By Marcel Hila
Memorie.al/ Missing: Mark Tushi, shot by the regime. Sufferers: Lin Mhilli, son, child of a shot man. Mark Tushi from Puka worked in the tower of Kole Bibë Mirakë. He was 30 years old when the IV Brigade partisans shot him. His body was dumped in a pit in the mountains.
Three months later, his cousins went and exhumed him and secretly buried him in their family graves. Now they are all dead and the need arises to identify the bones through DNA, to extract them and place them in a special burial place, as is right for every human being.
Testimony Lin Mhilli, son
Thirty years old. None of the fire crews marked it. The commander went and hit him with a pistol…! They took him, took him to the mountain, put him in a pit, left him there and fled. People need to know this truth!
Mr. Lin, thank you for agreeing to give this interview to the Authority for Information on Former State Security Documents. Let’s start by clarifying: what was the reason your father was arrested and shot?
My father’s reason was as I say: He married my mother in 1942 and lived, not in his own house, but with my mother, he lived with his mother’s mother. He worked at the tower of Kol Biba, when Kol Biba was a minister…!
Kol Bibë Miraka?
Yes, he was the Minister of Interior. When communism came, in ’45, they came and took him home, tied him up and took him for hemp IV partisan Brigade, with commander Mit’hat Goskova from Korça and with the commander of the operation, Koçi Topçe and Koçi Kolloquku. The two shot him in the forehead, in the courtyard of the tower, which at that time had become the courtyard of the Police Center, took him and shot him.
The father was 30 years old and none of the fire brigade marked him; he was not caught by the bullet. The commander of the operation, Koçi Topçe, went and shot him with a pistol. He fell backwards. They took him, took him to the mountain, put him in a pit there, left him and ran away.
My grandmother, my mother’s mother, was far away and they said to her: “What are you doing here, my…”?! He told them: “Nothing, I have already gone out without seeing it, for that….”!”Do you have this thing?” “No, no, I have nothing; I was just sorry when I saw that you shot him.” “Leave”! He left this desert; he came to the house at night.
You yourself, when did you find out about your father’s murder?
I found out when I went to school, after 7 years; when I went to school, people would say to me, “You have a bad biography.” I learned well, but people did not prefer me and they did not call me at weddings, nor did they call me at the inn … they did not call me at parties, because you have your father shot and you should not come to our houses. Then I understood why my father was shot and how it was.
Has anyone been willing to shed light on the situation for the arrest and shooting? Did any of those who were present tell you? Have you ever met them?
Yes, yes, with those who have been partisans?
Who did you meet?
I met a Zef Marashi, he is dead now. Zef Marashi was our neighbor there, he was a partisan there. He has told me the whole story since it was.
What did he tell you?
He told me: I had nothing to do, I was a partisan. We came, he said, and we took him home. I could not talk to them, but, he said, I was in pain for him, that neighbor, lover…! We took him and left, but they told you that they would be beaten and tortured. My father told them: “Look, to shoot, shoots me, do whatever you want, but who does not touch me”! They did not touch him, they did not train him, so they just tied him up and threw him there, and the commander of the fire brigade ordered him to open fire, but he did not take any bullets! Then this one, the commander, went and said to him: “Wind, cart, you did not fall…”?! And pulled out the pistol and fell i pam, pam, head…! He fell; he said, pulled the handkerchief from his pocket, wiped the blood and died. Then, we too are gone.
Who took the handkerchief out of his pocket?
Dad pulled it out himself.
Like with two bullets?
With two or three on top, at that moment he took out his handkerchief and wiped the blood … with his own hand, we knocked them down. He told me, at my house, not once, but several times when he came, that he had been very kind to my father. He is dead, desolate! He also took the children’s hair; he was so kind to my father.
Have you had godparents?
Yes, yes, godparents.
Let me ask you a slightly different question. If you had met by chance those who killed your father, how would you have acted?
What can I say, man?! I do not know how long I live, I’m just worried, and they told me the truth.
Do you know anything, live or die?
This one, Mit’hat Goskova, died late; he had a house in Tirana, they told me, but I did not know the house. Mit’hat Goskova, commander of the IV Brigade, had his home in Tirana and the other two died in Korça, that is, in his place, Koçi Topçe and Koçi Kolloquku, who were operation commanders. Others have told me that I was a year and a half old at the time, but this one, Mit’hat Goskova, who was a brigade commander, died in Tirana, after working for many years as a prosecutor or court president. They said.
If you had met those who killed your father, how do you think you would have acted?
How had I acted…?! I, for God’s sake, to say the spiritual right, I was worried, but even when I met them I had a hard time, because it is not a small thing that a man who has done you an evil….! But I did not meet him, and I’m worried, God forbid that I did not meet him, that no one knew me: people told me back. Someone told me that he was at home here, I forget him now, but he told me where his house was, but he died, he died in Tirana, he died after democracy…!
What do you mean by “I’m worried”?
