From Lek Pervizi
Memorie.al / As every day, the deafening shriek of the changa announced the wake-up call, the ration of bread, the ladle of taralange soup and the departure for work. They came out of the barracks like ants from their underground galleries. The ration of bread and soup served as food until returning from work, late in the evening, exhausted from digging a pharaonic canal of Lekaj i Kavaja, which was supposed to serve for drying the swamps. An extremely difficult job that was carried out with the strength of my arms for political prisoners, who, in addition to being sentenced to prison, were also sentenced to forced labor.
Continues from last issue
Days and nights passed in that hellish state of hopelessness. Almost every night, he was subjected to torture by the so-called investigators, criminal officers of the Security. The two captains, Mit’hati and Skënder Kosova, met Genc Pervizi again, they tried to talk to him, and they promised him that they would stop the torture, if he accepted the guilt he had never committed. They left him in the hands of the jailers of the cells, captains and policemen without knowledge and faith, to be charged with using the most severe tortures, to force him to cooperate.
The investigators came from time to time to assist me with pleasure in those sessions, as if they were in a theatrical performance. They intervened to implement some types of torture that they had learned in the schools of the Soviet GPU.
One night, the executioners attacked Genci with punches and kicks, until his body was reduced to a plank and completely black from the blows. We reduced him to the bone, so that he could not stand. The guards dragged him and threw him into the cell, like a sack of rags, where his crushed bones crunched on the concrete floor.
– “You die there, dog son of dog”! The police were screaming. When they came out, they slammed the door in anger. This caused a great crash, from the iron cover, as if it were a sword fight.
The boy lay down on the rough, cold cement for a while. Empty head. He was unable to think and remember. He already felt the pain of the mutilated body parts, from the blows of boots, fists and sticks. They had beaten him to death. But why?!
How long he sat like that, he didn’t know. Time had lost its meaning, and it was locked there in those walls. How do you know that time passes?! Strange! He would never have thought that it could be measured by the growth of his beard, hair or nails. He had learned this during the months of isolation that he spent when he was arrested three years ago. As if he came to his senses, and let out a look around.
A dim light came from above through a narrow turret, making the dirty walls of the dungeon gray. Yes, this was not his cell. Where were the loots? Why did they throw it there? His mind was working. Well, I’m still alive. “Cogito ergo sum”, Descartes had rightly said. Body pains brought him back to the bitter reality. They beat him like never before.
– “Speak! How did you prepare the escape of your friends? Who participated in that group? Names. Give us their names. If you will still live with me. Speak, wretched son of the general; of that damned reactionary and enemy of the people! Speak, or we will flog you alive! The investigating officers screamed, charged with torturing him so that he would admit, that is, he would stop an organization of the escape of his comrades.
“What was the mission of those who escaped? Did you contact your father and other enemies to overthrow our regime? That’s how…”! Constantly learning the same words by heart. These thoughts came to him while he was lying there on the cement, where the scenes of torture were repeated.
The boy lay down on the rough, cold cement for a while. They had beaten him to death. But why? Genci could not understand why he was still alive, with all the torture you had suffered. When the executioners were torturing him, he screamed like crazy:
-“What do you expect from me? What conspiracy? What friends? What escape? I don’t know anything. Nothing, my lord. I don’t know anyone in Albania, nor does anyone know me, because I spent all my youth in Italian schools. You know this very well!”
-“Who would have given me such a drink? And why are you shouting? How dare you, sir, they told us, you, a declassified aristocrat and bourgeois”? The tormentors were tired of their screams. But the most criminal of all was Capt. Sako, whose name he learned in the torture sessions, when the officers called him.
– “Speak or else I’ll snap your neck with my hands”! – He said. – “You are neither the first nor the last, you understand”?
-“Kill me on the spot, now, if you want! Put an end to this comedy. You think I’m afraid to die? Not at all, sir! I don’t care about death or you! I have nothing to say to you for things I have not done to people I do not know. And you will not get a single word out of me, no matter how hard you try. For this, you must be clear and obedient. You have proven yourself three years ago…! No I have changed; even I am very determined and strong”.
