THE <<NAIM FRASHERI>> PUBLISHING HOUSE
C O N T E N T S
RISING ABOVE OLD ANIMOSITIES
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A brief historical survey * The decision of the Albanian communists to establish connections with the CPY * The monarchs of Serbia and princes of Montenegro -- the main culprits for the bitter relations between the Albanian and Serbian, Montenegrin and other peoples in the past * One of the gravest injustices of this century in Europe -- in 1913 Albania was cut in half arbitrarily * The Great-Serb genocide in the Albanian regions in Yugoslavia in the period between the two wars. Why did the Albanian communists enter into relations with the CPY at the time of the National Liberation War?
FROM THE FIRST CONTACTS TO
THE TRUTH ABOUT AN ABSURD CLAIM
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Tito's first letter -- a letter of <<advice that came too late>> * The truth on the Titoite claim that allegedly the CPA <<is created by the CPY>> * Svetozar Vukmanovic-Tempo in Albania: <<I have a great idea in my head: it includes Yugoslavia, Albania, Bulgaria and Greece>>. Fierce quarrel with Tempo in the summer of 1943. Koçi Xoxe-Tempo's first <<recruit>> * Tito seeks to preserve the domains of the old Yugoslavia. The question of Istria and the question of Kosova * The Bujan Conference in December 1943 * Dusan Mugosa crisscrosses Albania and begins recruiting agents for the Yugoslavs.
RISING ABOVE OLD ANIMOSITIES
By way of Introduction
A brief historical survey * The decision of the Albanian communists to establish connections with the CPY * The monarchs of Serbia and princes of Montenegro -- the main culprits for the bitter relations between the Albanian and Serbian, Montenegrin and other peoples in the past * One of the gravest injustices of this century in Europe -- in 1913 Albania was cut in half arbitrarily * The Great-Serb genocide in the Albanian regions in Yugoslavia in the period between the two wars. Why did the Albanian communists enter into relations with the CPY at the time of the National Liberation War?
The decision of the Albanian communists in the summer of 1941 to establish internationalist relations with the Communist Party of Yugoslavia showed the maturity which the communist movement in Albania had achieved at that time. The worthiest representatives of the communist groups had begun the fight against the fascist occupiers as early as 1939. Just as they were boldly and resolutely overcoming the feuds and divisions amongst themselves, and heading with conviction towards the founding of the Communist Party of Albania, with similar courage and maturity they were surmounting the old animosities, feuds and the deep gulf which had been created over centuries in the relations of our country with its Yugoslav neighbours.
It is an indisputably recognized fact, accepted by all, that to describe the relations between our two countries before 1941 as embittered is putting it mildly. Over their whole range, they consist of dramas and tragedies of the gravest kind, packed with aggressions, murders and plunderings, reeking with bloody crimes which were committed openly in <<modern>> Europe over the territories and fate of a small, but brave and invincible people -- the Albanian people.
This whole grievous legacy which had been built up over decades had been created through no fault of the peoples, and the Albanian people in particular have never, on any occasion, 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, on the policy of violence, expansion and genocide which they, aided and abetted, openly or secretly, by the Great Powers of that time, had pursued towards the Albanian people and the Albanian territories.
Without going any further back in history, everybody knows about the fresh great tragedy which began to be played to the detriment of the Albanian people, especially in the second half of the last century.
When it became clear that the <<Sick Man of the Bosphorus>> was on his death bed, both the hopes and possibilities that the Albanian people would win the independence which they had been seeking by force of arms for centuries, and their struggle and efforts to bring this day as close as possible, quickly mounted. But precisely when the day was approaching for Albania to throw off the yoke of Ottoman rule, new ferocious enemies, with aims identical with those of the Ottomans, thought that the time had come for them to get little Albania into their clutches. The monarchs of Italy, Austro-Hungary, Greece, Serbia, Montenegro and Bulgaria rushed to grab whatever they could from what they called <<the periphery of the Ottoman Empire>> This was an extremely grave and painful <<reward>> which the neighbours gave the brave and dauntless Albanian people, who had poured out torrents of blood in raising a strong wall against
the further advance of the Ottoman hordes towards Europe. This was the deepest ingratitude towards that nation which, whether in the battles of the neighbouring peoples for defence against the Ottoman onslaughts or in their movements and uprisings for liberation, had not spared its own finest sons who gave their lives precisely as if they were defending the freedom of their own people.
In particular, the Serbian and Montenegrin hordes, incited by the reactionary cliques of that time, assailed the Albanian territories, killing, plundering and destroying whatever they found in front of them. The chronicles of that time are filled with the most blood-curdling events. Under fire from many enemies, who fought sometimes each on their own account, sometimes in agreement to divide the prey jointly, the Albanian people responded to the new situation with endless wars. However, the ratio of forces was such that, after shedding torrents of blood, the Albanian population was forced, with unallayable grief, to relinquish whole pieces of its Homeland on the borders with Serbia and Montenegro. Besides the thousands who were killed and burned out, tens of thousands of Albanians were expelled from their lands and driven towards the south, or left to roam about Europe and Asia as refugees. Statistics show that at the end of the last century, as a result of the occupation of the outermost regions of Kosova by Serbia, Montenegro and Austro-Hungary, about 300 000 Albanians who had been violently expelled had settled in the internal regions of the vilayets of Kosova and Shkodra alone.
Naturally, this unprecedented genocide and developing danger which threatened the whole of Albania was bound to arouse the greatest hatred and bring the whole country to its feet to resist both the Ottoman Turk and the shkja , <<a
 Term used by the Albanian population of Kosova and of other regions in Yugoslavia about the Serb, Montenegrin and other chauvinists to express their hatred against the policy of oppression and exploitation pursued towards them.
scourge worse than the Ottoman>>, as the people described the Serbian occupiers at that period. The Albanian League of Prizren of great fame was founded and carried out its unforgettable historic activity precisely at this grave period, setting as its objective both the struggle for freedom and independence and the struggle in defence of the integrity of the national territory, in defence of the legitimate rights of a people threatened with extermination.
The Albanian patriots and people left nothing undone to prevent the menace which came from the north! They were ready to turn over the page of all the past and there was never any lack of messages seeking friendship and good neighbourly relations with the fraternal Serbian, Montenegrin, Macedonian and other peoples.
But the fact is that there was no limit to the greed of the chauvinists, monarchs and princes of the neighbouring countries, and as a result, the threat to Albania from the north became more and more serious. Behind them stood the blackest European reaction. Through the policy which it pursued, Serbia became, in the mind of the freedom-loving Albanian, the symbol of his sworn enemy.
Gallons of blood were shed by both sides and thousands and thousands of Serbs, Montenegrins and others left their bones in our mountain passes and on our plains. Obviously, the flower of friendship could not sprout through these pools of blood, but the thorn of hatred and hostility would flourish and grow. However, the Albanians did not shed their blood on the soil of Serbia and Montenegro, the Albanians did not descend with fire and steel upon the neighbouring countries and peoples. The opposite occurred. The Albanians defended their own lands, wives and children, their homes and possessions.
This situation continued until 1912, when the great victory -- the independence of Albania, was quickly followed by one of the greatest injustices of this century in Europe: Albania was cut in half -- Kosova and other Albanian re-
gions were violently annexed to Yugoslavia. Naturally, if you cut the body of a country and a people in half, and artificially attach one half to another creation, such an act cannot serve as a <<bridge to conciliation>>, <<friendship>> and <<fraternity>>.
If this were not enough, however, even after 1912-1913 the anti-Albanian policy of the Karadjordjevices and all the unscrupulous great-Serb reaction was intensified in all forms and directions. The policy of extermination, discrimination and denationalization of the Albanian population which had been placed under Serbian occupation was followed by secret plans for the annexation of other parts of Albania. The secret Treaty of London of 1915, which two years later the great Lenin published to the world and denounced, is further evidence of the notorious, unrelenting anti-Albanian policy, not only of the reactionary Great Powers of that time, but also of the then Yugoslav state, a creation of imperialism. The public denunciation of this predatory Treaty did not make the face of Great-Serb chauvinism blush or go pale. A little later Yugoslavia once again sanctioned de jure its <<rights>> to the occupied Albanian territories and set out with greater zest on the course of the denationalization of the Albanian population which it had placed under occupation.
