Occasional Reprint; May 2001
ALBANIA, ENVER HOXHA AND JOSEPH
Choose Between the Legacy of
Tito and the Legacy of Stalin
Alliance Article First Presented At The First Moscow
Stalin Seminar, 1994; Published in Alliance issue number 9;
Next published as a part of three articles in Alliance
THIS VERSION IS AS IT WAS FIRST
PRESENTED IN MOSCOW, AND IN ALLIANCE NUMBER 9.
"UPON THE RELATION OF ENVER
HOXHA TO JOSEPH VISSARIONOVICH STALIN"
I. FROM ANTI-FASCIST WAR TO SOCIALIST REVOLUTION.
II. ALBANIA AND JOSEPH VISSARIONOVICH STALIN.
(A). UPON THE IMPERIALIST ATTACKS UPON ALBANIA,
THE ROLE OF GREECE, AND THE SAGE ADVICE OF STALIN.
Hoxha's criticisms of the KKE on points of principle
i) That the KKE Ceded Control of the battle against
the Fascists to the British and American Mediterranean command.
ii) The defeatist Tactics of the KKE - capitulation
iii) The KKE understanding of guerilla war.
(B) THE PRACTICAL SUPPORT OF THE SOVIET UNION TO ALBANIA
IN BUILDING SOCIALISM.
(C) UPON THE REVISIONIST TITO LED COMMUNIST PARTY
YUGOSLAVIA (CPY). Yugoslavia versus Albania; Stalin supports Albania.
i) Relations During the War between the CPY and the
ii) Tito Obstructs the Albanian path to socialist
iii) Following the Open Letter of the CPSU(B) to the
Marxist-Leninists view J.V.Stalin as a key touch stone,
to distinguish who only calls themself a Marxist-Leninist from one who
is truly a Marxist-Leninist. Only Marxist-Leninists consider that socialism
in the Soviet Union was established and successfully functioned until shortly
after Stalin's death. This view allows us to sort out from the welter of
groups - those that are truly Marxist-Leninist from those that are not.
Over time, a similar significance of Enver Hoxha and Albania becomes ever
We will put the view in this article, that Hoxha led
the Albanian state through a two stage war of National Liberation into
socialism. Thereby becoming only the second world power (to date) to establish
socialism, after the Soviet Union. This enormously significant achievement,
has not received adequate attention world wide. This inattention stems
from revisionist misinformation and illegitimate claims.
Marxist-Leninists are, even now, actively re-assessing
all their history. Any claims must be carefully scrutinized. We would argue,
that the claims that socialism was established in several countries (the
Warsaw Pact countries and Cuba, Vietnam, and North Korea) are illegitimate
and spurious. We argue that these false claims devalue and debase the currency
In fact, these revisionist illegitimate claims, obscure
the differences between socialism and what was in most of these other countries,
a nationalist "pseudo-socialism". In truth, leaders in these other countries
never followed the explicit advice of both Lenin and Stalin. This advice,
warned against halting the turn from the national democratic revolution
to the socialist revolution. Stalin pointed out, using the prescient phrase
"Chinese Wall"; (prescient because the Communist Party China did exactly
what he had warned against), that one should not build a Chinese Wall between
the Democratic Revolution and the Socialist Revolution.
But, still some honest Marxist-Leninists, may not be
at this stage convinced that Albania was the only country to follow the
Soviet example. Therefore we will here try to :
First describe the development of the Albanian
revolution from anti-fascist national war of liberation to the socialist
Then outline the relations between Stalin and
Hoxha, representing the Albanian party; and in doing so portray the attitude
of the Tito revisionists towards the Albanians.
Together this information, we would argue, spells out
the fact that during Stalin's life time, and with his direct support, the
foundations of a socialist state were laid in Albania.
This review will only take the story up to the death
of Stalin in 1953. Of course Albania's later history is very important
to the fight against revisionism. Unfortunately, here, we cannot deal with
these in this paper. The vital role that Albania played in exposing first
Khruschevite revisionism, and then somewhat later, Chinese (Mao Tse-Tung)
revisionism; has to be later separately reviewed.
But, here we only briefly remind ourselves, that by
any criteria :
Socialism was established by the Albanian state and
proceeded to great heights.
Firstly by scientific criteria, socialism was
established. ALL private industry was expropriated, and the state controlled
the levers of production, and in turn the state itself was directed by
the working class and peasantry.
Secondly, by the criteria of ordinary folk,
this scientific criteria was translated into the daily life of Albania.
In 1947 the Albanian state had been completely ravaged
by fascism, and had no railway and no industry to speak of, with high illiteracy.
Yet by 1989, Albania was a country whose standard of living was higher
than its neighbours (including Yugoslavia); whose people were educated;
and where the people were thriving - contrary to capitalist propaganda.
Albania then exported to its neighbours a large range of products including
electricity, and for wages all workers were subject to a ratio of highest
wage to lowest wage of 1:1.2, of which the lowest wages went to party members.
Diseases that were common in Yugoslavia, just across the border, were eradicated
in Albania. Much more data can be easily adduced to highlight the real
differences in the political, cultural and living standards of Albania
as compared to those of the spurious "socialist" states.
Clearly Albania was a shining Socialist example to
the workers and the peasants of the world. That is why the World Bank and
the international capitalists class led by the USA so actively inspired
the coup assisting the traitorous Ramiz Alia into power. It is true that
socialism was dismantled rapidly in this state. But it took the international
capitalist class to do so. Hoxha's acts live on and will continue to guide
the workers and peasants of the still struggling Albania.
But how did Hoxha create the basis of the socialist
state, and how did J.V.Stalin's actions and thoughts interact with Hoxha
I. FROM ANTI-FASCIST
WAR TO SOCIALIST REVOLUTION.
Marxist-Leninists know that at various points of struggle,
different layers of the masses are drawn into struggle. Before the socialist
revolution, this will include elements who will not adhere to socialist
slogans and principles.
Even the Bolshevik revolution itself had two separate
stages, first the national democratic revolution and only then the socialist
revolution. As Lenin put it:
"If one does not want to understand that a bourgeois
- democratic republic with a Constituent AAssembly is a step forward from
the same sort of republic without a Constituent Assembly, and that a Soviet
Republic is two steps forward, one is merely closing one's eyes to the
difference between the bourgeoisie and the proletariat." Lenin CW, Moscow
1980, Vol 29: p.498.
At the very time he was travelling back to Russia after
exile, in his "April Theses", Lenin was quite explicit about the two stages
of the Bolshevik Revolution :
"The specific feature of the present situation in
Russia is that the country is passing from the first stage of the revolution
- which owing to the insufficient class-coonsciousness and organisation
of the proletariat placed power in the hands of the bourgeoisie-to its
second stage, which must place power in the hand of the proletariat and
the poorest sections of the peasantry."
Lenin Selected Works (SW): "April Theses", Volume
2, Moscow 1977, p.30.
These specific features (ie "insufficient class consciousness
and organisation of the proletariat" - ed) apply to Albania also. As identified
by Lenin, the democratic revolution had taken place in Russia by the April
"1. The old Tsarist power which represented only
a handful of feudalist landowners.. has been overthrown and removed, but
not completely removed.. 2. State power has passed into the hands of a
new class, the bourgeoisie and landowners who had become bourgeois. To
this extent the bourgeois -democratic revolution in Russia is completed."
Lenin, "The Tasks of the Proletariat In Our Revolution". SW.Vol 2. p.37.
Lenin also pointed out that the tension of "Dual Power"
then existing, would be resolved by the victory of one or other force:
"The main feature of the our revolution.. is the
dual power which arose in the very first days after the triumph of the
revolution. This dual power is evident in the existence of two governments:
one is the main, the real and actual government of the bourgeoisie the
"Provisional Government" of Lvov and Co,; which holds in its hands all
the organs of power; the other is a supplementary and parallel government,
a "controlling" government in the shape of the Petrograd Soviet of Workers
and Soldiers Deputies which holds no organs of state power but directly
rests on the support of a obvious and indisputable majority of the people,
on the armed workers and soldiers.." Lenin, "The Tasks of the Proletariat
In Our Revolution" p.36-37, SW. Vol 2, Ibid.
