Memorie.al publishes some archival documents extracted from the Central State Archive in Tirana (fund of the former Central Committee of the ALP), which belong to 1989, where there is a correspondence of the then Minister of Foreign Affairs, Reiz Malile, with his diplomatic subordinates and the family of the virtuoso artist from Peshkopia, the violinist, Arben Spahiu who had graduated from the Vienna Conservatory. Report of the diplomat Pertef Hasanmataj: “During the stay in Budapest when they went out to buy something in the shops, Arben Spahiu broke away and entered a shop only to buy scores for the violin. When his friends told him that there was no time for us to leave the plane, he replied; go, because if I am late, I will take a taxi to catch the plane and leave for Albania “.
The Papavrami family (Jolanda and Robert), who in 1986 settled and stayed in France where their youngest son, Teddy, studied for years, would not be the only precedent when Albanian artist students were studying outside Albania. decided not to return to their homeland. The difficult economic situation of the families they had left in their homeland, the deteriorating situation, as well as the gloomy prospects they saw for the future of their artistic and professional career, caused or forced some well-known artists that in the 80’s they studied in conservatories and art schools in different countries of Europe, or who traveled abroad for cultural and artistic activities, never to return to Albania.
After the Papavrams, sometime around 1988, another well-known Albanian artist, Elvira Liçaj Dones, who at that time worked at the Kinostudjon “Shqipëria e Re”, and was abroad for service reasons, decided not to return to Albania. A year later, in 1989, another Albanian violinist, Arben Fadil Spahiu (who had studied for years in Austria where he graduated from the Vienna Conservatory), also decided not to return home?!
Arbeni, or “Voci”, (as his classmates sometimes called him during the years of the Artistic High School “Jordan Misja”, in Tirana because of his Dibra dialect), together with Tedi Papavrami and Klodiana Skënder, were considered students the most talented that the “Albanian violin school” had produced since its inception. Which forced the Albanian state of that time to send them for further studies abroad (with state scholarships), where they stayed for years, further perfecting their talent.
But of these three virtuoso violinists, only Klodiana Skënderi adhered to the “contract” and returned to Albania after studies, after Tedi Papavrami and Arben Spahiu, decided and stayed out to continue their studies, career and life away atdheut. Making their dream of working and contributing to the most popular orchestras in European metropolises a reality, which would not be easy for them personally and for the families they had left in Albania, who would face all kinds of problems. with the communist regime in power.
While with the story of the event of Teddy Papavram and his family we are familiar in the previous chapters of this book, with the story of the escape of Arben Spahiu, who for more than two decades works as a concert maestro at the Munich Opera, us know in detail these archival documents that are published for the first time and in full in the pages of this book.
Letter from the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Reiz Malile, to the Executive Committee of the Peshkopi district
Tirana, December 4, 1989
CHAIRMAN OF THE EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE OF K.P.
P E SH K O P I
(Comrade Ali Kaza)
Citizen Fadil Spahiu sent me a letter asking me to find out about the fate of his son, Arben Spahiu, because the Ministry of Education and the Committee of Culture and Arts did not give him an answer. I beg the above to be called by you or any friend or whoever you appoint, to be told that the letter to M.P.J. has received and that the return of his son to the Homeland and nearby, family, is in the hands of his own son.
Letter from the father of the violinist Arben Spahiu, to the Minister, Reiz Malile
First of all, I apologize for the inconvenience my letter may cause you. Unable to meet you in person, I am obliged to write to you about a very important problem that has created an unwanted situation in my family.
I am writing to you is Fadil Spahiu, a worker, member of the ALP, living in Peshkopi, the father of Arben Spahiu, who, under the auspices of the Party and the state, studied for six years at the Vienna Conservatory for violin. As you may be aware, at the end of August, my son, after finishing his vacation, left for Tirana in order to start work where his homeland needed him.
On September 1, 1989, we are informed that Arben, based on documents compiled by the Committee of Culture and Arts, left for Vienna in order to participate in an international competition in Italy. We as parents with many emotions were waiting to learn the result of this competition and at the same time the return of Arben, who always thought and was optimistic to give his contribution to the state symphony orchestra, after saying that in all possibilities that the orchestra compete with the best orchestras in Europe.
