prison, etc., Sajmir Maloku has summarized in a book entitled “HOW I SURVIVED IN THE COMMUNIST HELL” (Publication of EMAL in Albanian and English), parts of which he has given for publication exclusively for Memorie.al
Continued from the previous issue
“I lifted 230 kg. at my expense and as a reward I was forgiven 10 kg. marmalade, which I distributed to the prisoners “!
While today many of his grandchildren, when asked where your grandfather is, they answer with tears in their eyes: “We were killed by treacherous Communism.” Also, I was physically strong, because after nearly 9 years in prison, I managed to carry on my shoulders in the presence of 700 prisoners 5 bags of food with a total weight of 230 kg., Transporting them to a distance about 117 meters, in the presence of the highest leaders of the Mirdita District and the Directorate of Prisons of Albania as a kind of sports force competition. In exchange for this sporting victory, as a joke, I was promised that I would be released from prison.
The joy of the 700 prisoners who saw this manifestation of mine up close was extraordinary. They, with all joy, cheered in my address as if this unexpected and unpredictable race was their sporting victory! As I, with tears in my eyes, thanked Jesus Christ for giving me an incredibly strong body and extraordinary intelligence, as well as great love for man and people and democracy. In those cheering moments, I begged the top executives to give me a 10 kg wooden crate. jam and 5 large loaves of wheat, which were next to me. All these soldiers gladly complied with my request, and I thanked them. Then I distributed these foods equally to the 40 poorest and sickest prisoners of Spaç Prison. The Spaç Prison Command and all the prisoners also thanked me for this humane gesture. It was God who encouraged me to help my fellow sufferers.
“Accidental death in the gallery of 19-year-old from Shkodra, V. Xhaferri”!
Whenever many of the prisoners had accidents at the mine while working, when I was near them, I assisted and transported them, carrying them on my back to the Prison Ambulance. Cases of help of this nature have been dozens of times where I have offered my medical help. It is worth mentioning a very serious accident in the Copper gallery of the Spaç Mine, where one of the political prisoners, a young boy from Shkodra, V. Xhaferri, 19 years old, (who was the only brother of seven sisters), died accidentally from the sudden collapse of the gallery. The 24-hour police did not allow anyone to enter the gallery from this accidental danger to remove the body of the deceased, until the Mining Rescue Team arrived from Tirana.
All night I was very worried and it seemed to me like in a dream, as if this unfortunate boy was constantly praying to me and saying: “Please Saimir, save me and get me out of the rocks!” In the presence of the prisoners, I begged the Spaç Prison Command to remove the body of the injured person from the gallery under my responsibility. After the police allowed me, I, alone and following the laws of Archimedes, by means of metal and wooden levers, managed to move the large blocks of stone and pulled his body out of the stones through tears, holding it in my hands and arms.
It was Jesus Christ who gave me great strength and courage to do this very courageous and humane act, risking a lot of myself from the collapse of the gallery. The Copper Mine Gallery, located hundreds of feet underground, seemed to me to be in the Hell of the world. The large stones of the gallery had damaged his head and body, which were too bloody. I woke up and was very shocked when alone, I saw this macabre scene under the dim light of my mine lamp. Tears kept coming out of my eyes and I went crazy.
That part of the gallery was in danger of collapsing again, seriously endangering my life. I pulled his body and placed it in a place out of danger of the gallery collapsing. I immediately tore my shirt and bandaged his badly broken head, as well as washed and cleaned his smoky and bloodied face. Then I put both his hands in front of his chest and gathered both his legs. I, Saimir Maloku, in Spaç Prison, knelt down and with both hands raised, making the cross from time to time, prayed to Jesus Christ for this innocent victim.
My tears did not stop. I cursed the dictator and communism as the main culprits of this terrible tragedy, who had imprisoned and brought to Spaç Prison the cream of the pro-Western youth of our country. After the religious prayers, I called the nurse Flamur Mullaj, also a political prisoner, to help me get his dead body down through the gallery furnaces. We were both prisoners who said goodbye to him, kissing him on the forehead and praying to God that he would rest in peace in his eternal life. I quickly made a small wooden cross and passed it around my neck. Then, with some other prisoners covered in sheets, we transported his body to the Prison Command on a stretcher.
“Prison Command did not give the family the dead body of their son”!
An “angel of Albanian youth” died in the flower of life without enjoying and trying neither love, nor his future family, nor becoming a parent. The Prison Command and all the political prisoners thanked me for this very humane and dangerous act, which, thanks to the help and trust in God, I managed to accomplish with great difficulty. From that day on, the Police allowed me to carry a bandage, some cotton, a small bottle of penicillin with alcohol and iodine, to treat my friends when they were injured in the mine at work.
This humane feeling was in my soul because my fellow sufferers, became like my second family. It was the laws of physics that helped me do such a humane and extremely dangerous act, gaining the respect of hundreds of political prisoners. The prison command never notified the families of the victims. One month after this fatal incident, the family of the boy from Shkodra came to prison, who died in the flower of youth. But the body of this boy, according to communist laws, was not given to his family. He was to serve his sentence even dead up to as many years as he was sentenced. This is how far the communist cruelty and arrogance went!
