From Lek Pervizi
Memorie.al / One day in Valentin’s cell, they brought a tall mountain man, two meters tall, handsome, with beautiful facial features and a pair of gray mustaches that gave him a shadow. It was the famous Prek Cali, the pride of the Highlands and held as the prototype of the Illyrian-Albanian race. Patriot and warrior, brave and intellectual man. Valentini had heard about it since he was a cure, and even more so, when he had stayed a few months in Dukagji, his close friend, Lek Vojvoda or Vuksani. He touched Cali, met him with a fairy, and sat next to Valentin.
They became friends quickly because Preka had known his father, General Prenk Pervizi, and had worked with him. He had a good impression of him and admired him for his military skills and high training. Regardless of the miserable condition they were in, Valentini and the other prisoners had the chance to find out how it happened that he surrendered, and who?! Touch Cali, that man already a legend of the Highlands. Although the communists had taken power and the Germans had abandoned Albania, in Kelmend, the last stronghold against Bolshevism, the resistance continued under the leadership of Prek Cal.
One day; the cellmates had asked that proud mountaineer who had joined them there in that prison.
– How did you surrender, Prek Cali? Didn’t you know that an important man like you would find it very difficult or impossible to make it with the communists?
– Yes, you are right, Preka answered, but there are several circumstances that brought me here. And he had told what had happened to him. After the fighting against the much larger communist forces in men and weapons had ended, many of us took refuge in a safe cave on top of a mountain, living like harems. From time to time, one of us would go and get food. Several weeks passed like this.
– Looking at those young boys, my heart narrowed from the pain I felt for them, who had accepted me, accompanied me and even gave their lives for me.-
One morning they realized we were surrounded. How did the partisans find out? It must have been brought by a local person who knew the area well and where the cave was located. The commander of that special department had asked them to surrender. Yes, they had responded with rifles and the fighting had continued for several days.
Meanwhile, the commander, who was a Cretan named Hamit Taga, had spoken to them from afar in a loud voice:
– Find out that you have no chance of escape, that you are surrounded. Where and when can you find food, water and ammunition? Therefore, your resistance is completely futile. I inform you that if you do not surrender, the provincial authorities have ordered the deportation of your families and the burning of your houses.
Touching Cali, he intervened to fill the commander’s mind, to find a solution, so that the lives of those young people who stayed with him could be spared. He begged the commander to talk to Mehmet Shehu that they had decided to surrender, only in the hands of Mehmet Shehu. And Mehmet came there himself.
– If it were up to me, – said Prek Cali, there in that cell, – I would not have surrendered, until the last bullet, but in that cave, I thought about the lives of those young people and about our families. When Mehmet Shehu came, I spoke to him from afar, telling him that we would surrender if he had given us his promise that our lives would be spared.
He answered us, assuring us that he would spare our lives, including mine, and then he turned to me: the brave, they had stayed on the mountain, so as not to surrender to me. He mentioned the two mountaineers, Gjeka and Gjergjin, who were shot in Koplik.
– Yes, why didn’t you live with us or Prek Cali, and now you would be an honorable man and a glorious hero with high decorations – said Mehmet Shehu.
– I had no idea what happened to you, that you were closely related to the departure of Serbia, against whom we have been fighting for centuries. For the last word, I’m sorry for my life, I was surprised and I couldn’t believe my ears, so I told him to repeat it one more time. He had it again. Then I asked him not to touch us with his hand, either on the way to Shkodër or in the Security cells. He assured us of this as well. So we surrendered. They asked us one by one without touching us, and the boys took them to the old prison, and I here with you.
– Let’s congratulate you for having spared your life, the friends said, but one of them added that; how did Prek Cali believe that criminal, who does not know trust and honor?!
– It does not occur to me that Mehmeti took his word for the trust he gave me, that everyone who was there, commander and commissar and full of partisans, listened to him.
The prisoners did not prolong the conversation, but among them they were more than sure that Mehmeti would betray him.