But after a month and a half, the enigma for Arben suddenly arose. The Ministry of Education informs us why Arben did not appear in office. This announcement disturbed and shocked us immensely, we were not understanding anything. We asked each other; How is it possible that Arben is wanted by us, when it was known that he had not yet returned from abroad?
As a parent and as a citizen, I am very concerned about the fate of my son’s life. I am interested in the Ministry of Education and the Committee on Culture and Arts. I am very surprised after everyone shrugs and tells me not to get upset, not to worry!
How can I sleep peacefully when no one is explaining to me where the boy is, what happened to him and when he will return? I am obliged to remind you that we have been waiting for Arben for 15 years and we follow him with tears in his eyes, longing for him, after he left home at the age of 7, he grew up away from us in dormitories being under fatherly care of the Party.
As long as he stayed with us during the summer holidays, we made every effort for education and with a sense of love for the Homeland, the Party, and Socialism. Family and especially Arben owes us to the State Party for what it has done and does for us. Unable to answer this riddle about my son’s life, I thought I would turn to you, Comrade Minister, convinced that only you have all the possibilities to seek and find him.
I am also convinced that this issue is not only a parental concern but also a state concern. I remain hopeful and optimistic that my question about what happens to my son’s fate and life will be answered as soon as possible.
With respect and consideration
Bishop on 11.11.1989
Request of the Culture and Arts Committee for the passport of Arben Spahiu
PEOPLE’S SOCIALIST REPUBLIC OF ALBANIA
COMMITTEE OF CULTURE AND ARTS
FOREIGN RELATIONS OFFICE
Passport and visa application
MINISTRY OF INTERNAL AFFAIRS
MINISTRY OF FOREIGN AFFAIRS
The Committee of Culture and Arts pursuant to the letter of the Council of Ministers No. 2343/1 dated 26.08.1989, has approved to go to Italy, to participate in the international violin competition “Rodolfo Lipicer”, our violin student in Austria Arben Spahiu. Expenses for the stay in Gorizia, Italy, where the competition will take place, as well as the Vienna-Gorizia return trip take over the school where Arben studied, so he will go through Vienna. The time spent abroad is up to 20 days. Please be provided with the relevant passport and visas.
Letter from the Albanian diplomat, Hasanmataj, to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs
By decision of the Council of Ministers no. 2343/1 dated 26.08.1989, and with the letter of the Committee of Culture and Arts no. 2634 dated 28.8.1989, it was approved that violinist Arben Spahiu participate in the international violin competition “Rodolfo Lipicer” in Gorizia, Italy.
To be trained by his professor in Vienna, Arben would first go to Austria and from there to Italy. Since it was not possible to secure an Italian visa to Albania for a period of time, it was agreed with our embassy in Vienna that efforts should be made there to secure it.
Thus, on September 1, 1989, with the Hungarian plane “MALEV” Arben Spahiu left for Vienna. On September 7, 1989, Comrade Engjëll Kolaneci announced that despite the efforts and interventions of our Embassy at the Italian Consulate in Vienna, to obtain a visa for Arben to Italy, she was not secured.
In these conditions, these days, Arben Spahiu together with his friends Dritan Hysi (doctor) Alfred Papuçiu and Fatos Reka (who were accompanying their children to Budapest), left with the minibus of our embassy in Vienna to Budapest, with driver Petrit Pasholli. When this group came to Budapest at our embassy, they found other friends who were waiting to leave for Albania by plane, such as Pirro Andoni, Stefanaq Pollon, Androkli Kostallari, etc.
After staying for about an hour at our embassy in Budapest, all the friends except Arben Spahiu, left for the Budapest airport to come to Albania, accompanied by friends Çlirim Muzha and Adem Haxhi. On the same day, the employee of our embassy in Budapest, Nasho Gjikopulli, left for Albania.
From the words of comrade Dritan Hysi, it turns out that during the minibus trip from Vienna to Budapest, he was stopped several times as in Gjerë, etc., and the separation of Arben Spahiu from other fellow passengers was noticed, under the pretext of buying some scores for violin.
While during his stay in Budapest, when they went out to buy something in the shops, Arben Spahiu broke away and entered a store only to buy violin scores. When his friends told him that there was no time for us to leave the plane, he replied; you go, because if I am late I will take a taxi to catch the plane and leave for Albania./Memorie.al
Tirana, on 26.10.1989