Memorie.al publishes the unknown history of the meeting of January 11, 1946, when the communist government of the Prime Minister, Colonel-General Enver Hoxha, through a “Constitutional Assembly” that was formed on January 10 and consisted of 82 deputies from the elections of December 2, 1945, changed the form of the regime by declaring Albania a Republic. How the first session of the meeting was opened, from the opening speech of the Chairman of the Antifascist Council, Dr. Omer Nishani, who gave the floor to the oldest deputy, Dr. Petarq Popa from Korça, at the election of three interim secretaries and a commission of 20 people, who would control the mandates of the deputies. How were the procedures for changing the regime from the Monarchy to the Republic implemented, who were the military missions and the foreign representatives who assisted in that meeting from the US, Britain, France, the USSR, Yugoslavia and the UNRRA Mission, what said Prime Minister Enver Hoxha in his speech, as the delegates in the hall did not accept the resignation of the government, what were the foreign press agencies present in the hall and what was said there about King Zog and the decisions taken not to return him to Albania?
76 years ago, on January 11, 1946, just 14 months after the communists came to power, Enver Hoxha and his followers, through an assembly consisting of 82 deputies, emerged from the elections of December 2, 1945, gathered in the hall of the House of Arts (where today is the building of the Academy of Arts in Tirana), changed the form of the regime, declaring Albania a People’s Republic, from the Monarchy that was since 1928.
How the event was covered by the newspaper “Bashkimi”
The formation of the Constituent Assembly on January 10, the Declaration of Albania as a People’s Republic on January 11, 1946, was followed with rage and special attention by the propaganda of the communist regime of Tirana, which through Radio-Tirana and the newspaper “Bashkimi”, i made a big echo of that event. Under the big headline: “Today at 10 o’clock the Constituent Assembly opens” and the italic subheadings: “It will give the Albanian people the Basic-Fruit Statute of the bloody war and its tireless work”, in the newspaper “Bashkimi” dated January 10, 1946, among other things, it was written: “Today, January 10, at 10 o’clock, the Constituent Assembly opens, in the hall of the new Theater, which is in the House of Arts in” Qemal Stafa “Square. Those who will enter the hall have special invitations. People will hear the sessions being conducted through loudspeakers or on the radio. After five years of unprecedented war and after a year and 44 days, since when on our land, the offender was no longer standing, after a year and 44 days of great victories, finally came the date of January 10, the day that the representatives of the people gather in the Constituent Assembly. This day marked by our history, our people celebrate with unspeakable joy that in his Assembly, which is his first Assembly really, he awaits legal sanction for what he won with blood. December 2 was a great holiday for our people. That day our free people elected all 82 of its representatives, who gather today in the Assembly. Yes today is an even greater celebration, because the Assembly will solemnly commemorate the fruits of the bloody war and hard work of our people with the Basic Statute; is even greater because this is the first Assembly of the people. The Assembly of Peasants, Workers and the CONSTITUTIONAL”. There the workers are still fixing something; the technicians are still decorating something. From the entrance you can see the various exhibitions of different Ministries, among which the one of the Ministry of Agriculture stands out, because right at the door stands a painted farmer, who has broken the chains of feudalism and who holds in his hand, the cap of his land that gave him his power. Upon entering the hall where the assembly members gather today, the big slogan, which stands at the top of the stage with: “Long live the Constituent Assembly”, immediately stands out, from the right is the slogan “Long live the popular power of workers, peasants and intellectuals”. From the left the slogan “Long live the National Army the shield of New Albania”. There are 82 seats divided into ten groups, of assembly members of each prefecture and each seat has on the table the name of the representative, who is assigned to sit. At the top of the podium are two sets of seats. Opposite these countries is the slogan: “Assembly members! The people trusted their will. It is up to you to do the homework for him. Provide the people with the Constitution, a happier life. And let the victories of war and reconstruction become support for new victories… ”
Friday 11 January, the opening of the first session of the Assembly
The first session of the Constituent Assembly was opened by Dr. Omer Nishani Chairman of the Antifascist Council, who after a short speech invited the deputy of Korça, Dr. Petraq Popa, as the oldest representative to temporarily chair the meeting. Following his speech, three interim secretaries were elected. Regarding this session, among other things in the press of that day, it is written: “Three interim secretaries were elected. The representatives of the people submit the certificates of their election, issued by the district commissions. 20 people were elected to confirm the mandates. Yesterday at 10 am, the first meeting of the Constituent Assembly took place. The Presidency of the Antifascist Council, based on the law of the Constituent Assembly number 123 dated 27.IX.1945 proposed this agenda:
- Opening of the meeting by the Chairman of the Presidency of the Antifascist Council.
