From Lek Pervezi
In the game of Fate
Memorie.al / Valentini, together with his Italian wife, Maria Gorizia, who was called Gori, at the end of 1944, had just arrived from Italy in Shkodër, in October, where they were occupying a rented room. Kishin remained there, because their family had gone to the mountains, they hid in Skuraj, after the communists had burned the house of Laçi Kurbini and robbed them of their possessions. Even Valentin’s father, General Prenk Pervizi, had left Tirana and had joined the English mission on the mountain. The couple had arrived in Shkodër at the worst time, and they were feeling the consequences.
Not a month had passed since the so-called liberation of the country. Shkodra was under curfew announced by Mehmet Shehu. It was checked point by point. When the children of the apartment where the couple lived, saw the control team coming, they came and informed Valentini and Gori, who entered the room where they lived. Being that in those snowy days, their clothes had been soaked, they had placed a rope to be fixed from one side to the other of the walls of the room, where they had spread the soaked clothes, among them Gori’s overcoat.
Valentini had a “Browning” revolver. He didn’t know where to hide it. If they found him, they would take him to hell, even more so when they found out who he was. The partisans had started the control downstairs, but were climbing to the top floor. He knew well who Valentine was. Kindness had already begun its work. And so they started to climb the stairs. Valentine was at the peak of tension, how did he do it?! He was breaking out in a cold sweat, because he didn’t know how to find a solution to that problem.
The steps were getting closer. There was a knock on the door and the handle was coming down. At that moment, Gori took the revolver from his hand and put it in his overcoat pocket like a wet. The partisans entered and began the search. They didn’t ask questions. Although the couple had a few issues, the control became subtle.
A partisan girl was charged with checking the bed and the suitcases. Moving, he touched the overcoat and saw that it was wet and passed it on. When the check was over, they got out and started going down the stairs. The councilor said and returned. “Valentin Pervizi” was written on the door. Apparently, the evil-hearted counselor had told them whose son Valentini was. One of the partisans, I asked him for his identification document and he went down with all the others.
After a while, someone came up and told him that the partisans were looking for him below. Valentini was aware that the communists would not let him go free for that long, and apparently, the time had come. He found the partisans and gave them coffee, after they had swallowed a glass of brandy. The same partisan asked him that; what was wrong with Prenk Pervizi, then told him that he should go with them to the Command, for some clarifications, from where he would surely return home.
Holding back his emotion, he went to Gori who was crying, trying to calm him down. How will the fate of Gori, that foreign woman, be left alone with no one by her side?! All the members of the family were under the persecution of the communist regime, expelled and persecuted, with houses burned and property looted, by the partisan communist hordes. She didn’t know anyone, she didn’t know the language, and she didn’t have anything to live for. How would he do it?
With these thoughts, Valentin hugged Gori and went after the partisans. When they reached the door of the courtyard, that first partisan expressed his regret and put handcuffs on him. All the Neighbor who were hanging out with Gori started crying. They were shocking moments for them too, because his case was special.
Finally they reached the command. The head of the Internal Department was waiting for him in his office, behind a desk. As soon as he saw him, he gave him a mischievous look and spoke to him ironically:
– The longing for your homeland pushed you to come here, didn’t it? –
– Of course! Valentine answered. And he again:
– But it seems, your homeland has not received you well? You should have joined the partisans of Italy, so that you too could have contributed to the common cause how do you say – I had no intention of washing my skin, in a foreign land, Valentini continued. – That is not an acceptable reason, the president concluded and ordered the partisans to take him to the “Gestapo” prison. This prison was a dwelling that the Germans had turned into a prison, equipping it with narrow concrete dungeons.
– Don’t look, don’t look, said the director of the prison, as soon as he found out who it was and continued:
– I knew your father when I was doing military service in the garrison of Korça, where your father was the commander. He was a man who enjoyed the esteem of everyone, except ours, because he did not accept the offer made to him by our leadership, for which they gave him the general command of the partisan armed forces.
This director was a bad face, and when you talked to him, he never looked the person he was talking to in the eye. Such types were completely unfaithful.
He removed Valentin’s handcuffs and led him to the door of one of the large rooms. When the door was opened, he was engulfed by a fog of cigarette smoke and a foul smell, followed by vomiting. Valentine had to get in there.
Most of those who were locked in that room were from Shkodra. When he entered, the door was closed with the sound of iron latches, almost everyone who was there, turned to look at him with attention and curiosity, because for them, he was a new face. He remained standing like that for a while, because he couldn’t see a free place, so he lined up with the others. One of them motioned for him to come closer and sit next to him, while the others squeezed themselves with a little space.
