Memorie.al publishes the unknown story of Aleksandër Kondos, the Albanian weightlifting legend who lost his life at the age of 27 in tragic and still completely unexplained circumstances, during a car accident in Queens New York, USA, where he was placed as a political emigrant after fleeing Albania in May 1985, staying in Yugoslavia at the time, after the national team returned from the European Weightlifting Championships held in Poland in those days. The complete voluminous file of the former State Security in charge of Aleksandër Kondos, declassified by the Authority for Information of the files of the former State Security, where there are hundreds of pages belonging to the period from 1981 when the operational prosecution and surveillance of regularly against him by the secret services of the communist regime, until 1987, when that file was finally archived, after his tragic death.
In Tirana in the early ’80s, not only for many sports fans but also beyond the young people of the Albanian capital, a young man stood out and stood out, then at the age of 20, as for his portrait and physique , as well as for the appearance, with the clothes of foreign fashion, who in his arms carried the sports bag that he never took off from his shoulder and on the other side, a big radio-tape recorder, which he brought from abroad when going out with the national weightlifting team in international activity. He was Aleksandër Kondo, a member of the “Dinamo” weightlifting team of the Ministry of Internal Affairs (where at that time he served as a senior soldier in the Republic Guard, also his father), and also of the national team, which at that time, thanks to the differentiated assessment and treatment of the communist regime in power in some serious sports, had achieved high results in the international arena.
The name of Aleksandër Kondo as an athlete began to become more and more famous, especially after his high results achieved in 1984, in the Sports Palace “Partizani” of the capital, when he fixed the figures 200 kg. (in the style of pushing) electrifying thousands of sports fans, (that day more spectators were outside the sports palace than inside it), who under numerous applause, did not leave the square in front of the palace, without seeing that guy up close, who had amazed them with his results and performance. Since that day, Sander Kondo almost became a myth in Tirana and Albania of that time, as his results came ever higher, not only in national championships, but also in the international arena where he consistently had high results. .
But much more than this period of time when Sander Kondo, was at the peak of his career, his name became even more famous and began to be discussed throughout the country, at the end of May 1985, when during an international event in the framework of the European Weightlifting Championship that took place in Warsaw, Poland, (where he lifted 210 kg.), Kondo did not return to Albania, but together with his teammate, Xhelal Sukniqi from Shkodra, from Montenegro went to Belgrade, waiting to gain political asylum in the US.
The event of the escape of two Albanian athletes caused a great commotion not only because of the name and great fame that Aleksandër Kondo had at that time, but also because that event became the object of “quarrel” between Albania and Yugoslavia, as Tirana was official at the time. Publicly accused (in the newspaper “Zeri i Popullit”), the Yugoslav authorities, saying that the two Albanian athletes had been abducted by the Yugoslav secret services (UDB) and demanded their return home.
But that claim of official Tirana had nothing real, as Kondo and Sukniqi denied it in the meeting that took place in Belgrade, between the representatives of the Albanian embassy and its Ministry of Foreign Affairs, of the Yugoslav side, where Sander Kondo, after cursing the communist regime of Enver Hoxha again and again, tried to hit the Albanian diplomat with an ashtray, insisting that he should return to Albania, where his family and the whole society were waiting for him.
After that, Sander Kondo and Xhelal Sukniqi gained political asylum in the USA, where Sukniqi is still, while Kondo, lost his life in a car accident, on May 1, 1987, (always according to the official version of the communist regime of that time ), and his remains were returned to Albania in 2003.
All these have already been known for years, as much has been written about Aleksandër Kondo as the legend of Albanian weightlifting and his father, Vangjel Kondo, has given several interviews in both print and visual media, and even made some television documentaries, for all his life and history, until the day he parted from this life. But again, the “Alexander Kondo case” has not yet been fully clarified, especially the part related to his tragic death which continues to remain shrouded in mystery, as well as the surveillance of him by the Security of The Albanian State and its segments since 1981, which was made public for the first time by the Authority for Information of the Former State Security Files, headed by Mrs. Gentjana Mara Sula, who in 2018, handed over the file to the Kondo family, or more precisely to his father, Vangjel Kondo.
In that file that Mr. Vangjel Kondo has trusted him exclusively for the publication of Memorie.al, the light is shed and it is known, the evaluation, treatment and all the surveillance and persecution, which was done at that time by the communist regime of Enver Hoxha, one of the most voice of Albania, such as Aleksandër Kondo, who was well known in the international arena. Based on this fact, Memorie.al will publish the complete file in question (with the relevant facsimiles), in some issues of the dossier section.
Continued from the previous issue
Reports from Interior Ministry officials regarding information received about the stay of Aleksandar Kondo and Xhelal Sukniqi in Yugoslavia and the possibility of sending them to the United States
Tirana on 13.11.1985
Taken from P.op. E.G.