Three weeks went by quite quietly. Being around the chosen prisoners, Preka felt good about himself, and everyone respected him for his manly years and outstanding patriotism, for which he had given evidence and entered history. When one day, noises and screams were heard in the corridor. The guards, entering different cells, read some names. It was known that there would be shootings.
The prisoners were huddled in their layers of fear, their hearts pounding. Whose turn was it? Fast and heavy steps were heard and after a while the door of their cell opened with a loud noise. A black shadow of a policeman appeared there, with a kerosene lamp, illuminating a piece of paper in his hand. What names would have been written on that scratched paper? When, after bringing the letter closer to his eyes, the policeman raised his head and called out in a loud voice; Touch Cali! In the cell, the name was called only for Preka, it was terrible.
He never expected that Mehmet Shehu would keep his word. As a mountaineer, he could not conceive of such a thing. But he forgot that Mehmet was not like the men of the highlands who, when they gave their word, kept it at the cost of their lives. He was nothing but a blood-thirsty, power-hungry adventurer who didn’t have it for nothing, broke his promise and didn’t keep his word. Touch, he had lost his mind. But he did not give himself up. While he was getting dressed, he had murmured to Valentin:
– I did it myself. Fall victim of faith and word of honor. And when he was hugging Valentini, he spoke in his ear:
– What about the boys? Are you telling me to marry them?
– No, no, I don’t believe it, Valentini answered. After greeting the other prisoners, he called out:
– Make me halal, men! Goodbye to that world.
In the corridor, there were nine other prisoners, handcuffed, including Dom Ndre Zadeja. They shot them all at the shingle of Kiri, which became the terror of Shkodra.
How it is possible, called a young prisoner there, that they always choose the best? Yes, until those moments, only the best could choose. Words could not be found to describe all these crimes.
It was found out later, that Prek Cali, the two Beltoja brothers, Dom Ndre Zadeja and a priest from the old prison, had tried to give courage to their friends, until the last moment of the shooting.
How long will this genocide we inherited and ordered by the teacher and chief criminal of the Kremlin, Joseph Visarionovich Stalin, continue? If Faust sold his soul to the devil, Enver Hoxha sold his soul to Stalin.
(The prisoners criticized him that a mountaineer with a name like that, should not have surrendered alive, and not be beaten by Mehmet Shehu’s deception and treachery. On the other hand, the commander of the Partisan Brigade that had surrounded Prek Cal ) .
Coping with death
One of the death row inmates held in that prison was Ndue Pal Mirashi, whom Valentini had known during his stay as Lek Vuksani in Theth, when the communist partisans attacked Dukagjini and started arrests, where she took measures and Nduen. He was also surrendered to save his family from exile and prevent his house from burning down. He was considered dangerous, after he had been tortured, he was put on trial and sentenced to death by firing squad, along with four other mountaineers. There in the prison, they were kept in a special cell for those sentenced to death, until the order for the day of execution was given.
An unbearable and terrifying wait. Those who experienced that condition were possessed by the horror of the end of their lives in such a tragic way, being completely innocent, both towards society and before God. Every time he passed by the door, Valentini looked at those men who were waiting for a cruel fate, leaning against the walls, while Paul was standing in the middle, who greeted him with a smile, and then continued to perform some physical exercises.
Friends around, looked at him with surprise and sadness! What was the point of those exercises, since soon, the mass of their bodies, would end up there under the shingle of Cyrus? One day, Ndue Pali approached the window and, greeting him, said: “Don’t forget us”. Their relatives were given permission to meet them. When these meetings were held, the guards would lock all the doors of the other cells. Ndue Pal’s parents also came.
He appeared before them with a beam of pride, smiling, as if nothing would happen. They themselves, seeing that, could not open their mouths because of the emotion and because of the sobs of oil that overwhelmed them. The gate of Valentine’s door was not very far, and he could look through the turret of the door and hear all that was said. That scene of the meeting remained in his memory so much that he could never forget it.
Ndou, he had tried to calm them down with kind but also strong words and all the fire. He said:
– Now, I am ready to cross the threshold to the next world. God will accept me, because, – he added, – I have always been a good believer.
