Memorie.al publishes the unknown and sensational story that took place in Tirana on October 7, 1942, where the communist guerrillas of the capital, following the order of the main leaders of the Albanian Communist Party, carried out the action of kidnapping the 12-year-old daughter of the Tirana Police Chief. , Man Kukaleshi, holding him hostage for 24 hours at Shaban Vrapi’s house on Fortuzi Street, as a sign of pressure for him to intervene and release from prison the communist Shyqëri Ishmi, who was expected to be executed in those days by the Italian authorities. Ikbale Kukalesh’s rare testimony regarding the distant event that terrified her family and alarmed the government of Prime Minister Mustafa Merlika Kruja, about the action of two well-known communists, Sabaudin Gabrani (“People’s Hero”) and Tonin Jakova, who carried out with the help of the Çorati family that the Kukalesh had neighbors and friends, as well as the “guarantee” given by their family friend, Myslym Peza when Man Kukalesh’s brother went to Peza to ask for help. with what had happened, telling him that “if something happened to the girl, he would kill 100 partisans with his own hand”.
In the article published in yesterday’s issue of Memorie.al through the story of Mrs. Vanda Çorati, we were introduced to the sensational event of 1942, when the communist guerrillas of Tirana led by Agron Çorati, abducted the 12-year-old daughter of the Chief of Tirana Police, Man Kukalesh, to put pressure on him to release Shyqëri Ishmin, one of the communists of the guerrilla units of the capital who had been arrested, was expected to be executed in those days by the Italian authorities. But on what basis did they send the girl, what did they tell her on the street, why did they walk her for an hour on the streets of Tirana, how did they treat her in the house where they held her hostage and who took care of her? Why did the communists release Ikbale Kukaleshi without fulfilling the action for which he had been abducted and what happened in Man Kukalesh’s house during the 24 hours that the girl was taken, hostage? To illuminate all these mysteries, we will be known through the testimonies of the protagonist of that distant event, Mrs. Bale Kukaleshi, who agreed to tell us about everything that happened on October 8, 1942.
Bale Kukalesh’s story about her abduction by the communists
“When I went out on the street to take you to the New Bazaar, I turned my head, after a man called me, whom I knew only as a face, who said to me: Come on, Bale, come on, Tata is looking for you in the office. After those words, I approached the car and immediately pulled back, as I saw the driver I did not know. But in those moments, Tonin Jakova, whom I did not even know, turned me on and forced me into the “Milocento” car. This is how Ikbale Kukaleshi, the only daughter of Selman Kukalesh, the Chief of Tirana Police in 1940-’44, remembered him. What is the origin and past of the Kukaleshi family, where did they live and why was Selman Kukaleshi appointed to the position of Chief of Tirana Police? What were the relations and family ties of Kukalesh with the family of Shyqëri and Myslym Peza, and why did the courier of Peza’s partisans, when he came to Tirana, take refuge in their house? Why Mani’s brother, Qazim Kukaleshi, that night Balja was abducted by the communists went to Peza and why father Myslymi told him that if something happened to his niece, he would shoot with his hand 101 partisans who were sleeping in his house?
