Memorie.al The letter of the well-known journalist and writer, Halil Laze, (martyr son and grandson of the People’s Hero, Asim Zeneli), sent to the communist dictator Enver Hoxha in 1982, after he had served seven years in the Spaç camp, is published.
Letter to the dictator: “When I went home, I cried at my mother’s words and the years of punishment were erased from my memory. In the Spaç camp, they provoked us by speaking on your behalf, saying that this is the dictatorship of Enver Hoxha. Commissioner Shahin Skura, told us; do not write, that the letters come to me?! In the Investigator, they fabricated assassinations against you, such as Dhimitër Lalës?! The groups arrested for throwing tracts in Korça and Durrës where Mihallq Ziçishti was, later convicted them for agitation and propaganda…, but they misinformed you….?!”.
The archival document that we are publishing in this chapter of the book, is a letter of Halil Lazes, who after the ’90s, has been known as a journalist and publicist and, where for some time he directed as editor-in-chief, the newspapers “Drita” ( body of the League of Writers and Artists of Albania) and “Liria”, (body of the National Association of Political Convicts and Prisoners of Albania. LUFTETARI “(since the early ’70s), and also as a poet and author of several volumes of poetry and stories. But his career was interrupted in the middle of 1976, when he was just married, he had created Halili was arrested and sentenced “for political offenses”, shortly after the main leaders of the Ministry of Defense were convicted, accused of being a “coup group in the Army” led by Beqir Balluku, Petrit Dumen , Hito Çako and a large number of former senior Usht innovation, considered as their collaborators or supporters.
The arrest and sentencing of Laza, who was a martyr boy and at the same time the grandson of Asim Zeneli (People’s Hero), was said to have come for the sole reason that his appointment as head of the newspaper “LUFTETARI” was made by Hito Çako (Director Politician of the Army), who is known to have been executed by being shot along with Balluk and Dumen. After serving his sentence in the terrible camp of Spaç (forced labor camp, where at that time a large number of writers and artists, colleagues and friends, well-known names such as: Visar Zhiti, Zyhdi Morava, Ali Oseku, were serving their sentences, Maks Velo, Edison Gjergo, Fatos Lubonja, Spartak Ngjela, Dhimitër Lala, etc.). Laze returns to his family and immediately writes a letter to Enver Hoxha, denouncing some of the machinations and provocations against his accomplices, political prisoners in the Spaç camp. Sending that letter to the communist dictator (who later delegated it to the Interior Minister, Hekuran Isai, for a “solution”), seems to have come no more than Laze could believe in his (Enver) justice.), how much forced by family circumstances, for a “biographical adjustment”?! Because, as we said above, he was the son of a martyr and the grandson of Asim Zeneli (People’s Hero), for whom, among other things, songs were written and large figurative paintings were made.
But what is more important is the fact that Laze has dared and denounced some of the machinations, provocations, etc. things faced by the political prisoners of the Spaç camp at the time, where he himself had served seven years in prison. Regarding these and others, we are familiar with the following archival document, which like most of those published in this voluminous book, we are publishing on Memorie.al.
ALBANIAN LABOR PARTY
CENTRAL COMMITTEE Tirana, on 27-10-1960
Nr. H-492 / Prot. Secret
MINISTRY OF INTERNAL AFFAIRS
(Comrade Hekuran Isai)
By order of Comrade Enver we are sending you a photocopy of the so-called Halil Laze, a resident of the capital on V. Huta Street 107/1 apart. 14 to be seen by you.
Halil Laze, writes to Comrade Enver that after 7 years of imprisonment, he returned to his family in the city of Tirana.
The writer raises these issues:
– In the camp of Spaç, where he served his sentence, he saw, learned and lived some things that, in addition to revolt, also raised suspicions. He says that then he wrote a letter to Comrade Enver and changed his attitude towards him (they put him in prison, at work and in difficult fronts, they provoked him, etc.). The commissar even said: “Do not write that the letters come to me”.