And while talking, I jerked off:
– Do not despair; I will be resurrected in a better life, much better than yours, in this earth full of suffering. Therefore, my beloved, farewell to that world!
Such words, very few people could pronounce them, in such a state. Relatives drowned in grief and tears, could not say a word. The prisoners who had heard and followed that extraordinary scene, could not contain the tears that flowed by themselves, from reddened eyes. Meanwhile, Valentini had a spy who was known by everyone, who, even he, could not stop his tears. Wonder of wonders!
To tell the truth, it must be emphasized that in the face of death, there are few who would know how to behave as stoically and heroically as Ndue Pal Mirashi. After this dramatic meeting, another man was close to the bars. Valentini, did not leave the door turret for a moment. Thus, he could see what he was meeting with himself.
He was a young man of about 20 years old, handsome and handsome. Just seeing him, Valentine’s soul was boiling, for his quick end. He asked one who was nearby, about that boy who had aroused so much pity in him. He told him that his son had been a policeman, and unfortunately for him, he had taken part in the arrest of a communist. The superior who had ordered him was sentenced to five years, while his subordinate had to pay with his life!
No one spoke to him, a former police commissioner, who was there in prison, because he was kept as a spy. The cell of those sentenced to death was always full. After being sentenced by the infamous ‘Special Trial’, they had to wait any time, before execution, because their families prayed for forgiveness to the president of the presidium, the parliament and other instances. Therefore, from time to time, they took five or six of them, and shot them there at Zalli i Kiri.
Early one morning, when it was still dark, a dramatic event happened. First there was the iron sound of locks and latches. They would take a few more. The prisoners waited for their turn. The policemen, after closing all the doors, stopped in front of the death cell, where one of them read only two names: Ndue Pal Mirashi and Caf Meti. To the rest of their group, forgiveness came.
They got up from the layers, got dressed and waited standing there in the middle of the cell. Ndue Pali and Caf Meti, returned to their friends, who had been taken away and were sitting with their hands crossed and head down, overcome by emotion, that they were taking their friends right there in front of their eyes, while they were about to be released. Ndue Paul, understanding their spiritual condition, spoke to them:
– Hold on, men. You were lucky to return to your families, that’s the main thing. We truly bid you farewell from this world, to go to the next world, but don’t forget us, so we greet you, wishing you not to suffer our end. After all, we are all sons of death. As soon as he said these words, he opened his legs and crossed his arms, feeling in anticipation.
– What do you do? Had called one of the policemen who were an officer, who told them to get out of the cell. Ndue Pali, answered that; let the fools come. The officer with a policeman had taken a few steps towards them. The two heroes had lunged at them with great ferocity, two knives drawn from their spoons, grinding them into the concrete of the dungeon. The occupation between them began. From the screams, other policemen ran there with batons. The two prisoners, who were bound and very strong, were facing seven policemen, and they wounded two or three of them with knives. But one of the policemen called out:
– To push these mammoths towards the door from the bottom, and so they did. In this way, they took Cafi to the small courtyard, where there was an armed guard who pointed the machine gun at him, and Cafi remained silent, swearing loudly and cursing those criminals. But inside, the policemen managed to defeat Paul, who had lost consciousness, by hitting them with sticks. Then they attacked Cafi, hitting him all at once with sticks until he fainted, and dragged him inside.
So stunned and unconscious, they were thrown into a cart, as if they were sacks of rags, and it wasn’t long before the crack of murderous weapons was heard. They shot them behind a wall nearby. The day after this event, the Chairman of the Shkodra Branch arrived, who, like a rabid animal, attacked the policemen and guards, shouting as much as he could so that the prisoners could hear:
– It took your breath away, why didn’t you kill them all in the cell? You should have eliminated them all, without mercy! According to him, even those who had forgiven him. To which human race did these heartless executioners, who had no sense of Albanianism, who tortured and killed the desolate, innocent prisoners, belong?
The executioner’s father’s name was Pjetër Bullati, who was later shot as a Party traitor in 1949. With the accusation that he had been a Yugoslav spy agent. The only true accusation./Memorie.al