Regarding that distant event of October 8, 1942, how she was abducted by the communist guerrillas of Tirana, Ikbale Kukaleshi, a woman with a very noble portrait and a memory to be envied, brought him to mind by he said he remembered it as if it had happened to him just the day before. With a calmness to be admired and without any sense of revenge for what had happened to her at the time, for those people who caused that concern to that family, touching her to the child, whereas she puts it: Forgive me, ”he began, telling us:“ It was October 8, 1942, and as soon as I came out on the street to the New Bazaar, I heard a voice calling me by name. When I turned my head I saw a person who was Sabaudin Gabrani, whom at that time I knew only by face, because he often came to the Çorat family, who lived next to our house. After speaking to me by name, Gabrani told me: Come on, Tata is looking for you in the office. I approached the “Milocento” car, which was nearby, and immediately withdrew, as inside I saw the driver, S. Dh., Whom I did not know, but the day before I had accidentally seen him on “Fortuzi” Street, arranged and painted the car. As I pulled back, another person who, as I later learned, was Tonin Jakova, pulled me by force, dragged me, and put me in the car. At that time I started screaming in horror, but Sabaudin Gabrani closed his mouth with his hand and then inserted a handkerchief so that I would not be able to shout. After tying my eyes with a large handkerchief, the truck left quickly and for more than an hour, they walked me through the streets of Tirana, in order for me to lose my bearings and wait until it got dark. All the way, they didn’t say a word to me, and I couldn’t speak because of the scarf they had put in my mouth. After more than an hour, they took me down to a house on Fortuzi Street, where my brothers Shaban and Lym Vrapi lived. There, without opening my eyes, they sat me down in a chair, and one of them, whom I recognized by voice as S. Dh., Tied my hands and feet. As he was tying me up, I said to him: S. Dh., Why are you tying me up, what have I done ?! He replied, telling me that it was not S. Dh. During that time, gunshots were heard in Tirana, which did not stop for several hours. Out of stress and fatigue, I became dizzy and asked to be given water to drink. They gave me a glass of lemonade, which I say they had thrown some medicine inside. All that night I couldn’t sleep, as I was half dizzy and from excessive fatigue, I was not able to understand the conversations that took place in that. I was unable to understand the conversations that took place in that house. To take care of me, they had left the old woman of the house, who stayed with me all the time. In the morning, I said to them: Why do you not set me free? They said: We know that thou hast done nothing, but we shall deliver thee when thy father shall deliver Shyqari Ishm from prison. With that naiveté of a child, I turned to them and said, “Let me go and tell my father about it.” Throughout that day they kept me there in that room bound hand and foot and with their eyes closed. At dinner, when almost 24 hours had passed, they provoked me, seeing if I was watching and if I had known them “, recalled Ikbale Kukaleshi, those moments of horror that had passed then, which seemed to add to the feeling of horror. even in those moments, he was telling us.
After the 12-year-old daughter of the Tirana Police Chief was held hostage for 24 hours at the communist base on Fortuzi Street, they decided to release her and sent her home. Regarding this, Bale Kukaleshi testified: “That evening, when it was dark, they untied my eyes, took off my headscarf and pasted letters on me. After being told that I was being released, they put a pair of dark gloves on me so that the letters that had stuck in my eyes would not be visible and took me out, untying my hands. There, Tonin Jakova got me back on my bike and told me that if someone asked me on the road, I would tell them that I was going to see a doctor. On the way, we met no one and Tonini came down to me and left me at the corner of the road to Selvija, next to the gate of Xhemal Cara’s house. After that, he ran away quickly with the person who had been following us all the way. At first, I barely orientated myself, but then I headed home and down the street, amazed people asked me where I had been. One of them was the Mullet girl who said to me: Where have you been that you have lost ?! I replied, “What else was lost?” When I got home, I went inside, and in this room that we are here, I found only Mother Zoe and her uncle’s son. When he saw me at the door, my mother was stunned and did not approach me. Qazimi, our uncle, jumped for joy and hugged me. After that, the house was filled with people, from our neighbors, our relatives and friends, and friends of the father. The men who came congratulated me, saying: my father’s patriot. That same evening, I went and met my father at the Questura, he kissed me and could not hold back his tears. After two or three days, my father’s close friends came to our house, as well as Jakomon’s wife, who brought me a bicycle like a fish “, Bale Kukaleshi recalled her release from the communists and her return home.
Lym Peza: I will kill 100 partisans!
