Category Archives: Titoism

Stalin: Story of a Great Servant of Mankind who Belongs to the Ages

Ultimate_Stalin_Winsauce

by ANDREW ROTHSTEIN, author of a History of the USSR

“Man’s dearest possession is life, and since it is given to him to live but once, he must so live as to feel no torturing regrets for years without purpose; so live as not to be seared with the shame of a cowardly and trivial past; so live, that dying he can say: All my life and all my strength were given to the finest cause in the world – the liberation of mankind”.

JOSEPH VISSARIONOVICH DJUGASHVILI (Stalin) was born in the little Georgian town of Gori on December 21,1879.-

His father was a shoemaker, who put him to the local church school in 1888, and to the Theological Seminary at Tbilisi (Tiflis) in 1894.

After studying in secret Marxist groups (formed by students and Russian Marxists in exile), Stalin joined the first Georgian Social Democratic organisation in 1898, and helped to set up illegal Marxist groups among railway shopmen, writing leaflets and organising strikes.

In 1899 he was expelled from the seminary, on hints from the police, and began earning his living by giving lessons and taking readings at the Tiflis Observatory, while continuing intense secret activity among the workers.

As leader of the revolutionary minority in the Georgian Social Democratic organisation, Stalin came into conflict with the majority who wished to confine its activities to propaganda; and in December 1900, directly Lenin’s Russian paper Iskra began to appear (illegally), Stalin became its ardent supporter.

After March 1901, however, he had to go “underground,” organising a May Day demonstration at Tbilisi in defiance of the police, starting the first Marxist illegal paper in Georgian (Brdzola) and being elected to the Tbilisi Committee of the Social Democratic Party.

Loyal to Marxist principles

In 1902, at the Black Sea port of Batum, he organised a secret printing press, wrote leaflets, led strikes, and marched at the head of a workers’ political demonstration – the most dangerous action possible in Tsarist Russia. On April 5, 1902, came his first arrest.

By this time Stalin was already widely known for his irreconcilable loyalty to Marxist principle, his powers of theoretical analysis, his blunt, close-grained logic, his energy and tirelessness.

At the very dawn of his activity, in an article, The Russian Social Democratic Party and its Immediate Tasks (November-December 1901) the 22-year-old Stalin wrote (of the years 1895-96): “The struggle began to reduce the working day, abolish fines, raise wages, etc. The Social Democrats knew well that the development of the working-class movement was not confined to these petty demands, that the aim of the movement was not these demands, that they were but a means to the end.

“These demands may be petty, the workers themselves in various towns and districts may be fighting disunited today: this struggle itself will teach the workers that final victory will be achieved only when the entire working class goes forward to storm its enemy as a single, strong, organised force.

“The same struggle will show the workers that, in addition to their direct enemy the capitalist, they have another, still more vigilant, enemy – the organised strength of the entire bourgeois class, the present capitalist State with its troops, courts, police, prisons, gendarmes.”

Stalin’s next 15 years were rarely paralleled, even in Russian revolutionary annals. Prison in Georgian jails for 18 months was followed by exile in eastern Siberia until January 1904. He escaped. A year of publication of illegal newspapers, writing pamphlets, propaganda among workers, culminated in leadership of the great three weeks strike of Baku oil workers (December 1904). It ended in the first collective agreement in Russian industrial history.

Ending national barriers

Stalin enjoyed three more years of “freedom” – underground – in which he took a full part, by Lenin’s side, in the great 1905 Revolution, in fighting anarchism in Georgia (1906) and in winning over the entire Baku working class from the Mensheviks (1907-8). Stalin’s, remarkable theoretical writings of these years – on the national question (1904) on dialectical materialism and the State (1906-7) – were in Georgian, and only became generally available 40 years later.

On the national question, he wrote in 1904: ” The proletariat of Russia has long begun to talk of struggle. As you know, the aim of every struggle is victory. But for the victory of the proletariat the uniting of all the workers without distinction of nationality is necessary. Clearly, the breaking down of national barriers and the close gathering together of the Russian, Georgian, Armenian, Polish, Jewish, and other proletarians is a necessary condition for the victory of the proletariat of Russia. Such are the interests of the proletariat of Russia.

” But the Russian autocracy … persecutes the ‘alien’ nationalities of Russia. The autocracy deprives them of essential civil rights, oppresses them on all sides, sows distrust and hostility between them in Pharisee fashion, incites them to bloody conflicts, showing thereby that the sole aim of the Russian autocracy is to promote quarrels among the nations inhabiting Russia, sharpen national dissensions among them … and thus dig a grave for the class-consciousness of the workers, their class unity… It is clear that the interests of the Russian proletariat, sooner or later, inevitably had to clash with the reactionary policy of the Tsarist autocracy .”

In Anarchism and Socialism, after a brilliant exposition of dialectical and historical materialism developed by him 30 years later (in chapter IV of the History of the CPSU), Stalin went on to show how the class struggle of the workers cannot, if it is victorious, but lead to the establishment of the political supremacy of the proletariat over the capitalist class. He continued: ” The Socialist dictatorship of the proletariat is needed so that with its help the proletariat could expropriate the bourgeoisie, confiscate the land, forests, factories and works, machines, railways, etc. from all the bourgeoisie. The expropriation of the bourgeoisie – that is what the Socialist revolution must lead to .”

And what of the Socialist society for which such a revolution would be the foundation? Stalin wrote that: ” there will be neither capitalists nor proletarians: consequently there will be no exploitation. There will be only collectively working people…There will be no place for buyers and sellers of labour-power, hirers and hired…All private property in the implements and means of production will be abolished, there will be neither poor proletarians nor rich capitalists but only working people, collectively possessing all the land and its resources, all the forests, all the factories and works, all the railways, etc.”.

Thus he gave a picture of the Soviet Union 30 years ahead.

Organised first issue of Pravda

Then followed a long series of arrests and escapes:

– March 1908 – arrest and exile to the Vologda province, in Northern Russia;

– escape in June 1909, re-arrest in Baku (March 1910) and exile to Vologda again;

– escape (September 1911) and re-arrest the same month in St. Petersburg, to be sent a third time to Vologda ;

– escape once more (February 1912).

He made a tour through Russia on behalf of the Central Committee of the Bolshevik Party (to which he had been elected in absence at the famous Prague Conference of the Party in January).

Then he organised the first issue of Pravda (May 5). He was re-arrested that same day and exiled to Narym, in a remote district of Siberia.

He escaped once more (September 1912) and directed the Bolshevik Party’s election campaign for the Fourth Duma (including several lightning appearances to speak at meetings in the factories).

He made two visits to Lenin at Cracow, but once again was re-arrested (February 1913). This was followed by four years exile in uttermost Siberia, near the Arctic Circle. This final political test ended only when Tsardom fell in March 1917.

But these 15 years meant far more in Stalin’s life than his terrific battle with the .Tsarist authorities. They were the years of his struggle, as Lenin’s disciple and supporter, for the Bolshevik Party.

After the second Congress of the Social Democratic Party in 1903 he sided irrevocably with Lenin against the opportunist Mensheviks.

Revolutionary use of Parliament

In the 1905 Revolution he tirelessly advocated armed insurrection, and fought for Lenin’s conception of the working class taking the lead in this essentially democratic, non-Socialist Revolution, in order to ensure that it would be carried through to the bitter end and clear the way to the struggle for Socialism.

In December that year, at the first all-Russian conference held by the Bolsheviks at Tammerfors, in Finland, Stalin had his first meeting with Lenin.

He combated the Mensheviks at the subsequent fourth Social Democratic Congress (Stockholm) in 1906, up and down Georgia In 1906-7, at the fifth congress (London) in 1907, and thereafter at Baku, as already mentioned, “my second revolutionary baptism,” Stalin called this period later on.

Throughout these and succeeding years, in jail or out of it, Stalin stood for Bolshevism against the Mensheviks and their off-shoot, Trotsky.

He was against the tendencies to “liquidate” the illegal Party during the years of reaction (1908-10), or to drown it in an unprincipled all-in bloc of everyone calling themselves Social-Democrats, as Trotsky proposed in 1912.

He stood for revolutionary use of Parliament by the workers, and for Socialist principles in the question of subject nationalities during the years of working-class revival (1911-14).

He stood for revolutionary opposition to imperialist war (1914-17).

After the overthrow of Tsardom he was the first to back Lenin in the fight for Soviet power and the Socialist Revolution.

Stalin’s outstanding writings in these years – his Instructions to a Social-Democrat MP (adopted at workers’ meetings in the election campaigns of 1907 and 1912), his Notes of a Delegate (1907) andLetters from the Caucasus (1909) directed against the Mensheviks, and his Marxism and the National Question (1913) – take their place among the finest Socialist writing of all time.

In the 1907 election campaign, the Instructions adopted by the Baku assembly of worker electoral delegates (the workers were not allowed to vote directly for their candidate, like the landowners and rich merchants) declared, on Stalin’s suggestion:

” The main task of the Social Democratic group in the State Duma is to promote the class education and class struggle of the proletariat, both for the liberation of the working people from capitalist exploitation, and to play their part as political leaders .”

The Instructions of 1912 – adopted at mass meetings of the workers in the largest factories of St. Petersburg – proclaimed:

” We send our deputy to the Duma, instructing him and the whole Social Democratic group of the fourth Duma to spread our demands far and wide from the Duma tribune, and not to engage in empty play at legislation in the bosses’ Duma.

” We would like the Social Democratic group of the fourth Duma, and our deputy in particular, to bear high the banner of the working class in the hostile camp of the black Duma.

“We would like the voices of the members of the Social Democratic group to resound from the Duma tribune on the ultimate aims of the proletariat, on the full and undiminished demands of 1905, on the Russian working class as the leader of the people’s movement, on the peasantry as the most reliable ally of the working class, on the liberal bourgeoisie as the betrayer of national liberty “.

Stalin’s work, Marxism and the National Question, which was highly praised by Lenin, contains many passages of the highest importance for Socialists.

Voice of brotherhood and unity

On the duty of the working-class movement in a period of reaction (at that time the Marxists called themselves Social Democrats), he wrote: ” At this difficult time a high mission fell to the Social Democrats – to give a rebuff to nationalism, protect the masses from the general ‘trend.’ For only Social Democracy could do this, opposing nationalism with the tried weapon of internationalism, the unity and indivisibility of the class struggle: and the more strongly the wave of nationalism advances, the more loudly should be heard the voice of the Social Democrats for the brotherhood and unity of the proletarians of all the nationalities of Russia .”

On the definition of a nation:

” A nation is a historically evolved stable community of people which has arisen on the basis of community of language, territory, economic life and psychological make-up, manifesting itself in community of culture… Only the presence of all the features, taken together, gives us a nation.”

On the attitude of Marxists to the rights of nations:

” Social Democratic parties in all countries proclaim the right of nations to self-determination. The right of self-determination means that only the nation itself has the right to determine its destiny, that no one has the right forcibly to interfere in the life of the nation, to destroy its schools and other institutions, to violate its habits and customs, to repress its language or curtail its rights.

” This is what essentially distinguishes the policy of the class-conscious proletariat from the policy of the bourgeoisie, which attempts to aggravate and fan the national struggle .”

In August 1917 came his historic declaration at the Sixth Party Congress:

” The possibility is not excluded that Russia will be the very country that will pave the way to Socialism. No country has hitherto enjoyed such freedom as there has been in Russia, no country has tried to adopt workers’ control of production .

” Moreover, the base of our revolution is broader than in Western Europe, where the proletariat stands utterly alone, face to face with the bourgeoisie. Here the workers are supported by the poorer strata of the peasantry .

” Lastly, in Germany the machinery of State power works incomparably better than the imperfect machinery of our bourgeoisie, which itself is a tributary of capitalist Europe. We must abandon the antiquated idea that only Europe can show us the way. There is dogmatic Marxism and creative Marxism. I stand by the latter.”

Won victories in every field

Directly he returned to Petrograd on the overthrow of the Tsar, in March, Stalin had been put in charge of the reborn Pravda. In May he was elected by the Central Committee of the Bolshevik Party to its newly formed Political Bureau.

In October he was leader of the “Party Centre,” appointed to organise the workers’, sailors’ and soldiers’ insurrection of November 6-7, which overthrew the power of capitalism in Russia and transferred power to the Councils of Workers’ and Soldiers’ Deputies (Soviets).

After November 1917, Stalin’s history was the history of the Communist Party and of the Soviet State. His official posts can soon be listed:

– People’s Commissar for Nationalities (1917-23);

– People’s Commissar for State Control – later called Workers’ and Peasants’ Inspection (1919-22);

– Member of the Political Bureau of the Party from May 1917, and General Secretary from 1922;

– Chairman of the Council of People’s Commissars (Prime Minister) from 1941 onwards;

– Chairman of the State Committee for Defence (War Cabinet), and Supreme Commander-in-chief during the Second World War;

– Leader of the Presidium of the Central Committee elected at the 19th Party Congress last October [1952].

But even more significant is the record of, political, economic and military leadership which brought Stalin to the front rank of history.

In the Civil War (1918-20) the Communist Party again and again sent him to reorganise and gain victories, where treason or incompetence had brought catastrophe.

It was to commemorate one such victory that Tsaritsyn was renamed Stalingrad. It was Stalin’s historic plan for a breakthrough to the working-class areas of the Donetz coalfield and the port of Rostov, adopted by the Party leadership in preference to Trotsky’s treacherous scheme for an advance through kulak territory, that defeated the White armies of Denikin.

In 1921, at the Tenth Party Congress, Stalin made a memorable report on the national question. His work in this sphere ever since 1904, unique in any country, made him the natural reporter, at the two Soviet Congresses in December 1922, on the formation of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, which was there decided.

The speeches on this occasion, included with other works; make his well-known Marxism and the National and Colonial Question,the greatest contribution to Socialist theory and practice in this field.

Preserved Party from disruption

Stalin fought, when Lenin’s active life ended, for preservation of the Party against disruption by Trotsky and his following (1923-24), by the Zinoviev-Kamenev group (1925-26), and by the amalgamated Opposition Bloc (1926-27).

It was an integral part of the fight to build up a Socialist large-scale industry, capable of transforming the whole economy of the USSR and making it independent of the capitalist world which went on in those years.

It developed into the fight for the famous Five-Year Plans after 1927-28.

Here of no less historic significance was his fight against the Right Opposition (Bukharin, Rykov, Tomsky) from 1928 onwards – for collective farming, the liquidation of the kulaks (rich peasants) as a class, and the fulfilment of the Five-Year Plans.

Stalin inspired and organised the great wave of Socialist emulation which began in 1929 and reached a new height in the Stakhanov movement (1935). Stalin, in his address to a conference of the first Stakhanovites at once pointed out the significance of this movement as a step toward future Communist society. His speeches and writings during these years are collected in his fundamental work, Problems of Leninism.

At the 17th Congress of the Communist Party (January 1934), a year after Hitler’s advent to power, Stalin made a challenging remark on Marxism, which went straight to the roots of his own magnificent steadfastness:

” It is said that in some countries in the West Marxism has already been destroyed. It is said that it has been destroyed by the bourgeois-nationialist trend known as fascism. That is nonsense, of course. Only people who are ignorant of history can say such things. Marxism is the scientific expression of the fundamental interests of the working class. If Marxism is to be destroyed, the working class must be destroyed. And it is impossible to destroy the working class .

” More than 80 years have passed since Marxism came into the arena. During this time scores and hundreds of bourgeois governments have tried to destroy Marxism. But what has been the upshot? Bourgeois governments have come and gone, but Marxism still goes on. Moreover, Marxism has achieved complete victory on one-sixth of the globe. 

Socialist democracy in Constitution

The vast economic and social -transformations by now accomplished made it possible to effect the further advance to a full Socialist democracy in the Constitution associated with Stalin’s name, and written under his guidance (1936).

In the course of his speech on the new Soviet constitution, Stalin drew a brilliant contrast between capitalist and Socialist countries, of amazing importance today:

” Bourgeois constitutions tacitly proceed from the premise that society consists of antagonistic classes, of classes which own wealth and classes which do not own wealth; that no matter what party comes into power, the guidance of society by the State (the dictatorship) must be in the hands of the bourgeoisie; that a constitution is needed for the purpose of consolidating a social order desired by and beneficial to the propertied classes. Unlike bourgeois constitutions, the draft of the new constitution of the USSR proceeds from the fact that there are no longer any antagonistic classes in society; that society consists of two friendly classes, of workers and peasants; that it is these classes, the labouring classes, that are in power; that the guidance of society by the State (the dictatorship) is in. the hands of the working class, the most advanced class in society, that a constitution is needed for the purpose of consolidating a social order desired by and beneficial to the working people.”

The History of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union, written under his editorship and with his own distinctive chapter onDialectical and Historical Materialism (1938), was an outstanding development of Socialist theory, already greatly enriched by the speeches and writings previously mentioned.

Combined theory with practice

Stalin was indeed, from first to last, an exponent of the Marxist art of combining theory with practice at the level of genius.

This genius displayed itself to the full when, at the eighteenth Party Congress (March 1939), Stalin put before the Party and the Soviet peoples the practical economic problems involved in going forward from Socialist society – now solidly founded and fast developing – to Communism, the form of the society in which each would contribute according to ability and would receive according to need.

Stalin said on this occasion: ” As regards technique of production and rate of growth of our industry, we have already overtaken and outstripped the principal capitalist countries. In what respect are we lagging? We are still lagging economically, that is, as regards the volume of our industrial output per head of population. … We must outstrip them economically as well. We can do it, and we must do it.

“Only if we outstrip the principal capitalist countries economically can we reckon upon our country being fully saturated with consumers’ goods, on having an abundance of products, and on being able to make the transition from the first phase of Communism to its second phase.”

But the USSR had little opportunity to put Stalin’s stirring programme immediately into effect.

During the Second World War Stalin’s military strategy on fronts of unprecedented length and depth, combined with the solution of gigantic economic and political problems, ranged his name above that of the greatest captains of all time. His wartime speeches and Orders of the Day were a prime political factor in winning the war.

His far-sighted and consistent diplomacy, displayed at the Moscow and Teheran Conferences (1943), the settlement with Poland and the Armistice Agreements with Finland, Rumania and Bulgaria (1944), and at the Crimea and Potsdam Conferences (1945), laid the real foundations of the United Nations.

Post-war plan of reconstruction

Then came the difficult years of making good the terrible destruction caused by the war – a problem made far worse by the increasingly open hostility of the rulers of Britain and the US (behind the scenes it had made itself felt long before), and by a great drought in 1946 of which they took full advantage to try political and economic blackmail against the USSR. Stalin, true to his lifelong principle, took the bold course of trusting the workers. His election speech of February 9, 1946, was a programme of reconstruction, and a call to complete it and resume the advance to Communism.

” The main tasks of the new Five-Year Plan are to restore the afflicted districts of the country, to restore industry and agriculture to their prewar level and then to exceed this level to a more or less considerable degree. …

” As to plans for a longer period, our Party intends to organise a new powerful upsurge of the national economy which would enable us, for instance, to raise the level of our industry threefold as compared with the prewar level…

” Only under such conditions can we regard our country as guaranteed against any accidents. This will require perhaps three new Five-Year Plans, if not more. But this task can be accomplished, and we must accomplish it “.

It rallied the entire Soviet people as no other single statement could have done, and they responded by the triumphant over-fulfilment of the postwar Five-Year Plan of reconstruction in 1950.

In 1946, also, began the series of Stalin’s postwar statements of peace policy, addressed directly to the people of the world, which played a leading part in exposing the lying campaign of the warmongers in the US and in Britain and in rallying the peoples to the defence of peace.

In 1946 and 1947 came his replies to questions put by the Sunday Times’ Moscow correspondent, the president of the United Press of America, Elliott Roosevelt, son of the late President, and Harold Stassen, the Republican politician.

In these he underlined that he believed in the possibility of peaceful co-operation between the US, the USSR, and Great Britain.

He emphasised the necessity of prohibiting the atom bomb; putting the use of atomic energy under strict international supervision; rooting out fascism in Germany and re-establishing Germany’s unity as a democratic State; and meetings between the heads of the three Great Powers.

The latter point – first made in December 1946 – was repeated by Stalin (in answer to American correspondents) no fewer than four times.

The fact that all of them were left without a response only illustrated the stubborn optimism of ‘the man in the taxi-driver’s cap’ – as the soldiers of the British Eighth Army called him in the war years.

At the same time Stalin replied trenchantly to blatant falsehoods about the Soviet Union’s alleged war preparations. His stinging rejoinder to Attlee in this respect (February 1951) will long be remembered.

New contributions to Marxism

Stalin’s last years were also notable for their new and distinctive contributions to Marxist theory.

In July and August, 1950, came his writings on the Soviet discussions regarding the science of linguistics. They discussed a field far wider than that of the special subject which had made them necessary – the question of the economic basis of society and its superstructure, the history of nations, and other important questions which affected a number of other studies, notably history, philosophy and economics.

But undoubtedly the greatest contribution of all came on the very eve of the end, Economic Problems of Socialism in the USSR, written during 1951 and the early part of 1952, was published on the eve of the 19th Congress of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union, last October. At the end of a long life of unsurpassed service to the working class and to humanity as a whole, Stalin saw his youthful dreams of a Socialist society fulfilled, Socialism in the USSR going ahead with giant strides, rising at great speed in the Peoples’ Democracies of Europe and coming well within the perspectives of People’s China.

The problems involved in the advance to the higher stage of Socialism – Communism – which Stalin had already touched on in the prewar years, now required deeper treatment.

Handbook for the new generation

Summoning together all his vast experience and knowledge of the working of a Socialist society and all his wonderful gifts as a creative Marxist, Stalin brought them to bear on these problems. He produced a guide and handbook for the new generation that is determined to build and work in a Communist society.

From the many passages of importance in this work, one is the statement of the prerequisites for Communism which is likely to serve as the signpost for years to come :

” It is necessary, in the first place, to ensure a continuous expansion of all social production, with a relatively higher rate of expansion of the production of means of production. 

” It is necessary, in the second place, by means of gradual transitions carried out to the advantage of the collective farms, and hence of all society, to raise collective-farm property to the level of public property, and – also by means of gradual transitions – to replace commodity circulation by a system of products exchange, under which the central government, or some other social-economic centre, might control the whole product of social production in the interests of society…

” It is necessary, in the third place, to ensure such a cultural advancement of society as will secure for all members of society the all-round development of their physical and mental abilities. …

” For this it is necessary, first of all, to shorten the working day at least to six, and subsequently to five hours. … It is necessary, further, to introduce universal compulsory polytechnical education, which is required in order that the members of society might be able freely to choose their occupations, and not be tied to some one occupation all their lives. It is likewise necessary that housing conditions should be radically improved, and that real wages of workers and employees should be at least doubled, if not more.”

This great book, analysing both the today and the tomorrow of the peoples already living in Socialist society – and, indeed, of those who will yet exchange capitalist wage-slavery and exploitation for Socialist freedom – was as it were Stalin’s bequest to the international working class.

Sixty years’ service to mankind

Thus ended a great and heroic life, seeking to the last to make its nearly 60 years of revolutionary service to the cause of mankind’s emancipation a source of practical guidance to those who came after.

In the same way Stalin himself had drawn strength and guidance from the man whom he always called his master – Lenin – and from the teachings and experience of Marx and Engels.

Of this gigantic figure in world history we may say what Engels said at Marx’s graveside in Highgate 70 years ago: ” His name and his works will live on through the centuries.”

Printed and published by the

Daily Worker Co-operative Society Ltd.,

at 15 Farringdon Road. London, EC1 –

Friday; March 6, 1953.

Nikos Zahariadis: Tito Clique’s Stab in the Back to People’s Democratic Greece

From For a Lasting Peace, For a People’s Democracy!
No. 15 (42), 1 August, 1949

Nikos Zahariadis
General Secretary,
Communist Party of Greece

Every inhabitant of Greece knows very well that monarcho-fascism would not have been able to hold out for a few months had it not been for the all-round and open aid of the American and British imperialists.

Our main difficulties arise from the fact that the Anglo-American imperialists are stubbornly trying to retain a foothold in Greece. The country is highly important to them for strategic reasons, and they are trying to turn it into a vital bridge head against the People’s Democracies and the Soviet Union. Churchill’s old plans in this respect, for instance, are well-known. However, foreign imperialism’s positions in Greece were badly shaken last year by the military defeat of monarcho-fascism in the Grammos-Vitsi area and by the collapse of its strategic plan for 1948. The People’s revolutionary movement and the democratic army extended and consolidated their positions in Peloponnesus, Rumelia, Thessaly and on the islands of Samos and Eubeia.

This placed the monarcho-fascist regime in a critical position. In their reports General Papagos, Vendiris, Tsakalotos and others openly admitted that army morale had been shaken. Hundreds of men and officers were shot. King Paul himself was compelled to speak about the moral crisis in the army. The Athens clique was in severe economic difficulties and the political crisis was steadily sapping the foundations of monarcho-fascism. Both at home and abroad, people who were by no means our friends began to realise that the only way out for the reactionaries was to reach a peaceful settlement and conclude an agreement.

The treachery of the Tito clique was disclosed at the very moment when the crisis of monarcho-fascism was coming to a head. Tito’s treachery meant serious new difficulties for our people’s democratic movement, for it strengthened the determination of the Anglo-American imperialists to retain, at all costs, their hold on Greece for the very purpose of making full use of the Tito clique and extending their base in the Balkans. At the same time the Tito clique’s over to the camp of imperialism raised the deflated hopes of monarcho-fascism.

The people’s democratic movement of our country has never, since the time of the first occupation, known of such a cunning and foul enemy as the Tito clique. The Great Serbia chauvinism of the Titoites in relation to the resistance movement in Greece was evident as far back as 1943, when the leadership of the Yugoslav Communist Party declared that the people of Aegean Macedonia could only win their liberation within the framework of Yugoslavia. The corollary of this was that it was the prime duty of all Macedonian patriots to fight against the Communist Party of Greece and EAM and instead to collaborate with the Tito agents.

This was the directive followed by Tito’s man in Aegean Macedonia, Tempo (Vukmanovic). This was the directive applied in practice by their chief agent, Goce. Today is it being carried out by Goce-Koramidjiev gang. During all these years the Tito clique sent thousands of its agents into the Communist Party of Greece and into EAM with the job of undermining the Communist Party of Greece and splitting the unity of the people’s liberation movement.

It is clear that Greek reaction and Anglo-American imperialism could not have found a better ally than the Tito clique. The following detail is extremely characteristic: in October 1944 when the British landed in Greece, Tempo at the head of the provocative movement against the Communist Party of Greece, informed the Communists of Aegean Macedonia that he has asked Tito for two divisions to occupy Salonika. This was before the December events; the British were not sure that they could hold Greece. Preferring to see Salonika occupied by Tito than in the hands of ELAS, the British parachuted weapons onto the aerodrome at Grupista. These were sent on to Vapsori by Tito’s agents – Tempo, Goce and Pios – to be used against ELAS. Even during the Hitler occupation Goce and Pios formed groups of Macedonian and collaborated with Tempo. It can be regarded as an established fact that, as a consequence, Evans, former representative of the British military mission in Macedonia, insisted on the network of these groups being extended. It was at the help of these groups that Goce, Pios and Keramidjiev carried out their disruptive activities against the people’s liberation movement in Greece.

In December 1944 Tito, who dreamt of snatching Salonika from people’s democratic Greece, did nothing to help us fight the British, in spite of all his earlier pompous statements. If anything, he stepped up his slander campaign against the Communist Party of Greece, especially Aegean Macedonia.

Tito organised the mass emigration of Macedonians to Yugoslavia thus depriving Aegean Macedonia of its Macedonian population. Incidentally, the Greek monarcho-fascists have been trying to the same thing for many years, hoping to change the ethnical composition Aegean Macedonia. Then again, the Titoites are trying to recruit agents from these refugees who, after the necessary training, are sent to Greece to operate against the Communist Party of Greece, EAM and our people’s revolutionary movement.

Since 1943 the Greek Communist Party and revolutionary movement have been two fires: on the one side the foreign imperialists and monarcho-fascist, on the other- the Tito clique and its executive organ, the Goce- Keramidiev gang which had and still has hundreds of Yugoslav intelligence servicemen in Aegean Macedonia. In 1944, acting on orders from Skopje, Goce crossed over to Yugoslavia with his detachment. Today Goce and Keramidjiev have their headquarters in Skopje.

Time and again the Central Committee of the Communist Party of Greece drew the attention of the Central Committee of the Yugoslav Communist Party to the counter-revolutionary actions of these agents, proved by irrefutable documentary evidence, and demanded that their activities should be stopped. The Central Committee of the Yugoslav Party, however, did not do a thing to cut short these provocation actions.

It has been proved beyond doubt that Hristos Vlachos, who in 1947 in Salonika killed Yannis Zevgos, a member of the Political Bureau of the Central Committee of the Greek Party, was an agent of the Yugoslav intelligence, service and had received his instruction from Skopje. He arrived in Salonika on orders of the Yugoslav intelligence, placed himself at the disposal of General Zervas, an agent of the British Intelligence Service, and later murdered Zevgos. Five monarcho-fascist officers, some of them murderers of the people, escaped to Yugoslavia from a war prisoner’s camp with the help of Rankovic. The Central committee of the Yugoslav Party stated that it knew absolutely nothing about this, even though we gave them details of the date and the exact spot where the monarcho-fascists had crossed the border. Border officers and soldiers had informed us that the monarcho-fascists had crossed into Yugoslavia.