Valentine was very depressed, but he tried to hide his feelings, so as not to show me his serious state of mind.
The one who invited him near him was a captain of the gendarmerie, his name was Pjetër Gurakuqi. Who, when he found out who it was, was kind, giving him courage? After a while, unable to lie down, they leaned on each other, while the others started snoring.
Of course, he had to answer the many questions that the prisoners asked him, and that’s how they found out who he was, because his family was well-known, especially the one who didn’t know him. . He had to explain the reasons that pushed him to leave Italy and come to Albania, despite all the obstacles and dangers he had faced on that trip. Pjetri had stung him a little, so they told him to keep his words quiet because they could be interpreted in the wrong way, because there were a lot of spies entering Castile from the communists, ready to report.
The only good thing was that the floor was laid with boards, because it was a private, confiscable house. No one was equipped with blankets to spend the night, because when they were arrested, they were not allowed to take anything with them, and they were handcuffed.
The next day Pjetri, as the person in charge of that room, convinced the guards to vacate another room, because there they were cramped like sardines and could not lie down. Next to that room, there was another one with different materials. The guards, together with the partisans and some prisoners, released him and thus half of the prisoners passed there. Peter, Valentin held him close.
The next day, before nightfall, some families managed to get a special permit to bring clothes and covers to the prison. Valentini was also brought a couple of blankets by her husband; he had given them a blanket to take to him, who had his brother in that prison. It was the fourth day of the state-siege that was still in force. On the fifth day, the state-siege was lifted, so on the first Sunday, meetings were allowed and the prisoners had the opportunity to meet their people, behind iron grills.
Even Gori had the opportunity to see Valentini, to whom he gave the understanding that someone, sent by his father, had come during the siege, and had brought him the greetings of his father, mother, grandmother and brothers who were hiding in the mountain. That man was called Biba. As soon as Valentin had heard Biba’s name, he understood that it was about Bib Brozi, a family loyalist, sent by his father, thinking that he would find them in Shkodër and maybe take them with him, for to join the other members.
How was such a job possible?! Biba then managed to get into Shkodër, without being dictated to. He had found out where Valentini lived, who knew nothing about his arrest. Gori was waiting for him, who had told him about everything. Biba had brought him some money. The next day he was gone, taking away the revolver from Gori to worry about.
The course of events was such that Valentini and his wife, Gorin, separated on that day in December 1944, say forever, because 47 years remained without joining each other. That’s why we gave the case of the arrest, completely absurd, only because Valentini was the son of Prenk Pervizi. It’s good that Gori was able to repatriate with the Italians who had remained in Albania. Where otherwise the black olive would have suffered. This sentencing measure of Valentini was extended with prisons and other exiles, 47 years.
When in 1991, Valentin managed to cross over to Italy, he joined the woman who, they barely know each other, is now a withered and wrinkled old man. A flashback to the Odyssey, where Ulilx reunited with Penelope after 20 years. Yes, this new Odyssey lasted 47 years, past and beyond Penelope’s Ulysses, and in the middle of the twentieth century, where the plane ride from Tirana to Bologna was only one hour. For that one hour, half a century had to pass!
Tragedy after tragedy
In the prison-room, after it was freed from half the people, the prisoners were better arranged with the few ghanas they had, each occupying a space of three palms. In this way, they could rest and sleep. Pjeter Gurakuqi was assigned as the person in charge of the room. Meanwhile, Valentini made friends with a teacher from Shkodra, which was very valuable to him, because in that environment, he felt like a complete stranger. His name was John Harusha. He had been arrested in vain, like everyone else. It didn’t even occur to him why! He had worked as a teacher for more than ten years and was valued as a good person.
The prisoners had spent two weeks waiting for the reason for their arrest to be known. Waiting in vain, because months and months, even years, would pass without anyone interrogate them. The dictatorship machine had started its cruel work. From time to time, they would take some prisoners from the dungeons below and take them to Cyrus’ palace, where they would shoot them without trial and without question.
Only the executioners of the Security knew the reason. These shootings were part of the purge program, before the “Special People’s Courts” began to work, which would wreak legal havoc. A Security officer had told a prisoner he knew in confidence that those purges were called necessary to eliminate all those who were suspected of being dangerous or who had given evidence that they were such, for whom they were not there was a need to maintain some process. Stalinist logic!
One Sunday, after the painful meeting of the prisoners with their families, Pjetri was close to Valentin, sitting by his side for a long time, silent and completely shocked. He had heard some bad news, which he later told him about. A friend from Berat told them that, in Berat Sigurimi, he had called different people to get all kinds of information about Pjetri.