That night, when little Balja was held hostage by the communists, their uncle, Qazim Kukaleshi (Mayor’s driver Ymer Fortuzi), who was unmarried and left his head behind Mani’s two children, went to Peza to meet. Myslym Peza. Lymi was a friend of the Kukalesh family and his courier was constantly sleeping in their house. In this regard, Balja recalled: “That night when I was abducted, Uncle Qazimi became insane and with his car, he went to all the suburbs of Tirana where the partisan detachments were sheltered, to ask me not to keep me there… Qazimi also went to Peza, where Baba Myslymi took him and put him where his gang members were sleeping, to show him that I was not there. Myslym said to his uncle: Don’t worry, Qazim, that if anything happens to the girl Mani, I will shoot 101 partisans with my hand. Sometime after this event, our uncle Mustafai got married and he had invited all his friends to the wedding. Along with the other children, I approached to see and hear the party, but when I saw Tonin Jakov at the table, I ran home terrified. When I told Uncle Qazim that there was the man who had kidnapped me, he said to me: Leave my uncle alone because that job is gone. Although I knew those who kidnapped me, our father, Mani, did not take any action and never sent the police to arrest them. Not only did my father not harass the communists, but they came and provoked us themselves, like Sabaudin Gabrani, who came and asked me: where did the Chorats live? ”Ikbale Kukaleshi closed her story about the distant event that caused them a great concern the Kukaleshi family, from which for more than a year, they were afraid to leave him alone even at the door of the house.
Man Kukalesh’s son: “If our father had taken money from the communists, we would not have been in this hut!”
Kukaleshëve House is located on “Luigj Gurakuqi” Street, inserted between the mansions somewhere on the left of the wide boulevard to lead to “Avni Rustemi” Square. Hyseni, the only son of Man Kukalesh, with a physique and portrait that did not seem to match his age at all, as soon as he learned the purpose of our visit and the “guarantee” he had given us for us, Shit Mulleti, (the son of the former The prefect of Tirana), invited us inside that old Tirana house, which seemed to collapse from time to time. In that house, which had been “blown away” by the high-rise buildings that surrounded it, Hyseni lived alone with his wife and only son, who worked in the same neighborhood, not far from home. to the Bazaar or as they call it: to the Bajas of the Demners. As the lady of the house welcomed us and entertained us with occasional rents, to talk until Balja, the daughter of Man Kukalesh, who was also the “object” of our visit to that family, came, we asked Ceni, where the other brothers and sisters of that family lived. After shaking his head for a moment as a sign of nervousness, he replied: “Many people have asked us this question because they have been lied to by the Prefect Comedy.” In that Comedy, which I don’t know how some local televisions continue to broadcast, still seriously insulting our dignity, just like in the time of Enver Hoxha, it is said that Qazim Mulleti, allegedly when he took the money from the Hallejians who knocked on the door, told them: ‘better to take Man Kukalesh, because he had a herd of squid’. All this is an unscrupulous deception because Man Kukaleshi had and still has only two children, and if he had taken money from the people from Halle who knocked on his door, our father Man Kukaleshi would not have left us this house that you see here. “, Hyseni replied, very indignant, showing us a collapsed wall, which had occupied half of what they called a ‘bedroom’. Ceni told us that when that wall collapsed from the palace that was built next to their house, he escaped for ‘a hair of his head’, the only son of that house, exactly on the day he shared the wedding day. Without hiding his nervousness, Ceni brought the conversation back to the televisions that “were falling on the necks of that family”, adding that in addition to the “Prefect” Comedy, recently a peripheral radio, which is not known where releasing its waves, he had often begun by mentioning the name of their father, without having any knowledge of who he and his ancestors had been. As if to apologize for the fact that he changed the topic of conversation for what we were interested in and to show us with our own eyes who the Kukalesh people are, Hyseni puts us in front of a book by Ibrahim Hafiz Dalliu. In that recently published book, it was also said that the first members of their family, who were persecuted by Turkey, spread Albanian books and primers, as well as the famous Ali Efendi Kukaleshi, one of the well-known Tirana patriots, the name which until 1947 had a school in Tirana, which the communist regime removed and called “Ali Demi”. Hyseni told us how his father, Man Kukaleshi, did not want to leave Albania because he felt completely clean and not only did he not owe anything to the communists, but on the contrary, he had helped them in many cases. But his brother, Qazimi, encouraged him, saying: “He did not trust the communists.” Selman Kukaleshi left in late October 1944, and since that day, apart from the telegram he sent in 1947 by the Red Cross, informing him that he was in Italy, he has not become alive. His children were raised by his brother, Qazimi, and although they had not left a stone unturned, they still know nothing about their father’s fate. And worst of all, they don’t know where to knock on this./Memorie.al