Granted “6722” dated 7.10.1985
According to the fugitive ……………., Living in Ulcinj, in the investigation that was done to the two fugitive athletes Aleksandër Kondo and Xhelal Sukniqi, the UDB bodies have activated kush’s cousin, who moves freely going from time to time to Mark.
Tirana on July 26, 1985
Comrade B. from New York by wire. no.952 dated 19.7.1985 announces: ……………………, has said that he is making an attempt to bring to the USA, Aleksandër Kondon and Xhelal Sukniqi, who continue to be in Yugoslavia. He has spoken to Yugoslav authorities several times about the issue and has been promised that they will soon allow both to immigrate to the United States.
As above given by source “6432”. They have the problem with persecution.
It was printed in four copies.
The wire has been seen by comrades H.I., N.Z., R.L., M.D., without notes.
Correspondence of the Ministry of Internal Affairs with the State Security residence in Belgrade, on the possibilities of meeting with Alexander Kondo and the content of the letters he sent to Albania
Tirana on 9.1.1986
Belgrade with tel. no.1 dated 3.1.1986. Announces sh. S.R.
If you agree, we can ask the UN High Commissioner for Refugees here, verbally or by note, to arrange a meeting of the consular companion with the fugitive Aleksandër Kondo, on behalf of the family and fiancée, “to ask if will return”. For this, they must give us a more complete answer. Maybe we can use some other cause, if you think. The Head of Office, left me open the right of interest when I was the first time.
The wire is seen from sh. Minister of sh. S.R., sh. Minister Notes: Find other ways to verify.
It was issued in a copy for the file of A. Kondos
Tirana on 13.1.1986
Wireless center. no.21 dated 9.1.1986, instructs res. of Belgrade:
Regarding what you propose in yours no.1, we do not agree. For this, try to find ways and other ways using the opportunities you have.
It was issued in a copy for the file of A. Kondos
Tirana on February 3, 1986
Belgrade with tel. no.39 dated 30.1.1986 notifies sh. S.R.,
“1740” told G .: Aleksandër Kondo, he was sentenced to another month because he had quarreled in prison. This was said by ………………, who had visited Alexander.
The wire is seen from sh. Minister and sh. S.R. and there are no notes.
A copy of A. Kondos’ file was issued
Operational Worker Relations with Announcements of the Arrival in the USA of Aleksandër Kondos and Xhelal Sukniqi
Tirana on 13.2.1986
In New York with the phone No. 95 dated 10.2.1986 announces sh. S.R .:
Alexander Kondo arrived here, on February 5th. He stabilized, in another city together with his friend, who came three days before him. The data is secure. We have the problem in pursuit.
Note: Printed in duplicate for A. Kondon and for “3869”
Examples Nr. 1
Tirana on 27.2.1986
Belgrade with tel. no.66 dated 25.2.1986, T.Urgent. Announces sh. S. R .:
“1740” reports: Aleksandër Kondo and Xhelal Sukniqi have fled to the USA. For knowledge.
The wire is seen from sh. Minister and sh. S.R. and there are no notes.
It was published in two copies for A. Kondon and Xh. Sukniqin
Operational Worker Reports regarding the delay of Kondo and Sukniqi’s departure to the USA, due to the trial where they will both testify about the two people sent by the Albanian State Security
Tirana on 15.3.1986
Received P.op. B.S.
Source given “6120”
Talking to ……………… .., regarding the fugitives Aleksandër Kondo and Xhelal Sukniqi, N.K. had said that according to conversations he had, a month earlier, at the Office of Political Refugees in Belgrade, they were to come to the US, at the end of December 1985. But, he had continued ………………………, they were held by the Yugoslav authorities, for the issue of a trial to be held in the direction of the two Albanians from …………………………, who were sent by the Albanian Security, with duties in the direction of Aleksandar and Xhelal. These will appear as witnesses in court. Recently, more further stressed ……………………………… .., I learned that Aleksandar and Xhelal had a problem with the Yugoslav authorities, as it is said that Aleksandar hit a police officer and they put in jail. And if such a thing is true, their arrival will be still delayed.
Obtained P.Op.B.S. Secret
Given the source “6131” Copy no.
Dated 23.12.1985 Tirana, on 17.3.1986
The fugitives, Aleksandër Kondo and Xhelal Sukniqi, have not yet come to live in the US ka., Said that although they have been given the right to go to the West and have been provided with relevant travel documents , they continue to be held by the Yugoslav authorities, for a trial that they are expected to hold soon, against the two envoys from Albania, as he described them …………………………, on the basis of the information he has taken by the Yugoslavs, in the direction of which, Aleksandri and Xhelal will testify ……………………………, stressed that with the end of the trial, the two superiors will come here (USA) immediately .