At the same time it tried to find new ways to realize its old dream of gobbling up the whole of Albania. It was precisely the Serbian monarchs who came to the aid of Zog who had fled from Albania in June 1924; it was they who kept him, found him mercenaries, supplied him with forces and weapons and created all the conditions for the future despot to carry out the counter-revolution in Albania in December 1924. In return, Zog initially gave the Serbs other pieces of Albanian territory, such as Vermosh and Shën-Naum, and, assuredly, in time would have given them the whole of Albania, if the great gamble of the Great Powers had not thrown the puppet king finally into the lap of fascist Italy and set the country on the course of Italian fascist colonization.
But even after this, there is a whole bitter history of open and disguised acts carried out by the reactionary governments of Yugoslavia, dominated by Serbia, in the direction of the Albanian state.
When the reactionary Serbian governments saw that others had gained control of the card of Zog, they set in motion their secret agency within our country and among the reactionary Albanian emigrants in Yugoslavia and made all kinds of efforts to create an explosive situation within the Albanian Kingdom. Later, under the cloak of an <<uprising>> against the Zogite tyranny, the Serb secret agents would turn for aid to the same Serbian circles that had brought Zog to power a few years earlier.
These chauvinist circles, always ready to stage an invasion as <<aid>>, trained whole regiments and kept them in readiness around the borders of Albania. The vanguard of these mercenary regiments consisted of hardened criminals, Yugoslav and non-Yugoslav, who, decked out in authentic Albanian national costumes, would be the first to pour over the borders at the appropriate moment. But the fact is that, despite all their stage props, these plans remained only on paper. This occurred not only because fascist Italy and international reaction, which backed it for its own interests, would not and did not allow the Albanian apple to assuage the appetite of the Great-Serbs, but also because the Serbian secret agency and propaganda in Albania was able to find a favourable terrain only among a few degenerate elements without any influence, but never among broad strata and, even less, among the people. On account of the atrocities committed, Serbia had long become synonymous with evil in the mind of the Albanian.
The denationalizing policy which the Great-Serbs pursued towards Kosova and towards the Albanian population in Montenegro and Macedonia deepened the hatred and made any sign of reconciliation more impossible. From 1913 on, the chauvinist regime of the Great-Serb bourgeoisie employed
the most inhuman political, economic, ideological and military methods and means to denationalize the annexed Albanian territories and populate them with Slavs. During the years 1913-1927 in Kosova and the other Albanian regions in Yugoslavia, by means of the so-called <<denationalization through physical elimination>>, more than 200 thousand Albanians were killed, tens of thousands of others were imprisoned and whole Albanian villages wiped out. Fascism, which was rising in Europe at that time, was finding a worthy forerunner and fellow-traveller in the Great-Serbs. Stojadinovic of Serbia, together with Mussolini, prepared the plan for the division of Albania.
However, the barbarous mass extermination, accompanied with other equally barbarous means, such as <<denationalization through the agrarian reform for colonization>>, <<denationalization through expulsion>>, etc., etc., were not yielding the results desired by the Great-Serbs. Unfortunately for the Great-Serbs, the Albanian national sentiments in Kosova and
This refers to the negotiations of Ciano, foreign minister of
fascist Italy, with Stojadinovic, prime minister of the Yugoslav
Kingdom, who hatched up plans for the partitioning and occupation of
Albania in the bilateral talks in the years 1937-1939.
 On the basis of documents and incomplete statistics, in the years between the two world wars, 1919-1941, through colonization more than 58 thousand Serbian and Montenegrin colonists were settled in Kosova and more than 370 villages of colonists were created (according to the scientific magazine <<Përparimi >>, Nos. 4-5/1970 and 10/1971 and <<Gjurmime Albanologjike >> -- 1972, published in Prishtina ).
As well as this, according to reports of the Yugoslav High Commission for the Reform, during the years 1920-1940, in only some regions of Kosova and Macedonia, 381 245 hectares of land were seized from Albanians and given to colonists, officials, gendarmes, cetnici and others.
 As a result of the Great-Serb rule of terror, during 1913-1941 about 500 000 Albanians were expelled by force from Kosova and the other Albanian regions in Yugoslavia (most of them to Turkey and the remainder to Albania and other countries).
other regions were not wiped out, either with gunpowder or with fire, but on the contrary, the number of the Albanian population on its own territories increased in relation to the Serbian and Montenegrin element in these territories.
Insatiable in their cruelty and infuriated by the motto of the Albanians, <<We may die but we'll not give up our country>>, the Great-Serbs set in motion the <<science>> of extermination, the ideology and means of the pogrom. Precisely to this phase belong the inhuman deeds of notorious Great Serbs of the type of Vaso Cubrilovic, Atanasije Urosevic and other such monsters of the so-called Serbian Cultural Club in Belgrade, the vicious creation of the reactionary Serbian bourgeoisie in the years 1937-1939, and, regrettably, as we were to learn much later, the forerunner of institutions with the same platform in the Yugoslavia of the years from 1945 on. This is not the place, nor is it the purpose of my notes, to dwell at length on the programs and theories of extermination of these neo-Malthusians, whom the Tito regime was later to preserve and raise to the highest ranks of the scientific institutions of <<socialist>> Yugoslavia. I want to point out only that, on the basis of what they themselves wrote, further incalculable damage was inflicted on the Albanian population, and the hatreds and animosities which for decades had divided the Albanian people, on the one hand, from the Serb, Montenegrin and other peoples, on the other hand, became even more profound.
The truth is that at that time we knew nothing about these <<scientific works>> and <<platforms>>, worked out and approved, and heard nothing about the authors of them, but with grief we saw and heard about the results of their practical application. Militating in the ranks of our communist groups at that time were a number of comrades from Kosova. They were either the sons of displaced families or individuals who had managed to leave Kosova secretly and had come to mother Albania to escape persecution by the Great-Serbs, to continue their schooling or to find work. Our picture of
the relations between our peoples in general and about the situation in Kosova in particular was made more complete with the blood-curdling stories and facts which these comrades told us.
This was the situation in 1941, when the resistance of our people to the fascist occupiers was continuing all over the country and we were faced with the urgent necessity of founding the Communist Party of Albania.
As can be imagined, to seek relations with the Communist Party of Yugoslavia in such a situation was by no means easy and simple. To us communists, however, the problem was clear. In principle, we could never link communism with chauvinism, nor the Communist Party of Yugoslavia with the reactionary and chauvinist policy of the Yugoslav government towards Albania.
The fact is that Vasil Shanto, Qemal Stafa and I and, after a series of hesitations, Koço Tashko, too, who became the initiators for the establishment of relations with the CPY, knew little or nothing about the life, activity and situation in that party. We had heard that it had been formed after the October Socialist Revolution, that in the first 10-15 years of its existence it had gone through a series of ups and downs, feuds and factions, that various of its cadres had been criticized at different times by the Comintern for stands and lines that were anti-Marxist, Trotskyite, nationalist, and so on, that it had been reorganized in recent years, and was said to have placed itself on a correct line. We knew none of its leaders, indeed we had not heard who they were or what they were called, but the fact that the Communist Party of Yugoslavia was a member of the Comintern, the fact that it had expressed itself in favour of open struggle against the fascist danger and, after April 1941, when the Yugoslav monarchy capitulated, the fact that it had launched the slogan of raising all the peoples of Yugoslavia around itself in the fight against the nazi-fascist occupation, impelled us to link ourselves with it, as a sister party
which was fighting for that great cause, which was our cause, too.
