Nga Nazmi Berisha (Dyzi)
The third part
Memorie.al publishes the unknown story of Nazmi Berisha, originally from the village of Llap in the Municipality of Podujeva in Kosovo, who was seduced by the propaganda of the communist regime and the programs provided by Radio Tirana for “socialist prosperity” and escaping the rank-and-file methods of the Titoist regime, in 1960, he decided to flee and came to Albania, crossing the Buna River by swimming in the great cold of that harsh winter. The rare testimonies of Nazmi Berisha, how he was received in his homeland, where the soldiers and border officers of the Shkodra district, after tying him with wire, sent him to the Internal Affairs Branch, where for 24 hours they did not even give him bread for eaten, and then sent to the town of Shijak where was the “Filtering Center” of Kosovar emigrants. The whole adventure of the 20-year-old boy from Kosovo that the State Security accused of: being a UDB agent, who had sent on a secret mission, Cedo Topallovic, the president of the UDB for Kosovo, to meet with the Rear Admiral of the Fleet, Teme Sejko and the inhuman tortures inflicted on him in the Internal Affairs Branches of Lushnja, Kruja, Tirana, etc., where he was kept in isolation and asked to become a collaborator of the State Security, as witnesses, his compatriots from Kosovo, and his refusal, which made him spend 20 years in the prisons of the communist regime of Enver Hoxha. The articles published by Memorie.al, have been selected from his book, ’20 years in Enver Hoxha’s prisons’ published by the Publishing House “UEGEN”, Berat, 1995.
Note to the editor and publisher
Evidence of civic courage, living testimony of a completely heartless human suffering, an archive that is valid for today and tomorrow.
Prison scenes run in front of you, honest and cannibalistic characters, ordinary people and you are left stunned by such a low action, so without dignity and profane of the communist administration.
20 years in Enver Hoxha’s communist prisons! The author never equates the dictator with Albania. The total disappointment of a guy who ran towards the star of his love, is not obscured. Everyone had almost the same fate. An unparalleled patience, an unwavering will of a diverse psychology full of dramatic colors, a monstrous fatigue,
– Here is this book by Nazmi Berisha.
The characters are real.
Let each one prays to the God of truth.
Continues from the last number
The ‘yellow’ silence
In the Çermë concentration camp, the second time
The ten years of my sentence would end somewhat faster than time. I had to go back to my house. But where was she? It looked like my feet would lead me to the Skin on their own. And where else if I did not want! I sometimes felt like Çerma, it was my hometown. The prison there had caught my feet. A yellow cloud had fallen over Albania. People’s faces had a scary yellow look. Meanwhile the yellow silence would not let you know anything. In Çermë, barracks were added and something was liberalized. In Lushnje you can go without a police officer, as well as to work and villages. There was no way, and a secret eye followed us like an eavesdropping knife. My characters had either fled to Yugoslavia or were back in prison. My life would now make sense, with new acquaintances. Even in Albanian prisons, this has been my advantage. I have known my friends and enemies. I met Nezir Vishaj and Hysen Bregu from Deçan. The one who entered my consciousness most easily was Neziri. More than him, his story! After becoming a teacher in the villages of Gramsh, Albanian justice lifts the noose there. Nezir Vishaj, was convicted of forging a document. His security brother-in-law, and his wife, put his foot down to sign the ID card of a member of the ALP. An incomparable vileness. He later asked Neziri to separate from the woman, but the Party did not allow that. After he was released from prison, the girl was not even allowed. Por pas reve, çeli dielli. He was again appointed a teacher in Gramsh. And then life was smiling at him because from Gramsh he would go to college to study Albanian language and literature. This was great news for other Kosovars. But someone suspected Neziri! Yellow dust of consciousness. One of the oldest students of the University of Tirana. And to think that at the University of Prishtina, 20-30 thousand Albanians studied, while in Tirana not even half. Enver’s “free” Albania?! No, no humiliation does this to my homeland. The savage dictator, yes. But Neziri was not told to study either. Kapllan Resuli and Myrteza Bajraktari are imprisoned. While at the faculty a meeting is organized, where these two are insulted in an absurd way. Nezir Vishaj stands up and opposes them. I remember his saying “I am going to Kosovo. Here imam, there imam, I want to be with my imam”. Sentenced sentence, two years in Çermë. He then went to Kosovo, where he continued his university education and was employed as a teacher in the High School of Economics. In 1981 he was imprisoned for two months and then for two years unemployed. This was his fate in the two dictatorships. The second skin introduced me to Shaban and Ajet Meha from Prekazi, Mitrovica. Cousins of the brave, Tahir Mehja, who in 1981, was surrounded in his home by Yugoslav police equipped with modern weapons. He stood like a hero. Poor Shaban, after killing his son, was allegedly imprisoned as the father-in-law of Ajet Haxhiu, a Security officer. Sentenced to 12 years in prison in Nis. After his release in the early 1960s, he and his entire family came to Albania. They take him to Çermë. To the boy who gave birth to him, he named his brother: Bajram. Those of the Security did not believe him. I left him there after fleeing to Kosovo in 1980. Go to see the special tragedy of Pjetër and Fran Gjoni, from Gurëzi i Shkodrës. They were in Çermë because they did not want to give the last dynym of their land to the cooperative. And the police come to take the land and with tractors, to break the borders. The John family rises in support of the land. Big fuss, screams everywhere and throwing stones. The police shot and killed the mixha, because he did not want to become a moneylender on his own land. Mija’s son is injured. Everyone gets them in jail. The injured is severely punished, while the others in Çermë. The family of the murdered mixha, somewhere in Fier. Oh God, you saw everyone living in one room. Meanwhile, their house in Gurëz was given the yellow lock of the government.