Yes, I’m worried that… .What can I tell you! To leave … or to shoot the slave of the house, to kill someone whose father, as they did to me who left me 1 and a half years old in an oak house at that time, even with troubles at that time and all my life, by God, until democracy entered, I, that is, I spent my life only with “lower my head and look”…!
At the work center where I worked, I was taken and I spoke once. I went to discuss and he, the chairman, that there were professional committees then, and this was the chairman of the Professional Committee of the district, knew me. The Party Committee instructor asked, “What is this that he said?” He said: “This one has a bad biography! Sit down, sit down, – he said – we do not need to hear the voice to speak anymore! You to work and stay with your head down”! The workers came back looking at me; we were 200 workers in the canteen. I sat watching the workers and, by God, until I die I do not forget when he sat me there and then, walk and talk…!
What did you say to me?! By God, I did not say anything, pale so! I talked about work jobs, condition jobs and things like that. “Sit down, sit down,” he said, as the other said, “he has his father shot.” You, – he said, – you have no right to say! You sit down and sit down”!
Then people did weddings, got married, had parties and I could not go anywhere, not even my son, my child could not go anywhere. Did the boy even go to a death, because a neighbor had died and the Party members had said: “You go to work”? “But why”? “Because you are not allowed!” When I got home in the evening, I found the boy crying. I said, “What do you have?” He said: “By God, mor ‘bab’, I went because Kola, Kole Pjetri had died, they came together and said to me: Go home!”.
I found him crying and said to him: “Hajt, mor ‘dad, because he did not become famous, even”!
So we suffered a lot, me with my whole sister. My sister has been dead to me for 8 years. For God’s sake, we suffered so much…, in an oak house, even she dripping inside. There both my mother and my mother… . the fire never warmed us. My sister and I were covered with a blanket next to the cow…!
When his father was shot, his father’s house was set on fire. They took the living thing completely and burned down his house. At that time, we were living in my mother’s mother’s house, because her husband and son had died and she was left alone with my mother. My mother died at the age of 59, from suffering. I got cold, I took him to the hospital where he stayed for 10 days and after 10 days he finished. God even heard that I left work early that night and went to her and she died suddenly. By God, 41 years have passed since he died and there is not a day that I do not remember about him, about my mother k.
Were you able to save and save any personal items from your father?
There was only one watch he kept here in his pocket, nothing else.
Have you suffered from psychological violence? Have you and your children been insulted?
No, not physical violence, because since we started remembering for days what shooting is, what regime is, from that time onwards we have remained silent, we have seen our work and work, that for God, with humiliation, neither neither I nor my sister have ever been taken; my mother no no no, never. For God, the fear I had then when people told me about biography work … even today I want not to violate the law of the state and not to make any mistakes. By God, we had no bread to eat in my life, but I did not touch a single thing, not a single thing! Even if I found something in the way, by God, I did not take it. Why? That I was afraid, I was afraid that I would be put in prison, that we were different … we were apart from the others in the neighborhood. No, we were not tortured, because we saw our work, only with work…
Have you suffered financially?
At that time we suffered for everything but my mother and my mother’s mother, who were just under an oak house, for God…! We only had two cows and from those cows we had tambour, yoghurt, cheese, but we had no bread and so on. They already went to get 5 kilos of grain from the neighbors in one place, 5 in another and brought them. When I said to her: “Mother, give us bread, that we will go to school”, he replied “eat cheese without bread and yogurt, because we do not have it ready, when you come, you will find it ready”. They did not have it at all, but they would go and get it from a neighbor or a lover of theirs, they would take 5 kilos of grain, they would go to the mill, they would grind it and then we would find it ready in the evening, but the next day it was gone. Where to get that, in fact, then it was poverty for everyone and most did not. But we had nothing, only the cows that my mother’s mother kept. Two cows, calves, we had tambourine and yoghurt, nothing else, a few trees, no grapes, nothing that is.
Were salaries low?
Salary? What salary, more? Until I got to work, at the age of 14…! At the age of 14 I went out and started working. The director of the Fushë-Arrëz plant, Dali Hasani, introduced me to remove the sawdust. I worked for 6 or 8 months, I do not know, for God’s sake, and they reported me and wanted to fire me. But why did they remove me? “Because he has a bad biography and can burn the plant.” They removed me from there. Dali Hasani tells me: “Oh Lin, I am obliged to take you away, but I am taking you elsewhere”. “Why, more”? “I’m not telling you why!”
But I got back to what it’s and put another one in there. I was removed from the plant and taken to the forest, and then I took a chainsaw course. I took the chainsaw and started cutting wood in the forest. 30 years and 8 months I worked in the plant of Krrab, in snow and rain, 30 years without interruption. Then I provided bread, I had bread. I made a house with planks and so on, and then I made another house, because my children grew up. I hired two of them, even myself at work, and with work we made the other house, well enough, in ’93. In January of ’93 we came to Tirana and we are in Lapraka.
How did you experience the absence of a father during your lifetime?
Oh, by God, how I did not feel… that when I was made to remember and back, it did not cross my mind. How did I not feel, more?! When you do not have a father…!
