Memorie.al publishes an archival document extracted from the fund of the former Central Committee of the ALP that belongs to 1967 and talks about a meeting of the secretariat, or a daily meeting of Enver Hoxha with the secretaries of the Central Committee where he received analysis and discussed with them the major problems that had arisen in several different districts of the country, such as Elbasan, Dibër, Saranda, etc., where the rural population of those areas had objected, reacting strongly to the campaign they had undertaken the committees of the parties and those of the executive of those districts, for the demolition of cult objects, such as churches, mosques, monasteries, tekkes, tombs, etc.
Which came after the directives that had previously been sent to them by the Central Committee of the ALP, after the decision of the Politburo and the speech that Enver Hoxha had personally given there, which was made public in the newspaper “Zeri i Popullit” on 7 in February of that year, when he strongly promoted “the fight against backward customs” and “measures to be taken to uproot and eradicate religious beliefs.”
The decision taken by the senior leadership of the ALP led by Enver Hoxha in the years 1965-’66 for the abolition of religious beliefs, the legal prohibition of religion and the demolition of various places of worship, such as churches, mosques, monasteries , tekkes, tombs, etc., which was sanctioned after Enver Hoxha’s speech at the Politburo that was made public in the newspaper “Zeri i Popullit” on February 7, 1967, there were many reactions and numerous objections, not only by various clergy, but also by numerous believers. At that time, numerous letters and telegrams were sent to the Central Committee of the ALP and personally to Enver Hoxha, where various clerics as well as many believers, sometimes appearing openly by name or anonymously, informed them. for what was happening and demanded that the campaign that had begun against religious beliefs be stopped, where the party committees and the district executive ones were put “in competition” as to who would better and faster implement the Party directives in the fight against religion.
But this thing, that is, the reaction to the campaign that had started with the fight against religion, not only did not stop the senior leadership of the ALP, and personally Enver Hoxha, but on the contrary, encouraged them more, leading that fight even with repressive measures, such as the arrest of some Catholic clergy mainly in Shkodra, Lezha, Puka, Tirana, etc., or their public unmasking wherever they were.
But, since even these measures were not giving the right results, unlike his speech that was made public on February 7 of that year in the newspaper “Zeri i Popullit”, where Enver Hoxha spoke about the elimination of backward habits with persuasive and educational work ”, even camouflaging and presenting it as an initiative of youth organizations (such as the high school,“ Naim Frashëri ”in Durrës), on February 27, he sent him a long letter with the initials “Top secret”, to all the committees of the district party, where he gave directives and explained in detail how the fight against religion and the demolition of religious buildings should be undertaken, stating openly that they “would flatten them from the face of the earth”.
All these repressive measures taken at that time by the senior leadership of the ALP and personally Enver Hoxha, setting in motion the organs of the Dictatorship of the Proletariat (State Security, Ministry of Interior, etc.), the situation continued to worsen and after numerous reactions Almost all over the country, in some districts, such as Peshkopi, Mat, Tirana, Elbasan, Saranda, etc., there were physical confrontations between different believers and “comrades of the party and youth” who had gone to demolish places of worship, such as churches, mosques, monasteries, tekkes, tombs, etc.
This somewhat unexpected situation that was precipitating more and more, seems to have worried Enver Hoxha a lot, who in order to prevent or prevent any mass reaction, held several daily working meetings with the secretaries of the Central Committee of the ALP, as well as with the secretaries of the party and district executive committees, giving occasional instructions and orientations, for everything that was happening throughout the country, as well as “measures that had to be taken with persuasive and political work and not with force and measures administrative, because that thing was not a matter of days, but years… ”!
In this regard, this archival document that is being published by Memorie.al in this article, where Enver Hoxha, talks and discusses with the secretaries of the Central Committee of the ALP, about some “unpleasant” situations that had occurred in some districts of the country, such as Elbasan and Saranda, where various believers had hit “Party comrades” when they had gone to demolish places of worship.
Enver Hoxha’s meeting with the secretaries of the Central Committee of the ALP
- The issue of church and mosques
Despite the many instructions given to the districts throughout this month on the delicate issue of public trust, many districts continue to take this issue lightly and act “in competition” and administratively to demolish churches and mosques. from some villages of Elbasan, letters have come to me, in Mallëngjesh, the friends of the country have been beaten by the believers.
The leadership of the district accuses this light-heartedness of any provocateur and does not dig deeper into the work, in the absence of its political work. In some villages of Dibra where there is fanaticism, I am told that the villagers tell us to make the mosque a warehouse, but not to tear down the minaret. Comrades secretaries and who do not do a lot of political work, are afraid of demolishing the minaret “lest they be left behind” do not last 10 months, and we have spent 14 centuries. We do not think that until we have made the mosque a warehouse, we have broken 3/4 of the resistance, there remains 1/3 of the material side, which we can destroy tomorrow, but the friends forget the main thing, that the mosque can be destroyed quickly, but the belief that they can disappear neither immediately, nor by decrees, but by conviction and by intense, and continuous political and ideological work. In the Greek minority in the South, of course the issue of religion is acute. I thought that the comrades of the district would take this delicate matter into account, especially there.
However, it occurred to me to inform the friends of Gjirokastra once, “enthusiasm can” snatch them “. But my counsel arrived late, they had finished working with the churches and the priests.
Today I am informed that in Finiq of Saranda, the party secretary and the chairman of the cooperative came to remove the church icons themselves, and the women resisted and hit them, 2-3 women started, but in the end, they became 40 women.
Too bad, and again the secretary of the district party committee who informs us, tells us as if by no means bad that this is the work of some provocateur.
There is definitely a provocateur, but 40 women are not provocateurs, and a provocateur when he manages to roam the village, it means that not only the issue of trust is a deep thing, but the Party there is not in control.
Therefore, new instructions must be given, friends must be sent down, they must be clarified, they must not conflict with the people, they must be persuaded, they must work with them patiently, patiently, why this work is not a day job and month, but years and years.
To explain the problems to them, to take them by the arm, to consolidate the successes achieved in these matters and to walk carefully, here it is not a matter of time and speed, here it is a matter of uprooting, the evils, and deepening the revolution. /Memorie.al