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 pursuit 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 given by the communist regime in power to 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 great name and fame that Aleksandër Kondo had at that time, but also because that event became the object of “quarrel” between Albania and Yugoslavia, as official Tirana at that 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 trusted him exclusively for the publication of Memorie.al, the light is shed and it becomes 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
State Security Operational Report on Kondo and Sukniqi’s stay in Yugoslavia and their statements in the first days of their trip to the United States
Tirana on 2.4.1986
B.S. me tel. 321 dated 27.3.1986 from New York notifies Comrade S.R.
During their stay in Yugoslavia, A. Kondo and Xh. Sukniqi, have been treated very well by the Yugoslav authorities. They have maintained frequent contacts with them and have been used to obtain from them numerous data on the situation in Albania. They have spoken very badly, emphasizing especially the savage dictatorship, the fear of the people from the Security organs, the difficult economic situation, etc. They provided military information, especially on the deployment of military units, types of weapons, various exercises, defensive work, etc.
When they were there, they were kept under control so that nothing would happen. Both accepted the offer to serve the Yugoslavs and work for them in the West. They were used as witnesses by the Yugoslavs for two fugitives from …………………………… ..one of whom has been sentenced to prison, while the other has not yet. They were accused by the Yugoslavs of being sent by the Albanian Security to eliminate Alexander and Xhelal. As we have informed you, they arrived here on February 5th. They initially stayed for two weeks at e’s apartment then settled in a location near New Jersey for a few days.
It has been almost two weeks since we were accommodated in a hotel near our headquarters. This hotel has been used before and still continues to be used to accommodate refugees from Albania. During their time here, they have received and continue to have contacts with other fugitives from Albania, but also with heads of emigration. Both, develop rampant propaganda against us.
None of them has expressed remorse for the act committed. Not only that, but they have said they will give interviews on local television and on VOA. They have also made statements that they will take sensational action against us. Our source pointed out more irritated, it seems Alexander. In this regard our source, drew attention to be careful as they can take any action.
The wire was seen by the Comrade Minister and the Director noting:
Branch III, VI, Directorate I.
One copy was issued for the subversive, and one for Branch VI
Reports of the Officer of the Ministry of Internal Affairs, regarding the man who received Kondo and Sukniqi in the USA and their statements against the communist regime in Albania
Tirana on April 3, 1986
Our mission in New York by phone no. 286 dated 24.3.1986 announces the MFA:
The fugitive, Alexander Kondo, was received in New York by …………………… and other Zogists. In a conversation with them, he said that in the meeting he had with the friends of our embassy in Belgrade, he expressed himself very weakly and that he had told our friends to others that even if they laid me down with gold, I would not return to Albania. The Zogists talked about this conversation on the last radio show. This traitor called us on the mission as well. Said he wants to meet with fellow missionaries. We secreted it. We noticed that this scoundrel has provided material for the Albanian reaction here, to propagate that now they are fleeing from Albania, children of officials in charge of the army and the people’s government.
Issued in a copy for the file of the person in the case.
Tirana on 4.4.1986
New York by phone 333 dated 1.4.1986 T. Urgently notifies Comrade S.R .:
We inform you responsibly that the fugitive Aleksandër Kondo is here and has not made any move from here.
The wire was seen by Comrade S.R. which notes: Its elaboration together with that of Xh. Sukniq to be transferred to Branch VI.
Issued in a copy for A. Kondon
Report of the State Security Operational Worker, regarding the figure telegram coming from New York, regarding the meetings and conversations of Aleksandër Kondos with Albanian emigrants in the USA
Examples No. 2
Tirana on 29.4.1986
B.S by phone No. 447 dated 19.4.1986 announces from New York:
In the presence of A.D., Aleksandër Kondo, spoke about the motives that pushed him to flee were, hatred for the political system in Albania and the desire to have fun in the West. He made the decision together with Xhelal Sukniqi, before leaving. The Yugoslavs, according to him, were initially well received but then, they put them in prison (Alexander) because he had beaten a police officer and treated him badly and for that, he spoke with hatred for them.
They just arrived in the early days were disappointed. He expected to see miracles, fist money, and special honors, but no one bowed his head for him. They put them in a hotel in New York and give them enough money to say that no one asks about them. They have been trying for work for a long time, but no one helps them. This is his main concern, that if he does not find a job, he will return to Europe, specifically to Italy or Belgium, to finally stabilize. He expressed regret for the parents and said that they should have been deported, but this work is no longer corrected.
According to him, in 7-8 years, the government in Albania will change because new liberals will come. The new leader could have done the same, but the wife of the deceased leader, who has all the power in her hands, did not give up. The most vile are those of the Security who control every man. He thinks he made the mistake of escaping because he lived there very well and could have expected regime change. He wants to stabilize for construction work, as he is physically strong and can earn money. Sorry he lost the sport.
According to …………………………… .who is associated with Alexander Kondo, these days he is very worried about life and difficulties, but never expresses remorse for the escape. He feels sorry for the family, which he hurt but says that this job is over. He expresses hatred for the regime, but has never shown a desire to take revenge on the communists, who deported his family and has not received letters from them. He speaks with hatred for Yugoslavs and Americans, whom he hoped would treat him well as a respected athlete. Apart from the tyrants, he was not accompanied by any other person from the emigration.
According to W. and OKLL, they have no hope of securing help and support from the Reagan administration, despite the hopes that hung when he was elected President. L. Zogu, every time he has gone to the US, has asked to meet with Reagan or any person authorized by him, but to no avail. Reagan has forgotten that L. Zogu exists in this world.