We have captured dozens of Yugoslav intelligence officers. In December 1948 two Yugoslav agents, Gunaris Menos and Gallios Mitsos, were detained in Prespa. These agents disclosed the names of the Yugoslav intelligence officers who had sent them and the assignment they had been given.

The Communist Party of Greece has at its disposal other damning proof of the treachery and disruptive activity of the Tito clique against the revolutionary movement in Greece. The nationalist gang of the treacherous Yugoslav leadership was always a mortal enemy to the Communist Party and people of Greece. Recent events are fresh evidence that the Tito clique helped and is continuing to help Greek and international reaction against the Greek people more and more openly.

In its communiqué of July 6, 1949 the General Headquarters of the Democratic Army stated that on July 5, 1949 monarcho-fascist troops used Yugoslav territory in order to bypass units of the Democratic Army in the Kaimakchalan area. The same day the “Free Greece” telegraph agency, basing itself on an official document (the report of lieutenant colonel Petropulos, commander of the monarcho-fascists’ 516th battalion, to General Grigoropulos, commander of the 3rd army corps), reported that on July 4, 1949, that is, on the eve of the day when the monarcho-fascists crossed Yugoslav territory, a meeting of Yugoslav and monarcho-fascist Greek officers had been held in the area of Popovolossi and Kaimakchalan. This meeting was attended by British and American officers. The Tanjug agency did not refute this fact, neither did the representative of the British Foreign Office when asked about this meeting. Again, neither did Tito deny it in his speech at Pola (Istria), on July 10, 1949. Like the Tanjug agency, he merely tried to refute the fact that an agreement had been reached allowing the monarcho-fascist to use Yugoslav territory.

Such was the Belgrade version when the United Nations Balkan Commission in Athens published its communiqué on July 21, 1949. The sole aim of this communiqué was to cover up Tito’s collaboration with the monarcho-fascists, a collaboration that had been laid bare by the General Headquarters of the Democratic Army and the Free Greece radio on July 6, 1949. This communiqué of the Balkan Commission is highly significant since, to begin with, for the first time in its history the Commission admitted that the monarcho-fascists had violated the Yugoslav frontier in the Kaimakchalan area on many occasions. It claimed, however, that this had been done by artillery and aircraft and not by infantry. Secondly, the communiqué admitted that a meeting of monarcho-fascist and Yugoslav officers had been held in the Kaimakchalan area.

After the Tito clique’s betrayal of the Greek people’s liberation struggle had been exposed in the eyes of progressive mankind and the Yugoslav people, the Yugoslav leaders found it necessary to mobilise yet another provocateur. On July 24, following the example of Tito and Djilas, Kardelj also made a statement to Tanjug on the Greek question. He denied everything: the agreement with Tsaldaris, the negotiations in the Kaimakchalan area, and the use of Yugoslav territory by the monarcho-fascists. He concluded by giving the Jesuit assurance that the Belgrade Government “continues to sympathise” with the movement of the Greek people, but that it “cannot force its assistance on them” and that “the agents of the Information Bureau who slandered Tito” are responsible for this.

We have never doubted the sympathy of the Yugoslav people. As for those who are responsible, “The Times” makes it clear when it writes that in his statement at Pola, Tito gave the Americans the necessary guarantees in advance for the dollars which he needs.

In order to mask their treachery, the traitors Tito, Djilas, Kardelj and company would have the world believe that morale of the Greek democrats is at a low ebb and that they are losing confidence in victory. As a matter of fact these Titoites are doing everything to undermine the morale of the Greek democrats. Tito’s treachery and his long-standing subversive activities against the people’s democratic movement in Greece are causing us serious difficulties. Tito has a deadly hatred for the Geek people’s liberation movement and is viciously fighting against it. But he is mistaken, and so are his monarcho-fascist allies and their common masters, if they think that they will be able to crush us.

Throughout Greece – in Rumelia, Thessaly, Peloponnesus, Epirus, Macedonia, Thrace and on the islands – the Greek Democratic Army is continuing its struggle against the enemy with unshaken courage in the face of enormous difficulties. A broad strike movement covering tens of thousands of factory and office workers is gaining strength in the cities. Hundreds of thousands of peasants who are literally starving to death in the cities where they have been forcibly driven by the monarcho-fascists, hate the Athens Government with all their soul. Reaction in Greece is in the throes of an economic, political and moral crisis from which it can find no way out. The Greek Democratic Army will come face to face with monarcho-fascism in the great battles that will be fought in Grammos and Vitsi.

We are fight because we want peace, because we want to establish democracy and the independence of Greece. Reaction is out for war. It wants to crush us at all costs and is using the Tito clique for this purpose. Thanks to the assistance and solidarity of progressive mankind, including the Yugoslav people, the people of Greece will be victorious both in war and will win a people’s democracy and national independence.

Source

Why Yugoslavia Was Expelled from the Cominform

Below is a commonly-reprinted argument, the idea that the Titoites broke with the USSR over the question of not helping the Greek Communists enough.

Is this true? Not according to Nikos Zahariadis, General Secretary of the KKE and the symbol of Marxism-Leninism in Greece. This Yugoslav-leaning article will be followed by his essay.

— Espresso Stalinist.

Jun 28, 1948:
Yugoslavia expelled from COMINFORM

The Soviet Union expels Yugoslavia from the Communist Information Bureau (COMINFORM) for the latter’s position on the Greek civil war. The expulsion was concrete evidence of the permanent split that had taken place between Russia and Yugoslavia.

The Soviet Union had established COMINFORM in 1947 to serve as a coordinating body for communist parties in Russia, Bulgaria, Hungary, Poland, Italy, France, Czechoslovakia, Romania, and Yugoslavia. Most Western observers believed the organization to be the successor to the Communist International (COMINTERN had been dissolved by Russia in 1943, in an effort to placate its wartime allies–the United States and Great Britain). With the hardening of Cold War animosities after World War II, however, the establishment of COMINFORM signaled that the Soviet Union was once again setting itself up as the official leader of the communist bloc nations. In addition, the inclusion of the Italian and French communist parties served notice that the Soviet Union wished to have a strong say in political developments outside of its eastern European satellites. Yugoslavia was an original member, but that nation’s leader, Josef Broz Tito, proved to be reluctant in following the Soviet line. Throughout 1947 and into 1948, Tito harshly criticized Soviet leader Joseph Stalin’s lack of assistance to communists fighting for power in Greece. When Tito refused to tone down his complaints, Stalin ordered Yugoslavia expelled from COMINFORM.

After its expulsion, Yugoslavia continued to chart a communist, but distinctly independent, pathway in its domestic and foreign policies. The United States was delighted with the Soviet-Yugoslavia split, and actively courted Tito with economic and military aid in the late-1940s and 1950s. […]

Source

Tito Clique’s Stab in the Back to People’s Democratic Greece

Nikos Zahariadis
General Secretary,
Communist Party of Greece

From For a Lasting Peace, For a People’s Democracy!
No. 15 (42), 1 August, 1949

Every inhabitant of Greece knows very well that monarcho-fascism would not have been able to hold out for a few months had it not been for the all-round and open aid of the American and British imperialists.

Our main difficulties arise from the fact that the Anglo-American imperialists are stubbornly trying to retain a foothold in Greece. The country is highly important to them for strategic reasons, and they are trying to turn it into a vital bridge head against the People’s Democracies and the Soviet Union. Churchill’s old plans in this respect, for instance, are well-known. However, foreign imperialism’s positions in Greece were badly shaken last year by the military defeat of monarcho-fascism in the Grammos-Vitsi area and by the collapse of its strategic plan for 1948. The People’s revolutionary movement and the democratic army extended and consolidated their positions in Peloponnesus, Rumelia, Thessaly and on the islands of Samos and Eubeia.

This placed the monarcho-fascist regime in a critical position. In their reports General Papagos, Vendiris, Tsakalotos and others openly admitted that army morale had been shaken. Hundreds of men and officers were shot. King Paul himself was compelled to speak about the moral crisis in the army. The Athens clique was in severe economic difficulties and the political crisis was steadily sapping the foundations of monarcho-fascism. Both at home and abroad, people who were by no means our friends began to realise that the only way out for the reactionaries was to reach a peaceful settlement and conclude an agreement.

The treachery of the Tito clique was disclosed at the very moment when the crisis of monarcho-fascism was coming to a head. Tito’s treachery meant serious new difficulties for our people’s democratic movement, for it strengthened the determination of the Anglo-American imperialists to retain, at all costs, their hold on Greece for the very purpose of making full use of the Tito clique and extending their base in the Balkans. At the same time the Tito clique’s over to the camp of imperialism raised the deflated hopes of monarcho-fascism.

The people’s democratic movement of our country has never, since the time of the first occupation, known of such a cunning and foul enemy as the Tito clique. The Great Serbia chauvinism of the Titoites in relation to the resistance movement in Greece was evident as far back as 1943, when the leadership of the Yugoslav Communist Party declared that the people of Aegean Macedonia could only win their liberation within the framework of Yugoslavia. The corollary of this was that it was the prime duty of all Macedonian patriots to fight against the Communist Party of Greece and EAM and instead to collaborate with the Tito agents.

This was the directive followed by Tito’s man in Aegean Macedonia, Tempo (Vukmanovic). This was the directive applied in practice by their chief agent, Goce. Today is it being carried out by Goce-Koramidjiev gang. During all these years the Tito clique sent thousands of its agents into the Communist Party of Greece and into EAM with the job of undermining the Communist Party of Greece and splitting the unity of the people’s liberation movement.

It is clear that Greek reaction and Anglo-American imperialism could not have found a better ally than the Tito clique. The following detail is extremely characteristic: in October 1944 when the British landed in Greece, Tempo at the head of the provocative movement against the Communist Party of Greece, informed the Communists of Aegean Macedonia that he has asked Tito for two divisions to occupy Salonika. This was before the December events; the British were not sure that they could hold Greece. Preferring to see Salonika occupied by Tito than in the hands of ELAS, the British parachuted weapons onto the aerodrome at Grupista. These were sent on to Vapsori by Tito’s agents – Tempo, Goce and Pios – to be used against ELAS. Even during the Hitler occupation Goce and Pios formed groups of Macedonian and collaborated with Tempo. It can be regarded as an established fact that, as a consequence, Evans, former representative of the British military mission in Macedonia, insisted on the network of these groups being extended. It was at the help of these groups that Goce, Pios and Keramidjiev carried out their disruptive activities against the people’s liberation movement in Greece.

In December 1944 Tito, who dreamt of snatching Salonika from people’s democratic Greece, did nothing to help us fight the British, in spite of all his earlier pompous statements. If anything, he stepped up his slander campaign against the Communist Party of Greece, especially Aegean Macedonia.

Tito organised the mass emigration of Macedonians to Yugoslavia thus depriving Aegean Macedonia of its Macedonian population. Incidentally, the Greek monarcho-fascists have been trying to the same thing for many years, hoping to change the ethnical composition Aegean Macedonia. Then again, the Titoites are trying to recruit agents from these refugees who, after the necessary training, are sent to Greece to operate against the Communist Party of Greece, EAM and our people’s revolutionary movement.

Since 1943 the Greek Communist Party and revolutionary movement have been two fires: on the one side the foreign imperialists and monarcho-fascist, on the other- the Tito clique and its executive organ, the Goce- Keramidiev gang which had and still has hundreds of Yugoslav intelligence servicemen in Aegean Macedonia. In 1944, acting on orders from Skopje, Goce crossed over to Yugoslavia with his detachment. Today Goce and Keramidjiev have their headquarters in Skopje.

Time and again the Central Committee of the Communist Party of Greece drew the attention of the Central Committee of the Yugoslav Communist Party to the counter-revolutionary actions of these agents, proved by irrefutable documentary evidence, and demanded that their activities should be stopped. The Central Committee of the Yugoslav Party, however, did not do a thing to cut short these provocation actions.

It has been proved beyond doubt that Hristos Vlachos, who in 1947 in Salonika killed Yannis Zevgos, a member of the Political Bureau of the Central Committee of the Greek Party, was an agent of the Yugoslav intelligence, service and had received his instruction from Skopje. He arrived in Salonika on orders of the Yugoslav intelligence, placed himself at the disposal of General Zervas, an agent of the British Intelligence Service, and later murdered Zevgos. Five monarcho-fascist officers, some of them murderers of the people, escaped to Yugoslavia from a war prisoner’s camp with the help of Rankovic. The Central committee of the Yugoslav Party stated that it knew absolutely nothing about this, even though we gave them details of the date and the exact spot where the monarcho-fascists had crossed the border. Border officers and soldiers had informed us that the monarcho-fascists had crossed into Yugoslavia.

We have captured dozens of Yugoslav intelligence officers. In December 1948 two Yugoslav agents, Gunaris Menos and Gallios Mitsos, were detained in Prespa. These agents disclosed the names of the Yugoslav intelligence officers who had sent them and the assignment they had been given.

The Communist Party of Greece has at its disposal other damning proof of the treachery and disruptive activity of the Tito clique against the revolutionary movement in Greece. The nationalist gang of the treacherous Yugoslav leadership was always a mortal enemy to the Communist Party and people of Greece. Recent events are fresh evidence that the Tito clique helped and is continuing to help Greek and international reaction against the Greek people more and more openly.

In its communiqué of July 6, 1949 the General Headquarters of the Democratic Army stated that on July 5, 1949 monarcho-fascist troops used Yugoslav territory in order to bypass units of the Democratic Army in the Kaimakchalan area. The same day the “Free Greece” telegraph agency, basing itself on an official document (the report of lieutenant colonel Petropulos, commander of the monarcho-fascists’ 516th battalion, to General Grigoropulos, commander of the 3rd army corps), reported that on July 4, 1949, that is, on the eve of the day when the monarcho-fascists crossed Yugoslav territory, a meeting of Yugoslav and monarcho-fascist Greek officers had been held in the area of Popovolossi and Kaimakchalan. This meeting was attended by British and American officers. The Tanjug agency did not refute this fact, neither did the representative of the British Foreign Office when asked about this meeting. Again, neither did Tito deny it in his speech at Pola (Istria), on July 10, 1949. Like the Tanjug agency, he merely tried to refute the fact that an agreement had been reached allowing the monarcho-fascist to use Yugoslav territory.

Such was the Belgrade version when the United Nations Balkan Commission in Athens published its communiqué on July 21, 1949. The sole aim of this communiqué was to cover up Tito’s collaboration with the monarcho-fascists, a collaboration that had been laid bare by the General Headquarters of the Democratic Army and the Free Greece radio on July 6, 1949. This communiqué of the Balkan Commission is highly significant since, to begin with, for the first time in its history the Commission admitted that the monarcho-fascists had violated the Yugoslav frontier in the Kaimakchalan area on many occasions. It claimed, however, that this had been done by artillery and aircraft and not by infantry. Secondly, the communiqué admitted that a meeting of monarcho-fascist and Yugoslav officers had been held in the Kaimakchalan area.

After the Tito clique’s betrayal of the Greek people’s liberation struggle had been exposed in the eyes of progressive mankind and the Yugoslav people, the Yugoslav leaders found it necessary to mobilise yet another provocateur. On July 24, following the example of Tito and Djilas, Kardelj also made a statement to Tanjug on the Greek question. He denied everything: the agreement with Tsaldaris, the negotiations in the Kaimakchalan area, and the use of Yugoslav territory by the monarcho-fascists. He concluded by giving the Jesuit assurance that the Belgrade Government “continues to sympathise” with the movement of the Greek people, but that it “cannot force its assistance on them” and that “the agents of the Information Bureau who slandered Tito” are responsible for this.

We have never doubted the sympathy of the Yugoslav people. As for those who are responsible, “The Times” makes it clear when it writes that in his statement at Pola, Tito gave the Americans the necessary guarantees in advance for the dollars which he needs.

In order to mask their treachery, the traitors Tito, Djilas, Kardelj and company would have the world believe that morale of the Greek democrats is at a low ebb and that they are losing confidence in victory. As a matter of fact these Titoites are doing everything to undermine the morale of the Greek democrats. Tito’s treachery and his long-standing subversive activities against the people’s democratic movement in Greece are causing us serious difficulties. Tito has a deadly hatred for the Geek people’s liberation movement and is viciously fighting against it. But he is mistaken, and so are his monarcho-fascist allies and their common masters, if they think that they will be able to crush us.

Throughout Greece – in Rumelia, Thessaly, Peloponnesus, Epirus, Macedonia, Thrace and on the islands – the Greek Democratic Army is continuing its struggle against the enemy with unshaken courage in the face of enormous difficulties. A broad strike movement covering tens of thousands of factory and office workers is gaining strength in the cities. Hundreds of thousands of peasants who are literally starving to death in the cities where they have been forcibly driven by the monarcho-fascists, hate the Athens Government with all their soul. Reaction in Greece is in the throes of an economic, political and moral crisis from which it can find no way out. The Greek Democratic Army will come face to face with monarcho-fascism in the great battles that will be fought in Grammos and Vitsi.

We are fight because we want peace, because we want to establish democracy and the independence of Greece. Reaction is out for war. It wants to crush us at all costs and is using the Tito clique for this purpose. Thanks to the assistance and solidarity of progressive mankind, including the Yugoslav people, the people of Greece will be victorious both in war and will win a people’s democracy and national independence.

Source

Prelude to Genocide: How Capitalism Caused the Balkan Wars

The U.S. claims that the Balkan people are gripped by irrational hatreds. And that the U.S. (the self-appointed “cop of the world”) and their allies have no choice but to step in, bomb, impose, threaten and dictate. The imperialists insist that the people of the Balkans need outside forces to dominate them–to save them from themselves! It is an imperialist self-justification–based on crudely turning history upside down. It blames the people for the suffering imposed on them by capitalism.

The Balkan region of southeastern Europe is a complex “jaguar skin” of different nationalities. The Catholic northern part of Yugoslavia–including Slovenia and Croatia–had longstanding links to Austria and Germany to the north. The southern part of Yugoslavia had long historical ties eastward toward Greece, Turkey and the northern Slavic countries of Bulgaria and Russia.

History has created pockets of national hatreds here–the same way some towns or counties in the U.S. are known as white racist towns. But the hatreds of these rural backwaters did not need to infect and polarize the whole country. But over the last ten years, waves of war have washed over the Balkans, subjecting the masses of people to “ethnic cleansing” by death squads and now large-scale bombing by the U.S. and its NATO allies.

The origins of this warfare are not ancient–they are quite modern. These wars are caused by the capitalist rivalries of various ruling classes of the republics of former Yugoslavia–coldly egged on, armed, and backed by imperialist powers, like Germany, the U.S. and Russia.

This article looks at the history of Yugoslavia since its founding after World War 2. It shows that capitalist development caused tensions and inequalities within Yugoslavia and how reactionary war emerged from the power grabs of various bourgeois nationalist forces there.

Behind the Civil War

The nationalities living in the Balkan mountain area can unite–and they proved it. These peoples created a powerful multinational guerrilla movement during World War 2 to defeat the German Nazis and Italian fascists who occupied the region for three years. The peoples of Yugoslavia pinned down many divisions of Nazi troops–and ultimately freed themselves, guns in hand, in a communist-led resistance war. Modern Yugoslavia was build out of that unity–bringing together six nations and several other significant nationalities.

There was no reason why a new, progressive, multinational unity could not have been built. The key would have been uniting on the basis of the interests of the masses of people–along the road of socialism and proletarian internationalism.

But there was, unfortunately, never any real socialist transformation in Yugoslavia. The leaders of the new Yugoslavia, headed by Josef Broz Tito, betrayed the revolution and took the capitalist road–straight into the embrace of U.S. imperialism. This laid the seeds for the wars of today.

The Titoites broke the Yugoslav economy into small independent units. In agriculture, early experiments in collectivization were reversed–by 1957 virtually all the farms were in private hands. Nationalized industry was “privatized.” Individual factories were officially operating under “workers’ self-management.” But the policy was set by directors, and the real control was exercised by the market mechanism of capitalism. Without socialist planning, profit decided where investments flowed, what was produced, and who got to work. In reality “worker self-management” meant that wages were tied to factory profits–they were a form of piecework. Factories, industries and whole regions were competing with each other and profit was in command. And, more importantly, the proletariat did not have state power. It was impossible for them to revolutionize society.

The World’s First Experience with “Capitalist Roaders in Power”

By 1948 Tito was sharply criticized by the world communist movement, then led by Joseph Stalin. Meanwhile Tito was praised and supported by the imperialists–who were waging all kinds of warfare against revolutionary and socialist forces around the world. Tito claimed that he would walk a “non-aligned” path between East and West. But in fact, his Yugoslavia quickly became dependent on the imperialists–politically, economically and militarily–tied to the world capitalist market while he huddled under the U.S. “nuclear umbrella.”

For the first time in history a victorious armed movement led by supposed communists had come to power, but it set up a capitalist society. This was the first experience with “revisionism in power”–meaning a capitalist ruling class that claimed to be leading a socialist society.

The development of Yugoslavia was closely studied by revolutionaries like Mao Tsetung. In 1955, Khrushchev, a top leader in the Soviet Union, visited Yugoslavia and praised Tito. Within a year, Khrushchev himself had seized complete power in the Soviet Union and took it too down the capitalist road.

In 1963 under Mao’s leadership, the Chinese Communist Party sent an open letter called–Is Yugoslavia a Socialist Country?–to the Communist Party of the Soviet Union. In that polemic, Mao’s forces wrote: “The restoration of capitalism in Yugoslavia will make all Marxist-Leninists see better and enable people to realize more keenly the necessity and urgency of combating modern revisionism. So long as imperialism exists, there is apparently no ground for saying that the danger of the restoration of capitalism in the socialist countries has been eliminated.”

Capitalist Roots of National Antagonisms

Under the weight of growing debt to the West, the Titoites carried out new “reforms” in 1965. They moved to make their currency convertible to Western currencies–so that investments could more easily flow in and profits could more easily flow out. After 1968, foreign capitalists could invest directly in the private sector. Yugoslavia became the first revisionist country to set up a stock market. These innovations of the capitalist road are now being carried out in the rest of Eastern Europe.

Yugoslav proletarians were sent off as cheap labor for northern Europe–they basically became an “export commodity.” By 1971, over a million Yugoslavs were immigrant workers, over half of them in West Germany.

According to World Bank statistics, the wealthiest 5 percent of Yugoslav households earned 25 percent of the national income in the 1970s, while the poorest 20 percent of the population earned less than 7 percent. This was one of the most extreme income gaps in Europe–in fact, according to the World Bank, even India’s income distribution gap was not as big!

The northern nations of Yugoslavia–Slovenia and Croatia–were more highly developed industrially and agriculturally. The three southern national areas–Macedonia, Montenegro, and the Albanian region of Kosovo–were far more undeveloped and poor. Serbia, the largest national grouping, is in between North and South and is also a relatively poor area. These divisions within Yugoslavia got even more acute because of the capitalist development pursued by Yugoslavia. The rich got richer and the poor got poorer. Over decades, this created a powerful basis for antagonism between the nationalities of the country and for the growth of reactionary nationalism.

Investment flows where the profits are greatest. The industrial northern nations developed rapidly after 1945, while the poorer southern republics stagnated. When the 1990s started, per capita production in Slovenia was three times as high as it was in poorer regions like Macedonia. By 1970 the per capita income of the average Slovene was over six times that of the average Kosovar. Kosovo lives in Third World conditions–comparable to Bolivia or Morocco–while in Slovenia the standard of living is closer to that of neighboring Austria.

The villages in the poorer peasant regions of the south emptied. People went north for lousy jobs and barrack-like living conditions as “guest workers”–within the supposedly “equal” Yugoslav federation. These “guest workers” make up 15 to 20 percent of the Slovenian workforce and are treated like dirt.

The old phony-communist system of Yugoslavia was based on state capitalism and a complex system of balancing bourgeois national interests. Inevitably, that old federation became strained. Bourgeois forces leading each republic tried to shift wealth toward “their” nations.

Inequality Gives Rise to Political, then Military Conflict

In the 1980s the conflicts intensified because of classic “IMF crisis.” Yugoslavia sank deeply into debt to the International Monetary Fund and other international imperialist lenders–to the tune of $1.8 billion. The lenders demanded that capitalist Yugoslavia take “austerity” measures to pay back the debt, and this inflamed the conflict in the country.

The masses themselves were not especially gripped by national hatreds–certainly not at the beginning. Large parts of the population had intermarried. In urban areas people moved away from religion–which had been a form through which national hostilities had been expressed. Many people no longer identified with one or another nationality–but simply considered themselves “Yugoslavs.” Sarajevo, the capital of Bosnia was famous for this kind of multicultural fusion. Today, the masses of people there still fondly remember the days when people lived and worked together peacefully.

Meanwhile, under the surface, the inequalities between Yugoslavia’s regions and the rival ambitions of the different national capitalist forces within Yugoslavia created conditions for an eruption.

When the Soviet Union collapsed, and imperialist power shifted in Europe, it tore old Yugoslavia apart. Warring bourgeois camps sprang out–claiming to protect the survival of different national groups–while they pursued their own interests and sought to divide the people along national lines.

After Tito died, an extremely reactionary movement won the leadership of the state-capitalist forces in Serbia. Led by Slobodan Milosevic, this political current insisted that the time had come for the Serbian nation (meaning the Serbian national bourgeoisie operating within the larger Yugoslavian state) to grab for itself–and impose its will by force. Milosevic, like most ruling class figures in the former Yugoslavia, was a former revisionist–meaning that he had been part of the ruling Yugoslavian party, the “League of Communists,” which was a phony communist, state capitalist government institution.

Some forces argue that the U.S. is attacking Serbia to enforce economic privatization and the elimination of “socialist” remnants in Yugoslavian society. These analyses are completely off the mark.

There is no socialism in Yugoslavia today and there never was. Yugoslavia has been controlled by running dogs of the U.S. and enemies of real communism for its whole history. Yugoslavia built its economy along capitalist and free-market lines over 40 years ago. And today, there is certainly nothing socialist at all about the economy of the Serb-dominated Yugoslav federation or the politics of local capitalist-nationalist reactionaries like Slobodan Milosevic. Milosevic is the top representative of the Serbian capitalist ruling class which is attempting a reactionary power grab in the region–and has collided with some larger interests of NATO’s imperialist/capitalists –especially those ruling Germany, Britain and the U.S.

In 1989 Milosevic made Kosovo a symbol and a starting point of this regional power grab. As he came to power within the Yugoslavian federation he revoked the autonomy that Kosovo had exercised within Serbia. He started to systematically impose a Serbian domination on the Albanian majority of Kosovo. He brutally suppressed a powerful strike among the Kosovo miners, expelled Albanians from the universities, imposed Serbian police and troops on the province–and generally made it clear that his government intended to drive Albanians from Kosovo. There were repeated incidents of police murder, as the cops acted like an occupying force.

All this signaled that military force was being applied to turn Yugoslavia into a Greater Serbia. It greatly accelerated the development of separatist sentiments among the ruling classes of the other nationalities (like Croatia, Slovenia and Macedonia). The masses of people feared that they would soon be targeted for their nationality.

The capitalist forces controlling Slovenia and Croatia thought they could get a better deal outside of the Yugoslavian federation. They were encouraged, backed, and armed by newly reunited German imperialism. Once Croatia and Slovenia seceded, the Yugoslavian federation started to unravel. The Federal army command, dominated by Serbian officers, emerged more and more as the real power holding the Yugoslav federation together. Warfare erupted in waves.

First came war between the Serbian-dominated Yugoslavian army and the governments of Croatia and Slovenia that declared independence from Yugoslavia. That war ended with independence for both Croatia and Slovenia.

Then, a three-sided war erupted within the most multinational republic, Bosnia, as Serbian and Croatian militias fought to drive other nationalities out, and annex parts of Bosnia to their republics.

Both the Croatian and Serbian nationalists developed death-squad like forces that carried out “ethnic cleansing”–murderous terror campaigns designed to force the masses of people to flee multinational areas and group with their own nationality.

With major German and U.S. military backing, the Croatian forces were able to fight the Serbian/Yugoslavian army to a stalemate–inside and outside Bosnia. This led to the 1995 Dayton Accords where the U.S. and Milosevic together imposed a defacto partitioning of Bosnia between Croatian and Serbian forces–and cut the very ground out from underneath the Bosnian Muslims (who the U.S. claimed to be helping).

The third wave of fighting has now erupted in Kosovo–as Milosevic moved to defeat the armed Albanian forces resisting his reactionary nationalist moves. The campaigns of suppressing Albanians accelerated. Serbian death squad forces, like “Arkan’s Tigers,” made their appearance with high-level government support. This fighting is particularly troublesome for U.S. interests because it threatens to destabilize Macedonia–and carried a great risk of disrupting U.S./NATO alliances in this region.

This bitter series of Balkan wars is a living example both of how capitalism leads to the domination of one nation over another and how imperialism inflames conflicts among the people into reactionary war.

Reactionary Polarizations

The bitter events of years of civil war and ethnic cleansing have deepened painful chasms between the peoples of various nationalities that can only be overcome through tremendous struggle and revolutionary leadership. Progressive sentiments, opposition to ethnic cleansing and desires for unity are often heard among the masses of people throughout this whole region–along with considerable hatred of reactionary nationalist forces leading the governments of Serbia and Croatia. However, despite that, the political and military initiative has remained in the hands of those bourgeois nationalist forces.