To be honest, my father has left a lot of kindness: people and God have helped me to put culture, and respect, and love, and to put things. The old people at that time helped me a lot. Whose are you? I am Mark Tushi. Uuuu…! Mark Tushi who was shot?! Yes! They took my hand and said: “Let’s stay together for 5 minutes. Eh, what a babe you had ‘, more Lin! You look; you take care to keep the authority of the father, the respect! “You had a sociable father; you had a good and loyal father.” I, too, by God, have tried; I have benefited a lot from those people at that time. Even with work, even with respect, but also with care for everything, that they were exactly with culture and exactly with manhood, and not with vileness, as e.g. to say to me: “you had a father and he left, I will do whatever you want”.
God forbid, I, too, by God, have heard and seen the hair of those old men who educated me at that time. Yes, for God, I was educated as if the father educates the child, that indeed the mother raises and maintains him, but to educate the child, the father educates. I did not have a father, except for those two old women, the mother and the mother’s mother, I did not have…! Even my sister.
Did you ask for his presence to be by your side, walking in life? In which moments did you ask for it the most? When did you get married? When did you become a father yourself?
By God, I have been married 18 years. At that time, my mother and grandmother thought of marrying me as soon as possible, and before I turned 18, I went to court for family reunification, as if we had been reunited without getting married. At the end of the second year I got married, I had my first son; the latter died to me a month ago. For God, greater joy than when my son was born I do not know; so did the mother and grandmother when the first son was born.
Even when I got married, he was not the father, even when the son was born; he was not the father, so I have never removed the father from my mouth, since I was made to understand what a father is, that is, since he was 7 years old back, from my mind it has not come out and until I die it does not come out of me. The same goes for the mother.
My mother died now, 41 years old, on April 29, by God, there is not a day of the great God that I do not remember about them. I have also said it among people, by God, when it comes to saying who will live another 5 or 6 years, I will forgive my mother for so many years, and my grandmother only 1 year, until they see that where I am today and how I am today, that so many worries have had me. My mother got up desolate, all night, to clean that house. And what to clean in an oak house: it was dripping at night, it was earthy and so on, and the yard was so and so. Today, from God and with the toil of our arms, there is not a single ALL in my house until today; I know who knows me, only with toil and work.
So let them see how I live and how I came to be in this state, let them see what they did not suffer for me at that time. We have suffered a lot, for God’s sake! Who does not know, except the one whom…!
How did you expect the fall of communism? Where were you, how old were you at the time?
How did I expect it? By God, I waited for it until I had no greater joy, neither when my child was born, nor when I got married, nor when … and what can I tell you when communism fell…!
Because I told you, when you cannot go to a wedding, when you cannot go to a dinner to the other, that or, for example, he liked to call you, but could not to call you from others, he was happy to stay with me, but he could not stay…!
I worked in Krrabë. We kept pigs, we called them “pigs”, but now we call them “pigs”. The friend I worked with slaughtered him and told me “come tonight”. We were 4-5 workers working with him. We went. The Party secretary, a teacher, had gone out to the meeting and there he heard that this friend had cut a pig. He came to the yard, saw us through the window and recognized me, that the electric light was on, and he told him, but I heard him: “I was coming because you cut the pig, but I cannot come, because you have Lin, Lin Mark there” . I do not know what he said next, but I felt him and when he came in, I said to him: “O Dedë, – because we called Dedë to him, – I am leaving, that I have to go home in half an hour, but tell him to come” . “What are you saying, more?” – told me. – “Never come to my house again! We work together, we live together, by God, do not let you go anywhere!
How did you expect the fall of communism?
I was about 47 years old in the village. The boy came, because I had him at school in Tirana, a year ago he had gone, even Deda was in a demonstration with students then. The boy came to the village to hold meetings. By God, I did not believe. The boy used to say: “This job has gone bankrupt, this job has been done!”, I still did not believe it, you dear brother. I did not believe, that it is impossible, more, that this work was strong. I could not believe it, I did not believe it. “No way, baby.” “And you, have you seen the protest that we students have made”?! The eldest son, Mëhilli, with about 3 friends, created the Democratic Party section in the village. We came to Lapraka on January 20, 1993.
Do you know anything about the grave of your late father?
Three months later, when the partisans fled and there were no more IV Brigade men, my three cousins left, took over and a couple of their own godfathers investigated the place. They were told where it was thrown, and they took it out and secretly put it in their graveyards at night, in their own graves. Now there are all four brothers in the graves, because they are all dead. They used to put women apart, men separately. My father is with them in the grave too.
You just wait for the tests to be done?
Yes, tests to find father’s bones. I want to take them out and put them in my mother’s grave të. I can do it, because my soul does not come out. I’m worried about finding some pictures of my father too.
You are right, we will do our best! God bless you! Thank you very much for the interview. Lots of respect for the unjust suffering you have gone through.
Thank you, sir, for being interested in our suffering. / Memorie.al