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 himself in a large movie theater in the town 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.”Tell us, you filthy enemy, your agency 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 closet 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 television equipment with two transistors and a television signal amplifier; etc “.
All these and other events of his life, from: childhood, schooling, period of youth 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
I tell you the three-day events of my life
It often seems to me as if God is telling me, “You have to know the bitter communist past of the people to enjoy today’s Democracy.” Hence these stories and memories of the most shocking events of my life, as a witness and survivor through my horrific suffering in the infamous prisons of Albania, as a sign of respect, conveying the greatest thanks and deep gratitude, I dedicate to Jesus Christ – the Son of God, the English Language and the famous Rock and Roll Legends during the years 1960 – 1970, who saved my life from communist hell and certain and inhuman death.
Inspired by the Anne Frank Diary, by analogy with the horrific events of her life, I wrote stories of my unimaginable suffering in communist hell. The communist regime through slander and fabrications accused me and my father, Reshit Maloku, in vain as potential British Secret Service agents, who was paralyzed from right arm and leg for 18 years. It studied at an American school in Tirana. The communist lightning struck my life.
Based on the early state and secret documents of the former Communist State Security, more than 120 State Security officers and their collaborators during the years 1965-1976 have been surveillance, tracking and eavesdropping on me with equipment and modern methods me, my father, Reshit, and our house in Tirana with great suspicion as potential agents of British Secret Intelligence. Even the famous spy Mata Hari has not been tracked and monitored by perhaps so many agents of the Secret Police at the time.
This is because during the years 1965-1974 our house welcomed many English citizens living in England, Sweden and Switzerland and who came as tourists to Albania and brought many expensive medical medicines for my sick father. I must point out that my father was fluent in five foreign languages. He has been the champion of Albania in the sport of Shooting, Merited Master of Sports and coach of the national shooting team of Albania. He was one of the best topographic engineers of our country and was decorated with Orders and Medals of Work by the Presidium of the People’s Assembly of Albania.
He is the man who conceived, designed and implemented the construction of the two main public cemeteries of the capital. For several years, a street in Tirana has been named after him. In 1938 he was the companion and translator of a large group of important English personalities in the tourist and mountainous area of Thethi, which is the most beautiful in Albania. In October 1944 the owner of a large Library in the Capital donated to my father nearly 100 books and magazines in English. When I was little, my dad would show I and we would watch together with dozens of American and English magazines accompanied by many photos of Allied Forces major victories in Europe, North Africa, Asia, and the Pacific; for the British Royal Family; for London etc.
How I was isolated for three days in my cell that I had secretly fled for the Sanremo Festival
At the age of ten, my father started teaching me English. During the years 1965-1970 in the yard or in the large room of our house in Tirana we organized with many of our friends often secret evening dances of Rock and Roll and Twist by means of tape recorders. During the summer I wore very nice English shirts and sang American, English and Italian songs. In February 1965, a friend of mine and I were held in solitary confinement for three days because we had secretly escaped from the school dormitory to watch the Italian Sanremo Festival on television.
During the years 1966-1976, until I was arrested, I kept in my pockets a small Japanese “Sony” radio with transistors. With the small headphones in my ear I often secretly listened to wonderful music during the day and night of American, English and Italian songs mainly of rock music as well as news programs in these two foreign languages. Time has shown that over the years, Western education, culture and democratic views have entered my soul. The victim of the violence and terror of the Communist Police and the State Security was the innocent Albanian people.
Tens of thousands of people were shot, imprisoned and exiled because their ideal was today’s western democracy. This is the main reason why I hated the Communist Party and the dictator E. Hoxha, because they set up a terrible dictatorial regime and abolished religion by destroying thousands of churches and mosques in our country. During the years 1968-1972, due to our television camera and very rarely in Tirana, at that time made hundreds of citizens of the capital come and watch in our house constantly Italian and Yugoslav television shows. Our old and courtyard house in the middle of the capital became like a big and secret center of western culture. There we and many citizens watched on our Philips television camera foreign music concerts and American, English and Italian feature films as well as foreign sports matches.