– In 1975-1976 – says the letter writer, many people were arrested on the charge that then some reactionary slogans were written in the city of Korça. “But according to the letter writer, they were deprived of their signatures and were convicted of agitation and propaganda.” “Until August 1982, while I was in the camp, no author of the slogans had arrived.”
When Mihallaq Ziçishti went to Durrës – the writer continues – reactionary slogans were written again (even some with large dimensions – Shijak). The same scenario happened again.
– For convicts as agents (Polish group, etc.), says that they were convicted of agitation and propaganda and other ordinary articles. The letter writer suspects that Comrade Enver will have been misinformed.
– For Kosovar convicts, for espionage, he says that they insist that the UDB has convicted them.
The letter writer claims that the laws were violated in the Spaç camp and was speculated in the name of Comrade Enver, saying that “this is the dictatorship of Enver Hoxha”. He says that there are other things about the camp and the investigation that, if there is interest, he is ready to talk to a Secretary of the Central Committee.
Letters are attached
Halil Laze’s letter to Enver Hoxha
Many Albanians are indebted to you and the Party for all the good you have brought them. Our family, and especially I, who am writing this letter to you, owe you a hundred times, and we do not know how to repay you. When I returned home, the first words of the mother and sister of the meeting after seven years, were thanks to You for once again opening the door of Asim en Sherif Zeneli’s house. Believe me as your son, that I cried out of emotion and the years of punishment erase from my memory. I have not lost and will never lose faith in you and the Party. I have said this to the investigator (Kruja), in court and everywhere.
In the Spaç camp, when I was serving my sentence, I saw, learned and lived some things that, in addition to revolt, also raised doubts in me. I wrote you a letter. After a few days, the attitude towards me changed. (Punishment in prison, work on difficult fronts, provocations, etc.). I realized that the letter had not reached your hand. Even the commissar (Shahin Skura) told us openly: “Do not write that the letters come to me”.
Now that I’ve finished my sentence, I thought you might be interested in a few things, so I’re writing short, just the essence:
- In the years ’75 -’76 some reactionary slogans were written in the city of Korça. Many people were arrested. They investigated (some even in Tirana) for the slogans, then were convicted of agitation; taking the signature that they would not show why they had done the investigation. As long as I was in the camp (August ’82), no slogan author had arrived. (?)
- When Mihallaq Ziçishti went to Durrës, reactionary slogans were written again (some with large dimensions – Shijak). The same scenario happened again. I doubt the accuracy of the information they have given you and the authorship of the articles.
- In different cities, especially in Tirana, individuals and groups of agents have been convicted. There I learned that they had been convicted of agitation and ordinary articles. (They also did the investigation for an agency). I suspect that you have also been misinformed about these groups (Polish group, etc.)
- Many Kosovar convicts (especially for espionage) insisted on their innocence. (There were those who said I was convicted by the UDB).
- To all the convicts of the ’75s and onwards (especially the communists) the investigator insisted on putting something for you.
- Special convicts (for agitation), the investigator was injected with the opinion about the assassinations against you (eg Dhimitër Lala), etc.
- Some repatriates were insisted that they admit in court that they had been forcibly returned by the State Security. I suspect that this was done to deceive the Party leadership and perhaps even to appropriate material values.
- In the Spaç camp, whenever norms and laws were flagrantly violated, your name was speculated. In some cases, they were even explicitly told: This is the dictatorship of Enver Hoxha. I was convinced (and this prompted me more often to write to you) that there was an open tendency to make us hostile to You and the Party at all costs.
- Many convicts were dealt with in the District Branches for months and played the role of professional provocateurs. They made such a proposal to me too. I did not accept that I told them that this is outside the norms of the Party. I was told that we (the Security) do nothing without the approval of the Politburo. I asked them in writing. They left me alone after being threatened.
I have a few more things to say about the camp and the investigation, if you are interested I am ready to talk in detail with one of your secretaries.
Expressing once again my gratitude for everything you have done for our family; I wish you a long and happy life.
October 20, 1982
At work – At home
Halil Laze – Lagjia 2 street “V. Huta “
N.N. Mine, – N-107/1 Ap.14 Tel. 5007