103 letters from communist prisons
Letters from Shkodra prison (1951-1953)
Letters from Burrell Prison (1953-1965)
Memorie.al/ Sunday 29.01.1967, still without dawn, and the darkness was towards the departure, when no living person was seen on the street, I knocked hard on the door of the Franciscan Assembly, in the neighborhood “Arra e Madhe” of the city. Duel guard (or goalkeeper).
– I am looking for Father Frano Kirin.
– “He slept,” he replied.
– Take it, I have to inform you about the death of a friend!
After a while the door reopened and I faced Father Franon. As soon as he saw me, I changed his face, as if he were numb, he thought well and did not speak for a moment, and finally without comforting me, he said to me: “Son, he has left you rich!”. On the way home by bike, where a mountain of work and trouble awaited me, I thought very little about the words I heard. So quickly I asked myself: What happened to us? Our movable and immovable property was confiscated, it was confiscated… we were left alone, his family: aunt, sister, wife with three sons and two graves. The good and enviable legacy…, but above all it left us a good name: glorious work for the benefit of the Homeland, national education, Islamic culture and fees. He left concrete works, published writings, manuscripts… yes, yes, he also left us letters from communist prisons with that beautiful writing, to express his love for his family perfectly artistically.
These 103 letters were preserved as expensive, as relics, as the greatest left treasure from him. When I got home, in the Parrucë neighborhood, I was calm and alive. I was full of energy to face that mortal day, which was also known as a day of victory, because we: father and family, arrived with triumph over 7000 days of suffering with deprivation of liberty, in forced labor camps and prisons, and for about 500 days (after being released alive from prison) we lived very happily in the 200-year-old house of the Mukejs, in Shkodra.
In 1997, prof. Vehbi Hoti, professor of Psychology at the University “Luigj Gurakuqi” of Shkodra, defined the letters from prisons in this way: “Letter of exchange with the family… are an expression of his versatile personality. They are prose with poetic inspirations, very exciting and educational. They can rightly be called a “handbook” for education in general and family education in particular. They represent an intimate conversation with the family, especially with their children. He advises and guides them, seeks them out and encourages them to always move forward. “108 Letters from prisons are one of the ways in which the prisoner had the opportunity to communicate mainly with his family. In order to be “released” they had to meet the requirements of the regulation: to be short, about 1 page of a notebook, to be written clearly and comprehensibly, on issues related to the health and needs of the prisoner; 1 letter per month was allowed. After the letter was checked, her fate to go to the family or not remained at the discretion of the operative… Many times, the letters did not come because in certain situations, especially when the prisoners were in labor camps, or when you were imprisoned was punished for “breaking the rules”, communication and receipt of letters and food were interrupted. (This has often happened in Burrell Prison), so letters are not regularly filed every month. During the time that Sheuqet Muka was serving his sentence in Shkodra, he sent a few letters. this is because we meet after 1 pair of thick bars at a distance of 1 meter away. From Shkodra prison in this book are presented the first 12 letters (20.IX.1951- 15. III. 1953), while the other 91 letters are from Burrel prison (1953 – 1965).
Correspondence from Burrel prison, which was over 100 km from Shkodra, has been more frequent. For nearly 19 years in prison, his family has been guarding 103 of them. Absences as a result: they are not allowed to be sent (are forbidden) or they are not allowed to be guarded by us. These are the preserves, they are all being published, without any changes and some of them (the readable ones, which are not written in pencil), can be scanned. The purpose is to understand some aspects of the conditions, yes and to show how we have achieved communication, uninterrupted, with the father in prison, to keep in touch with us, to send in the last years of imprisonment every week (to eat) a letter and every mid-month a telegram with reply. Communication kept him alive and the gratitude of this political prisoner of conscience is boundless, as will be read and described in beautiful touching words in these letters. This regularity with letters, simple family communication telegrams, became the object of evaluation by the prison command and was recommended to the prisoners as an example to follow.
Sends. Sheuqet Muka.