Within these intense and often many-sided conflicts–there are forces who have been fighting for just causes. In particular, the Bosnian Muslims and the Albanians of Kosovo have been fighting in self-defense, and have raised just demands for self-determination and independence to guarantee the security of persecuted peoples.

The whole situation in the Balkans cries out for an armed, determined multinational force with a internationalist vision of solidarity between the peoples and a program for defeating reactionaries and building a new society. Unfortunately, there is no Marxist-Leninist-Maoist party in the Balkans today to lead such an armed struggle. One will have to be built. There is no shortcut out of this situation. Support for imperialist intervention and occupation will only deepen the divisions, confusions and sufferings among the people–and it will only strengthen the position of imperialism in the world as a whole to impose its interests on oppressed people.

Many millions all over the world are watching the bitter sufferings of the Balkan people. And there is a way for them to help create the conditions for something better. It is to firmly and forcefully oppose the interventions and intrigues of the U.S. and NATO. It would be a great contribution to the future of the Balkan peoples to make it as difficult as possible for the Great Powers to bomb and occupy, infiltrate local movements and governments, build up their favorite local reactionaries, and impose their interests over the bones of the people.

Source

Bukharin on Market Socialism

“The capitalist mode of production is based on a monopoly of the means of production in the hands of the class of capitalists… There is no difference in principle whatsoever whether the state power is a direct expression of this monopoly or whether this monopoly is ‘privately’ organised. In either case there remains commodity economy (in the first place the world market) and, what is more important, the class relations between the proletariat and the bourgeoisie.”

 — Nikolai Bukharin, quoted in Michael Haynes, Nikolai Bukharin & the Transition from Capitalism to Socialism, 1985, New York, Holmes & Meier, p. 35.

“… of course, our economic system can be changed into ‘true’ state capitalism, if the class struggles in the sphere of direct processes of production and in the political sphere result in the loss of power by the working class.”

 — N.I. Bukharin, ‘The Economic Structure of Soviet Russia’, International Press Correspondence, vol. 2, no. 22, 21 MARCH 1922, p, 165; Pravda, no. 30, 8 February 1922, p. 1.

Enver Hoxha on Class Struggle Under Socialism

“[The Party of Labor of Albania] has waged and is waging the class struggle in the correct Marxist-Leninist way, inside and outside the Party, and this is the motive force during the whole period of the transition from capitalism to socialism.”

— Enver Hoxha, 1968 Selected Works Vol. IV p. 427,  “The Working Class in the Revisionist Countries Must Take the Field and Re-Establish the Dictatorship of the Proletariat”

“The ideological and cultural revolution is a part of the general class struggle to carry the socialist revolution through to the end in all fields. Contrary to the views of the modern revisionists, who have declared the class struggle in socialism outdated and a thing of the past, our Party holds that class struggle remains one of the main motive forces of society, even after the exploiting classes have been eliminated. This struggle includes all fields of life. It has its ebbs and flows and zigzags, sometimes it surges up, sometimes it falls back, sometimes becomes fierce, at other times more «mild», but it never ceases and dies right away.”

— Enver Hoxha, Selected Works Vol. IV, p. 165, “Report to the 5th Congress”

“Acceptance or non-acceptance of the class struggle in socialism is a question of principle, it is a line of demarcation between Marxist-Leninists and revisionists, between revolutionaries and betrayers of the revolution. Any deviation from the class struggle has fatal consequences for the future of socialism.”

— Ibid.

“The revolution overturns a whole world, let alone a single tradition. Since the class struggle goes on during the whole period of the construction of socialist society and the transition to communism, and since political parties express the interests of specific classes, the presence of other non-Marxist-Leninist parties in the system of the dictatorship of the proletariat would be absurd and opportunist, especially after the economic base of socialism has been built.”

— Enver Hoxha, 1967, Selected Works Vol. IV, p. 307 “On the Role and Tasks of the Democratic Front in the Struggle for the Complete Triumph of Socialism in Albania”

“In practice we often come across a narrow concept on the class struggle and class enemy, which regards only the kulaks and other elements of the former exploiting classes, or the imperialists and Titoite and Khrushchevite revisionists abroad as class enemies, and only the struggle against their anti-socialist activities as class struggle. The struggle against these enemies remains, as always, a primary task for our Party, our state and our working people. But we should take a broader view of the class struggle. It is a many-sided struggle which is, first and foremost, an ideological struggle today, a struggle for the minds and hearts of people, a struggle against bourgeois and revisionist degeneration, against all alien remnants and phenomena which still exist and manifest themselves in various degrees among all our people — it is a struggle for the triumph of our communist ideology and morality.”

—  Enver Hoxha, Selected Works Vol. IV p. 166, “Report to the 5th Congress”

“The issues we are raising at this Plenum are closely linked with a major cardinal problem, that of the understanding and development of the class struggle in the proper way. The Party has long made it clear that the class struggle is one of the main motive forces of our socialist society, that it is a very broad struggle which is waged in all fields, both against internal and external enemies and within the ranks of the people and the Party, and that in the existing conditions the class struggle on the ideological front assumes special importance.”

— Enver Hoxha, 1973, Selected Works Vol. IV,  848, “Intensify the ideological Struggle Against Alien Manifestations and iberal Attitudes Towards Them”

“The struggle for the communist education of the working people against the remnants and manifestations of alien ideologies, old and new, constitutes the broadest and most complex front of the class struggle which is going on in our country. This struggle becomes especially important and acute in the present conditions when our country is forging ahead in the construction of socialism, relying entirely on its own forces, when the struggle between socialism and capitalism, Marxism-Leninism and revisionism in the international arena has become extremely severe and when the imperialist-revisionist encirclement and its pressure on our country have become more ferocious.”

— Enver Hoxha, Selected Works Vol. VI, pp. 372-373.

“The modern revisionists with the Soviet ones at their head claim that all class struggle ends with the elimination of the exploiting classes. This is a hoax which serves to disarm the working class and lull it into sleep and this way pave the path for the restoration of capitalism. This has been most clearly shown in the Soviet Union and in other former socialist countries where the new capitalist bourgeoisie seized power.

The experience of our country refuted these false and capitulationist theories of the disappearance of class struggle under socialism. The whole history of the construction of socialism in Albania is a story of uncompromising struggle between revolution and counter-revolution, between the two paths of development, against the internal and external enemies both within the people and the Party. This struggle has been waged continuously and always vehemently. Only its forms and methods have changed according to the circumstances and stages of development. Even after elimination of the exploiting classes as classes the inner and outer enemies have not for a single moment laid down their arms or halted their fight against socialism. Therefore our party and our people have waged the class struggle with strict consistency and in a correct Marxist-Leninist way in all areas as a crucial condition for the final victory of the socialist way over the capitalist.”

— Enver Hoxha, “Proletarian Democracy is Genuine Democracy”

“Which of them will triumph? Marx and Lenin, Marxist-Leninist science, the theory and practice of the revolution, provide us with convincing proof that, in the final analysis, the proletariat will triumph by destroying, overthrowing the power of the bourgeoisie, imperialism and all, exploiters, and will build a new society, socialist society. They teach us also that even in this new society, classes, that is, the working class and working peasantry, which are closely allied to each other, will exist for a very long time, but there will also be remnants of the overthrown and expropriated classes. During this entire period, these remnants, as well as elements which degenerate and oppose the construction of socialism, will try to regain their lost power. Hence, under socialism, too, stern class struggle will exist.”

— Enver Hoxha, Imperialism and the Revolution

“Thus he (Mao) does not see the socialist revolution as a qualitative change in society in which antagonistic classes and the oppression and exploitation of man by man is abolished, but conceives it as a simple change of places between the bourgeoisie and the proletariat.”

– Enver Hoxha, Imperialism and Revolution

“The class struggle continues and will continue in the period of the construction of socialist society, but we have the impression that in China this struggle is not carried out consistently, is weak and not based on sound and lasting principles. When there are vacillations in line there will certainly be wavering stands towards enemies.”

— Enver Hoxha, Reflections on China Vol. II, p. 147

“Only once, Chou [en-Lai], this liberal and opportunist element, when he came to our country made a criticism of us, allegedly that our Party was not waging the class struggle. When we faced him with the facts, telling him that during its whole existence our Party had waged a stern class struggle inside and outside our country, as well as within the ranks of the Party itself, he was obliged to beg our pardon, saying, «I do not know the history of your Party as well as I should».”

Enver Hoxha, Reflections on China Vol. II, p. 241

“But Mao also put forward other theses and views with which we have never been in agreement. He wrote a good deal about the class struggle, about contradictions, etc., but the class struggle in China, in practice especially, has not been waged sternly and consistently.”

Enver Hoxha, Reflections on China Vol. II, 283

“Liu Shao-chi, this revisionist, had delivered a whole report to the comrades of one of our delegations about the alleged rightist mistakes of Stalin, alleging that Stalin had said that the class struggle was over, etc. What irony! And who was saying this? The person who, at the 8th Congress of the Communist Party of China, advocated coexistence with the capitalists! L iu Shao-chi emerged as the Chinese Khrushchev!”

Enver Hoxha, Reflections on China Vol. 1 , p. 328

“Even within the party a class struggle must be waged, indeed a stern struggle, to totally liquidate the anti-party, anti-Marxist faction as quickly as possible.”

Enver Hoxha, Reflections on China Vol. 1 , p. 358

“He proves with scientific argument why the class struggle will continue until the construction of communism and why the fate of socialism depends on the correct understanding of this struggle which is waged in a coordinated manner on the internal and external plane, why socialism is threatened not only from abroad, by a military aggression, but also from within the country, by degeneration and peaceful counter-revolutionary evolution.”

 — Enver Hoxha, Selected Works Vol. IV, Forward, p. VIII

“The exploiting classes could not be eliminated immediately, either in our country or in the other socialist countries. A fierce political and ideological fight, a violent war with arms, a stern and continuous class struggle under the unwavering leadership of the Marxist-Leninist party is needed for the proletariat to wrest political power by violence from the hands of the exploiting capitalist class and establish the state of the dictatorship of the proletariat in order to eliminate the economic base of the exploiting class and private property in general, to eliminate the capitalist relations of production and establish socialist social ownership and the socialist relations of production, to turn the existing socialist property into the property of the entire people; and simultaneously, to build a new socialist superstructure, by radically purging every remnant of bourgeois and petty-bourgeois policy and ideology from the consciousness of the people.”

— Enver Hoxha, Selected Works Vol. IV, p. 51-2, “Our Party Will Continue the Class Struggle”

“Hence, our Party believes that, notwithstanding that the exploiting classes have been liquidated, the danger of bourgeois and revisionist restoration always exists if you rest on your laurels and do not advance at a great revolutionary tempo, if you are not guided in everything by Marxism-Leninism, if you cease the class struggle instead of waging it consistently and uninterruptedly, if you weaken the dictatorship of the proletariat instead of further strengthening it, if you divorce yourself from the people instead of linking yourself with them as closely as possible, if you prove cowardly instead of being valiant and courageous and in continuous, dauntless, unrelenting struggle against imperialism, revisionists of all hues and all lackeys of the bourgeoisie and capital.”

–  Enver Hoxha, Selected Works Vol. IV, p. 66, “Our Party Will Continue the Class Struggle”

“As you know, we have had a controversy over principles with the Chinese comrades, not mainly over the class struggle, but about “the existence of the feudo-bourgeois class as a class, as an entity which fights us, even from positions of state power, at a time when state power in our countries is the dictatorship of the proletariat.” We know what our thesis is and this we base on our struggle, on facts and on Marxist-Leninist analysis. The Chinese comrades have claimed the contrary. As you know, we have told them that it may be so in their country, but not in ours, because the class struggle in our country has been waged and continued consistently from the time of the National Liberation War and since the war right to this day, and it will go on against the remnants of the feudo-bourgeois class, etc., etc. There is no bourgeoisie in power in our country.”

—  Enver Hoxha, Selected Works Vol. IV, p. 98, “Some Preliminary Ideas about the Chinese Proletarian Cultural Revolution”

Molotov on Yugoslavia

“In 1953-1954 I spoke out [against reconciliation with Tito’s] Yugoslavia at the Politburo. No one supported me, neither Malenkov nor even Kaganovich, though he was a Stalinist! Khruschev was not alone. There were hundreds and thousands like him, otherwise on his own he would not have gotten very far. He simply pandered to the state of mind of the people. But where did that lead? Even now there are lots of Khruschevs. . .”

“Tito is now [1970s at three different talks–ed.] in a difficult situation. His republic is going under, and he will have to grab onto the USSR for dear life. Then we shall be able to deal with him more firmly.”

“Nationalism is causing him to howl in pain, yet he himself is a nationalist, and that is his main defect as a communist. He is a nationalist, that is, he is infected with the bourgeois spirit. He is now cursing and criticizing his own people for nationalism. This means that the Yugoslav multinational state is breaking up along national lines. It is composed of Serbs, Croatians, Slovenes, and so forth.”

“When Tito visited us for the first time, I liked his appearance. We didn’t know everything about him at the time. . . .”

“Tito is not an imperialist, he is a petty-bourgeois, an opponent of socialism. Imperialism is something else again.”

 — Albert Resis intro. & ed., Molotov Remembers: Inside Kremlin Politics, Conversations with Felix Chuev (Chicago: Ivan R. Dee, 1993), pp. 83-4.

“My Life With Enver” Nexhmije Hoxha’s Memoirs (Part 4)

12. Towards a free life – in the mountains

After being on duty with the partisans in the mountains, I left Tirana on March 20th; the city I would not return to until its liberation. Along with my joy, I also felt an emptiness in my soul. I was leaving the city in which I had grown up and gone to school, I was really close to the people of Tirana. I had fought with them for their freedom, their happiness and for a safe future for its youth. I had also helped in their struggle for the emancipation of the Albania Woman and for the independence of our long-suffering homeland. Would I ever come back to see a liberated Tirana, free from invaders and spies, without the terror, the curfew, the arrests and the imprisonments?

I was quite sure that this day would eventually come, not only to Tirana, but also to all Albania, because we were fighting a war with the backing of the entire population. However, at this particular moment, was the day of liberation in the near or distant future?

With a false identity card in my pocket and my mind loaded down with all these questions, I took the bus. I left behind the Tirana where, the Party, the guerilla units, and my life as an underground activist had been founded and headed for Korca. With me was a comrade (whom I never met) who was taking a letter from Gogo Nushi and Nako Spiro to Enver. He had been appointed as the courier who made the connections between the Korca district and the Center in Tirana. His name was Arsen Leskoviku.

Our journey took us passed Elbasan and, up to this moment, we had had no problems. However, just before entering Librazhd, we were stopped by an armed patrol. There were three of them; one was a German and the other two Albanians who were wearing the uniform of the Albanian militia. They asked for our identity cards. The German took mine and began moving it in his hands. He raised his eyes, and looking straight at me said, “Yugoslav?” I nearly had a heart attack! The name on my identity card was Vera – a name that the Slavs use as well. I thought that they would ask me to get off the bus and take me for interrogation to the post office nearby and who knows then what would have happened. I hastened to explain. Although he was not Italian, for some reason I spoke to him in Italian, thinking that I could better communicate with him. I remember telling him,

“No, no, albanese, Vera, stagione, estate o primavera”

(No, no, Albanian, Vera is a season; summer or spring).

So I waffled on a bit. Finally he returned the identity card to me. I breathed a sigh of relief, and, after a while, I turned my head and glanced at the comrade who was with me. He had recovered himself and was quite calm; he just closed his eyes as if to say: “Good…”. I smiled slightly as if to say: “We’re safe…”.

We arrived in Korça in the evening and stayed that night in the home of a school friend. The next day, at dusk, we set off for Panarit, where Enver and some comrades from the Central Committee and General Headquarters were. A team of 4-5 partisans was waiting for us outside of the town. They knew the area very well and were to accompany us on the journey from village to village. After we had greeted each other, the partisans told us that armed frontists had been seen in the area and this was why we had to talk softly and walk carefully.

We walked in a single file for a very long time without stopping in order to get away from the town. The worst thing was that the night was so dark that we were not able to see and it was difficult to follow the path. One comrade fell. He apparently walked too close to the edge of a hole in the ground, slipped, uttered a sharp ‘oh!’ and then there was silence. We were shocked. We went to the place where he had fallen but we couldn’t see anything. We called out in low voices; “Arsen, hey, Arsen!”, but there was no reply. We became even more worried. Down in the hole nothing was visible. We tried to locate his body with the butt of a rifle, but it was in vain. Then the partisans found some long sticks and, in the darkness they measured the depth of the hole with them. After coming up with the idea of holding one another hand-by-hand, one of us managed to get down into the hole. When we were told that Arsen’s body had been located we were very relieved and we hoped that he was alive.

They managed to pull him up with great difficulty. I remember when they laid him down, they gave him a drop of raki that one of the partisans kept with him in his water bottle and used as medicine for various wounds. Arsen groaned. They checked out to see if he had broken a leg or an arm but he screamed only when they touched him on one of his hips. They held his mouth closed so as not to be heard. As he told us afterwards, he had been hurt badly in one hip when he had fallen because he had had a tin of meat in his knapsack and it was this knapsack that he fell on and severely bruised his hip. What could we do? The comrades carried him on their backs in turn to the nearest village where we would spend the night. As soon as we entered the specified base, the women of the house put a bed near the fire and laid Arsen down on it to help him rest up. With the light of an oil lamp the comrades checked him for any other injuries and massaged his hip with raki and olive oil until he felt somewhat better. When we realized that he didn’t have any other serious injuries, we started joking with him.

We told Arsen that we would sequester his tin of meat because it was “cold steel” that kills and might take prevent someone from fighting.

“Look, this has interrupted your journey with us; you must stay here and will have to eat chicken soup of course, that is, if the frontists have left any chickens in the village.”

Laughing, he fell asleep.

We slept for three hours and, after taking the letter from Arsen, we set off before dawn in order to avoid any confrontation with the frontists. After so many years I don’t remember which villages we passed through or the length of the journey.

In Panarit – to Enver

We finally arrived in Panarit, where Enver was living. This village was located on a mountainside. It was said that this was a big village, but I didn’t share this idea, because I couldn’t see many houses.

The house where the headquarters was located was quite big; it had two or three floors, together with a barn, and was completely built of stone. They led us into a big room, in the middle of which was a large fire, where entire trunks were turned into fairly hot embers, and which gave the room pleasant warmth. It was able to bring one back to life and make you feel relaxed after the long and tiring journey. In such a place, the warmth created a feeling of satisfaction, something that I had not felt before in these years of war. This room in Albania is called a ‘room of fire’, and around the big fireplace with no chimney, the women cooked and stayed. These rooms didn’t have any ceilings, but only roof timbers which were blackened by the smoke). Around the fire sat several comrades who worked in the headquarters along with partisan guards and companions. I recognized among them, comrade Behar Shtylla. He stood up immediately and went to inform Enver about our arrival.

You can imagine how impatient I was to meet Enver. But Behar came back and told me that Enver was in a meeting.

Meanwhile the comrades found us a place near the fire and, one after another, brought some homemade bread, which was very soft, some fresh sheep cheese, honey and nuts. I especially enjoyed the fresh cheese and the toast. Then the friends began talking and joking. They even had an argument as to whose life was more difficult; that of the partisans in the mountains or that of the underground activists in the towns. I myself thought that the life of the underground activists, under the continuous worry of fascist encirclement, repeated controls, the dangers of arrest or the maltreatment of the families who sheltered them, was more difficult. But the partisans were correct because they lived in the mountains, marched and fought in very bad places, in the winter’s cold and frost, usually poorly dressed, in bare feet and with empty stomachs.

One of them said: “This fire and this food are like a dream for us…”

Of course he was right, and the local peasants didn’t spare what they had in their houses, in order to honor and respect the partisans of the mountains.

While we were talking, Enver came in. He was smiling as always. He was really surprised when he saw me. As he told me later; he had thought that Naxhije had come. She was a leading comrade of the Party in Korca. So after the first surprise, we hugged each other with nostalgia, forgetting to keep the “secret” of our relationship. Seeing us that way, the comrades laughed… Just to give a formal meaning to my coming, in front of the others, Enver asked:

“Did you bring the letters we wanted? Come.”

He took my hand and we went out. We went to the house where he was living and sleeping with the other comrades. The house was up in the hills so we had to do a bit of climbing. It was a small bungalow, but to go inside you had to go up some stairs built over a rock, which was covered with wide stone slabs. The house was painted with lime, and the doors and windows were made of pinewood, which, in that fresh mountain air and under the heat from the sun, gave off a pleasant scent that allowed you to breathe freely. There were too many things there that made me feel very comfortable and happy.

We went into Enver’s room. It was white because the walls were painted with lime. The sheets on the bed were snow-white, so were the embroidered curtains. On the settee was a fringed haircloth; while on the floor was a small carpet. Enver asked immediately about the letters. He looked at them quickly.

“I will read them carefully later”, he said

and then wanted to hear my report about the situation at the Center. I told him many things, and then we talked a bit about ourselves and satisfied our yearning. The women of the house brought us corn bread, sheep’s yoghurt and eggs. In that fresh and healthy climate, one had had an increased appetite and I very much enjoyed the food. I said to Enver jokingly:

“I saw in the house at headquarters that you don’t live too badly…”

Enver replied, “The peasants are friendly and hospitable and, although they are poor, they are very kind and we owe them a lot”.

The next day I went down to some of the buildings. I don’t remember if they had been a school or a cantonment. A course was being held with party personnel from the field and the army, at which, political and ideological lectures were being given in order to increase the educational level of our comrades.

During the three or four days that I stayed in Panarit I met many comrades I had known in Tirana. Here in the mountains among the partisans, comrades and peasants I felt different. Here you could move calmly and freely, something that could not be done in Tirana, because it was filled with terror.

During our talks in Panarit for three-four days, Enver told me that they had started preparations to set up a meeting larger than the Second National Liberation Conference of Labinot. (He meant the Congress that was going to be held in Permet).

“In this meeting we will make very important decisions for Albania.” But we will have to work hard in order to do this. So I think it is not necessary that you return to Tirana now. I think that you should go to Permet and from there to Zagorie. There you will find the Headquarters of the Gjirokastra-Vlora Area, and you will work there, dealing mainly with the youth and the organization of anti-fascist women, in the field and near the units acting in that area.”

I was happy about this because in this way I would continue living a free life in the mountains, villages and areas where the breeze of liberty had started to blow.

I set off for Permet and Zagorie and, for two months I worked very hard and joyfully in these two areas from which I have unforgettable memories. Memories from the historic Congress of Permet (24 May 1944) where I took part as a delegate, and from my activities during the German Operation of June in the Zagorie mountains. But I will not refer to them in these notes because I do not have many memories about my personal and direct meetings and conversations with Enver, who, during this period, was very busy. He had much of the responsibility for the preparations, development and compilation of the resolutions for the Congress of Permet, which was to be of great historical importance for the victory of the National Liberation Anti-fascist Movement, and for the future of our people.

13. Unforgettable days in Lireza – among the youth

After the Nazi operations of June, Enver, together with the leadership of the National Liberation Anti-fascist Council, the main members of the General Headquarters and some members of the Central Committee of the Party, left Odrican and went back to Helmes (a small village in Skrapar district, with 10-12 houses situated on a mountain side below Marta Pass).

After the Congress of Permet, in early July, while I was working in Zagorie, I got news from Nako Spiro telling me to set off immediately for Helmes in the Skrapar district. In time of war orders were not given to discussion. So although I was used to the wonderful people of the Zagorie region, with whom I had worked and lived for a long time, I set off to Helmes. We walked from village to village and after two days reached the destination.

Helmes village seemed to me like a beautiful relaxing oasis. It was full of greenness, with trees that gave it a special grace. The apple trees were full of fruit and the branches were nearly breaking. Also, the grapes, even though they were not properly ripened, made your mouth water when you saw them. We sat for a moment near the drinking fountain. The water was very cold and it flowed freely along the side of the cobblestone street. We refreshed ourselves and relaxed there from the long journey. After a while some comrades came and took me to the offices where Enver and his comrades worked. It was a two-floor stone built house.

In one of the offices, on the first floor, was Enver with Nako. We hugged longingly. They asked me about the affairs and the situation in the regions in which I had been. Then they told me why they had called me there: The First Congress of the Union of the Albanian Anti-fascist Youth had to be prepared. Enver told me of the importance of this Congress, which, as he put it, would give new ardor and strength to the union of anti-fascist youth for the final war to liberate the whole country. It would also create new perspectives for the youth in the construction of a new, democratic national Albania, and its future. Nako talked about the procedures we had to follow for sending out notifications, for choosing delegates, for the preparation of the Congress’ documents, and reports that would be held, etc. Then the next day he asked me to go to the Lireza field (the place where the Congress would be held) in order to see the field and to decide what measures had to be taken in the construction of some work cabins and also to see where to put the tents for the delegates to sleep in. He also wanted me to see what we could do about the equipment and decoration of the Congress setting.

Lireza was a large plateau surrounded by mountains. I thought that it was a suitable place, because it was so large and many people would be able to stay there. Also, quite a few activities could be organized. During the construction and modifications that I have already mentioned we stayed down in the village. The comrades who worked there slept in two houses. Enver and two other comrades slept in a small bungalow, which was a little down from the center, where the offices were. While I was staying in Helmes, I slept in the common room of Enver and his comrades. The landlady, Nuriham, had two nice swarthy sons. They wore long shirts that reached and covered part of their legs because they did not have anything else to wear under it. Nevruzi who was four or five years old used to collect cigarette butts that the comrades and partisans threw away and, wanting to imitate them, he would sometimes put one of them on his mouth and laugh. Enver lit a butt once for him and he nearly suffocated because of its smoke, so he never put them on his mouth again. He also has a photograph of this embarrassing moment with the cigarette butt on his mouth. We laugh whenever we see that photograph.

During a visit to Skrapar, years after the Liberation, we saw that Nevruz had become a Party instructor. He looked different, was serious, handsome, neat and tidy and was wearing a suit. We were really glad to meet him again. We reminded him of the difficult days during the War in his house and the jokes we shared with him. Of course he didn’t remember many things, but we talked about what his parents had told to him.

When the first buildings in the Lireza field were built, such as the kitchen and the hut,we went up there. Here the comrades of the youth leadership would work in the preparation for the Congress. Everything was built with timber and planks taken from the nearby forest, with the help of the peasants and some partisans who were skilled in these kinds of things. We stayed in a relatively big hut. There was a wide wooden bed above the floor in one part of it, in which we would sleep. Naturally, we couldn’t even think about a mattress, but we were able to lay a piece of carpet or a hair-cloth down that the peasants had brought, and we used blankets that we had taken from the defeated Italian army as covers. The blankets were necessary up there in Lireza, because, although it was summer (late July, early August), it was really cool, especially at night. The beautiful Lirez was enhanced even more when the delegates started to arrive. If only you could have seen that beautiful field. The tents looked like white flowers and, at night, were lit up by the partisan’s fires. That field bubbled with the songs and voices of the youth who had come from all over the country. In this way, warming themselves by the fire, talking and singing, the youth often stayed up till the early hours of the morning.

This was understandable because the majority of the delegates were partisans. It was their custom, after the long tiring marches, to get together at night around the fire, where they were able to relax and spend some precious moments after battling with the enemy. It was also a time to remember, to meditate and honor fallen comrades and family members who they had buried. That is why their songs were full of, not only grief, but also of optimism and the joy for the future, nostalgia and honor for missing comrades, and also their promise of revenge. These partisan songs, sung around these fires were, at the same time, hymns for the glory of the fallen, and also hymns for the faith and determination to accomplish the liberation of the country and the rebuilding of a new Albania. This is why my generation remembers with nostalgia, those partisan fires. They were marvelous moments that generated feelings of an inner happiness for everyone and for the special reason, that they were part of the big war, the war for Liberty, for the Motherland, for lofty human ideals!

Now, as I write this in my dark prison cell, my eyes are fill with tears when I remember the bright flames of those partisan fires, which will be forever remembered, not only for me, but by all my contemporaries who were part of that glorious time of songs around the partisan fires. It is also memorable to those of the younger generations who keep alive the glorious work of the partisans and martyrs, who risked their young lives for Liberty. The attempts of those who try to distort and deny this glorious history of the National Liberation Anti-fascist War are failures and will not have a long life…

The blissful environment in the unforgettable Lireza continued for nearly a month. This was because many delegates from the North arrived late due to the difficulties in moving around the country at that time. Many cultural activities were organized; lead by our good comrade Pirro Kondi and some other comrades. A Field Radio was set up as well as a Press Table, where news, announcements, literary creations of the delegates such as poems, songs, caricatures etc. could be read by the youth.

While the delegates were entertaining, singing and playing, we were working without rest for the preparation of the Congress, and not only for the Congress’ documents, but also preparing and giving lectures to the youth on different topics. We were really pleased because the delegates were very interested in all of these matters.

After some days, other comrades of the youth leadership in the field and in the partisan brigades such as Liri Belishova, Ramiz Alia, Alqi Kondi, Fadil Pacrami etc., arrived. We all joined the delegates. We sat and stayed with them, talked, played, sang and joked together because we were young and had the same ideals. There was nothing better than that populated Field with the flower of our people, with the brave and beautiful youth, who knew how to fight, to sing and dance and to learn about the preparations for the nation’s future.

