Memorie.al publishes the unknown testimony of Colonel Elami Hado, who after graduating with a gold medal at the Military Academy “Frunze” of the Soviet Union, later served as military attaché in China and was considered one of the most famous theorists of the Albanian army. The truth about the so-called “black theses”, Enver’s intrigues and ignorance about him, due to which Mehmet Shehu and Beqir Balluku put him in conflict since 1966 and Enver’s order for Elami Hado to be demonstratively arrested in the courtroom of meetings of the Central House of the Military together with Colonel Dilaver Radesh in
The night the meeting took place, Hito Çako called me and told me to send him the material urgently, as Comrade Enver loved him. I took him to Hito and he told me that the next day there would be a meeting with the officers of the Tirana Garrison, and he ordered me to take Dilaver Radesh with me, as I was his subordinate. We went to that meeting that Hito would lead and shortly before it started, there came Beqir Balluku, who, after talking for about 10 minutes with Hito, left. During the meeting, where Dilaver was heavily criticized, the Army Prosecutor, who was looking forward to arresting Dilaver, Hito told him: “Wait for the meeting to end.” In those moments I also waited for when I was being arrested, as I was the boss of Dilaver. How I managed to escape from the handcuffs, I learned a few days later in the office of Beqir Balluku, where Hito Çako told me that Enver had ordered the arrest of me and Dilaver, to set an example for us in the army. But Beqiri had filled Enver’s mind to forgive me, and for Dilaver he could not “. Thus, recalled that distant event of 1966 retired Colonel Elami Hado, one of the most trained military theorists of the Albanian army, a gold medal graduate of the “Frunze” academy of the Soviet Union, who had served for four years as an Albania’s military attaché to China. In the interview that Memorie.al is publishing below in this article, in addition to the story of that distant event that changed the course of his life, Colonel Elami Hado, also shows the origin of the conflict between former Prime Minister Mehmet Shehu and Defense Minister Beqir Balluku, which came as a result of Enver Hoxha’s intrigues.
Mr. Elami, what is the truth of the “Defense Theses”, or as they are otherwise known, the “black theses”, with the labeling given to them by Enver Hoxha in 1974?
The history of those theses that were rejected in 1974 by Enver Hoxha being called “black theses”, has its origins in 1966. In February ’66, when I was working as a lecturer at the military academy “Mehmet Shehu” in Tirana, the Minister of Defense Beqir Balluku called me to his office together with two well-known generals, Vaskë Gjino and Spiro Shalësi, and communicated to us a message from Enver Hoxha, which had to do with regulations, texts, publications and all literature other that we had inherited from the Soviet Union. Minister Balluku informed us that all the literature we had inherited from the Soviets was no longer valid and we had to prepare to do the news with our own forces. He told us: “You are the working group; leave all the other work you have and you will deal with the drafting and compilation of the theoretical bases and theses of the Martial Arts of the People’s War. According to the message I have from Enver Hoxha, in all of them you will have in mind that the basis should be the experience of partisan war “.
That idea, that the Albanian army had its own literature, without influences as once from the Yugoslavs or the Soviets, was thrown for the first time?
For the sake of truth, I wanted to say that what Beqir Balluku communicated to us with Enver’s message, I had thrown as an idea since 1960, when I was appointed to establish the Military Academy in Tirana. But at that time no one supported me. “We have them, why do other things,” they told me then.
Could what Enver Hoxha wanted was realized at that time, that is, the making of military literature by you?
At that time, we did not know how to do the things that were required of us, as we had no theoretical basis. Given the fact that I personally had a functional task, that is, the compilation of military literature, I told Beqir Balluku: “We cannot rely on the partisan war we once fought, because it was an uprising. Now it is up to us to defend Albania; “It’s something different. Once we fought, now we will defend.”
How did Beqiri receive your objection?
Beqiri approved what I proposed to him, and told us: “That’s right”. Seeing Beqir’s positive reaction, I told him to suggest that to Enver, otherwise we would have a very big and problematic job. After that, Beqiri added: “Do it properly and then we will see and do it. “Introduce the experience of the National Liberation War so that it does not turn out that we have ignored that.” I thought that Beqiri was afraid to tell Enver those proposals, but that was not the case. From what I found out later, Beqiri was not afraid, but he did not tell them to Enver, as Enver did not understand those things at all.
