From Lek Pervizi
Memorie.al / As we have said, Valentini would be an accomplice of all the events that took place in the prisons of Shkodra, from 1944 to 1946, where he remained unpunished for two years, waiting and escorted by dozens and hundreds of honest and innocent highlanders who were tortured, shot or sentenced to prison, according to the decisions of special courts or people’s courts.
In those days, it became known that they had arrested many people, mostly Catholic clergy, who allegedly created a subversive, anti-evolutionary organization. They broke the news that they had found a large amount of weapons and ammunition hidden under the altars of the Great Church, a fact that would have changed the condition of the arrested. Of course, for the prisoners who, more than anyone else, knew the methods and actions of the communists, these news coming from outside were completely unbelievable.
But the “masses” believed him, that is, a good part of the people. These new events served to enliven their conversations. It didn’t take long and it was announced that the so-called Special Court would open its doors again at the “Rozafat” cinema, after a month’s rest. This time, it was about the Catholic Clergy and others who would be involved in that process. The hearings began where some twenty people would be judged, among them two Italian missionaries, Father John Fausti and Father Jak Gardini, and the Albanians Father John Shllaku, Father Daniel Dajani, etc.
The Italians lived in Albania for many years, and taught at the Jesuit High School in Shkodra. The others belonged to the Albanian Catholic Clergy, most of them laymen. Everyone already knows how the court process unfolded. The same story: trumped-up accusations, to which were added the false statements of false witnesses.
By the end of the week, it all ended with more than six death sentences and heavy prison terms for others. The two missionaries, who were truly holy men, were sentenced to death, along with two Albanian priests.
It didn’t take long and they were taken and shot with the great joy of the “popular mass”, as they called that group of people, to get drunk on the communist propaganda that considered them desolate, condemned as the prototypes of criminality. Until that state, the people were poor! But the main credit for that Fatz achievement belonged to the regime’s leader, and precisely to the devil himself, Enver Hoxha, who, to the depths of his perverted mind, was nourished by such hatred that, having no opportunity to exterminate all the Catholics, he would to proclaim state atheism, although he himself was the son of a hodge, as was Stalin, the son of a priest.
Father Stalin, with his son Enver, could not but be nourished by the same criminal feelings and bloody sadism. How did you treat me differently? Very simple: in order to eliminate the Catholic religion forever, he had to sacrifice his and the Orthodox religion, a beacon of simile with Samson and the Philistines. But for such a decision, it was not the right time, that diabolical decision; he would leave it for later.
Immediately after the so-called disappearance of that subversive organization of ” armed”, which had been led by those two eighty-year-old Italian missionaries, it was the turn of another group of political prisoners, among whom was a notorious ex-agent, Security, whose name was Pierin Kçira.
The cinema hall was full of people, distinguished by the loud noise, ready to hymn their “idol”, to whom, shouting like a fool, they spared years of their lives. An enraged mass that did not hesitate to beat its feet on the floor, demanding with rhythmic chants, the death penalty for all the defendants.
But this time, those present could not imagine what would happen to the group of young defendants. When it was Pierin Kçira’s turn, he was taken and suddenly approached the microphone, where he declared with a booming and clear voice, without being allowed to speak, that is, quickly, so that they wouldn’t stop him and take away his microphone.
– The people of Shkodra, the Catholic clergy, are not at all guilty of actions against the state, therefore their process was just a conspiracy. They are completely innocent. The weapons that were found under the lter, I placed them myself, with my own hands, by order of the heads of the Party and Security.
Pjerini ended by declaring that, all this, was the Kurds to eliminate the Catholic Clergy and the Albanian Catholic world. Pierini managed to speak so quickly that by the time the police arrived to remove the microphone, he had finished speaking. He sat completely satisfied on his bench, because he already felt himself freed from that heavy weight that his soul wanted to endure until those moments.
Therefore, he felt himself ready to appear before God, with a clear conscience. He knew very well that soon he would leave for the next world. They shot him together with several others, the Pierini Episode; fell like a real unexpected bomb, which infuriated the head of the regime. That incident should not have happened. Some people from Sigurimi blamed him for this great carelessness, which exposed the Bolshevik system itself, which had gripped Albania in the clutches of terror.
After Pierin Kçira’s speech, there was a great silence in the whole hall, so much so that you could not feel the flight of a fly. But then, the power starts again, with deafening screams, directed against that man, who had that great courage, to publicly confront and expose the indignities of the courts, which were the most vivid proof of injustices, frauds and forgeries, most reprehensible, that could be imagined and that characterized the communist system, that the western world could not recognize and understand.
Sadly, this is how the unfair and false justice of that regime worked for 47 years. Even the defendants of this court session received heavy sentences.
When the group of convicts came out escorted by the police, a mass was released on them, to strangle them with their hands, especially against Pierini, but the police did not allow them. So, those people were convinced that Pierini had made false statements, they were so intoxicated by the propaganda of the Communist Party, that they found in them the fertile soil to sow its bad seeds.