Prison of the Enemies of the People, Shkodra
Send. of Rep 321, Burrel
Letters from prisons, beginning in 1951 and ending with the letter August 1, 1965, are rare in their kind and perhaps the only ones that are preserved and being published. Their evaluation belongs to the reader.
Send me the envelope. Sheuqet Muka. Prison of the Enemies of the People) Shkodra with the initials at the top of each letter V.F.L.P. (Death – Fascism, Freedom – People). Posted by Rep 321 Burrel (address of this A.M. prison)
Continued from the previous issue
Letter no. 10
15. 01. 1953
Continuation of the letter 15 September 1952
How long does the baking day seem to me o …!
Neither novels nor parts of romance, but various expressions of love, coming from a source drained whiter than snow, which contain in themselves truths, which in the future you will prove to yourself better. At the qi meeting I had on 3. XI. 1952 I learned from my family that in the first week of December, your release was expected. This hope was added to me by some liberated villagers, who came to meet me with him, on the 4th of XII. 52, on Wednesday. Therefore, I was so excited that I did not even begin to say with self that our Meserret will also be released and will be in return and, if he did not come, he will certainly mourn until the 7th of Dhetuer, the day of sun, meeting day for us citizens with deprivation of liberty and day of rest and rest, day of joy and happiness for the people who enjoy the beauty and taste of freedom.
We are thus, at the end of the week in question. My soul boils and my flesh catch me, I have to know if you are bored, but how? In this way the sunny day whitens me. I get up and get dressed, I wash and I almost wait with him. If he has come, he comes first as if on the day of farewell, and if not, he has come. As for the next sun, there is not a word left to come. If the weather is not good, if the day is not good, I still do not lose hope. The cup of the sky fills with clouds and it rains like a stream. Again, the taste of the meeting. Zani is waiting and my ears are waiting for me if my first name is not called and, out of joy my heart starts, like a clock to move me. Complete silence, why longing reigns, you do not spoil it, no more commotion, but no gas. It’s not long before my name is called, but I’re one of the first to be named! So, what? Has it rained or not, is there any grief left without ashes, why without sister and brother, without mother and without aunts, I did not do it until I came, I was seen, this will be the cause, who did not I called first, why else would it have come out! But the day passed and I was not called, you did not come then I obeyed. Hi in the room. To a friend’s question: “Did you make an appointment”? I answered with a no, no one comes to me! It never came again! It seems that they are waiting for him, since I did not even think of family. Maybe he has not been released yet or he will be on his way to come and, as soon as he arrives, he will ask for special permission for a meeting, because it is up to him to see me until next week, he must have missed it too me enough, even to Him the soul qi loves to mature as soon as possible with his father qi loves him very much. After I behaved and was confused in this way, he said to Ved: “What are you doing?”
Meserreti and Fetja speak well of you and that is why I enjoy it even more. Meserreti in a letter he wrote to me told me that Uranus is having a good opportunity, he trained me in 3-4 crafts and the master, there is no better thing, provided you learn the technical part well; another is to be a simple worker and another to be skilled. You also appreciate this point the best. Fast and material savings are necessary conditions in hand work to have a good yield.
From the letters I receive from you I have found a good thing, that you do not feel bored at all, which is something to be admired and about which you should know the lucky country. You have no time left, but even 9 months I completed my military service. Even in this short time, I wish you to cope with that work will that characterize you or to try to benefit even more from it!
Adnan on the occasion of the new motmot take me like a fish that he will receive during this school year only four or five lessons. It is likely that he will keep his promise and this will be confirmed after 3 months of graduation. With that I am closing your letter to kiss both pages.
15. III. 1953
Letters from Burrell Prison (1953 – 1965)
Letter no. 13
10. 12. 1953
Your letter refreshes me and removes all the boredom you had for you. This was the intention of my two letters. Believe me well that from the day I am here, I feel like I live in another world, as if I were free. Except that I cannot see you for two weeks, I do not want any other side. With this I have to tell you that I am a calm seed in good spirits with health. So, no lather for me. Fetja hurt me on the day of the meeting because it was quite cold. As healthy as you are. Due a little olive and garlic.