As he sat there, going through these scenes in his mind, he said to himself, why he had been thrown into this other cell. Maybe they had planned something more terrible. It was the policemen who dragged him to this dungeon. Why? Instinctively, his hand went to the small pocket of his pants. How good! The pack of five cigarettes and the match had survived. An unknown inmate had entered through a crack in the door. How and why, Genci had not given him an explanation.
The prisoners, even though we were isolated, found a way to recognize each other and came to the aid of their friends at least with a cigarette, which was more valuable than bread, in those conditions. He didn’t know anything about his other friends. Who knows where you will have the tiles. The deserts, who knows what torture they will remove. The basement cells of the Ministry of the Interior were so isolated and secret that Genci never found out; how long did he stay there, where the other friends had beaten him. Solidarity among prisoners in that state of absolute isolation was inconceivable.
Beyond torture and ill-treatment, this condition strengthened the character and spirit of the convicts. In those catacombs, the brain worked intensively and a word and a movement, no matter how small, were valued to find the meaning of the solution, despite having no hope of realization. The term “catacomb” was perfectly suited to the cells of that basement where there were special people, although innocent, but who needed the system to play its games on the misfortune of others.
Isolation was absolute as well as disregard for the innocence of the convicts who were kept there for months and even years. The main principle followed by the communist regime was that of “class war”, it was invented by the paranoid mind of the dictator Enver Hoxha, with which principle, the whole life of Albanian society was developed, where people were taken by the neck, if they were involved in that principle .
In this way, those who were branded and entered the repertoire of that class war, suffered the worst, that not only prison and exile awaited them, but they were also shot without any kind of mercy. The all-powerful to implement the party policy for the class war, was the State Security, which wreaked havoc on its own Albanians, sisters and brothers, who were considered nothing and ended up in nothing, without having any guilt or sin in their conscience. But primarily the Security had the primary duty to implement the orders and decisions of the dictator, the prosecutor himself and the ruthless judge himself!
Genci took out the cigarette case and took a cigarette, which he lit, leaned against the wall, tasted the smoke and collected his mind. He was feeling better. Tobacco had disturbed his mind. In that solitude where silence reigned, he was suddenly alone, I heard a noise of irons coming from the other side of the opposite wall. Whatever it is? When you hear a weak voice.
“Please don’t have a cigarette”? The ghost came from a hole in the wall about the height of a man. We were surprised; Genci thought it would be a unlucky in worse condition than his. Bani like he did and went, with all the pains of the body and leaned against the wall, to reach the hole, about the size of a human head. The very weak light did not allow me to distinguish anything. Genci held out a cigarette and handed it to the strangers. A skeletal hand reached out and took the cigarette.
“Can I turn it on”? Zani came again so weak and barely. Genci lit the match and while giving it to him he saw a face all bony, with a thick beard and long gray hair. Big eyes open full of sadness. Vettimthi remembered the film of the Count of Montecristo, when Abbot Faria met Edmond Dantes, in the crack in the prison wall.
-“Who are you and what is your name”, spoke the man on the other side.
– “Genc Pervizi”.
-“Who? Genc Pervizi? Is it the son of Prenk Perviz? I knew your father. Where is he now, because by chance I found out that he is on the run?!
Genci told him that he is in Greece, but he didn’t know more.
“My name is Galip Hatibi. They have buried me in this basement for five years. Thanks for the cigarette. I haven’t tasted it for a long time.”
“Galip Hatibi? It is said that you are on the run abroad. I have known your brother, Belul, and the family. They remind you of somewhere in Europe or America”.
“No, my friend, I’ll repeat it, I’ve been locked up in this dungeon for five years. And God knows if I’ll ever come out alive. I don’t believe it. I’m a mortal for life.”
– “Where is this noise of irons and water coming from”?!
– “My legs are tied with chains and in this cell without light, there is a tap of water, Castile is put in, where I am forced to behave. I sit on it like a concrete bed, where we lay it on any old cloth”.
