By Kastriot Dervishi
Memorie.al / The well-known historian and researcher, former head of the Archives of the Ministry of the Interior, Kastriot Dervishi, has published an archival document where it is known that a 106-year-old man was imprisoned in one of the prisons of the communist regime in Enver Hoxha, since the first years after the war. The elderly Nikollë Ndre Bardhoku from the village of Mali i Bardhë i Kurbini (located somewhere between the cities of Laç and Milot), was convicted in 1949 as part of “a hostile group”, and at that time he was 103 years old. “I don’t believe that in any country in the world, any person at the age of 106 has been imprisoned. This “black record” is held by Enver Hoxha’s communist Albania. An old man, completely innocent, was kept in prison. The truth of his story is revealed by a letter he sent to the dictator in 1952, in which he asked to release him from prison”, writes, among other things, the well-known researcher and historian, Dervishi.
106 years old, in the communist prisons of Enver Hoxha
I do not believe that in any country of the world, any man at the age of 106 has been imprisoned. This “black record” is held by Albania. An old man, completely innocent, was kept in prison. The truth of his story is revealed by a letter he sends to the communist dictator, Enver Hoxha, in 1952, in which he asks him to release him from prison.
The old man did not expect anything else from life since, having tried everything; he only wanted to die in his own home. For 3 years he was in prison no. 5 of Tirana (in 1955 it was called prison no. 313). He was convicted in 1949, as part of “a hostile group”, when he was 103 years old.
The mentioned person was accused of sheltering his son and nephews, who were fugitives, in his house. From the examination of the documents of the investigative-judicial file, it does not result that the elderly person has even the smallest implication because, age itself, did not allow him to be an organizer or an activist. He was arrested on 21.8.1949, when he was 103 years old.
At that time, the communist regime, in order not to reveal the age of the oldest defendant in the whole world, wrote in the decision that he was 95 years old. This data turns out to be false, since the person himself writes the real age in the letter addressed to Enver Hoxha.
Nikollë Ndre Bardhoku was convicted in a trial with 15 other people, including a woman. The defendants in the process were from the villages of the Kurbin area, such as: Zhej i Poshthem, Gurrëza, Selita e Vogël and Mali i Bardhë (mentioned).
The case was tried by the Supreme Military Court, only at one trial level. With decision no. 142, dated 17.9.1949, the court declared them all guilty and sentenced the elderly Nikollë Ndre Bardhoku to 20 years of imprisonment. That is, according to the logic of communist justice, he would be released from prison when he was 123 years old!
With the same decision, the following were sentenced to death: Kolë Dede Tota (45 years old), Frrok Mhill Rika (46 years old), while the others received sentences ranging from 5-15 years of imprisonment, forced labor, and confiscation of property and the loss of the right to vote for two years.
For more about the history of this convict, who is most likely one of the oldest prisoners in all the prisons of the world, we know the letters he wrote to the communist dictator Enver Hoxha, in 1952 which we are publishing in full together with the corresponding facsimile located in the Central State Archive in Tirana.
The letter of the 106-year-old Nikollë Ndre Bardhoku, in 1952
V.F. – L. P.
Army General, Enver Hoxha
Prime Minister of R. P. Sh.
The undersigned, Nikollë Ndre Bardhoku, born and resident in Mali i Bardhë village (Milot), have the honor to submit the following:
I was arrested in August 1949, under the charge of sheltering my son and nephews who escaped and were killed by the Security and sentenced by the special court to 20 years of imprisonment.
I am an old man at the age of 106; I was forced to lie on the mattress in my house all day and of course also at night.
The son and nephews who were on the run acted with their heads, they didn’t care if I was alive or dead.
So in such conditions how can I be considered a host? Today I’m sick and I’m not even in a state of need, but I have to be accompanied by my friends.
That’s why I dare to address you personally, Mr. Commander, begging you to have mercy on me and order my release so that I may die in my home. Memorie.al
Nikol Ndre Bardhoku
Prison no. 5 Tirana