Lenin and Stalin showed in practice that the socialist
revolution only comes after the victory of the national democratic revolution.
This understanding allowed Lenin and Stalin to navigate the storms of the
colonial and semi-colonial world, something that Trotsky never could, mixing
up the socialist with the national democratic phase. It was this same understanding
that led to Stalin's later sympathy for the unravelling of revolution in
Albania, and Hoxha's role.
For just as the Bolsheviks of the Soviet Union turned
the struggle against Tsarist feudal oppression into the launching pad for
the successful socialist revolution; the Party of Labour of Albania led
the United Front against the fascist invaders of Albania, from the National
Democratic Revolution (NDR) through to the socialist revolution.
Firstly in the NDR against the Italian fascists,
and German fascists;
And then against the internal class enemies
in the socialist revolution. Incidentally, in this epic battle during the
Second World War, Albania was the only state bar the Soviet Union,
able to liberate herself entirely by herself from the fascist grip.
The Communist Party of Albania (CPA) was formed
from a number of grouplets who conducted significant struggle, in the midst
of the Italian occupation. In fact it was these anti-fascist battles of
the rank and file that led to more than just a formal unity between the
various groups :
"While the negotiations among the leaders of the
communist groups dragged along for months, the popular anti-fascist forces
were growing all over the country. . a radical change had taken place.
The rank and file members of the communist groups were becoming aware that
unity could not be achieved through sterile talks among chiefs but through
a common struggle against the fascist invaders.. The demonstrations were
conducted under the slogans : "Long live free Albania", "Liberty or death!".
From : "History of The Party of Labour of Albania"
Volume 1, Tirana,1971, p.70. (Hereafter listed as PLA).
These activities ultimately led to the formation of a
branch of the Korca Communist Group to be formed in Tirana in 1940 under
the leadership of Enver Hoxha (1908-1985). Under his leadership, the sectarian
and Trotskyite elements of the "Youth Group", were in practice exposed.
These included such incorrect slogans as :
"For a Soviet Albania", during the phase of the anti-fascist
battle". p.79, PLA Ibid.
The Shkodra and Korca groups moved closer together
with the need for joint actions against Italian fascism. Finally the Communist
Party of Albania was formed from a meeting of groups, on November 8th,
1941. The party's ideological and organisational bases were explicitly
those of Lenin and Stalin (PLA History p.89-91); and explicitly repudiated
Trotskyite notions of "the reactionary and conservative nature of the peasantry,
and the lack of a proletariat"; as being fatal pre-conditions against hopes
of any victory (PLA History, p.86).
The STRATEGIC AIM
of the party in 1941 was :
"To fight for the national independence of the Albanian
people and for a people's democratic government in an Albania free from
fascism." p.92, PLA.
The class struggle was not ignored, but :
"The basic contradiction existing at that time in
Albania which demanded an urgent solution in order to clear the way for
national social economic and cultural development (was) the contradiction
between the people and the fascist invaders."
The main enemy was :
"The Italian fascists.. and all those who sided with
the invaders and had served them to oppress the Albanian people."
The principal forces against them were :
p.93, PLA Ibid.
"The workers and peasants who bore the main brunt
of the fascist oppression, and (fulfilled the task-ed) to 'set up
military units.. (to-ed) spread among the masses of workers in urban and
But in accordance with the tactics of the broadest possible
united front with those GENUINELY fighting the common enemy, the
CPA set up a crucial TACTICAL DIRECTIVE:
"But the "non-national patriotic state were also interested
in ensuring national independence. Therefore the party could not afford
to neglect these strata, and it set down the rule of carrying on ceaseless
work in order to mobilize them in the national-liberation movement:
Having linked the masses with the vacillating but genuinely
patriotic of the Albanian nationalists, the CPA proceeded to win the leadership
of the National Liberation War. The process led to the National Liberation
"In February 1942, the Central Committee issued the
first instructions to establish national-liberation councils which would
serve as instruments organizing and mobilizing the people for the anti-fascist
war and at the same time as the "nuclei of our future government". The
councils were to serve as very important links with the broad masses of
the people and unite with them in the national liberation front." PLA,
The Founding of the National
Liberation Front at the Peza Conference on September 16th, 1942,
was key to harnessing the energy of the genuine anti-fascists.
"Unite with the nationalists who really want a free
Albania, with all the honest Albanians who want to fight against fascism."
p.94 PLA, Ibid.
In practice the true but non-communist patriots were
distinguished from the false so called "patriots". The latter led by Abaz
Kupi did not dare to : "openly oppose the guiding role the CPA had
begun to play in the struggle." Ibid, p.123. The Councils exercised great
"In the liberate regions the councils exercised the
functions of organs of people's power. They maintained law and order looked
after the development of the economy , the food supply, trade, sowing and
harvesting of grain, organized education culture and the press; they settled
councils patched up blood feuds and maintained the people's readiness for
"Throughout the National Liberation Councils, the
government functions and the people are mobilised for struggle and the
PLA, Ibid, p.125.
It is true that the CPA "had the rich experience of the
Soviets". But :
"Naturally it did not merely copy this experience,
First and foremost it relied on the concrete circumstances under which
the people ant-fascist uprising was developing in Albania. The composition
of the organs of this uprising harmonized with its national liberation
character. These councils the CC (said).. should include the militant representatives
of the all the anti-fascist forces regardless of their political opinion
and class background."
PLA Ibid, p. 126.
But the CPA during the guerilla war, obstructed and exposed
the machinations of the "Balli Kombetar".
Headed by the sham patriot Mithat Frasheri and Abaz Kupi, the Balli
"Reactionary bourgeois intellectuals, big landowners
and merchants, reactionary clergymen, rich peasants and others.. The Trotskyite
"Zjarri Group" also joined it. The Balli Kombetar was a motley political
union of various reactionary trends. Its organisation was rotten.. the
Balli announced that it did not recognise the Peza Conference.. they chose
to collaborate with the invaders."
PLA, Ibid, p.131-33.
Sectarian elements goaded on by the Yugoslavs agitated
for an "open war" against the Balli at this stage. This would have been
premature. Instead of "open war" against the Balli, the CPA led by Hoxha
fought to distinguish between the rank-and-file and leadership of the Balli.
This line convinced the people of Albania that there was only one true
leadership fighting for a national liberation- the CPA.
When the 2nd National Liberation Conference took
place in Labinot on September 1943, the attempts at a rightist accommodation
with the Balli by the more faint hearted of the CPA Central Committee (Ymer
Dishnica) had been defeated by Hoxha. It timely now, to move to the slogan
"To have the national liberation councils recognized
as the sole people's power in Albania."
PLA Ibid, p.170.
Ultimately the correct line won out and the masses became
ever more convinced of the CPA's correct unhesitating leadership. As time
went on, even the more honest of the British military observers commented,
in then secret reports :
"It is exceedingly difficult to explain to the partisans
(ie the true National Liberation Front (NLF) led by the CPA-ED) the reason
why the Allies not only DO NOT denounce these collaborators but give them
supplies, and continue to maintain MILITARY missions with them.. During
the past 6 months, together with Majors Titman and Palmer, I have asked
for a change in policy, The position has remained unaltered.. I am a professional
soldier not a politician, but from what I have seen of the NLF they are
perfectly capable of running Albania and to the satisfaction of the populace."
British Documents of the Public Record Office in Kew,
London : FO371/43551/39/R10429. Cited in "A Tangled Web : A History
of Anglo-American Relations with Albania (1912-1955)", p.99. By W.B.Bland
and I.Price. London, 1986, published by The Albanian Society.
The Italians capitulated on September 8th, 1943.
But then came the Germans. The armed battle became even more intense.
