Memorie.al /publishes the unknown story of Natan Schachner, a doctor of Jewish origin who during the occupation was in the partisan ranks of Mehmet Shehu Brigade and after the war served as a doctor in several districts of the country such as: Kukës, Burrel, Shkodër, Krujë Durrës, etc. The story of his wife Mila Çorati Schachner about the mystery of his disappearance in the cells of the Internal Affairs Branch of Durrës in 1973 after two letters that had just arrived from London, informing him of the finding of his property in the Tel Aviv Bank and State Security alibi….
On January 11, 1973, which coincided with the Republic Day, in our house in the city of Durrës, came about 12 Security civilians led by the Chairman of the Internal Affairs Branch of that time K.E. The moment they demonstratively entered the house, Nathan, who was playing backgammon with two of his friends, froze and did not say a word when they told him that “he was arrested on behalf of the people.” I was scared and immediately started shouting telling them that he had done nothing but one of them, a young boy named Vladimir Çuçi, very kindly found the moment and told me in Italian, that I should not speak. After Nathan was arrested, they conducted a thorough search of the entire house and took with him all his documents, as well as two books by my brother Agron Çorati, which he had written while in exile in Zvërnec. From the beginning of the search of the apartment, they went to the comedian and received two letters with envelopes which had come to Nathan in those days from London, where it was announced that his mother Berta’s property had been found in the Tel Aviv Bank. I was impressed that when they made the minutes of the seizure of documents, those two letters did not mark them at all “. The man who speaks for Memorie.al is Mila Schachner (Çorati), a former communist of the first hours and Head of Youth in the Second Brigade of Beqir Balluku, who tells the whole story of her husband of Israeli origin, Natan Schachner, who disappeared mysteriously from the State Security in 1973 in the cells of the Internal Affairs Branch of Durrës. Who is Mila Çorati and what is her past? How did she meet and marry the well-known doctor of Jewish origin, Natan Schancner, and how did he end up in Albania, after escaping being shot by the Germans in the Yugoslav internment camp? Why did Nathan leave as unwanted from the ranks of the Army, where he had served as a doctor since Mehmet Shehu’s First Brigade in 1943? What was his position regarding the Arab-Israeli conflict in 1966 and what did he say publicly at the wedding where he was called to his neighbors in the city of Durrës?! Why after that day he came under the strict surveillance of the State Security and what was said in the last two letters, which came to him from London? Why at the time of his arrest, the Security Officers immediately addressed those two letters and why did they not record them in the minutes of the seizure of the documents found on him?! What is the truth of the mystery of his disappearance from the cells of the Internal Branch of Durrës, where he was held for six months under torture and who is the man who testified that he saw Nathan’s body with a severed head, until the end of the 1980s in the Tirana morgue where medical students studied?
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The mysterious disappearance of Nathan
What happened during the investigation with doctor Nathan Schachner and how was he treated by the State Security? Regarding this, Mila testified: “From some people, we could learn that Nathan was constantly tortured during the investigation. I sent him food and underwear week after week, but I was sure that not only the food but also the underwear did not give it to him. Once in his underwear I found a piece of paper that read: ‘Mila, I did not tell you anything, so do not tell me either’. Making sure that it was not his writing and that it was a Security ploy, I went to the Branch myself and told the chief investigator that the letter was not my husband’s. They froze and did not say a word. Six months later a relative of ours told us that Nathan had died at the inquest and was in the morgue. I immediately went to the investigator and the chief investigator told me: ‘Nathan hanged himself in the cell. He was an international Zionist agent and was determined to the end. ‘ I asked him how much money I owed him for the funeral expenses, but he told me that the state itself had thought about that. Then they brought me home his clothes where the vault and one leg of the pants were missing. By that they wanted to show that Nathan had hanged himself. After that I was fired and sent as a teacher in the village, leaving me to live in only one room. Around 1991, a person who had worked as a photographer at the Ministry of Interior came and told me that in July 1973, he had been urgently called to Durrës to photograph a prisoner who had died in his cell. He had learned that the prisoner was named Nathan Schachner and that he had died during the torture. “Then they hanged him, saying that he had committed suicide”, Mila Çorati told in her story, adding that at that time an assistant doctor went to her house and showed her that Nathan’s body, with a severed head , until 1991 he had stayed in the morgue in Tirana, where medical students were studying. Her husband, a doctor of Israeli origin who worked for 33 years in Albania, had served Albanians to the death.