As communists, we thought and believed that, since the Communist Party of Yugoslavia had risen in struggle for a new Yugoslavia, it would finally free itself from and destroy all that legacy from the old Yugoslavia, that is, its chauvinism and its long-standing savage and unscrupulous policies against the Albanians. For these reasons, we considered the establishment of relations with the CPY a correct and mature act on our part. That is what we thought and we were quite right.
As I said, however, this was our view, the communists' view. Would the people understand this idea and aim of ours? Would they follow us in the steps which we were going to take? A whole burden of opinion built up over scores and scores of years had to be overcome, and as I mentioned above, this was not an opinion created simply by words or statements, but by torrents of blood, by villages and towns destroyed, by boys and girls cut off in the flower of their youth, by mothers left desolate, by Albanians whose deep-rooted, freedom-loving and patriotic spirit had been profoundly antagonized. Now we were going to tell them: We, the Albanian communists, are going to create close fraternal links with the Communist Party of Yugoslavia, with that party in the ranks of which militate Serbs, Montenegrins, Macedonians, Croats, Slovenes, Bosnians, etc.
From what has been said above, it is understandable why the Albanian has regarded the Serb with diffidence. But we were determined to take this step because we considered to be the right thing to do. Even if some of our people would not understand us at first, they would soon be convinced and understand us.
We regarded the links with the CPY as something natural, as links between communists, between brothers of common ideals. We would exchange experience and assist one another in the sacred fight for the freedom and independence of our
countries, and between us, on the basis of Marxism-Leninism, we could settle justly all the ugly things which history had left in the relations between our peoples. The peoples are essentially freedom-loving. Our people, in particular, have never harassed the others and have respected the heroes and peoples who have fought against invaders. Now the peoples of Yugoslavia were at war against the same enemy -- the foreign nazi-fascists and the internal reactionaries, therefore, we were convinced that our splendid people would understand and support us. Thus, with this act which we undertook to carry out, we were taking the first step not only to eliminate any eventual obstacle to the mobilization of the peoples of the respective countries in the fight for freedom, but also to make real, great progress toward settling historical injustices and overcoming the legacy of hostilities created in the past.
We undertook to explain to the Albanian people, to talk to the people openly about our ideas, and we did so. Our people, our marvellous people, whose eyes have never been blinded by the diseased principles of chauvinism, understood us. We believed, indeed we were convinced, that the Yugoslav comrades thought and judged matters in the same way. Therefore, we decided to establish links with them. Time would prove to what extent they were truly Marxist-Leninists, whether they would put into practice what they declared unreservedly in their statements.
In the step which we took by deciding to establish contact with the CPY at those moments, we were faced, among others, with the very great difficulty which was very hard to deal with. What was bombastically proclaimed as <<the liberation of Albanian territories from the Serbian yoke>>, the formation of <<Greater Albania>>, had been <<realized>> under the jackboot of fascism and in the interests of fascism. It cannot be concealed that this demagogy confused many people in Kosova and also deceived some in Albania who called themselves nationalists.
Naturally, we were not going to be and were not taken in by this trick of fascism, therefore, we told the people clearly and precisely: We must not be deceived by the <<liberation>> and propaganda of this occupier which poses as a <<liberator>>(!), but which in fact has enslaved the whole of Albania. We can never expect nazi-fascism, the most ferocious enemy of the freedom and independence of the peoples, to solve our problems, big or small, can never expect any benefits from fascism which has placed us in the most hideous bondage, which is maiming and killing the finest sons and daughters of the people, the plague which has set itself the aim of destroying mankind. Irreconcilable struggle against it, everywhere, at every moment -- this is our immediate duty.
All these things and others of the same type we discussed during those days of summer 1941, when we decided to enter into internationalist relations with the Communist Party of Yugoslavia. We were convinced that in this way we were making the proper contribution to the great cause of the war against fascism and for the accomplishment, along with the liberation war, of the social revolution, too, the revolution which would solve everything.
This is how we considered the matter and this is what we decided to do, in this way performing an act worthy of genuine, mature communists, communists with clear minds and pure hearts.
Ahead of us lay practice, life, the war. What would they prove to us?
The truth is that the start of our relations with the Communist Party of Yugoslavia was a happy and promising start. As I shall relate in detail later, this had to do with all that period when the internationalist communist Miladin Popovic was amongst us, especially with the period before the emissaries of Tito began to come to Albania. Beginning from March 1943, however, when Tito's first emissary Blazo Jovanovic uttered the first absurd anti-Marxist claim against
our Party, and over the next five or six years, step by step we were to enter into conflict with Tito's men, were to clash with them and oppose them, and they were to oppose us. These were five or six years of the process of getting to know each other, a process of stern, extremely difficult and complicated struggle, a struggle against traps and plots hatched up by the Yugoslav leadership in order to subjugate us and turn us into their obedient tools.
All the documents and facts prove that the leaders of the CPY, headed by Tito, had made plans to subjugate the Communist Party of Albania, to put it under their direct leadership, and consequently make our National Liberation War an appendage of their war. They had thought and planned to have their men placed everywhere by the time Albania was liberated, so they could act with Albania in every direction -- politically, economically, militarily, organizationally and in the international plane, as they wished. Naturally, all this activity was hidden under the cloak of the common aims of the National Liberation War against the occupiers, under the leadership of two communist parties which had linked themselves like flesh to bone with the Soviet Union, the Bolshevik Party and Stalin.
The Yugoslavs were so conceited and had created such a megalomaniacal idea of themselves and their war, making them underrate our war, that they had reached the point of thinking that without them there would be no communist party and no national liberation war in Albania. As a result of this conceit, the Yugoslav leadership minimized our war and took no interest in really informing itself about and studying our objective conditions, social and economic situations, the class struggle, the bases of the occupiers, or the glorious revolutionary past of the Albanian people. It avoided such analysis also because of the age-old anti-Albanian sentiments and aims of the Serbs and of pan-Slav expansionism in general. The Yugoslav leadership maintained the same stand also towards the Albanians of Kosova, whom not only
it did not help to take part fully in the war against the occupier, but on the contrary sabotaged their war, always terrorized, killed and tortured them.
All those whom Tito and the leadership of the Communist Party of Yugoslavia sent to us, allegedly to assist us and exchange experience, came with plans prepared in advance, with <<directives>> which they dictated to us and we were supposed to apply, came as <<masters>> of the revolution and national liberation war to <<their apprentices>>. Beginning from Blazo Jovanovic, Vukmanovic-Tempo, Dusan Mugosa, Velimir Stojnic, Nijaz Dizdarevic down to those who came after Liberation, Josip Djerdja, Savo Zlatic, Sergej Krajger, General Kupresanin, and others, their megalomania and arrogance knew no bounds.
We were in opposition to and quarrelled with all these people over many issues of principle, from the first contacts we had with them. Obviously, for our part, this was done over problems of the work and in a comradely way, because we considered many of their ideas and assessments, whether in connection with the situation in the army, the organization of the Party, or the policy of the Party, the Front, and so on, to be incorrect and out of place for us. For their part they hated us and, as emerged clearly from their activity, they studied amongst us the elements most suitable to serve them for the accomplishment of their aims. Hence, the Yugoslav leadership had been at work for a long time and had decided to purge from the ranks of our leadership anyone who opposed their plans so that the way would be open to them.
Especially following the 2nd Plenum of the CC of the CPA in Berat, in November 1944, and throughout the whole period from Liberation on, their anti-Marxist and anti-Albanian struggle and attempts became more open and more ferocious.
It is difficult for those who have not lived especially through the period up to 1948 to understand and form an accura-
te image of that extremely complicated struggle which we had to wage in those years against the Titoites. We had to uncover the subversive struggle which those who posed and advertized themselves as friends were waging against us, to expose the savage sworn enemies, not only of our Party and people, but also of Marxism-Leninism, of the theory and practice of the revolution.