During your work, did you introduce into the literature what was later called the “Sliding Theory”, for which Beqir Balluku was accused and beaten along with other senior military men?
During our work, the “Sliding Theory” came out, which was actually known to us before, but not in everyday use. I applied that theory with full consciousness to the literature we were compiling, as it was very well known that when the enemy was superior, we had to retreat, as otherwise we would all be killed. But at that time the withdrawal was not accepted, because in the regulations, the texts of all other military literature that were in use, it was said that: “The Albanian army is able to withstand any enemy or coalition of enemies, either from the Warsaw Pact or from “NATO, and come out victorious over them.” This was a great foolishness, but who could say at that time, that the head would go away. But it was better for us to fight as much as we could and then retreat to the enemy’s rear. This was basically what I had in mind when I drafted the “Sliding Theory”, which Vaskë Gjino understood quite well. Beqir also thought about that. After we had finished preparing the military literature, all the material was printed and distributed to all the key cadres of the army, so that they could look at it and make the necessary remarks. But, before that material was distributed, Beqiri told us: “Let’s give another copy to Comrade Enver and get his opinion as well”.
What about the Prime Minister Mehmet Shehu, you did not give any copy, when it was known that he was considered a good soldier?
This I wanted to explain. When Enver charged Beqir Balluku with drafting his defense thesis, the omission he made to Mehmet Shehu and the Chief of General Staff, Petrit Dumes, was immediately apparent. Realistically, that thing belonged to Petrit Dumes.
After you gave a copy of the prepared material to Enver Hoxha, what was his assessment, did he tell you anything?
After 6 days, Beqiri called me to his office and said: “Give us this material, bleach it, because we will send it to the cadres”. When I went to my office, I saw that the material had been broken and altered, putting red pencil crosses on it.
Who had done that thing?
Apparently either Enver or Mehmeti, one of the two, had no one else to do it. When I saw him, I went back to Beqiri and told him that the material was not ours. Beqiri told me: “Distribute, because no one asks you”. I realized he had been ordered.
What happened after you distributed that material?
The meeting took place in Durrës and rightly remarks were made there. As a result, he completely collapsed. After that he was ordered to gather all that material and burn it.
How could the material that came out of Enver Hoxha’s office be criticized?
The material was criticized because all the senior military knew I had done it, that if they knew he had left Enver’s office, they would not speak at all. None of the military knew that Beqiri had also dealt with that material. I told Beqiri to gather at the ministry and make the conclusions of the Durrës meeting, and to find out why that material had failed. I said this to him, because in Durrës the material was criticized and not me by name. Beqiri told me: “Close this job”. But as I insisted that it was up to me, he replied, “Leave it alone, do not prolong it, we know.” As I continued on my own, he said to me, “Ore, you seek to find the truth.” With those words, Beqiri did not openly tell me that the material belonged to Enver. In a word, I had to shut up, because I could not fight Enver. But even after those words with a very clear subtext, I told Beqiri that I would freeze it in the Party organization, because I could not keep it.
What did Beqiri tell you?
Beqiri said to me with regret: “You will hurt your head. “If you raise him in the organization, do not leave the ministry with criticism, but criticize us.” In a word, Beqiri said not to find out that Enver had seen and approved that material. I adhered to what Beqiri told me, criticizing in the organization him and Petrit Dumen, who was not to blame at all. There at that meeting there was a big quarrel and I only did a duel with Petrit, as the others did not speak at all. The only one who defended me at the meeting was Colonel Dilaver Radeshi, who told Petrit: “You Petrit, you are afraid of the people and therefore take a battalion of soldiers with you when you leave the offices.” After that there was a big scandal and the meeting was closed. After the meeting, I also got into a fight with Vaskë Gjino, asking him why he did not speak, and he said to me: “Ore, why are we going to fix these things, the fish has stinks from the head”. On the part of the leadership, that meeting was considered an uprising at the General Staff, and I was blamed for it, as I was a direct subordinate of Dilaver.
What happened next to you two?
The meeting of the communists of the ministry took place, where it was decided that Dilaver should be demobilized by the army and go to work as a worker in the Memaliaj mine, and I was not silenced at all, leaving me with only one remark to the Party.
How could you escape with one remark, when you were the main author of what was happening?