This led to the escalation of battle against the Balli internal enemy,
more and more the vanguard of reaction. This coincided with the Abaz
Kupi joining forces with the German Quisling governments; with the
connivance of the British. The latter were by now increasingly worried
about Hoxha and the CPA's revolutionary potential, and wished to prop up
their future "right" to exploit Albania via the puppet Kupi; and British
Prime Minister Winston Churchill held talks with the Albanian ex-King
It was in this climate that the CPA pushed to establish
state power under the workers and peasants :
"The first question to be taken up is that of state
power.. The establishment of the National Liberation Councils everywhere,
their reinforcement and their protection from all attempts on the part
of the "Balli Kombetar" or any other party to sabotage them, or to combat
them overtly... There should exist no other power than that of the national-liberation
councils. On this issue there can be no compromise and duality." PLA Ibid,
By May 1944, despite harsh German aggression in the winter,
the CPA led partisans were dominant. By 1944, the National Liberation Army
had grown to 35,0000 fighters. By now the Red Army had mounted an offensive
since January 1944, on the Eastern Front, entering Rumania in April. At
this critical time, the anglo-Americans aided the Kupi and Balli Quislings.
But unlike Greece, where communists were butchered, the CPA followed correct
tactics led by Hoxha. At Permet in April 1944, the Ist Anti-fascist National
Liberation Councils Congress, addressed the question of state power. The
CPA identified this question. With the first democratic elections in Albania
ever, the Anti-Fascist National Liberation Council was elected as the highest
legislative and executive body in Albania, as :
"the representative of the sovereignty of the people
and of the Albanian state. The Anti-Fascist Council elected in Permet
was the first peoples Convention of Albania. The Congress charged the Anti-Fascist
Council with forming the Anti-Fascist National-Liberation Committee with
the attributes of a provisional people's democratic government.. Enver
Hoxha was elected Chairman of the Anti-Fascist Committee. Establishing
the supreme organs of the people's power, the Permet Congress decided:
After this, Albania finally liberated herself from fascism.
"The new people's democratic Albania is to be built
according to the will solemnly expressed today by the people through the
Anti-Fascist National Liberation Council."
PLA Ibid, p.208.
In Berat in October 20-23, 1944, the Second Session
of the Anti-Fascist National Liberation Council took the decision to change
the Anti-Fascist Committee into the Democratic Government
This promised to organise the full democratic elections
for the Constituent Assembly after Liberation. All citizens were guaranteed
equality before law, freedom of meeting, of association, of press of religion
and consciences, equality for women and men, right of election etc; in
the "Declaration of The Rights of the Citizens". The first steps toward
agrarian reform was taken with listing of all land ownership and counting
of landless peasants; all foreign political and military and economic agreements
concluded by ex-King Zog were annulled if they infringed upon Albanian
interests; and close relations and collaborations were envisages with the
Soviet Union (p.217-219, Ibid PLA).
When full liberation was achieved on November 29th,
"Both in the leading organs of the National Liberation
War and in the composition of the Party, the number of workers was small.
This did not however prevent the working class from fulfilling its leading
role in this war."
the working class had played the dominant role
in the National Liberation War correctly led by the CPA.
Despite the fact that :
The peasantry had become the main armed force of the National
Liberation War and the "soundest support of the CPA".
It was true that:
"The Albanian peasantry constituted the overwhelming
majority of the population. It is true that it was backward from the economic
and cultural standpoint, but it preserved ..great revolutionary capacities..
against landlords and usurers, against the former anti-people regimes and
..foreign invaders..The peasantry accepted the programme ad leadership
of the CPA..the well to do peasantry, the village gentry as a class did
not..and aligned themselves with the Balli."
PLA Ibid, p.234-236.
Of the other classes the petty and the middle bourgeois
also joined with the CPA led NLF. Of the petty bourgeois most were enthusiastic.
Of the middle bourgeoisie there was vacillation but most took part. (p.236).
Of course the youth and the women were the most active forces.
Now the tasks were clearly
directed towards the second stage - securing socialism.
First the army
was transformed from a guerilla and partisan army, into a regular army.
Elections to the local organ of power were held. The Democratic Front was
formed, convened at the Ist Congress of the National Liberation Front in
August 1945, under the slogan of national unity. This called for elections,
which were held on December 2nd. The only exclusions from the polls were
ex-ministers of the Quislings, war criminals, and those who had lost their
During the period directly leading up to the December
elections certain progressive measures were taken.
1. Friendship and alliance with the Soviet Union was
In the midst of the electoral campaign, the Soviet Union
recognised the Democratic Government of Albania.
2. Reconstruction was made a priority. Schools, factories,
power stations etc.
3. Merchants and capitalists were compelled to pay
taxes and yielded up hidden gold and merchandise. Property was expropriated
of hostile elements and those refusing to pay the progressive taxes.
"In 1945 the revenue from the extraordinary taxation
on war profits accounted for more than half the state budget income."
PLA Ibid, p.261.
The elections were decisive.
"About 90% of the voters took part.. and 93% of them
cast their ballots for the candidates of the Democratic Front. These were
the first democratic elections ever held in Albania... On January 11th,
1944 the Constituent Assembly, expressing the will of the People unanimously
proclaimed Albania a People's Republic and chose the new government with
Never Hoxha at its head."
PLA Ibid, p.272-3.
THE ENSUING CONSTITUTION :
"Proclaimed that the main means of social production
were common property of the people; and that the private sector was subject
to state control. The Constitution also regarded work as an honour and
duty for everybody. It proclaimed the principle that each citizen was entitled
to be paid according to is work and capability."
p.274. PLA Ibid.
To the cynics the elections must "have been rigged". It
is interesting then to note the views of the 1945 US Special Mission
of Special Officer Joseph Jacobs:
"The Albanian leaders are a sincere patriotic group
of individuals who are going to be difficult to deal with."
"The NLF regime enjoys greater popular support than
any opposition group. Opposition elements are poorly organised and have
no positive programme. The NLF is the only movement which effectively resisted
the Fascist invaders. Generally speaking, the NLF leaders are patriotic
and well intentioned. they are more considerate of the well-being of the
people than was any previous Albanian regime. That they have done as much
as they have thus far is remarkable, considering their inexperience."
p.i Bland and Price, Ibid.
Bland and Price : "The Tangled Web", p.140, Ibid,
citing National Archives USA Washington : 84/7/801/7-145.
The People's councils had become the basis of the dictatorship
of the proletariat. What was Stalin's attitude to Hoxha, and to the fledgling
socialist state of Albania?
II. ALBANIA AND JOSEPH VISSARIONOVICH
Even leaving aside the powerful impetus to Communists
in Albania, of the Bolshevik Revolution of 1917, the Albanians were heavily
influenced by the Soviet state from 1917 onwards. Unlike the revisionists
of the so called Peoples Democracies, the Albanians truly embraced the
Soviet example from the beginning.
The anti-fascist war of national liberation itself,
was boosted by the Soviet example. The Albanian Party history says :
"Led by the CP headed by J.V.Stalin the Soviet people
rose in a body to wage their Great Patriotic War in defense of the freedom
and independence of their Socialist homeland. This just war opened a new
stage in the Second World War strengthened the liberation, anti-fascist
character of the struggle of peoples against the fascist bloc, and laid
the foundations for the unification of all the anti-fascist forces of the
world into a single front.. the treacherous assault on the Soviet people
and the outbreak of the great Patriotic War had deep repercussions in Albania.
the broad masses of Albanian patriots were indignant at the Hitlerite aggression..
Only the Soviet Union had defended the rights of Albania and had raised
its voices against the injustices perpetrated against her..
"Our struggle" Enver Hoxha said, "Did not begin after
the entry of the Soviet Union into the war, but after the entry of the
Soviet Union into the War, our people felt that the blood that they shed
would be not be in vain."
PLA. p. 81-2.
In fact the Meeting Of the Communist Groups that formed
the CPA, set itself the task of linking the Albanian National Liberation
with the Great Anti-Fascist World War. And as the PLA History puts it,
the most :
"Decisive external factor of the historic victory
of the Albanian people was the Great Patriotic War of the Soviet Union
and its great victory Over fascism.. Under the leadership of J.V.Stalin,
the Soviet Union bore the brunt of the Second World War and played the
principal role in the destruction of fascism."
PLA, Ibid, p.241.
The most direct evidence of the views of Stalin are the
testimony of Hoxha from his five personal meetings
with Stalin. Hoxha claimed in his memoirs of the meetings with
Stalin that :
"We Albanian communists have successfully applied
the teachings of Stalin in the first place in order to have a strong steel
like Party, always loyal to Marxism-Leninism, stern against the class enemies."