- Invitation of the older representative to temporarily chair the meeting.
- Acceptance of three representatives proposed by the Chairman, to perform the duty of interim secretary.
- Submission of certificates of their election issued by the County Commissions to the President of the Assembly by the representatives of the people.
- The election by the assembly of a commission of 20 people for the confirmation of the mandates and the appointment of the chairman of this commission.
In the hall, representatives of the US, Soviet Union, Britain and France
In the meeting session of January 11, 1946, in the hall of the Academy of Arts, where the Assembly with 82 deputies from the elections of December 2, 1945 had gathered at that time, were also the representatives of the foreign missions accredited in Tirana. Regarding this, in the newspaper “Bashkimi” of that day, it is said: “Before 10 o’clock the guests had filled the lodges and the gallery. In the first lodge, from the left to the entrance, the Minister of Yugoslavia, Mr. Josip Djerdj, with the secretary of the Legation; in the second lodge, Brigadier General D.E.P. Hodgson, Chief of the British Military Mission in Albania and Colonel Sokolov, Chief of the Soviet Military Mission in Albania; in the first lodge from the right, Mr. Jacobs, functionary of the Department of Foreign Affairs of the United States of America, with Mr. Stevens; in the second lodge Colonel Teyssier, Chief of the French Military Mission in Albania and representative of UNRRAS. In the other lodges, there were many representatives and personalities as well as the correspondent of the TASS Agency, ISVESTIA, and BORBA. Exactly at 10 o’clock the representatives of the people, had taken their appointed places. After two or three minutes, the Prime Minister, General-Colonel Enver Hoxha, gets up and goes to the first tribune, which is the tribune of the Government. Representatives of the people and all the guests applauded incessantly. Then all the members of the government took their seats in the rostrum with the Prime Minister in the middle. Behind this tribune is the tribune of the Presidency of the Antifascist Council where Dr. stands. Omer Nishani, with three vice presidents. Gen. Leit. Koci Xoxe, Hasan Pulo and Colonel Baba Faja. When everyone is in their places, Dr. Omer Nishani stands up and says that the assembly members have in front of them the agenda, which he set for approval. “The assembly members approved it unanimously.”
Greetings from Dr. Omer Nishani and handing over the mandates
Then Dr. Omer Nishani addressed this greeting to the Assembly members: “Comrade Assembly members, I greet you on behalf of the Presidency of the Anti-Fascist Council N-Ç and I welcome you. It is a special honor for me to greet the representatives of the Albanian people, who with his great sacrifices, and with the blood of his best sons, liberated Albania from the fascist occupiers and the traitorous organizations of the country, from Balli and Legality. Today is a day of celebration and joy for the Albanian people, because today the Constituent Assembly is gathered here, which will lay the foundations of the democratic institutions of New Albania. Today’s Assembly does not resemble the Assemblies of the past, which were made with an electoral system that had neither a democratic nor a popular spirit.
The first assemblies did not represent the broad masses of the People, and therefore did not care about the affairs of the People. Assembly members, mostly feudal and wealthy, and intellectuals who shared the influence of these, dealt more with the interests of the ruling classes and theirs. This is shown by the action of these Assemblies or Parliaments, during the anti-popular regimes of Ahmet Zogu, which worked against the interests of the People and the State. But today’s Assembly is an Assembly elected by the People, representing the People. I wish you good work and complete success in the mission entrusted to you by the People and I am convinced that you will be shown at the height of this great mission, working with will and loyalty in the principles of the N.Ç. War. as worthy representatives of our brave People. Long live the Albanian people! Long live the Constituent Assembly. After the greeting speech of Dr. Omer Nishani, who was greeted with long applause by all those present in the hall, he gave the floor to the oldest assembly member, prof. Petraq Popa from Elbasan. After his speech, the President of the Assembly, continuing the agenda, proposed as interim secretaries: Abdyl Këllezi, Sul Spahiu and Lieutenant Colonel Pëllumb Dishnica. Then all the assembly members handed over the certificates and Abdyl Këllezi, made their appeal by calling them one by one, with the names of all the assembly members. Following the appeal, a mandate verification commission was elected, consisting of 20 assembly members chaired by Koço Tashko, which marked the end of the first session.
