Memorie.al publishes some archival documents extracted from the fund of the former Central Committee of the ALP, which belong to the period time of 1965 – ’69, where it is about the campaign that had begun to stop religious beliefs and the destruction of various cult objects, following the directives given by the senior leadership of the ALP and being implemented by the party and state bodies of different districts, such as that of Shkodra, where it stood out for its excessive zeal and threat with administrative measures, the first secretary of the Party Committee, Sul Baholli, against whom he received many reactions and complaints, making anonymous letters to the Central Committee of the ALP and personally to Enver Hoxha.
Although Enver Hoxha’s communist regime had launched a crackdown on religious institutions and various clerics of three faiths since his coming to power in December 1944, when executions or imprisonment and mass deportations of hundreds of hundreds of clerics began, the ban of religion and the demolition of various cult objects began only there from 1965-’66. To the decision taken by the senior leadership of the ALP and personally Enver Hoxha at that time, to ban religion and the destruction of all religious institutions and various cult objects, which was initially camouflaged, attributed to initiatives and demands of some school youth organizations of Tirana and Durrës gymnasiums (Naim Frashëri High School, Durrës), there were many strong objections and reactions from both believers and high clergy of the three religious faiths, which exercised their religious activity in our country. But the reactions of various clerics and believers were further exacerbated when the directive of the senior leadership of the ALP, for the demolition of cult objects, was becoming a reality by senior party and government leaders in various districts of the country, who launched attacks on churches and mosques, initially targeting school students, military units and fanatical youth activists. At the time when the attack on religious beliefs had just begun and the demolition of various cult objects, some high-ranking clerics and many believers remembered that it was indeed an initiative of school youth organizations or irresponsible organ activity. party and state districts. And, to prevent what was happening, they started sending various letters to the Central Committee of the ALP and personally to Enver Hoxha, sometimes coming out openly with names and sometimes anonymous, where they denounced the actions they had taken against religious objects. of the party and power in the districts, hoping that the chief leader would intervene with his absolute authority and stop that thing. A large part of these letters and protests that were sent at that time to the Central Committee of the ALP and personally to Enver Hoxha is in the Central State Archive in Tirana and some of them, Memorie.al will publish in some following numbers.
Anonymous letters from Shkodra to Enver Hoxha against Sul Baholli
In one of the letters sent to Enver Hoxha by a believer living in the city of Shkodra (which is unnamed) and where he raises many complaints against the First Secretary of the Party Committee of the Shkodra district, it is written: “The party, as the organizer and inspirer of all the victories of our people, has given proof of self-sacrifice in every direction.
In this letter, I am talking about some inappropriate measures being taken by the Party Committee.
During the war N.ÇL. The enemy, and in the first place the Clergy, have waged a great war and propaganda against our Party, saying that the Communists did not believe in God, that they were destroying churches and mosques, and so on.
But at that time their thesis was strongly opposed, moreover, measures were taken against those communists who appeared as atheists. What’s going on today?
Unfortunately, the words of the Clergy are being confirmed today, because in fact in our city the church and the mosque have been demolished and some have been turned into state warehouses and what has irritated the people of Shkodra the most is the leadership of the Party Committee of our city with headed by Sul Baholli, who has developed a lot of cults and what Sula says will be done, or else the devil will take you.
He has reached the culmination of my opinion, in religious matters, he today seeks to emerge as a new reformer against religion, using some inappropriate forms and methods that with full conviction you as Party leaders have not given such guidance…
Here is what this outstanding personality did: he ordered special forms to be filled out by the party secretaries in the work centers at these points:
Who keeps the icons in the house and whether you keep them or remove them?
If any of your family members die, you will bury them with a priest or imam.
Who among the employees or family members celebrated religious holidays such as Eid, Eid, and others.
Whoever fasts Ramadan and you do it, you will ruin your mothers and fathers.
He has ordered school principals to ask the child up to the 9th grade if they are circumcised and whether they will be done.
He forced the employees of the state apparatus to go through the neighborhoods and take them home, asking them if they were fasting and drinking a glass of water.
He appointed Muhamet Lahi, who is the President of the Court, to go to the door of the mosque and take the names of those people who go to the mosque.
It has banned the ringing of bells not only for religious holidays but also for the ringing of the clock, which is the greatest ignorance.
AQSH F 14 / A. / Year 1965 D. 1014 p.2
Anonymous letters for Enver from the village of Gur i Zi in Shkodra
Another anonymous letter was sent to Enver Hoxha by a resident of the village of Guri i Zi in Shkodra, who filed several complaints and wrote:
Dear Comrade Enver Hoxha
I wish you health and jet you and tan Party. I am old and have no school, I am a Catholic believer. The army has demolished the church of Katund Renc Guri i Zi, Gajtan. This work has seriously affected us because our government is not so much in need of the church, we are ready to defend the homeland, but we also want religion, who has religion has the homeland, so this work has become unparalleled for us. Another Sunday, we were ordered to go to work at the Cooperative. We never had a break. For Easter and Keshnella, don’t let me go to work, stop the bread of the slaves.
Please send a man and look at our situation a little
With honors and respect to the Government
Shkodra Gur i Zi
AQSH F. 14 Ap. V. 1965 D. 1014 fl.29
Letter from the Shkodra Party Committee to the Central Committee
Anonymous letters with many complaints to state and party bodies of the Shkodra district sent to the Central Committee of the ALP do not seem to have fallen “deaf ears”, as the Central Committee apparatus has notified the Party Committee of the district. Shkodra, regarding the concerns raised by residents of that district. And the Shkodra Party Committee has returned an answer, which reads:
PARTY OF THE WORK OF ALBANIA Shkodra on 20.4.1965
COMMITTEE OF THE COUNTRY PARTY
Nr. A 2/1
On an anonymous letter
THE CENTRAL COMMITTEE OF P.P. ALBANIA
T I R A N E
Find your letter no. 33/1 Dt. 21.I / 1965
As for the above, we would like to inform you that for the urgent needs of the Army and with the approval of the Catholic Bishop, the Army has been authorized to enter the Black Stone junction. But the military command, given the great needs it has had, on the other hand the church with the shell is under one roof, so the movement of civilians nearby is not allowed, it has also occupied the church.
We have instructed the military command to take measures to release the church as soon as possible, although this is difficult for them. On the other hand, this problem has been raised with the people, that the church will be maintained for some time until conditions are created for its release.
On the issue of going to work on Sundays and religious holidays, this has been voluntarily requested by the cooperatives taking into account the needs of working in the cooperative and it is not true that administrative measures have been taken on this issue.
We could not find the author of the letter.
COMMITTEE OF THE COUNTRY PARTY
AQSH F.14 / Ap. Str. V 1965 D. 1014, p. 32