Because the Albanian Public Television broadcast only 4 hours of television broadcasts per day, in 1970, reading a lot of foreign scientific literature, I managed to build a simple electronic television device (converter of UHF Band TV signals to VHF). This invention of mine made it possible for the Albanian people in the future to watch freely the shows of the Italian and Yugoslav TV stations of the UHF Band, especially in the mountainous and coastal areas of the country ours.
Arrest in the town of Burrell in the presence of 600 people
I also made an antenna TV signal amplifier. On May 13, 1976, I was arrested by the State Security in the presence of 600 people in a large cinema in the town of Burrel, Albania, on charges of being a possible agent of British Intelligence and of agitation and propaganda against popular power to the communist regime.
The first question the investigator asked me in the first investigative session was: “You are a famous Western spy, just like Mata Hari.”Tell us, you filthy enemy, your agency activity with the Secret Agencies of 17 Foreign Countries of the West and the World”. This is because the State Security had suspicions of great for my meetings with foreign tourists over 8 years and 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 took the Holy Books of the Bible and the Qur’an in English; many old English books and magazines; some dictionaries and blocks with sketches of modern television antennas; my electronic television equipment with two transistors and a television signal amplifier; etc. The State Security tore or burned all English books and magazines, considering them to be Imperialism. My father hid the picture of Queen Elizabeth II. State Security after my public arrest put me in an underground cell inside the Burrell Police building. There was real communist hell. During the dozens of investigative hearings against me, many horrific tortures were used.
Investigative sessions from 24:00 to 06:00!
Investigative hearings often began at midnight until 6:00 a.m. holding me on my feet and with both hands tied and clenched tightly with metal handcuffs from behind the body; by me punching hard in the stomach and threatening me violently; insulting me severely and spitting in my face etc. I almost fainted from the torture, and my hands and fingers became black from not circulating blood as a result from the tight grip of metal handcuffs. The purpose of the State Security was to admit in vain that I, my father Reshiti, the two Catholic priests, the English tourists and an Albanian nun in London to be agents of British Secret Intelligence, perhaps even the Vatican.
My strong and firm answer was: “No! Not! No! “. Police never allowed me food, clothes and clothes brought by my family during detention (nearly 200 days). With these stories I make the deep autopsy of the communist regime and its horrible crimes against me and the Albanian people.
Even today, I cannot imagine how I managed to survive after about 200 days in the basement and worst cell of the communist prisons of Albania, remaining alone in the most minimal and inhuman conditions of life.
My arrest and trial was made in front of the people by direct order of Mehmet Shehu – the prime minister and communist criminal, who accused me of being one of the Communist Party’s vile enemies and of being a British spy in Albania. In flagrant violation of the Human Rights Convention, State Security officers and communist investigators did not notify me and my family in Tirana of the date and time of the trial and did not provide me with the indictment and defense counsel.
On the day of my trial, the investigator and a State Security officer took me out of the cell as I was dressed, in extremely dirty clothes, without a belt and without washing my face, and without informing me that my trial would take place today. Then they put the metal handcuffs on my hands and in the Police car took me to the courtroom. I asked my investigator what was the reason they brought me to this room? But the two officers laughed ironically and threatened me, saying: “We did not give you the indictment because if the people had found out a few days ago, each of them would have come to your trial. And you would have serious consequences and be sentenced to death. “If you do not accept the indictment, you will die like a dog in the basement and we will deport your family to the deepest and worst villages of the country.”
Dressed in rags, during the trial I kept my pants tight so that they would not fall on me!
During the trial, I held my left hand tightly pants so as not to fall down on me. They also gave me neither a letter nor a pen to keep notes during the trial and to appeal to the Supreme Court. All these unjust and deceptive actions, contrary to The Criminal Code of Albania, the State Security officers made me completely unprepared and scared in my courtroom. Thousands of political prisoners were innocent victims of these extremely humiliating and criminal acts of State Security in Albania through their trials. Communism considered us worse than the wild and dangerous animals of the forest.