"With Stalin - Memoirs", Enver Hoxha, p.39, Tirana
These Memoirs are redolent of a very warm and personal
relationship between these two great fighters for humanity. It is not necessary
to belabour this point, as the book speaks for itself. But we will try
to describe briefly some specific aspects of the relationship between Stalin
(A). UPON THE IMPERIALIST ATTACKS
UPON ALBANIA, THE ROLE OF GREECE, AND
THE SAGE ADVICE OF STALIN.
The Great Powers had always interfered in Albania,
setting up their version of her borders. They had previously in the secret
Treaty of London (Signed April 26th, 1915 by Britain France Italy and tsarist
Russia) divided Albania into 3 parts; two of which were to be directly
under Italian control and one under Greek control. (From British Foreign
Office Records, Kew, FO371/3148/6163/199287. Cited Bland and Price Ibid,
p.6). But the vigorous policy of the masses led by the CPA made it far
more difficult to manipulate Albania.
Nonetheless, immediately after the Second World War,
when the Greek revolution was crushed, the British and American imperialists,
once again used the Greeks as pawns by which to disrupt Albania. The Greeks
revived the specious claim to the part of the South of Albania that they
called the "Northern Epirus". As an British Foreign Office memorandum urged
"The State Department.. are inclined to consider
that there might be justification for limited action by the Greek army
just inside Albanian territory.. There is much to be said.. for hinting
unofficially to the Greek military authorities that a minor incursion of
this nature should be winked at." Cited by Bland and Price Ibid, p.235-236.
Hoxha pointed out to Stalin, that the British and the
USA imperialists were anxious to continue swallowing Albania, just as before
the war. In addition the Greek and Italian and Yugoslavs had designs upon
Albania. The advice of Stalin was to steadily proceed with the building
of socialism. Sagely he advised :
"As for the screams of the external enemies about
partitioning Albania, they are just to intimidate you because I do not
think there is any danger in this direction at present.. In the first place
Albania is a free and independent country, the people have seized independence
and they know how to defend their independence. Second the external enemies
have themselves contradictions with one another over Albania. None of them
wants Albania to belong only to the other. If Greece wants to have Albania
for itself, this would not be advantageous to Italy or Yugoslavia, which
would raise obstacles.. On the other hand the independence of Albania has
been recognised and confirmed by the delegation of the big three-The Soviet
Union, Britain and the USA. This declaration may be violated, but it is
not easy to do. Hence come what may, Albania has its independence protected."
Hoxha : "With Stalin", Ibid, p.116-117.
For Hoxha's part, he shared information on the incorrect
handling of the partisan war in Greece; and the immediate post-war problems
of the inexperienced and poorly led Greek Communist
In 1947, at his Second meeting with Stalin Hoxha was
"We think that the leadership of the KKE made grave
mistakes.. among others that the Greek Democratic Party (GDA) stood aloof
from the people.. made great mistakes in regard to the expansion of the
party in the countryside and the town during the war.. and during the war
against internal reaction and Anglo-American intervention."
"With Stalin", Ibid, P.109-110.
Many of these mistakes were the very ones that the Hoxha
leadership had to fight against within the CPA Central Committee. These
mistakes were being urged by Trotskyites, and by hidden Titoite agents.
In essence, these mistakes embodied a lack of reliance upon the masses,
and opportunism :
"In the countryside.. the extension of the party
was limited, and its organization weak and lax, with the organisation as
of the party frequently confounded with the EAM (the National Liberation
Front-Ed). There was opportunism both in the organization and in the political
line of the national liberation councils at the village level, there was
duality of power and coexistence with the Zervist reactionary organizations
etc. in the liberated areas and elsewhere. We told the Greek comrades that
their putting the Command of the National Liberation Army under the orders
of Mediterranean Command (the British and the American Command-editor),
their talks and agreements of an opportunist and capitulationist character
with Zervas and the reactionary Greek government in exile, the predominance
of peasant elements and of the old career offers in the leadership of the
Greek National Liberation Army, and so on, were grave errors which would
lead the heroic struggle of the Greek people to defeat. The Varkiza agreement
was the logical conclusion to all these wrong actions and views - it bought
about the capitulation to British and local reaction..
Even after the capitulationist Varzika
Agreement and the period of 'legality' of the KKE, the leadership
of the KKE did not go deeply enough into its former mistakes in order to
correct them in a radical manner.. it did not have sound links with the
broad masses of the people.. it did not appreciate the new situation after
the defeat of fascism, underrated the internal enemy and Anglo-American
reaction and was unable to foresee the great danger that would threaten
it from these forces of reaction.. It had great hopes in 'legal' activity
and parliamentarism. As a result the party was disarmed before the enemy,
lost its sound ties with the people, the people's revolution in Greece
went through a grave crisis, and the people were given the impression that
the revolution would triumph on the parliamentary road and through elections..
they failed to prepare themselves for a protracted difficult war, under-rated
the partisan war and described the partisan forces they succeeded in regrouping,
as a regular army. They pinned all their hopes of victory on this 'regular
army', in this way neglecting the main factor-the people, and the Marxist-Leninist
principle that 'the army and the people are one."
Stalin was disturbed about events in Greece, and the apparently
strained relationship between the CPA and the KKE. In fact Stalin arranged
for an open meeting with the leaders of the KKE - Nicos
Zachariades and Mitsos Partsalides; with Enver Hoxha to discuss
the allegations of Hoxha. These were openly ventilated in Stalin's office,
on the occasion of Hoxha's Fourth meeting with Stalin.
Hoxha's criticisms on points of principle were:
i) That the KKE Ceded Control of the battle against
the Fascists to the British and American Mediterranean command :
"Our party supported the Soviet-British-American
Alliance, because through to the end it considered this an anti-fascist
coalition to crush the German Nazis. But at the same time we never created
the illusion that the Anglo-American imperialists would be the loyal friends
and allies of the Albanian people.. we made a radical distinction between
the Soviet Union and the Anglo-Americans from the beginning.. Our Party,
our Army and the General Staff of our army not only never submitted to
the dictate of the British and the Allied Mediterranean Head quarters,
but even when we allowed them to give us advice, we took it with very great
caution..our two peoples (ie.Albanian and Greek) developed even closer
fraternal relations during the war.. But we have criticised the comrades
of the leadership of the KKE because the EAM and they themselves committed
a major political mistake of principle in subordinating the National Liberation
War of the Greek people to the Anglo-American strategy and placing it virtually
under the leadership of the British and the Mediterranean HQ. We addressed
our criticism to Comrade Zachariades personally. The person mainly to blame
for this situation was Siantos.. Zachariades was imprisoned.. When we pointed
out this matter to Comrade Zachariades later, he did not give me a clear
answer, and leaned more to the view that mistakes had not been made."
With Stalin, p.166.
ii) Hoxha's Second Criticism Was That the defeatist
Tactics of the KKE - capitulation at Varkiza.
Right wing forces in Greece formed a National
Republican Greek League (EDES), led in name by General Nicholas
Plastiras and in practice by General Napoleon Zervas.In a meeting of
May 1944, in Lebanon, the EAM, ELAS and KKE agreed to place all
their military forces under a "Government of National Unity" to
be led by George Papandreou. Papandreou then demanded the disbanding
of all military forces bar those of the Greek Government, when ELAS refused,
civil war broke out led by the British Lieutenant -Colonel Ronald
Scobie authorised by Winston Churchill. On January 3rd, 1945, Papandreou
was replaced as Prime Minister by General Nicholas Plastiras. After
this a "peace conference" on February 12th, was held at Varkiza
where the ELAS agreed to disband in return for an amnesty, and handed
in its arms. The remnants of the ELAS then re-grouped as the Greek Democratic
Army, and civil war broke out again.
"Our opposition to the leadership of the KKE with
Cmde Zachariades at the head is based in the first place on Varkiza, where
the KKE and the EAM signed the agreement which nothing more than a capitulation
a surrender of their arms. The CPA described this act as a betrayal committed
against the KKE and the fraternal Greek people."