10. XII. 1953
Letter no. 14
May 15, 1954
With the telegram and the food, qi takes me, refreshes me and makes me happy. Always good luck! I myself am better than ever. I wish this for all of you. At the meeting I was quite sad. I felt sorry for Zuku who was suffering from rheumatism. Meserret seemed a little weak to me. Aunt Xhevan, Symen, did not even look at the graves to come for a meeting. Like the Religion of Mourning and all the others and those who ask for me greetings and hugs with the wish of Eid. Zihnijes greetings and special congratulations.
Me, 15. V. 1954
Letter no. 15
July 18, 1954
When I learned that the girl and her sister had come to meet me, they ignited me with joy and my mind reminded me once and for all of you. I wish to always have you better and better. As soon as the order arrives, I will probably be brought to Tirana to be hospitalized for a minor operation. For this, there is no need to be shocked as I am in good health. This time do not bring me sugar, jam, matches. Not even bread. I wish you, Zija and everyone else Eid. Nexhatija’s freedom kissed and cheeks.
Me, 18. VII. 1954
Letter no. 16
22. 02. 1955
My loved ones: aunt, sister, wife and grave;
Adnan’s letter saddens me, but also refreshes me. I know how deeply you feel his departure from your midst, and I say to him: Good luck, I wish him success in his military service, as his two brothers do with a sheet of praise. I expect you to be calm and confident that you will return to the lead sounding like apples, you have become more and more capable and skilled for work and you know the value even more. Uranus removes the boredom you had for you. I enjoyed it, where I saw him well and mannish and out of joy he rolled his eyes. I wish you a good rest at home. For me do not do lather at all, why do you have me better than ever. Thankfully, my head does not hurt once. If Uncle Elezi and Xhevja had any half-used ones out of use, bring them to me. Soap, napkins e thread I have. For now, I want nothing more than a few nuts. I will write a letter to Nebi. You, our Joy, if you kiss your cheeks, you greet me Zijan and others.
Me, 22. II. 1955
Letter no. 17
18 03. 1955
To my loved ones: aunt, Meserret, Tije etc.
I have received all the postcards, as well as those of Ziya, and I am very happy, especially for Adnan, who is very comfortable. I hope I will be brought to Tirana for an operation soon. I once had food. Therefore, until April 15, do not eat. In a month, if I brought some fish oil and tobacco to someone, there would be a need and a shortage. Before you come, find out if I am not in Tirana. If possible, I will inform you by telegraph. Forgive me Nebi for not being able to write to me this time either. Bring me my wishes for the salvation of Syra and the release of Abdyl, for whom you rejoiced greatly. Like Nebit and Abdyl my greetings. Aunt Xheva, how are you? Why don’t you write to me once? Do you know that my eyes are filled with tears, where am I writing these words? Have a good time with Symen Feta and the middle nephews! Greetings to uncle, Ragip, Zija, Hakas, Zades, Qazim and Dan, Reçi and his wife and others.
Me, 18 III. 1955
Letter no. 18
April 21, 1955
To the good and wise freedom, which resembles my sister Fete of our Adnan, who has reason to boast that he has performed the sacred duty of military service, with the pleasure of the mournful soul of a parent who lives far from them for so many years, I wish you a happy birthday! The beautiful Nexhatija, whom we have as an inn of fifteen, in addition to wishing you all the same to enjoy full health, I look forward to completing the last grade of the unique school with good grades, I am kissing both pages. I’m fine myself, and if you get rid of the operation I need, you will calm down completely, because I’m all well with you. My shoes are too tight. If you have any need for self, buy me a wider pair, with longer belts and loose between the tops. I am very healthy for Nazim. Congratulations aunt and sister. Greetings to all the mother for the mother.