We had just set out on the new course of the construction of the socialist society and, understandably, experience was lacking in this direction. From ignorance mistakes could easily be made, and grasping at this, our <<friends>> deliberately, for ulterior motives, strove with all their might to confuse us, to put us on a fatally wrong course by offering us their <<aid>> and <<experience>>. We were to cope with this evil, and we did cope with it, but only at the cost of great toil, effort and sacrifice.
This was our first clash with modern revisionism. But here, too, we lacked experience. The fact that we had these enemies <<right inside the house>>, as you might say, made the struggle even more complicated. We had been gravely betrayed in the trust that we had placed in them, in our communist honesty, and in the proletarian sincerity that we had shown towards them, Indeed, the Titoite spider-web had been spun even within our own ranks. What Tito and his henchmen were unable to achieve from <<outside>> was made up for by their agents who had long been prepared by Dusan Mugosa, Vukmanovic-Tempo and Velimir Stojnic, and had gone on the offensive within the ranks of our top leadership, inside our Political Bureau. Thus, we had to uncover, define accurately and defeat the Titoite plot in conditions not just of the lack of unity in our leadership, but of a fierce struggle which was launched from outside and from inside the sound body of our Party. However, we waged this struggle, too, and crowned it with success.
Fortunately for the future of the Party, the Homeland and socialism in Albania, precisely at the moment when it
seemed that the Titoite plot had gained control of everything, it was exposed and crushed. The relations between us and the Communist Party and the Federal People's Republic of Yugoslavia had reached the point of open hostility. Stalin's letters sent to the CP of Yugoslavia threw light on the anti-Marxist revisionist line and activity of the Tito clique. Many things which Tito and company had done or were doing against our Party and country, now became quite clear to us. The strivings, efforts, mistakes and successes of that struggle would be turned, as they were, into a great school to raise the political and ideological level of our communists and people, into a colossal experience which was to serve us, as it did, in the new battles which would be imposed on us in the future, right down to the present day, destroying even the last cards which the Yugoslav agency kept up its sleeve for better or worse days that might present themselves in the future.
The way in which our Party waged this great and stern struggle to detect and attack Titoite revisionism is a whole history in itself. The whole dialectical process, from the first contacts up to the moment when we broke off all contacts or relations with the Communist Party of Yugoslavia once and for all, has been analysed and summed up in many main documents and materials of our Party, which belong to that time and the whole of the subsequent period. I personally, as a direct participant in this struggle from its first moments, have gone back over that period again and again. The lessons which we have drawn from that period of clashes and struggle over principles in the ideological, political, economic, organizational and military planes are inexhaustible and will remain permanently valid. The past always serves the present and the future. That is why we are going back over the 6-7 year period when behind <<the outstanding leader Tito>> we discovered the inveterate renegade Tito, when behind the <<internationalism>> of Tito and his henchmen we discovered nationalism and chauvinism, when behind their <<friendship>> we
discovered the bonds of a new enslavement, when behind their <<communism>> we discovered the revision of Marxism-Leninism in theory and practice.
Subsequently we developed and carried the struggle which we had begun long before against the Yugoslav revisionists further and further forward and we were not nonplussed and did not retreat either in the 50's, when Khrushchev and company took the road of betrayal and embraced Tito, or in the 70's, when Mao Zedong fell on his knees before the old renegade of Belgrade. We did not retreat and were not nonplussed, in 1981, either, following the events in Kosova caused by the savage Great-Serb chauvinist oppression, when in order to cope with the situation in Yugoslavia and among world opinion, Tito's successors hatched up the most monstrous plot to disturb the situation in Albania and to overthrow the sound leadership of our Party, just as the Titoites had wanted to do in Berat, on the eve of the liberation of the country, in November 1944.
For about forty years the Yugoslav revisionists have been wrong and have failed in their open plans and secret plots against Albania, and still they refuse to accept that the citadel of the Party and socialist Albania cannot be taken either from outside, with armies, pressures and provocations of any kind, or from inside, through their agents of any calibre whom they have trained and held in reserve for more than forty years, or have borrowed from the CIA, the KGB, the Intelligence Service, or any other agency.
Our Party has waged and will always wage the ideological struggle against the Yugoslav revisionists consistently, because it is thoroughly acquainted with their real features as anti-Marxists, chauvinists, and inveterate agents of imperialism The whole history of relations between our Party and the Yugoslav leadership has been and still is a history of unrelenting plots by the Titoite clique for the subjugation of our Party, for the liquidation of the independence of our country,
a history of the heroic resistance of the Party of Labour of Albania and our people to the diabolical plans of this clique and its endless threats and blackmail. These notes of mine are dedicated precisely to this history, especially to its first period.
FROM THE FIRST CONTACTS TO THE FIRST
DOUBTS AND FRICTIONS
Tito's first letter -- a letter of <<advice that came too late>> * The truth on the Titoite claim that allegedly the CPA <<is created by the CPY>> * Svetozar Vukmanovic-Tempo in Albania: <<I have a great idea in my head: it includes Yugoslavia, Albania, Bulgaria and Greece>>. Fierce quarrel with Tempo in the summer of 1943. Koçi Xoxe-Tempo's first <<recruit>> * Tito seeks to preserve the domains of the old Yugoslavia. The question of Istria and the question of Kosova * The Bujan Conference in December 1943 * Dusan Mugosa crisscrosses Albania and begins recruiting agents for the Yugoslavs.
Our first contacts with the Yugoslav communists indicated a promising beginning. In the autumn of 1941 the Montenegrin internationalist communist, Miladin Popovic, was among us.
He had been elected secretary of the newly created Provincial Committee of the CPY for Kosova and in the summer of 1941, after an action in Mitrovica, had been arrested by the fascists and sent to an internment camp in Albania. Those were the moments when we, the representatives of the three main communist groups in Albania (of Korça, Shkodra and the <<Youth>>), had reached agreement, in principle, on founding
the CP of Albania, and one of the first joint actions which we undertook in that period to strengthen the links between the groups was that to free Miladin Popovic from the clutches of the fascists. As I have described in detail in the book of memoirs <<When the Party Was Born>>, the action was carried out successfully, and from our first acquaintance with Miladin on, we saw in him a developed communist, with a vigorous militant spirit, a true friend of our Party and people, ready to sacrifice even his life for the advancement of our cause. Miladin Popovic lacked experience of a top-level leader, but he lacked neither the determination to learn, nor the readiness to express his opinion with tact and maturity, without any sign of megalomania or tendency to interfere and impose himself upon us. When we became acquainted with these and other qualities of Miladin, of course, our respect for him increased and this automatically increased our respect for the Communist Party of Yugoslavia as well. True, until the end of 1942 we had not known or had any kind of direct or indirect contact with any of the leaders of the CPY, but as I said, knowing Miladin, sometimes we said to one another: What developed and experienced cadres there must be in this party when it has a communist like Miladin Popovic militating in its ranks!
 As soon as the Albanian communists were informed that Miladin Popovic was in an internment camp in Albania, on the proposal of Comrade Enver Hoxha himself they decided to free him. <<To free a communist or cadre of another communist party from an internment camp, -- I told the comrades -- is an internationalist duty which we cannot and must not shirk,>> writes Comrade Enver Hoxha. After his release, Comrade Enver Hoxha writes, <<Miladin was glad to find himself amidst his Albanian communist comrades. . . He expressed his love and admiration for the fraternal Albanian people. . . He was a Montenegrin, but he judged and valued the virtues of our people as a communist.>> (Enver Hoxha, <<When the Party Was Born>> (Memoirs), Tirana 1982, pp. ,118, 124, 2nd Alb. ed.)
be compared with Miladin either for his experience or for his maturity and ability, and even less for any qualities as an organizer or leader. However, no one could blame Dusan for this. He seemed a resolute, active type and liked to go out to the rank-and-life of the Party in the different regions of the country. As soon as he heard that one of our comrades of the Provisional Central Committee was to go to some region, Dusan would ask to go with him <<in order to get to know the people at the base and wag my tongue a bit,>> as he put it. At that time we saw nothing amiss in this <<eagerness>> but, on the contrary, were pleased to fulfil his desire. Sometimes the comrades reported to us that in the place he visited he had a mania to be in the limelight, to speak in place and out of place even when he shouldn't have opened his mouth at all; in Vlora he confused the national liberation councils with the soviets, but these things did not arouse our suspicions. <<He knows no better, but he doesn't mean any harm,>> we thought, proceeding from the good impression we had of him, and tactfully tried to correct what he damaged with his haste, rashness and sectarianism. As I said, however, he stayed with us very little, so our main worry was to keep him from falling into the hands of the enemy through carelessness rather than to consider whether or not there was anything else hidden behind his often surprising actions. In brief, up till the end of 1942 we had the best of impressions and opinions, both about the two Yugoslav comrades that we had amongst us, especially Miladin, and about the CP of Yugoslavia.