With Stalin, Ibid, p.170-171.
The Varkiza agreement was to have major significance,
and devastated the forces of the Greek Communists.
iii) Hoxha's Third Criticism Was Upon The KKE understanding
of guerilla war.
The practical experience of the CPA meant that these
criticisms were sharp and telling :
"After the capitulation at Varkiza, the Greek national
Liberation War was resumed.. we have had contradictions with Zachariades,
Bardzotas, and Ionnides over the character of the war the Greek Democratic
Army (GDA) should have waged against.. Greek reaction.. On the basis of
the our National Liberation War, we think that the Greek Democratic War
should not have been transformed into a frontal war, but should have retained
the character is a partisan war, fought with small and large units. In
this way the General Van Fleet (of the USA) superior forces would not have
been able to liquidate the GDA.. Zachariades' views on strategy were in
opposition to ours. The comrades of the leadership of the KKE.. described
the.. partisan forces.. as a 'regular' and 'modern' army.. they also claimed
that they had equipped it with the strategy and tactics of the frontal
war of a regular army. On the other hand, in their military operations
the Greek the comrades followed the tactics of passive defence which is
the mother of defeat.. the KKE proceeded from the incorrect principle that
partisan warfare has not a final objective, that is, does not lead to seizure
"With Stalin" p.174, Ibid.
Hoxha goes on to point out that the GDA was very demoralised,and
with the continual waiting instead of seizing an offensive, became more
so. Even when there was a positive manoeuvre made in the Battle of Gramos
in 1948, the victory was not built upon to "capture cities," and to "seize
power". Hoxha links these military considerations with an even more significant
point- that the leading role of the party was discarded by the KKE:
"We think that at the battles of Gramos and Vitsi
the comrades of the Greek leadership did not keep in mind the Marxist-Leninist
principles of people's war.. We have told the Greek comrades in a comradely
manner that the leading role of the party in the Greek partisan army must
be ensured more firmly; the political commissar of the company, battalion,
brigade and division should be the true representative of the party, and
as such should have the same right to command, just the same as the commander.
But we have noticed and have often pointed out to the Greek comrades that
they have not taken a correct view of the leading role of the party in
the army.. Failure to understand the leading role of the party in the army
was one of the main reason which led to defeat in the GDA.. In the Greek
National Liberation Army (ELAS) the joint command of the commander and
the commissar existed but this was poorly implemented in practice. The
pressure of erroneous bourgeois views of career officers who could not
tolerate trusted people of the party in command alongside them, brought
about that.. the role of the commissar was overshadowed and relegated to
second place. This is a consequence of the views of the leaders of the
KKE on the 'regular army'."
Stalin after hearing Zachariades, and having made
himself conversant prior with the facts, supported Hoxha's analysis
"As regards Varkiza, the Albanians are right.. Varkiza
was a major mistake. You should not have signed it and should not have
laid down your arms, because it has inflicted great harm on the Greek people's
war.. as regards the assessment of the strategy and tactics followed in
the Greek Democratic War, although it was a heroic war, again I think the
Albanian comrades are right. You ought to have waged a partisan war." Ibid,
THIS DISCUSSION ON GREECE
SHOWS SEVERAL THINGS :
Firstly, that the
standard Trotskyite argument that "Stalin was responsible for the debacle
in Greece" is incorrect. Here Hoxha testifies that he and the CPA, advised
the KKE to adopt a correct Marxist-Leninist line, one by which the CPA
itself had secured victory.
Ibid, p.183, 187-190.
Secondly, the relations
between Stalin and Hoxha were very frank and open. Frank and warm, but
principled also. The open party discussion between the CPA and the KKE
was instigated by Stalin, in the best spirit of proletarian internationalism.ie.
To have open and sharp debate, in order to heal dangerous rifts, to develop
Marxist-Leninist policy, and to prevetn repition of mistakes. At the end
of this potentially bitter debate, Stalin said : "Wait a moment, comrades!
Embrace each other, Comrade Hoxha and Comrade Zachariades!" ("With Stalin",p.200).
Thirdly that the
overall assessment of Albania's by Stalin (See beginning of this section)
was in the long run correct. By building socialism the CPA avoided the
capitalist encirclement for many years - until the death of Hoxha in fact.
B) THE PRACTICAL SUPPORT OF THE SOVIET UNION TO
ALBANIA IN BUILDING SOCIALISM.
In all the meetings of Hoxha with Stalin, there was
considerable talk of how the Soviet Union could help the fledgling socialist
state of Albania. It was clear that Soviet leader was prepared to help
the Albanian state considerably, in both political and practical terms.
For example, the very name of the Party of Labour of
Albania was suggested by Stalin. The overwhelming mass of the people were
from the peasantry, and Stalin understood the implications of this:
"The overwhelming majority of our people," I (Hoxha)
told Cmde Stalin.. "Is comprised of poor peasants and next come the middle
peasants. We have a working class small in numbers then we have a quite
a large number of craftsmen and townspeople engaged in petty commerce,
and a minority of intellectuals. All of these masses responded to the call
of our Communist Party, were mobilised in the war.. and are now linked
with the party and the people's power.. While assessing the policy of the
Party.. towards the masses in general and the peasantry in particular as
correct, Cmde Stalin gave us some valuable comradely advice about our work
in future.. He expressed the opinion that since the biggest percentage
of its members were peasants, our CP should call itself "The Party Of Labour
This suggestion was later adopted by the CPA. Stalin's
attitude, showed how well he understood the problems of a peasant based
society, and his practical experience in the Soviet Union :
"Cmde Stalin asked us in detail about the situation
of the middle and poor peasants in our country. Hoxha told Cmde Stalin,
about the policy of the CPA, and the great all-round work it had done..
in order to find support among the peasantry and win it over to its side..
Hoxha said "We acted in that way, proceeding not only from the Marxist-Leninist
principle that the peasantry is the closest and most natural ally of the
proletariat in the revolution, but also from that fact that the peasantry
in Albania constitutes the overwhelming majority of the population and
through the centuries had been characterised by great patriotic and revolutionary
traditions.. Cmde Stalin replied :
"In general the peasants are afraid of communism
at first because they imagine that the communists will take the land and
everything they have. The enemies talk a great deal to the peasants in
this direction with the aim of detaching them from that alliance with the
working class and turning them away form the policy of the party and the
road of socialism. Therefore the careful and far sighted work of the CP
is very important, as you also said, to ensure that the peasantry links
itself indissolubly with the party and the working class.".. "Stalin advised:
"You must set up the Machine and Tractor Stations and strengthen them,
so that they work the land well, both for the state and the cooperatives
and for the individual peasants. The tractor drivers must always be in
the service of the peasantry, must know all about agriculture the crops,
and the soils, and must apply all this knowledge in practice to ensure
that production increases without fail."
"With Stalin, Ibid, p.62.
"With Stalin", Ibid, p.59-62;75-76.
Of course there was much more advice. But also there was
much critical practical aid.
This consisted of everything from maize and cotton
seeds(p.153), rails (p.103), army materials (p.103); and most importantly
to specialists and educational help to build up industry and self-realince
of the people:
"We shall help you with specialists in order to speed
up the process of development of the Albanian economy and culture. As for
oil think we'll send you Azerbajani specialists, because they are masters
of their profession. For its part, Albania should send the sons and daughters
of workers and peasants to the Soviet Union to learn and develop so that
they can help the advancement of their Homeland".. We shall assist both
with literature and with specialists in order to help increase the number
of higher institutes which are the basis for the creation of the university"
The generosity of Stalin is to be contrasted to the attitudes
of such as the later to be revealed revisionist Mikoyan :
"Stalin said: Comrades, we are a big country, but
you know that we have not eliminated all the grave consequences of the
war. However we shall help you today and in the future, perhaps not all
that much, but with those possibilities we have. We understand that you
have to set up the sectors of socialist industry, and in this direction
we agree to fulfil all the requests you have presented to us, as well as
those for agriculture." Then smiling he said : "But will the Albanians
themselves work?" I (ie Hoxha) understood why he asked me this. It was
the result of the evil-intended information of the Armenian huckster Mikoyan,
who .. not only spoke in a language quite unlike Stalin, but also used
harsh terms in his criticisms of our realization of plans in our country,
alleging that our people did not work etc. His intention was to reduce
the rate and amount of aid.