The people and the army in the City of Burrel and many communists from other cities of Albania are witnesses to my manly attitude and to the unmasking and denunciation of the cruel and infamous crimes of dictator Hoxha and the communist regime, which I held in the courtroom. This is because in their speeches before the people dictator Hoxha and the infamous and criminal Prime Minister Shehu insulted, slandered and offended with the dirtiest and most insulting words United States of America, Vatican, Great Britain, Western Countries, Religion, Families of Political Prisoners, Mother Teresa, Rock Music Legends, American and Western Fashion and Culture, etc.
The greatest madness and slander of dictator Hoxha’s speeches was when he often declared in front of the people: “In capitalist countries, people are like wolves to each other and are dying of hunger, crime and unemployment. There is no real democracy.” At the end of my trial the judge asked me three times if I liked the Communist Party. My strong response was: “No! Not! Not! The Communist Party is right like a lousy red apple on the inside. These worms are Enver Hoxha (dictator), Mehmet Shehu (prime minister) and Kadri Hazbiu (interior minister).
Enver Hoxha shooting Beqir Balluku (Minister of Defense) and his comrades, with the arrests, imprisonments and mass deportations he has done to the people, in the future, after his death, they would call him the dictator of Albania as Stalin. “Just as they did to the Soviet communist dictator, our people would do the same to him by burning his body, deeds and overthrowing and destroying all his monuments.” (Original of my speech according to the court minutes). My above words, as if I were a Prophet of God, our people realized on February 20, 1991. On this day I was one of the main protagonists of the glorious events of the Albanian people for democracy.
In the courtroom, they shouted: “Let this Western spy be sentenced to death”
There were more than 1,000 people nominated by the Communist Party in Burrel in the courtroom. At the end of my military and public trial, hundreds of communists and their militants, outraged, shouted at me: the spy of the West”. While I was praying to God in those moments of great terror: “O Holy Father, You gave me life and yes you have the right to take it from me and not these accursed communists. I’m not a sinner because I unmasked Communism, who mistreated my people as if she were her slave, while he had made Albania surrounded by barbed wire a great prison in the middle of Europe”.
Then many of them shot me with rotten eggs and tomatoes offending me and spitting at me very heavily. In those very dramatic moments, I was reminded of the horrific scene of the trial of Jesus Christ. Inspired by this, I made the cross with my hand in front of the irritated people and prayed to Jesus Christ in English: “Please, Holy Father, go away. Communism from Albania and save this people from suffering! ” Then, to lift my spirits, I sang in a very low voice the melodies of some of the songs of the famous Rock and Roll Legends of the 1960s – 1970s, such as “Let’s Tëist Again”, “Tutti Frutti”, “Hey Tonight ” etc.
My trial caused a great deal of controversy in Albania because the communist regime accused me of being one of the most dangerous enemies of the Communist Party and the People at that time. While the State Security slandered me and my family and all political prisoners according to the communist principle: “Slander, slander and only slander these enemies because something will to remain as if it were true”. The Communist Party ordered the Police after my trial for me to remain alone again in my underground cell and not in prison. State Insurance and the Communist Police for another three months after the trial did not tell the family about my top secret location, in order to carry out their secret and incredibly cruel plan for the death and disappearance of my body like hundreds of other victims of innocent.
Security plan to convict my father as a “British agent”
Even the other extremely diabolical and criminal plan of the State Security to accuse and punish me and my severely paralyzed father again with the most severe sentence and death ostensibly as possible agents of British Intelligence, failed with shame. This is now confirmed by the old state and secret documents of that time. This is one of the cruelest crimes of Communism in the world. The great suffering in the cell and the injuries from the tortures of the communist executioners taught me to fight for my life and not to give up. While the incredible pain that I felt in my body taught me to become strong. This is because facing death makes man more courageous to get through this incredibly difficult life situation. Therefore, in order to cope with the unbearable pain of the body from the horrible tortures during the interrogation sessions, when I was taken to the underground cell, so overwhelmed, exhausted and quite tired, I found the strength and courage that in addition to my prayers to To God for spiritual help, even to sing the melodies of the best songs of the famous Rock’n’Roll singers of the Beatles, The Rolling Stones, The Credence Clean eater Revival, Elvis Presley (Family), Chuck Berry (Family), Fats Domino (Family), The Little Richard, Chubby Checker, Jerry Lee Leëis, Tom Jones, Aretha Franklin (Family) and many other famous Italian songs.