Motion of the Delegates of Vlora: We want a People’s Republic
After the speech of Dr. Omer Nishani, a group of deputies of Vlora District, on behalf of the electorate of their area, presented a motion to the Assembly, in which it was requested that the Government of Prime Minister Enver Hoxha, not to resign, but to continue working. In this motion, which was read by the deputy of Shkodra, Mr. Arif Gjyli, among other things it was said: “Comrade President, fellow representatives. On behalf of the people of Vlora, we have the honor to present to the Assembly the great joy that the people of our region feel on the occasion of this day of historical importance and we bring here his most fervent greetings. With the constitution and the form of the regime that will be given by the Constituent Assembly, our people who have trusted this Assembly, its sovereign will, rightly expect to be consecrated the victories achieved with its war, We are convinced that we express the will of the people of Vlora that, like the entire Albanian people, did not spare any sacrifice for freedom and independence, requesting from the Constituent Assembly that Albania be proclaimed a PEOPLE’S REPUBLIC. Tirana on January 11, 1946.
Representatives of the people of Vlora: Hasan Pulo, Ing. Spiro Koleka, Hysni Kapo, Liri Gega, Dr. Sezai Agalliu, Manush Myftiu, Bilbil Klosi, Shefqet Musarai. According to the newspaper “Bashkimi”, the motion of the delegates of Vlora that was read by Mr. Arif Gjyli was applauded with prolonged applause by all those present, who stood up and shouted: “Long lives the People’s Republic”. After that, the floor was given to Lieutenant General Koci Xoxe, who on behalf of the representatives of the people of Korça, where he was elected, supported the motion of the delegates of Vlora, demanding the proclamation of Albania as a People’s Republic.
The Assembly does not accept the resignation of the Government
After the speech of the Prime Minister Enver Hoxha, who demanded the resignation of his government, the President of the Assembly gave the floor to the representative of Korça, Prof. Sali Mborja, a representative who, among other things, said: “Today’s Democratic Government is a government of the Albanian people, which was appointed at the Përmet Congress by the Antifascist Council. It is the government that was born from the bosom of the Albanian people, in the fire of the fiercest war “. Afterwards, with the speech of the deputy of Mborja, the deputy of Tirana, Abdyl Këllezi, Thoma Papapano, the deputy of Gjirokastra, Rrahman Parrllaku, the deputy of Kukës, Major General, Spiro Moisiu, the deputy of Durrës, Kahreman Ylli, representative of Beratit, Dr. Sezai Agalliu, deputy of Vlora, Kol Prela, deputy of Shkodra, Andrea Sahatçi, representative of Berat, Haki Stërmilli, deputy of Dibra and Xhemal Rusi, representative of Korça. After that, the President of the Assembly put to the vote the proposal of the deputy Sali Mborja, if the Assembly would not accept the resignation of the government. At this point all the deputies stood up and with long applause, which lasted several minutes, unanimously accepted that the government should not resign but continue its work.
Speech of Prime Minister Enver Hoxha
After the Assembly did not approve the resignation of the government, the Prime Minister, Colonel-General Enver Hoxha took the floor, who in the midst of great enthusiasm and incessant applause of the assembly members, addressed the audience with these words: On behalf of the comrades of the Government, thank you very much for the great trust you have shown in us. We will put all our forces, for the good of the people, we will melt all our energies, so that the economic condition of the cultures of our people, improves. We ask for the help of all the people, for this great deed that we will undertake and we have no doubt that you will not spare us (Voice: Without words) We will remain faithful to the decisions that will be taken by “The Constituent Assembly and we will implement this point by point, as loyal soldiers of the people.” After these few words of the Prime Minister Enver Hoxha, for a few minutes the hall was filled with the constant applause of the assembly members. After the applause ceased and calm was established in the hall, the President of the Assembly gave the floor to Mr. Dr. Omer Nishani.
