Interviewer: Marcel Hila
Memorie.al/ Missing: Galip Hatibi. Convicts: Father, Rasim Hatibi, interned while he was alive. His wife, Asamble Hatibi, sentenced to prison and exiled. The son, Durim Hatibi, persecuted as a person with a bad biography Galip Hatibi, born in 1920, originally from Skopje. He worked as a secretary in the Ministry of Interior, but left resigning to move to the field of sports, as an organizer of national and international sports activities. He knew several foreign languages: Serbo-Croatian, Italian, French, English, and German. On September 25, 1946, at the age of 26, he was arrested by the State Security at midnight after coming out of a long meeting with sports leaders.
Madam, thank you very much for coming to give the interview!
What is the reason that your father-in-law, the late Mr. Galip Hatibi, was arrested and convicted by the regime?
Reason? He was a patriot who loved the country – he was an intellectual. He had studied abroad, in Italy, and wanted to serve this country. After graduating, he returned to Albania to serve. He was an idealist, very honest and thought then, with communist thoughts, that he would serve the country with justice, but after he returned and was appointed to the Ministry of Interior, secretary, as I heard from my father-in-law, he understood very quickly what was actually being done by the government, the state at the time, and immediately demanded his resignation from the post he had. I also know that they did not want to fire him and, with the intervention of someone else, they fired him.
He was a versatile person, he also did sports – he also played football. He loved sports very much, but he also had many other talents, such as acting, and I even have these documents that I am saying. He knew 6 foreign languages, taught in school, Serbo-Croatian when he finished school in Skopje, primary, in high school he learned French and Italian, and then privately, with professors, he learned English and German
Nurxhan Gostivari testifies about his father-in-law Galip Hatibi. At least have a grave to bear his name! They said “they took him out of the country with his luggage, he is a speaker on Radio London, on the BBC …”, but he was tortured in the dungeons of the Ministry of Interior! The family, then, in the hope that at least he would be alive, listened to both Radio London and the BBC, but nothing corresponded to his voice indeed from the government, the state at the time, and immediately demanded his resignation from the post he had. I also know that they did not want to fire him and, with the intervention of someone else, they fired him.
He was a versatile person, he also did sports – he also played football. He loved sports very much, but he also had many other talents, such as acting, and I even have these documents that I am saying. He knew 6 foreign languages, taught in school, Serbo-Croatian when he finished school in Skopje, elementary, in high school he learned French and Italian, and then privately, with professors, he learned English and German. In these circumstances, after being relieved of duty, he was assigned to duty in the Sports Committee, if I am not mistaken as he was called. Then the Olympics or the Balkan Games were organized, as it was called.
It is also the football championship and Albania won then, in ’46?
He was the organizer, the chairman, and the secretary, I remember from my mother-in-law, who said that it was Ramiz Alia. On September 25, 1946, a few days seems to me before, a few days before this Balkan Games was organized, he is in a meeting for the sport until late. The meeting probably lasted until 22.00-23.00 at night and after he left the meeting, the State Security took him and arrested him.
Do you know any details on how the arrest was made? Has the family seen him since that moment?
The arrest was made in secret. No one knew or at least no one told us how it was done. The family was worried that he did not come home and went out to look for him in friends; in the people who had met with him and that everyone shrugged their shoulders and said “we do not know anything”! When he asked the competent authorities, that is, that he addressed the state, he received the answer that he must have fled, because he is in the service of the Anglo-Americans and there are many possibilities…! My mother-in-law used to say, they went so far as to say “they took it, they took it out of the place with luggage”, until they managed to say. They told him “listen to Radio London, because he speaks there, or the BBC, because there is a speaker”. The family, then, in the hope that at least he would be alive, did so, but nothing corresponded to his voice.
Do you think he has been kidnapped?
He has been kidnapped, yes! Even though logic did not accept that he had left the country that he had fled, knowing her husband well…!
I mean, only later, did you find out details, that he was arrested and eventually disappeared?
What happened to him? The truth is that they did not hear many details, to say the least, because people were afraid to speak.
People? Which people?
His relative’s people. He had a living father, he also had three sisters, or two better, that one was not exactly a sister, but he called her as a sister and a brother he had from his father, from a second marriage. They had been very close to him until then, but since he disappeared, they have denied him and no one has approached his family. The mother-in-law, who had just been married, had been married for about two or three months and she, after her husband disappeared, realized that she was pregnant. He, as we later learned, found out that his son was born when he was still in…!
In the investigator…?
Where they had put him.
What is the correct name, Galip?
Galip Rasim Hatibi. So he raised the boy alone and saw absolutely no help, except the father-in-law, while he was alive and as much as he could, because he too was exiled. And he did exile. This was the situation, that is, no one helped him: he sold what he had, the loot of the house, because they were family…!
How old was Mr. Galip when he was taken?
26 years old!
The only boy?
Only son, with three sisters, one from a father’s second marriage, in fact, even a brother…!
How did you find out about the disappearance or arrest? Did it become clear what happened to him or did you never have any information, so did the father of the missing person and later your spouse as his child find out anything about him?
The father died a few years after the son (of the missing person) was born, that is, the nephew, that is, my husband, and he left a will to the entire property … he passed it directly to the nephew.