 At a time when reaction was accusing the National Liberation Movement of being sold out to <<the Reds>>, Dusan Mugosa, enthusiastically supported by Mehmet Shehu, demanded that the national liberation councils be called soviets, as in the Soviet Union. The CC of the CPA rejected this demand and issued the order that this term should by no means be used, otherwise, this would help the propaganda of the enemy.
know. We had been told only that he was a cadre who came directly from the main staff of the Yugoslav leadership and was bringing important information for our Party. This news pleased us, because, as I will relate later, we had been waiting for 7 to 8 months for an answer, if not through an emissary, at least in any other possible way, to the request we had made through the Yugoslav leadership to the Comintern for recognition of our new Communist Party. We took all measures to ensure our guest a trip with the least possible danger and in the last days of December 1942 the emissary of the CC of the CPY arrived fit and well in Labinot of Elbasan. He was Blazo Jovanovic.
The coming of this delegate to Albania marked the first official contact of the leadership of our Party and of Miladin Popovic personally with the leadership of the Communist Party of Yugoslavia. Regrettably, this first contact also marked the beginning of frictions and clashes between our two parties.
The truth about an absurd claim
At the 1st Consultative Meeting of Activists of the CPA held in April 1942 we had decided to inform the Comintern about the founding of the Communist Party of Albania, about the first results in the organization and strengthening of its ranks and its life, and about the general lines of its militant program. On this occasion we presented to the leadership of the Comintern our application for admission of the CPA as a member of the Communist International and the idea that we would organize the 1st National Conference
 <<The History of the Party of Labour of Albania>>, Tirana 1982, pp. 83-85, Eng. ed.
of the CPA in the near future. We considered that the best way to communicate these decisions and proposals to the Comintern was through the leadership of the CP of Yugoslavia and we charged the comrades Vasil Shanto and Dusan Mugosa with the task of carrying them to the Yugoslav leadership. At the same time we expressed the desire that, if possible, the CC of the CPY should send us a delegate to take part as a guest in the 1st National Conference of our Party.
When we informed Dusan Mugosa of the mission with which we had charged him he was walking on air. I thought that what pleased him most was the fact that he was being given the opportunity to meet the main leaders of his party and to boast to them about the extremely difficult and dangerous journey and the important mission with which we had charged him. As for Vasil Shanto, the true master of successful secret actions, he accepted his task with his usual quiet seriousness and set about preparations for the journey.
Thus, we sent the comrades to Yugoslavia in May of that year and to our surprise Vasil Shanto was back in July:
<<Have you carried out your task so quickly?>> I asked him.
<<Only the first part of it!>> he told us quietly. I was only able to carry out the custom of our Highlands. I took Duqi safe and sound to the point where we made contact with a detachment of Yugoslav partisans in Montenegro, and then he told me: 'You go back! I am going to carry out the mission alone.'>>
One of the former leaders of the communist groups participating in
the Founding Meeting of the CPA. At the 1st National Conference of
the Party he was elected a candidate member of the CC of the CPA. He
was killed in an encounter with the enemy in February 1944 in the
vicinity of Shkodra. People's Hero.
 Pseudonym of Dusan Mugosa.
<<It's very good that you've come back,>> I said, slapping him on the back, <<because here we have so much work!>>
<<That's all very well, Comrade Taras, he replied, <<but I think that when our Central Committee sent me it had in mind that its important proposals should be taken to the right place by an Albanian communist. . .>>
I, too, felt that Vasil was right but, nevertheless, I did not regard Dusan's behaviour as any grave offence. I thought that his mania to gain the limelight, to undertake <<onerous>>, <<special>> missions (after all, in the concrete case he was simply a courier), to focus the attention of those whom he would meet on himself alone, etc., were what made him tell Vasil Shanto to <<go back>>. Later I was to be convinced that in this instance, on his strange journeys <<around the country>> in Albania and in his long <<disappearance>> for five to six months after his arrival at Tito's staff, sinister aims and actions, carefully thought out and planned by himself and by those who had sent him to us on a mission, were concealed. However, these were things that we were to learn about and appreciate properly later. It was still the beginning, the time when we had not yet had any opportunity to enter into direct relations and contacts with the leadership of the CP of Yugoslavia.
And so, after months of waiting, the first delegate of the Yugoslav leadership, Blazo Jovanovic, arrived, and true enough, he brought us really important and joyous tidings: the recognition of our Party by the Comintern and the directives of the Executive Committee of the International on our National Liberation War. He also brought a letter from Tito for the CC of our Party and his authorization as representative of the CC of the CPY at the 1st National Conference of the CPA, as well as, if I am not mistaken, one or two pamphlets and, of course, Dusan Mugosa, too.
 One of the pseudonyms of Comrade Enver Hoxha during the National Liberation War.
thatched cottage at Shmil. We told him in a comradely way about the state of our work in general and he told us about the situation of the party and the war in Yugoslavia, especially about the difficult situation in Montenegro.
Naturally, on this occasion we thanked him whole-heartedly for undertaking the wearisome and difficult journey to reach us in order to carry out this internationalist duty.
In conversation he seemed attentive and reasonable, and with the exception of one minor friction we had in the first days, everything proceeded smoothly. The friction had to do with what Tito had written and the advice he gave us in his letter.
<<Comrade Tito's letter,>> said Blazo two or three days after his arrival, <<contains instructions and advice which are necessary and important for you. I am aware of what they are and we can discuss them.>>
<<Yes,>> I replied, <<we have read the letter and carefully studied the advice of Comrade Tito and we thank him for this. However, Comrade Blazo, you will be staying here till we hold the Conference of our Party. During this time you will see for yourself and become acquainted better with the state of the work here, and I assure you that you will be left unclear about nothing.>>
<<Very good>>, persisted Blazo, <<but we are talking about the instructions and advice from Comrade Tito. Do you agree with them or not?!>> he asked in a tone as if talking to cadres subordinate to him. (He was a commissar or commander of a partisan unit in Montenegro.)
I had no desire to spoil the friendly atmosphere, so I passed over the bad effect of his question with a laugh, and replied quietly:
<<Not only now that our Party is still young, but in the future, too, we will always listen carefully and considerately to the comradely opinions and the advice of friends. Indubitably, this is true of Comrade Tito's letter, too. But, Comrade
 Village in the Elbasan district.
Blazo, we understand the circumstances and conditions in which this letter was written. As you yourself are aware, it was written at the end of September, brought to us in December, and refers to problems which were relevant to our Party before April 1942. At the same time, it refers to those problems which we ourselves raised at the 1st Consultative Meeting of the Activists of the Party in April, about which we informed your party through Dusan.>>
<<Then, according to you, Comrade Tito has merely repeated what you have already raised!>> said Blazo, piqued.
<<That's not what I said. In the materials we sent to the Comintern, we related how matters stood with us. Judging on this basis, Tito gives us certain advice. We thank him for his concern and interest.>>
<<Is it only for this you value the letter?>>, asked Blazo in the same tone.