– Look, – Pjetri had told him, – it won’t be long before they will take me to Berat to judge me.
He had been in Berat as commander of the Gendarmerie, at the time of the Germans, with the rank of captain. During his duty, he tried his best to help the people and gained the sympathy and trust of the citizens, saving dozens of young lives and avoiding the destruction of the city by the Germans. But how long does it take?
– I know, – he had added, – that the Beratas will defend me. But everything that is done in my favor puts me at greater risk. In the communist system, popularity for good is a big “minus”. Therefore, precisely because I have a very good opinion in Berat, that now I feel myself shot. Ten days did not pass and Pjetri was taken and taken to Berat, where, as he predicted, he was shot, despite the fact that many Beratans came forward as witnesses in his favor. The guillotine of the dictatorship was already cutting people’s heads without mercy.
In Valentine’s prison, the law of the French revolution began to be implemented. Before the day dawned, the steps of the guards could be heard and people became anxious. The door was opened, and the names of the unfortunates awaiting death were read. Those who were summoned were taken to go to the butcher. What a horror when the friend you had next to you, heard your name, got up and dressed quickly, and sat down and hugged the friend next to you, saying in his ear:
– Don’t forget us. Goodbye to the other world!
It had happened to Valentin every time his friend was taken away. By now the prison had turned into a waiting room, for many. The names that were called passed from room to room. That’s how Valentini happened to listen to people he had known there in prison. Because the word of his arrival from Italy was spread, in that terrible time, and the prisoners, friends and acquaintances of his father, came and met him. Mainly military, but also Catholic clergy, such as Gjon Fausti, Daniel Dajani, Gjon Shllaku, Ndre Zadeja, and others, who were shot. The prison was an antechamber of death.
Every morning, the same scene was repeated, in all the rooms and cells of the prison. No one felt safe for the next day. They even joked and joked about whose turn it would be. Especially in his room, Prof. Guljelm Deda, who was called Lemi, who had a good sense of humor? It was a humor that came from the depths of the soul, to remove the anxiety that had taken over the prisoners. The wretches who were destined to be sacrificed were taken like animals, kicked and pushed with the butts of rifles, and then irons were put on them.
What made the atmosphere of terror worse was that none of the unfortunates knew why they were being shot. It happened that someone would come and ask them out there in the corridor, but it didn’t occur to anyone that, with those two or three useless questions, their fate was decided, to disappear from this world. This was the beginning of the red terror, which would be implemented in Albania in the most wild and macabre way, wreaking havoc on innocent Albanians.
In his room, he got to know and spend time with many people from Shkodra, including Guljelm Deda and his uncle, Colonel Lin Deda. Prek Jakov’s brothers, Deda and Ceska. The Italian Father Jak Gardinin, Dom Nikoll Mazrreku, the Kosovar teacher, Zef Agimin, Prof. Angjelin Saraçin. Some officers, colonels, such as Gjysh Shëldia, Luigj Mikeli, and many other soldiers, with lower ranks. Later, also the colonels, Qazim Komani and Fuad Dibra. They, colleagues and friends of his father, immediately met Valentin with kindness.
They told him how they had returned from Kosovo, to their homes in Tirana, after the end of the war. Not long after, they were arrested. They were being sent to Pristina, at the request of the Yugoslavs, where they would definitely be shot. There was no end to the humiliation of the Albanian communists. Not only these two distinguished colonels, but also other officers who, having served in Kosovo, had surrendered to the Yugoslavs.
How is it done at the butcher shop? So Valentini, since he was kept there in vain, as a hostage without being tried, during two years, waited and escorted from that prison with hundreds of his countrymen who were shot, according to a diabolical plan alienated by the French revolution.
At the head of this terror, there was an unscrupulous and sadistic “Albanian Ropersbier”, like Enver Hoxha, with other criminals with whom he drew up death lists. Valentine, in all that tragic confusion, escaped well, that his name was not marked on those lists. Apparently, he was still unknown to the gang of criminals. Because it had happened that these wild beasts had shot people without asking their superiors, with useless pretexts.
Valentine lived all those emotions and shocks and like all his other friends, he also waited for what could not be imagined, but could happen. All those co-sufferers, beloved companions and friends, who were taken away by a ghastly power, separating them forever from others, were more than brothers. The despair was great, for their disappearance, in that barbaric way of shooting, without a day as if for a stale and banal reason…!
There was talk that special courts would be created. At least the prisoners would have the “privilege” to be shot “officially”, with documents. Guljelm Deda, had found a reason for humor.
– Now yes, the special trial! Great honor! With special shooting! Where do you get it? St. Peter opens the door of Parrizi, immediately for the special Spirits! Memorie.al