"With Stalin", Ibid, p.103-4.
Clearly, Stalin fully supported both Hoxha and the Socialist
state of Albania.
C) UPON THE REVISIONIST TITO LED COMMUNIST PARTY
YUGOSLAVIA (CPY). Yugoslavia versus Albania; Stalin supports Albania.
After the open exposure of the Trotskyites, revisionism
went underground. Following the further exposure of the revisionists in
the Soviet Union such as Zinoviev, Bukharin, Radek etc; international
revisionism was cautious.
The next open attempt to subvert the Marxist-Leninist
world movement was taken by the CPY under Tito. It was the exposure
of the Tito by Stalin that ultimately helped the Albanians to maintain
their independence. For, from the earliest days of the Albanian War of
Liberation, until Stalin exposed the CPY, Albania and the CPA were constantly
under pressure to cede its independence in various ways to the Yugoslavs
and the CPY.
i) Relations During the War between the CPY and
In summer 1941, the CPA established links with the
CPY. The background, between Yugoslavia and Albania was "embittered" :
"This whole grievous legacy built up over decades
had been created by no fault of the peoples and the Albanian people in
particular have never been to blame for it. The blame for this rests on
the anti-Albanian policy of the monarchs of Serbia and princes of Montenegro
who wanted to gobble up Albania.. The monarchs of Italy, Austro-Hungary,
Greece, Serbia, Montenegro, and Bulgaria rushed to grab whatever they could
from the "The periphery of the (crumbling-ed) Ottoman Empire.".. In particular
the Serbian and Montengrin hordes assailed the Albanian territories.. occupied
the outermost region of Kosova.. expelling about 3000,000 Albanians.. In
1912 the Albanians won the great victory - the independence of Albania...
(But-ed) then Albania was cut in half-Kosova and other Albanian regions
were violently annexed to Yugoslavia.. the anti-Albanian policy of.. great-Serb
reaction was intensified.. Yugoslavia once again sanctioned its de jure
its "rights', to the occupied Albanian territories.. and tried new ways
of .. gobbling up the whole of Albania. It was precisely the Serbian monarchs
who came to the aid of King Zog who had fled from Albania in June 1924..
Zog carried out the counter-revolution in December 1924. In return Zog
initially gave the Serbs other pieces of Albanian territory, such as Vermsoh
"The Titoites", Enver Hoxha, Tirana, 1982. p.4-9.
To seek unity and links with the CPY, with these bitter
centuries, was not easy. But the CPY was fighting against fascism itself,
and the CPA felt it important to establish links.
But, the CPY over the next years was to consistently
attempt to foster another agenda-the long term swallowing of Albania.
The CPY falsely claimed "They had set up the CPA."
But actually the CPA had already begun forming itself
before the first approach of the CPA to the CPY in July 1942. The various
groups had met on 8th-14th November, 1941. A CPY contact only arrived in
Albania on December 1942. Blazo Jovanocic, came with a letter from
Tito, saying :
"It contains instruction and advice which are very
important for you.. Do you agree with them or not!?"
Titoites, Ibid, p.27.
This hectoring tone and anxiety to "take over" the struggle
was to mark the next years of interaction. The contents of that letter
were later claimed by Tito to "have saved the CPA". But in fact the CPA
had already dealt with all the problems that Tito purported to address.
Among many later "advisers" from the CPY were Svetozar
Vukmanovic-Tempo; and Dusan Mugosa. Apart from denigrating the "stereotype
of the October Revolution" (Titoites p.47. This attitude was vigorously
rejected by Hoxha); they also attempted different subversions. They accused
the CPA of sectarianism over collaboration with the nationalists, yet simultaneously
accused the CPA of "softness" to the Balli :
"Your stand towards the Balli Kombetar is incorrect,
it is wrong.. Your softness and tolerance towards the Balli Kombetar from
the first moments when it appeared on the scene, it took you by surprise
and subsequently you have not known what stand to take. Instead of declaring
war on it, you offered the negotiating table."
Titoites Ibid, p.64.
These charges Hoxha could easily reject, pointing to the
successes of the United National Liberation Front (See above, and further
p.64-68 "Titoites"). The CPY "adviser" Colonel Velimir Stojnic,
in 1944, charged the CPA and Hoxha as "opportunists", for even having talks
with the Balli Kombetar at Mukje in August 1943. Again Hoxha pointed out
the correct tactics of the CPA. Hoxha tried to end this sabotage by openly
"Your interference in our affairs is out of place
and your tone is unacceptable."
The Yugoslavs however, continued to promote the provocative
sectarians of CPA members such as Liri Gega and Mehmet Shehu. They
pursued sectarian acts; such as the arbitrary shootings of Ballists in
violation of Party instructions to "dispassionately judge crimes". (p.126-30).
The Yugoslavs also began their policy of ultimately
subordinating things Albanian to the CPY :
Early in their interaction the Yugoslavs, promoted
"A big staff, a staff above the staffs, as you might
say a universal organisation. this staff will be an inter-Balkan staff,
or let us call it a Balkan staff for short."
Titoites, Ibid, p. 53; See also p. 57-61.
Hoxha saw this was ridiculous in times of fascism and
war. The other sister parties involved (Greece and Bulgaria) rejected
this absurdity. But this was only a temporary retreat for the CPY.
Despite all these provocations, the CPA concerned itself
only with liberation from fascism - prelude to the socialist revolution.
Even where Kosova
(Albanian territory annexed by Yugoslavia, overwhelmingly peopled with
ethnic Albanians) was concerned, the CPA applied Marxist-Leninist policy.
Despite the demagogic appeals of the Balli Kombetar to the Kosovan people,
that they would "liberate Kosova from Yugoslavia", the CPA :
"Issued calls to the people :"Only unrelenting war
against the fascists and their collaborators will lead to the solution
of our national problems, an integral part of which is the putting right
of historical injustices. For this our Communist party is fighting and
the CPY likewise is leading the peoples of its country on the same course."
As Kosova was now occupied by the Fascists (Balli demagogues
even claimed that this "represented a liberation" from the Serbs) this
was a principled stand of the CPA. Of course, either one of the CPA or
the CPY could have led the Kosovan struggle. In fact :
"The CPY demanded that the population of Kosova and
the other Albanian regions of Yugoslavia should be mobilized in the fight
under its leadership and immediately after the war, this population should
decide its own future on the basis of the Leninist principle of the right
of self-determination. This demand we considered reasonable and fair..
We agreed to make a concession.. so that this question could not be used
even as a "pretext" by others.. this was not the time to explain the peculiarity
of Kosova etc.. the main thing was to arouse the peoples in the general
war against the fascist occupation. Later, when the communist parties were
in power, then yes, then everything would be decided justly and would be
settled finally, according to the will of the peoples themselves."
The CPY reneged on its promises for a self-determination.
During the war nonetheless, the CPA unsparingly showed the Kosova people,
that struggle they must - against the fascists. This line persisted, despite
serious and false Yugoslav charges of "Great Albanian chauvinism" (See
But the CPY was continually exposing itself as having
aggrandizing motives. The Ist Conference of the National Liberation
Council for Kosova and Metohia, was held in Bujan December 31st,
1943 to January 2nd 1944.
This Conference under the leadership of the CPY for
Kosova and a local unit of the CPA (Shkodra and Tropoja, whose partisan
units operated in the adjacent highlands of Gjakova) proclaimed the :
"Albanian people of the Kosova and the Dukagjin Plateau,
will have the possibility to decide their own future through the right
of self-determination up to secession."
But the CC of the CPY headed by Tito, erased this from
the written resolutions; but this fact was kept secret from the CPA (Titoites,
Further unprincipled acts of the CPY followed. After
the CPA had lit the torch in Kosova, Albanian partisans of the CPA helped
actively in battle to achieve the liberation of Kosova. Now, Tito ordered
the CPA and Kosova partisans, to pursue the Nazis into the North. This
allowed the Titoites to :
"Enter Kosova, without meeting the resistance of
the Albanian insurgent forces, Kosova liberated y the forces of the CPA
army and the Kosova forces. Tito eliminated the national liberation councils
that had been set up and launched unrestrained mass terror against the
Albanians. These unprecedented reprisals of the Titoites quite rightly
caused a great popular revolt which put the "New Yugoslavia" in doubt.
