Memorie.al publishes for the first time the rare photos of Albanian military students (among them officers and sailors) who studied at the Leningrad Naval Academy (today St. Petersburg) in the Soviet Union, in 1960-1961. In these images, you can clearly see the Albanian officers and sailors, who are isolated in the dormitory premises of this Academy, as a result of the state of honor that was created in April-May 1961, between Moscow and official Tirana.
The isolation of these students would occur because the Soviet military authorities would take harsh measures against them, even leading to arrests, which were justified by the commands of the respective academies as “necessary” for avoid any possible physical confrontation between Albanian and Soviet students.
This tense situation would end in June of the same year, when the top Albanian communist leadership, led by Enver Hoxha, would issue an order for the repatriation of all Albanian students (military and civilian) studying in High Schools of the Soviet Union.
A very important role in de-escalating this situation, especially with the Albanian military in Leningrad, would play the intervention of the Albanian Military Attaché in Moscow, Major General Halim Ramohi, who would personally take care of the evacuation and return to Albania, of a good part of Albanian students, mainly military ones.
(As for the irony of fate, Major General Halim Ramohito, who at the time was considered a ‘hero’, unfortunately, 15 years later, would be sentenced by the communist regime to 25 years in prison, accused of being a supporter of the “Coup Group” “headed by the Minister of National Defense, Beqir Balluku, in the years 1974-’75 and he would be released from Burrel prison after 1990).
The photos in question, which belong to one of the most important events of communist Albania, in the international arena (such as the breakdown of official relations with the former Soviet Union in 1961), are published for the first time and they are clear evidence of a part of the history of the communist regime of Enver Hoxha, which before the ’90s, was better known from the novel “Winter of great loneliness” by the famous writer, Ismail Kadare, a work that was screened in 1979, with the film “Face to face”, (directed by two famous filmmakers, Piro Milkani and Kujtim Çashku), which is considered one of the greatest achievements of Albanian cinema of that regime./Memorie.al