Alliance Foreword:
These texts were forwarded to us by comrades inside Albania. The United Communists of Albania are a part of the International Struggle Marxist-Leninist grouping. The materials were translated from Albanian into English by Comrade Bland of the Communist League. Ilir Hoxha's book - as far as we know it - is currently available in Albanian and in French.
25th October, 2000

     Like the people as a whole, the Communists remember Comrade Enver Hoxha with deep respect and honour It is fifteen years since the day when the heart of the greatest figure who has emerged from the Albanian nation in its entire history ceased to beat, from the day when Enver Hoxha was physically separated from the Party which he created and led for almost half a century, from the people who loved him and which he served unsparingly.

    Leaders like Enver Hoxha come rarely. They are thrown up by great epochs and have as their mission the revolutionary transformation of the world. Such was Enver, whose influence was so powerful that the time in which he lived and worked may justly be called the epoch of Enver.
    Enver Hoxha was a great statesman, a distinguished diplomat, an able soldier, a brilliant political analyst and organiser -- qualities which made him a far-sighted, even visionary, leader. With the deep Marxist-Leninist thought of Enver Hoxha are indissolubly linked victory in the Anti-Fascist War of National Liberation and the position of Albania on the side of the victorious United Nations. This opened the way to the period of socialist construction, to the creation of a many-sided industry and a modern agriculture which not only met the needs of the country but produced a growing surplus for export. This opened the way to the construction of a secure defence system and the development of an educational system which transformed the country from one with 90% illiteracy into one with a university and an Academy of Sciences.

    Enver Hoxha was the distinguished founder and leader of the Party of Labour of Albania (PLA), which he directed with wisdom for fifty consecutive years. He was the commander of the Army of
National Liberation and of our People's Army, a tireless defender of the country's freedom and independence. With Enver Hoxha at the head of the Party, Albania was truly an independent, sovereign country whose voice was heard in the international arena, a country which no one dared to attempt to bully and which indisputably enjoyed the respect of oppressed people and revolutionaries all over the world.

    The greatness of the figure of Enver Hoxha stands out all the more when we look at what the country has suffered since his death, with the return of reaction and the restoration of capitalism. Everything the people had constructed with effort and sacrifice over fifty years under the leadership the PLA and Enver Hoxha was totally destroyed from the foundations, the country and the people faced mass unemployment, as a result of which Albanians were forced into emigration or into employment to work as the servants of others. Crime, corruption, prostitution and other evils associated with capitalist society spread. Albania lost not only its good name but also its sovereignty. For ten years a whole team of propagandists inspired and directed by the international bourgeoisie has poured out insults and demagogy with the aim of distorting the truth, denying the work of Enver Hoxha and striving to blacken his figure.

    But this was in vain. The people understand very well what has happened, and long for the return of the time of Enver. The more time passes, the higher his figure towers on the horizon, the brighter the rays of his teachings shine.

    By communists and by honest people Enver Hoxha has always been loved and respected. He has left to us a very precious inheritance -- the theory and practice we need to guide us in the great and difficult battles which lie ahead.

    His teachings call for the unity of communists into a single party, for the broadening of the links of the communists with the people, for the strengthening and tempering of that unity. Only
in this way can we put ourselves in a position to fulfil these tasks successfully, to realise the historic mission to which we have dedicated ourselves.

    As we commemorate today the figure of Enver Hoxha, his work and his name, we bow with deep respect and at the same time pledge ourselves to work with revolutionary dedication and without sparing ourselves, to keep alive communist ideals, to be guided at all times and at every step by the compass of the teachings of Enver, to work to realise his last wish that Albania should always march forward red, like the hearts of the communists and partisans.


(From 'SHK ENDIJA' (The Spark), 5 March 2000);
(This interview was requested by an independent newspaper but was not published)

Q: At a press conference a few days ago the Party of the United Communists of Albania declared that it would take part in the national elections. Does this mean alone or in alliance with the
Communist Party?

A: When we said that we would take part in the elections, we were speaking for our party. We were nor referring to alliances. But we see the Communist Party in the framework of the aim of our congress, that of unity, that of creating a single communist organisation. The achievement of this aim will make us stronger and assist the people to evaluate us correctly.

Q: Do you think that this unity will be realised before the elections?

