Memorie.al publishes the unknown story of Xhemal Imeri, originally from Tragjasi in Vlora, who at the age of 13 joined the partisan ranks, while his father, Seferi, who had been an adjutant of Hysni Lepenica, the commander of the military forces Ballit Kombëtar for the South of Albania, was killed in Grehot of Gjirokastra, in September 1943, together with 32 other nationalists, led by Lepenica, who had gone there to take over the weapons of the Italian division. Xhemali was sent to the military school “Skënderbej” and then to the Soviet Union in the branch of the Liaison, where he failed to finish because he was notified to return urgently to Albania, after the murder of his uncle, Colonel, Sali Ormeni, Member of the People’s Assembly and Director General of the State Police, who was eliminated by the State Security, following the “bomb incident at the Soviet embassy.” Xhemali’s admission to the Army after Beqir Balluku’s intervention and the event of the elimination of his uncles, Elmaz Imeri, former Chief of Counter-Intelligence of the Northern Border after a “car accident” and the alibi used by Kadri Hazbiu to camouflage his murder . Xhemali’s expulsion from the Party and demobilization from the Army in 1975, after the attack of the so-called “Beqir Balluku coup group” and his sending as a worker to the “Gjergj Dimitrov” farm in Tirana, after having previously unmasked him in several meetings, remembering his fugitive brother in the US, who was said to be a “CIA agent”
“Beqir Balluku has betrayed.” These words hit me like a bomb and deeply shocked me that summer afternoon of 1974, as I was vacationing at the Army Coast Guard on Durres Beach, along with several other military comrades. I was one of those officers who had the support and assistance of the Minister of Defense, Beqir Balluku since 1951 when I returned from the Soviet Union after my studies were interrupted for the last three months of school before I graduated. because they found out the details of my biography. ” This is how he remembers the time when the news broke that “Beqir Balluku had betrayed”, retired colonel Xhemal Imeri, a former partisan in the Vlora Troop, graduated as an officer in the Soviet Union for the liaison branch and at the Military Academy “Mehmet Shehu”. and then at the University of Tirana for History-Geography, which testifies to Memorie.al all the vicissitudes of his life, from the partisan exit at a time when his father was with the gang of “Balli Kombëtar” of Hysni Lepenica, the return unexpected from studies in the Soviet Union due to the execution of his uncle, Colonel Sali Ormeni, (MP, member of the Central Committee and Director General of Police who denounced the staging of the bomb at the Soviet Embassy), as well as occasional blows during throughout his military career, from the “shadow” of his fugitive brother from the partisan ranks to the United States, who was said to be a CIA agent, as well as his uncle, Security Captain Elmaz Imer. who was “injured” by a motorcycle coming from Shkodra to Tirana.
Xhemali with partisans, the father with Balli
Xhemal Imeri was born in 1930 in the village of Tragjas in the district of Vlora, where his family originates from. His father, Sefer Imeri, who was born on March 15, 1909, had completed two primary classes in his native village and was then working as a government baker (a municipal courier) working to barely provide for his children. because as a family they were very poor. According to Xhemali’s testimony, in April 1939, his father, Sefer Imeri, along with 35 men from the village, took up arms and went to Bestrova to resist the Italian fascist aggression against Albania. Seferi was known throughout the province as a clever and brave boy. Given the good reputation he enjoyed, Hysni Lepenica, one of the most famous ex-military and nationalists of the time in the Vlora Region, who had formed his own gang to fight against the Italians, asked Sefer to join the gang. his. Seferi accepted that and, together with Lepenica, became his right-hand man in 1943, shortly after his wife (Xhemali’s mother) died. Based on Sefer’s anti-fascist activity, especially with the action of Ramec where he and some of his friends ambushed the Italian convoy with armored vehicles coming from Vlora, in 1943, the Italians burned down his house. Seferi also excelled in the fighting in Tragjas, where Italian Colonel Clementi was killed. This was the last battle that Seferi fought with the Lepenica detachment that was part of the National Liberation Front because after coming to the Vlora provinces of Dusan Mugosha and Miladin Popovic, the nationalist Hysni Lepenica detached the detachment commanded by the Front and passed composition of the Balli Kombëtar forces. At the time, Sefer Imeri was fighting with the Lepenica National Front platoon, becoming an adjutant, and his right-hand man, his son Xhemali, aged 13-14, joined the province’s partisan forces. In this regard, Xhemali recalls: “In the first days of June 1943, I was in a place called Përroi i Xhamet, waiting for a meeting with Hysni Kapo, to prepare for the creation of the” Hodo Zeqiri “platoon, which was formed on June 10, 1943. At the heights above the village called Savor Peak, the silhouette of an armed man emerged. Hysni Kapo asked who he was. When told that he looked like Sefer Imeri, he replied: “We can’t find anything bad about Seferi, so we continue.” Although Hysni Kapo knew that Seferi was the closest man to Hysni Lepenica, he greatly appreciated him. My father Seferi was killed in Gërhot, Gjirokastra, in September 1943, along with Hysni Lepenica and 33 other comrades of his gang, from a trap set for them by the partisan leaders of the Gjirokastra Region, as they had gone to take over the Italian Division after their capitulation. According to many witnesses who happened to be on the perimeter wall of the Italian division at the time, it is said that at the moment when the car arrived at the gate with Hysni Lepenica, the driver, Sefer, and Nano Gjoni, Bedri Spahiu, Shemsi were seen coming out from the back entrance of the command. Totozani and another that some identity with an English officer “, remembers Xhemal Imeri, about the mystery of the murder of father Seferi, who at that time who at that time was in the “other political camp”, opposed to the partisans, where Xhemali himself was.