How I escaped I found out later, but I am explaining to you according to the chronology of events that took place at that time. That night the meeting took place, Hito Çako called me and told me to send him the material urgently, because Comrade Enver loved him. I took him to Hito and he told me that the next day there would be a meeting with the officers of the Tirana Garrison, and he ordered me to take Dilaver with me, as I was his subordinate. We went to that meeting that Hito would lead and shortly before it started, there came Beqir Balluku, who, after talking for about 10 minutes with Hito, left. During the meeting, where Dilaveri was heavily criticized, Hito told the Army Prosecutor, who was waiting to arrest him, “Wait for the meeting to end.” In those moments I also waited for when I was being arrested, as I was the boss of Dilaver.
What about you, were you not criticized at all at that meeting?
Yes, one of the halls said: “Dilaver was criticized, but Elamiu must be seen, because he is the head”. But Hito Çako cut him off, defending me. After that the meeting was closed and the next day Petrit Dume called me in the office, where he communicated to me the measure that had been taken to take me for six months for education in the engineering brigade of Rrëshen.
How did you escape without being arrested?
I learned this sometime later, when I went to Beqir Balluku’s office to ask for his release from the army. Hito Çako told me with his mouth all that had happened that I escaped without being arrested. Thus, when Hito Çako called me about the material he then took to Enver, he, Enver, had told him: “Elamiu and Dilaveri should be arrested and set an example, because they are openly criticizing the leadership of the army, the river took us “. Also, Hito told me that when Beqiri came before the meeting, he had told him that he had convinced Enver not to arrest me, and for Dilaver he could not.
What happened to “Defense Theses”?
After the failure of the theses that we had prepared, Mehmet Shehu issued his theses, saying: “The army did nothing, I did the theses of the Folk Martial Arts for three months”. Mehmeti deliberately broke the material with the theses we had made, in order to hit Beqir, as he apparently became jealous of the fact that Enver removed him from that job, entrusting him to Beqir.
What happened to you next?
After Dilaver was sentenced to prison in 1966, I was promoted to lecturer at the Military Academy for the General Staff Officer Senior Course. When I was there, I had to apply Mehmet Shehu’s theses (“Theory of Transition”) as complementary material to the “Defense Theses”. This was a defeatist theory and I came out against it, arguing it, and proposed to remove it from the program, but the man did not hold it to remove it. However, I insisted and refused to do that lecture with Mehmet’s thesis, which was later given by General Koli Mborja.
Why did you oppose the theory that Mehmeti had made?
I was against the method of fortification, which was done with the method of the First World War, because it could not resist the new weapons that had come out, and I had called the bunkers “Mehmet Shehu’s mushrooms that deconstructed the defense plan”. In one case, Veli Llakaj was there in the senior course of the General Staff, who received as a diploma topic “Theory of Transition” by Mehmet Shehu. When he asked me to help him, I told him to take another topic, but he said that he had been charged with that. After that I said to him: “Go on, because I cannot help you.” All this had reached the ears of Mehmet, who a few years later, in July 1974, found the opportunity and took revenge on me.
At that time, in July 1974, as it emerged from the meeting of the Plenum of the Central Committee of the ALP where Beqir Balluku was beaten, Mehmeti came to the Military Academy where diplomas were being awarded. When he did not see me in the presidium, he asked, “Where is Elam Hado?” I stood up and replied, “Here I am.” He said to me, “You are the theorist, but you are the theorist of defeat,” and he spoke highly of me. He dismissed the “transition theory” as “sliding theory”, but I told him that things could not be solved there. Meanwhile, he went on to say: “These things are quite clear” and came up with the thesis of fortification, taking as an example the war between Finland and the Soviet Union, and praising the fortifications of Finland. After a few days, the party organization meeting took place, during which I was expelled from the Party and demobilized from the army. A few days later, in the Sixth Plenum of K.Q. of the ALP, in July 1974 (after the next final blow to Beqir Balluku), I was called a conspirator and it was decided to deport me to Shkodra. After six years of exile there in Vaun e Dejës, in 1980 I was arrested and sentenced to ten years in political prison, which I suffered mainly in Ballsh and Burrel. During the search of the house, I was found with a notebook, where, among other things, I had written: “The dictatorship of the proletariat has degenerated and is against the proletariat, as the class war has turned into a battle for seats”. / Memorie.al