A: We are doing everything we can in this direction, but I cannot give you a precise reply at present. Inasmuch as our programmes are built on the same foundation, on the ideals of 8 November 1941, on the teachings of Marxism-Leninism and of Enver Hoxha, I can see no reason why unity should not be achieved. I blame the delay in reaching full agreement on this question mainly on the fact that the communists have been working under conditions of illegality. But I cannot deny that disruptive activity on the part of saboteurs who have penetrated the movement are also a factor. Nevertheless, in today's conditions, nothing can stop the drive to unity. Albania is at present leaderless. The great powers are seeking to play with the destinies of the people, whose interests should be paramount. In this they are aided and abetted by today's pseudo-politicians of the new bourgeoisie. Unless the communists are able to bring about this unity, the people will continue to be exploited by forces inside and outside the frontiers.

Q: Let us imagine for a moment that unity has been realised . . .

A: We communists do not dwell in the world of imagination. But we are convinced that the unity of the communists will be realised, and indeed very soon. Those who work to sabotage this unity know its strength and fear that one day they will be called to account before the people for the harm they have done to Albania and its national wealth.

Q: Are you convinced that, if this unity is achieved, the people will support you in the national elections?

A: Absolutely YES.

Q: You say YES with emphasis. On what do you base this belief?

A: I do not want to go into philosophy, but we bow to the criterion of truth which, as you know, is practice. What has practice shown in the history of mankind? Who overthrew the slave
system: the slaveowners or the slaves? Or again, was the October Socialist Revolution made by the oppressors or by the oppressed? Let us come to our own history, to 1944. Who overthrew the feudal-bourgeois rulers and their backers, the occupiers of the country? It was the working people, led by the communists. But who were the communists? Were they representatives of the people
or of the oppressors of the people? The communists have been and are in uninterrupted struggle against the classes who oppresss the people. Consequently, they are today in struggle against the bourgeoisie and the parties who support it. Whom should the people believe, the oppressors or the communists?

Q: Are the communists really defenders of the interests of the people?

A: Let me repeat: absolutely YES. This is an undeniable truth. And the people have learned this truth by their own bitter experience of the last ten years. And they have also learned that in the propaganda of the reactionaries white is portayed as black and black as white.

Q: What is the principal lesson they have learned?

A: They will tell you themselves. They have learned that capitalism has its basis in the exploitation of man by man. They have learned that bourgeois politicians lie and cheat, that they are bandits and criminals.

Q: So the lesson you draw from these last ten years . . . ?

A: We communists did not need ten years to draw the lessons. The year 1991 was enough.

Q: How do you mean?

A: I will attempt to explain in a few words the mistakes that we ourselves made. This is the principal lesson.

Q: So you accept that you made mistakes?

A: Oh, certainly. But our mistakes were not of the kind portrayed by bourgeois propaganda. Our mistakes had nothing to do with communist ideals, with Marxist-Leninist ideology, or with the teachings of Enver Hoxha. On the contrary, our mistakes are all concerned with the failure to adhere to these teachings. The principal mistake which we and the people made was loss of vigilance, and it is a mistake for which we have paid very dearly. To concretise this, may I first ask how old you are?

Q: Twenty-five.

A: May you live to be a hundred! Let us look at a little history, because you are in the age-group which for the last ten years has received no proper education. It is necessary to be clear that we
communists are not 'ogres', as you were taught at school, as we are portrayed by today's authorities. We are honourable people. We are patriots. We are the first to make sacirfices and the last to make unfounded claims. We communists did not found the Communist Party in order to place it at the service of fascism We did not build power-stations to make profits for foreign companies, but to bring light to the people. We did not build fortifications to defend ourselves against imaginary enemies, but to protect the people against the fate which has befallen our Kosovar brothers. Finally, I ask you, did we communists fulfil the promises we made? Compare our promises with those made today. To repair a bridge today it takes several months to do what the communists would have done in a night. Such are the communist 'ogres', and the proofs are countless and indisputable.

Q: You spoke of 'loss of vigilance' and 'mistakes'?