In addition to his father, Sefer, who took an active part in the war, he and Xhemali were fighting in the partisan ranks at the time, and his older brother, Bilbili, who had not attended any school classes due to his poor economic situation, family. In this regard, Xhemali recalls: “After the death of our mother, in order to help our family a little, at that time Bilbil withdrew to Vlora, the uncle of our father, Belul Bufi, giving him to keep some of his cows. During his stay in Vlora, Bilbili came in contact with communist ideas, connecting with the city’s youth leaders, who gave him some tasks to accomplish. On September 14, 1943, when our father was killed, Bilbili came to the village to mourn his father as usual and then he became a partisan in the “Hodo Zeqiri” platoon, and later in the 5th Assault Brigade, being appointed courier i the second battalion, commanded by our uncle Sali Ormëni. During the fighting in the German Winter Operation, Bilbili caught a bad cold and was illegally hospitalized in the city hospital in Vlora. When he was hospitalized there, Blbil was met by the commander of the National Front, Mehmet Alemi, who, out of respect for our father, took Bilbil with him to his Balli Battalion. In September 1944, when Vlora was liberated, Mehmet Alemi came to Tirana and took Bilbil with him. Afterward, Mehmeti left Albania for Italy together with the other leaders of “Balli Kombëtar”, Mit’hat Frashëri, Hasan Dosti, etc., where he took our brother Bilbil with him. Since then, we have lost all ties with Bilbil and we knew nothing about his fate, which we would only learn after 45 years “, recalls Xhemal Imeri, the escape of his brother Bilbil, who joined the nationalist forces from the partisans of “Balli” and in the autumn of 1944, he left Albania forever
Student at the military school in the Soviet Union
After the end of the war, since Xhemali had taken an active part in the partisan army, he took advantage of the order given by the General Commander of the Army, Colonel-General Enver Hoxha, to all the pioneers of the War. they would continue the Skanderbeg military school. After attending Skanderbeg Military School for three years, Xhemali was assigned to study in the Soviet Union for the Liaison Branch. In this regard, Xhemali recalls: “In 1951, three months before I finished my studies and graduated, I was told to return to Tirana, as ‘the ward where I was assigned needed staff.’ In those days when I was waiting to return, an event took place, from which I understood the truth because my studies were interrupted. As I was watching the photo album with a friend of mine, a lieutenant named Muhedin Bakiri, I was shocked by the photo of my uncle, Sali Ormeni, telling me: ‘What is keeping this enemy of the people and the party here’? I wanted to fight with him, but the intervention of Colonels Muharrem Kokomani, Halim Ramohito, and Ndreko Rino caused that quarrel to end. They called me and told me that they knew my uncle, Sali Ormën, well, because they had fought and worked with him, and they were surprised that I did not know that he was no longer alive. When I returned to Tirana, I learned the truth about my return from studies. My uncle, Colonel Sali Ormëni, MP, member of the Central Committee of the ALP and General Director of Police in the Ministry of Internal Affairs, was executed by the State Security, after denouncing the ‘bomb incident’ of the Soviet Embassy in Tirana, while the official announcement for him, was given as if he had ‘killed himself in a moment of nervous crisis wanting to escape’. Seeing the situation I was in, I was forced to meet with the Chief of General Staff, Beqir Balluku, who received me very well and, appreciating my past as a partisan, appointed me to the post, giving me the rank of lieutenant and recognition. of the diploma after the very good results I had had in the Soviet school. Also, with Beqiri’s order, it became possible to regulate my brother Prenjos, who, like me, had been suspended from his studies in East Germany, being brought to Tirana on the pretext that ‘the climate was not good for him’. After that, overjoyed, I went to my village of Tragjas, to meet family members. During those days I stayed there, I encountered some pursuit forces commanded by Petrit Hakani, whereas I learned later, they had come by order from Tirana, after a signal that in the forests of those parts the CIA agent was wandering, my brother Bilbili, who had fled to the United States, ”recalls Xhemal Imeri of his return from the Soviet Union and the help Beqir Balluku gave him to return to the Army.
