Memorie.al publishes the unknown story of Vanda Çorati, former participant in the Anti-Fascist War in the partisan ranks of the Peza Group, who in 1983 sought the status of War Veteran and the 100 lek that was given as a reward, but it was not approved by the competent bodies and the Staff Section of the Tirana Executive Committee which returned a negative response, even though it had submitted a statement received in 1952 by Masar Shehu, former Political Commissar of the Peza Group and Secretary of the Communist District of Durrës, for years he had been declared unwanted and seen as an enemy of the people by the communist regime… ?!
Throughout the communist regime of Enver Hoxha, with the exception of former senior party and state officials, the highest reward given to those who took part in the War in the partisan ranks was the 100 lek of the War, on old age pension. But not everyone enjoyed that reward. Thus, in the early 80’s, the generation of those who had participated in the Anti-Fascist War in the partisan ranks, was approaching retirement age and according to the law of that time, they received a monthly reward in the amount of 100 lek (new) on old age pension. But in order to benefit from it, a series of documents were needed for the status of War Veteran, where the main and most important was the statement issued by someone (usually by former War cadres) proving the participation in the Antifascist War of the person requesting that statement.
In fact, the state had all the official documents to prove that, ie the participation in the War of any person who had actually been in the partisan ranks, but that rule, ie the statement by two or three people to prove the participation in the War of a person , was done on purpose and in the most diabolical way by the communist regime in power: so that those former partisans or participants with contributions during the War who were later convicted (after 1944) for various reasons, with prisons, internments or were declared unwanted by the communist regime in power, not to receive the 100 lek of the War. This is because, this category of people who had problems with the government, or more precisely the government had a problem with them, no one dared to give you a statement to prove their participation in the War, as they could not go out with the Party that had condemned them. And based on this, that category of people did not benefit from the status of a veteran, nor the reward of 100 lek on the old age pension.
Also, in addition to documents for the status of war veteran, declarations for participation in the partisan ranks were needed and required for other cases, such as job appointments, granting study rights, or when the situation of a person or family was politically aggravated, etc. etc., and that document, i.e. the statement proving that someone had been a participant in the War, was required to edit some biography.
But there have been cases, although extremely rare, when former cadres of the Partisan War issued statements for participation in the War even of persons who had been convicted by the Party! One of them was Masar Shehu, former Secretary of the Communist Circle of Durrës district and Political Commissar of the Partisan Group of Peza, who in 1952 issued a statement to Vanda Çorati, where he confirmed her participation and contribution to partisan ranks.
That was more than true, as Vanda Çorati was the sister of Agron Çorati, one of the exponents of the Communist Circle of Tirana, and their house was one of the main bases where the illegal communists and the highest exponents of the guerrilla units of that district took refuge… Vanda herself had been in the partisan ranks in the Peza Group, while her sister, Mila, had been in charge of the Youth in the 23rd Assault Brigade. Agroni and his two sisters, Vanda and Mila, were also known, among others, for the abduction of the daughter of Man Kukalesh, the chief of Tirana Police, where they intended to pressure him to release from prison, the communist Shyqëri Ishmi …?!
So the contribution of that family in the Antifascist Movement and in the partisan ranks was extremely large, but already (after 1944) they were “forgotten” and no one dared to mention them anymore, as Agron Çorati in the spring of 1944, disappointed and with full conviction that the Albanian Communist Party had betrayed the Antifascist War, withdrew from the War, even coming out publicly with a tract where he openly accused the SNP! And after that he left Albania for studies in Austria, from where he returned in 1946 and was arrested immediately as soon as he arrived in the homeland.
Although after some time he left the prison as innocent, the tract with the accusations that he had thrown in Tirana in 1944, would follow him like a shadow behind him, as it actually happened, after he was arrested years later. and was interned on the island of Zvernec, where the communist regime isolated some of the former top exponents of the Communist Party (Zef Mala, Xhavit Qesja, Kristo Budo, etc.), who had already been declared “enemies of the people.”
