Mamorie.al/ Popular Assembly, whereas the main object and topic was: “The fight against foreign and liberal performances in art and culture and their impact on the whole life of the country…”, a speech which had received the impetus from the Festival of The 11th National Song on Radio-Television, which had just ended in January of that year, in all cultural and artistic institutions of Tirana and all over the country were held numerous meetings, where the word was “worked” according to the guidelines corresponding coming from the apparatus of the Central Committee of the ALP.
Enver Hoxha’s speech was “worked” not only in cultural and artistic institutions, but in all “working collectives” and grassroots organizations and party committees in all districts of the country, where the work was analyzed “with a pencil in hand” done up to that time by them and the tasks that arose for the future. This, among other things, is made known by this archival document, dated June 22, 1973, where the first secretary of the Librazhd District Party Committee, Marko Xega (of Vlach origin, from Korça), informs the Committee. Central of the ALP, on “Some hostile slogans” circulating in the district where he led the work of the party. Based on a series of other archival documents belonging to this period of time, the situation presented in his information by the first secretary of the Librazhd district is more or less the same as those of other districts of the country, where in addition to “slogans “hostile” there were also leaflets and leaflets with “hostile content” as in Korca, Shkodra, Peshkopi, etc. And all this information, down to the last detail, filled Enver Hoxha’s desk every day.
Which most likely frightened him of a “slip of the situation” out of hand and forced Enver to deliver the famous March 15-16 speech at the Presidium of the People’s Assembly, which preceded him in the apparatus of the Committee Central of the ALP and the IV Plenum. What is noticed in the report-information of the first secretary of Librazhd district, unlike those of many other districts, is that it mentions by name and surname, only Sherif Merdani, who had just been arrested for “the crime of agitation and propaganda ”while for other cases, even not of that nature, it is spoken only in principle and without mentioning any name. So, there the attack is focused only on Sherif Merdani, who at that time was working in the House of Culture of that district. If we go back in time and judge that report-information according to the logic of the period when it was written, we say that it was very “correct”, because in the small town of Librazhd, foreign performances and the influence of foreign ideology bourgeois and revisionists ”could not be sought in the group of men who danced the“ dance of Rrajca ”, or that in the“ pipza dance ”, as it is known that they“ were firmly rooted in tradition and popular footsteps ”, but that thing; “Foreign liberal performances” would be sought after Sherif Merdani, who had just returned from the 11th Radio-Television Song Festival (a festival that was anathema to Enver Hoxha), had made a name for himself in Tirana. and in the districts, where he was highly sought after by the youth who adored him, a charming boy who dressed nicely and followed foreign fashion, there in Librazhd he sang with guitar and mostly foreign songs, came from a rich civic family from Korça and with problems with the regime (some of the Merdani family were in political prisons), or as it was said at the time, descended from the “inverted classes”.
And based on all this and not only, the Committee of the Librazhd Party, was “okay” with the beating and arrest of Merdan, as those “criteria” were not met by anyone else in Librazhd better than him. And his arrest and sentencing to political prison (as would happen at that time with Minush Jeron, Mihallaq Luarasi, etc.) in a way “justified” the blow that Enver Hoxha had done to the 11th Festival, just a few days after its completion. So, in short, the 11th Festival could not be criticized and hit without hitting the main characters who made it. But it must be said that Sherif Merdani, the “bad” did not come only from Librazhd, as he was targeted in Tirana to be beaten and punished.
Among other things, this is made known to us (for the first time publicly in the pages of this book), Prof. Dr. Sadik Bejko, writer, poet, publicist, former MP, who at that time was the editor of song lyrics on Radio Tirana and had some company with Sherif Merdani. In this regard, Sadiku recalls: “A few days after the 11th Festival, the director of the radio, Nefo Myftiu, called me to his office and told me in complete confidentiality to meet the Sheriff and tell him separately, ‘be careful with those songs he sings up and down where he goes, because I can no longer defend him. Sadiku remembers that he met the Sheriff and told him the “message” of the director and his answer was: “For Nefo Mufti, I jump from the fifth floor”. Sadiku replied: “You should not jump from any floor, but keep this message of hers” and there he parted with the Sheriff not to meet again until the early ’90s. As it is known, Sherif Merdani ended up in the prisons of Enver Hoxha’s political regime, as in Spaç, Burrel, Qafë-Bari and Ballsh (he was re-sentenced again in prison) to be released only in 1990, when the communist regime was in his agony. Like most of the documents in this book, it is published in full and without any abbreviations.
