The fourth part
Memorie.al/ publishes the unknown story of Ndue Marashi, former Chairman of the Executive Committee of Tirana, member of the People’s Assembly and member of the Central Committee of the ALP, who on December 16, 1975, was found dead by a bullet pistol in one of the rooms of his villa (at the “Red School”), the circumstances of which have not been clarified even today after 45 years?!
Rare testimony of his son, 62-year-old Xhovalin Marashi who has lived in Belgium for years, who testifies for the first time publicly, the whole unknown story of his father and the Marashi family, starting from: their origin, arrival in Tirana, work, education, graduation and career of Ndue first in Kamza and then in the Kashar cooperative, the Party Committee of the Region no. 4 and then as Chairman of the Executive Committee of Tirana, where he served from 1973 until December 16, 1975, when Xhovalini and his younger brother, Vlash, found their bloodied father in the last minutes of life and the bus that we announced by phone, came after only 45 minutes ?!
Xhovalini’s story about the friendships that their father had with a part of the senior leadership such as: Beqir Balluku, Abdyl Këllezi, Fadil Paçrami and Myslym Peza, or others with lower positions and functions such as: Irakli Bozo, Abedin Çiçi, Mark Dodani, Hazbi Lamçe, Demlush Thaçi, Fadil Lamin, Halim Stërmasi, Ilir Gjylbegu, Panajot Pano, Fatmir Frashëri, Bert Jashari, Miti Dheodhosi etc.
How was the execution scheme of Ndue Marashi carried out, who were the people who attacked him in the Politburo and those whom the State Security committed to his physical elimination and why his son, Xovalini, rules out that it was done with the knowledge of Enver Hoxha, who is said to be one of the people who loved Ndue very much and he together with Nexhmija and their son, Iliri, have done a lot for the Marashi family, starting from… ?!
After the publication of some articles by Memorie.al in the last two issues, regarding the story of the former Chairman of the Executive Committee of Tirana, member of the Central Committee of the ALP and member of the People’s Assembly, Ndue Marashi, who for 45 years Earlier, at noon on December 16, 1975, he was found dead in one of the rooms of his villa, which is still located somewhere near the “Red School”, where according to the official version, given by the press release that was published the next day in the press, he had committed suicide, Memorie.al returns to this story.
This serious event, which did not go unnoticed even at the time it took place, as we refer to the official version, was the first time after many years that a suicide took place by a senior state official, (we have in mind, in in 1947 Nako Spiron, former Chairman of the State Planning Commission, who ‘de jure’, was the Prime Minister of the country and then in 1956, Omer Nishani, the President of Albania, or as he was called at the time, the Chairman of the Presidium of People’s Assembly), and according to communist morality, as well as the laws in force, suicide was considered a hostile act and the person who did so, especially when in office, was at best considered a “defeatist and capitulator”, otherwise was labeled as: “traitor and enemy of the people”!
Based on these, Ndue Marashi was not an exception from the communist regime of that time and all the accusations against him as “enemy of the people” etc. fell on him, and his family was expelled from Tirana and persecuted until the collapse of communist regime. Regarding this event and the mysteries, it still carries, it was written only after the ’90s and in 2018, a television documentary was made by the Albanian Public Radio-Television, where family members of Ndue Marashi, gave their related versions with that event.
Given the fact that on December 16, it was 45 years since the day Ndue Marashi lost his life in tragic circumstances and that event still remains shrouded in mystery, Memorie.al was contacted by Mr. Xhovalin Marashi, (Ndue Marashi’s eldest son), has been living with his family in Belgium for years, who after thanking our editorial staff for the articles published about his father, was also willing to give a long interview. and exclusive to Memorie.al, making public for the first time, many of the unknown sides of that story related to the name of Ndue Marashi and their family, an interview which we are publishing starting from this issue.
Followed by the last number
Mr. Xhovalin, in addition to this event that happened to your mother (ie the blow to the head with an iron and her hospitalization), in those days before the event of December 16, did you notice any concerns of the father, was there any work or family problem? etc. Did your mother tell you anything afterwards?
Apart from that very serious event that happened to our mother, who, as I told them, father Nduja, had told her: “They have it with me, it is a warning…”, there was absolutely no other problem. Family problem no and no, but work problems I believe not, as he would have told his mother, as he did other times, consulting with her. On the contrary, my father was very calm in those days and we were preparing to go on vacation to Vlora, because my mother, Franceska, after what had happened to her, needed to invade, because she had suffered a collapse. This was the situation in our family before December 16 when what we had never thought happened happened. But even though this was the situation, the father had long carried with him two revolvers (one American “Gold” and one of the Soviet brands), without which for several months, he never moved!
Why did he wear these…?!
Apparently, my father thought that something could happen to him at that time and as my mother told us, he had consulted with his close friend, Colonel Hazbi Lamçe (former commander in some camps and prisons), and he had suggested that to take no step without two revolvers. Sometime after his father’s incident, Hazbi Lamçe ended up in prison, with fabricated charges, allegedly for embezzlement. So, did some of the father’s other friends and companions.