I remember very well the reception of Major Ivanov, the chief of the Soviet military mission to the General Headquarters of the Albanian National Liberation Army. He had come from the Greek border, had crossed the Marta Pass, and went down to Helmes where the Headquarters was. The Albanian youth gave him a warm reception because they considered him as the representative of Stalin’s Red Army, whom we loved and admired for the defeats being caused to Hitler’s armies on the Eastern Front.

The anticipated day, 8 August 1944, finally came. The Congress for the Union of the Albanian Anti-fascist Youth opened its proceedings. I, along with the other participants, still remember today that beautiful “hall” with no doors or windows, built with the timber that still emitted the fresh forest scent and with its roof of fern branches. The chairs for the delegates were made in a similar fashion, with new wooden planks taken from the forest, as was the long table of the Presidium. The pathway to the hall’s entrance was lined with lime painted stones. A group of young partisan boys and girls stood along the sides of the pathway, with rifles and submachine guns as honorary bodyguards. This gave a special solemnity to the entrance of the delegates to the Congress hall and to the beginning of its proceedings.

The hall immediately became full of the lively voices of the youth, who were very enthusiastic and were not able to restrain themselves from singing and cheering. Their enthusiasm was, however, indescribable when Enver Hoxha, together with Dr. Nishan, accompanied by Nako Spiro, came into the hall. Many delegates were seeing the commander for the first time. Some of them couldn’t hold back their tears of joy. Then, after the applause and ovations, silence reigned in the hall, until it was interrupted by Enver’s sonorous voice and his passionate words. He talked to the youth’s hearts as only he knew, touched the delegates, and made opened their eyes to the marvelous future that was waiting for them; Albania’s future and that of its long-suffering people.

The impressions from this Congress are many. I remember I remember returning to Lireza on the 45th anniversary of this memorable event. I found the Lireza field just as beautiful as I remembered, however, many of the delegates of that first Congress in those unforgettable days, were not there for this anniversary. Some had died and some had not come because of old age, disease or some other inability. Even those who had come now had gray hair and were bent because of the years of war and hard work. But something had remained unchanged: their hearts and their souls were the same as they were 45 years ago. That’s why when we met together, along with the tears of nostalgia there was much joy and cries of happiness. Some remained embraced for a long time because they had not seen each other for decades. Each of them were reminded of those beautiful days and, in bringing back their memories, they behaved like those young boys and girls of 1944. They were very happy and spoke with honor and respect of each other.

The organizers of this meeting had tried to create the same premises as those of 45 years ago during the Congress; the wooden huts, the tents etc., whereas, the “hall” of the Congress was somewhat improvised. We experienced the same emotions and memories as then, but something was missing. Enver was not there, but even though he was not there physically, he was present at every moment and at every talk, because all remembered and talked about him lovingly, and, with much longing. In the evening the atmosphere was the same as during the Congress, because the partisan fires were lit, and around them boomed again the beautiful songs of the youth, intertwined with the beautiful songs of the people from all regions, south and north, since the participants came from all around Albania. There were not only some of the former delegates of the Congress, but also young school boys and girls, workers and peasants, who had given their souls, their zest and their joy to the Party. We looked at these young boys and girls and tried to follow their songs and dances, and, even though we were old, we felt young again amongst them. To tell the truth, while they stayed near the fires till dawn dancing, singing and joking, we elders took naps. It was the passionate youth to whom we had turned over the baton in order for them to continue this beautiful party, which has remained memorable to all of us. Near the end of the party I couldn’t help but go to visit Helmes. The comrades joked:

“You will go on foot as then, or…?” “Aha – I said smiling – I can’t…”

There was now a modern mountain road with many bends, which was needed in order to utilize forests in those parts. During the Youth Congress, there used to be a goat trail leading to Helmes, it was so steep that you could not walk upright. But, in those days, I flew from stone to stone because there was Enver who was attracting me like a magnet. I stayed there, alone for an hour with a gun in my arm. Then I walked up. I walked slowly, not because it was tiring, but because it was difficult to be away from Enver.

When I went to Helmes now, after 45 years, I didn’t have my previous vitality. The families that used to live there had moved to new places. There were only two or three of the old houses remaining; those used as offices by the Central Committee and the General Headquarters and the house where Enver used to sleep. Going around these houses, the streets and under the shade of the trees, it seemed to me like I was witnessing a silent film. The silent and unvoiced view of these places could not bring back the happiness of those days; on the contrary, it created within me a grueling emptiness. Those who give life to a place are the people who live there.

But old friends would never let you get bored. Old people, women and children came towards me, holding my hands, everybody wanting to take me in their house. It was difficult to choose where to go first. If I visited only one, the other would be annoyed. Those people who, during the war, gave us shelter in their houses, risking their own lives, giving us food and whatever they had, had great hearts and were very generous. I found these things again among these good and friendly people, who even now were doing what they could to please me. They gave me grapes, nuts, and delicious liquid honey in honeycombs. They had heard I was coming to the village and had cooked many things. They had also cooked pancakes to be eaten with the honey, and buns with fresh cheese, and many other things.

After the Congress, the chosen Secretariat (Nako Spiro, First Secretary and other members: Nexhmije Xhuglini, Liri Belishova, Pirro Kondi, Fadil Pacrami, Alqi Kondi, Ramiz Alia) was called to a meeting by Enver Hoxha, who was the Secretary General of the Albanian Communist Party.

In my opinion this was the most important meeting of the Youth leadership, for its analysis of the activities of the Communist Youth and also for the perspectives revealed by Enver for the future work of the organization of the Union of the Albanian Anti-fascist Youth. At the end of the meeting Ramiz Alia and I were designated to work with the youth in the field and in the partisan units in the Central, North and Northeast of Albania. On October 2nd, 1944, in Priske, the activists of the UAAY (Union of the Albanian Anti-fascist Youth) for South and Southeast Albania gathered and there were 86 delegates. The meeting was successful however; the offices of the Nazi invaders were informed immediately about this meeting. Priska was hit by German field artillery, and the shells fell around the house where we were sheltered. This was often done by the Nazis who knew where the First Corpus Headquarters of the National Liberation Army (whose Commander was Dali Ndreu and Commissar Hysni Kapo) was. Also located in the same area was a part of the British Mission led by Smith. In one of these shellings, within the family of the patriot Hysen Hysa (uncle Ceni, who is immortalized so well by Shevqet Musaraj in “The National Front Epic”), 11 people were killed.

14. In Berat – Meeting with the Prime Minister

In the historical liberated town of Berat I found an extraordinary enthusiastic and joyful atmosphere. The streets were crowded with partisans wandering in the streets that were full of citizens and many children. You could also see many women with black headdresses embracing the partisans as if they were their sons.

I was taken to the building where the General Headquarters was located, which, as I was told, was also the seat of the new Democratic Interim Government, chosen a week earlier, at the historical meeting of the National Liberation Anti-fascist Council. During the proceedings of that meeting, I was marching with the Congress delegates when I heard that the National Liberation Anti-fascist Committee had been reorganized into a Democratic Government, and that, Enver was its Prime Minister.

I am unable to describe my feelings at that moment. I was very happy that our National Liberation Movement, the war, the activities and sacrifices of our people in these years, under the leadership of the Communist Party, were being crowned with the creation of a new democratic power of the people and were going towards the final victory against the foreign enemy and their collaborators. On the other hand, seeing that Enver was given other high responsibilities, I was a bit worried and not too clear. This is something which I can’t explain even now. When I met and fell in love with Enver I had never thought he would become leader of the country and its prime minister, etc. I was worried and I asked myself this question:

“Would I be worthy as his friend in life, in his work, and to the public…?”

The idea of this responsibility burdened me, and made me feel insecure and skeptical about myself. A new complex was added to my timid nature; that of being a responsible and worthy wife for Enver Hoxha. I have to say that even 45 years after our marriage, I wasn’t able to free myself of this complex. In everything that I did or wrote, I tortured myself because of this insecurity:

“Is it OK? How can I improve it?”

It may seem strange, but these emotions became even stronger when I had discussions or I had to speak in plenums, and in Congresses, etc. in the presence of Enver. I was afraid of bothering him or of raising issues with which he disagreed. To avoid this emotional feeling as much as I could, especially in solemn moments, I asked sometimes asked Enver to look over my speeches or I read to him some parts of it that I wasn’t sure of. Even though he was very busy he seldom refused the help I asked. As he was for everyone, he was a teacher for me too, anytime, and for anything.

When I arrived at the location of the seat of the Democratic Party I saw that it was a big house that had been the house of feudalistic large landowners. Opening the door of a big room on the second floor they told me:

“This is Enver’s room, stay here and relax until the Government meeting finishes. We will inform Enver about your arrival.”

The room was small, simply furnished, well lit from a high window, and had white curtains. There was a bed in one corner; near it were a night table and an antique lampshade. Along the opposite wall were a desk, a chair and nothing else. I waited there for a while but I had nothing to do, so I went out into the wide hall, lit by some large windows. In the middle of hall was a large heavy wooden table. In the wood of this table were carvings of some mythical animal images. Near to the table were some big heavy doors. One of them was open and I was able to see the well-furnished room inside. I returned to Enver’s room and saw that he had chosen one of the smallest and most simple rooms. I waited, for what seemed to me, an endless amount of time. It was three months since I had last seen Enver, when I left Helmes. At last the door opened and I saw Enver. He had put on a well-sewn military uniform. We hugged with longing not wanting to be separated. We were very happy. After a moment, I said suddenly:

“Congratulations comrade Prime Minister…, but I liked those partisan shirts and breeches more and…when you were called Commander.”

We joked a bit and then started talking about various and numerous problems. He told me about the developments at the National Liberation Anti-fascist Council meeting, about the decisions taken and the importance that they had for Albania, which was on the verge of liberation, and its future. I told him about the situation in the areas I had been and the work we had done.

After talking about these things he took my hand saying:

“Come, I will show you the house so you can choose a room.”

As I mentioned, they were big, with curtains, rugs, heavy covers and furniture, which I didn’t like because they gave the rooms a medieval suffocating atmosphere. So I said to Enver laughing but hearty:

“I like your clean and simple room…”

He laughed and said: “I can understand that quite well…….. It is getting near the day when we should have our own house…”

The following day I went to the offices where the comrades who had arrived early for the organization of the First Congress for the Union of Albanian Anti-fascist Women were situated. Comrades such as Liri Gega, Naxhije Dume, Fiqret Sanxhaktari etc. Four partisan comrades from Yugoslavia had come to take part in this Congress. They had grades and were wearing smart military uniforms. Their appearance was much better than that of our partisans, who were no less brave, but did not have any grades.

Liri invited me to meet the guests in the Yugoslav military Mission. There I was introduced, for the first time with the new representatives of the Mission, Velimir Stojnic and Niaz Dizdarevic. I knew that Dushan Mugosha had left Albania and at the request of Koci Xoxe we wrote some letters of greetings to him, but I didn’t know that Milan Popovici had also left. During my visit I noticed that the Yugoslav Mission resembled an inn without gates, where our comrades came and went as they would in their own houses. It had become a club for meeting and talking. This impressed me a lot.

When I got back home I asked Enver immediately about Miladin. He said that he had left in a very depressed state because the new comrades who came to the mission had criticized his work in Albania with regard to our Communist Party. They had said that the Central Committee of the Yugoslavian Communist Party had decided to remove them from Albania and that they had come themselves as substitutes him and Dushan in their relationship with our Party. They would also perform the official function as representatives of the Yugoslavian Military Mission like the British, Soviets and Americans during the war. While talking with Enver I told him that, like many comrades, Liri Gega also went frequently to the Yugoslav Military Mission even though they didn’t have any important duties to complete, and that they behaved as if they were in their own houses. Making no comments Enver said:

“They can do whatever they want, but you do not have anything to do there…”

I was impressed by the way he said that. From his tone you could feel discontent and disapproval. But while I was in Berat, I wasn’t aware of what was happening around him and against him, in the background.

On November 4th, the First Congress of the Union of Albanian Anti-fascist Women was opened. All the preparations had been made by Liri Gega and Naxhije Dume. I was not called upon to view the documents, nor was I to be presented with the organizational measures, even though I had been appointed as a supervisor of the commission that the First National Conference set up for the organization. This was, I thought, because I had come late to Berat. These comrades did not inform me or call me to come to the Congress and I thought that this was unintentional because of the difficulties of communication in this time of war. If I hadn’t received Enver’s letter in which he wrote: “See you at the Women’s Congress…” I wouldn’t have gone to Berat and I wouldn’t have taken part in the Congress, because I wouldn’t have known about it. I received another surprise when the Congress’ bodies were chosen. I was not proposed to be in its presidium, but I was appointed, along with comrade Vito Kondi to the Congress’ secretariat. I decided not to bring all these matters to the attention of Enver.

Enver did not say a word to me about what was happening in Berat. I am unable to say if he did this so that I would not be worried, or to respect the principle that the affairs of leadership affairs were things that should not be discussed with one’s wife.

Being at that time a member of Central Committee of the Communist Youth and of the Secretariat of the Union of Albanian Anti-fascist Youth, I remarked to Nako Spiro that, it had been a long time since we had held a meeting; perhaps, because like me, some of the comrades had been kept very busy since the Youth Congress in Helmes…

Nako stood up and invited me to walk with him alongside the river. We walked in silence for some time. Apparently he didn’t know how to begin.

During our walk along the Osum bank, he finally broke his silence and said:

“Well, you are not going to work with the youth anymore…”

Greatly surprised by this sudden news, I interrupted him and said:

“How come? Now we are on the verge of Liberation I can hardly wait to get back to Tirana to work with the Youth…. When was this decided?”

I was continuing to speak in this manner, rather hastily and somewhat upset.

“Just a minute,” he said, “The Central Committee has decided that you should take part in the Ideological Commission at the Central Committee of the Party, led by Sejfulla Maleshova.”

Then he told me about the importance of this commission, but I was getting angry with Enver too, because he hadn’t told me anything about this change. When returned to the seat of the new Government and General Headquarters, I told Enver what Nako had said to me. Enver tried to calm me down, telling me about the functions of this commission, its relationship to the Central Committee, and, at the same time, that it was part of the Ministry of Culture, whose minister would be Sejfulla, and I would deal with Tirana Radio, education etc.

The treatment I had received at the Women’s Congress and this sudden news left a bitter taste in my mouth, but at that time I did not understand why they were happening, because no one, not even Enver had told me what was going on backstage in Berat. Later, everything became clear. Apparently, they wanted to leave Enver out of the State and Party leadership, and they didn’t want to have me among them informing Enver of their actions against him.

15. Capital Liberation. The new Democratic Government in Tirana

On 17 November 1944, after 19 days of violent fighting, we got the long-awaited news of the Liberation of Tirana. We were very happy that day. While Enver was greeting the partisans and the people in the yard from the window of the Seat of the General Headquarters, I went to his room, locked the door and cried for all the dead comrades, remembering each one of them. Some were killed heroically in fighting at the barricades; some were massacred, hanged or tortured. It seemed unjust that they were not there, that they were not alive celebrating and enjoying this victory. Although I didn’t swear an oath at that moment, I have never forgotten those strong feelings of love and pain that I felt on that day. Not even when I was tired, when I was facing difficult moments, including these tough years of loneliness in prison, and my old age. I have told myself:

“That’s OK. Their dreams for the liberation of the nation were realized, and I will continue fighting for those friends of mine who were killed during the struggle and will die with honor, like them.”

The day after we got the wonderful news of the liberation of the capital, Fiqret Sanxhaktari (Shehu) came to Enver and asked permission to go to Tirana. Since the fighting had ended, she wanted to be near Mehmet because she had become engaged to him in Permet, during the Congress. Giving her permission, Enver turned to me and said:

“Nexhmije, why don’t you go along with Fiqret? I will be very busy here, so meanwhile, you can stay with your parents,” he added laughing, “because it is getting near the time we will be going to our own house.”

So I decided to leave Berat.

We set off in a mille cento car. A comrade came with us. I remembered that the Ura Vajgurore bridge or whatever it was called at that time was completely destroyed, so we crossed the river by raft. From the Krraba Pass until we arrived in Tirana we past many smoking burnt-out tanks. We also saw quite a few German corpses. We arrived in the centre of Tirana at Skanderbeg’s square, and decided to take walk in order to see how badly our capital had been damaged and also because we had missed it a lot. What I noticed immediately was the beautiful minaret of the mosque near the clock tower. Only half of it remained because a shell had damaged it.

The Germans had built a bunker in the centre of the square where all the streets intersected. It was nearly level with the ground, with holes for looking out or to put the muzzles of the machine guns through. I wasn’t able to see the entrance for the soldiers because it seemed too narrow to enter from above. Perhaps they had built a tunnel under the square, connected to the town hall, which stood where the National Historical Museum is today. It was said that in this bunker, the enemy had put up a strong resistance, and had killed and injured many partisans, who had bravely attacked that bunker in the middle of the capital. Finally it was captured, and one of our artists had painted a picture of the victorious partisan on the wall of the bunker, as a memorial to their courage.

In Royal Street, now called Barricades Street, you could see the rubbish left from the harsh war fought in that streets – as I was told – by the guerilla units, in cooperation with professional partisan teams, and helped by young volunteers and anti-fascist women from Tirana.

I left Fiqret in Bami Street, later called “Qemal Stafa”. I hastened to my house, in Saraceve Street, thinking to surprise to my parents. But they weren’t there! They hadn’t yet come back from the free areas, where they had had to go with my sick brother. He was an underground activist. They left Tirana when they heard the news that they were to be arrested. As I was later informed, my house had been searched seven times, often under the direction of Man Kukaleshi, the number one in the Qazim Mulleti. The reason for these searches was that there had been a report of a spy living in our alley, who had said that we had a radio transmitter in the house. Maybe he had noticed the activities going on with the people who exchanged letters, communiqués, and leaflets, etc. with my mother. And also, many who stayed there, such as the couriers of some districts used the house as their base, as I have written earlier.

As I didn’t find anyone at home, I headed towards the house of Enver to surprise his parents. They lived in a bungalow with two rooms with view of the ring road, opposite Bije Vokshi’s house, where the Albanian Communist Youth Organization had been established. I entered the house happily and when they saw me they were really surprised and very pleased. Immediately they asked me numerous questions about Enver. The father, uncle Halil, was interested in knowing about the new Government which had been created in Berat, and also about the ministers, some of whom he knew, because they were from Gjirokastra: such as Dr Nishani and others.

One time Ane said to her husband:

“Why don’t you tell the bride what that frontist said about the Government?” “Come on, forget that bastard,” he responded angrily.

It was understood that he didn’t want others to remind him of that frontist so he didn’t talk about it. As I was told later a former friend of his from Gjirokastra, who was a frontist now, had told uncle Halil ironically:

“Have you heard Halil, Enver has become the Prime Minister of the new Government”. “

“He has done his best,” uncle Halil had responded, “Don’t you like it?”

“Heh,” said the frontist on leaving, “a mountain Government, a wet Government…”

That’s why uncle Halil was angry. But the frontists and their friends have now seen for 45 years what this mountain government is and what it could achieve. They have tried for so long to destroy it but they can’t take from the people’s souls the conviction about the benefits that the government brought to the country…

Now the liberated Tirana would wait for the new Democratic Government to come from Berat. The long-awaited day came. The government arrived in the capital on November 1944. It was a nice November morning, when all the members of the Government leads by Enver, arrived in the square between the ministries and walked to the Dajti hotel where, in front of the hotel steps was placed a simple tribune decorated with flags and laurels. The inhabitants of the capital were overwhelmed with an indescribable enthusiasm. The partisans helped to give the atmosphere a sense of great liveliness. They had fought for the liberation of Tirana, felt proud of their deeds and celebrated by singing partisan songs.

A group of martyrs’ mothers went up to the Government members. The moment when these mothers embraced Enver and the other members as if they were their sons was very touching and moving. They wished them heartily:

“May you have a long life…may free Albania have a long life!”

then the mothers sat in front of the tribune where there were many people waiting impatiently to see the leaders of this new democratic state. Among them were a group of young women dressed in beautiful and varicolored national costumes. One of them was holding a red flag with the sublime eagle in the middle. Below, at the side of the Avenue’s bridge over the Lana River, were lines of partisan battalions who had taken part in the Liberation of Tirana. They were to parade in front the members of the Government and the General Commander, Enver Hoxha.

The moment came when the members of the Government, of the National Liberation Front Leadership and of the General Headquarters reached the tribune. Enver Hoxha, Dr. Omer Nishani, Myslim Peza, Haxhi Lleshi, Baba Faja Martaneshi; Mehemet Shehu, Medar Shtylla and others were presented to the cheering and applauding crowds. Along with some comrades, I watched the ceremony from the balcony of the Dajti Hotel.

From the tribune in front of the cheering crowd, Enver Hoxha delivered his first historical speech before the people of Tirana. In his speech as the Prime Minister of the Interim Democratic Government in Berat, Enver had issued the call:

“More bread! More culture!”

Whereas in his speech in the liberated capital, among other things he said:

“Today opens a new page in our history, and it is up to us to make it as glorious as our war against the occupier. This will be a war for the reconstruction of Albania, a war for the boosting of the economy, for the increase in the cultural and educational levels of our people, for the progress of its political, economic and social levels… Let the whole of Albania become a building site, where young and old people understand they no longer work for foreigners, but for themselves and the construction of their own country . . . No honest Albanian citizen should remain out of the Front. On the occasion of the 28th November festival, on the occasion of the liberation of Tirana, the leadership of the Albanian Antifascist National Liberation Council gives a general amnesty to all the members of the National Front, Legaliteti and other organizations who were cooperating with the occupier. From this amnesty are excluded all the war criminals who have killed, burnt, dishonored or stolen the people’s wealth.”

The people looked at the leader carefully, the Commander, for whom they had heard so much during the war. They followed him with an unseen enthusiasm. Together, with the people of the suffering population and who were broken by the war, but whose eyes sparkled because of the joy of freedom and the presence of the members of the Government, had come some of the defeated, who, with the end of the war, had lost political and economic power.

I remember that during the ceremony, when the leaders of the state mounted the tribune, a rather ridiculous incident occurred. We saw that on one side of the tribune there was a former minister of Zogu, Ferit Vokopola, and also a merchant from Tirana, Ali Bakiu. I knew both of them. In the merchants shop we used to buy notebooks and other school items. I had also bought a violin there, because this was wanted by every student preparing to become a teacher. The former minister was the father of one of my classmates. When the organizers of the ceremony saw them both they laughed but became somewhat concerned as well. Actually, the merchant from Tirana was allowed to stay because he had helped the National Liberation Movement; he was an anti-fascist, whereas the former minister left the tribune after they told him politely that his place was not there.

On the occasion of the arrival of the new Government in the liberated Tirana, in the evening of the 28th and 29th of November a large reception was organized in the Dajti Hotel. In addition to the new authorities, of the Government and the Front etc., there were Commanders, Commissars, and distinguished partisans from the battles with the Nazis and Fascists long with martyrs’ mothers and relations. All the Allied Missions in Albania were invited, the British, Soviet, American and Yugoslav.

At this reception, for the first time, I was with Enver, making our matrimonial relationship official. The main authorities of the country and the foreign guests sat in one corner of the big hotel hall. In the middle of it, where we were, and in all the other halls of the hotel, people sang and danced with uncontrolled enthusiasm.

All the members of the allied missions were enjoying themselves, especially those of the British Mission who were represented by quite a few. At this time it was their right to be happy. For months they had wandered in the mountains, sleeping in towers and Albanian huts, far from their families and living under the terror of being bombed by Nazi planes. They looked a bit ridiculous but it was also very nice – when they joined in our southern folk dances dancers and tried to move their legs as we did. Of course they wanted to dance the modern dances, as well; the tango, waltz etc. but most of those who were in the hall had come from the mountains, and those young partisans knew that those dances were not appreciated by the general population at that time. One of the British officers thought that Madam Hoxha knew one of these couple dances, and, according to the rules, asked permission from Enver. Unfortunately, I had never danced that kind of dance so I felt really embarrassed until the music ended.

In the corner where we were sitting, Enver and Dr. Nishani engaged a representative of the British Mission to see if he could handle Albanian raki. They themselves drank two glasses for the big festival and then told the waiter to fill them with water. So while they were drinking water, the Englishman was drinking raki until he was completely drunk, and everyone started laughing heartily. The guest tried to hold his liquor but, in the end, he vomited. While he was vomiting Dr. Nishani made one of his sarcastic comments: “The Englishman vomited the colonies.”

It is a well-known fact that after the Liberation, the relationships of our state leadership with the allied military missions were close and correct, and not only with the Soviet and Yugoslavian mission but also with the British representatives but somewhat less with the Americans, whose rank was lower. The United States had thought it would be “reasonable” that their emissaries should be of Albanian origin, failing to predict that the local Albanians would not put up the haughty advice and interference of these Albanians, who were rather pompous and came from over the ocean.

Enver as the leader of the new Government and Foreign Minister, taking me with him, decided to make some goodwill visits to the allied missions. I remember the visit to the British Mission chief, Jacobs. The Mission was located in a villa between “Qemal Stafa” stadium and the now Albanian Television Station. He was a good host to us. They served their famous tea and biscuits. At that time we had serious problems with the western allies in such matters as the recognition of the Government, the upcoming elections, the conditions for the UNRRA aid etc. As far as I remember, we didn’t mention these problems during this visit, because they might have caused some irritation to our relationships. We discussed the role of the allied missions during the war, about the British Mission and their members who had been in Albania and near the General Headquarters. Enver talked about them and Jacobs told us where some of them had now moved on to other missions; to Egypt near the Mediterranean Allied Headquarters, to Italy, and, in some cases, back to England.

In the second half of 1991, when my children and I had left our house and were settled in a flat, two English journalists came to visit me. At that time I didn’t wish to receive journalists, but they informed me that they had a “last will” from a former officer of the British Mission during the National Liberation War. I became curious so I accepted their request. One of them was a journalist, the other a photo reporter working for “The Sunday Times”. The journalist took from his pocket and showed me a photo of a young officer, who, as he told me, was his father, a former member of the British Mission in Albania during the war. This man, as his father had told him, had jumped with a parachute somewhere near Elbasan (maybe in the Biza field where the allies dropped supplies), but while landing he had been hurt and had been sent to a partisan hospital. According to them I had helped him and I had given him a toothbrush. His Dad had told him about the life in Albania, the partisan’s war and had told him that he had been at the dinner party in the Dajti Hotel for the wedding of Enver Hoxha and myself. Before dying he had told his son to visit to Albania and to come and thank me, and as a souvenir he gave me a toothbrush, new of course.

His father had confused me with someone else, but I couldn’t disappoint his son, so I said: “…Thank you…” and some other friendly words about the Englishmen I had known in Elbasan, Berat, Helmes etc. I also told him that we did not organize a dinner for our wedding at the Dajti Hotel, but that it had been a welcoming reception to celebrate the new Democratic Government in the liberated Tirana, and I told him playfully that maybe I had danced with his father.

When I was sent to prison, I read a small newspaper from our foreign friends and also saw the photographs of these two friends of Albania with some others. They had organized a demonstration with placards etc., demanding my release, in front of a building where there was a delegation of the Sali Berisha Government.

16. Our partisan wedding

When the new Government came to Tirana, the majority or, better to say all of its members, stayed in the Dajti Hotel. Enver had a bedroom with an anteroom. I remember staying there all December, until the relevant offices were set-up, and we got our house. We were given a house in New Tirana, on “Ismail Qemali” street. It had been the house of an engineer or director of the “Belloti” firm. We lived there for 30 years.

Enver and I decided to hold our official wedding on the New Year Eve (1944-1945), and we told our families this. They were surprised and said: “Wait a minute, we’re not ready!” We told them that we didn’t want a wedding ceremony or anything special. In fact, our families were correct because they finally had an opportunity to marry off their only son to me, an only daughter. That is why they insisted that we should celebrate twice, because we had survived the war. Enver said:

“Many young comrades like us were killed in the war that is why we can’t have a wedding ceremony”.

So they had to accept our partisan wedding. Nevertheless they did manage to do something.

On the 30th of December my family invited the family of my uncle to dinner, Arif Xhuglini, and his children. I remember that, after dinner, my uncle’s wife took me aside and wanted to tell me about the mysteries of the first night of the wedding, as it had been done to her. As she started talking I felt very embarrassed so I interrupted her saying:

“No, no I don’t want…” and left.

It seemed banal to me to stay and listen those things, maybe I felt ashamed at that time. Later when I became more interested in traditions and social customs and it also become part of my job, I said to myself:

“Why didn’t I let her talk in order to better understand the knowledge and concepts existing then about the relationship between man and woman?”

Because, I think that, the simpler the people from the cultural point of view, the more simplified are these intimate relationships. This doesn’t mean that simple people do not fall in love, do not have passions, what I mean is that, along with the expansion of the cultural horizon, intimate relationships “get complicated”, are cultivated and smartened up more than nature has given to us humans, more than nature has given to the animals, and much higher than the natural instinct of every living being to breed.

Something nice happened the following day, on December 31st. in the morning, when some members of Enver’s family had come to take the “bride”. They were Enver’s sisters Farihe and Sano. We waited on them hospitably and treated them with different kinds of sweets, according to the custom. We laughed very much when they told us what Enver had done:

“We asked him to give us his car, but he wouldn’t allow this. Now what should we do? We had to take a brougham…This is what your Enver did to us…”

and my sisters-in-law laughed. What could they do because there were no taxis then?

