Memorie.al publishes an archival document issued by the State Central Archive in Tirana (fund of the former Central Committee of the ALP), which belongs to 1973, where there is a personal letter with the initials “secret”, where the secretary of the Party Committee of Tepelena district, Ali Manaj, informs the secretary of the Central Committee of the ALP, Hysni Kapo, regarding a visit he had made in those days in Tepelena district, the deputy chairman of the Presidium of the People’s Assembly and at the same time, the deputy of that province, Shefqet Peçi, accompanied by some of his friends, writers, poets, military and other senior officials, originally from that area. According to Ali Manaj’s secret information, during a lunch hosted by the Progonati agricultural cooperative in honor of Comrade Shefqet Peçi, the friends who accompanied him did not raise the first toast for the Party and Comrade Enver. As well as the note of Enver Hoxha and the message of Hysni Kapos regarding that event?!
Shefqet Peçi, the legendary former partisan commander originally from the village of Picar in Tepelena, where he was born on May 1, 1906, after 1945 until the collapse of the communist regime of Enver Hoxha, held and exercised a series of high state duties. From 1970 to 1982, he also served as vice-president of the Presidium of the People’s Assembly, having been a member of parliament from the first legislature of 1945 until 1991. In addition to these state duties, from 1950 to 1991, Shefqet Peçi was also a member of the Central Committee of the ALP.
But in addition to all these duties and high state and party offices, Shefqet Peçi was also a “poet”, or rather considered himself such and also the author of several books on “National Liberation War”. Shefqeti wrote not only war-themed poetry, but also politics-themed poetry, in which he “unmasked” American imperialism and Soviet revisionism.
Thus, in one of his poems, he wrote: “I say where is paradise / they say in Washington / Where the White House, only the tar drains. In addition to the poems that Shefqeti wrote himself, several other poets have woven songs, ballads and poems about his bravery shown during the war, which before the ’90s were also published in school textbooks 8 -years old.
In one of those poems dedicated to Shefqet Peçi, among others the poet (…) wrote: “How naganta did not stop us in Kuç and Korab / When he called us to attack in front of Shefqet Peçi, our lab commander /”. In this context, Shefqet Peçi enjoyed a great popularity in his area of Kurvelesh where he was an MP and he went from time to time to meet his constituents and to “solve the problems and troubles” that they had.
Shefqet never went alone to his constituency, but he always took with him some of his closest friends and comrades, mainly those who were originally from the Kurvelesh province. And more often he was accompanied by some poets and writers originally from that area, with whom he participated in meetings, as well as in the lunches and dinners that were served for him, as the “people” of that province, as well as the organs of local government, where brandy went toast with river for “Party and Comrade Enver”.
In this regard, it refers to the document that we are publishing in this part of the book and which is dated 13.VIII.1973, where the secretary of the Party Committee of Tepelena district, Ali Manaj, has informed the secretary of the Central Committee of the ALP, Hysni Kapon, by means of a “personal” letter with the secret logo. What forced the secretary of the Tepelena Party Committee to write to Hysni Kapos, or more precisely to Enver Hoxha (since he knew very well that Kapo would send his letter to Enver immediately), was the problem of rakia toasts, where the writer friends from Tirana who accompanied Shefqet Peçi to that dinner, did not raise the toast initially for the Party, but for the people of Kurvelesh. Because according to the “new customs” of that area and also the whole of Albania, the first toast was raised for the “Party and Comrade Enver”.
While in the province of Kurvelesh and some others in the South of the country, it had become customary that at lunches and dinners, toast with glasses of water was raised for the 13 members of the Politburo and its candidates. Which often made it difficult for the invited friends who were not accustomed to those “habits”, so much so that it often took them to the hospital. This is what happened at the dinner where Shefqet Peçi was invited with his friends from Tirana, which was written in detail by Ali Manaj.
Even from one of the guests at that dinner, it is learned that he addressed Shefqet Peçi with humorous notes, saying: “Comrade Shefqet, may this coming Party Congress reduce the number of candidates of the Politburo a little, that the men of the village are occupying our hospital…”. (But surprisingly, this is not written in the report-information in question). But the main problem that has greatly “worried and preoccupied” the secretary of the Party Committee of the Tepelena district, Ali Manaj, has not been only the amount of brandy toasts that have been raised there, “but the first toast” that has not been raised for the Party, which more precisely meant the toast to Enver Hoxha.
And this was the main reason that the letter, Hysni Kapo, was immediately sent to Enver Hoxha, who made a note there regarding that “event”, where Shefqet Peçi himself was the “protagonist”. Although Enver was not very strict in what he wrote, it is not known exactly whether this letter influenced the sentence given that year to the poet Agim Shehu and the poet, journalist and military writer, Ibrahim Gani, to who were expelled from the Party and deprived of the right of publication, which is also reflected in one of the previous chapters of this book.
Perhaps Shefqet Peçi’s presence at that dinner saved the writers who accompanied him from other troubles that might come to you from a carelessly raised brandy toast.