Natan Schachner, the doctor of Jewish origin who worked for 33 years in Albania
Nathan Schachner was born on April 6, 1913, in Sadagura, Romania (the province of Moldova that later passed under the Soviet Union) to a Jewish family of Israeli descent, and his father was named Leon and his mother Bertha. Since the beginning of the last century, the family of Leon Schachner has lived in the province of Moldova, which at that time was under the administration of Romania and then, during the years of the First World War, they moved from there and lived for some time. in Austria. It is not known exactly, and there is no record, even approximately, at what time that family left their homeland Israel, to settle in the province of Moldova, where at that time lived a large community of Jewish origin. . Nathan’s mother, Bertha, was born in Poland to a wealthy Latifundist family (of Jewish descent), and her family had resided in Germany for some time. Nathan, who was the only son of Leon and Berta Schachner, after being educated in Sadagura, Romania, where he graduated from the classical gymnasium, in 1933 was sent to pursue higher studies in Medicine, at the University of Bologna in Italy. At that University, Nathan Schachner studied for six years in the branch of Pathological Surgery and in 1939, he graduated with high results receiving the Gold Medal. After graduating, Nathan, along with many of his fellow Jewish students, left for Romania, where his family was still living at the time. But during that trip, he and all his fellow recent graduate students were stopped by German forces on the Yugoslav border and ended up in a concentration camp. As Nathan himself testified, their ban was made because the Germans did not want the countries of the communist East which were under Soviet influence (such as Moldova at the time) to be supplied with graduate cadres in the West. After several months in that concentration camp opened by the Germans in Yugoslavia (where Nathan did not show his Jewish nationality) he escaped being shot by escaping from there, only thanks to the German language he mastered in the manner most perfectly. After escaping from the German concentration camp, Nathan intended to settle in Pristina, where a large number of Jews were living at the time, who had found a safe haven there under the protection of the local authorities of Kosovo. After traveling for several days in the mountains, Nathan arrived in Pristina sometime in the spring of 1940 and immediately began working as a waiter in one of the bars in that Albanian-owned town. When he arrived in Pristina, Nathan learned that his father Leon had been shot by the Germans in Austria and his mother Berta had been interned in a concentration camp in Siberia. Given these circumstances and having no close family relatives in Sadagura, Moldova, Nathan decided to come to Albania, where at that time a large number of Jews had come, who had found the protection of the local population. After staying in Prishtina for about a year and a half, in January 1942, Natan Schachner filled out some false documents (where he hid his Jewish nationality) and left for Albania, traveling with one of the Prishtina-line trucks. Tirana. Having no support and because he did not know the Albanian language well, Nathan settled in the Old Bazaar (where today is the great Palace of Culture) where he worked as a porter, loading and unloading the goods of various Tirana merchants. Since there was no apartment to put his head in, Nathan slept in the shops of various Tirana merchants, to whom he also guarded their goods and shops, being paid as a night watchman. After working for some time as a porter near that bazaar and not telling anyone about his Jewish nationality, around the summer of 1942, Nathan began working as a porter in the warehouses of two well-known merchants, named Gaqo Papadhopulli and Petro Roçi. These two merchants, who at the time were trading large quantities of pharmaceutical goods, hired Nathan as a porter in their warehouses, only after they put him to the test and saw that he was an excellent connoisseur of the medicines they traded. After working for nearly two years near those warehouses (where in one of them he had adapted a place to live) in September 1943, when Italy capitulated and the Germans were approaching Tirana, to escape their pursuit, Nathan fled from there and hid on the outskirts of Tirana near the village of Zall-Herr. At the same time, with the help of two merchants, Gaqo Papadhopulli and Petro Roçi, Nathani joined the Legality force platoon operating in the area, which was commanded by Captain Xhemal Herri. After staying for some time with that gang while serving as a doctor, Nathan wisely left from there and in August 1944 he joined the partisans of the newly formed First Brigade in Vidhkuq of Korça, commanded by Mehmet Shehu. Even in this large partisan formation, Natan Schachner was appointed Brigadier General, as he had served in Jamal Herri’s forces. In the summer of 1944, Nathan was transferred from that brigade and passed as a doctor at the XXIII Brigade, which at that time was operating in the suburbs of Kruja and Tirana. Even after the end of the War, Nathan served as a doctor in that Brigade until January 1946 and at that time he was transferred as a doctor to a regiment of the Korça Division, where he worked until September 1, 1949. In all those units where he worked, although he exercised the duty of a doctor with great correctness and humanity, Nathan was looked down upon by the Army Security organs, as he was a foreign citizen. As a result, after being transferred from Korça, he was transferred again several more times to many units in Kukës and Shkodër, until he was released on December 30, 1951, with the motivation: “Undesirable in the Army”. After his release from the army, Nathan was appointed as a civilian doctor in the town of Burrel where he worked from 1951 to 1954, when he was transferred and brought to Fush-Kruja. At that time, he met a Tirana girl named Erugina (Mila) Çorati who had been a partisan and worked in the Propaganda sector of the Ministry of Health. After the marriage they were given an apartment in the village of Arrameras, as until then Nathan lived in the Bektashi Tekke of Fushë-Krujë. In 1956, with the help of the Albanian Red Cross, Nathan came to Albania with his mother Berta, who lived in Moscow, where he had settled after being released from the Siberian concentration camp. Upon arrival in Albania, Nathan’s mother, Berta, lived with her son and his wife Mila, for about two years in their home in the village of Arrameras in Fushë-Krujë, until her death in 1957. After much request, in 1960, Nathani and his wife Mila moved from Fush-Kruja to Durrës. In that city, Nathan worked as a doctor in the hospital and Polyclinic (his wife Mila worked as a teacher) being considered one of the best and most humane doctors who followed his patients taking care of them all the way to Tirana. Although Nathan enjoyed a good reputation as a doctor in the city of Durrës, from 1967 he was regularly monitored by the State Security, as at that time he had openly spoken out in defense of the Israelis in their conflict with Arab countries. In the city of Durrës, Nathani worked for almost 14 years, until January 11, 1973, when he was arrested by the State Security, on charges of: “Determined international agent of Zionism.” After six months of investigation, in July of that year, his wife Mila Çorati was informed by the Durrës Internal Affairs Branch that her husband Natan Schachner had hanged himself in the cell where he was being held in isolation. From that time until today, Mila Çorati has no data on where her husband’s bones are buried, although some relatives have told her that his body with a severed head, until the end of the 80s, has stayed in the morgue of Tirana where medical students studied./Memorie.al