The moment of my leave came. It was more emotional than I had imagined. This way of leaving and separation from my family and my little house created strange impressions and caused strong emotions to me. “The partisan bride” was leaving her house. I had put on a military fabric jacket, which I had used as a coat. At the end of the road there was a hidebound horse and an old carriage waiting for the “Prime Minister’s bride”.

While the brougham was walking in the streets of the city, many ideas came to my mind. Maybe that was the strangest journey I have ever had and …the most beautiful. A strong pen is needed along with a calm spiritual state to describe the movement of that carriage carrying a bride who had just come from the mountains, to describe the minutes of that December day that were for me, a wedding day, but for Albania a real spring, the spring of freedom. The further we journeyed from my house the more confused my thoughts became and my heart beat very quickly… I have remembered this strange journey all these years; a journey that was taking me towards a new life.

Enver’s parents, his other sister, and her children were waiting for us at home. What about the bridegroom? He didn’t come to get me and he didn’t wait for me at the house either. He had gone to the office! This wasn’t acceptable.

My mother in law, whom I called Ane as did Enver, gave me a wedding ring of her own. It had white precious stones, but, as a partisan, I felt ashamed to put on my finger. I did put it on my finger but I gave it to my daughter later when she got married. For all of my life I haven’t worn a ring. Enver never gave me one and I never gave one to him either. He said playfully:

“Why do we need them; they are like chain links.”

The truth is that neither he nor I had the possibility to buy them. Enver’s father gave me a pendant with multi-colored stones, which had been an earring. He kept the other earring for Sano. Ane had made a satin quilt. Whereas my mother came with a necklace that she had had when she got married, and had also bought me some clothes at Bege’s, which, as I remember, was a small shop, but the most modern for those time. She also bought some pajamas there for Enver, which he never wore because they were too small for him. Because of this he teased my mother saying that she didn’t buy fairly for the bridegroom! According to the customs of the time, my mother sent to my parent’s in-law and sister’s in-law, towels, handkerchiefs, socks and other items. So, after everything, I didn’t leave without a proper ceremony. On the New Years Eve, Enver and I were alone. I will never forget that night, which was not only the night of a New Year but also of a new life.

As we had planned; the following day we held the official celebration of our marriage. Two employees, who had civil status, came to officiate in this. At the small ceremony that had been organized where two close friends of Enver; Dr. Omer Nishani and Baba Faja Martaneshi, who had come for the New Year and had been happy to be the witnesses of our marriage. From that time on, Omer used to call me “Enver’s wife “. On January 1st and 2nd, comrades from the political bureau such as Mehmet with Fiqret, Hysni, Vito, Nako and some others, came to congratulate us on our marriage and also to wish us all the best for the New Year. An unexpected self-organized “delegation” from Dibra also came to visit us. A group of my father’s cousins and some other citizens had come visiting. They were five or six people, lead by my father’s cousin, Mersin Qyflaku. He had known Enver from the time the Zajmi Mosque was being used as an undercover base and Enver had used Mersin’s yard to get into a “mile cento” car that would take him to Peza. Also in this group was one of the leaders of the Muslim Community, whose name I am unable to remember, but he was from Dibra. I was surprised to see that one of the visitors was Zija Dibra, who was a cousin of my father on his mother’s side. He was the brother of Fuat Dibra who, during the German occupation, was chosen to be Regent, together with Mehdi Frasheri, Lef Nosi and Pater Anton Harapi.

During the war, the Nazi invaders wanted to organize this Regency to fool the Albanian people into thinking that they were being governed by Albanians. The comrades of the Central Committee, Gogo Nushi, Nako Spiru and Sejfulla Maleshova sent me to talk with him (because I knew him) and appeal to him on behalf of the National Liberation Front not to accept this function.

Both brothers, Zija and Fuat Dibra, were not permanent residents of Tirana. They lived in Istanbul, where they had their palaces. My grandmother had told me that they were so rich that they didn’t count their gold, but weighed it using a large measuring cup. Fuat Dibra spent most of his time in France and Switzerland, and as I have heard from my father that he spent his fortune recklessly, not only in helping patriotic societies with emigration matters, but also living a life of luxury in Swiss hotels and sanatoriums, where he had gone to be cured of tuberculoses. One day the gold ran out and his family were destitute. Their old wooden house in Istanbul was even burned to the ground.

The brothers came very often to Albania especially since the time of Zogu. Fuat Bay Dibra lived at his cousin’s, Fuat Shatku’s wife, who had been a former minister during the time of Zogu. She was the aunt of Shyhret Turkesh, who had married the well-known scholar, Professor Eqrem Cabej. So we were related. I had been in this house at an earlier time with my mother. Shyhret’s aunt knew I was a communist and underground activist like her niece, that is why she welcomed me. I told her the reason why I had gone there, and she said that he was ill, but nevertheless, they hadn’t left him alone. She said that Mehdi Frasheri went there almost every day and pressed him to accept the post of regent that they had proposed. She took me to see him in his room. It was a half room, very dark, lit only by a small electric lamp, which was weaker than a candle. He was lying in a narrow bed completely covered with a dark blanket and his face turned to the wall.

Razia said slowly:

“It is useless to talk to him, he is tired because of the illness, and most of the time he feels sleepy from the medicine, and he doesn’t want to talk to anybody.”

I understood that it was impossible to try to talk to him in the state that he was in, so I left. I told this to my comrades. After a short period of time, he died. However his name was listed as a member of the quisling Regency. Nevertheless, Sejfulla Maleshova wrote an article about him in the newspaper of the National Liberation Front “Bashkimi” (The Union), where he mentioned his patriotic activity in the past, without mentioning that he ended his life as a quisling regent.

And now in our house came the regent’s brother, to congratulate on the Liberation of Albania and our wedding. We didn’t behave badly towards him, we treated Zija Dibra like the others, considering also the fact that he had not been involved in politics but had tried to keep his family’s capital. Actually, like his brother, he was a failure in politics.

The press of the time wrote that Enver had made a political marriage; marrying a girl from the North.

Understandably it was impossible to think of a honeymoon at that time. We had hardly had the chance to live together and find a house of our own. This is why we started working immediately.

17. New bride – In Enver’s family

After leading a nomad’s life for three years –as an illegal and a partisan – I finally was part of the family. When Enver was dismissed from his job in Korca and came to Tirana, he opened his shop “Flora”, and brought his family; mother, father and his single sister Sanije from Gjirokastra. They rented a house, a short distance from the place where Vojo Kushi was killed and close to the house where the Communist Youth was founded. This was quite a small house with only two rooms. In the garden was a small hut that was used as a kitchen. Enver lived at this house for only a short time until the end of October 1941, when he was obliged to go ‘underground’ to avoid arrest. He never set foot in that house again.

After the liberation, when we moved to the “Belloti” house in ‘Tirana e Re’ (New Tirana), Enver sent for his parents and sister to live with us. His middle sister, Haxhire, continued to live in the small house with her three fatherless children; her husband having been killed in his shop in Berat. Later, as she had nothing to live on, we sent for her and the children to come and live with us. Zylo, the daughter of his uncle was also invited by Enver to come and live with us. This was because he thought that he owed his uncle a favor as he had helped him with his education and also because he was a well educated patriot.

The house that we moved into was not so spacious. The women and the children slept in the largest room, while, in a smaller room slept Enver’s father. One of the other two rooms was our bedroom, whereas the other became Enver’s studio, where he welcomed comrades and held meetings with them. Koci Xoxe moved into a house close to ours. He lived with his father, stepmother, wife and her mother and his two children, who were born before the Liberation. He had two other children after that. Koci’s family was a modest one, his father was a tinsmith by profession, a craft passed down to his only son. Koci’s wife, Sofika, was a kind woman, who, even at a young age, was rather stooped, because of working hard at the handloom, making carpets for others. She could not get used to the high post that her husband had and said smilingly:

‘Wow, Xoxo has become… a celebrity!’

Indeed Xoxo put on great airs, which he always did in a very serious manner.

Koci’s father, called Barba…, I don’t remember his full name, seemed to be hardworking, able-handed and still kept working in his old age. Uncle Halil, Enver’s father and Koci’s father became close friends. Over a glass of raki or a cup of coffee they told old stories about their families or about the cities where they had lived. Uncle Halil, out of curiosity had asked him one day:

‘What’s the matter with our sons? They keep arguing, I have heard them shouting when they get together at our home…’

However, Barba minded his own business.

We did not get our monthly payment until some months after the Liberation. Some of the comrades of the Party leadership, members of the Government and of the Anti-fascist National Liberation Council continued to live and eat at the “Dajti” Hotel, others at another hotel later called the “Vollga”. Canteens were set up by Naku Spiru, such as the one for the Youth Central Committee and its administration, where people could eat for a low nominal charge..

However, our family and that of Koci Xoxe had only the one cook, a middle-aged man, called Lluka. He was supplied by a state managing center and he cooked the same things for both of the families; a first and a second course for lunch, whereas, for breakfast and dinner we each had a glass of milk, an egg and some cheese.

The house where we moved was unfurnished. It had belonged to an Italian engineer, who had left with the Italian army after the surrender of the fascist Italy, and a merchant from Korca called Petro Katro had removed the furniture. This furniture was taken away from him and became state property and was then distributed to various places. Later, many comrades, bought some pieces of this furniture from the government. We bought the bedroom and the dining room furniture. While we settled down with these items, Koci’s house was empty and had only some old bits and pieces and some small carpets, which had been brought from Korca. Noticing this situation, Enver said to his mother:

‘Ane, what about cutting the rug of the hall in two and give one part to Koci?’

She replied, ‘It’s a pity to cut up such a rug, it will get spoiled, let them find another rug for Koci.’

They found and brought two rugs to Koci’s, which were so thick that they had to saw off the bottoms of the doors.

There’s another funny story about this rug, which Enver tells. Two peasants from Elbasan came for a visit; Ali Disha and others, who had hosted and protected Enver and some friends in their house, during the war. They wanted to take their shoes off before entering the house but Enver smilingly said,

‘No, no!’, and, taking them by the hand said ‘Do come in and walk comfortably on this rug because it used to belong to Shefqet Verlaci”.

Actually, it wasn’t his but he mentioned his name because the peasants from Elbasan had suffered a lot because of Shefqet Verlaci a landowner, who, right up to the end was in the service of the fascist invaders, and even became a Prime Minister under them.

During the first 3 or 4 years after the Liberation, the meetings of the Political Bureau were held in our house. This was rather uncomfortable because of our large family. Therefore, Koci moved to another house nearby. Into his old house, which was next to ours, Enver and the family moved, however we all dined together. A woman was employed to do the cooking for us. She boasted that because she was from a big house, she would be able to do a very good job for us. She, thinking that perhaps she was a great cook or perhaps that we, as communists, would treat her as an equal, decided to sit down with us at our meals at the other end of the table, facing Enver. And this was not all. She kept up a constant chatter at the dining table! Enver once looked at me as if to ask ‘Where did you find her?’ I did not know her at all; those who dealt with our houses and related matters sent her to us. She did not stay long. When Enver’s sister, along with her children, came to live with us, she did the cooking for quite some time.

Sterjo Gjokoreci, a senior communist, who had been for several years in the Soviet Union, was responsible for matters of supply and other economic issues. He was fluent in Russian so he was also Enver’s translator at the meetings with Stalin, even at the tête-à-tête ones and also at dinners and walks, which Enver describes in his book “With Stalin”. Sterjo was totally honest and systematic for whatever expense or object that he brought into the house. In his special file you could read about the shirt, tie or socks that he had bought for Enver or the specific authorization that he had made for to buy me a suit for my wedding etc. With this authorization in my hands, I went to the store of the big merchant from Korca, Sheko, where I picked up some blue cloth, which I am still wearing, even in the photo on the cover of this book. The off-the-peg white shirt was a wedding present from Koco Tasko, from his shop, which he opened with the money of Sano’s trousseau, given by Enver to offset the expenses of the activities of the Korca Communist Group.

This photo has a story of its own, both beautiful and painful at the same time. That is the first photo after our wedding and is a memory from a Soviet camera operator who was in Albania to film the most gripping moments of the fighting for the liberation of Tirana and of the historic events to come. Unfortunately, the plane in which he was flying was shot when passing over Montenegro and thus he lost his life and all the work he had done in Albania. I do not know if any examples of his work still exist, or even if he sent some of it to Moscow in batches.

I don’t remember after how many months, the state began to pay us on a monthly basis and I don’t recall what our salary was after the Liberation. However, I do remember that at the time when Enver was the prime Minister, Minister of Defense and Minister of Foreign affairs, he earned 35,000 (old) Lek. I earned 20,000 (old) Lek when I was the Director at the Ministry Of Culture and later as a Director of Propaganda, Education and Culture at the department in the Party Central Committee. Each of us earned 2,000 Lek as deputies. Later, Enver suggested cutting off this honorarium for the deputies living in Tirana, and were paid only for the usual mileage when they were on duty. For the out of town deputies who came to Tirana for the meetings of the Assembly accommodation and mileage costs were given to them. Later the salaries were reduced to that point that, at Enver’s suggestion and in accordance with Lenin’s recommendations written in his books; the salaries of the highest Party and State functionary could not be higher than 2 – 21/2 times the average of the salaries of the workers in the top category and therefore Enver received 16,000 leks while I received 13,000.

During the early years our salaries were quite enough for us, but we could not save anything. This was because, in addition to Enver’s family, we had to maintain my family, including my father who had a low pension along with my mother who was a housewife and my brother who was studying in the Soviet Union. We also had to maintain the two families of the two widowed sisters of Enver; Haxhire, with her three children, and Fahrije, and her two sons, Luan and Fatos who attended the university.

Earlier I have mentioned that Enver loved his eldest sister very much and admired her cleverness, wisdom and the culture. This she had picked up from her husband Bahri Omari who had emigrated to Italy some years earlier because he was an anti-Zogist. When Italy invaded Albanian, Bahri Omari returned to his home country, he socialized with his immigrant friends, many of whom had been appointed as members of the High Council, which was set up by the invaders. When Balli Kombetar was created, Bahri Omari was at its center. Enver in his book ‘Laying the Foundations of the New Albania’ has described in detail his efforts to convince intellectuals and politicians to join the Anti-fascist National Liberation Front and fight to liberate Albania. He did the same with Bahri Omari.

Enver send word with his sister and her son, Luan, in order to convince him to withdraw from his circle, and come up to the mountains to fight as some of his friends had done, such as Dr. Omer Nishani and others. However Bahri Omari held fast to his position.

In one of Enver’s letters that he sent me after there had been an ambush by a partisan unit in which Bahri Omari was wounded in one arm, he wrote

‘I do not feel sorry for him as a political figure, but I do for Fahrie and her sons. I am not going to intervene in any way… This is not particularly nice of me towards Fahrie…but there’s nothing I can do. I struggled for two long years trying to show him the correct way, but his head was like a cave..’

However, Bahri was not only an activist of Balli Kombetar, he also became Minister of Foreign Affairs under the quisling Nazi Government of Rexhep Mitrovica.

Thus was created the deep conflict between his sister, Fahrie and our families. It has been asked; ‘Could Enver really do nothing to rescue him?’ The charges against him were very serious; not only was he a quisling, but, just as important was the fact that he had signed the order to blow up Durres Harbor after the Nazi forces withdrew. Couldn’t his friends have done something?

Koci Xoxe asked Enver

‘What we are going to do with Bahri Omari?’

Enver replied ‘I did my best, he wouldn’t listen, now it’s up to justice.’

When Bahri was sentenced to death, Ane said to her son, Enver:

‘I am going to Fahrie for some days…’

She said this not as though she was asking permission but as a decision that was up to her.

While Sano also asked ‘Can I go too?’

‘Do go!’ Enver replied.

Some days past and I asked the same question,

‘Enver, may I go to Fahrije?’

‘Surely!’ he replied and he added sadly

‘I am really sorry for Fahrie and the family…’

When I arrived, there was Bahri’s sister and many other cousins from the Omar family. They were motionless, when I came in. I do not remember if I shook hands with them, but I hugged Fahrie. She kept a straight face, and, being a wise woman she never argued about this, but she did not set foot on our house for a long time afterwards. She came only when her father was sick. Enver also went to see her. It was easy for their mutual brother-sister affection to bloom again. Enver asked her about her health, because, after the war, she had problems again with tuberculosis, which was cured by the well-known pulmonologist of that time, Petraq Leka. Then she came occasionally, then later, more often and, finally she came regularly as a daughter of the house. She stayed for days and satisfied her longing for her parents, sisters and brother. She loved me too, and opened her heart to me about any problems that worried her. She showed her wisdom and self-control again even though she was going through a very difficult stage of her life.

It was Enver’s 60th birthday. She welcomed and kept the house open for the guests. The following morning, before leaving, she came up to my room and after a while told me,

‘Vera (one of my pseudonyms in the war, which the Enver’s family still uses), I have got something like a small ball, here at my breast. I felt it for the first time when we were at Durres beach. At first I thought it was just a minor injury from the mattress or something but now it seems to be something else…’

I was completely taken aback. I stood up and as I checked her I noticed the lump which was hard to the touch. I kept a straight face, and said calmly

‘You should see the specialist to check it. Don’t worry, you know that such lumps can sometimes occur and they can be benign”.

I arranged the medical check up and the tests for her, but unfortunately, it was malignant. She was operated on. Enver did not want to send her abroad (he was rather strict with his family, in every aspect). The chemotherapy for the tuberculosis affected her health, and, even after she was sent abroad, she did not recover. After languishing for six months, she gathered all her spiritual and physical strength and welcomed Enver, standing and smiling assuring him that she was all right. She, and we knew that this would be the last time that we met her. By midnight, she closed her eyes forever, while in the arms of her sons. In the morning, her sons came and consoled Enver, maybe thinking that he wouldn’t be able to bring himself to go to their house. On the contrary, as soon as he had met with the comrades of the Political Bureau who had come to console him and who also went to see her sons, Enver, and all of the family, went to Fahrije’s house to console them. Enver went there prior to, and after the funeral, and for two or three days he stayed there during the afternoons and for hours he welcomed whoever came to console Fahrie’s sons.

Enver’s mother was gentle, calm and patient. She had lost her son, Beqir, at 27, due to tuberculosis. He was older than Enver and, whenever he was mentioned, she wept. She wore a ring, which had a photo of him in it. She was illiterate, but very clever. She had a natural cleverness. Her memory was extraordinary, and this was something that Enver inherited from her. It was nice to interact with each other. I have written about this in the preface of Enver’s book ‘Childhood Years’. I was told that she was hardworking around the house, a good hostess and cook. Now she did not do any housework. Sometimes you could see her sitting by the fireplace sewing or patching clothes for the family. She could thread a needle even when she reached her nineties. Although she had difficulty with her hearing, one could not tell this even when she was chatting with many women within the same room.

Enver made time to take care of his parents, especially Ane (his mother). Almost every morning, with his bag under his arm leaving for work, he would go into her room and to say good morning or chat with her for a while. In the evenings, as well, half an hour prior to dinner, we went together to his parents who we usually found by the fireside; Ane sitting on the corner ottoman, and, at the other side was the uncle (Enver’s father) sitting on a soft pad. In the evenings, Enver’s father wore his nightgown (not pajamas) and a black fez on his head, as all the Moslem men did before Zog in 1936 after which the law made it compulsory for the men to wear a trilby hat and for the women to take off the yashmak (an example set by Qemal Ataturk). During these evening get-togethers I found out that Enver’s parents were married from the cradle, as usually happened in Albania. The way this happened was: that two friends, having coffee or a glass of raki, one sad because his wife had given birth to a daughter and the other quickly comforting him would say, ‘Don’t worry, I will ask her hand in marriage for my son…’ so they were connected by an arranged marriage. Enver played jokes on his father about this and asked,

‘So tell us, did you play together when you were little?’

His father pursed his thick lips and smilingly replied

‘I threw pebbles towards her so that she would go inside…’

Enver went on joking ‘Wow were you jealous or a fanatic? When she grew up straight and tall, did you like her? You were very short indeed…’

He replied to this with irony ‘It’s not a big deal; she also wore a pair of yellow high heel boots, which you could notice from far away…’

‘That’s why you did not allow her to walk past the market, even though she was covered head to toe…’

‘He wreaked havoc about this’ Ane told me, ‘One day when somebody told him ‘I saw Gjylo walking by the market’. I went to the market (the town center) only once in my life while we were living there.’

I had heard that the people of Gjirokastra were good thrifty housekeepers but also stingy ones. Enver liked to tell a joke about this, although I don’t know if it was true or made up. Somebody from Gjirokastra was related by marriage to someone one from Libohova. The in–laws visited them after having done the shopping at the market. The hostess had cooked some very delicious, but rather small, meatballs. The men sat down at the dining table, the man from Gjirokastra noticed that his guest was eating the meatballs two at a time. He could not keep himself from saying:

‘How do you climb the stairs there in your town?’ He answered, ‘One by one or two at a time, it depends on the stairs…’

Enver knew his father’s habits well and one evening he said

‘You have not yet shown your wooden chest to your daughter in law…’

He had a small wooden chest like the ones from long ago; tin layered and decorated with circular head nails with a semi-spherical lid. There were also goat skinned chests and larger ones usually given to the bride. Ane had one like this, but bigger, which she had sent to Gjirokastra and placed it in the room where Enver was born. The uncle took the chest from his room and placed it where he was sitting by the fireplace. You could find anything in it ranging from pieces of letters, letter rolls that had become yellow with age, nails, rivets and shoe-slabs etc.

‘What are these, what do you need them for?’ Enver teased him.

‘You ask me what do I do with them. Well, when Naim’s (his fatherless nephew) shoes wear out they need to be mended…The women waste time looking for nails to fix the curtains in the kitchen…I did not buy these but collected them here and there and placed them in this wooden chest.’

‘What about the letters?’ Enver asked.

‘The ones that you are holding are the land-patents of the fields that we own in…’ he mentioned a village that I don’t remember now.

‘What do you need them for uncle, they are of no value. Don’t you know that the land belongs to the people who farm it, thus their place is here…’ and threw them into the fire.

The uncle nearly burnt his hands trying to retrieve them, but they made a beautiful flame and burned. The uncle was annoyed and angry with Enver.

‘They were of no harm to you, they were just a souvenir from Mullah Beqiri’s time (Enver’s grandfather).’

One Sunday, Enver said to his mother

‘You have not shown the ‘ bride’ that national costume, the vest that you embroidered…’

Sano went to get it from the white sheet in which it was wrapped. The loose breeches of Gjirokastra and Dibra are not made of a white, thin and stiff cloth like the ones from Tirana or Elbasan. In general those of Central Albania made of satin, light colored, such as cream, lilac, with light pink or blue flowers etc. The cherry colored, velvet vest was embroidered with charming designs of golden threads by Ane and looked as though it had just been made.

‘The daughters of the house had worn it for their weddings and next in line to wear it was Sano, but unfortunately, she had not yet found her match…’ Ane ended her story, on a rather sad note.

Sano never did manage to wear this costume because she did not get married. She had been unlucky; firstly Enver, her only brother, was away from the family because of his job and studies, then came the war. She did not even become a partisan because Enver left her to take care of their elderly parents. After the war, partially because of her age, but I think that was more due to the fact that Enver had official assignments and so people found it difficult to approach her since they may have thought that we were aiming too high.

Thus, Sano did not get married. She had attended only elementary school, but you could not tell this as she was clever and read a lot, especially magazines and newspapers. At the beginning she hesitated to go to work, considering her educational level too low. However, Enver insisted that she worked, not only because of the economic aspects but also the principle aspect, which was the employment of women. By working Sano set a good example to other women. She worked at the registry office in Tirana and, although she did not earn much there, Enver and I let her keep her salary for her personal needs. Sano worked in a modest manner and never showed herself off as Enver’s sister. Sano was accepted as a Party member thanks to her work and modesty. She was active in the activities of the Democratic Front organization and that of the Woman in the neighborhood. She was always in contact with people and aware of their needs because of her work and these activities in the neighborhood. She often talked about these at lunchtime or dinnertime and she never held back her criticism of the governmental bodies that did not find solutions for particular problems.

Sano persistently defended her opinions even when Enver contradicted her –

‘It’s not like you think…’ she went on and sometimes

Enver loudly replied ‘Who knows better, you or I?’.

Sano did not gave up and replied quietly ‘That’s what I think…’

I had to play the referee, on one side I advised Sano

‘Don’t go too far when we are dining, he is tired…’

and on the other side when I was alone with Enver, I would say to him

‘Why do you tease her, she has her own personality, I am glad that she has her own opinions.’

Enver laughed and said ‘I tease her so that she gets used to other criticisms…’

Enver’s attitude was sometimes principled but Sano was not to blame. Once, when we were dining, Sano looked really happy and Enver asked

‘What’s up?’, she told him that she had been to the Party Conference of Tirana and had been elected to the labor presidium.

Enver replied immediately ‘Were not other communists in the organization of Tirana to be elected for the presidium?’

Enver was referring to the opportunism of the Party Committee but Sano was justifiably offended and replied indignantly

‘I did not request to be elected’ and stood up and left.

We went on commenting on this but Enver put this to an end by saying

‘I’m irritated because they do things meant to please me, but what do all those communists, who have great merits, say about this?’

During all the years that I lived with Sano, I was convinced that even when time passes a brother likes to tease his younger sister, whom he loves very much. In my personal library I have a small hard covered book of La Fontaine’s tales, which Enver had sent to Sano when he was in France. In it he has written:

‘As a memory…, poor you if you ruin it…’

I do not have the exact dedication now but I remember these words quite well.

Anytime that Enver got sick, she sat at the top of the staircase and burst in tears. I tried to comfort her and begged to go in her room because she stood in the way of the medical staff. When Enver passed away I stayed close to her, much more so than I stayed with my children. I was very sorry for her, as she had not experienced the joys of love, a family and of her own children. My imprisonment was a fatal blow to her. After 5 years of solitude, during my imprisonment, despite her old age, she enjoys welcoming communists, comrades and friends of Enver or new friends of our family.

Enver’s mother and father were very different characters. Ane was careful, quite neat in her way of dressing and eating and somehow authoritarian, while uncle Halil was totally different. He never changed his suit unless his wife and daughters insisted and he never laced his shoes.

‘Where on earth are you going dressed like that?’ Ane would say.

We laughed at his words ‘What did I do?’

He wore his old hat, even though Enver had given him one of his. One day Enver said,

‘Will you throw that old hat away or what…’

He did not take Enver’s words seriously until, one day he saw Enver taking the scissors and cutting it up. Enver said smilingly,

‘If you like it so much then wear it like this…’ Uncle smiled too.

Basically, he was one of those people that are called good-natured, calm, popular, who liked to socialize with the common people. He was very honest regarding financial matters. At the beginning, when we had our salaries, he did the shopping even for my mother who lived near by. He was not too lazy to go to the third floor and give back the change to my mother even if it was just a one lek!

Every evening, when we went into their room, we found uncle Halil reading. He had a wooden chest full of old quran books in Turkish or Arabic, which could have belonged to father Ceni (Hysen Hoxhes) Enver’s uncle, who was educated, chairman of the town Hall, and of the law-courts. Even Enver’s father was called Mulla Halil, a title used for educated people. When I had submitted for translation one of these ‘qurans’ to the only translator of the old Turkish language who was from Berat, he had told me that this was an amusing writing. In one of my photos of my youth, which I had sent to Enver’s family, his father had written on the top of this ‘marsh Allah’ , I do not remember the other words. We had sent this photo together with other objects to the small and low house, where Enver’s family had lived before the Liberation. I do not know what happened to it and to the other relics that we had submitted to this museum.

During his evening visits, Enver played backgammon with his father or sometimes he said ‘Let’s sing a song!’ Uncle started singing quietly and Enver sang along with him in a thick voice. I remember that one of songs from Laberia which Enver liked singing was that of ‘Cerciz dhe Bilbilenjte’. Uncle liked telling the stories that he read in his ‘qurans’, such as the Persian-Greek wars, episodes from the battles of Alexander the Great and those about the Imams in Arabia, of Ali and his sons, Hysen and Hasan. Maybe these readings had encouraged him to follow the Bektashi sect (Moslem sect) and to go to the Tekke (holy place). He was not that religious; he did not fast, but left the table any time that we ate ham or pork dishes. He discussed for a long time with his second daughter, Hatixhe, whether or not she had properly washed the casserole in which pork had been cooked. On the other hand, he always visited his Christian friends at Easter time and came back with his pockets full of red painted eggs, which amazed and made our children very happy.

Enver was in Moscow when our first child was born. When he returned to Albania, in the midst of the boisterous happiness within our households, the uncle said

‘Now we are three men…’

Enver not realizing or not having heard this at that moment or just to tease his father, said startled,

‘What do you mean by, we became three men?’ The uncle added smiling ‘Three men, I, you and your son…’ ‘But what name shall we give him?’ Enver replied.

‘Ane and I have found a name for him, Beqir (in the memory of their dead son).”

I stiffened, I did not like that name at all. Enver and I had agreed to name him Ilir. Enver, smiling, winked at me and said to him:

‘All right, we’ll name him Beqir but he will have also another name…Ilir.’