Likewise, according to the document in question (see the relevant facsimile), Hysni Kapo also made a note stating: “I called Comrade Bato Karafili and advised him to be careful in dealing with issues based on the note he has made Comrade Enver”. Like most of the documents in this book, it is published in full.
Ali Manaj’s secret letter to Hysni Kapo
ALBANIAN LABOR PARTY Personal
DISTRICT PARTY COMMITTEE SECRET
T E P E L E N E
Ex. Nr. 1
Nr. 619. Prot. Tepelena, on 13.8.1973
CENTRAL COMMITTEE OF P.P.SH.
(Sh. Hysni Kapo)
T I R A N E
We would like to inform you that from 6/8/1973 to 8/8/1973, the Progonat area and the Salaria sector of the joint agricultural cooperative Dukaj, received for meetings the deputy of their area, the member of K.Q. of the ALP and the Deputy Chairman of the Presidium of the People’s Assembly, Comrade Shefqet Peçi. I was accompanied by comrade Fuat Loloçi and Dilaver Pinderi. During the meeting with Comrade Shefqet, the people and communists of this area once again expressed the great love they nurture for the Party and Comrade Enver.
They listened carefully to the messages given by Comrade Shefqet for the great tasks that lie ahead of us to implement the decisions of the 4th Plenum of K.Q. of the Party and the enlightening teachings of Comrade Enver.
But we find it necessary to inform you about some actions and concepts that appeared at a dinner organized on this occasion in the agricultural cooperative of Progonat, which we think are not right.
Comrade Shefqet during the days he stayed in Progonat had taken with him to accompany some friends such as, comrade Xhaferr Matuka, officer, writer, in the Ministry of People’s Defense, comrade Ibrahim Gani, officer and employee in the newspaper editorial office ” Luftëtari ”, comrade Agim Shehu, employee of the newspaper“ Zëri i Popullit ”, comrade Musa Daci, from Progonati and today living in Tirana, comrade Maksut Drrasa, surgeon at the Military Hospital in Tirana, Faik Deda from Nivica, but now a doctor in the area of Krahës in Tepelena.
During the dinner that was organized on this occasion in Progonat, as we explained above, when health (toast) was raised with a glass of water which forced many friends to get drunk from rakia, for example, from drinking rakia in this form, the member of the Plenum of the District Party Committee and the chairman of the Progonat United People’s Council, Comrade Gjysho Ruci, lost consciousness and as a result was thrown from the second floor crib and today is in the hospital, but with the help given , seems to toast out risk.
Thus, during the dinner, some very harmful attitudes appeared that the party has constantly fought and is fighting, so for example, comrade Xhaferr Matuka raised a toast to the people of Kurvelesh.
I and other comrades accompanied this health, adding the health of the entire Albanian people, and comrade Shefqet Peçi, led by comrade Enver Hoxha, comrade Xhaferr Matuka, starting from the local position, made me wait in a more unfair way. He said: “Dollia should be drunk only for the people of Kurvelesh”.
I tried to convince him correctly and calmly that what I said was right, that they expressed love for the people of Kurvelesh, for the Albanian people, for Comrade Shefqet Peçi, for the Party and Comrade Enver, who provided us with white days that we enjoy today.
But some of my friends from Tirana did not support me properly. On the contrary, Comrade Musa Daci, from the position of localism, immediately rose in defense of Xhaferr Matuka, even going further in his concept, saying: “We will drink dolli for the people of Kurvelesh, who today is no longer united. Let Lanet be the ones who became the reason to separate him “.
This spoiled the atmosphere, because a problem arose that does not exist in the people of Kurvelesh, but that is thrown from time to time by special people who are Kurvelesha, but who live in Tirana and elsewhere. We expected these distorted thoughts to be answered, but no one did!
In the meeting of the people of Salaria, (Dukaj sector), when Shefqet Peçi spoke in principle against foreign performances, theft, misuse of state property and cooperatives, we think it would be good and would help us with the whole party organization in the district, especially the joint cooperative Dukaj, if this had been concretized with those great abuses and thefts committed by the staff of this cooperative, for which Comrade Shefqet was interested and we presented it by explaining it in detail, before to start meetings.
We say this when the general opinion in the Party and in the people, about the attitude held by the relevant bodies towards the perpetrators.
SECRETARY OF THE DISTRICT PARTY COMMITTEE
Enver Hoxha’s note in Ali Manaj’s letter
I do not believe that, at that dinner, the toasts started with the “health of the people of Kurvelesh”, and the toast was ignored, for the people, for the Party, etc., as much as comrade Ali Manaj had to write the letter. Comrade Ali as the leader of the country where he was, whenever he raised the first toast for the people and for the Party, etc. If such toasts have been raised many times… (the writing is not understood) he saw his friend Ali, he was out of place, but it was appropriate to raise the toast for the people of Kurvelesh, who deserves not one toast, but a hundred toasts.
Hysni Kapos’s note for Bato Karafili
I called Comrade Bato Karafili and advised him to be careful with the handling of matters based on the note made by Comrade Enver./Memorie.al