In this extremely difficult position the patriotic people of Kosova demanded
the return of the Albanian patriots.. Tito.. was obliged to agree to this
demand, and the partisans returned.. after this Tito planned new manoeuvres..
it was necessary for him that our forces should finally withdraw from Kosova
and return to Albania..But how? The direct withdrawal of our forces from
Kosova .. would create unpleasant and grave scenes for the Titoites. The
people of Kosova might rise in revolt again.. Tito staged the "need to
pursue reactionary bands towards the South, towards Greece.", and for this
he sought the aid of those forces of ours. We .. ordered our divisions
to act. After they reached the Southern most borders of Macedonia our forces
ere told there "was no further need" for them to stay in Yugoslavia. The
border was crossed in the zone of Korca and Prespa, far from the eyes of
the people of Kosova. Tito and Rankovic were left free to operate as they
did, with their barbarous methods against the martyred Kosova."
Meanwhile, the Yugoslavs had actively recruited agents,
such as CPA CC member Koci Xoxe, later to be exposed as a dupe of
the CPY. All of this activity was directed against Enver Hoxha who had
constantly exposed the Yugoslav emissaries and obstructed them. Even during
the war, the Yugoslavs attempted a coup, by using these secret agents in
the CPA Polit Bureau. The thrust was that Hohxa had been sectarian in the
line of the CPA. But this was occurring just as the Liberation of Berat
and the South of Albania was being achieved by the correct policies of
the CPA and Hoxha.
On the eve of liberation of the entire country, the
2nd Plenum of the CC of the CPA was held in Berat, on November
23rd. This marked the naked attempts by the previously concealed Yugoslav
revisionists to disrupt the Albanian party. Prior to the Plenum, the
Yugoslavs had captured a hidden majority on the CC of the PLA. These hidden
agents were led by Koci Xoxe, and also included Nako Spiru and Sejfulla
The immediate object was to "Open the Front" to include
the Balli, who were by now exposed. The Second objective was to remove
An initial victory at the Plenum was scored by the
hidden agents, who labelled Hohxa as : "The synthesis of all the mistakes
observed in the political and organisational line." ; and the lien of the
party as falling from "sectarianism into opportunism" "Titoites", Ibid,
The PCY delegate manipulating the agents, Stojnic,
gave away the future agenda. He addressed the conference to say :
"You cannot go ahead without Yugoslavia and in particular,
without the Yugoslavia such as has now been created in the Balkans and
in Europe..The perspective of Yugoslavia is the perspective of the Balkans
and of Europe.. you speak very little about us, therefore in the future
you should speak more about Yugoslavia and Tito."
Titoites, Ibid,p. 214-5.
Another future agenda - alliance with the Western Great
powers was also made clear.
Stojnic said in the debate before the CPA Plenum :
"The great Allies which plays a decisive role in this
war should all be looked on in the same way, by the new state.."
Hoxha firmly refuted this sabotage in his speeches.
"How",asked Hoxha. "By putting the Soviet Union on
the same footing with the other two?"
"From the State viewpoint yes," Stojnic explained.
"The policy of a true state makes no differentiation. In an unofficial
way for example through party channels the Soviet Union can be considered
as the main and most natural ally, but not through state channels, America
and Britain are always allies, and their present policy is positive and
in our own interests."
Titoites, Ibid, p. 220.
Although the Berat Conference was a major set back;
in one goal, the CPY failed. They did not eliminate Hoxha from the leadership,
as the respect of the Plenum was so high for him. Hohxa was still able
to push the correct line, which was to maintain the independence of the
Front, and to now face the fact :
"That the question of state power is the central
question for the party..we must strengthen the councils and purge them
of alien elements."
Despite these treasonous acts by a supposed fraternal
party, after the liberation of Tirana on the close of the Berat Confernce,
the Albanian army pursed the Hitlerite forces into Yugoslavia and helped
to liberate Montengro, Sandjak, and Bosnia (PLA History, Ibid, p.231).
ii) Tito Obstructs the Albanian path to socialist
The attitude of Stalin towards helping Albania to build
itself up, and develop its socialist industry has been described above.
This attitude was in marked contrast to the behaviour of the Tito Regime.
The post war relationship between Tito and Albania was one of obstructing
its development. This facilitated Tito's plan to swallow Albania. Hoxha
cites the Yugoslav, V.Dedijer,
"As early as the beginning of 1945, one of Tito's
closest collaborators, Mosa Pijade demanded that the new chancellery of
Federal Republic of Yugoslavia in Belgrade should have not 6, but 7 cabinets.
According to the Titoites, the 7th Cabinet was for the "Yugoslav Republic
of Albania." (Rijeka 1981) Titoites, p.231.
Tito and Kardelj and other Yugoslavs; expressed to their
hidden agents in the CC of the CPA (Mehmet Shehu, Kristo Themelko Koci
Xoxe, Sejfulla Maleshova) the Titoite revisionist views:
"On the "stages of revolution", the Yugoslavs thought
that since the stage of the bourgeois democratic revolution has still not
been completed, we shall delay the transition to the second stage of the
proletarian revolution", that " the road of transition from the former
to the latter stage is the road of reforms"; that the " national liberation
councils are organs of the bourgeois democratic revolution"; and that "one
of the distinction between the October Revolution and the Yugoslav Revolution
is that in the Yugoslav Revolution the bourgeois is a member, a participant
in the front"; that " Tito has enriched Marxism with the tactics of the
national liberation war."
The strategy of which Berat was one part, was becoming
clear. The Berat Conference upbraided the CPA for Sectarianism in the Democratic
Front. Now, the "innovative" views of Tito about the "stages of revolution",
justified the agents of Tito in obstructing the second stage of revolution
in Albania. The line give out was:
"Comrades Tito, Kardelj and Djilas.. advice us not
to skip the stages." (See p.245-7).
Now the CPY even pressured the CPA to accept the ex-King
Zog's treaties concluded with the imperialists.
Hoxha refused to allow the temporary defeat at Berat
to dissuade him of the correct Marxist-Leninist line. The ambition of the
3 main hidden agents, each vying for power, helped the Marxist-Leninists.
These agents were Xoxe, Maleshova and Spiru.
In the Spring of 1946, Hoxha launched his counter attack
in the Polit Bureau of the PCA on the errors of the Berat 2nd Plenum. Although
the CPY tried to prevent it, Hoxha pushed to hold openly (as opposed to
secretly, as the CPY urged) the 5th Plenum for the 1st Congress of the
CPA. Just at this juncture, Tito urgently requested Hoxha to come to
Belgrade in July 1946.
Hohxa asked for tangible assistance in credits for
the development of agriculture and industry; and a mutual aid treaty. Tito
in return developed the idea of the "Balkan Federation".
This had first been suggested by Georgii Dmitrov,
the Bulgarian Communist who played a central role in the Comintern. As
Tito took this idea, it was a vehicle by which, to use Hoxha's words:
"He aimed to and struggled to annex the whole of
the Balkan including Albania into Yugoslavia."
Titoites, Ibid, p.287.
A treaty of friendship and Mutual Aid, as well as a Economic
Convention was indeed signed between Albania and Yugoslavia. Though Hohxa
obstructed talk of the Balkan Federation, this pressure continued. Stalin
effectively stopped this manoeuvre. As Hoxha said:
"Xoxe, Kristo, and Themelko exerted considerable pressure
on me to seek to enter the "Balkan Federation". which in their head meant
that we should unite with Yugoslavia. I did not encourage the. One day
about the beginning of 1948, they came to me and said :"The Balkan Federation
is being formed between Yugoslavia and Bulgaria!". We wrote to the CPY..
we never received any reply. Stalin who had divined Tito's expansionist
plans drew Dmitrov's attention to them and at the beginning of 1948 the
latter declared publicly that he had been wrong in his views about the
Federation of Yugoslavia with Bulgaria."
