By Maria Dvorani (Medicine)
Memorie.al / Maria Dvorani, or as she was known differently by her co-sufferers as: Maria Medicina, was born in 1925 in the city of Korça, and her origin is from the village of Dvoran in that district, from where her family got her last name. She completed primary school in her hometown, and secondary school at a medical college in Florence, Italy. In 1944, she returned to Albania, lining up with a gun in her hand in the partisan ranks. After serving for several years as a nurse and medical assistant in the hospitals of Tirana, in 1952 she was arrested for political reasons as an “enemy of the people” and was initially sentenced to death. After the appeal, his life is spared and his sentence is returned to 25 years in prison. He served a total of 14 years in prison and was then forced to do hard physical labor. Since 1992, she has headed the association of “Prisoned and Politically Persecuted Women of Albania”. Even in the 90s, Maria Dvorani published various articles, mainly about the crimes of the communist regime of Enver Hoxha and also published the books: “Silent Love” (1999); “Why do I suffer” (2001); “Time in the fog” (2003), etc. Maria Medicina passed away in 2002 in the city of Tirana, where she lived alone and under the care of her fellow sufferers. From the writings of Maria Dvorani, we have selected for publication the one with the title: “Can we forgive”, where she briefly tells about the first day after leaving prison, the provocation by her former colleague at the Tirana hospital who had become an informant State Security, the debate with former State Security generals, Halim Xhelo, Mihallaq Ziçishti, etc., major officers of the Ministry of Internal Affairs, during an inspection they did in the Tirana prison, where she was serving her sentence.
CAN WE FORGIVE?
We often talked with friends who were former political prisoners. We have read various articles in the newspapers, where it is said that we must forgive. Yes! We must forgive, for the sake of the nation. To be tolerant, to live in peace and harmony. But we will have to forget the scars, those bad dreams that still suppress our youth, our lives…?!
How to forgive?
I am one of the victims of the communist regime. I was sentenced to death and, after the appeal, the sentence was returned to me with 25 years of deprivation of liberty. I have a lot to say about the prison years, but…! Those outside were no less severe.
…I was released one day in April. I wandered through the streets of Tirana to find a piece of shelter where I could put my head until it got dark. It was the first night of freedom. I should have been happy, but I couldn’t! People strolled quietly and enjoyed the coolness of that spring evening.
I wandered with shoes in hand because of the pain in my feet. I didn’t know where to knock! I passed from one hotel to another, but there would be no shelter for me that night. As soon as the sportsmen looked at the release form with the prison seal, they said one thing: “no”. The hours barely passed and the night was scary, long…!
The next day I went to a family to rest a bit. My legs hurt, but more my soul. And here, the policeman there too…! The owners of the house had to kick me out, because I was an “enemy of the people”, otherwise deportation measures could be taken against them. I was shocked even more, but I could not cry. I had forgotten to cry and my tears had dried up in prison!
And yet, somewhere there was a forgotten tear, when a child of about 12 years old and some others, maybe a little older, threatened the policeman with a brick in hand, taking me for protection! Everyone called her together: “She is good. What’s up with him? You are not sorry”?!
In order not to burden that good family anymore, I left…! Oh God! What haven’t these pageboys done that we should forgive them today! They did not leave their families without trouble; they removed us from society and relatives, who were afraid to meet us…
What about the “work friend”, the provocateur, can he be forgiven…?!
…He came from a military guild. I was working in the surgery ward, while he was going to do a course for nurses. When I saw it, I felt sorry. He was pale, small and, although he had no schooling, with the ambition to become something, he was ready for any job. We often talked about trivial things. When, one day, he told me: “I have been proposed for Insurance”.
He was soon reaping the fruits of his invisible labor! He asked me if I was in the Party and if I had participated in the war. I looked at him without answering. But he insisted on his own: “You don’t have to enter the Party! You dream of the West, a “free” Albania. Right away I couldn’t understand why he said these words to me. It was Sami L.
These kinds of people with ordinary appearances made up that invisible spider’s web, hiding their true intentions behind their backs. Slanders, fabrications, provocations and traps were their invisible craft, which poisoned thousands of innocent lives.
… As if in a movie scene, four men appear before my eyes, a colonel and three generals with ranks and trousers with red stripes.
-“You tired us…”- said Halim Xheloja, (at that time the head of the Internal Affairs Section of Tirana).
– Where you put your heels, I put the tips of my feet – I answered. I didn’t know I was a person of such importance that I was being watched by a major officer! One of them, Mihallaq Ziçishti, broke away and shouted like a madman:
-“You are an enemy of the people. We will take your soul”!
Two hard slaps, like two pieces of metal, landed on my face, while a kick to the stomach knocked me to the ground. I was in severe pain, but the cedar didn’t let me show myself weak in front of them. I raised my head and said:
I have done nothing but love my country!
A surprise punch knocked me to the ground again. Blood came out of my mouth. My first two teeth were broken! I had a hard time getting up, almost impossible. I looked up and said to myself: “O God, look and take revenge”!
It was the first day of the arrest…!/Memorie.al