-“Why all this inhumane treatment”?!
– “Yes. For some absurd reason. They claim that I keep secrets. I have known almost all the nationalist personalities of that time, as I also told your father. I participated in various meetings, related to the political activities of the time. I know several communist leaders, even Enver Hoxha himself.
They tortured me for telling me things that didn’t happen and implicate people for nothing. They threatened to exterminate my family. Thank you for bringing me news of her. I have not accepted nor will I ever accept to embarrass myself. Better to die with honor than alive with shame. This is Galip Hatibi. Now be careful, they don’t let anyone into that dungeon. They got you by mistake. Say you haven’t seen or heard anything.”
Genci was shocked. He laid out the cigarette case with the three cigarettes that had the residue and the match.
-“Thank you….! Goodbye…goodbye forever!
The emotion took over the deserted Galip and left. There was the sound of chains and the lapping of water. Genci’s tears flowed for that man who was actually a living dead. He returned to where he was. It was necessary to show that he had not played the place. Curled up, as if he was asleep. It didn’t take long and suddenly the door opened with force. A kick made him move.
“Get up you dirty dog sleep? Take this carrion”, shouted Captain Sako. The guards grabbed Genci by the legs, pulling the slang. The captain, after glancing at the cell, slammed the door shut, furious that the guards had thrown Genci into that forbidden dungeon.
– “See? We’re not that bad. We have brought you back to your room, where you can sleep comfortably. But if you don’t get sane, we have methods to make you sing, and even better dungeons. Do you understand”?
As soon as the door closed, Genci lay down on the dirty clothes that looked like a hotel bed. Otherwise, he did not sit on the cold cement. The strange meeting with Galip had shocked him. His face seemed to appear, so skeletal and sad. Poor man, what a cruel fate he had met. Truly the living dead. Who would one day find out his story?
Who would confess? Even if he was released from prison, he could express himself only in his family circle. Such an event could not be told to anyone without risking oneself. Who could afford to risk it? While these thoughts were brought to his mind, his body continued to ache from the animalistic beating he had suffered. He felt discouraged and powerless, and fell into a deep sleep. He forgot to eat that piece of bread he had saved for “dinner”.
Tortures were the order of the day, or, I was told, at night. It was not surprising. The beasts in human form carried out their behavior at night, like the savages of the jungle. They practiced the same ferocity of wild animals. Or were they not like the bloodthirsty vampires of macabre legends who used the night to commit bloody deeds. In the conditions of such great suffering, the prisoners preserved their humanity and found a way to communicate with each other and to understand what was happening in the basements of that ministry, in those infernal circles.
One day, when Genci was going to the bathroom, he found out from one of the prisoners, who had been locked there for three years that the desolate Galip Hatibi was in the hands of the torturers. To eliminate every trace of him, they had burned his body in the ministry’s heating ovens. There was no doubt that other unfortunate, who was called to be lost, would have ended up like him, without a mole.
So it happened that the story of that man was never known and remained a mystery. Genci was the only witness to his tragedy, completely accidental and in unimaginable conditions. Say if you want that miracles don’t exist. Convinced of his end, Galip had understood that his end was nothing but the work of days and hours. God knew Genci so that his story and cruel fate would not remain unknown.
He had said goodbye to his imprisoned friend, goodbye forever! It was the last farewell to life!
This testimony answers an unknown truth about the tragic fate of Galip Hatib, remained a mystery. It took the consequences of Genci’s convictions for this story to be told as it really happened.
Undoubtedly, this story will seem unbelievable to the reader, but unfortunately the criminality of the communists has no limit, and the issue of burning the body of Galip Hatib, and others like him, falls as an irrefutable accusation against the monstrous massacres committed from the Albanian communist dictatorship, which has received the black stamp of shame, as the most ferocious and cruel dictatorship of other communist countries of Eastern Europe. The truth, no matter how hard it is, must be told, and no matter how much you keep it secret, the day comes when it comes out. Memorie.al