A: Yes, yes. The loss of vigilance occurred at the highest level, in the ranks of the Party of Labour (PLA) The 'ogres' entered the Party, or became 'ogres' inside it. Thus, after the death of
Enver, the leadership of the party fell into the hands of cunning traitors like Ramiz Alia and Sali Berisha, who pretended to be 'more Catholic than the Pope'. And these mistakes created the conditions which enabled internal and external reaction to realise their long-held aims of restoring capitalism. Now the Party has cleansed itself of these traitors, and the people has learned where loss of vigilance leads. The people now know, and you will very quickly learn, who are the real communists, to be trusted.

Q: I hope that you succeed in bringing about unity, I wish you success in the elections, and I thank you.

A: Thank you.

    The Central Committee of the Party of United Communists of Albania (PUCA) decided at its meeting on 29 January 2000 to direct itself again to the necessity for a single unified Party of Communists.
     This historic task facing the communist movement in Albania is all the more necessary because of the difficult situation through which our country is passing.
    We can go to the help of the people, we can effectively confront the anti-communist movement and the bourgeois parties of right and 'left', only if we put an end to unnecessary disagreements.
    We stress once more the call of the CC of the PUCA to bring about without loss of time the union of communists into a single party. Thus we shall demonstrate to the people that the communists know how to find the language of agreement, secure its support, and act more effectively in the struggle for the realisation of our historic mission.
    The people and the communist movement are waiting for us to act.
    CC of the PUCA; Tirana, 29 January 2000

     I wrote these memoirs during a year's imprisonment by the 'democratic' state of Albania because I gave an interview in which I answered questions put to me by a journalist from the newspaper 'MODESTE' about my father, Enver Hoxha. In court I made it clear that, despite the politically inspired and vengeful nature of the punishment meted out to me, no one should be allowed to think that I could be frightened from speaking truthfully about my father or about the distant and recent past of Albania. Apart from the pleasure it gave me to write them, these memoirs are a defence of a greatly loved human being.
    In these memoirs, I have described my father as I knew him during a life we shared as long as he was alive. He was a model parent who loved us, reprimanded us, advised us and taught us
social morality. He was the same as grandfather to our children, his grandsons and granddaughters.

    I knew him also as a leader who worked all his life for Albania and its people. He was a principal architect of the great victory which the people achieved in the War of National Liberation, defeating with our own warriors the Nazi-Fascist Powers and their collaborators, getting Albania to stand shoulder to shoulder with the victorious Allied Powers. The consolidation and reconstruction of the country; its emergence from centuries of backwardness and from the total destruction which it had suffered in the war; the development of industry and the placing of agriculture on a scientific basis; the building of a nation-wide network of electric power; the development of art, culture, education and science; the emancipation of women; the honoured place which Albania gained in the world -- all these must be credited to the merit of Enver Hoxha as leader during the whole period in which he was at the head of the state.

    As the honest reader will come to see, he was a true democrat in relation to the people, to the workers, peasants, intellectuals and youth, just as was harsh with external and internal enemies who tried to sabotage these achievements or to trample underfoot the independence and sovereignty of the new democratic Albania.

    He died honoured by the whole people bcause he worked all his life for the people.     Five years after the death of Enver Hoxha, the democratic socialist system which had been built up over 45 years of sweat and sacrifice, was overthrown. It was overthrown by dark internal and external forces who took a savage revenge, in collaboration with the imperialist powers, on those who had deprived them of political power and 'rights' of exploitation, These forces, now organised politically, knocked down his monument. In the darkness of night because of fear of the people they disinterred in a macabre manner from the Cemetery of Martyrs of the Nation the body of Enver Hoxha, the Commander-in-Chief of the national liberation struggle. 'Democracy' had been established in Albania!

    Enver Hoxha was now called 'a dictator', although he was no such thing.
    Persecution of his family began. In the press, whether 'left' or right, I was now called 'the son of the dictator', but this made not the slightst impression on me. I knew and shall always remember my father as model parent and far-sighted leader, determined to defend victories achieved. He was a genuine democrat -- never a dictator.
    These memoirs are dedicated to my three children -- Ermal, Shkilzen and especially to my youngest son Besmir, who shared life with him for only three months, so that they may know their grandfather better and be proud of him, as I am.
Ilir Hoxha August 1995.

   Before I describe my feelings about the exhumation of my father's body, which was the most painful event in my life, I must first write briefly about my father's death and funeral.