The uncle took him in his arms and sang something to him, a ‘Moslem prayer’ that we did not understand then he whispered three times at his ear ‘Beqir, Beqir, Beqir.’ We registered our son at the registry office with the name Ilir and, except uncle, we never called him Beqir.

Even though Enver did his best to look after his father, he had a weakness for his mother. When we went downstairs, before dinner, he sat beside her on the ottoman and embraced her, and trifled with her braid, which she had thrown over her shoulders under her headdress. She turned her head and kissed him on the cheek. The same kind thing happened even when Enver was at his early sixties.

In the early days, when I was a ‘young bride’ in the house, Ane, after having kissed Enver had said to me

‘Dear bride, don’t worry about this as I have clean lips.’

I could do nothing but smile at the implication of her words. However, she could not upset me because she was so meticulous about her personal hygiene, clothes, bedding and covers. I could even go so far as to say that a nurse could not be more sanitary. She ate with such delicacy as if she had grown up in a noble family or maybe abroad. Her eldest and youngest daughters, Fahrie and Sano, had taken after her in this aspect. On the other hand, the other daughter had not inherited anything from this. When the others pointed this out to her, she replied

‘It’s not so easy, I have other things to do, I cook, do the washing up…’

She resembled her father in appearance and in character.

Enver ‘hated’ black clothes. He did his best to convince Ane to take them off but she wouldn’t listen. One day, when she was present, he requested me to find a light colored cloth to make a dress. As it was summer, I bought a grey cotton fabric with some small black stripes on it and we made a dress for her. Ane wore it for only a day and she, smiling said,

‘It seems to me as if I am wearing my nightgown’.

Sometimes Enver asked Ane to grill cheese on the fire-iron, as we sat by the fireplace. This was very nostalgic and reminded him of his childhood. Enver, being a diabetic, could not eat things that were not included in his diet, so he encouraged the children, saying,

‘Do go to Ane, she will grill cheese on the fire-iron.’

The word ‘fire-iron’ used in this case brought up lengthy debates regarding the various meanings that were given to some objects in some dialects. For example, we from Dibra use this word to name the object used to ignite the fire in the fireplace or in the stove, whereas in Gjirokastra it has another name. You could imagine how my grandmother and my mother-in law communicated with each other. Enver usually asked Ane,

‘What did you do today? Did anyone visit you? Did you go anywhere?’

She replied that she had visited my mother. Enver asked Ane about her visit

‘What was said there?’

She told him about any topic that she had discussed with my mother

‘There was the grandmother, too, but I did not understand a word of what she said and she did not understand a word of what I had said.’

This might sound strange but the younger generations of the last three or four decades have overcome the problems of dialects. These problems have been brought to an end thanks to schooling, communication, and above all, the historical decision to process and standardize the literary language.

_______________________________END THIS INSTALLMENT_____________________________________________ 

“My Life With Enver” Nexhmije Hoxha’s Memoirs (Part 3)

(Above) Anti-fascist demonstration in Tirana where Nexhmije saw Enver for the first time. They would later meet in a Partisan safehouse.

Young Nexhmije.

Enver Hoxha in disguise during the war.

Later years: Enver and Nexhmije.

Later years: Enver and Nexhmije.

9. In Kucaka. Another Yugoslav emissary

In Kucaka, near Korca, I met-up again with Enver. It had been a long time we had seen each other and we spent some time talking. He told me about the problems that they had encountered in Vlora with the anti-party and factionist Sadik Premte, whom I had known very well in Tirana. I had met him at some of the bases where illegals were sheltered. He was a cynical man who would be a destructive influence on the work with the youth elements. I reported to Enver about the terror exercised in Tirana, the general situation and the many searches that had taken place, including his sister’s house and the room where we used to stay together.

After we spent some time together, Enver asked me:

“Can you find something to do? Or perhaps you could go outside and check around, as now we have a meeting with a comrade coming from Yugoslavia”.

I went out onto the porch where I found Fiqret Sanxhaktari who had traveled from Korca, where she had been transferred after the mistake in kidnapping the daughter of Man Kukaleshi. This was done in order to blackmail him for he was the most notorious spy in Tirana, serving the fascist invaders and their collaborators. Fiqret would sometimes deal with the typing of documents for the Central Party Committee. As we were sitting and talking, we saw a tall man coming down the stairs. He was dressed in a well-sewn military kaki suit. He was followed by a young lady, she was well built, good-looking and in the same type of kaki suit; partisan trousers and jacket. Under her arm she had a workbag. Both of them walked past without turning their heads as if we weren’t there. I asked Fiqret who they were. She told me: his name was Svetzer Vukmanovic, his nickname was Tempo, whereas the lady was his secretary, but they also say she was his wife. Her name was Milica.

When I saw Enver again, I told him about the two guests who didn’t even greet us.

He smiled and added:

“They are angry with me”.

Being somewhat surprised I asked him why they were angry. Enver explained to me who Tempo was and what he wanted to do in Albania, Greece and Bulgaria. Enver has called Tempo the wandering ambassador of Tito, who entered Albania through Montenegro, and sometimes through Macedonia. Tempo, it seemed, would put forward as his personal ideas the statements and orders received for the establishment of a General Big Inter-Balkan Headquarters in which Yugoslavia, Albania, Bulgaria and Greece would be involved. Enver has described Vukamanovic Tempo exactly as he was – arrogant, stubborn, a wild anti-Albanian Serb chauvinist of the first class.

During the comings and goings of this “political Mafioso”, Enver had had hot debates with Tempo regarding his scornful and unfair criticism him in relation to the Party and our partisan Units. Tempo suggested that we set up proletarian partisan brigades, similar to those in Yugoslavia. According to him we had to establish the General Headquarters. Actually we had already decided about this at the First National Conference of the Party. Tempo wanted to do this because he needed to establish the General Balkans Headquarters, which would be led by Tito during the war. Whereas later….. ., Later there would be other plans, on “political integration”, party, government and the Balkan Federation, (“certainly with Tito leading”). The great Dimitrov was not satisfactory enough for the appetite of this megalomaniac, who wasn’t satisfied with the Federation of the Yugoslav Republics, which were artificially created by the superpowers, at the expense of other nations and nationalities.

The debate in Kucaka between Enver and Tempo reached a point of no return. On one of the trips Tempo undertook, he asked that Koci Xoxe go with him. Apparently they understood each other very well. On the way to Greece, Koci had reported everything in the world to Tempo and had spat out all the anger he kept inside against Enver Hoxha.

When these two were due back in Kucaka from Greece, it turned out that they hadn’t done much. In fact, Tempo immediately wanted to convene a meeting with those comrades present there. He didn’t mention why, but at that meeting I remember he brought up much criticism, especially against Enver. These facts are already known since Enver described them very well in his memoirs. It is also a well-known fact that when involved with such talks, the woman who had been introduced as Tempo’s secretary interfered.

Enver told her:

“You stay where you are, don’t behave like Geraldine. . (former Albanian Queen).”

This incident caused the secretary to burst into tears and made Tempo angry.

It is not true that Enver was “harsh with women”, as one foreign author has written; on the contrary. But, Enver was not the sort of person to tolerate scorn and unfair criticism, even from Tempo. Not even from people of higher rank, as time showed later.

From what I remember, Enver, after Kucaka, didn’t meet Vukmanovic Svetozar Tempo again during the war. After the war they met during the visit Enver paid to Belgrade in June 1946, as well as later in Moscow, when the Khruschovites fixed up some negotiations. They also met in July 1947, when Enver returned from his visit to the Soviet Union, where he had had his first meeting with Stalin and he found Tempo leading a delegation composed of military personnel.

10. The General Headquarters and Enver Hoxha approach Tirana

Below, Balli Kombetar is translated as “National Front”(not to be confused with the Anti-fascist National Liberation Front) and its members as “frontists”. The National Front, created in 1942 and led by Mithat Frash, was an Albanian reactionary organization which, during the final years of the war, opted to collaborate with the Italian and German forces in Albania, thus opposing the Anti-fascist National Liberation Front.

In Labinot, from the 4th until the 9th of September 1943, the Second National Liberation Conference was convened. The decisions that were made there, are quite famous in the history of the National Liberation War of our people. This conference approved the establishment of the General Headquarters of the National Liberation Army, the creation of large partisan units, an extension of the activities of the National Liberation Councils of the Front and, the upgrading of their role within the nuclei of the new popular government. The conference condemned the treachery of the representatives of the National Liberation Front in Mukje led by Ymer Dishnica and Mustafa Gjinishi. These two, instead of arranging for the involvement in the war of the National Front and Legaliti forces, became victims of their traps. They began to consider themselves not only as equal members concerning the future of the country (in spite of them not participating in the war), but they were also given the opportunity of taking the lead as saviours of the nation.

Abaz Kupi, who until that moment was riding two “horses”, left the front and tried to ingratiate himself with the invaders, to save his own life as he expected the British would bring back King Zog. Enver made another attempt to organize another ‘tete a tete’ with him, in Shen Gjergj, at the house of their common friend, Shtepanajt. Nothing was achieved, though. Bazi of Cane left the front, and joined the deserter nationalists from the Peza Conference. But now the Front attained a broader stage of development, not only in its base but also in the General Council. Its’ members were well-known personalities in our country; such as politicians, progressives , antifascist fighters, and high rank military, etc.

During the conference, important events took place. During a break, we heard on the radio Italy has capitulated. It is understandable what it meant for us. The second bit of news was: German forces having reached Greece had invaded through Korca and, anywhere else they were able to set foot they would instigate massacres. In Borova, a village in Kolonja, they had killed elderly people, women and children. They had also burnt down the whole village.

The capitulation of Italy meant the surrender of the Italian army in our country. This was one of Enver’s primary concerns. Disarming the Italian army meant that their arms were to be surrendered to the Albanian National Liberation Army. All frontists and non-frontists were eager to get their hands on the arms and arm depots of the Italian army. The other side of the coin was related to the protection of the defeated army, their self-protection, and turning them into an anti-fascist power, to serve our liberated country against fascism. How could it save itself from being massacred by the mad Hitlerites, who had now been left in a mess by their former ally?

The conference issued a call to the Italian armed forces, and Enver Hoxha himself signed the order concerning the protection of Italian army.

I can not leave without mentioning here that this attitude of Enver, especially for the Italian anti-fascists and communists and many other Italian progressive personalities, was remarkable for its long lived effects. Their gratitude was later to be expressed through their solidarity, petitions, publications, public manifestations. When I was arrested at the time when Berisha was infected with power fever, he kept me in an isolated prison cell for more than 5 years. He also persecuted my family harshly for a long period. This was due, only to the fact that I was the wife of Enver Hoxha. I am very thankful to those Italian friends who did what they did for me in those difficult days created by the anti-democratic regime of Berisha.

The news of Italy capitulating caused an indescribable happiness and enthusiasm for all delegates, partisans and peasants who were on duty. To those who took out and fired off their pistols, even knowing that they might draw the attention of the enemies who were located in the area.

While talking unemotionally to the comrades, Enver told them that Italy’s capitulation was truly a victory for our struggle, though it created new situations, which required caution and all of us to be well prepared, since the new enemy was even wilder. Consequently, our war against them had to be more intense. The Nazis, he said, in order to protect their positions in Greece and other countries in the Balkans from being threatened, will attack Albania too, so the path of the war for liberation is a long one. . . .

This was the major concern of Enver in those days. His concern was an even more comprehensive one, regarding the development of the situation at the war fronts in Europe. Furthermore, the opening of the second front by the Anglo-American allies was being held back. Enver thought the allies might land in Italy aiming at detaching this country as well as the Balkans from Germany and after that, it was likely that the Germans would be attacked from the direction of France as well as from other directions also. So they would be caught and wouldn’t have the chance to breathe. He thought that, with regard to the Balkans, the second front in this sector would be left with the National Liberation Forces of the respective Balkans countries. The increase and extension of the National Liberation Movement in Albania, Greece, and Yugoslavia and their successes, showed that the movements were capable of accomplishing this overload successfully.

The new perspectives and duties emerging for the future of Albania immediately after the conclusion of the Second National Liberation Conference took into account these developments.

The General Headquarters and Enver Hoxha as political commissar (and, at the time General Secretary of the Albanian Communist Party), moved towards Tirana. They stopped nearby Arbana, a village situated in a free area of Peza, where the command of the Peza partisan group was situated. It was lead by the well-known patriot and fighter Myslym Peza. This move of the headquarters to a few kilometers distant from the capital city, was related to the military and political situation that would need to be created in case of any possible landing of allies in the Balkans, especially in Albania.

As soon as he arrived in Arbana, Enver called for Gogo Nushi, who was once a member of the Central Communist Party Committee and political secretary of the party for the Tirana Region. After having been informed about the situation of our forces and the enemy forces in the capital city, Enver spoke of the possibility of the allies landing in the Balkans and Albania and asked to know how many armed fighters could be prepared in order to support a coordinated attack of partisan forces from the surrounding hills.

Soon after returning to Tirana, Gogo Nushi convened the Tirana Regional Committee in which I participated in my capacity as political secretary of the Communist Youth for Tirana. There, he presented the issues and requirements raised by comrade Enver when they had conversed. We debated for a long time, taking into account the delicacy and importance of the questions involved. I don’t remember exactly which official reply was delivered from this meeting apart from the problem regarding “guerrilla units not being sufficiently equipped and prepared to undertake such a significant action”, but the people and youth were prepared for this attack and would support the guerillas.

I was not at all optimistic about the success of this attack at that time, concerning the Liberation of Tirana and taking power. Therefore, I wrote a letter, a long one, I might say, to Enver about this. It is dated 22nd September 1943. Fortunately and surprisingly it is one of those letters saved from my correspondence with Enver during the National Liberation War. Nevertheless, I was only able to save some of Enver’s letters during the time when we were outlawed. These are approximately 13 and have a documentary value. They are so dear to me.

In the letter sent to Enver, amongst other things, I wrote:

“Guerrilla Units of the city are available but you should be aware that they are not trained and are in-experienced. And this first trial is a very dangerous one. Our units and the people certainly will help and support the entry of our army into the city, but I am not very confident about the military support they can provide. They could hinder the movements of the enemy, they can fight it, and can capture positions in the city, but without units they won’t be able to confront the enemy. First we should be reinforced with more automatic weapons, tanks, etc, since, it is unimaginable they can acquire adequate experience in two or three days. The enemy is a strong military power and the bastards (the Albanians) serving them, have shown them how to escape and hide, if they are chased or attacked in the city. But the enemy forces are equipped with motorcycles and sufficient numbers of tanks for them to occupy one of the main roads of the city, which is unreachable by any of our groups or units. I don’t know much about war strategy and I don’t know what your situation is, but Tirana cannot be taken unless the roads to Durres and Elbasan are destroyed. As for the burning of the city and the widespread terrorising of the people, I don’t see that the enemy would have enough forces and opportunities to be able to manage this. . . . Apart from the weapons that have been provided to our units, it is evident that a large part of the population has also been armed. This has become more obvious during the past two nights when there has been quite a lot of shooting. It seems that the people are testing their guns and revolvers. Tirana can be taken, but the question is, whether or not we can hold it. I am doubtful of this, and losing, control of the city will mean a great political and military loss…”

Then in the letter I wrote to him about our work with the National Liberation Councils, with the evacuated groups of people from Durres, and with the Youth etc. I also explained to him the ongoing activities of the National Front and those for the revitalization of certain elements from the ranks of the high level official intelligentsia.

Until this time they had been apart but they were now thinking that, on the ‘eve’ of the English American allies landing, it was the moment to found “social-democratic” parties etc, and to ask for their participation without even helping us in the armed struggle.

In the second part of my letter I wrote to Enver about some of my concerns related to our personal relations. With Enver away from Tirana, the two of us could only communicate through letters. But Enver had a tendency to send me very brief letters that were not at all satisfactory to me. Even when there was a chance to meet-up with each other (as was sometimes the case with particular meetings or conferences of a national character), my young heart would break as the meetings with Enver were rather limited and short. There was more time taken to say goodbye, than spend time together. When we would participate in very important meetings such as those of Peza, Labinot, Permet, Helmes etc, those were the best occasions for me. At least I could see him with my own eyes and would satisfy my longing. However, during those days the two of us were not able to be alone together very much to talk. This was due not only to the fact that he was very busy with work, but also because the war conditions and Party norms wouldn’t allow him (nor I, for that matter) to detach himself from his duties and spend some hours together as two youngsters in love would want.

So, in no way should we attract the attention of comrades or delegates, regarding the interest that Enver showed with regards to me or our relationship. Our relationship was known only to our two families and to the principal leaders of the Party.

Under these circumstances, in an unconscious way, I could feel the “difference” both in age and political maturity between Enver and myself. I mention age because, being that much younger than he, I required him to write letters to me more often; longer and more intimate ones. Due to my age, this was just a whim of mine, but in those difficult moments Enver didn’t have the chance and time to reply to these girlish wishes, as I would have liked. However, be it from love, or be it from being always distant from him, I wanted Enver to write more and more to me, so that through long and intimate letters I could feel him closer, talk to him, feel from far away through the lines of those letters, his heart beating . . .

For example; he had left a very short letter for me in Zaloshnja, near Skrapar, in May 1943 when he had left Tirana to go to Vlora. On that specific occasion, he had gone there in order to visit Kucaka near Korca. He knew I would be there to participate in the first Conference of the Albanian Communist Youth, but since I hadn’t arrived, he had only jotted down a few lines for me… . When I arrived, I was given this piece of paper and, to tell the truth, I was glowing with happiness. This happiness soon turned into anger because the letter was a very brief one. During the months of July and August, I spent some time in Skrapar where I received four other letters from Enver. These were sent to me from Labinot and Vithkuq, but they too were very short letters and even contained work directives and personal requests. In two letters he would justify himself saying he was very busy with work and would promise me that some other time he would find the time to write me longer letters.

So, sadness and boredom captured my soul, because I missed Enver and I missed his letters as well as his caresses, which were so indispensable for the heart of a young woman in love. Some time would pass before I got used to it. Certainly, despite, my soul going through pains and suffering, I found the strength, hope and faith to wait until the day, the so much expected day, of freedom, when we would be together forever. I tried to keep myself away from those gloomy moods and sadness and managed to adjust myself to new conditions, away from Enver. These months were very different from the first ones, when we had just met and fallen in love with each other in Tirana. During those days, I had many occasions and opportunities to meet Enver quite often and I would stay and talk with him for long periods, be it at his sister’s place or in any of those bases where we could find shelter, as I have previously described in these memoirs.

Our Communist Party was never against true love or against stable relationships and the establishment of healthy families. But during the Nation Liberation War, attention had to be paid to our youth. They had to be monitored, since there were already claims by our enemies in their propaganda, deceitful lies regarding the morality of the communists. On the other hand, our people were widely sensitive to the behavior of our youth within society. It was only due to the discipline exercised by the communist party in the partisan army, which encouraged even the most conservative from different regions, to send their daughters and sisters to war with complete trust in the healthy morality of the communists and the partisans. There were only two or three occasions when this discipline broke down, as in the case of comrade F.S. in Tirana and that of another comrade from Gjirokaster. The only penalty was that they were expelled from the Party. There was also another occasion where comrade Ramize Gjebrea in Vlora was tragically executed. Our partisan women became friends and sisters who would heal the wounds of partisans, would nurse the sick, knit pullovers, sew their socks etc. In such a fraternal and sociable atmosphere, round the fire for freedom, our healthy love nurtured and strengthened our love for freedom. It laid the foundations of many partisan families, created right after liberation.

I will stop at a painful occasion when our comrade, Ramize Gjebrea, was shot by the firing squad. She has been written and spoken about very frequently. Enver in a letter addressed to Nako Spiro regarding this matter among others, would say:

“In spite of that little devil not behaving well, the punishment was really harsh …. .”

This issue became notorious amongst the comrades of the Brigade, who were alarmed at the observations of the work of Ramize, and regarded in it as an offence and discredit to the army and Party. Thus, they made their hasty decision without first asking the Central Committee. According to Enver, this issue should have first been discussed with the Central Committee since he knew that Ramize used to be Nako Spiro’s fiancé, and he certainly had the right to have his say. Ramize’s attitude was harmful (but not to the extent that warranted such extreme measures) not because she loved, but because she didn’t show stability in the love and the relation she had with Nako, even though he was her free choice. With her new love she went beyond the norms of morality, which were expected during the war by the Party and by society.

“The issue of free love”, Enver wrote to Nako, “is a very delicate issue, and some comrades seem not to have understood this. Concerning the delicate issue of love, comrades of the Party and the Youth should pay strict attention, since this issue is cuts both ways. If the issue of free love is misunderstood by our comrades, then we pass easily into whore-mongering. On the other hand, it could also be transformed into a celibate lifestyle. This issue has to be clearly introduced to the Youth and the Party through conferences, because we are not a religious organization, and we should consider all our work with a progressive perspective”.

11. Frequent correspondence with Enver

The period from March until September, 1943 was overwhelmed by important political and military events within the country and also in the international arena. The first Conference of the Albanian Communist Party appointed Enver as Secretary General. This upgraded his responsibilities with regard to the strengthening and establishment of the role and activities of the Party at the level of contemporary demands, as well as for the guidance of the Front of the National Liberation Antifascist War. He had to travel to Vlora in very dangerous times, in order to destroy an anti-party fraction of led Sadik Premte. This time was a period characteristic of the establishment of large fighting groups, partisan brigades and the organization of the General Headquarters, which would guide and take the National Liberation Army towards general rebellion.

The opening of the second front by the allies was expected. Mussolini fell. At this time, organizations of those groups called nationalists, such as the National Front and others, called National Zogist Boards, etc, started to revitalize and make their moves in order to occupy a place under the rising sun of freedom. The Communist Party and the leadership of the National Liberation Front required “the fathers of the nation” to become involved in the war with concrete actions against the new invaders, the Nazi Germans. For this reason the Mukje Meeting was organized, but it was set on a wrong track because of political myopia and the tolerance shown by the communist party delegation and the National Liberation Front (headed by Ymer Dishnica and Mustafa Gjinishi).

These two legimtised political heads of organizations that had not only never fought against the invaders, but had even entered into collaboration with the invaders in both secret and open agreements with them. They wanted to show themselves as being the saviors of Albania without even firing a shot! They wanted to lead the government of a liberated Albania even though it was the blood and the war of the people’s best sons, who had taken the responsibility of freeing the country.

In these circumstances, Enver was fully mobilized. According to his letters addressed to members of the Central Committee in Tirana, Gjirokastra, Vlora, Elbasan etc, (the correspondence of this period of time has been published in the first two editions of his works, dealing with the National Liberation War ), he was very concerned about what was happening and what was to be done. Under such conditions, with an overload of work and numerous problems, Enver didn’t even have the time to eat or sleep properly, whereas I, in my romantic mood and nature, wanted him to write to me “long and special letters … .

In the letters addressed to Nako Spiro, Ymer Dishnica and Gogo Nushi in Tirana, Enver was dissatisfied with the quality of work of these comrades from the Regional Committee, the Youth and Party organizations. After the capitulation of Italy and during the euphoric atmosphere it created, certain things were tolerated, “which could cost the future and war of Albania much”, Enver stated in his letters. Young partisans and illegals would enter and exit Tirana and its outskirts, as if the city were liberated. The secret locations of the shelters for the illegals were compromised, as if (along with the capitulation of the Italians) the administration of collaborators, agents, spies and mercenaries had been disbanded. But this administration was still intact, somewhat disarranged, but awaiting its new masters, the German Nazis.

During this period, the Mukje Meeting was organized. Instead of enabling the involvement of those nationalist organizations that had remained outside the National Liberation Front in the armed war against Nazi fascists, it turned into a complete fiasco, quite contradictory to the objectives defined and formulated in the platform of the Central Committee of the Albanian Communist Party. Enver’s Papers and correspondence of those days, which were surprisingly published (as were the activities of the Central Committee and of Enver; such a thing was not done by any of the communist parties of Central-Eastern Europe), show how much caution and attention he paid to the elaboration of the Mukje Meeting’s Platform. Enver prepared the Communist Party delegation headed by Ymer Dishnica and Mustafa Gjinishi. However, when they fell head over heals into the “trap” set by the National Front who established a “Committee for National Salvation” under their leadership, and also released a pamphlet, Enver ‘hit the roof’ and shouted out “Treachery!”.

Enver was kind and considerate with comrades. This is also evident from his correspondence with them, through the friendly jokes he made with them. But when the Party line was violated and political mistakes were made, he didn’t care to know who made the mistakes but took the necessary actions.

The same happened with me, too. Being a member of the Central Committee of Youth, Political Secretary of Youth for Tirana and as such, a member of the Regional Party Committee, the criticism of Enver rolled like thunder over my head, even harder than in the conversations we had had in Labinot. The criticism continued when he came to Arbana and has been written down in the correspondence of that period. I can’t hide it, being an only daughter, brought up in a small family, a quiet one living in full harmony – I wasn’t used to being scolded. Also, I was never seriously criticized in my revolutionary life (not politically at least), apart from general remarks on every day work with our Youth, etc. But this time it seemed that I was overwhelmed by Enver’s criticisms. As I said, I wasn’t used to criticism, and my reaction to them was a great shock deep in my soul, since I took them very seriously. Being criticized made me feel that I had committed some really bad error. The criticisms addressed to me were related to the mistakes made at the Mukje Meeting and the Regional Committee of Tirana not having intervened in time in order to avoid those mistakes. They were also related to the euphoric attitude of the youth following Mussolini’s collapse and the capitulation of fascist Italy. In addition, it had to do with our sub-standard propaganda, especially against the National Front’s demagogy and with the other so-called nationalists who saw an opportunity to try to take power.

All of these criticisms were quite correct and acceptable, so I wrote a letter to Enver about them: “I am especially sorry that I can not give more to the Party”. What I couldn’t understand and what made me go through a very difficult spiritual period, was Enver criticizing me even for things I wasn’t responsible for, such as the issue of Mukje. It is true, I was an intellectual with responsibilities in Tirana, I was also member of the Party circuit for Tirana, but I had never been convened to any of the discussions to exchange ideas about this issue, between Ymer Dishica, Gogo Nushi and Nako Spiro, all three of them members of the Central Committee. Even at the Regional Committee, nothing was mentioned about this meeting, or about what was going to be discussed or developed there. Despite this, what upset me more were the instructions Enver gave to comrades in letters or meetings “an order for them to scold me anytime I would make a mistake.”

Why would Enver do this? Apparently he was worried that I might become selfish due to my youth and to the relationship we had. So, in two letters he had sent to comrades’ of the Central Committee of Party for Tirana, Ymer Dishnica and Gogo Nushi, Enver had used certain criticisms and severe expressions regarding me. This happened not a long after we had fallen in love, and I was somewhat upset. I felt offended since they seemed unfair to me. I still have a short letter, the size of a business card, with relation to this. Ymer Dishnica addresses it to Enver, saying: “What you are writing about the delegate is unfair, but apparently you want us to praise her… .”

Upset by these criticisms which I wasn’t able to swallow anymore, on September 2nd, 1943, I wrote him a long letter in which I said (among other things):

” . . The concern and the way in which you criticized me during our recent conversation in Arbana, has led me to believe that you are rather dissatisfied. Some unthinking words indicated that you are disappointed.

. . . I don’t understand why comrades are told to always scold me when I make mistakes! They should treat as they do with all the others. In my opinion, not for one moment, have I thought to be coddled just because I am your fiancé.

I have tried to take lightly and laugh at the other instances where you have harshly criticized me, but tonight, I didn’t really appreciate the instruction that you gave Gogo.

My Enver – towards the end of the letter – you should shake hands in all seriousness, and stop treating me harsher than the others, since you are closer to me than they are, apart from your Party relations …. .”

To this letter, dated September 22nd 1943, Enver answered from Arbana of Peza, on September 24th. He started his letter focusing on the second part of my letter. He wrote:

My Nexhmije,

Your letter really hurt me, and you appear to be very upset with me and my attitude towards you. I understand your psychological situation very well and I know your sensitive nature. Certainly there are moments where I do overdo my criticism towards you, but this shouldn’t make you feel upset. Don’t take my criticism that deeply as to feel tortured by my words, ‘I thought you were more clever”. Don’t think I am disappointed with you etc.

Childish!

I wouldn’t want my wife to get upset in such a way. I may have been over-critical but it should be taken as constructive rather than as something upsetting to you as you mentioned. It would be better if you were to assume less in the meaning of my words, some of which may have been somewhat inappropriate. They were not intended to upset you; on the contrary, I wouldn’t like you to continue your work in such a state. Your soul should be peaceful and joyful since I have the best of opinions about you. Of course, my criticisms will continue with regards to your work and your development, giving you a helping hand (as you say in your letter), but not scorning you. Don’t feel angry with me for often being severe with you, since, according to the saying: “the ones loving you, scold you”.

Since I do love you (I am saying I love you because you seem to not want to trust me) more than the comrades, I will scold you more”.

I close this chapter – Enver writes – saying once more that

“in the depths of your soul” there shouldn’t be any worries or desperation. My Nexhmije, I believe you do this favor to me”.

And, right there, my Enver without any ceremony, proceeds:

“Now I will start chasing you out”…. .

I didn’t know whether to laugh or cry about this “thunder” in the blue sky. At the time, I cried, but later, anytime I happened to read this letter, with regards to the above unexpected “jump”, I would feel like laughing. I remember and miss a lot the jokes related to our correspondence.