This group also paid with six gunmen, among them Pierin Kçira, who showed himself to be a brave and determined man like a true Albanian. We lied to him and he was connected to the Security Party, they had used him to plan the weapons hidden in the church. But, after the trial of Italian missionaries and Albanian priests, who were then shot, Pierini realized that he had entered the wrong path, becoming a servant of the devil.
Thus, not showing himself for a single moment, against the Security, that he was capable of acts of bravery and self-sacrifice, he waited for the appearance in court, to acquit himself, telling the truth before the people of Shkodran, to expose the schemes and meanness of a regime that held the power to commit crimes upon legal crimes, supposedly with courts and prosecutors, all at the service of the terror and criminality of a psychopathic and perverse leader. Woe to Albania, woe to the Albanians!
One afternoon, while they were all lying down, busy with their thoughts, there came from outside a noise of fairies and screams, coming in through the small window high up in the wall.
Valentini saw me, and riding with his feet on the back of a friend, he could see a large crowd, mostly ex-partisans and partisans, who were coming along the road with many people behind, accompanying two bound men, large and bearded, of course mountaineers, fugitives from the mountain, who had captured them.
They stood out above all the others because of their height and were guarded by security men armed to the teeth. Of course, they would be important people, as long as all those people were gathered around them, shouting and cursing, and praising the party, the government and the dictator. The road made a bend and the crowd headed there and disappeared. Valentine came down. Who would those two mountaineers be and how did you find out?
In order not to be noticed by the spies, Valentini ordered one of the other friends to ask Remzi’s cousin, who was serving there. They found out that it was about Major Llesh Marashi and one of his relatives, who had been captured that morning, after a fight on February near Koplik.
Llesh Marashi, as is known, was the one who from there in mid-December 1944, led the uprising and the attack on Koplik, 7 km. far from Shkodra, on purpose then, it fell to Shkodra. In the hope that the other surrounding provinces would also be taken, which did not happen and the uprising failed.
Lleshi and his people were forced to hide again in their mountains, followed by numerous communist forces, sent straight from Tirana, to annihilate them, under the command of Mehmet Shehu, the second super criminal, after Enver. As we have said, he imposed a five-day curfew in Shkodër, where he was arrested with thousands himself, and there were numerous shootings without trial.
Valentini himself suffered by being arrested and imprisoned, leaving the Italian woman alone, because his whole family was hiding in the mountains of Kurbini.
Later they found out that Llesh Marashi with his nephew, Rrok Kanti, and Cousin Pjetër Bajraktari, who had been hiding for almost a year and a half in a cave, on the side of a rocky mountain, quite difficult to reach.
They were supplied with food by very loyal people who, when you approached, made a sound to the animal of the forest. Very rarely, the nephew, Rrok Kanti, came out for inspection, a handsome, powerful and very flexible young man who had gone to fight against the communist forces.
The cave was in a very secure secret place, not even thought to be discovered. But apparently some spy. I will have noticed the movements of people carrying food, no matter how hard they tried, I didn’t notice them.
When the Security forces surrounded the place, the commander demanded their surrender, but at that moment, Lleshi’s nephew, Rroku, had left behind a rock and started shooting. In the first shots, two soldiers were wounded and although Lleshi called his nephew, Rrok Kant, to stop firing, he did not want to know and continued to fight, with unparalleled bravery.
But the siege got tighter and tighter and Rroku saw that he had a few bullets left, then he made the final decision, I’d rather kill myself than fall into the hands of the Security, so he pointed the revolver at his chest and fired. Meanwhile, the commander called Lleshi to surrender because there was no other way out.
Lleshi had answered that if it was up to him, he would never have surrendered, but he was thinking about the life of his nephew and his cousin, that is, of Rrok and Peter. If he guaranteed their lives, then he would surrender. In this case, Lleshi knew nothing about Rrok. The commander, after consulting with the commissar, replied that they accepted that condition.
So Llesh Marashi and Pjetër Bajraktari surrendered and were brought to Shkodër. Rrok was found lying down, with a large wound on his chest and a lot of blood loss, and he was pronounced dead.
But the commander had approached and noticed that he was still alive, so he had given the order to prepare a lantern with all the wood, to lower him to a place where the car was coming. So it was done and Rrokun took a car and took him to the Shkodra hospital, where he was urgently operated on and saved from death
Even for Llesh Marshi, there were warnings from the highlanders that he should not surrender, if he fought like men and did not fall alive into the hands of the communists. We have known his nephew Rrok Konti, a brave and loyal man, who killed himself during the siege of Lleshi, but because the bullets had hit his heart, he was saved.
We met in the camp where he was brought, in the Tepelena camp, from the Burrel prison. He told us that during the fight, he ran out of bullets, with the last two, in his opinion, he killed himself, but the bullets had not touched his heart. When he found out about Lleshi’s surrender, he told us: I would have killed him with my own hand, but he was never surrendered to me alive./Memorie.al