These Rock and Roll Legends were like the star of life and like the blood of my soul. Their songs were like the best cure for my body aches. Often, when I sang, I tried, albeit with great difficulty, to dance freely to Rock’n’Roll and Twist dancing in the basement. In those moments, when I closed my eyes I dreamed and it seemed to me as if I was in the Western world, in London, Las Vegas or New York and as if these singers were in front of my eyes. The communist criminals had turned my underground cell into a large sarcophagus or coffin where they eagerly awaited my death day and night.
The darkness of the cell caused my eyes to myopia. Terrible hunger for several months; the lack of thick clothes, socks, underwear and blankets and mattress, as well as the extreme cold caused me Scurvy and gum disease (Paradontosis) and Rheumatism. My tremendous hunger was so great that I often dreamed as if I had in front of me a large plate full of beef steaks and baked potatoes. After eating them as greedy, let me leave this damn communist country dying satiated and calm to the underworld, while communist criminals would wipe out my grave.
200 days in Burrell underground cells!
I was alone for almost 200 days in the worst cell of the Communist Devil in the world and I was also on the verge of insanity from endless suffering, where death was sweeter than life. Police guards when they looked at me in the cell praying and singing in English, they informed their superior officers as if I was crazy. I am of the opinion that every man in the world would have preferred to do life imprisonment or kill himself rather than go through the long ordeal of my endless and terrible suffering during the time of detention.
As a result, I lost 7 teeth and often had watery eyes during the day and night. Almost in 1970 I saw on American television an American feature film about the horrific life events of a nun and an American Air Force Captain during World War II who managed to survive for a year in the dense jungles of an island. Of the Pacific Ocean, occupied by the Japanese army as a result of the downing of an American military plane. They both prayed daily in front of a large wooden cross placed in their cave. Overwhelmed by this film I through these seven fallen teeth scratched and made a big cross on the wall of my cell. Every day and night I prayed before the cross in English praying to God to help me escape and survive communist hell and cruel death. With tears in my eyes and trembling from the great cold I prayed to the Lord as well as imagining in my soul and mind the portrait of Jesus Christ.
The hope and inspiration that kept me alive in communist hell
It reminded me of the famous saying “He who hopes, he lives”. This is because I, praying to God and singing English and American Rock and Roll songs as well as Italian songs, tried in every way to survive. This is because my living conditions in the underground detention cell were probably three times worse than the conditions of the prisoners in the Auschwitz (Poland) and Buchenwald (Germany) concentration camps. There was the worst hell of Communism in Albania, in Europe, maybe even in the world. Even if the cat stayed alone in my cell for 24 hours you would go crazy. Oh God, but what was I?
Animals or experimental human beings for these filthy communist executioners? Time has shown that the communist and Nazi dictatorships, along with the fascist dictatorship and the Japanese Imperialism, were the same brother and sister in terms of the cruelest crimes against humanity. Each of these two infamous dictatorships caused over 100 million innocent victims worldwide. I entered this cell with a body weight of 78 kg and I got out of it 43 kg as if I were a living corpse of bone and skin and with a devil-like face. These were terrible sufferings, which brought man to the brink of certain death. Fortunately, I survived the most inhumane crimes of the communist dictatorship in Albania thanks to the help of God and the Rock and Roll Legends as well as the English language. Perhaps in the world I broke the norms of human patience and world medicine that I escaped from madness and certain death. That is why my book has the above expression as its title, reminding me of my father, Reshit, who used to say to me all his life: “A people who do not open their mouths for their sufferings is obliged to lose their freedom”. Memorie.al