<<Please, don't misunderstand us, >> I said. <<Now it is January 1943, and obviously we have not been marking time since April 1942. On the contrary, we have tried to solve correctly, not only the problems of that period, but also those which have arisen since, and now, comparing our actions with the directives of the Comintern which you have just brought us, we can only rejoice when we see that we have truly acted as we should have done.>>
Continuing the talk, I dwelt concretely on what Tito had written in his letter, explained the development of events and the truth is that Blazo listened to us and was convinced about what we told him. That closed the matter, and for years on end Tito's <<first letter>> was never mentioned again. Perhaps, it would not have been worth mentioning this letter here, either, but the fact that later the Yugoslav propaganda built it up and published it as a <<message which saved the situation>>, as an <<outstanding contribution by Tito in favour of the Albanian Party and the Albanian National Liberation War>>, etc., etc., impels me to dwell a little on this so-called outstanding document once again.
I must say that the best assessment that can be put on
Tito's first letter is that it amounted to <<a letter of advice that came too late>>. Concretely: in December 1942 (when the letter reached us), Tito <<advised>> our Party to purge its ranks of the groupist and factionalist elements who had managed to penetrate its ranks and to settle accounts with them!
As everyone knows, at the Consultative Meeting of the Party in April and later at the Special Conference of the Party in June 1942 (when quite likely Tito did not know that the CPA had been formed) we had carried that task right through to the end.
Try to establish links with the representatives of different urban groups and trends and together with them form the National Liberation Front! -- was Tito's further advice.
However, both in December 1942, when Tito's letter reached us, and on September 22, 1942, when he sat down and wrote it, his <<advice>> could only make us smile. We had launched the slogan about the unity of the people on April 7, 1939 and the people and the youth had been raised in demonstrations and protests; in November 1941 the newly formed Party had issued its first appeal for the unity of the people in the Anti-fascist War, and after it, had issued precise directives and important successes had been achieved in this direction. It is a known historical fact, also, that on September 16, 1942 we had organized the Conference of Peza where the political and organizational foundation of the National Liberation Front and the future of the people's state power were laid, had elected the Anti-fascist National Liberation Council, and the organization of the Front was growing bigger and stronger from day to day!
 This letter is preserved in the Central Archives of the Party. In its unrestrained anti-Albanian propaganda, the Yugoslav leadership itself published this letter, amongst others, in the so-called <<White Book on Yugoslav-Albanian Relations>>. Doc. No. 83, Belgrade 1961.
On the contrary, if we had simply waited for <<guidance>>, from abroad, this would have been an unpardonable sin.
However, while the <<instruction>> on the question of the Front and, identical with it, that on the question of national liberation councils made us smile, something which followed made us, comrades of the leadership, laugh, and Miladin along with us.
In September 1942 Tito, writing from Glamoc, instructed us, <<You must expose the Trotskyite Zai Fundo before the members of the CPA and inform its members that he is an open enemy of the International and the Party!>>
This was a case of trying to teach your grandmother to suck eggs! We had exposed Fundo as a Trotskyite as early as in 1939, when he arrived back in Albania, and since that time we had finally settled accounts with him.
Probably Tito hasn't known about this and he has written in this way from lack of information, we thought at first.
But then we remembered: We had sent Tito the Resolution of the Founding Meeting of the Party in which Zai Fundo was described openly and clearly as a <<declared class enemy>>. In this letter Tito told us that he had read the Resolution. How could this be? Had he not read that paragraph? Or since he had to write something, had he written the first thing that came to mind?! Very surprising! However, we were to be even more astonished over the Tito-Fundo problem in September 1944. Our forces of the National Liberation Army which were fighting for the liberation of northern Albania captured Zai Fundo in a gang of bandits headed by Gani Kryeziu and a British officer. We gave the order that Fundo should receive the sentence he deserved. Quite unexpectedly that same Tito and his henchmen who, in 1942 gave us advice which came too late that we should settle accounts with Fundo, now came out in his defence and even demanded that we handed him over to them.
 See Enver Hoxha, <<The Anglo-American Threat to Albania>> (Memoirs), Tirana 1982, pp. 313-334, Eng. ed.
where, including the book <<The Anglo-American Threat to Albania>>, so there's no need to dwell on it. Here we are considering the letter of 1942. It was like this from beginning to end -- a letter of advice that came too late. Right at the end, however, almost in passing, as an <<afterthought>>, Tito made this request: <<The resolution which you will compile at the Conference should be as short as possible. . . Likewise, send us the biographies of the new members of the Central Committee, together with their names, because we have to send them to the Comintern.>> (?!)
This request made an impression on us. We asked one another whether the Comintern could really need the biographies of the members of the Central Committee of the CPA(?!), but since we did not know how to explain this, we found the <<reason>>: Tito knows about such things! Perhaps he has instructions to this effect!
This, then, is all there was to Tito's letter which the Yugoslav propaganda builds up as an <<important contribution>> to our Party's pursuing a correct line! This they present as an <<argument>> in support of their claim that the growth of the CPA was allegedly due to them! But their blindness and irrestrainable chauvinist instincts lead them to self-exposure. Had they been more cool-headed, even simply in regard to their hostile claim, they would never have mentioned this letter.
It is incontestable evidence of the fact that, at least until the end of 1942, when the letter reached us, the Communist Party of Albania had not had any assistance, any instruction or any directive from the CC of the CPY. At the same time, it shows that even the <<advice>> and <<instructions>> at the end of 1942 arrived in Albania too late to affect the issues and, consequently, were no longer of any value.
But let us return to the beginning of 1943, to the days when we had Blazo Jovanovic amongst us, and examine his <<contribution>> to our work. After he transmitted to us what they had told him to say, the fact is that he displayed discretion and <<sat on the sidelines>>, you might say, waiting to carry out the last task for which he had been
sent: to bring greetings on behalf of the CC of the CPY to the 1st National Conference of our Party. He saw for himself that we were engaged in the war and in work day and night, saw the trips that we made back and forth between Elbasan and Tirana, with our heads at stake, the meetings and contacts that we organized, and the fact is he never showed any sign of dissatisfaction. Naturally, there were occasions when he, too, became involved in the talks we held on one problem or the other, when we asked him something about one of the problems we were going to deal with in the reports to the Conference, and he expressed his opinion frankly. The things he said were not particularly brilliant and I was soon convinced that, about the problems of organization, in particular, and the leadership and life of the party as a whole, he did not know much. Perhaps the fact that he had been engaged mainly in military problems explains this. However, during the whole period up to the Conference Blazo never exceeded his authority, did not try to impose anything on us, just as he had nothing to contribute when we asked him. In brief, he spent 2-3 months with us in normal relations, often without making his presence felt at all, but nevertheless in a friendly atmosphere.
And this same Blazo Jovanovic gets up at the 1st National Conference, amongst the delegates from all parts of Albania, and, quite unexpectedly, drops a gem:
<<Two Yugoslav communists created the Communist Party of Albania!>>
He was referring to Miladin Popovic and Dusan Mugosa.
 It was held on March 17-23, 1943 at Labinot in the vicinity of Elbasan and was the 1st Conference of the Party. The question of the preparation of the people for the general armed uprising and its organization occupied the main place in its proceedings. It decided on the creation of the Albanian National Liberation Army and elected the Central Committee of the CPA, its Political Bureau and its General Secretary, Comrade Enver Hoxha. (See: <<The History of the PLA>>, Tirana 1982, pp. 102-114, Eng. ed.).
that this crazy statement made to last long. As soon as Blazo finished speaking, Miladin Popovic stood up and addressed both him and us:
<<No one should ever imagine,>> stressed Miladin amongst other things, <<that we two members of the Communist Party of Yugoslavia created the Communist Party of Albania. No, the truth is that you yourselves, the Albanian communists, created the Communist Party of Albania, and if there has to be any mention of my role, or the role of anyone else from outside, that is nothing but what in the relations between sister parties is called internationalist fraternal aid and support. You would have created your Communist Party in any case, as you did, even if we had not been here.>>
At this firm declaration Blazo Jovanovic went pale and pursed his lips, but he never opened his mouth, either at that moment or during the few days he stayed after we ended the Conference.
