Exclusive / Rare Testimony of 59-year-old Ajet Toska, the great champion in the 1980s hammer throw, regarded as the legend of the Albanian sportsman who in 1984 was tasked with joining two other athletes, Emanuela Kola and Pavlina Evro were present at the stadium of the Qemal Stafa National Stadium to tie the scarves of the Spartakiad to the top three leaders of the party and state at the time.
Toska, why did you personally and the other two athletes choose to meet Enver Hoxha at the stadium of “Qemal Stafa” National Stadium on the occasion of the opening ceremony of the Spartakiad on the occasion of the 40th anniversary of liberation?
Our choice was made because we were then a quality sport of European and world results. I was at the time of the Latakia Mediterranean Games in Syria where I had won the gold medal in the hammer throwing, as well as kitsch Emanuela Kola was declared Europe champion, while Pavlina Evro a fine athlete had just won a place of honor at the European Athletics Championships. that had developed in those days in Nice, France. So, in short, we had honored Albania in international activities and as such we were selected to meet Enver Hoxha and the other two leaders of the party and state of that time, Ramiz Alia and Adil Charcani, where we would tie them with the scarfs of that Spartakiade. And that thing was considered a rarity at the time and whoever it was would be honored and proud to be in our place.
Who first communicated this to you, so that you were selected to meet the three top leaders of the party and state at the time?
I was informed at the Dinamo Sports Club where I was supposed to appear at the Republican Guard for days and hours after being asked to go there. So much more. They had also informed Paul about Emanuel, and the three of us, according to the orders given to us, met at the Republican Guard on the appointed day and time.
Who hosted you there and what did they tell you?
There at the Guard Gate we were met by an officer escorting us to one of the command offices where one of the senior State Security Chiefs of the time, PL, was waiting for us, who informed us that we had been selected to meet three from the main leaders of the party and state, naming us: I “friend” Enver Hoxha, Pavlina “Comrade” Ramiz, and Emanuela “Comrade” Adil Carçani.
What other messages did he give you?
Yes, of course. He told us that this would be kept secret by not even telling our family members and told us that from that day on we would restrict movements in Tirana, implying that we would be check. And after that he told us that for nearly a month, the three of us would be presenting every day at the Guard’s premises, where we would rehearse with some soldiers by tying the scarf’s scarf. And so we did for almost a month, rehearsing how we were going to be “leadership companions” and tying our scarves. After that the last two or three days told us that we would be given some special instructions the day we were in the grandstand.
What messages did they give you that day?
Before leaving us with a “Gas” car, Senior Security Chief P.L. told us that we should not utter a single word to Enver’s “comrade” even if he himself spoke to us. We were told this several times and we were asked to repeat what they had told us several times.
Who accompanied you to the stadium?
Accompanied by another senior Security Chief, B.Z. who repeated to us once again what we should not talk about to “friend” Enver and he stayed with us until we approached and tied the scarves of the three senior leaders, as they had made us. So I “friend” Enver and Pavlina with Emanuel, Ramiz and Adil Charcan. And we did so we implemented the instructions given point by point. So, as we approached them, we tied our scarves, taking great care, and stayed for two to three minutes standing beside them snapping pictures and also the Albanian Radio Television cameras filming that opening ceremony. And after that, we had to leave immediately on the orders we were given.
How do you remember Enver Hoxha’s situation when you tied the scarf …?
In those moments I remember that Enver Hoxha was in a very serious state of health and he was climbing up to the central rostrum with a lift that had been put in place for those days. Comrade Enver did not speak a word to either us or to Ramiz and Adil who had put him in the middle. So, to be more precise, he was there just as a figure neither receiving nor giving, so he had no power to communicate with anyone, and I have the impression that he did not even know where he was.
After you left where did you go?
We were escorted by those who had brought us there, and after boarding the same “Gas” they had brought us, they sent us to the Perim Potato Company, near where the Mortgage is today, and when they came down we were again ordered that we not we had to talk to each other no matter what we had done since the first day we were assigned that “mission”!
But why they sent you so far… ?!
Even to this day I have not understood it.
Did you ask to come down closer?
Yes, of course, I spoke telling the driver to stop the car somewhere in the center, but he didn’t speak letting us know that he had a message on where to drop us off.
And the picture you came up with “friend” Enver, who did it and how did you get it?
Foton doesn’t know who did it to us, as we had unprecedented emotions “to accomplish the task we were tasked with” nor did we mind looking at photographers.
But how did you get this picture?
I was able to take Foton a few years later, after Enver’s “friend” had died, due to the great friendship I had with Interior Minister Hekuran Isa. He gave me the picture, and even called me to the office when he gave it to me.
What about Emanuela with Pavlina, don’t they have that picture?
To my knowledge no. There were no photos at the time when you went out with other party and state leaders, not with Enver.
Have you ever had the opportunity to be assigned to a sporting event, etc.?
To tie the scarves no, but I was assigned to carry the Spartakiad flag when overtaking for May 1st, as I was considered a high-level European and world-class athlete./Memorie.al