The speech of Dr. Omer Nishanit
Omer Nishani, among others in his speech said: “Before starting this report I will tell you a few words, that here I have made only a brief picture of the activity of the General Antifascist Council N-Ç, since Përmet Congress until the day the Assembly of Constituents convened. This period is divided into three parts. Decisions of historical importance were made in Përmet. The first decision was the appointment of the Antifascist National Liberation Committee, with the attributes of a Provisional Government. This is the crowning of the great efforts of our people, because after this day Albania had at its head its highest executive power, the National Liberation Committee, which represented it inside and outside. There was a ban on Zog in Albania, the annulment of treaties made, all concessions granted during previous regimes, gave ranks to our heroic Army and was appointed our Commander-in-Chief, General-Colonel Enver Hoxha.
Decision formula for the proclamation of the People’s Republic of Albania
Before this war, the Albanian people, for 15 years in a row suffered under the monarchist regime of Ahmet Zogu. This anti-people regime was established in our country against the will of the People, by means of foreign force and bayonets, it suppressed without mercy and inhumanely exploited the Albanian people. The aspirations of the Albanian people were suppressed without mercy and Zog’s reactionary and brutal social policy weakened our people immensely. Zog’s regime prepared the invasion of Albania by fascist Italy, becoming the tool of Mussolini’s fascist policy. Under Zog’s regime, Albania became a colony of Italy which took into its hands all the assets of the Albanian State, the country’s economy, finances, underground wealth, the Army, and others. Zog’s regime completely isolated Albania from other progressive and democratic states. Such a situation resulted in the catastrophe of April 7, 1939. On April 7, 1939, Ahmet Zogu crowned his betrayal, leaving the people unprepared to oppose the occupier with weapons and abandoning the Albanian people, in his fate. , he secretly fled outside the border. During the heroic National Liberation War of the Albanian people, Ahmet Zogu helped the traitors of the Albanian people, who in cooperation with the occupiers, prevented the fight against the occupier and fought with weapons against the people and his National Liberation Army. The Albanian people took up arms and went to war against the occupiers and traitors of the country, to liberate the Homeland, to gain the freedom of the people and the independence and sovereignty of the country. With his heroic war, our people not only won against the occupiers and traitors, but at the same time liquidated that regime, which in the past it had mercilessly suppressed. The Albanian people became the masters of their own destinies, to regulate the internal situation that will help in the right development of their happy future. Sovereign for his fate, the Albanian people with one voice and freely through the Constituent Assembly, which represents his will, decided that:
- ALBANIA APPOINTED PEOPLE’S REPUBLIC WITH THE NAME PEOPLE’S REPUBLIC OF ALBANIA
- WITH THIS DECISION ON BEHALF OF THE ALBANIAN PEOPLE, THE MONARCHY IN ALBANIA IS FOREVER REMOVED. AHMET ZOGU AND HIS INHERITANCES LOSE ALL THE RIGHTS THEY HAD AND THEIR ENTRY IN ALBANIA IS FOREVER PROHIBITED
After the decision to declare Albania a Republic, the President of the Assembly presented to the assembly members the agenda where the first point was the resignation of the government and the second, the report of the presidency of the Antifascist council, on the legislative activity from the Përmet Congress to that meeting of the Assembly.
Protest of King Zog from Britain
Zogu: This calls into question the territorial integrity of Albania
What happened on January 11, 1946, when the communists of Enver Hoxha, the newcomers to power, changed the form of the regime, declaring Albania a People’s Republic, would not pass without reactions from their political opponents. Mainly from those of Legality, who were in exile, in various countries of the world? Just one day after that event, which was celebrated with great fanfare by the communist regime of Tirana, making manifestations in all cities of the country, the first reaction came from King Ahmet Zogu himself, who lived in political asylum in England. Contacted by some foreign journalists, in the premises of his temporary residence in London, King Zog, among other things, said: With the change of the form of the regime by the communists of Tirana, from the Monarchy to the Republic, the integrity is being seriously questioned land of the Albanian state”. By that statement of King Zog, his allusion was clearly implied, for the unconditional submission that the communist government of Enver Hoxha was making to the Yugoslavia of Marshal Josif Broz Tito, which, according to him, was in danger of turning into a seventh republic of Yugoslavia. Only three or four days after Zog’s statement, came the official reaction from the communist government of Tirana, which through the newspaper “Bashkimi” (official organ of the Democratic Front) of January 14, 1946, devoted a long article to Zog’s statement. In that article, which was full of insults and accusations, from various to Zog as: traitor, fascist, criminal, thief, etc., he was told not to cry for the Albanian people, because he had chosen the form of the regime itself, fighting with weapons in hand./Memorie.al