    On 9 April, around nine o'clock in the morning, Father suffered a heart attack and fell into a coma. Mother, who lived as always close by, immediately summoned the doctors. They came within moments, since they were already prepared because of the serious state of Father's health. They were able to restore the funcioning of his heart, but he did not emerge from the coma.

    I was at work. They informed me and I went home immediately. I found him in bed, surrounded by medical apparatus. A lump came to my throat. I sroked his head, and said:
    "Dad, it's Lilo!".

    The hours passed, but his condition did not improve and I began to lose hope. I sat near his bed, held his hand and said to myself:

    I talked to him in the hope that he heard me, even though he did not reply. This state of affairs lasted until the 11th April, about two o'clock in the morning, when his heart finally ceased
to beat. I had fallen asleep, fully dressed, on a bed in another room, since I had been two days without sleep. I got up immediately and went to his room. I kissed him in farewell greeting.

    I returned to my room and wept in an effort to ease the great pain I felt, but I had to pull myself together to speak to my children, who were small -- ten and six years old, while Besmir was only three months and could not understand what was happening. It was a heavy blow for them too. Their grandfather, who loved them and had done so much for them, was no more.

    In the morning, everyone gathered outside the front door. Then Father left his house for the last time, but now not for the office but for the morgue.

    Later everything was public -- the ceremony in the People's Assembly, where a long queue of people stood for some days to say their farewells in silence and in tears, before the coffin, which
lay on a gun-carriage covered by the national flag; the ceremony in Skanderbeg Square and finally the burial in the Cemetery of the Martyrs of the Nation.

    The people accompanied Enver Hoxha to his last resting-place in pain, knowing that he had worked all his life for them. One day in early May 1992, at nine o'clock in the evening, there was a knock at the door of my house. I opened it. A person unknown to me handed me an envelope and then disappeared. I closed the door and opened the envelope. Inside was a notification that the next day, at six o'clock in the morning, the family were invited to the public cemetery at Sharra where the burial would take place of 'Mr. Enver Hoxha'.

    How was this possible? That we should be told at nine o'clock at night to be present at six o'clock in the morning, before sunrise, to attend something so shattering. How was it possible that an exhumation should have taken place secretly, at night, without the presence of members of the family concerned?

    It was a difficult time for our family. They had taken my seventy-year-old mother away to prison. Perhaps she would be told of the 'event' there, alone in her cell.

    I informed my brother and my brother-in-law Klem. We found a car and set off immediately for the Cemetery of the Martyrs of the Nation. But the police had blocked the entrance to the cemetery and would not allow anyone to pass.

    I replied: "No one can prevent me from being present when my father's body is exhumed".
    They reported to their superiors and, in face of our insistence, told us to go home, where they would inform us when the exhumation was taking place. But our place that night was not at home, but with our father, and we spent the night at the gates of the cemetery. Then, under searchlights, the grim work began.

    We heard the sound of pneumatic drills. They were working in haste to finish the task before sunrise. This kind of work needed to be done secretly, at night, away from the eyes of people.
At last they had finished, and we were allowed to approach the exhumed coffin. There were doctors there to certify that Enver Hoxha was really dead. It was eleven o'clock. They bore the coffin away and we were allowed to follow. They reburied it, directly in the earth, in the People's Cemetery.

    The next day, and every day after that, veteran ex-partisans came to stand guard over their commander's grave. President (now ex-President) Sali Berisha would decorate criminals who killed women and children, He would honour Pjeter Arbnori, the son of a fascist who fought the partisans! He would honour Renat Aleksander Meksi, the former Prime Minister who brought Albania to the verge of total destruction! But Enver Hoxha he would dishonour! What hypocrisy!

    But the plan miscarried. At the place where the grave of Enver Hoxha once stood, young people have placed bunches of flowers and a large national flag. I had thought that, at least, the new grave would be 'more personal'. But no! Many people went there, to lay flowers and light candles at this simple grave, which was now the grave of Enver Hoxha. ............. 

    Shortly after the Berisha regime had disinterred my father's body from the Cemetery of the Martyrs of the Nation, I was passing one day though the park in Tirana with its artificial lake when I noticed a memorial carved out of red marble.