After the resumption of his military career, according to the order of Beqir Balluku, it was not said for Xhemal Imeri that the vicissitudes would end. Another blow to him was the “death” of his uncle Elmaz Imeri, who had taken an active part in the war as a partisan cadre. In this regard, Xhemali recalls: “On October 2, 1952, I was informed that my uncle, Elmaz Imeri, had died. As soon as I arrived at the Military Hospital, I saw Kadri Hazbiu coming out, with some senior officers. Hazbi said: “O Elmaz, you were afraid of the engine and you found dead in it.” The next day, in the city of Vlora, my uncle was buried in the Martyrs’ Cemetery, with a magnificent ceremony attended by the whole of Vlora, who left work on order from above. After 15 years, in 1967, his uncle’s remains were removed from the Vlora Martyrs’ Cemetery and taken to the public cemetery in Qafën e Koçiut. This meant that Elmaz was no longer a martyr. I learned the truth about my uncle’s murder sometime after his death. That night, when he was killed, he was notified to return urgently from Shkodra (he was the captain, Chief of Security at the Border) to Tirana and not to take “Gaz” because ‘the saboteurs knew him’, but to come on a motorbike…According to the official announcement, it was said that: ‘he died in Fushë-Krujë, after the collision with a truck’. But the truth is that he was shot with an automatic weapon because the person who was riding the motorcycle did not suffer anything at all. Elmaz was killed because in the position he held (he was a captain, Chief of Security at the Border), he could no longer stay with the biography he had, with his ballistic brother (my father) shot by the partisans, and his nephew. his fugitive, Bilbil (my brother), after deserting the partisan ranks, where he was said to have served as a CIA agent. All of this was enough to make Seferi physically disappear, saying that he was “accidentally killed on duty.” This was confirmed by the removal of his remains from the Vlora Martyrs’ Cemetery “, Xhemali recalls the elimination of his uncle, Elmaz Imeri, the Chief of Counterintelligence of the Northern Border
Hit in ’1974
Despite the many vicissitudes that Xhemali suffered during his military career, he was able to stay in the Army, only with the help of Minister Beqir Balluku, for whom Xhemali expresses his deepest gratitude, remembering him as a good-natured man. great, which always helped people who had no support. But Xhemali’s stay in the Army lasted until 1974 when Beqir Balluku himself was hit. After that, endless vicissitudes began. In this regard, he recalls: “In the summer of 1974, while I was spending the holidays in the ‘Army Guards’ on the beach of Durres, we were told: ‘Beqir Balluku has betrayed’. These words hit me like a bomb because I was one of the high-ranking officers who could have stayed in the Army, only at Balluk’s insistence. After I had all those biographical problems, with my father, uncle, and uncle, shot by the Party and my brother in the US, who was often told that he had been put in the service of the CIA as an agent. My concern after receiving the news that ‘Beqir Balluku had betrayed’ was appropriate, because only a few months later, on April 11, 1975, I was expelled from the Party and released, on the grounds that ‘I was supported by Beqir Balluku’. , after all the problems I had in the biography, telling me: ‘your brother Bilbili is a CIA agent in America’. During meetings held at the time to expose Balluku, it was said that he had ‘kept in the Army officers who had fugitives in the West with whom he would organize the military coup against the Party leadership’. Eight months after I was released from the Army, my wife was fired and expelled from the Party, with the motivation: “Lack of vigilance, because she took her husband with a ballistic father”, recalls retired colonel Xhemal Imeri, the blow he suffered family in 1975, after the fall of Beqir Balluku, who had kept him in the Army.
How did the events unfold afterward with Xhemal Imeri, who had served for many years as a senior military man? In this regard, he recalls: “After being expelled from the Party and released from the Army in ’75, even though I had graduated from the University of Tirana in History-Geography, I was taken to the Agricultural Enterprise” Gjergj Dimitrov “, where I worked as a worker until in 1985, when I retired. Although I had two military schools, in those years when I was recruited, I was assigned a platoon commander in paradise without the right to bear arms. Likewise, the class war continued against my two children, and my brother Prenjos, who were not given the right to study to continue their higher education “, recalls Colonel Xhemal Imeri, the blow and the vicissitudes he suffered after 1974, for due to his father, uncle, uncle, uncle and brother Bilbil, who was said to be a CIA agent in the US, in whose footsteps he was able to fall only in 1991 when he learned that he was alive and had worked for many years, not as a ‘CIA agent’, but as a worker at the Ford Plant in Detroit. But then it was too late. Everything had already passed./Memorie.al