By A. Cano
Memorie.al / Asim Abdurrahmani, a chemical engineer who had studied in Graz and Munich and was a representative of the pharmaceutical company “Bayer” in Albania, was tortured for days until he was sentenced to death. In the same trial, he was sentenced to be shot and Gjush Deda, Ejëll Çoba and Petro Marko, arrested during that time, who recount the last days of Asim and Gjush, until they came to take them to be shot by said: “Get up because you have finished your lunch in that world”.
Although he had fought against fascism, was imprisoned and exiled, Petro Marko did not escape the communist prisons in Albania, being arrested on May 15, 1947, as an agent of the Anglo-Americans. In the dungeon of the lower floor of the Old Prison in Tirana, where he was put after his arrest, he found Asim Abdurrahmani, the son-in-law of Bedri Pejani, Gjush Deda from Shkodra and Asllan Ypi.
Asim and Gjushi were sentenced to death. They were judged, as Ejëll Çoba writes, in his memoir “Life is lost”, along with Sali Vuçiterni and Musa Gjylbegu.
The prosecutor had asked for the death penalty for Gjushin and life imprisonment for all the others. The next day, the president of the court had delivered a letter to the Ministry of the Interior and had read a letter in which he mentioned the names of all those who had been handed over, and for Asim he said that: “they caught him”, then the prosecutor had asked for the death penalty and for Asim.
The truth was that Asim, after escaping, had thought of surrendering, but then changed his mind and went into hiding. The partisans had surrounded the house where he was hiding and after they had taken out the residents who did not report him, they had hit the house with weapons. After three days, Asim had knocked from the narrow place where he had been staying for three days, without bread or water, and had surrendered.
From the hands of the partisans, it had fallen into the hands of the Security. They accused him of collaborating with the invader. “I don’t know what kind of cooperation this could be. I hadn’t even heard that he was ever involved in politics”, writes Ejëll Çoba. Asimi studied chemical engineering in Graz and Munich, was Honorary Consul in Austria and worked as a pharmacist in Albania, where he was a representative of the pharmaceutical company “Bayer”.
Ejël Çoba did the investigation at the same time as Asim, with the same investigator, and they even shared the same dungeon while they were being interrogated and tortured. He shows that; Asim had started to show signs of fatigue, talking to himself loudly and making useless movements. When Ejëlli had tried to help him, the guard who saw him from the counter beat him with a stick until he got tired. After the torture, Asim appeared in court. At first, he thought that his life was saved, but the next day, his death sentence was imposed.
Together with the other condemned to death, Gjush Deda, they were put in a truck to take them to the Old Prison of Tirana where they would await execution.
“I was very sorry for both of them because, I knew that neither of them had the ability or the opportunity to act against the Movement. While the truck closed with bars was taking Gjush Deda and Asim Abdrrahman, I saw Gjush saying to the prosecutor: “Mr. Prosecutor, how did this work take place?”, while Asim was looking out of the prison windows, of course to say goodbye some friend”, writes Ejëll Çoba.
In the Old Prison, while they were awaiting execution, they were found by Petro Marko. In his memories, which the family later compiled in the book “Clouds and Stones”, (OMSCA-1 edition), the writer describes the meeting and conversations with them, until the last moment, before they were taken to shot.
When he had entered the dungeon, to the surprise of the convicts who had also arrested Petro Marko, Asimi had told him: “I have been sentenced to death! I do not know why…! I could not deny Babush (Bedri Pejanin), that I am his father-in-law…! Then, because I am a representative of the German pharmaceutical company “Bayer”, it is not a crime”. Bedri Pejan, the signatory of Independence, was handed over by the Albanian communists to the Yugoslavs and he died under mysterious circumstances in a hospital in Prizren, according to many suspicions, poisoned.
After a few days, one of the many macabre scenes of the dictatorship’s prisons takes place in that cell, which have not always had a writer witness to tell them. While they were sitting cross-legged, eating the food that their relatives had brought them, as Petro Marko writes in his memoirs, the Security officers Haznedari and Stavri Xhara entered the dungeon, “zealous for the most inhumane insults and tortures”.
“-You, Asim Abudrahmani and you Gjush Deda, stand up”!
I don’t know how I dared and spoke: Let’s finish lunch…! Now we just got laid!
– Rest, dirty agent! You get up, because you finish your lunch in that world.
Stung. Grandfather Deda, brave, said:
– Asim, get up! Let’s get rid of this evil brood that was born in this unfortunate country, occupied by Tito, who has Enver here as an executioner!
I wanted to scream when I saw Stavri kick him in the head and curse him.
Gjush Deda said to Asim:
-Don’t lose weight. Keep it man, because we are part of the sacrifices, in those thousands of sacrifices that Enver Hoxha slaughtered for his god Tito.
Again, Stavri hit him hard. He dragged her away. Asim and I hugged with tears in our eyes. I heard:
-If we are alive here, say that we die innocent!
The door closed. Asllani and I sat on our feet with tears in our eyes, while the radio broadcast loudly through the megaphone placed in the prison yard “Hilarious Hour” and made those who listened to it laugh.
This was also one of those thousands of macabre scenes that I have seen throughout my life.”
It was June 8, 1947. Until he was released from prison on May 15, 1950, Petro Marko would witness many other convicts who were imprisoned and killed without understanding the reason, and the reason would be absent forever. /Memorie.al