    I recognised it immediately as the the gravestone which formerly marked my father's grave in the Cemetery of the Martyrs of the Nation. It still bore the holes from the mountings of the
letters of his name. But in place of the former inscription 'ENVER HOXHA (1908-1985)' was now written:

    As if it was not enough that these soldiers of the Second World War should be buried far from their homeland and their families, now they must bear the weight of the gravestone of
Enver Hoxha!

    A state which steals the gravestone of the man who led the country's war of national liberation in order to transform it into a memorial for foreign soldiers is a state totally lacking in any semblance of dignity. On the other hand it is an insult to the kingdom of Great Britain. At least, that is what I think. ...

    After this event, visitors to our family greatly increased. People came whom we did not know, young and old people, veterans and others.

    The young visitors were simple people, but with character. Kosovars were among them, many without proper papers who had come through the mountains at night to reach their Albania, their mother country.

    Albania's days of terror brought my mother to court. The propaganda directed against our family was intense, but most people realised that the aim of the proceedings against her was to discredit Enver Hoxha.

    State television featured every session of the trial, but people quickly came to see the absurdity of the charges. that she had embezzled the sum of 300 dollars! For this she was sentenced to 11 years imprisonment. Immediately after the passing of the sentence, my mother wrote to us from her cell:

    After spending more than two years in solitary confinemnt, in the cold cells of Tirana prison, sleeping on a mattress on the floor, she was transferred to the high security prison at Tepelena, where she spent about a year. It was a prison for men, and Mother was the only woman prisoner.

    Together with my wife Teuta and our eldest son, Ermal, I went many times to Tepelena to see her. Sometimes we also took the two other children.     I do not want to go into details of the difficulties which were put in the way to visiting my mother, for she will cover these matters in her own memoirs. I will deal only very briefly with one thing which has remained in my mind.

    One day they brought her from her cell to tell her that, on the anniversary of the foundation of the 'Democratic Party', Berisha was willing to shorten her sentence by two years if she made application. Revolted, she had told the official:

    Similarly, I remember another incident, when she was in prison in Tepelena. During one meeting, she asked me to bring her some books of memoirs by Enver Hoxha. But the police told me that 'it is not permitted to bring the books of Enver Hoxha into the prison'. I replied:     She spent more than five years in prison, but now she is free, writing her memoirs. Despite her advanced age, her ordeal in prison neither demoralised her, nor weakened her spirit. She faced it with high morale, because it was an unjust and purely vindictive punishment.    The imprisonment of my mother miscarried. Protests from many organisations abroad multiplied and pressure for her release grew. It was shameful that she, an anti-fascist, should be in prison for political reasons.

    As her sentence neared its end, those who plotted behind the scenes felt it necessary to find another member of the Hoxha family to put in prison. They found the pretext in an interview I gave in which I spoke about my father. It was really nothing more than a son's impressions of his father, but my arrest gave events a new direction.

    On the eve of 11 April 1995, the anniversary of my father's death, a journalist from Modeste' asked to interview me. I told him to put in writing the questions he wished to ask and name a
meeting-place. I worked through the night on the answers and gave them to him when we met. The reader will find a record of the interview later in the book.

    After publication of the interview, many people congratulated me on it, because until then the views of our family had not appeared in print, since the Albanian newspapers were not interested in presenting our views. .

    It was 17 April. I reached home at about eight o'clock in the evening. Home was a ruined and abandoned building on the outskirts of Tirana allotted to us by the authorities. Five minutes later there was a knock at the door. Our little son went to see who it was, and frightened, called back to Teuta:

    Teuta went to the door, where a group of police and two civilians were waiting. They asked for me, and Teuta called me.
    When I came, they handed me a letter and said I must go with them to the procurator's office to answer some questions.     I went back into the house.

    "What do they want?", Teuta asked me uneasily.
    "They want to qustion me at the procurator's office".

    "The bastards are going to arrest you!".