The tragedy wrapped in the yellow shroud would not end like that for the poor Gurzanjaks. The fourth Peter himself, together with Ahmet Kolgjini, Ekrem Muho and another, are sentenced to 10 years for agitation and propaganda. Avni Gjata turned out to be a witness! Strange! But why did these people talk, when they knew that the yellow padlock had to keep its mouth shut? The truth, though silenced, though surrounded by such a phantasmagoric silence, still came to light as soon as you met Januz Blakçori, from Istog, Kosovo. Knowledgeable, great, true man. His family had done their best to return to Albania. However, Januzi is educated, participates in the democratic movement. During Zogu’s rule, he performed an insignificant administrative job in Tirana. And let me not forget, apart from being a normalist, he had graduated from the Military Academy of Rome. After the fascist occupation, he was appointed a teacher in Korça. Meanwhile, after the liberation, he was imprisoned as an accomplice of fascism, but Todi Lubonja rescued him, because his family (Januzi) had been the base of the war. Throughout his later life, Januzi was engaged in translations from Italian into Albanian. But his name should never have appeared on stage. That wise man was surrounded by a cruel yellow silence. Nexhmije Hoxha and Fiqirete Shehu once allowed her to teach Italian to their children. Januzi shares with the woman through low intrigues and raised the girl himself. That girl marries a doctor from Korça.
But why was that man in Çermë? One day, in the middle of Tirana, two young Italians (they certainly were not) ask him where the Dajti Hotel was located. And Januzi tells them. That was it. The security forces handcuff him, accusing him of collaborating with foreigners and declaring that by order of Mehmet Shehu, he would be interned in Çermë!
Good uncle Januz! He had known Enver’s correspondence with Tito, Dalkkauk Beqir Balluku with various friends and officials. He singled out Sejfulla Malëshova, Abdyl Këllezi (shot in the basements of the Ministry of Interior), Fadil Hoxha, etc. And what did you want from all these acquaintances, while your intellect, your knowledge was old in vain and at such a broken age, to bring out the bread with nails, in Çermë! Oh god! There was no greater trampling, especially when he had taught Italian to the children of those hounds.
The best uncle Januz. Give me your lessons better than a school. You taught me that Zogu has done so much good for Albania, that he has been an outstanding diplomat, that the country in his time has not been closed with such yellow tutus. The living story was Uncle Januzi. His friends have been Luigj Gurakuqi, Fan Noli, etc. It told about Isa Boletini as well as Balto Istanbul, the murderer of Luigj Gurakuqi. Albania’s eyes are on the West, while the East has always kept it glued to its neck. Even for this saying thank you, Uncle Januz. Your hatred for communism, your love for the homeland throughout its territories, they were also a school for me. It was certainly not easy to learn from an 87-year-old, nor to carry his trusts on his shoulders. The best uncle Januz. You wanted me, despite the lack of education and culture, to write the living testimony of Enver Hoxha’s prison. The promise to you forces me to write. Let the new generations learn about our sufferings, about your beloved personality. Another living character of Çermë, Abit Çollaku from Zymi of Prizren. Goli tried Otoku and the Yugoslavs tortured him there. He left Yugoslavia and entered Albanian prisons. Go away a few times. Nis, Tirana, Prishtina, Çermë. O Lord did you have eyes to see our sufferings? I’m listening to them! Here is Teme Sejko’s son in Berat, Sokol was shot because he wanted to burn down the Textile Factory “Mao Ce Dun” (a yellow wax name) his mother, in the morning jumped from the fifth floor, in the middle of the boulevard of Berat. What shall I count first? How many other internees were crawling in the mud of Çermë. The communists, Enver-Mehmet-Ramiz, thought that their history would be drowned in that whirlpool, without leaving any evidence behind. The family of Xheladin Topçiu, Mixhait Selimi, Zymbel Prepolluka, Zenel Peçi, Bajram Çela, together with the family of his brother, Adem Muja, etc.