21. IV. 1955
Letter no. 19
May 22, 1955
Meserret Sheuqet Muka and his brother
Whenever the holidays come and go, it is not permissible for me not to go through you, one by one, all in front of my eyes, and then it happens to me that I started talking to each and every one of you. This is how I am surprised to see you. Although this qi I do myself is nothing in itself, I still refresh and feel some satisfaction in my soul, where I think I wish you all good health. I wish that this Eid finds you as happy and joyful as possible. I am convinced that this time, you feel my absence more, where you are not near Adnan Adani, who makes me very happy with the beautiful monthly letters he takes me. But I look forward to this Eid more happily, when we heard the news that Nazim’s nephew, we are fine. I expect from you that our absence will not have any effect on you. Greetings to Zija with family, as well as Ragip, uncle Elez, Hakas and all the other mothers for the mother.
Letter no. 20
June 19, 1955
My dears. I wish Symes a happy birthday. One year, everyone will celebrate it as much as their hearts desire, and you will also have your husband in front of the self. Now he has a laugh. I ask her to enjoy full health, to live as long as there is grace and, all her life to go with joys and never let them be worse! Zija’s postcard and everything you brought me, I received. All I need is a belt, a small, round woolen bag with two lapels on each side. I did quite well. I am satisfied with Adnan. I will write to him next time. Freedom also pleased me. Nexhatija has become even more beautiful to me. Greetings to all.
19. VI. 1955
Letter no. 21
Uranus! August 16, 1932, marks a new stage of joy for our family. Your birth with the beautiful name qi of the late our unforgettable friend, will remain alive among us, for life. You are 100 years old and you enjoy the beautiful name, with the best of drums! You made this wish so heartfelt and so heartwarming, the whole family circle rejoiced deeply and, with Meserret at the helm, I celebrated it cordially, you reminded me too. I was very happy for Hakan that it was done well and I wish all the rest of you well. I myself am better than ever. I received food, tobacco and telegrams. I also received a congratulatory bouquet from Adnan. Hello everyone. He kissed his freedom.
Burrel, 9 August 1955
Letter no. 22
Beloved our son Adnan,
The beautiful tube of your wishes lined up in the string of incense surrounded by white leaves of flower, filled with a good smell of joy my heart lit a flame of love for all of you, which bursts like the rain flies in your honor for with you I did not get close, I was satisfied and I was disgusted and I was glad, you sometimes fell in love as if I wanted to calm down and when I relax I am awake, I come and rise so much that my eye can no longer follow it beyond. But the pleasant smell of the tube s’ate, the hundred knitted with the tip of the feather manages to lower it high and bring it to the self, so now we are caught by its beauty that shines like purple Summer season ostrich in the grass bush, I take you by the hand and bring you to you, to bring me my congratulations and to wish you victory after victory. I also enjoyed the letter of July 15, especially the last one of August 16, which was holding the life-giving smell of the sister and the girl who had come with it, refreshed and comforted me for home, of which it has been 6 weeks since ‘I have a letter! I’m fine myself and once in a while I do not mind being old, after I started my candidacy at the age of 20, I turned 100, you had in order five external and internal bottles, and for months I kept it as such, I have taken timely hygienic precautions, you have lived a simple, orderly and clean life and you have stayed away from pleasures, alcoholic beverages and abuses, even in cafes I rarely go. The task of study has been the most vivid and pleasant food of my body and soul. With Symen you will certainly be satisfied. I was sad and could not bear it. The unceasing grips and kisses of all. Uranus entry also thanks
Letter no. 23
October 26, 1955
I am writing this letter to you with the scent of Uranus, with whom you met the day before yesterday. I was glad you were well. I missed Uranus and talked to him. Adnan, from whom I had 2-3 letters a month, since the date he was transferred to Vlona, did not write me the seeds. Even Zuku qi often wrote to me these days, he is completely silent: After I learned from Uranus that they enjoy full health, I became healthy for them too, qi is good. I miss my aunt Xhevan very much. During these two years, I was not lucky enough to be seen alone! I believe that I will soon be brought to Tirana for an operation and there may be an opportunity to meet me. I did not look at him nor did he look at me trying to come here to meet me, I even wrote to you not to come to Symen, not to Halla Xhevan who raised and educated me. Uranus will have told me that it left me as healthy as an apple. Love me and watch over me. To my two graves: To His Freedom, which I have like two beautiful flower buds, my father kissed both cheeks. Day by day I wait for the answer to the letter qi I sent you on the occasion of my birthday. You will surely have sent the letter to Adnan. You had to know which of you goes best with sister Fete. As for Symen I guess, who listens to him the most. Maybe because I’m old, do you remember that I do not know where his eyes are? I wrote this phrase as much as I made you laugh. As I commanded Uranus, do not bring me food during my Nanduer. Shifnu fix it with Shaqiri’s wife, before you bring me food in Dhetuer. Yes, you can send me tobacco for someone else you do not want. When you bring me egg, remove the papers before inserting them inside. Is there a sock left in my suitcase?