Yes, knowing that he would grow up without a father left him 2/6 of his fortune. Later, the brothers and sisters, except for one, tried to cancel the will, so that the property would not be divided into two parts more than the others to this nephew who was growing up without a father, but fate wanted him to be in court a copy of the decision where the opening of the testamentary inheritance had been made, and thus the wealth was saved, that they had fought it all the time.
Have you had a notification from state authorities about Mr. Galip’s fate?
No, no, absolutely
What do you know about his fate?
My mother-in-law, like my husband, is an Anti-Fascist War activist who in ’42, dealt with guerrilla units, helped the war a lot. That is how she met her husband in those conditions. There were also friends, because she also went to school: she also had several foreign languages, she finished school abroad … as I explained to you above, she also had friends. They were the same generation with Nexhmija, with Enver – the famous of that time, Enver Hoxha I speak and so…! And she pulled it out. He said: “Your husband is an agent of the Anglo-Americans. Go search and listen on Radio London”! And when her mother-in-law insisted, “My husband does not do this, leave the country!” !
So, if we consider “authority”, this is the last answer given by the Albanian authorities?
Yes, yes, that was it!
What happened later?
We did not have concrete details; I said that people were afraid to speak at that time…! After the advent of democracy, after the ’90s, we learned that people saw him in prison. Lawyer Koço Dilo was arrested at the time. About two years, says my mother-in-law, was held there, 1946-‘48; lawyer Koço Dilo, who was arrested in the period between these two years and who was tied to the prison columns, was also held there.
The Ministry of Interior?
Downstairs, where the prisoners’ cells were, and in one of these cells, one night, coming out, he saw a person who looked like a corpse, for the fact that he was so thin…! It was winter and he was still wearing summer clothes.
Dressed as he was when he was arrested?
Yes, as it was on September 25, with a long, ragged beard and those clothes were torn. He had not known her! He had approached him and said “You do not know me”? Was introduced and he had known her only by sight. He had told her that she had learned that she had been made with a boy (in tears), forgive me, and that they had given her the name Durim. His grandfather put up with him, hoping that…!
Be patient, he will win!
To endure to come, perhaps and with the hope that he would meet his father, his son’s father, which did not happen. That was the conversation with Koço Dilon, but he transmitted this to Petro Marko and not directly to his family. Even this, out of fear.
Petro Markos? How do you know that?
Petro Marko told Koço Dilo and Petro Marko kept this to him, without sending a message or a word to the family. Then, he felt it as a duty, as a moral obligation, and after the ’90s…!
Petro Marko died in June of ’91. There was little time to write during those months maybe!
Yes, I have and I tell you, it’s very touching.
We need all the materials, duplicates, because we are opening files for every person, with photos, with documents, with whatever.
It was also written in other newspapers, by the trial of Llambi Ziçishti. From what is said there it turns out that my father-in-law, Galip Hatibi, was burned alive.
Llambi Ziçishti says in court? Are the minutes?
Yes, they are here! The minutes of the trial were published in the newspaper.
This coincides with 1982, when Arianit Çela is the president of the High Court?
But these only became known after the ’90s, so before that…!
I know, I know, it’s not a question!
He says that Koçi Xoxe is the Minister of Interior then, while my father-in-law is the secretary.
Secretary of Koçi Xoxes?
I do not know, but with a secretary…!
Koçi Xoxe is not a minister at the time, but the director of the Directorate of People’s Defense; he had great weight at the time and in October or November of ’46 he became Minister of the Interior. Until then, the Minister of Interior is Haxhi Lleshi.
Then, there is the secretary.
In Albania there were three directorates: Directorate no. 3 was the Directorate of People’s Defense. Koçi is a director in the Directorate of People’s Defense. You have asked the authorities for information and they have not given you anything?
No, no, absolutely!
So, by chance, after the ’90s, you found two sources, the writer Petro Marko and the data from the public trial that was done to the former minister Llambi Ziçishti.
Yes, even statements from other people.
Was anyone willing to tell you voluntarily, coming to you in the family?
My father-in-law has also been convicted of agitation and propaganda. He was sentenced to 7 years and did 4 years because he got amnesty. He was arrested in ’78, on October 16, ’78. He appeared in court at the end of March ’79 and then came out after 4 years in prison, with amnesty…! When he was arrested, he was 55 years old and for that reason he left, so the interviews with people were done by my father-in-law, but I have two statements from two people, talking about Galip, I can read them or make them available to you. .
Can you tell us the content briefly?
It is the declarant Siri Ago who shows that he knew Galip Hatib when he was learning English with Professor Isan Qereshnik, during the Movement, and that he had heard that after the liberation he was secretary in the Ministry of Internal Affairs, headed by Koçi Xoxe. In ’48, when he left Tirana, someone he does not remember, had personally told him: Galip had been tortured and had lost consciousness…! How many times has he lost consciousness in those two years … yes, and he had told him that he was burned with gasoline in the Ministry of Internal Affairs.
Is this voluntary information he gave you?
Yes! The signature of the person with the stamp of the neighborhood at that time has also been certified by the People’s Council of the neighborhood. Memorie.al
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