    The children were following my actions without speaking. I dressed warmly because, although it was April, the weather was cold, and it would be very cold in a prison cell.   I embraced the children and my wife, and said to the youngest :

    To the eldest boy, Ermal, I said:     I had no time to discuss things with my wife, but we both knew that the cause of my arrest was my interview. As I descended the steps, I thought of my seventy-four-year-old mother in prison and said to myself:     At the bottom of the steps a police-van was waiting. I was, it seems, regarded by the Berisha regime as much too dangerous to be transported in an ordinary police car. Berisha himself had described us to Frau von Kohl, the representative in Vienna of the International Federation for Human Rights as a 'criminal family', when she had asked 'why the family of Enver Hoxha was being persecuted. And she had answered:     After this incident, Frau von Kohl had come no more to Albania.

    I climbed into the police-van, and greeted the policemen, who were all young.     When we reached the procuracy, a procurator named Genc Gjokutaj read me the charge. I was accused of 'inciting hatred among the nationalities and races!'

    By the time my interrogation began, it was past ten o'clock. But despite the lateness of the hour, Teuta went that night to tell her sister of my arrest. There some friends informed the newspaper 'Our Time' about my arrest, and the next day this published an 'exclusive report' of my arrest.
    Naturally, I wondered if my mother knew of my arrest. In fact, the next day she had, as always, listened to the BBC News, which she regarded as more objective than that put out by the stations controlled by the Berisha regime.
    "Last night", the BBC report began, Ilir Hoxha, the son of the ex-dictator of Albania, Enver Hoxha, was arrested". The news came as a bombshell to her and she heard nothing more. She was convinced that my arrest was political. It was only later that she read the interview, and wrote to me:

    Many other people told me that the interview had been a trap. I disagreed and said that, as far I was concerned, I did not care whether the journalist had come to me of his own accord or had been sent. What mattered for me was that he had given me an opportunity to express my thoughts to the world, and had published them accurately.

    The next day, Teuta went to see Mother in prison and told her in detail what had happened.

    The period before my trial was one of intensive work preparing my defence. I was allowed to appoint a lawyer and a young man named Arben Ristani, whom I did not know but whose father, a photographer, was known to me, was recommended. He came to the prison and we talked for a long time. He would prepare my defence from the juridical aspect -- something he did very competently, destroying one after another the arguments of the prosecution.

    Meanwhile Teuta visited all the embassies of the states who were members of international human rights organisations, such as the Council of Europe, and wrote to friends inside and outside
the country.
    Preparing my defence was not an easy task, because the relevant documents had to be translated, typed and distributed as press communiques. However, under difficult conditions, Teuta helped me to do what was necessary.

    The day of the trial arrived. The courtroom was full to overflowing with comrades and friends, as well as journalists.
    Seeing Teuta, Ermal and Shkilzen in the front row of the court, I waved to them to show that I was all right, and they smiled back.

    In such difficult conditions, family unity -- that kernel of society, as it has been called -- was of indispensable value.     The verdict of 'guilty' was a foregone conclusion, and the
court sentenced me to a year's imprisonment.
    We appealed at two levels, but our appeals were dismissed.     A number of international bodies concerned with human rights sent protests about the obvious dependence of the courts on political masters. Such protests were sent to Berisha, the People's Assembly, the Prime Minister, the Minister of Justice, etc., and characterised me as a prisoner of conscience. But the authorities were interested in human rights only to trample on them. But at least it was clear to honest people throughout the world that the courts in Albania were being misused to take revenge on the family of Enver Hoxha.

    I was confined at first in the Tirana Prison, where, by a coincidence, I found myself in same cell in which my mother had been been kept.

    I found life in prison very boring and frustrating, and was impatient to have a visit from Teuta and learn how the children were bearing up. Two days after my arrival, a warder came and told me to prepare for the meeting. He warned me that I should have to wear handcuffs, because the regulations required this.

    But he did not lock them properly and they fell to the ground. He winked at me. We understood each another.
    That first meeting in prison was very emotional. We embraced and began to tell our news to each other. Just seeing each other gave us courage. But the meeting ended all too soon and we had to part again.

    Alone again in my cell, the days passed slowly and monotonously. My cell was very small, furnished only with a mattress on the floor. A small window with bars provided the only light and air. It was impossible to see out of it, for it was set high in the wall. Food could not be left on the ground, for there were large cockroaches, who came out of holes in the wall. There were also large mice, but they did not venture into the cell.
    It was very hot, and the sweat poured off me. However, in the recreation room there was a large window through which one could see a courtyard and, in the distance, the state archives. I would walk for half an hour in the recreation room before being returned to my cell. The day of my meeting with Teuta and the following day I was able to eat tasty food she had prepared. The dishes she used to prepare at home were always fine, but in the cell they soon went off with the heat and it took some time before she learned to prepare food which would last for a week, until her next visit.