Greetings and hugs to all of you, especially greetings to those who have sent me greetings as well as Hakas, Ragip, Zija and Myhsin and their families and others who ask.
Me, 26. X. 1955
Letter no. 24
12. 01. 1956
Happy New Year! Adnan was released and had a letter from his nephew Nazim thankfully. In this case the congratulations you have, I participate myself, no matter how far I am from you. The telegram of Adnan’s release fell into my hands on the first day of the new motto and I received the two postcards of Meserret one after the other. I was also very healthy for Nazim, especially Fetja and Halla will be even stronger. Lirija and Nexhatija will be very happy when they saw Adnan coming home. Hakas Symas brought my congratulations on Nur spitting. Let me be lucky and luck. For Uncle Elez, I wish you well. Bring me my honors. I believe that Adnan will come to bring me food within 3-4 days. I am in very good health. I wish this for all of you. When you bring me food you can bring me uncooked rice, noodles or anything else because we have permission by voice here too. For a fez, envelope and paper, I need a little money. Greetings to all the mothers for the mother, especially Ragip, Zija, uncles, Barbullushi and Domnorvet.
Letter no. 25
March 13, 1956
With you in charge Meserret,
I do not love my family!
The freshness of the meeting that calmed my mind and heart towards I had my beloved sister, for whom I had longed for our Adnan as soon as he was released from military service who enjoyed full health, gave me the strength to face and the poison of the winter that passed these days, without any cold sniffing. The two letters of Ziya and yours with that of Nazim, your eldest brother, helped to add and keep this refreshment alive forever. I was very happy that I have you all well and I wish that you too have passed this severe cold, without suffering anything like that! Next time, I will wish a happy birthday to my two graves: His and Freedom, no matter how much they write to me. Especially from Lirija, you expected him to write to me how Hakja became, about whose health even you Meserret did not inform me about the seeds. Bring me my honors, her sons and her graves, and her daughters-in-law, and my nephews and midwives, and bring them my greetings. Everyone and little ones kissed the cheeks. Aunt Xhevan, Feten and Symen, how am I? Uncle Elezi How is it? I greet everyone with great longing. I was very sorry for Rasim Aga. As far as Zijaja is concerned, I like her. Forgive me for not being able to telegraph to me. Announce the end and say goodbye to him, his family, and Hamid and Farid. Towards the end of mine or at the beginning of March I am waiting for you, if you have the opportunity to come for good weather. I need some coal and salt, for the jar I ordered at a price to be marked on it and for a small jar I need one oke. I told Visho to find me strong tobacco, because this qi bullet you are bringing me is too soft. If you cannot make me a beige belt three fingers wide with qi stamps to be fastened forward and an addition with goat skin to be filled with cotton and wool and on both sides with ties qi to fasten the belt according to the pattern here below take me then another like the first one. Mutual greetings to all those who reminded me and greetings to those who ask. Especially Ragip, Myhsin, Damnorvet, Barbullushi, Zihnija and Nebit. Last night I was grabbing you with my brother and sister Irfan. Bring me the quilt sheet and two handkerchiefs. /Memorie.al
Continues in the next issue