Through the yellow silence, you should have heard Enver Hoxha screaming in his speech in June 1973, and the news that in Tirana, they had made money by writing on the walls “Down with Enver and Mehmet gang, you are worse than the Nazis”. To hear the dictator’s response, the arrests of Fadil Paçrami and Todi Lubonja, the internment of relatives, the insults against Rexhep Qose, and much more. As I became seriously ill with my leg, as a result of the tortures in Burrel prison, I was taken to the Vlora Sanatorium for treatment. The doctor was a boy named Njazi, the grandson of Kadri Hazbi. Mehmet Shehu’s sister was a cleaner at that hospital. Halim Xhelo’s wife was also hospitalized there. One of the patients had his testicles hanging about 30 cm down. He was a Zogist from Tirana, so madly tortured. In that hospital I read the bombastic speech of the greatest criminal of the Albanian people against foreign performances. What an abomination! He wanted all the stars, the light, the birds, and everything to be convinced that this was written in his Marxist-Leninist religion. God save us from the mad. No no more wasting time. I wrote to the Ministry of Interior and the Yugoslav embassy in Tirana to allow me to return to Kosovo, because I was a Yugoslav citizen. Where should I stay? The sun seemed to me ragged, the air dry, people wounded in the heart. Meanwhile, a yellow silence rang in his ears. It is a little to say that man in such cases experiences his own crisis. The place did not occupy me. The shock that I was in the middle of a fight between the UDB or the Security led me to confusion. I used to scream. The Ministry of Interior did not respond. Yellow silence again. I requested a meeting with the chairman of the Lushnja Internal Branch, Natyrel Micin. I was showing as cold as my complaint was. And of course, the request to go to Kosovo. Speaking of which my blood was moving fast. I was a victim of careerists, I dared not say Insurance, without guilt. Yes, it is a forgotten past. I just wanted to leave for Kosovo. “This is the job of the Yugoslavs and not the Albanians,” Natyrel Mici replied arrogantly. “We do not want to keep people like you without will in Albania.” I told him that in the concentration camp I felt like in prison because there was no change. “I will escape from the first case that will be given to me. I was young and I was wrong to come to Albania.” “If you wanted to escape,” he told me, “this is your job, not the Branch’s.” I saw that they did not want to release me. Night was coming and I was under the terror of my thoughts. I had talked a lot and given them material to arrest me for the second time under agitation and propaganda. Hajt to solve this job, and endure another 10 years in prison in Albania. I had lost my spiritual balance. I decided, tomorrow I will escape. An escape forewarned to go to my mother’s lap as soon as possible. The first obstacle, the Rrogozhina bridge, was crossed without any difficulty. Then the cornfields. Holidays with ears raised. At night I just walked on the road not too close to the sidewalk. Thirst and hunger were my friends. I was traveling to Shkodra, because I knew that part of the border. I was sleepless but remorse nowhere neglected me. Birds chirp near me every time I sleep. It was probably my soul in alarm. 7 days and nights unwashed, unshaven, thirsty, hungry. Instinct led the way. Hope enlightened me in every case and renewed my strength. My tremor was an unquenchable fear of people. Away from them. How much would I endure?!
Albania was also big until it ended so quickly within the space of my desire, which was boiling in my breast. Would I get rid of the thickening of the tongue and its sticking to the palate? Let me wash the road with blood, let the heels heal, it is enough for me to be in the bay of the earth, there in Prishtina! Say or write a word of mouth, but do it. So even the decision of a strong will starts to break.
Man is an extraordinary being. He does wonders enough that the star of hope does not fade and what he is heading towards is sublime. Man has no nerves, but steel threads. Neither the savages nor the other living beings frightened me, only the people and the surprise of the police. Sleep is the biggest enemy. Would I capitulate? The words ‘NDAL’ kept ringing in my ears. What I was doing made sense.
Milot Church. A place well known by many travelers. I was told about it. Church ruined in 1967. How would I cross the Milot Bridge? Or would I expect a car? Not a Jeep, but a truck. I could tell the little “gas”. To whom should I pray those waiting moments for a truck after midnight, hidden by the roadside? Addressing God? Praying to the Saints?
I could feel the noise of the truck in the distance. I went out in the middle of the road. Quiet brakes. Before dawn somewhat wet. A sad thrombosis. A ride without fuss, as if I myself was looking back. Indifferent eyes and thousands of questions hidden in the driver’s gaze. He certainly doubted, but did not give himself up. He grinded everything with him. The smell did not drink water, I looked in the square, but still, let me find a word, let me tell him that I went to Shkodra, to my sick people. Trembling and tired instinct woke me up from the brake whistle. We were near the Buna Bridge. Cops, document check. What about you? I forgot my passport. Come with us. Two cops were certainly enough. I was in front of Natyrel Mic! Behold, not even my prayers drank water. I could now calmly submit to my Fate.
Hunger, thirst and insomnia, police escorts, the cynical ridicule of Natyrel Mic and his friends, were sharp torments. Back in the car taking me back to Lushnje, to her prison. Room 12. That night the investigation began. I had to go to the dungeon and wait for the trial. I was caught on 3.06.1975 and in two months of quiet investigation I was experiencing an incomparable wonder. And if there was no police torture on me, something else was torturing me, the disease./Memorie.al