    The prison food was as follows: no breakfast; for lunch, we had soup, which was relatively good and which I usually took; while for dinner, there was macaroni, which I avoided beause it looked so revolting.

    After four months here, a guard came to my cell one day and  told me to get ready as I was being moved to another prison. Within five minutes I had got together the two or three possessions I had with me, and got into a police van with a boy who had been convicted of theft. The van sounded its siren and we moved off in the direction of Durres.
    At Kavaja we turned to the right and I realised that we were going to the prison at Bardhora. The road was very bad, full of pot-holes, and I realised that this would make it very difficult for Teuta and the children to make their weekly visits to me, for the journey needed a vehicle with four-wheel drive. Indeed, I wondered if my family would be told of my move.
    And so it was. Only after they had waited for two hours in the queue outside Tirana prison were they told that I had been transferred to Bardhora, near Kavaja. Teuta and the two boys set off at once in the direction of Bardhora, thumbing lifts in lorries to get there.
    I waited that day for many hours in the exercise-yard of the prison, and at last I was filled with joy to see them coming up the track towards the prison. After they had gone through the
formalities required of visitors, we met and embraced.     "You found me!", was all I could say.

    Bardhora was a completely ruined prison-camp. The international organisations who visited the Albanian prisons categorised it as 'completely uninhabitable'. It had formerly been a prison-camp for prisoners engaged on gathering laurel sown by the nearby cooperative farm. But this no longer existed, and the laurels had all been pulled up. The camp had formerly received its water by tanker; now it drank water polluted with lime. There were no showers, and the prisoners made showers out
of holes in the ground which were also used as latrines, The kitchen was ten metres away, and the food was covered in flies by the time it reached us. The whitewash had completely flaked off the walls of the dining-hall. The prisoners slept in dormitories which were more than fifty years old -- four in all -- in hammocks, The windows were without glass. In summer there were bugs everywhere. In winter the wind blew a gale. When it rained, the whole camp became a sea of mud. There were around 250 prisoners, the majority convicted of serious crimes such as murder, rape, robbery with violence.

    When it became known who I was, despite their varied political views, they treated me with kindness and friendliness, saying 'everyone has the right to stand up for his father!". This did not please the governor.
    The family always brought me newspapers and gradually everyone came to read them. We did the cross-words together. At one end of the dormitory a television had been placed, and when the news came on and the announcer began to say:

    everyone came over to hear who had been arrested. They all seemed to know each other.

    The days of my sentence eventually came to an end. All prisoners dream of this day. It was good when my family was united once more. But the reunion was only partial, for while I
had been in prison, my eldest boy had been forced to emigrate to support the family. He came and told me in prison, and I gave him what advice I could. Now my second son, Shkilzen, became Teuta's right hand.

    On the night before my release, I could not sleep. I had collected all my belongings together. My second son was waiting outside the camp. I could not wait to get home. They suggested
that we should stop for coffee on the way, but I felt this would be wasted time. At home Teuta, my second son and other members of the family were waiting. I said to my son:

    Then I spoke with my eldest son on the telephone. The following day I went to see Mother in prison, and afterwards I went to place flowers on Father's grave. I touched his grave with pride. Q: Ilir Hoxha: a first name preserved from antiquity and a surname which time seeks to forget! What kind of person lies behind this name?

A: It is true that the name Ilir comes from antiquity, while the surname Hoxha, which I had the good fortune to inherit from my father, is known, at least to the Albanian people, from 8 November 1941, when the Communist Party of Albania was founded. The very fact that you have come to interview me is because I bear this name. I say to you that it is untrue that 'time seeks to forget this surname'. But if time does not seek to forget this surname, this is in no way due to any merit on my part, but to the colossal work which Enver Hoxha did for Albania and the Albanian people.

Q: To be the child of a famous personality has advantages. Do you think it also has disadvantages?

