By Prof. Dr. Hazbi M. Shehu
Psychological reflections of intelligence under dictatorship
Memories and psychological analysis
In early 1974, geological engineer Nuredin Skrapari of the Petroleum Sector was sentenced to 15 years in prison on charges of agitation and propaganda. By the end of this year, a group of geological engineers, heads of the Geological Research Institute for Oil and Gas, etc., were convicted of “saboteurs and enemies.” Specifically, they were: Koço Plaku, Milto Gjikopulli, shot; Beqir Alia (director of the Institute), Protoko Murataj, Th. Nasto, Dhimitër Stefa, Lipe Nashi (general director), etc., with 23 to 25 years.
A few months later, K. Rama was sentenced to 15 years in prison with the same motivation as saboteur and enemy; because he did not agree with the planning of the size of the oil wells approved by the party leadership; while his group mates were expelled from the institute and sent to work as laborers. In 1986, another group of “saboteurs and enemies” was “discovered” and charged by the State Security, again at the Geological Institute. This group consisted of Petraq Xhaxhka (director of the Institute), Enriko Veizi (Deputy director), ing. geologist M. Arapi, ing. Geophysicist P. Sadushi, etc., and were sentenced to 23 to 25 years in political prison.
Here I am presenting some of the facts lived, because I have worked all my life in this Institute; from its establishment until its closure, from 1965 to 2005. These colleagues, in addition to isolation from family, society and work, were also subjected to physical and mental torture in prison. With the advent of democracy, innocent engineers came out of prison. Now they were free but physically and morally devastated. Today most of them are not among us. In prison they felt an even more terrible suffering than that of physical beatings: the memory of families, especially young children left at the mercy of fate, eroded and greatly aggravated their inner conscience.
No one dared to help these families, because they would be called enemies. What was the fault of the young children in bloom, of being left on the streets, without food, without school and without a future?! Excitement of spiritual feelings, as a result of family suffering, especially of children, can transform the brain from a normal state to the stage of insanity. The phrases used by the investigators “admit your guilt, so that the families are not affected”, were much stronger, sharper and more irritating than the blows with a stick on their body.
A boy’s love for a girl or “vice-versa” may even fade one day; while the love of parents for children does not die. Only when the parents’ heart stops beating will the sweet words for the children be heard. If he believed in a life after death, that love would surely revive his parents.
Even when my colleagues who were in prison signed unsolved crimes; investigators’ statements “now your families live in normal conditions” further irritated their brains. This was because they did not believe the words of the investigators. All intellectuals, ing. who were imprisoned, did not commit suicide, as during their time in prison, nor when they were released from prison. This shows their high and optimistic spiritual strength. They fought together in prison, hoping to win over injustices. As a result, they gained the right to live freely in a democracy.
My colleague, ing. Tomi Christo, though free in society, suffered spiritually. He was forced by the dictatorial regime, using his current mental state, to sign a material elaborated by the investigation, to punish his colleagues. This was contrary to Tom’s conscience. Immediately after this action, he started arguing with his conscience: “Why did I do it?! Am I really a human being”?! Logic in the normal state told him: “You were not in a good mental state; at that moment you did not exist as a real person ?!” Gradually, the pure conscience of honesty struck Tom’s brain with all its might. In conditions when his brain was working normally, he decided to perform his human duties before surrendering to the fatal end. Based on the high and unattainable conscience, he asked his fiancée to forgive him, saying: “Beloved, I love you and will love you forever, because you are the purity of the highest conscience. You are the beauty of a real, honest life, which I do not deserve. I am asking you to punish me as a human being, not worthy of you. You are the most beautiful rose I chose in the flower garden, but I am forced to ruin our engagement. I do this because I do not want and do not like the devil to coexist with an angel like you. Goodbye and good luck in life!” She cries and says: “Tomi, what are you saying!? I only connected my life with you.” But Tom hugged her and left.
Spring will come one after the other and the flowers will bloom, but people like Tomi Kristo, not to mention no, will rarely come. Shocks of conscience, as a result of spiritual suffering cause dangerous diseases, which sometimes lead to suicide. The case of Tomi signing the material to punish colleagues, I explain with his current abnormal mental state!
I condemn suicides, because they express weakness, the loss of optimism for life. Life has been given by someone else and you are obliged to live; despite the difficulties. I consider the suicide of my colleague and friend Tomi Kristo a horror, because it expresses the mood and honesty of a real, ideal person.
The geological engineers of the Petroleum Geological Institute were imprisoned as saboteurs and enemies. Do these accusations stand?!
Sabotage in the design of wells for the exploration and discovery of oil and gas fields by my imprisoned colleagues was impossible because:
- The most skilled specialists in the profession and experienced were selected in the well design group. This group worked for a long time on the collection and preparation of geological-geophysical material. After an in-depth study and discussion in the working group, conclusions were drawn about the perspective of the region. When the region was considered a prospect; the appropriate location for the design of the well and the corresponding depth were selected. This group conclusion would be discussed in the design cabinet. If the cabinet approved the working group proposal; then the material was passed for discussion and approval to the Scientific Council of the Institute.
After approval by the Scientific Council, the material was sent for discussion to the Scientific Council of the Ministry. When the material was approved by the Ministry, drilling of the well began. So, even if Koço Plaku, Milto Gjikopulli, etc., designed wells for the purpose of sabotage, the other specialists of the Cabinet, the Scientific Council of the Institute, and the Ministry would not allow it. So, sabotage has been impossible. This was also understood by the senior leadership of the Party; therefore, in order for the people to believe him, they condemned not only the perpetrators, but also the leaders of the Institute and the Ministry, accusing them of being a “hostile group”.
- Not only me, but all the employees of the Geological Institute know very well that they were not enemies. Lipe Nashi, Beqir Alia, Protoko Murataj, Th. Nasto, etc., were communists and their families closely associated with the Party from the beginning. From their attitude to work and society, their determination to defend the communist regime was evident.
- They were cultured and educated people.
- They were not only skilled specialists, but also passionate about the profession of geologist and geophysicist. How can a man in love with his profession, denigrate, humiliate his own craft?!
- I have co-authored them at work, in the field, in material processing and in the design of wells.
They discussed with strong logic from the specialist, analyzing all the positive and negative factors of the material for the design of wells.
- They worked diligently and honestly on the task of designing wells associated with the sweat of the people.
- They are co-authors in the discoveries of oil and gas fields being exploited today.
- All employees of the Geological Institute, but also those who have worked in the oil sector, are convinced that the imprisoned engineers have worked with passion and honesty and have not sabotaged.
Note: The Albanian government is deciding to sell the underground for oil and gas fields. Those in charge today have not worked a single day in the oil sector. They must implement the Constitution of Albania. The discovery of oil and gas fields has required sweat and blood from engineers and scientists of the Geological Institute. The Albanian underground and all the land belong only to the Albanian nation and people.
Those who sign to sell the wealth of the Nation and the Albanian people will answer before him one day. Memorie.al