Despite our surprise and the very bad impression which he aroused with his allegation, we ourselves did not give importance to such a statement, which seemed to us, as the communists we were and in the way we conceived matters, merely a chance aberration, therefore we did not see any sense in delving any further into how and why such a statement slipped from Blazo's mouth. By this time we knew both his capacity and his nature and we thought that this absurdity could be regarded simply as one of those preposterous things and theses he put forward from time to time.
Nevertheless, a series of doubts arose in our minds. Blazo had spent more than two months amongst us, we had talked with him time and again, and as I said, we had had one friction with him. How did it come about that this gaffe did not escape him during these two months or so, but precisely at the 1st Conference of the Party?! Had it been simply an expression or <<idea>> that had >>suddenly>> occurred to him, then it would have been more natural for it to have arisen in
 From the minutes of the 1st National Conference of the CPA.
a chance conversation or argument. Whereas he said it precisely, not when he was speaking or arguing in his own name, but when he was delivering a greeting on behalf of the CC of the CP of Yugoslavia. Then, was it just a slip, or was Blazo instructed to let it drop, as though by accident, in the main forum of our Party?
However, these were only doubts which arose in our minds those days and we had no other reason or fact which would make us think that the allegation was not Blazo's own. In the letter which I mentioned, Tito did not make even the remotest allusion in this direction, while Blazo himself, after Miladin's immediate reply, closed his mouth tight, and we left it at that in the belief that it was simply an aberration of the delegate.
Matters were to develop and the day would come when we would be convinced that both the bad impression and our doubts of March 1943 aroused by Blazo Jovanovic's allegation were not without foundation. Thus, the day would come when Tito and his henchmen, in the course of all sorts of savage accusations and slanders against us, would openly publicize one of their most absurd and unscrupulous claims -- the claim that they, the Yugoslavs, had allegedly formed the Communist Party of Albania!
From the moment when this claim was first made openly down to this day we have rejected this fabrication of the Titoites, not only with indignation, as such a crazy claim deserves, but also with calm arguments we have explained the whys and wherefores of things, and in particular, we have uncovered and denounced the sinister megalomaniacal and hegemonic aims lurking behind it. All the documents of our Party which refer to this claim are proof of this. I personally, in a series of speeches, reports, articles and in my notes, have dealt extensively with the truth about it. However, since our relations with the Titoites are the main subject of these notes and reminiscences, I consider it reasonable to dwell once again on the truth about this claim. The fact that this claim has served the Titoites as the basis, as the central
pillar upon which all their anti-Albanian activity and propaganda has been built up, makes this even more necessary.
In the first place, the Titoites' claim that they allegedly created the Communist Party of Albania cannot stand from the viewpoint of theory, of principle. In this respect it is a blatant violation of the law of development of communist parties in general, and the principles on which they are born, created and strengthened in particular.
We know that Marxism-Leninism always regards the internal cause, the internal factor, as the main determining factor in the birth and evolution of every phenomenon. The process of the birth and formation of a communist party can never be an exception to this law, hence, the process of the founding of our Communist Party cannot be an exception to it, either. Had the internal factor, the Albanian factor, not existed, had the internal conditions not existed and been ripe for it, a communist party could not have been created here, either with two or ten Yugoslav communists, or even if the whole Yugoslav leadership had come to Albania. Hence, the CPA was not created because of the whim or demand of a certain Tito from Yugoslavia, but it was created because the Albanian people, the Albanian communist movement, which had been striving for this result for more than a decade, demanded its birth as something indispensable, the historical moment through which the country was passing, the past, the present and the future of Albania itself demanded it.
Another fact which testifies to this: when Tito and company were allegedly so <<strong>> and <<capable>> that they could create a communist party in Albania <<from outside>>, why did they not do this, let us say, in 1935, 1937, 1939, or in 1940?! Was it only in 1941 that they <<discovered>> that on the borders of Yugoslavia there was Albania which was waiting for the <<creator>> Tito to say, <<Let there be the
 <<The History of the Party of Labour of Albania>>, Tirana 1982, pp. 48-74, Eng. ed.
party>>, just as, according to the Bible, the world waited for the <<great creator>> to say, <<Let there be light>>!
If- there is anything further to be said on this aspect of the problem, then it is no fault of ours that there is only room for irony. Thee absurdity of such <<creators>> deserves nothing else.
In the concrete case, the Titoites' claim collapses not only from the theoretical viewpoint. The very practice of the founding of the Communist Party of Albania is another argument which is a slap in the face for them. It is truly ridiculous that on the one hand, the Titoite build up the <<gigantic>> claim that they <<created>> the Communist Party of Albania, while, on the other hand, in proof of this, they bring out a lilliputian <<argument>>: the fact that the Yugoslav communist, Miladin Popovic, and, as his interpreter and associate, Dusan Mugosa attended and took part in the Founding Meeting of our Party.
Our Party has never concealed or denied the presence of these two comrades at the Founding Meeting and subsequently, just as it has never hidden or denied anything else about their stay and work in Albania. It is Tito and company who have deliberately hidden and denied the most important aspects of this problem. Concretely:
First, the Yugoslav leadership has always passed over in silence the fundamental fact that Miladin Popovic was not sent to Albania either by Tito, or by the leadership of the CP of Yugoslavia. He emerged from the ranks of Montenegrins-Albanians and had gone underground in Kosova. In the summer of 1941 he was arrested by the Italian fascists and sent to Albania, to the internment camp at Peqin. We carried out an operation to release him from internment, and this occurred precisely at those moments when we, the representatives of the three main communist groups, had reached agreement to hold a meeting to found the Communist Party of Albania. As I have described in detail in the book of memoirs <<When the Party Was Born>>, at that period we had taken the initiative to make contact with the Communist Party of Yugoslavia and expressed the desire that it should
send us a comrade to attend and to assist us in the great event we had before us. Since it chanced that we liberated Miladin Popovic and he was in Albania, we asked him to stay for a time as a <<third>>, neutral party amongst us. After we reached agreement with him, we also sought authorization from the leadership of the CP of Yugoslavia. About the end of October 1941 Dusan Mugosa brought its authorization and, after this, Miladin Popovic linked himself more closely with us in our work, and in this context also took part in the Founding Meeting.
Second, not only was Miladin Popovic not sent to us from Tito's staff, but he took part in our Founding Meeting without having any orientation, directive, instruction, etc. from the Yugoslav leadership about any <<special role>> in this event. It was we ourselves, the Albanian communists, participants in the Meeting, who guided and ran its proceedings from start to finish as Marxism-Leninism taught us. There we had no <<orientations>> or <<instructions>> of any kind from outside, either from the Yugoslav party, or even from the Communist Party of the Soviet Union, or any other party. Up till now at least, even the anti-Albanian propaganda of the Titoites has never fabricated any <<document>> to <<prove>> the opposite.
Then, how could a communist party have been created by a member of another party, moreover, when he had not been directly delegated by this party and had no directions or instructions from it?!
Only the logic of Titoites can unravel this.
Third, as I mentioned above, and as he proved throughout his entire stay in Albania, Miladin himself never assumed <<merits>> which did not and could not belong to him. On the contrary, with indignation and determination he rejected any allusion or cunning flattery which Tito's delegates tried to make in order to attribute to him a role which, not even a whole party, let alone one person, could perform from outside.
In short, only those who could and whose duty it was, the Albanian communists, founded the Communist Party of Albania.
The Yugoslavs' claim on this problem, then, is nothing but the assumption of undeserved merits.
However, the permanent persistance of the Belgrade revisionists to assume a role which does not belong to them should not be seen simply as their mania to boast, to win fame, to use this as another shiny medal on their chest covered with decorations for <<great heroic deeds>>. No, as a whole history has proved, they assumed the role of the <<creators>> of the CPA with the aim that their <<creature>> should behave towards them like an infant to its parent, be educated and raised in their spirit and, hence, become a blind and obedient tool in the service of the <<mother party>> -- the CP of Yugoslavia. The whole history of the relations of the CPA with the CPY, especially beginning from the summer of 1943 up to the beginning of 1948 and later, is a history of the struggle against the aims, attempts and plots of the CPY and the Yugoslav state to subjugate and enslave our Party and the new Albanian people's state, a history of the heroic resistance of the leadership of our Party and state, not only to avoid subjugation, but also to attack the betrayal openly, ceaselessly and without any hesitation. This we shall examine later.