Report of the State Security residence in Belgrade, regarding the testimonies of Dibran, who fled in 1984, to Kondo and Sukniqi
Tirana, March 5, 1986
Lazja me tel. no. 152, dated 28.2.1986 notifies the friend of S.R .:
The fugitive ……………………., From Dibra, came to represent him. He was interested in the practice of repatriation. He said he fled in September 1984 because he had hit a woman. He regretted his return and that he had not taken an adversarial attitude towards our country.
He knew the fugitives Aleksand, Aleksandër Kondo, ……………………… etc. The first three have immigrated to the US, while the others are in Capua.
He emphasized that ………………………, was a member of the group that bombed the house of the Chief of Police in Shkodra, said that he is an adventurous guy and speaks badly about our country. An .. It turned out that a fugitive from Shkodra, had contacted the fugitive from Albania, in Yugoslavia. He frequents camps in Capua and Latina (apparently it is T.K.). In general it seemed to us that he missed his homeland and family.
He was willing to speak, but he had reservations and moments of imbalance. He wanted to know if he was being punished. He did not receive the forms. We let him talk later in the day, but he did not come. It turned out that before the schedule, he had made a move in front of the embassy.
It is not excluded that in this situation he was instigated by the authorities of the country, with which we refused the repatriation of ……………………………, but he told us that he was aware of the amnesty and pardons of ………………… ……… …
Details by mail.
Issued in 6 copies for the above persons
From the contents of the letters it seems as if the fugitive is remorseful for the act committed, but in reality he is in a hostile position and this is confirmed by his expressions – “Do not be upset”, “you will find out everything “when I get there soon.” Figurative postcards, as well as photographs of him on the other hand, make propaganda about the US and its “currently good” condition, despite the short period of travel there. The expression “when I come there soon” leaves you suspecting that the fugitive may have joined diversionist gangs, which may be preparing to enter our country in a short period of time, with certain hostile intentions, except this letter also has a subtext that “the situation in Albania will change soon, so you should not run away”.
The letters seem to have been written at one time, but the sender has set different dates – while in the first there is 10.6.1985, in the second letter 7.2.1986. Also the photo, dated 5.6.1985.
I think the letters and postcards should be stopped, and sent to Directorate III. To see from the 1st Branch of the 1st Directorate and the Directorate of Tirana, these connections with the fugitives. A copy of the information should be placed in the management file.
- On March 10, 1986, the fugitive Alexander Kondo sent a postcard with the appearance of the monument of “freedom” in the US, which we stopped and informed the leadership of the ministry, where an order was given by the Comrade Minister, that the links of this fugitives, be verified quickly and carefully. A copy of information No. 79 dated 10.3.1986, was sent to the Directorate of Internal Affairs, Tirana.
- The Directorate of Internal Affairs in Tirana, to verify as soon as possible, the persons related to Aleksandër Kondon. What do they represent and in their direction to take operational measures, as there is a possibility that in other ways he will be communicated and he will become a cause for other escapes, especially from these connections.
- Depending on what will come out of the verification, the full names and addresses should be sent to Branch V to be placed in the Postal Control.
- A copy of the information should be sent to the Shkodra GDP, for the fugitive Xhelal Sukniqi, as well as to be photographed, the photo that came out with Aleksandër Kondo.
VICE PRESIDENT OF BRANCH V
The report of the Leading Officer for the urgent telegram received from the Albanian Mission in New York, for the call of Aleksandër Kondos, to meet with them!
Tirana on 25.3.1986
Comrade B.S. with the wire “Extremely urgent” from New York with no. 285 dated 21.3.1986, announces:
This morning, Alexander Kondo arrived at the headquarters. He talked to ……, he wants to meet ………………………He said that he came here and wants to talk, because he regrets the act he committed. He thinks that must., To whom Alexander has stayed for almost two weeks, must have encouraged him.
Wait how to act.
The wire has been seen by comrades H.I., S.R., and R.L., without notes.
The report from New York with the information about the stay of Kondo and Sukniqi in Yugoslavia and the investigations made against them by the UDB bodies
Tirana on 2.4.1986
In New York by phone. no.334 dated 23.3.1986 urgently notifies Comrade S.R .:
During their stay in Yugoslavia, A. Kondo and Xh. Sukniqi, were taken to the investigator and treated directly by the federal bodies of UDB. For everything they have deposited, they have been recorded and written down, who have also put the signatures. The two have signed a declaration of cooperation.
At the time they left for here, they were ordered to appear at the Yugoslav consulate, here where we are. In the presence of 7 people, Aleksandri said that he himself had been to the Yugoslav consulate, twice and in both cases he had received money.
In addition to the above, Aleksandri was recorded by,., While Xhelali and some others did not accept. He told R. that the voice with his sayings let him use them wherever he wants. Aleksandri, is separated from Xhelali and lives only in a hotel. It is very aggressive ……………………. said that he should have been assigned concrete tasks by UDB.
The wire is seen from sh. Minister and sh. S.R.
Comrade S.R. notes: I Directorate
It was issued in two copies for the files of A. Kondo and Xh. Sukniqi. Memorie.al