The reality of Tito's Aid, soon became clear :
"In the first year after Liberation we had trade
relations only with Yugoslavia.. the trade was virtually one-way and in
our disfavour. We gave more than we received, We gave good products and
received rubbish. We expropriated the big merchants of their property and
sold the fabric to the Yugoslavs at prices which they set, while the razor
blades and minor things of this type which they sold us cost us the earth.
We imported grain from them because we were short of it, some leather and
iron plough shares and these they sold to us at their internal prices which
were very high. We sold them olives, cheese, olive-oil.. when we did not
have enough of them for ourselves."
Ibid, p. 287-88.
Of course the Albanians wished to transform their state
"We had to lead the country consistently forward
on the road to the construction of socialism in all fields and in the concrete
instance, in the sector of the economy too. We knew that the fundamental
factor for the socialist transformation of the country was the internal
factor; we knew that the external auxiliary factor would be the Soviet
Union of Stalin, in the first place, but specifically in the conditions
when we had still not established the necessary direct link with the Soviet
State, we turned with open hearts to our neighbouring friends the CPY."
But the CPY had different ideas, revolving around a sort
of semi-colonial basis for Albania in relation to Yugoslavia :
"The CPY said: "This is not the time for transformations
of a socialist character".. Our "friends" greatly hindered and misdirected
us also on the question of the Land Reform.. We were advised that we should
not "fall out" with the former landowners, they told us to take a bit of
their land(someone even "advised" to pay for it with money) and to leave
them a good part of the land which in fact represented areas ten or 20
times larger than those of the "poor".. As for industry.. we were advised
: "Later, we shall see what can be done with the mines and the oil, but
for the time being record what you have, supply us with raw materials and
we shall supply you with ample finished products".. "Agriculture - that
is what you should go in for as the backward agrarian country you are!"
The credits arranged were via Joint Stock Companies.
These agreements were signed on November 27th, 1947.
Increasingly the Yugoslavs violated the agreement
i) The open distortion of the customs union with Yugoslavia,
to open the borders to the benefit of Yugoslavia. This allowed Albanian
goods to be taken into Yugoslavia for useless Yugoslav dinars (p.323).
Finally when it became clear to the Yugoslavs that the
Albanians had tried to obtain advice and aid from the Soviets, the Yugoslavs
ii) Operating the joint companies without input of
funds from the Yugoslavs; (p.323).
iii) Setting all prices unilaterally; and by not setting
up factories in Albania (p. 323-324).
iv) By on the other hand complaining that the Albanians
were not fulfilling their obligation; despite the fact that these were
dependent upon Yugoslav equipment never sent (p.326).
v) By demanding parity of prices between the 2 countries,
which was difficult for Albania (p.339).
"A new line is emerging in Albania." Ibid, (p.333).
The Yugoslavs had tried repeatedly to
"keep the road to Stalin closed to us as long as they
could if possible." (p.344).
Yugoslavia tried preventing USSR equipment coming to Albania:
"Albania is like a clock, it cannot work with all
kinds of tools, Some may be better, others may be worse, but whatever they
are they must be of one brand! Not some Yugoslav and some of another production.
Since a Yugoslav foundation has been laid in your country, everything that
will be built upon it must be Yugoslav alone."
An "Ultimatum" was put by Yugoslavia in November
"The CC of the CPY insisted that the relations of
Yugoslavia with Albania ought to be characterised every day by the idea
that our union should be sounder and our friendship should move in the
direction of the fraternization and collaboration of our peoples, including
Bulgaria to. Because of its backwardness the Albanian economy is not capable
of developing independently. The criterion of this aid is that you should
not take everything ready and rely on us in parasitic way! You will advance
yourselves more strongly with us, and our CC thinks that the Yugoslav aid
will be greater when we bring about an economic union between our countries!".
Ibid, p. 360.
The hidden Yugoslav agents within the CC of the CPA tried
to get this line accepted. But Hoxha tried to fight them off. But the mounting
pressure continued. At the 8th Plenum of the CPA, the party was under the
pressure forced to take the line that a new pro-Yugoslav line was to be
taken. The Plenum was also being pushed towards discarding Hoxha. This
all culminated in accepting the leading role of the Front, thereby discarding
the leading role of the Party; as the Yugoslavs had wanted (See p.459 Ibid).
But Hoxha persisted in his struggle. Hastily the Yugoslavs
pressed on with their mission to swallow Albania. Hoxha demanded these
requests to be made in writing.
The reason for the Yugoslav haste to conclude
agreement to have a unitary state between Albania and Yugoslavia became
obvious soon. Obviously the Yugoslavs were aware that the CPSU(B) led
by Stalin, were about to expose Yugoslav revisionism. The Yugoslavs
wished to commit Albania to unifciation in one state, before this occurred.
But the CC of the CPSU(B) exposed Yugoslav revisionism
openly, on March 27th, 1948. There can be no doubt that this intervention
of Stalin and the CPSU(B), had enormous significance in helping safeguard
Albanian socialism (The Titoites P.484-498).
Relations were subsequently cool between Yugoslavia
and Albania; and conversely warm between the USSR and Albania.
iii) Following the Open Letter of the CPSU(B) to
It soon became clear that Stalin had been aware for
sometime about the improper conduct of the Yugoslavs towards the fledgling
state of Albania :
had defended the Albanians refusal to Tito to deploy Yugoslav troops in
Albania(p. 533, Titoites);
openly criticised and prevented Dmitrov's proposal for the Balkan Federation
- a mask for Titoite aggrandizement (p. 5333, Titoites);
Thirdly, as applied
to the Balkans, Stalin acknowledged the right of the Kosovan peoples' to
self determination (p.537, Titoites).
Indeed for strategic reasons, as well as reasons of
principle, Stalin applied this to the Yugoslav Federation itself also:
"I think that as Marxist-Leninists in the future too
we must attack the anti-Marxist views and actions of Tito and the Yugoslav
leadership, but I stress that in no way should we ever interfere in their
internal affairs. That would not be Marxist. The Yugoslav communists and
the Yugoslav people must attend to that matter; it is up to them to solve
their 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."
Now it became easier to expose the Titoite agents in Albania.
The 9th to the 11th Plenums of the CC of the CPA dealt openly with the
history and repercussions of the Titoite penetration of the party. The
way was clear for the continuation of the road to consolidate socialism.
"With Stalin," Ibid, p.142-43.
Stalin's aid continued as discussed above.
But even now Stalin warned about the Yugoslav danger
"In the present situation, you should guard against
any danger from Yugoslavia, The Titoites have their agents in your country,
indeed they will smuggle in others. They want to attack you, but cannot,
because they fear the consequences. You should not be afraid, but must
set to work to strengthen the economy, to train the cadres, to strengthen
the party, and to train the army and must always be vigilant. With a strong
Party, economy and army, you need fear nobody."
"With Stalin", Ibid, p.205.
Stalin's forewarning was correct. As Khrushchev came to
power, dismantling socialism in the USSR, the Titoites renewed their assaults
on socialism world wide, but especially upon Albania.
THERE IS LITTLE DOUBT THAT HOXHA WAS A GREAT MARXIST-LENINIST.
THERE IS ALSO LITTLE DOUBT THAT STALIN SUPPORTED THE CPA IN ITS HEROIC
STRUGGLE TO FORM A SOCIALIST STATE. WE CAN ONLY REPEAT HOXHA'S EXHORTATION
TO THE PEOPLES OF THE SOVIET UNION AGAINST KHRUSCHEVITE REVISIONISM. THE
MESSAGE RINGS TRUE NOW:
"You who fought and triumphed over the most dangerous
enemies of humanity with the name of Stalin on your lips, what are you
going to do?.. In your country the party is no longer a Marxist-Leninist
party. You must build a new party of the Lenin-Stalin type through struggle..
Will you accept the yoke of a new capital? We.. have faith in the great
revolutionary strength of the Soviet Peoples the Soviet proletariat, and
that is why we are convinced that this strength will gradually express
itself, through struggle and sacrifices , will be built up to the level
the time demands, and will smash Soviet social-imperialism to its very
With Stalin", Ibid, p.41-49.