He: “I have written to you more than one thousand letters….passionate ones, whereas you…”

I: “You lost all of my letters during the war, whereas I preserved yours, despite the Nazi Fascist terrors all over Tirana.”

I am going back to that part of his letter, in which he had decided to educate and temper his wife.

“The unit will attack the Germans where they least expect it and the guerrillas in the city will attack at the right moment They will therefore extensively support the operation from outside and you will be surprised…”.

…First thing, that they should know is hat they will be the guards of the city maintaining order, in order to stabilize the situation, to organize food supplies for the people and to manage communications, etc.

In your communications, you don’t have to go on using clichéd comments: “Try to explain concretely without using big words, e.g. Frontists say:

“Germans are leaving Russia of their own free will” “partisans are killing the Italians surrendering to them” etc., etc. don’t be too meticulous, just give them a thorough dressing down, since they don’t wear gloves when they fight us”.

Subsequently, Enver gave directions and instructions as to the function of the National Liberation Councils in the new situation and on the role of the youth. Naturally, he ends his letter with kisses and longing hugs.

This period of 3-4 months, this “duel” of letters seemed like summer rain, leaving no traces. To the contrary, it helped us to get to know each other better, our characteristics, nature, personalities etc.

After a few months had passed; during the harshest Nazi German reaction in Tirana, the circuit of the Party with Gogo Nushi and other comrades of the Central Committee received orders to take action in the outskirts of the city and the surrounding villages. I remained inside the city in order to keep up the connections with the Regional Committee as well as with comrade Gogo. He in turn would keep the connections with the regions and circuits of the Central Committee. However, this period didn’t last long as the other comrades of the circuit and propaganda material had returned to the town. A little later Nako Spiro made a proposal to the Central Committee of the Party the result of which was that I was assigned a new task. In one of Enver’s letters from this period he wrote, that I would be appointed to work in the function of Organizational Secretary of the Central Youth Committee. I remember him adding these words at the end:

“I firmly believe and am fully convinced that you will do a perfect job. You will also cover the sector on Women…”.

Our correspondence continued like this until December 1943. At this time it was interrupted because of the situation created by the operation of the invading Nazi forces and their mercenaries against our National Liberation Units and the liberated areas. A difficult situation was created for the General Headquarter of the Albanian National Liberation Army and even for the British Military Mission of Gen. Davies. It was a time when Tirana was undergoing one of the most difficult periods of the Nazi invasion. It culminated with the massacre in February 4th 1944, when, in the night, 84 people were taken from their houses, shot dead, and left on the roads. They were young, elderly, good nationalists, anti-fascists and communists.

The National Front also, benefited from this ferocious reaction. They attracted some elements from our Youth Organization who were frightened. At this moment the Germans offered to these young people scholarships to attend school in Germany. I had to visit some of these young people in their houses, in order to talk to them and try to convince them not to accept the Nazi’s offer. This would be tantamount to treachery towards the war that they had started.

The leading comrades of the Party didn’t interrupt their activities and contacts with the people for a moment. They continued putting themselves in danger, because the majority were guerillas and were wanted and followed by the enemy. Tirana also felt the huge weight of wild terror, but, with an insurmountable feeling of love for the country, the people successfully overcame this trial. Tirana houses remained safe bases and fond warm places for the Party comrades, for the guerillas and freedom fighters. These houses gave everything to fighting the war and eventual victory, continuing to help us hide and protect us during the times of the extreme controls exercised by the enemy and its spies. The people continued to attend our meetings even in those hazardous days of danger and terror and they never broke their connections with the people of the Party and the National Liberation Front.

In the meantime the General Headquarters of the Army was able to escape the siege of the enemy. They had managed to escape many difficulties, which I am not going to mention now as it is not appropriate. Much has been written about them. When part of the headquarters were able to reach some free areas of Korca, Enver wrote an urgent letter to Gogo Nushi, requesting information about the situation in Tirana and other regions of the country.

Gogo could have replied immediately with all the information requested by Enver and sent it through a messenger in the way which had been agreed in advance, but in this case, he showed his generosity in front of the comrades. I cannot forget the moment when this kind person, as we all knew him, with his big heart, said to the comrades:

“What if we send this information with the Delegate. This way we use one stone to kill two birds”,

he said smiling.

I hadn’t even thought of such a thing. I couldn’t hide my excitement and my heart was beating rapidly. A slight blush all over my face heated me. I betrayed myself in front of the comrades. They immediately understood Gogo’s aim and looking at me in an affectionate way, agreed. So I would have the good luck to take Enver the letter with the extensive information. I wasn’t guilty of being overwhelmed by strong emotions. It had been six months that Enver and I had been apart, and very often I was forced to keep within myself, deep in my soul, worries related to my beloved. Hundreds of questions would go round my brain: “How is he?”. “Where is he?”. “Is he alive?”. “How is he dealing with the frost and the situation in the snow covered mountains?”, There were all of these worries about Enver and his comrades in addition to others concerning the wild wolves, and the Nazis, which I had to overcome in an atmosphere of pressure and terror. This situation forced us to move around the city daily with revolvers in our bags. At night we would sleep lightly since we had to be on the lookout for the enemy and sometimes we slept fully clothed with revolvers and grenades under the pillows, prepared for any eventuality.

It was the beginning of March. Gogo and Nako prepared the letters and the information, whereas I could hardly wait to leave so as to complete this task and meet Enver. Together with the information about everything that had happened and our activities in Tirana, I would also be a pleasant surprise to Enver. I would stay with him for some time in Panariti in Korca.

——————————————————-END THIS SELECTION———————————————– 

“New Albania: A Small Nation, A Great Contribution!” Part IV: International Relations and the Foreign Policy of the People’s Socialist Republic of Albania

Albania is the only socialist country in the world today, and as such its foreign policy is different from the foreign policy of any other country. It follows an open, independent policy, guided by the principles of Marxism-Leninism and proletarian internationalism. This means that Albania constantly guards and maintains its independence and defends the interests of the socialist homeland. This also means that Albania supports the revolutionary struggles of the working class and people throughout the world, for national liberation and socialism working always to assist these struggles and to increase the fighting unity of the people against their common enemies.

In taking this stand, Albania opposes the threats and interference of the two imperialist blocs, headed by the U.S. and the Soviet Union. In contrast to the two superpowers, who dictate and dominate over the world’s people and whose rivalry for power is threatening all humanity with a new world war, Albania maintains a policy of peaceful coexistence with countries of different social systems. It develops foreign trade, cultural and scientific exchanges based on equality and mutual interest, and respect for freedom and national independence. It has always worked to strengthen sincere relations of friendship and collaboration with all the freedom-loving and peace-loving peoples, with all those who fight against the aggressive and hegemonic policy of imperialism.

Self-Reliance Paves the Way For Foreign Trade

On the basis of forty years of socialist construction, Albania has been able to build a strong and diversified economy. As a result it has increased its foreign trade, adding new products to its exports and achieving a balance of imports and exports. At present Albania has trade relations with over 50 countries and hundreds of firms. Its exports include fuels, electric power, chromium, ferrochrome, basic nickel carbonate, tobacco, fresh and canned vegetables, agricultural and artisans’ goods and other products. Machinery and some kinds of raw and primary materials for the expansion of production make up the overwhelming portion of imports. During this Five-Year Plan (the seventh), Albania is working to keep the growth of exports higher than imports. It gives priority to exports so as to ensure that the export-import balance results in the increase of their reserves for foreign currency.

In addition to foreign trade, Albania has cultural and scientific exchanges with many countries. It has always highly valued the friendship of peoples throughout the world, and their contributions to culture, science and the progress of humanity. lt has worked to extend its friendly relations on every continent. The reports of trips to and from Albania in the magazine, “New Albania”, give a vivid picture of the growing ties and friendship of Albania with the people of the world. Diplomatic relations have grown from year to year and in 1981 numbered 95 stetes and commercial and cultural relations exist with many more. These include countries in Africa, Asia and Latin America as well as in Europe.

How Does Albania Conduct Trade Relations While Remaining Free From The Domination and Dictate of the Superpowers?

One of the problems which confront the developing countries of the world is interference and control over their economies by one or the other superpower. The newspapers have been filled with the serious difficulties faced by the Latin American countries as they suffer under tremendous debt to the U.S. and particularly the U.S.-controlled International Monetary Fund. Using these debts as a club, the U.S. is demanding even greater sacrifice by the peoples of these countries and further increasing its control over these countries.

How is it that a small country like Albania is free from such domination? The answer lies in the socialist policies of Albania, beginning with the victory of the people’s revolution and continuing today. Albania has never accepted any inequality, discrimination, exploitation and political or economic submission it rejects all imperialist attempts to gain a foothold in Albania under the guise of trade.

Speaking at the Paris Peace Conference, 1946

Albania has been able to do this by implementing from the beginning the Marxist-Leninist principle of establishing state monopoly on foreign trade. This means that the state, which is controlled by the working class, concentrates in its hands all foreign trade activity. Albania’s economy is protected from indiscriminate flow of foreign goods and from the economic crisis of the capitalist countries. Thus, imports and exports are included in the economic plan. Albania trades its surplus of mineral products and energy in order to obtain products and technology it needs to sustain its industrial growth and meet the material needs of the people.

Visiting China

Since liberation, Albania has never allowed the resources of the country to be given away to foreign companies. As its Constitution states, “…In the People’s Socialist Republic of Albania, the granting of concessions to, and the creation of foreign economic and financial companies and other institutions or ones formed jointly with bourgeois and revisionist capitalist monopolies and states, as well as obtaining credits from them, are prohibited.” Albania is completely free of foreign debt and the entanglement and domination by the superpowers and other capitalist states which these debts create.

Thus Albania is living proof that even a small country and one which started out very backward economically can achieve socialist construction and maintain complete independence from the big imperialist powers, by relying on its own resources and uniting all its people in a valiant struggle.

Albania and the Struggle Against Revisionism

During World War II and after, Albania allied with the Soviet Union, then a socialist country. Under the leadership of Stalin, the Soviet Union provided assistance and fraternal aid to Albania. Based on a united struggle for building socialism and supporting the revolutionary struggles around the world, Albania and the Soviet Union had Lies of mutual benefit and cooperation.

But with the death of Stalin and rise of revisionism in the Soviet Union, a struggle broke out — not only between these two countries but between all the true fighters for socialism in the world and the traitors of the Soviet Union, who destroyed socialism and re-established capitalism. This was a just and vital struggle in the interests of the people, and the Albanians, led by their Marxist-Leninist Party, the Party of Labor of Albania, played a leading role in exposing the Soviet revisionists. They put forward for all to see that the path the Soviets had taken was against the interests of the people and would cause the Soviet Union to become an aggressive, imperialist power. Reality today proves the Albanians right.

E. Hoxha being welcomed at Moscow airport by Soviet Minister V. Molotov, 1947

After World War II, the Albanians also had relations with Yugoslavia and China. In both of these cases, a similar struggle unfolded. The Yugoslav government and party tried to make Albania an appendage of the Yugoslav economy and to hamper the socialist industrialization of Albania. They tried to isolate Albania and exploit the country through unequal exchanges and hostile interference. And here too, an ideological struggle developed, with the Albanians once again exposing that the policies and stands of the Yugoslavs reflected not socialist ideals, not Marxism-Leninism, but capitalism and service to the rich.

Albania and Yugoslavia were allies in the anti-fascist war before the Titoite deviation into the capitalist camp.

The situation with China developed at a later date. Again there was a fierce ideological struggle, with the Albanian people fighting to defend the interests of the working class and people, and the Chinese taking a stand in support of U.S. imperialism. The Chinese, like the Yugoslavs and Soviets, promoted revisionist lines and policies which harmed the struggles of the people and caused great confusion.

Stamp made to celebrate the warm relations between E. Hoxha's Albania and Ho Chi Minh's North Vietnam

In each case, the revisionists attempted to sabotage the economy of Albania, unilaterally canceling contracts and agreements. They tried to fool the Albanians into accepting their dictate and when this didn’t work they resorted to other means of attack leaving projects unfinished, providing false reports on mineral deposits and so on. In the face of this, the great strength and determination Albania has shown to oppose all forms of revisionist and imperialist attack and to continue on the socialist road is a great inspiration to all people interested in freedom and progress.

With General Secretary of the CP-Peru (M-L) Saturino Paredes Macedo

The struggle waged by the Albanians under the leadership of the PLA, has been discussed and analysed in recent works by Enver Hoxha, First Secretary of the PLA. In these books — The Khrushchevites, The Titoites, Reflections on China (on the Soviet Union, Yugoslavia and China respectively), and Imperialism and the Revolution, Hoxha provides great detail and insight, while making important contributions to the understanding and analyses of imperialism and revisionism on a world scale. These books, as well as  the consistent and open policy which Albania pursues today readily show why the imperialists slander Albania. They attack Albania because it refuses to accept revisionism and the path of betrayal of the people, and because it remains independent of the dictate and domination of the imperialists. In fact, it is a great danger to the imperialists and social-imperialists and thus they do everything to silence its voice and confuse people about Albania. But day after day, Albania shows the world that it is the imperialist powers who are becoming more and more isolated, as the peoples increase their struggle against the superpowers and all their local tools of reaction.

The Foreign Policy of Albania: Based on a Marxist-Leninist Analysis of the World

In order to have a consistent internationalist stand which both safeguards the revolution in Albania and supports the struggles of the world’s peoples, the Albanians make a careful objective analysis of the international situation. They explain that imperialism is the source of all aggression and predatory wars, the source of the suffering of the world’s people. U.S. imperialism and Soviet social-imperialism are competing and maneuvering to carry out various aggressions and occupy other countries. These two superpowers, along with other imperialist and capitalist powers (European countries, Japan, China, etc.), are trying to outdo each other in gaining economic, political and military superiority and in capturing new strategic positions. This is what leads to dangerous tensions and threatens the peoples with a new world war. The superpowers make secret deals and interfere in and attack various countries and nations in order to gain markets, raw materials and other advantages.

With Gensek of CP France, W.M. Thorez, 1959

The Albanians show that imperialist war, oppression and exploitation have run into great resistance from the working class and peoples of the world. They bring out that the struggles of workers and other oppressed peoples is a cause for great optimism.

While analysing that the imperialist superpowers and their NATO and Warsaw Pact allies are powerful and ferocious, the Albanians also expose that they are in decay, suffering from all round crisis. They explain that for the world’s people to escape once and for all from the suffering they experience under capitalism, under the neo-colonialist yoke of foreign imperialists and domination by local reactionary rulers, there is only one path. This is the path of socialist revolution, to overthrow imperialism and all reactionaries. This struggle is an objective historical process that no force can stop.

Albania Supports The International Working Class and Oppressed Peoples

Albania strengthens its support for the working class world-wide while safeguarding and defending socialism at home. In every available international forum, Albania presents a Marxist-Leninist analysis of the world, which recognizes that the working class in every country is the leading force of the revolution. And as their own experience confirms, the victory of the revolution depends on the leadership of the Marxist-Leninist party of the working class on the ability of this party to unite the people in struggle against their enemies and to organize the revolutionary overthrow of capitalism. For this reason, the PLA pays great attention to strengthening and increasing its unity with Marxist- Leninist parties worldwide, and on developing the unity and strength of the international communist movement. Its consistent struggle against revisionism has been a very valuable contribution to the growth and development of the revolutionary movement world-wide. The great accomplishments of Albania in socialist construction and its firm stand against imperialism and revisionism has made it the leading ideological and political force in the international Marxist-Leninist movement.

Speaking at a rally of the people, 1967.

Consistent with assisting the unity and struggle of the working class world-wide is Albania’s support for the struggle of all people for democracy, independence and socialism. The Albanians support each step in the struggles for freedom, independence and social progress won by other peoples, such as those of the Iranians in overthrowing the U.S.-backed Shah and the Nicaraguans in overthrowing the U.S.-backed Somoza. These triumphs help them and the other peoples of the world by weakening the common enemy.

With Gensec of Romanian Worker's Party, G.Georgiu Dej, 1956.

In the international arena, the Albanians work to expose the superpowers and their allies and to put forward an internationalist stand in support of the just struggles of the people for national and social liberation. For example, the consistent exposure of the phony character of the disarmament talks by the superpowers is one effort the Albanians have made to prevent the world’s people from being fooled.

E. Hoxha meeting with Kim Il-sung

The fact that Albania vigorously opposes, ideologically and politically, the stands of other countries does not prevent them from having friendly relations. Yugoslavia, for example, has taken hostile actions toward Albania and has attempted to destroy its socialist homeland. Despite the ideological differences with the Yugoslav revisionists, and their continuing plots against Albania, the Albanians aim to carry on normal diplomatic relations with Yugoslavia . At the same time, they have repeatedly warned the Yugoslav government against continuing its brutal, chauvinist policy toward the almost two million Albanians in Kosova and other parts of Yugoslavia. These people were separated from Albania during the imperialist dismemberment of the country before World War II. The Kosovars have demanded their own republic within the Yugoslav Federation, the right to develop their own national art and culture, to become acquainted with their own history and so on. The Kosovars have refused to reconcile themselves to an inferior status among the peoples of Yugoslavia, where their political, economic and national rights have been denied. Albania has never interfered in the internal affairs of Yugoslavia, but it has defended and will continue to defend the rights of the Kosovars in Yugoslavia.

With Stalin, 1947

Albania works not only for good relations with Yugoslavia, but with all the Balkan countries (Greece, Yugoslavia, Bulgaria, Romania) and with European states in general. It aims to create a friendly atmosphere and to relax tensions. It seeks to resolve disputes by protracted negotiations rather than by threats and violence. It has called on these countries (as well as those in the rest of the world) not to ally themselves with the superpowers, saying that there is no safety under their aggressive “nuclear umbrellas”. It has also called on its neighbors to refuse to allow superpower military bases on their soil or to permit the superpowers to use their ports for refueling or rest stops.

Albania has formal diplomatic relations with China, but since 1978 when the Chinese social-imperialists lined up against the PLA and the Albanian people, there have been no other contacts. In 1978 the Chinese violated official agreements between the two countries, revealed information harmful to Albania’s security and sabotaged projects underway.

At a meeting of working in a Leningrad factory.

As for the two superpowers, U.S. imperialism and Soviet social-imperialism, the Albanians consider them the most savage enemies of the freedom and independence of the peoples and of peace and security in the world. They do not and will not have relations with these enemies of the people and will resolutely continue their exposure of these powers’ aggressive and hegemony-seeking policy and activity. Albania also refuses to have diplomatic relations with South Africa and Israel.

The foreign policy of Albania is an open, correct and principled policy, which defends the victories of socialism and supports the progressive struggles of people in the world. Providing a clear example of what is possible when a people rely on their own efforts, and unite under the leadership of a true Marxist-Leninist party, the Albanian people and state have won the respect and sympathy of millions of people all over the world.

Conclusion

In spite of the conspiracy of silence in all the U.S. bourgeois media the achievements of socialist Albania cannot and should not be hidden from democratic and progressive Americans. This pamphlet has been produced to help break this silence and to tell the inspiring story of this small country and its forty years of brilliant achievements since liberation and the triumph of the people’s revolution.

Alternating with the capitalist media’s usual silence have been lies and falsifications about Albania. But progressive organizations world-wide and many eyewitnesses to Albania’s socialist construction insist an spreading the true facts about the new socialist life being developed.

Facts show the Albanians are blazing a historic trail. Socialist Albania, the first country in the world to abolish taxes, the only country without such capitalist evils as inflation and unemployment, is a country that anyone eager to learn how these “miracles” have been accomplished should investigate. Starting as the country which was the most backward in Europe before World War II, Albania has become completely self-sufficient in feeding its people and constantly provides a better material and cultural life for its people.

Albania has accomplished all of this despite constant attacks and pressures by the imperialist powers. In particular, the United States government has been responsible for ongoing attacks against Albania, in collaboration with Britain, Yugoslavia and other European countries. These provocations continue today.

Albania deserves the support of all democratic and progressive people. It provides a shining example of how the working class and people can completely change their lives for the better. Using the experience of centuries of struggle against foreign occupation, the Albanian people rose and developed their Communist Party, the strong leadership capable of meeting the historic challenge before them. This Party, now the Party of Labor of Albania, led the people in defending their rights and waging a war of national and social liberation. Today after forty years of triumphant socialist construction the people, firmly united around the Party, are actively participating in the running and organizing of the state and economy, defending their homeland and joining with the people of the world to fight for peace, democracy and social progress.

Socialist Albania shows the reality that can be achieved when the working class and people take history into their hands and determine their own destiny.

Thoughts on Titoism & its Revisionist Implications for the Future of Marxism-Leninism

“The Yugoslav communists and the Yugoslav people must attend to that matter; it is up to them to solve the problems of the present and the future of their country. It is in this context, also, that I see the problem of Kosova and the Albanian population living in other parts of Yugoslavia. We must not leave any way for the Titoite enemy to accuse us later of allegedly waging our fight to break up the Yugoslav Federation. This is a delicate moment and needs very careful handling, because by saying, ‘See, they want to break up Yugoslavia,’ Tito not only gathers reaction around him, but also tries to win the patriotic elements over to his side.”

— Joseph Stalin

The “comrade” Broz led the anti-Nazi guerrilla campaign in the 40’s. No one will take away from his leadership, but on one occasion he promised British Prime Minister Winston Churchill that he had no interest in implementing socialism in Yugoslavia, and swore that he would not.

Once the Second World War was won, Titoite policy was nationalist deviation, and from 1948, his policy was a program of economic liberalization, in which, among other gems, commodity prices were allowed to be set by the market, a characteristic of classical liberal economics.

Private investment and foreign investment in factories did not stop, and the factories could produce as they deemed necessary, without undergoing any rigorous economic planning by the state. To include kulak elements within the economy and the government without waging the class struggle was deemed necessary by the Titoite administration.

The Yugoslav Communist Party had a complete lack of proletarian democracy and popular participation. This party was warned by the Cominform in 1948, to denounce Tito’s abandonment of the socialist bloc and his collaboration with the capitalist powers.

The expulsion of Yugoslavia from the Cominform resulted in a massive anti-communist purge within the PCY that was reflected in the overwhelming number of arrests: between 100,000 and 200,000. Most of these were tortured and killed as “Stalinists.”

Tito helped the imperialists in the Korean War, and was always a dividing element in Europe, where the Yankees relied on Yugoslavia to implode neighboring socialist governments. As for the promise he made​to Churchill, if we consider the “market socialist” economy and the capitalist “workers’ self-administration” program that characterized the Yugoslav model, then Tito fulfilled his promise.

Particularly in favoring the capitalist model of uneven development even within the confines of Yugoslavia, developing states like Slovenia, Serbia and Montenegro while leaving such states as Bosnia-Herzegovina and Kosovo as backwater neo-colonies exploited and oppressed by the more developed states, we can see the Titoite policy’s responsibility for the violent events of the collapse of Yugoslavia as a country in the 1990’s.

Yugoslavia and its leader Tito was (and still is) the darling of all mushy “socialists” opposed to Stalin’s rule in the Soviet Union. Tito brought “market socialism,” subsequently adopted by the revisionists in China and the Soviet Union. In Tito’s version of “market socialism” there was also “local control” and “workers self-administration,” thus he gained the support of various half-baked “anarchists” as well. 

Many of the “left” looked on in admiration at Yugoslavia’s standard of living and this furthered the pro-Tito and pro-U.S. illusions propped up with billions upon billions in Western loans.

Today, all the petty-bourgeois advocates of the Yugoslavian model are nowhere to be found, except in total stupor in younger generations. There is no Titoite International, no ruling Titoite party nor any Titoite parties active in any country except the countries that constituted the former Yugoslavia.

There are no mea culpas coming forward from any of the people who found Tito preferable to Stalin. However, there is a new danger, in that potential advocates of “workers self-administration” are so lacking in theoretical seriousness that they do not know if Yugoslavia was a model of socialism or not. In this way there is another generation of unconscious Titoites rising.

In the present time we can see clearly where “workers self-administration” of the economy leads. Each ethnicity retained its own economic interests and never learned what centralized cooperation should be. Workers of each ethnicity never understood concretely how they were damaging each others’ interests. In fact, in Yugoslavia’s case, the lack of socialism bred suspicions and illusions about other ethnicities. In reality, it was imperialism robbing Yugoslavia, with Tito’s blessings.

Without centrally-planned economic production among workers, conflicts occur in relations among nations. Not surprisingly, when Western liberalism swept eastern Europe, Yugoslavia had the biggest explosion of ugly ethnic violence, right out of Hitler’s game plan from World War II. Russian revisionism played a scandalous role in ex-Yugoslavia. It was Khrushchev who abandoned Stalin and a principled position on the national question. It was also Khrushchev who looked to nothing more than the size and economic strength of Yugoslavia as a reason to abandon principled relations with Albania and cozy up to Tito.

When we see extreme actions of ethnic cleansing or rioting, as in ex-Yugoslavia, we can be sure that small nations are writhing in pain from the punishment of bigger nations. Once Khrushchev abandoned Stalin on the national question and allowed for corruption to enter the party in the name of opposing the dictatorship of the proletariat, all the nations smaller than Russia knew that bourgeois self-interest was the new watchword of the day. Instead of viewing imperialism as the source of economic problems, all ex-Soviet people since Khrushchev have increasingly looked at their neighbors as the source of economic problems. Thus, revisionists of a feather…

Possibilities of Building Socialism Without Passing Through the Stage of Developed Capitalism

Albania, once the most backward country in Europe, now has a developed industry equipped with the latest technique. In the photo: Partial view of the chemical fertilizer plant in Fier.

From Albania Today, 1973, 4

By Hekuran Mara – Professor, member of the Academy of Sciences of the PR of Albania, a specialist on problems of political economy.

For the undeveloped countries capitalism is not the only prospect of historical development. There also exists the possibility of the transformation of society on a socialist basis. But the “new” revisionist theory of the so-called “non-capitalist road of development” is a deception aimed at putting conventional capitalist development into a false socialist shell.

The old colonial system of imperialism has disintegrated under the blows of armed national liberation struggle. Peoples who for a very long time had no rights and were considered by imperialism merely as an object of enslavement and exploitation have now fully awakened. They are striving to become active subjects of history.

Many of the countries of Asia, Africa and Latin America that have won their state independence from imperialism, are seeking to accelerate their economic, political and social development, to gain real economic and political independence, to overcome centuries of backwardness and to improve the material and cultural conditions of the life of the people.

The choice by the undeveloped countries of the roads of their economic and political development is one of the most important questions of our time because their population constitutes the overwhelming majority of the world’s population. The undeveloped countries where the national bourgeoisie is in power are today pursuing the road of capitalism. But capitalism is neither the only prospect for their historical development nor an inevitable fatality. For these countries another alternative also exists – the possibility of the transformation of the society on a socialist basis, by-passing capitalism as an economic-social formation, or its developed stage.

The working people of the undeveloped countries have no reason to embrace blindly the old tradition of capitalist development. They have experienced on their own shoulders the most disgusting, most inhuman aspects of capitalist “civilization”; colonialism and imperialism; wars, violence, extermination, plunder and wanton exploitation; poverty and hunger, humiliation and sophisticated social and religious demagogy. This is a very painful and shocking experience which could not attract them to the capitalist road of development. Nor is any particular sympathy created by the moral and practical “worth” of the consumer society, whose evils have already disillusioned the working masses of the capitalist countries.

But history has opened the new socialist road of development for the undeveloped countries. This is the only true road through which yesterday’s slaves can become real masters of themselves, can take their country’s fate in their own hands and become active and conscious builders of a new life. There is not and cannot be a third road.

The choice of the road of the political, economic and social development of every country is an internal affair of its own people. It is a result of the ratio of class forces, of the struggle between them, of the political power and determination resulting from this struggle. As a result of the victories scored by socialism, the working masses of many countries of Asia, Africa and Latin America which have got rid of the imperialist occupationists, have also become increasingly attracted to socialism. But parallel with this, all sorts of concepts and theories have emerged and spread in these countries about the ways of transition to socialism and about the socialist society itself, which both in theory and practice are still very far from true scientific socialism and especially far from the true roads which must be followed in order to pass over to the construction of socialism. “These theories contain many obscure, confused, eclectic ideas; they contain a mixture of the principles of socialism with those of capitalism, of socialist ideology with those of the bourgeois, nationalist and religious ideology.” (1)

These theories are not identical in aim and class origin. Some of them stem from the petty bourgeois strata, they are the result of the ideological confusion of these strata and aim at the building of a “socialist social order”, according to the concept of the small private owner. Others are spread by the local bourgeoisie with a view to creating illusions of uniting what cannot be united – of uniting the economic and social superiority of socialism with capitalist private initiative and the free play of market forces; and the proletarian class ideology with bourgeois ideology and the dogmas of religion. The emergence and spreading of these theories has also been greatly influenced by the disorientating views and theoretical speculations of the modern revisionists, which serve as a hotbed for the cultivation of all sorts of variants of anti-scientific and anti-Marxist socialism. The only correct and scientific concepts for placing the undeveloped countries on the road of socialism have been and remain the concepts deriving from the genuine revolutionary Marxist-Leninist theory, from Lenin’s teachings about the direct transition of these countries to socialism, from the accumulated experience of the People’s Republic of China and the People’s Republic of Albania, where socialism is being successfully built proceeding from a backward semi-colonial and semi-feudal situation.

