The third part
Memorie.al/ publishes some archival documents extracted from the Central State Archive in Tirana, (the fund of the former Central Committee of PPSh), which belong to the year 1979 and are part of a file where there is also a record of the daily meeting of the secretaries of the Central Committee of the PPSh, chaired by Enver Hoxha, attended by: Hysni Kapo, Ramiz Alia and Hekuran Isai, where it was taken into deep analysis and discussed about the training of the Brigade of First, which, according to Enver, had completely failed, not meeting the objectives set by the Ministry of People’s Defense led by the minister, Mehmet Shehu. In the meeting in question where the three secretaries of the Central Committee of the PPSh discussed, Enver Hoxha, after criticizing the work done by the two deputy ministers of People’s Defense, Maliq Sadushi and Veli Llakaj, who had requested that the exercise be repeated, with the march of the First Brigade, (which he categorically did not approve), suggested to Hysni Kapo, taking into account the advice of doctors, regarding his health, as General Commissar of the Army, to find time and to go to meetings, with the wards and large military units, as the Army needed his thoughts and his word. Similarly, in the daily meeting with the secretaries of the Central Committee of the Party, which was held on February 9 and 12, 1979, Enver Hoxha, from the position of Commander-in-Chief of the Army, also accused Mehmet Shehu.
Continues from last issue
The secret document with the minutes of the daily meeting of the Secretaries of the Central Committee of the PPS, where Enver Hoxha analyzed the failure of the 1st Brigade March training
February 12, 1979
After being informed about the training of the First Brigade, Comrade Enver Hoxha took the floor.
COMRADE ENVER HOXHA: What came out of the meeting held at the Ministry of Defense?
COMRADE HEKURAN ISAI: There they talked mainly about the events that happened during the training of the First Brigade.
COMRADE ENVER HOXHA: Was there a question as to why these events took place in this brigade?
FRIEND HEKURAN ISAI: Yes, yes. They said with surprise: “How did it happen to us”! “It is a great shame that this happened to the First Brigade”, etc.
COMRADE ENVER HOXHA: You shouldn’t think and you shouldn’t talk with surprise that these things are similar to us and, since they are similar to us, to say “we were ashamed”, that is, “honor fell to us, the officers of the First Brigade, while others, yes, can to resemble”. These views are not in our way, friends.
COMRADE HEKURAN ISAI: All the cadres of this brigade, from the base to the top, seem concerned about why these things happened.
COMRADE RAMIZ ALIA: This was also seen in the meeting held by Mehmet Shehu with the brigade staff.
COMRADE ENVER HOXHA: Yes, yes, he told me that too. He did not discuss, he gave a whole speech addressing the officers: “Today I am speaking to you as the commander of the First Brigade and not as the minister of the Ministry of People’s Defense”.
COMRADE HEKURAN ISAI: Yes, Comrade Enver, that’s true, he spoke like that there, as the commander of the Brigade and not as a minister. He talked about how discipline was during the War, then told the story of how it was fought in Spain, how he criticized Andrea Marti there for the weaknesses he had noticed in one case, that it happened that the orders were not followed.
FRIEND ENVER HOXHA: Did Mehmeti talk about the Spanish War?!
FRIEND HEKURAN ISAI: Yes, he spoke.
COMRADE ENVER HOXHA: What was the need for him to be caught up to the war in Spain in this speech? The Republican Army in Spain did not have any very strong discipline. In the last Plenum of the Central Committee, as you heard, I emphasized to guard against unfounded euphoria, because, as I said, there is justified euphoria, and there is also unfounded one. In Greek euphoria means pleasure.
So, there is in our cadres based satisfaction, there is also unfounded satisfaction. When I said that, I meant all sectors, not excluding the Army. The party understands what one is and what the other is. After that, the Party cadres had to deepen to distinguish in practice between the euphoria based and the euphoria unfounded.
And the well-founded euphoria is that of the member of the Central Committee and the chief of the General Staff, who in these situations says to the troops: “Well done guys, you have successfully finished this training”! When in it all those things are similar?! The soldiers had no right, based on proletarian discipline, to say in this case:
“You are not right, Comrade Chief of the General Staff, that we have 10 days in the snow and the storm, moving day and night without sleep, in a meter of snow and we only ate warm beans twice, we have never lit a fire, let us come in casual clothes to this exercise”?! Yes, they had.