Based on what had happened to Agron Çorati and the situation in which his family was in 1952 (in 1951, Mila Çorati was sentenced by his husband, Isuf Keçi to 10 years in political prison), the statement of Masar Shehu where he confirmed that Vanda Çorati had a major contribution during the War, constituted a real heresy. (Masari himself after three years, at the Tirana Party Conference in 1956 after a debate with Nexhmije Hoxha would be declared an anti-party element and then labeled as “enemy of the people”).
The statement that Vanda Çorati received from Masar Shehu in 1952, he used in 1983 when he reached the retirement age at the Institute of Hygiene and Epidemiology where he worked, in order to benefit 100 many of the War, but without result, as that document “does not drank more water ”and the answer that came from the Staff Section of the Executive Committee of Tirana was negative.
With a brother (Agon Çorati) who had been interned on the Island of Zvërnec and who had died in 1977 working as a porter, with a sister (Mila Çorati), who in 1973 the State Security had arrested her husband (doctor of Jewish origin, Natan Schancher, former partisan of Mehmet Shehu’s First Assault Brigade), and who had died in torture in the cells of the Durrës Branch of Internal Affairs, Vanda Çorat could never be granted the status of a veteran of War, from which he could benefit the additional 100 lek per month on the pension.
Likewise, the position of Vanda Çorati was aggravated even more by the person who had issued the statement, as Masar Shehu (an intellectual with leftist convictions, but formed in the West) was no longer the one of 1952 when he worked as a journalist at “Zeri i Populli”?! Since 1956 when he was one of the main supporters of those who rose up in the Tirana Conference against the privileges of the Bloc and the senior leadership of the ALP, even debating face to face with Nexhmije Hoxha in the basic organization of the Party of “Zeri” of the People ”, for years he was declared an anti-party person and was left as a simple teacher in a school in Tirana where he was monitored and seen as an“ enemy of the people ”, as Adil Çarçani himself publicly labeled at a meeting of the Fronti organization. Democratic in the neighborhood where he lived?!
Moreover, the status of veteran Vanda Çorati was on the verge of impossible, since in 1982, in his book, “The Anglo-American Danger for Albania”, in the accusations that Enver Hoxha had made against Mehmet Shehu and his wife, Fiqret, he severely accused the Çorati family. Thus, until the fall of the communist regime in 1991, Vanda Çorati never gained the status of a war veteran, nor the 100 lek that belonged to her as a participant in the war, which was recognized to her only after 1992 along with the stats. of the persecuted by the communist regime of Enver Hoxha, as she and her family really were. Regarding the above, it is also shown by these documents that Memorie.al publishes for the first time in this article for its readers.
D e k l a r a t ë
The undersigned Masar Shehu, Party member of 1941, confirms that he has known his wife Vanda Çorati since I was the Political Secretary of the Regional Committee of the Communist Party for Durrës. During the period 1942-1943, Mrs. Vanda often performed her duty as a courier, bringing to Durrës from Tirana illegal propaganda material as well as correspondence, also vice versa leading from Durrës to Tirana.
But especially his wife Vanda Çorati has been very active since July 1944, when she came voluntarily to the partisan group of Peza, where the signatory at this time was the Political Commissar of the Peza Group. In Peza, Mrs. Vanda worked tirelessly with the organization of pioneers, and often, not taking into account the danger, introduced in Tirana propaganda material such as communiqués and others that were printed in the technique of the Party that was in Peza at that time.
The work of his wife Vanda Çorati in the organization of the Pioneers of the Peza Group and in its district has been appreciated and praised.
I issue this statement, based on her request to use it when the need arises.
Tirana, 16 February 1952
D e k l a r u e s i
The signature of comrade Masar Shehu is confirmed
Party member who is part of the organization
Basis of the “Voice of the People”.
Secretary of the Basic Organization of
“Voice of the People”