Before we talk about what you just said, let’s go back to December 16th, who in your family last met your father and you personally when you last saw your father, before what happened?
In the morning of that day, the father, as usual, parted with the mother who went to work every day (at Kindergarten No. 49, where she was the director) and after that, my brother, Luli, and I parted with the father before class. 8 in the morning when we were going to school.
Remember anything about what you talked about that day?
That morning, before we left for school, my father was very calm, I can even say with humor, and before we left home to go to school, he gave us 100 lekë (old) Luli and I, as he and his mother, as I told them, would go to Vlora, while we would stay in Tirana because we were at school. After giving us the money, he told us: “Listen here, be careful not to talk to anyone and do not say a word against the Party and Comrade Enver, because I will kill you both with my own hand…”, and he hugged us both. He said those words to us at first as seriously, but when he hugged us, he changed his complexion and tone of voice and smiled.
Why did he say those words to you, did you say such things at that time at that age?!
That expression, that is: “Be careful…, that you do not say anything against the Party and Comrade Enver, that I will kill you both with my hand bab”, the father had repeated it often for several days, but we did not even understand why he told us, because we had never said such things and it never occurred to us to have those conversations with anyone! But, sometime later, when we grew up and started to understand some things, I thought long and hard about the meaning of those words that my father said to us, which we also talked about with our mother. And we concluded, that the father: apparently foresaw that something would happen to him and fearing that someone might even provoke us to his children, he said those words to us, that we should be careful and were kept! We may be wrong in these conclusions, but there was no other reason for him to say those words to us, as we had never said such things, as we had no reason. We normally lived a little better than the rest of our friends and had nothing to complain about, that we lacked nothing. Likewise, at that time my brother and I were active with the football teams of the “17 Nëntori” Club, as we said that we were talents, but we were also supported by Professor Lym Alla (a close friend of my father), and we felt happy for this fact, so that we were something more than others, we were also footballers.
What about the night of December 16, who came to your house?
Apart from us in the family, that is, the people of the father, such as uncle, Zefi, etc., and those of the mother, Franka, such as the aunt, Marta, uncles, etc., no one else dared to come to us, it seems that it was agreed that none of the state or party officials were coming there.
What about the next day at your father’s funeral, who came?
The father’s body was brought home the next day with the coffin closed just 30 minutes before the time set for the funeral in Tufina and there at the coffin were two State Security officers (dressed in civilian clothes) who would not let anyone approach you. nor do I touch the coffin with my hand.
They did not open the coffin at all, so no one from the family saw it before the funeral?
They barely let go of the grandmother, Dranen, who insisted on seeing her dead son, and the two State Security men, after pushing the grandmother away several times, finally surrendered and let her look at the work for seconds, opening the lid slightly. the coffin, which I remember the more my grandmother pushed, than they opened.
Did the grandmother see where the father had the bullet wound?
When they opened the lid of the coffin, the part of the head was covered with a thick piece so that it would not be visible, but the grandmother pulled it and saw the bullet wound on her forehead. The wound was covered with a thin bandage about 20 centimeters, but neither above nor below the bandage, there were no signs of burning, which happens when the weapon, the revolver, is very close to the place where it shoots and causes burns.
What vehicle was used for the funeral and who attended?
The vehicle where we put the coffin and went to the cemetery of Tufina, was a type of blue minibus (not black, as the Funeral of Tirana had), which was used to send to work in Tufina, the employees of the Flower Company and after it there were also two small buses. At the funeral, apart from us family and a few of our relatives or neighbors, there were no others. So, no person with party or state functions came to the funeral. But I remember that, from the house to the Tufina cemetery, on both sides of the road, all the time the procession passed, there were people stopping and standing, or even taking off their hats, in honor of their father, because almost in it the news of what had happened to Ndue Marashi was heard all over Tirana.
How many could have been at that funeral, and did anyone talk about his merits?
As I said, almost no one came to the house except us, our family and relatives, but when we went to the Tufina cemetery, I remember that there were many people who had gone there. Could it be that there were about 300 people and most of them were from the villages of Tirana, where the father had worked for years and they had come to respect him, even though it was learned that he was being treated as an “enemy of the people”? This thing, the way of burial and the treatment that was given to us as a family in those days, was more than clear to everyone, but even in these situations, many people had come to the funeral ceremony in Tufina.
The funeral ceremony was done at the expense of the state or…?!