The possibility for the undeveloped countries to pass directly to socialism, by-passing the stage of developed capitalism, no longer constitutes a dilemma. Marxism-Leninism has solved it on the theoretical plane, while in life, the setting-out on the road of socialist development of a series of former undeveloped countries, has confirmed the truth of this possibility, it has enriched the theory and practice of socialist revolution and of the people’s democratic national liberation revolution.

Everything in the world has a history. The idea of the direct transition of the undeveloped countries to socialism also has its own history. It originates from the time when the theory of scientific socialism was created, relying on the detailed analysis of the development of the main capitalist countries.

But when this theory was created there were also countries which were in the stage of pre-capitalist development. Concerning himself with the historical prospects of these countries, Marx for the first time expressed the idea of the possibility of their direct transition to socialism, avoiding the capitalist road of “blood poverty, misery and humiliation”.

This transition by no means excludes the operation of the general laws of the development of world history, the continuity of the replacement of socio-economic formations. On the contrary, it shows that the road of the development of various peoples is richer and more diversified than the universal line of the development of world history. And if we cast a retrospective glance at this development we shall certainly notice that individual peoples have been able to pass from one economic-social formation to another, bypassing an intermediate which has been unavoidable for mankind in general. (2)

At the beginning of the 20th century, when socialist revolution was no longer a far horizon of history, but an item on the agenda of the labour movement, the application of Marx’s doctrine to the future, laid down as an important theoretical and practical problem the transition of undeveloped countries to socialism. At the same time, the opportunists of the Second International, under the mask of “creative development” and of the theoretical “revision” of the new historical experience, initially cast doubt on, and then left aside Marx’s view of the possibility of transition of the undeveloped countries to socialism. (3)

Under these circumstances it became necessary to re-establish Marx’s correct view about this question. And the most important thing was to enrich and further develop it in conformity with the new experience of the epoch of imperialism and proletarian revolution. This task was successfully coped with by V.I. Lenin.

Lenin connected the transition of undeveloped countries to socialism with the theory of imperialism, of the transformation of the people’s democratic revolution into socialist revolution, of the carrying out of political revolution and of the seizure of state power as a decisive condition to pave the way to the creation of the socio-economic premises of socialism. He destroyed the mechanistic determinist concept of Kautsky who proclaimed as a dogma: “If economic maturity has not been achieved the political revolution should not be carried out”.

The successful carrying out of the people’s democratic revolution demands that it be led by the working class and its party, that political power pass into the hands of the labouring masses. This is an axiom for a true people’s democratic revolution, so that it should not remain half way, but be carried on uninterruptedly until it is transformed into a socialist revolution through deep political, economic, social, ideological, cultural and other transformations. This task was tackled by Lenin, who at the same time showed the way to its solution.

The Leninist teachings about the transition of undeveloped countries directly to socialism have been betrayed, they have been turned upside down by the modern revisionists. They have been replaced with the discovery of a “new theory”, of the so-called “non-capitalist road of development”. (4) This road is presented by the revisionists as a transitional formation, which they claim must prepare the preliminary material and subjective conditions for socialism in the undeveloped countries, just as capitalism prepares these conditions in the developed countries. In being assigned such a role, this formation is depicted as an amalgam and inert equilibrium of opposing political, ideological, class and economic forces. In essence, the non-capitalist road of the revisionists represents conventional capitalist development put into a false socialist shell.

It is true that the backward countries are at different stages of social development, they are faced with different tasks and their own historical practice has its specific features. They include very different socio-economic relations, beginning with the remnants of the tribal order and natural economy, with feudal or semi-feudal relations, and ending with capitalist relations and economy. This situation results in a great diversity in the class and social forces of these countries. It also gives rise to the most diverse socio-political antagonism.

On the other hand, it is known that it has taken whole centuries for the creation, in the framework of capitalism, of the material and subjective factors for the socialist revolution and for the building of socialism. Several questions arise: Can these factors be created in an undeveloped country where capitalism is still in its initial stage or at a low level of development? Is there any other road than the capitalist one for the creation of these factors? How can an undeveloped country directly embark on the road of socialist construction without passing through the stage of developed capitalism?

The transition of undeveloped countries directly to socialism today represents the only possibility of filling as quickly and painlessly as possible the great vacuum that has been created in their historical development. Although it is difficult to anticipate or define all the concrete forms of this transition, for its beginning there is one way, a universal means – the necessary carrying out of a genuine popular revolution. “The idea that revolution is the sole means of transforming the world, the only road for salvation from national and social bondage has today gripped the minds of millions of men on all continents”. (5) The central and most vital question of this revolution is the imperative seizure of political power by the labouring masses led by the Marxist-Leninist party and the establishment of a democratic dictatorship of the most revolutionary forces – of the working class and the peasantry.

A conventional bourgeois-democratic revolution, even in its specific form for undeveloped countries, cannot provide the basis for the transition to socialism. The history of the last three decades has provided incontestable proof that in a number of countries of Asia and Africa, which won state independence after world war two, but where political power did not pass into the hands of the working masses led by the Marxist-Leninist party, they not only did not embark on the road of socialist development, but also remained economically dependent en imperialism in the form of neo-colonialism.

In flagrant opposition to Marxism-Leninism and to historical experience, the modern revisionists have reduced the whole theory and practice of revolution to reforms within the existing social order. They spread the view that even the so-called “transitional state” (6) which can also have at its head as a leading force exploiting classes, landlords and bourgeoisie, (7) may serve as a means of the transition to socialism of undeveloped countries. And they have the effrontery to describe a state with such a class content as people’s power and declare it capable of building socialism. Is not this a blatant deception?

In the conditions of undeveloped countries, when no revolutionary party of the working class exists, the creation of subjective premises for the victory of a true revolution should start with the forming of the Marxist-Leninist party, the indispensable political leadership of the revolution. Without this leadership it is not possible to speak either of the seizure of power by the labouring masses or of the uninterrupted development of the revolution with the aim of preparing the transition to the road of socialist development.

The usually small size of the working class in the undeveloped countries, its comparatively low ideological and cultural level, its limited experience of organization and political class struggle – all this cannot serve as an argument to deny the necessity and possibility of the creation of the working class party. As the example of our country also shows, the working class party must be created, and can emerge at the head of the revolutionary struggle even when the working class is small in number and unorganized. In this case the communists are the most loyal representatives of the working class, and its personification; they fight resolutely and consistently for the interests of the working class, for its ideology and policy, for the most radical interests of all the working masses and of the entire nation.

The existence of the Marxist-Leninist party and the leadership of the revolution and political power by this party for the transition of the undeveloped countries to socialism is claimed by some modern revisionists to be an obsolete dogma, superseded by time. In their opinion, if this has been the case in some countries, this has occurred not for reasons of principle and universal necessity but simply for specific historical reasons or by chance. (8) Others publicly assert that the role of vanguard and leadership in the so-called non-capitalist development of the backward countries can be played by any party or political organization, even by the trade unions, irrespective of their ideology and class composition. (9) This is another betrayal by the revisionists towards the socialist revolution and the building of socialism, a caricature of the idea of the role of the vanguard in the socialist transformation of society.

The seizure of political power by the working masses marks only the necessary starting point to prepare the undeveloped countries for the transition to socialism. The transition itself is an entire historical process, sometimes longer and sometimes shorter, according to the actual conditions of every given country. The main content of this process must be uninterrupted revolutionary transformation of the superstructure and economic structure of the society, the continuing change of the ratio of class forces to the advantage of socialism, the struggle against imperialism and all the internal reactionary forces.

The transformation of political and social life requires in the first place the smashing of the old bureaucratic state machine created by the colonialists and based on the local exploiting classes, detached from the working masses and which is counterpoised to them as a means of violence to preserve oppression and exploitation. In its stead a new state machine must be created, based on new leaders, emerging from the fold of the working people who are aware of their needs and defend their interests, purged of reactionary elements collaborators of the colonialists, supporters of imperialism and enemies of socialism. In the transformation of the political and social life, essential features are the drawing of the working people into running the country, the numerical growth and education of the working class, the emancipation of the women and their participation in social activities, and the systematic improvement of the material conditions of the working people.

For the transformation of the political and social life to be carried out in the interests of the working people, it should be inspired by the only revolutionary ideology, Marxism-Leninism. Otherwise, the transformation cannot be revolutionary, and will inevitably degenerate into incomplete, conventional bourgeois-democratic reforms. Such a transformation deceives the working masses with socialist slogans and arouses hopes which lead to disillusion, while in reality it strengthens the position of the exploiting classes and paves the way for capitalist development. The bourgeoisie in undeveloped countries today welcomes this kind of transformation, without feeling any special and immediate danger to its class interests, while the modern revisionists talk about the “new discovery” of the so-called non-capitalist road of development. This is a real paradox which can be accepted only by the logic of the renegades to Marxism-Leninism, who, through their treachery, give a “spiritual veneer” to the landlord-bourgeois oppression and exploitation in the undeveloped countries.

A fundamental problem for the transformation of the superstructure in the undeveloped countries, is the carrying out of a profound revolution in culture. As a rule, this revolution must go through two main stages which are closely connected and interwoven. In the first stage, the extension of culture in breadth appears as the closest and most immediate objective. It aims at the elimination of illiteracy among adults, the extension of various levels of education throughout the country, and particularly in the countryside, in order to create the premises for the raising of the general cultural level of the population. In the second stage, the decisive objective of the revolution is the transformation of culture itself, which is a more complicated and difficult process than its extension. Usually, the backward countries know two cultures before the revolution: the culture of feudals or castes and the imperialist one, the culture of exploiters and oppressors, always combined and associated with religious mysticism. The question is to pass over to a new mass culture, based on proletarian ideology, to the advantage of socialism and the strengthening of its position in all fields of life.

The transformation of the superstructure must topple every norm and institution of the old world, which has an oppressive, exploiting content, and is humiliating to the labouring masses. It must set everything in motion, radically changing the concepts, customs, habits, traditions, family relations, manners and attitudes of people at work, in society and in life. As an inevitable consequence of this process a high militant spirit is created among the working masses, their initiative, self-action, innovatory spirit and revolutionary boldness in all the fields of social activity are encouraged.

The transformation of the economic structure in undeveloped countries in order to prepare their transition to socialism, requires the solution of some problems which are specific to these countries. These are particularly the liquidation of economic dependence on foreign capital and on imperialism; the elimination of pre-capitalist relations; the transformation of agrarian relations in the interests of the labouring peasantry; the liquidation of the one-sided character of the national economy, the ensurance of employment for the rapidly-growing population, etc. History has proved that in order to eliminate economic dependence on foreign capital and imperialism, to achieve real political independence it is necessary to nationalize both the property of foreign monopolies rand that of the comprador bourgeoisie. The state sector of the economy must be created with nationalized means. From the viewpoint of socio-economic relations, of the organization and management of work and production, the features of socialism should prevail in this sector which must represent the embryo of the economic base of socialism and become a powerful backing to prepare the transition in the whole country from the old economic relations to the establishment of socialist relations.

Of course, this question cannot be solved mechanically through the carrying out of just any kind of nationalization, nor through the creation of just any kind of state sector, as advocated by the modern revisionists. In this, everything depends on the class nature of the political power and whom the state sector serves: the limitation of private capital or its extension; the transformation of the old relations or their preservation; the enrichment of the exploiting classes or the interests of the working masses, the attainment of their wellbeing. On these alternatives depends the fate of the evolution of this sector: into a full socialist sector or into a sector of conventional state capitalism. The struggle between these two tendencies of this sector is a class struggle between the capitalist road of development and the socialist road, between the working masses and the exploiting classes.

The class ratio of forces in the political power itself and the strengthening of position of the working class in it define the outcome of this struggle, its running to the advantage of socialism and to the detriment of capitalism in this sector and in the whole national economy.

There is no doubt that the state sector actually created in the undeveloped countries is a progressive phenomenon, in comparison with the other, primitive economic forms (natural or semi-feudal). But it is harmful, indeed very harmful, and an illusion to put on a par all kinds of state sector and socialism, irrespective of the class nature of the political power. Such a position provides grist to the mill of the bourgeoisie and imperialism, of capitalism and counter-revolution.

The agrarian problem is of special importance to the destiny of socialism in undeveloped countries. Here the peasantry constitutes the majority of the population, and the old pre-capitalist relations and colonial exploitation are more deeply rooted and appear in more brutal forms in the countryside. The success, time and rate of transition on the road of socialist development of the countryside and of the entire country, greatly depend on the road and methods of solution of this problem. Both revolutionary theory and practice teach that the solution of the agrarian problem is a complex one which should transform all aspects of life in the countryside – the ideo-political, economic, social, cultural, technical, organisational, and other aspects. In other words, in the countryside it is necessary to carry out a true revolution in socio-economic relations, which should radically change the whole face of the countryside. It should be carried out step by step in accordance with the ripening of the subjective and objective conditions within the countryside and on a national scale. The initial implementation of revolutionary land reform in the interests of the labouring peasantry, according to the principle of “the land to the tiller” serves this aim. The cooperation of the labouring peasantry is absolutely essential in order to set the countryside on the road of socialism and rapidly develop the productive forces in agriculture. Both the artificial acceleration of the agrarian revolution, and hesitation to carry it out, are equally harmful to the idea of socialism in the eyes of the peasantry. Every incomplete solution of the agrarian problem creates more likelihood of the development of the countryside on the capitalist road rather than on the socialist road. But also any effort for a premature radical solution of the agrarian problem, by arbitrarily missing stages, leads to adventurism and may do irreparable harm to the cause of socialism.

In diametric opposition to Marxism-Leninism, the modern revisionists state that in the building of socialism in undeveloped countries the main effort should not be directed to the transformation of economic and social relations but to the development of the productive forces because this development will allegedly lead in a natural way to socialist construction. This is just like the opportunist thesis of Kautsky who said that the development of the productive forces “automatically” transforms the old relations of production into their opposite. Such ran analysis of the question leads to the counterrevolutionary attitude that the cause of socialism in the undeveloped countries must be postponed indefinitely, till the material conditions are ripe.

There can be no doubt that the rapid development of the productive forces is a vital question for the destiny of socialism in undeveloped countries. The question arises specifically in these countries: In what way will the problem be solved? With the old traditional mode of development, with the specialization of the economy in raw materials dependent on imperialist markets? Briefly, with a one-sided economy, high rates of development for the productive forces cannot be secured. This model does not contain in itself the effective mechanism needed for extended reproduction. The impetus for development comes to this model from abroad, it comes to it from the increase of demands for raw material on the world market. Therefore, it is essential to create another new model which gets its impetus for development from within, from the extension of the home market. In this sense, the construction of socialism in undeveloped countries demands the replacement of the one-sided economy with a diversified economy which should stand on both feet – agriculture and industry. Only such an economy can ensure a rapid and complex development of the productive forces, consolidate economic independence and place all the country’s riches at the service of the building of socialism. A decisive factor for the solution of this problem within the shortest possible historical period is the industrialization of the country through true socialist methods. A fundamental characteristic of this industrialisation must be the development of the extracting and processing industries and also of light and heavy industry, giving priority to heavy industry.

Under the pretext of the lack of financial means, cadres and experience, and of guarding against unnecessary sacrifices, with the pretext of the international division of labour and cooperation with “socialist” countries, etc., the modern revisionists pursue a policy aimed at diverting the undeveloped countries from industrialization, at keeping them as an agrarian or raw material appendage of the metropolis. The aim is the same as that of old and new colonialism: plunder and exploitation, establishment of the economic and political enslavement of the undeveloped countries.

The historic victories achieved in the building of socialism in the countries which were once undeveloped have proved that to solve the numerous problems of this socialist construction they must adhere to the revolutionary principle of self-reliance. Both in revolution and in socialist construction the internal factor is decisive and the people should, in every activity, rely on their own forces.

SOURCES

1) Enver Hoxha, Report to the 6th Congress of the PLA, p. 242. Tirana 1971.

2) It is known, for example, that the Russian people were able to pass from the order of peasant community directly to feudalism without passing through the socio-economic formation of slave-ownership.

3) Kautsky’s ill-famed theory of “productive forces” completely excluded the possibility of the transition of undeveloped countries directly to socialism.

4) “Problems of peace and socialism” 1960, Nr. 7, p. 74-80 Sudarev Nauchnie doklladi vishei shkolli 1972, Nr. 11 p. 69-78. V. Solodovnikov Mezhdunarodnaja Zhiznj. 1973. Nr. 5 p. 59-60.

5) Enver Hoxha. Report to the 6th Congress of the PLA, p. 226, Tirana 1971.

6) “Problems of peace and socialism” 1963. Nr. 2, p. 39-48.

7) In this case, India, Burma and some other countries are taken as examples.

8) Roger Garaudy. Pour un modèle français du socialisme. 1968, page 114.

9) Among the mast zealous partisans of this view are the Yugoslav revisionists.

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PCMLE: Albania – Unmasking and Struggling against Titoite Revisionism

From En Marcha, the newspaper of the Marxist-Leninist Communist Party of Ecuador (PCMLE).

Yugoslav revisionism was to the old ideological foundation revisionist theories of Bernstein, Kautsky, anti-Marxist theories of all opportunists and enemies of socialism, the Trotskyites, Bukharin and social democracy.

In tandem with Albania and the Party of Labor of Albania undertook its struggle against Khrushchev revisionism and Chinese revisionism, revisionism Titoist also fought in Yugoslavia, which played a leading role in counter-revolutionary action and in favor of imperialism. Their aim against the Titoist PTA was to transform a Marxist-Leninist party in an opportunist party and make Albania a Yugoslav state.

Titoist Revisionists were a band of renegades who pushed their counterrevolutionary activity since 1948, this group was led by Joseph Tito after World War II, said national-chauvinist accented features and flourished in times of war. The Yugoslavs seized power product of the struggle against fascism and opportunistic traits immediately expressed his resignation to the Marxist-Leninist ideology, in its assumptions about the Soviet Union and Stalin in their attitudes and chauvinistic acts against Albania . According to Enver Hoxha “the Titoist were not for the construction of socialism, were not because the Communist Party of Yugoslavia should be guided by Marxist-Leninist theory and did not accept the dictatorship of the proletariat. In that originated the conflict that erupted between the Information Office of the Communist and Workers Parties and the Communist Party of Yugoslavia. ”

Yugoslav revisionism was to the old ideological foundation revisionist theories of Bernstein, Kautsky, anti-Marxist theories of all opportunists and enemies of socialism, the Trotskyites, Bukharin and social democracy.

The Yugoslavs played a difficult role in the spread of anti-Marxist theses which were mainly made at the Seventh Congress of the Communist League of Yugoslavia, they claim to follow an independent policy, but in reality its activity showed an adaptation to the policy of the imperialist camp.

The Titoism was characterized by “a feverish activity against Marxism-Leninism, to organize a worldwide propaganda campaign to present to the Yugoslav system in the form of a regime ‘real socialist’ as a ‘new society’ as a ‘socialism line ‘, which is like Lenin and Stalin had emerged in the Soviet Union, but as a socialist regime with’ human face ‘, which is experienced for the first time in the world and gives’ brilliant result’. Propaganda has been proposed to put in a blind alley to the people and progressive forces who fought for freedom and independence in the four corners of the globe. ”

Tito and his band in Yugoslavia adopted forms of government that were fought in time of Lenin and presumed to be used in the Soviet Union by the Trotskyists and other anarchists, they were encouraged by the bourgeoisie to sabotage the building of socialism and Yugoslavia dressed in the capitalist system by the so-called “Yugoslav self-management”, which was dressed in a robe Marxist-Leninist and tried to convince people that this system was the most authentic socialism. According to Enver Hoxha “the ‘self’ was born as an economic system, then extended the domain of the state organization and all other areas of life in the country. The theory and practice of ‘self’ is a denial Yugoslav open the teachings of Marxism-Leninism and the general laws of socialist construction. The economic and political system of ‘self’, is a form of anarcho syndicalist bourgeois dictatorship. ”

The thesis of the ‘self’ did much damage to the Yugoslav people, as stated in c. Enver “the system of ‘self’ with all its distinctive features, such as the elimination of democratic centralism, the unique leadership role of the state, federalism, anarchist, anti-state ideology in general, Yugoslavia has caused disorder and economic turmoil political and ideological standing, a weak and uneven development among the republics and regions, major social and class differences, discord and national oppression and degeneration of the spiritual life. It has caused a sharp division of the working class, provoking rivalry between its various detachments and feeding their bourgeois spirit. ”

Albania was a great example in the struggle against revisionism, was able to face the various facets counterrevolutionary who sought to distort the Marxist-Leninist theory of imperialism and defend, while it provided an important example of resistance and strength to the communists and workers the world.

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PCMLE: The Struggle of the PLA against Revisionism

From En Marcha, the newspaper of the Marxist-Leninist Communist Party of Ecuador (PCMLE).

The first big fight was faced by Albanians against Khrushchev, Nikita Khrushchev led sect presented at the XX Congress of the CPSU ineffable a violent attack on the principles of Marxism-Leninism …

After the Second World War and the Communist proletariat were victorious, a quarter of the globe was under the banner of the working class and the Marxist-Leninists had acquired a great respect for the peoples of the world. The Soviet Union played an important role in this struggle, became an example to follow, the members of the CPSU, Comrade Stalin especially, constituted relating to the liberation struggle. Thus the bourgeoisie and imperialism seeking ways to destroy the socialist countries, they used against revolutions, sabotage and the action of the revisionists, that under a Marxist-Leninist phraseology masked their collaboration to overthrow socialism. Thus, after the death of Joseph Stalin (March 5, 1953), revisionism, which was hidden behind the shadows and found the time to attack and seize power of the USSR, to push forward an offensive anti-seize that sought the respect and admiration of the first socialist country to hit the proletariat.

Many Communists took over the task of exposing and combating revisionism his theses against revolutionary played an important role in the Labour Party of Albania (PTA) and the Albanian people, who faced before and in the midst of World War II and Italian Fascism occupants of Nazi Germany.

After conquering the people of Albania to expel the invaders from their land and began the process of building socialism in the way they fought against the various reviews that appeared as: Titoist, the Khrushchev, the Maoists, the Euro-, etc. .

The first major fight was against Khrushchev, Nikita Khrushchev led sect presented at the XX Congress of the CPSU ineffable a violent attack on the principles of Marxism-Leninism. “The report of the Central Committee of Communist Party of the Soviet Union, presented to Congress by N. Khrushchev proposed a number of theses, described as ‘new’, that constituted an alleged ‘creative development of Marxist-Leninist theory’ ”

The main anti-Marxist revisionists Khrushchev posed consisted of “The thesis of the so-called ‘whole building’ socialism, ‘end of social classes and class struggle’, ‘the party of all people, all State the people ‘sovereignty’ limited ‘from the old socialist countries. ” These approaches were able to gain ground as the revisionists managed to “reverse the socialist principles in the economy, politics, ideology, eliminated the socialist planning and operation Leninist party, its democracy ceased to exist and became formal, so they got abolish the criticism and self ”

To fulfill its role of enemies of the working class and disrupt the dictatorship of the proletariat, were endorsed by the attack of the bourgeoisie against Stalin and plated combat the so-called “cult of personalism,” thesis that sought to undermine the prestige of Joseph Stalin to strike a blow to the Marxist-Leninist teachings and legitimize the destruction of the Marxist Leninist CPSU made in its previous conference and adopt a revisionist political line.

Were the actions taken by multiple Albania in the defense of Marxism-Leninism and the fight against Khrushchev revisionism, including the publication of several papers and articles written by the PTA and mainly by c. Enver Hoxha, which were distributed in pamphlet form and translated into different languages. As well as their ongoing battle in the different scenarios to confront and expose the revisionist thesis as was the Third and Fourth Congress of PTA in which plants growing left Marxist-Leninist line and reject attempts revisionists, as well as various meetings Communist party in 1957 and 1960 in Moscow, as in the impromptu meeting in Bucharest (1960) in which the Albanians were able to drive a relentless struggle against revisionism and maintain the defense of the unity international community, while represented in scenarios in which the revisionists was defeated.

The heroic struggle of Socialist Albania, which was a small country with limited productive development, made the revisionists repeatedly launch campaigns to discredit and slander against the PTA and mainly against the party leadership and sought to undermine the leadership of Enver Hoxha as first secretary of the Workers’ Party of Albania. On several occasions, Khrushchev made known to the people of Albania to overthrow the communists from power, but the drive rail is not allowed to break the discipline and morale of the Albanians. Despite the sabotage, blackmail and economic blockade by the Soviet revisionist, the PTA held Albania and revolutionary line of Marxism-Leninism defense.

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PCMLE: Enver Hoxha – Strong Defender of Marxism-Leninism

From En Marcha, the newspaper of the Marxist-Leninist Communist Party of Ecuador (PCMLE).

The constant struggle of Enver Hoxha was his concern for the working class to provide the materials needed to face the reaction and contributed to the elucidation of the true nature of the action that the enemies in Albania. Unified actions of the different sectors, including the woman who played an important role in the revolutionary process, which together with the workers gave their contribution to the conquest of political power of the state, which occurred on 29 November 1944.

Enver Hoxha was born on October 16, 1908, was one of the biggest advocates of Marxism-Leninism. Since his youth he joined the struggle against the occupation of their country.

With the establishment of the Communist Party of Albania, its role was decisive against the organization and the Albanian state. Enver Hoxha was named interim head of the Central Committee.

The constant struggle of Enver Hoxha was his concern for the working class to provide the materials needed to face the reaction and contributed to the elucidation of the true nature of the action that the enemies in Albania. Unified actions of the different sectors, including the woman who played an important role in the revolutionary process, which together with the workers gave their contribution to the conquest of political power of the state, which occurred on 29 November 1944.

After the liberation of Albania, the “allies” Anglo-Americans refused to recognize the new power and supported the reactionary interior. The Constituent Assembly elections gave a large majority of the Communists and patriots. Failing their attempts to overthrow the new regime, the United States and Britain withdrew their delegations from Albania.

During the liberation struggle, E. Hoxha opposed chauvinist positions on Kosovo Albanian reaction and defended the principle of respect for international borders established in 1912. Hoxha’s position was that the Kosovo problem should be discussed and resolved between socialist states after the victory over Nazism. The aim of Titus, in the context of its proposed Balkan Federation, was that Albania was the seventh Yugoslav province. To carry out his plan, he initiated a split in the Albanian Communist Party leadership. After the war, Albania was in a very difficult economic situation and the new power was in consolidation phase.

Such interference in Albanian affairs created an atmosphere of serious suspicions around the country. Within the communist movement, the young Albanian Communist Party dared to face Tito, leader of one of the most prestigious and influential games of the Cominform. This showed great courage and determination of Enver, especially when you consider that the Communist Party of Albania, was the only party in power had not yet been recognized as a member of Cominform, as Tito had a lot to see.

Attempts to overthrow the socialist system continued; raided Albania reactionary groups were eliminated. However, the blockade and the ideological pressure continued. In the sixties, Enver Hoxha, faced Khrushchev’s revisionist line in defense of Marxism-Leninism.

At the Conference of the Communist parties in Moscow in 1961, the Albanian party, with Enver Hoxha at the head, was the only one who openly opposed the CPSU, which will be subject to gibes cost and economic pressures. To cope with crop failures recorded, due to weather reasons, Albania need to import wheat. Khrushchev made known to the Albanians that if his party gave the USSR wheat cover their needs, and pointed with his particular “spirit of internationalism,” these needs “could be covered with wheat that rats were eaten each year in the USSR “. Enver Hoxha replied, “we prefer to eat roots rather than sell our independence and our principles.” The attitude of Enver Hoxha in Moscow Conference was of particular importance, because although he knew the differences between the Chinese party and the CPSU, Mao Zedong did not know whether Chinese PC and disagreed with his radical denunciation of revisionism.

Fought the social-Enver Hoxha, the thought of Mao on the theory of the Three Worlds, and the other revisionists and counter-currents that emerged at that time.

This is shown by his works as Imperialism and Revolution, The Khrushchevites, The Titoites and other writings that have contributed to the development of revolutionary theory and the defense of Marxism-Leninism as a legacy for contemporary revolutionary.

A Brief History

In 1924 the intelligentsia, the bourgeoisie of the South and return migrants from Albania, led the bourgeois democratic revolution to overthrow the government of the big landowners, feudal lords and clergy representatives of the great kept the Ottoman laws and refused to land reform. Enver is part of this movement.

With the triumph of the democratic revolution, Fan Noli was elected head of government, but six months later was dismissed by the reactionary forces: Ahmed Zogu funded abroad (the Anglo-Persian Oil Company and Standard Oil) and the specific support of Yugoslavia and Greece and a mercenary army, seized power and proclaimed himself President of the Republic, and later King of Albania.

In 1939, Italy invaded Albania with the changes in nature struggle, the struggle for social emancipation and against the dictatorship zoguista are combined with the struggle for national liberation and the need to unify the Communists in the construction of a single party .

On May 28, 1944, the National Liberation Army ELNA-was ordered to go on the offensive general for the complete liberation of Albania from German occupation and all reactionary forces. The Germans, on the same day, they released four and a half divisions, 50,000 men, against Division I National Liberation Army emerged victorious after a month of intense fighting which backed the fascist enemy. At that time about half of the Albanian territory was liberated.

In October ELNA already had 70,000 combatants between youth and peasants, 9% of this army was made up women. It was an overwhelming force, so that contributed to the liberation of Yugoslavia.

On November 29, 1944 Albania gets its final release and Enver Hoxha is responsible for leading this country to build socialism.

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