But does the Chief of the General Staff think that this response could be made to him, or if the soldier says a word and he is offended and says: “You are undisciplined, you are stupid”? How can he be undisciplined, when he speaks the truth?! Yes, we must take care to maintain military discipline, the Chief of Staff can say.
Okay, I agree, says the soldier, but you, the commander, preserve military discipline first, so that I can preserve it too, because I am not a sheep, but a soldier of the Republic, a man with dignity, who has a great desire to be disciplined.
But while the state has appointed me to eat warm beans once a day, you, as a commander, must make an effort to ensure this even during the War, and not now. Or, if there is none, it is better to be told that they are missing and then, when it is known that there is none, we do not ask for them.
It is true that there are undisciplined people in the Army, that there can also be traitors, like Beqir Balluku and his friends. This cannot be accepted, otherwise you have to be an idealist, but it cannot be accepted in any way what someone says that our entire working class is undisciplined, that our youth is all depraved. There is no doubt that among all these there are undisciplined ones, there are also some debauchers.
We must be realistic communists, present the situation as it is, neither blacken it, nor make it a square with flowers. Speaking is easy, but everything must be grounded, based on objective reality, measured, mature.
We are told that during these four years, everything has improved in the Army, and this is said with a sense of euphoria. But the euphoria in this case is not grounded.
That the situation has changed, no one denies and this is necessarily the case, that from an incident that happened in this exercise, we cannot say that the situation in our army has not changed, but it must also be said that there are still concepts in it old and unacceptable attitudes, which we must fight.
How can the officer not worry about the soldier, so that he is fed and clothed during training? How can the officer not care when the soldier gets sick etc.?
So what do our officers do? It is said that what happened in this exercise was the fault of the Party bodies and the authorities in the field, the Party directorates and organizations of enterprises and work centers. It is true that these also have responsibilities, but it is known that they also have other jobs.
For me, it is a pleasure when I hear that the workers of the “Misto Mame” Wood Plant, in general, are disciplined, because that way they will also be disciplined soldiers. But let’s not idealize this, because among them there are some undisciplined ones.
Even in our youth, which has worked and works so well, be it in countless actions, be it in schools, factories, railways or everywhere, be it in the army, lack of discipline and debauchery are not characteristic.
No, but there are certainly negative elements in the youth, but these are not so many that this can be generalized and taken as a characteristic for all the youth of the army. I say this because we have to change the style of our work with people, because the situation is not as some friends say.
When it comes to the education of the youth, we have the issue that those young people who do not attend schools should be put to work, that by staying on the streets, they are generally promiscuous. Or we are told that those young people who are in a working relationship are also promiscuous, but since their parents are at work they don’t really need a salary, that’s why they don’t go to work, are absent for no reason, etc.
What do parents do? They may not really need the son’s salary, but they have the duty to educate the children to love work and be disciplined. When a working young man wants to drink another glass of beer or eat a cake with his friends, let him know that he spends his money, but such a young man cannot be called promiscuous.
It may happen that a young person misses work once or twice, but don’t immediately put the epithet “promiscuous”, because even the elderly, don’t they sometimes miss work? It happens. Then, why don’t we talk about them in the same language? We must be fair in these attitudes, comrades, neither to hide the flaws and weaknesses, nor to remain indifferent in front of them and not to clean them, but not to become a hair.
The Free Military Schools are of great importance, but responsibility for their success lies with all: both the field and the army. Indeed, the Party has taken over them, in general, but the army must also sit on their heads. Both the Party in the field and the active army must have the Free School under their effective leadership.
Even active officers, who know the craft well, make a lot of effort to find the time and do this job well. They should take into account that in the Free School there are also reserve officers who were previously effective officers, and then there are many others who have done two to three years of regular military service and can be made reserve officers.
They know the work of the army, but now they deal with other jobs, with agriculture, with technicians, they also have the duty of the army, and yet they make an effort to complete this as well. The party teaches us that defense is the primary duty above all, and everyone is aware of this. There are, of course, unconscious ones, but these are the minority.
Where the active officers, from the brigade commander to the platoon of the active army, are seriously interested and work with great zeal also for the Free Schools, the work changes, the situation in these schools is good.
It is clear that by taking the job well in hand, the officers establish discipline there, the work in the free school goes on, but they themselves better instill a sense of direction not only in the active army, but also in these new structures. Now measures must be taken so that these disorders do not resemble us in the army anymore and we learn from what happened to us. Memorie.al