I wanted to explain this to you. All the funeral expenses (ie the vehicle they brought to hold the coffin, the two small buses, the wreath, the opening of the grave, etc.) that cost about 4 thousand ALL (old), were charged to us and the next day at the funeral they came to our house and brought us the bill, telling us to go make the payment at the Funeral Enterprise. But we did not have that much money at home and we went to the Executive Committee to get our father’s salary, but they did not give it to us, saying that it did not belong to him. Then our mother Francesca was forced to sell two pairs of shoes she had bought in Hungary or Italy (I do not remember well where) and with them we paid for the funeral expenses. So, we as the family of the former Chairman of the Executive Committee of the Tirana district, member of the People’s Assembly and member of the Central Committee of the ALP, that the day after his father’s death, we did not even have money to eat bread. This was our condition and this is known to all who have known us.
Yes, but… did you say that your mother, Francesca, bought those shoes in Hungary or Italy…?!
Yes, it is more than true, but our mother, Francesca, had gone to Hungary for treatment since 1967 and Enver Hoxha himself ordered it, as she was very ill with a diagnosis of ‘ostomy’ (tuberculosis in bone) which he had obtained by treating the sick while working in health centers in Kamza, Institut, Laknas, etc.
Who intervened with Enver Hoxha that he ordered your mother to go to Hungary for treatment?
The father, Nduja, not having any hope that the mother could recover in our hospitals, with great difficulty, but also with the insistence of Prof. Dr. Shefqet Ndroqi (a close friend of our father and a colleague of our aunt, Dila, who was the head nurse at the Sanatorium), was forced to go to Enver Hoxha, as at that time many of the families of the upper nomenclature and their relatives went for cures, mainly in Hungary. So, did Enver’s father, and he immediately ordered Vera Ngjela, if I am not mistaken, to be sent urgently to Hungary, where her mother went on a plane on a stretcher and came by plane on her own two months later. Only for this fact, our father, I wanted to kill for Enver Hoxha and not to be the “enemy of the people”, as it was announced and treated us as a family.
But why did your mother go to Italy?
The mother also went to Italy for treatment and again by the order of Enver Hoxha. It was 1970, when during a party at the Palace of Brigades, the father and mother also met Enver and Nexhmija and they saw that Francesca seemed to be ill and ordered her to go for treatment in Italy, where she stayed for three months… While he was alive, his father never forgot the good things that Enver did to Nexhmija, but also his mother, even though what happened to us happened, he never forgot the good things he did to Nexhmija, thus sending her for treatment. out. But in addition, Enver Hoxha’s family has respected our family very much, and Nexhmija and Sanon, Enver’s sister, have called Francesca to their house several times, just to drink coffee and chat. Likewise, we as a family had friendship with Enver Hoxha’s eldest son, Iliri, who had just been engaged (early 1970s), came to our house, where his father, Nduja, gave him his car. (“GAZ”), because he was tall and he went to Dajt, or some other place, as he had just received his license and had a great desire to drive a car. Based on all that I told them, our father, Ndue Marashi, not only was not an “enemy of the people” or a “saboteur and coward”, etc., as he was labeled after his death, or more precisely after his assassination, (that the father did not commit suicide), but I say publicly, that Ndue Marashi, was a faithful to the blind of the Party and of Enver Hoxha. This has been a reality and everyone who knew our father at the time knows it. So, I told them this, to concluded that Enver Hoxha did not have a finger in the elimination of our father, but he was attacked and eliminated by some members of the Politburo like!
Before coming to the conclusions and talking at length about the Plenums of the Central Committee of the ALP that took place at that time before the event with your father, as well as the accusations that were made against him, I wanted to tell you I ask what happened to your family afterwards and who took over the villa where your family lived?
I am starting the answer to your question with our house, which was received by Katina Starja, the first secretary of the Party Committee of Region N. 4 of Tirana. So far normal, that someone would take it, but what hurt us, was that Katina Starja, decided in that house, saying that the “enemy of the people” Ndue Marashi, has changed the original colors of the house and she left them before. Whereas the bill of 42,000 old lekë of that time, came to us to pay it and we paid it, lek per lek, for years during the time we were in Tapiza, working in agriculture, where the first years we suffered for the bread of the mouth. This is another chapter, which takes hours to explain to you how much and how we suffered there and how we escaped from prison…?!
How did it happen that they were sent to Tapiza, when for such events, the families of those who were considered “enemies of the people”, usually sent them away from Tirana…?! So how did you get rid of this?!
Only a few days after my father’s funeral, a powerful man from the neighborhood came to us and told us: “Urgently prepare your belongings, you will be interned in Lushnje…”. After that, Franceska’s mother, with her uncle, Zef Marashi, asked for a meeting with Nexhmije Hoxha, who received them and they told him about what was happening to us, that is, the internment. Nexhmija was told that he would be interested and would respond. The next day, a neighbor of the neighborhood, Besnik Nallbani, a great man and a close friend of our family, came to our house and happily gave his mother the good news that we would not be interned in the villages of Lushnja, but they would send us to Tapiza, with deportation from Tirana. So, half the evil, as we would not be interned and would remain close to Tirana. According to Besnik, Nexhmija had ordered: “Do not take Ndue’s family to Lushnje, but send them to Tapiza, to the cooperative that he has frozen himself…”. / Memorie.al