A: Naturally, it has its own disadvantages, which are many times greater than the advantages. One of these, and the principal, was and is that when he was alive, and even more now that he is dead,
I could bring dishonour upon him.

Q: For 45 years Enver Hoxha was leader of a whole people, while personally he was also a father. What do you value him most as -- parent or leader?

A: I cannot separate the two. I valued him as a father, but at the same time I valued him as a leader, as did everyone. The first evaluation is personal.

Q: Times change. Enver Hoxha, from being an idol, is characterised today as the misfortune of the nation. How do you assess Enver Hoxha?

A: Times can certainly change, As for not being an idol, this doesn't bother me at all, for he never ought to be an idol. Some people do characterise him as 'the misfortune of the nation', but who and why. Personally, I do not regard him as 'the misfortune of the nation'. Indeed, only modesty prevents me, because he was my father, from calling him the pride of the nation.

Q: What do you consider the greatest merit of Enver Hoxha?

A: The creation and consolidation of the new Albanian state, which gave him a world-wide reputation.

Q: But did he not also make big mistakes?

A: I am not aware of any mistakes, much less 'big mistakes'.

Q: But the charges against Enver are many and serious, in spite of the fact that the anti-fascist war is considered to be one of the most glorious pages in Albanian history. How do you explain

A: But from what sources do such charges emanate? I suggest that they emanate from those who wish to sell the country and allow its people to be exploited. Enver Hoxha's aim -- and naturally
the aim of the partisans, the youth and the people as a whole -- was to liberate Albania from such people, and this was achieved on 29 November 1944.

Q: It is a fact that privileges (including the benefits of the amnesty granted on the 50th anniversary of liberation) have been denied to your mother. How do you account for this?

A: My mother was one of the first active anti-fascists in the country. The fascist occupiers sentenced her to 13 years' imprisonment because she was a partisan. As you say, she has now been sentenced to 11 years' imprisonment. My mother was not prepared to ask for remission of her sentence, because she has committed no crime. She has been sentenced, not for any crime, but for reasons of political revenge.

Q: Was the cult of his personality the wish of Enver, or a spontaneous attitude of the people towards a respected leader?

A. Enver Hoxha certainly never sought any cult of his personality. But you must put that question to other people.

Q: But it was the people who, in revenge towards the previous regime, pulled down his statue!

A: You slander the people. It was not the people who pulled down the monuments, but gangs of vandals. The people held meetings of protest. But the destruction of monuments is nothing compared to what these vandals did later. They took a pick-axe to Albania! Now, in the eyes of the world, we have neither dignity as a state nor dignity as a people.

Q: The Hoxha family in prison! Do you think that this was at the wish of the people, or only at the wish of certain political circles?

A: I have never heard anyone express such a wish. We respect laws, even those of the present regime. Every honest person knows that my mother has been imprisoned by those who sold out the
country to the fascists fifty years ago, by those whom Enver Hoxha fought, and that this is an act of revenge. I recommend to citizens that they read the memoirs of Enver Hoxha, such as 'The
Anglo-American Danger', 'Laying the Foundations of the New Albania', 'The Titoites', etc., in order to understand the true historical picture.

Q: However, your mother is in prison. How do you evaluate the charges against her of embezzling the property of the people?

A: My mother is a political prisoner, and everyone really knows this, not least foreign human rights organisations. The charges which Genc Ruli and Blerim Cela made in parliament were laughable falsifications. No state property has been embezzled or misappropriated, and counting the cups of coffee served to visitors who came to honour the memory of Enver Hoxha is rightly ridiculed. But all this occurred by decision of the highest authority.

Q: Do you think that your own treatment is based on political revenge?

A: Of course, and this is not hard to see. A state needs to activate its intellectual workers in order to advance. I am one of many unemployed professors, and there are in the same position many engineers, officers, teachers -- some even sleeping in the street -- not to mention workers. I am not the only person to suffer the vengeance of this state, even if I was one of the first. I accept this.

Q: Now we are a democratic state. How do you assess what has occurred over the last three years? As achievements?

A: To tell the truth, I do not accept that we are a democratic  state. We are a democratic state only in words. Indeed, I question whether we are a true state at all. A true state must have a constitution, like other European states. As for achievements', I have seen no achievements during these three
years, only destruction.

Journalist: Thank you.


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