“How did they forgive me the rest of the sentence, after that event”?!
Thanks to my humane acts in this prison, as a distinguished worker of the mine, as well as the great legal injustices that were done in my trial, on the proposal of the Ministry of Defense, the Directorate of Prisons of Albania, the General Prosecutor’s Office, as and the residents of the neighborhood where I lived in Tirana, on January 31, 1985, the Presidency of the People’s Assembly of Albania, pardoned the remainder of my sentence. The proposal for pardon of my sentence was made by the Command of Unit 303, ie Spaç Prison on December 17, 1983, signed by Xh.Z. commissioner and M.M. ward commander.
On this occasion I thank all the persons who proposed for the pardon of the remainder of my sentence before the Parliament of Albania, which at that time was called the People’s Assembly. It is worth noting that during the time I was released from prison, the 700 political prisoners who remained there after the 1982 Amnesty announced by the People’s Assembly greeted me and hugged me as if we were brothers or close friends. When I came out of the big door of Spaç Prison, I said to myself: “Oh God, let the enemy never look at the prison door. “Please release my comrades-in-arms as soon as possible, who were the most beloved people of my suffering, who helped and wept for each other.” My eyes filled with tears as I looked at the 700 prisoners who had lived and were still in prison. It was Fatos Lubonja, my close friend, who, if I am not mistaken, was the last person to escort me to the gate, to the “Friendship Bridge”, as we called him, telling me: “You are a wonderful man, with higher education and I have to greet you last, I also with higher education ”. He was also the last person to hug and greet me when I was released. Taking the opportunity, I thank him very much to this day together with Spartak Ngjela, who through the media, protect the dignity and reputation of the Albanian Political Persecuted.
According to tradition, I dragged my right foot to the prison door. This symbolized the release of other prison comrades after me. I followed the tradition or customs of political prisoners over the years. The release seemed unbelievable to me. This is because when I was put in Burrel Prison, the State Security officers addressed me and the people of Burrel, saying: that Saimiri will enter the prison and will not leave. But the opposite happened. I went to prison as a human being, I was treated like an animal and I came out as a human being, with a strong human personality and dignity and character, which was created by my hard life in prison. This reminded me of the words of old people who said: “When the police take you, you come back, while when the imam and the priest take you, you do not return home.”
“The privileges I ‘asked’ for the police, after I fixed the radios”!
After the abolition of religion in 1967, these same honorable people said: “Prison for men is”. Without the victims of communism, there would be no democracy today. I had a clear conscience and already in life I had to walk with my head held high. My heart and brain lived in the hope that everything in the future would get better. This is because after the cursed communist storm and storm, I would go out and see the sun of Democracy soon. And so, it happened. They do not say in vain: “He who hopes, he lives”. On that day, 20 political prisoners were pardoned in Spaç Prison, who really gained their freedom, but most of them were seriously ill or with incurable diseases, in many cases with mental trauma. Everyone was released that afternoon along with me. I spent a total of 8 years 10 months and 20 days in political prison. To boost my morale and make jokes, I often when asked how old I was, I answered, lowering 9 years by age. It is worth mentioning again that in addition to my hard work in the Spaç mine, in a small room 300 meters away from the Prison, I managed to create a radio technical laboratory, where I secretly repaired the hand-held radios, or those of the houses. police officers as well as free mine employees. I also assembled and made for them very simple electronic television devices. In exchange for the work I did, I asked them for privileges, such as extending the hours of my friends’ meetings with their families, or getting them out of the police penitentiary cells, for my friends arrested and punished for not fulfilling the daily norm. of work.
“Punishment with one month in prison, for the 7 hand radios that were found during the search”!
Through these radios, I secretly listened to music and the main news of Italian stations and those in English. This helped me a lot to inform my fellow sufferers about the real situation in Albania and in the world. But two political prisoners, who were police spies, had secretly informed the Spaç Prison Command about all my above activity. For this secret “Radio Laboratory”, the Prison Command put me in a cell as a punishment, sentencing me to 1 month in solitary confinement. This is confirmed by two relevant documents, such as the Service Report and the Punishment Sheet, dated June 4, 1982, signed by P.C. – Commissar and A.M. – guard officer of ward 303 of Spaç Prison.
It read: “During the search of the clothing warehouse inside the mine, Saimir Maloku was found with 7 hand-held radios, which had been taken to him to be fixed by outsiders who were detained. The convict Saimir Maloku has repaired personal belongings in contradiction with the order of the Ward Command and is sentenced to 30 days of isolation in the dungeon “. Thankfully, some electronic TV boxes, or UHF TV cans that I had built there, I had given to outsiders of the mine and the Police a few days before the check. Thanks to the intervention of the mine workers and the police, I was pardoned. I was glad that I put my science and profession to the aid of political prisoners, whom I regarded as close friends or brothers.
The time of Democracy has shown that many nostalgic or spies of communism even today seek to throw mud and bitterness in the media for the political prisoners of Spaç, who were like real heroes who opposed the communist regime./Memorie.al