Our financial situation is on the ground and now Leka is expected to come to the US to seek contributions from the Zogists. But who will give it ?! I hope to publish the issue of the newspaper soon, but no money. If there was no money, soon there will be neither OKLL, nor activity against Albania. What they say that the great powers help us, is done only for propaganda and whoever has the mind understands the truth.
The wire has been seen by comrade H.I., R.L., S.R., without notes.
Taken for source A. Kondon, Xh. Sukniqi, and A.D.
Report of the Chief Officer on the phone call made by Aleksandër Kondo to the Albanian Mission to the UN and the threats he made against them with insulting words about Enver Hoxha
Tirana dated 10.4.1986
Comrade B.S. by phone “T. Urgent”, dated 7.4.1986 with no.393 from New York announces:
On the evening of April 6, he fled to the headquarters of the fugitive Alexander Kondo. It happens to B.S. himself. and spoke to him. He asked once more to meet and talk. I told him briefly that we have nothing to do with people like him who have betrayed the homeland. In response he said “I am the enemy and traitor of the government, and not of the homeland”. He no longer extended the conversation to B.S. and hung up the phone.
He notes that on February 28, a threatening phone call was made to the headquarters. Even in this case it happened B.S. He said during the threats and pressures: “Soon you will know who I am”. He also spoke very offensive words about Comrade Enver, etc. He did not reveal his identity, but from the last conversation we were completely convinced that in this case, too, it was Aleksandër Kondo.
They have his problem in pursuit.
The wire has been seen by fellow Ministers of S.R. without notes.
Report of the Albanian Mission to the UN in New York, regarding the phone calls and conversations that Kondo and Sukniqi had with one of the staff of the Mission
Tirana on 22.4.1986
Mission in New York by phone no. 424 dated 15.4.1986
The fugitive Aleksandër Kondo called again on the mission. Comrade I.Zh. near him comrade M. Gj. He said: “I am Alexander Kondo and I know what you will say to me like next time, but I just wanted to tell you that: I know the crime I committed against the homeland, I shamefully committed my family and people, I will not to raise my hand against the homeland, I will not be confused with the enemies of Albania. I have been pressured to work for “Voice of America” and I have not accepted and I will never accept. It is my own fault, and there is no one, I have decided to return to Albania.
I will write a letter to the family to get their opinion back. The prison that I will do in Albania is a rest camp compared to the prison life that takes place here. “He asked to meet with the comrades of the Mission, but comrade I. Zh. Cut him short because we have nothing to do with him. Xhelal Sukniqi took 15 minutes, he said that he felt the crime he committed against the family homeland and will never give up the homeland, he still lives in a hotel, he points out that a few days ago Aleksandër Kondo called and spoke differently to BS who happened to be on the phone.For this conversation and a previous threat, they reported by phone no.384
Report of the State Security Operational Worker for the figure telegram coming from New York, regarding the comments made by the Albanian Radio of the organization Legality, for Kondon and Sukniqi
Examples Nr. 2
Tirana on 24.4.1986
Comrade B.S. from New York with Rg. No. 396 dated 9.4.1986 announces:
On March 23, 1986, Radio Zogiste gave a comment about our two athletes A. Kondo and Xh. Sukniqi who have arrived in the US, where they describe the details of their meeting with our comrades in the embassy in Yugoslavia and the stern refusal to give them gold coins. A. Kondo was introduced as the son of General Kondi, the commander of our Guard. According to the radio, the escape of the son of a general, reflects the great dissatisfaction that has involved the youth from whose ranks are leaving the country, more and more young people who are the sons of the Albanian nomenclature.
The Zogist commentator continued with the call that emigration should be careful with them. To find them jobs and stabilize them with housing, and not allow them to take the wrong path and be tortured in the prisons of Albania, returning back to their homeland, as has happened in some cases. He also ordered that everyone be vigilant against the spies sent by the Albanian Security, who according to him, will be in the arms of their friends in the US, where according to the duties of the Security they will try to find support.
Details by mail.
Rg has been seen by Comrade Minister.
Comrade S.R. notes that the First Directorate must be notified.
It was published in 3 copies, for “Legality”, A. Kondon, and Xh. Sukniqin
Report of the State Security Operational Worker, regarding the figure telegram coming from New York, about the stay and the conversations made by Kondo and Sukniqi with the Albanian emigrants there
Tirana on 3.5.1986
B.S. on tel. 477 dated 22.4.1986, reports from New York …………………… met by chance in the New York City park the fugitives ………………………, who spoke lovingly of the homeland and their families, repenting of the betrayal and hoping that one day they would return to their homeland, to benefit from some amnesty.
They say they look at their work, and do not confuse it with the political emigration he initially tried to do for himself. They said that other tyrants like ………………………… ..have a good attitude. ……………………… ..because of drug smuggling, for fear of the country’s authorities and especially the connections they have with some of their friends in prison, from the cooperation of ……………………… Me .with the FBI, they are hidden and do not go public.
They said that Aleksandër Kondo and Xhelal Sukniqi, who live separately, have recently settled in New York. The first to the hotel, while the second to some friends from Shkodra who had fled before. A. Kondo, still stays at the hotel and is paid $ 50 a week by the Refugee Organization. For the first three weeks, A. Kondo stayed with ……………………… .. had said that the Zogists had tried to persuade him to interview him and broadcast him on radio and television, but he had refused.
He was upset when he found out that the Zogists had taken him out on their radio and got angry with them. 10 days ago, he was convinced to return to Albania, but then he changed his mind, for fear that he could be severely punished. Together with Xhelal, they are trying to stabilize in a rented apartment and get a job to support themselves. Alexander is very upset and depressed about his plight because he was expecting something else.
The wire was seen by Comrade Minister without notes.
It was published in 6 copies. Memorie.al
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