ALBANIAN LABOR PARTY
DISTRICT PARTY COMMITTEE EX. NR. 1
LIBRAZHD Librazhd, on 22/6/1973
Subject: Information on some hostile slogans
CENTRAL COMMITTEE P.P.SH. TIRANA
During the month of May and the first days of June 1973 in our district we had some hostile slogans against the Party and the government. Mostly these slogans have to do with Comrade Enver’s speech of March 15, 1973 and other problems.
Some of the slogans have been in these directions: These boast to us that they have electric light, but other states have done so before. The removal of television antennas was done with the sole purpose that people do not know and understand what other states are doing. Enver Hoxha raised this issue on March 15 and these are nothing but coercive measures and Enver Hoxha, if he is wise, must hand over the task himself, because the day will come when his friends will dismiss him.
Those in government are now feeling that the people do not love them, so they only talk about readiness and vigilance. Things are not going well, because even the great ones are arguing with each other. There is strife and no unity in the Politburo. This is how Fadil Paçrami objected, so there are debates, quarrels, divisions. Fadil Paçrami and Todi Lubonja were people with positions, but they were fired because they had become dissatisfied and do not want this party, just as the people do not like it. The measure taken for them is not right that they are big heads, that our country should go with the times and other European countries and should not stand back and the measures that have been taken and are taking the Party, are very strict and these are restrictions on the freedom of the people.
We work all day, but we do not get anything and now we are like cattle, but this will not last long, etc.
The Cultural Revolution in China has been a bluff that China changed its attitude. She connected with America. Mao Zedong does not exist and his place is played by an actor. Other countries are very strong, they have weapons that we do not have, etc. There have been cases when they have said that we stinked when we went on stage with this music and now only the drum is felt, etc. These were expressed by Sherif Merdani, who for the crimes against the state in the form of agitation and propaganda has been arrested in recent days.
In addition, we have two other people who have been proposed for arrest.
These slogans are made by evil elements and enemies, who are processing. From these we have derived our duties. According to the case, in meetings with secretaries of basic organizations, cadres, people both in the village and in the city, in different areas we talked about the care we must show, to increase vigilance, to hit any hostile foreign show. Since these are in processing, we have not mentioned names. We think that after the arrest of the other two, we will make public revelations.
It should be noted that recently, although few, there are also signals from the basic organizations of the party. This was the case from the bureau of the party’s basic organization in the Hotolisht joint cooperative, that a woman from her family with a bad political attitude had to plant a tree in her former field and when she was told why she was planting it. , she replied that it is my field and our day will come. This was immediately apprehended by grassroots organizations and the brigade itself and unmasked to the people.
We have also had some instances of mitigating class warfare. Thus, in the village of Funares, two communists, one chairman of the united village council and the other, deputy secretary of the basic party organization and a teacher, immediately after making the conclusions of Comrade Enver’s speech on March 15, go to dinner at the kulak’s grooms ( two brothers, they took the two daughters of the kulak) and there they put them with food and drink, with toast, they took other communists by the mouth, where after drinking and they were beaten. Cases of drinking and mitigating the class war these have had other times and have been advised by the grassroots organization, but they had not drawn lessons. A party candidate married the ex-kulak’s daughter, both of his sons have been in jail.
These cases were analyzed in the bureau of the district Party Committee and against them a position was taken by expelling them from the party. It should be noted that this decision of the Bureau of the Party Committee was well received by the mass of the people. During this time we also had rumors and intrigues in various areas to introduce quarrels and divisions, in these there were also communists, such as is the case of the secretary of the basic organization of the village of Rrajcë, who in order to discredit the brigadier, a very honest man and who demands accountability, without making concessions, slanders against him for relations with a friend of the brigade. The brigade itself unmasked him. The grassroots organization immediately rallied and took a stand against him, turning him from a member to a party candidate. (The Party Committee Bureau has not yet decided).
From these and other cases we have made a problem not only of the basic organization of the party, but also of the people. One positive thing is that when you put them right in the people, ay not only understands you right, but also maintains a right attitude.
On June 16, 1973, two people were discovered and arrested in our district by the comrades of the Internal Affairs Branch of our district in cooperation with some other employees of the construction company and villagers of Lunik, Zdrajsh and Funarë villages, who had stolen the bank. of Belshi in the district of Elbasan. Both of these people are from our district. It should be noted that the Branch of Internal Affairs of the district of Elbasan had not informed the Branch of our district about the Belsh event at all. The capture was made because he was suspected of being bad people and that last year, they had an escape attempt. Together with the persons who were arrested, 240,000 thousand ALL were found. Investigations are ongoing.
For all these problems, we have carried out our tasks by intensifying the political and ideological work, in order to pave the way for such performances.
SECRETARY I I K.P. DISTRICT