Here it is in order to point out that, just as the Yugoslav pretension about who created the CPA is absurd and without any foundation, their other pretension, that our Party is allegedly indebted to the CP of Yugoslavia for its growth, strengthening and line during the years of the National Liberation War, is equally absurd and without foundation. This pretension, too, they base on the role of their emissaries in Albania.
As I have stated, up till the end of 1942 neither the leadership of the CPA, Miladin, nor anyone else amongst us had had any kind of contact, had received any kind of letter or material from the CPY, in fact, we hadn't even any information about what the comrades of the sister party were doing, and how matters stood with them.
With this I do not want to imply in any way that we were annoyed because for a year or so they showed no signs of life and gave us no kind of help. No, we could imagine
the difficult conditions in which they had to fight, and it was our heartfelt desire and wish that things would go as well as possible with them for the good of the fraternal Yugoslav peoples, for the good of the Communist Party of Yugoslavia, and for the good of the liberation war of the world anti-fascist coalition. Naturally, I do not want to imply, either, that we did not feel the need for an exchange of experience with comrades of the same ideal, especially in the conditions when our Party was young, the comrades without any experience, and the conditions in which we fought extremely difficult.
But to do nothing and to pretend that you have done everything, as is the concrete case with the leadership of the CPY, this we have not accepted and never will accept.
To convince people about their <<contribution>>, Tito's spokesmen were also to talk about the role of Blazo Jovanovic, especially at the 1st National Conference of the CPA. This is a claim which should not even be mentioned by people with pure hearts and sound judgment. With the exception of what he said about the creation of the CPA, Blazo Jovanovic made no other <<contribution>>, even for those who had sent him, let alone for us.
We Albanian communists, now organized in the ranks of a Party with more than a year's experience in the fire of the war, had undertaken the work for the preparation and holding of the 1st Conference of the Party and we carried it through to the end, as we did with everything else. I have described in detail the work that we did for this Conference, therefore
 In the book <<When the Party Was Born>> (Memoirs) Comrade Enver Hoxha, among others writes: <<We had set the task of convening this Conference at the appropriate time and moment, as early as at the Founding Meeting of the Party. Prior to this the question of this Conference was also taken up at the meetings of party activists. . . and this was accompanied with the intensification of actions and fighting in the villages and cities, with the increase of the ranks of partisan detachments and units, with the further strengthening of the national liberation councils, with greater and more intense political and ideological work with the broad masses of the people, etc.>>
it is unnecessary to repeat what is already known. I want only to add something: later, especially in the grave situation which Tito's men created before and during the Berat Plenum, in November 1944, amongst other things they accused me, as well as others, of a <<grave>> mistake which we had allegedly permitted at the 1st National Conference -- the procedure followed in the election of the Central Committee of the Party!
And what was this <<mistake>> that was exaggerated so much that Tito's emissary Velimir Stojnic shook his finger at us so hard as soon as he arrived in Albania, at the end of August 1944, that we wondered what terrible thing we had done?!
The truth is that the way in which we acted over the elections at the 1st National Conference of the CPA was not any great mistake, especially in the conditions of that time, and the main thing is that we had no ulterior motive in the procedure we followed. The candidates were proposed to the delegates not by name, but, for reasons of security, by description of their characteristics. They went like this: a comrade is proposed who has these or those qualities, has these or those good points or weaknesses, has this past, has inclinations to this sector, has weaknesses in this direction, etc. The delegates approved those who seemed to them the best.
Even if we assume that this procedure may have been wrong, after all, this was an internal matter for our Party and was imposed on us by the conditions of deep illegality.
The important thing was the fact that we proceeded from the principle that each communist is a leader and we sincerely believed that mentioning not names, but qualities, was more democratic and with less possibility of subjective judgment. This, we reasoned, was the best way, and this is what we did. At the same time, we admit that we did not have the necessary experience of the procedure of elections to such high forums. It never occurred to us, or to Miladin, that we were acting wrongly. The only person among us who had experience
in this matter was Blazo Jovanovic, but he told us nothing. However, time was to make clear that Tito and his emissaries would seize on this <<mistake>>, not because the violation of the <<rules of procedure>> on our part was painful to them. The main reason lay elsewhere: by acting in this way, keeping the names secret in the elections, Tito's demand that we should send him the names and surnames and biographies of the members of our Central Committee could not be fulfilled in the way he wanted.
Precisely on this point we had unwittingly trodden on Tito's toes and, when he sent Stojnic to Albania later, he did not forget to instruct him to rap our knuckles over the <<mistake>> of March 1943.
Matters reached such a point that when Nako Spiru, Koçi Xoxe, Sejfulla Malëshova and others associated themselves with Stojnic, this <<procedural mistake>> completely overshadowed the indisputable success of the Conference itself. As is known, the organization of the Conference was in order and the delegates were elected according to all the norms of democratic procedure, despite the difficult circumstances. The spirit of the reports and the contributions to the discussion were more than healthy, each delegate had the right to speak. to ask questions, to interject, to discuss, to criticize and to propose.
However, Tito's accusation over <<the election procedure>> belonged to another period about which I will speak in detail later. Here I want only to emphasize the truth that, including the 1st National Conference of the CPA, that is, up until the end of March 1943, the aid of the CC of the CPY for our Party was totaly non-existent. Of course, we would never
 He came to Albania in the beginning of the spring of 1943. Capitalizing on the fact that since the end of 1924 he had been a political emigré and had spent most of the time of his emigration in the Soviet Union, after his return to Albania he posed as the emissary of the Comintern and pretended that what he said was the official opinion of Moscow.
Tito's <<roving ambassador>>
spins the threads of the web over the Balkans
We had just successfully concluded the proceedings of the 1st National Conference and were engaged in carrying out the great tasks that the Conference placed before us. The delegates had gone back to the regions, the çetas[*] and battalions. Likewise, after they had received the necessary instructions and directions, most of the comrades elected to the Central Committee and the Political Bureau of the Central Committee of the Party had gone to the base to give the work there their direct guidance. Precisely during one of these days, when I was working on a material (it seems to me I was making the final corrections to the text of the Resolution of the Conference), suddenly and in totally unknown circumstances, a Yugoslav popped up in Labinot of Elbasan. I say <<popped up>>, not so much for the fact that until that moment we did not know who this person was, where he came from, where he was going in those difficult times or why, but more especially because of the endless problems, the tangles, the accusations and traps which he created for us from the moment we met him and for years on end subsequently. An anti-Albanian and anti-Marxist of the first water, a frenzied Great-Serb chauvinist, brutal and a power-seeker, this is how he would seem to us when he turned up three or four months after our first meeting, again in the difficult autumn of that year, and again in 1945 and 1947. This political gangster (in calling him this
* fighting units
I am not exaggerating at all), who in the spring and summer of 1943 was suddenly to push his way into the leadership of the Party and sow the seeds of disruption and diversion, just as <<suddenly>> after Liberation was to find the way to push himself into and dictate to the supreme organs of our army. Years were to go by, matters were to take the course they did and when we had completely forgotten him, just as unexpectedly as in March of 1943, he was to turn up again on another black night, this time thousands of kilometres from Albania, in Moscow. One night, well after midnight, the telephone was to ring insistently and the voice of Anastas Mikoyan informed me that Svetozar Vukmanovic-Tempo, the man of March 1943, was seeking a meeting with me!
Very soon I was to be convinced that his frowning self-important attitude at the moment of introduction had not arisen from the fact that I kept him waiting for some time (as I said, I was working on a material). No, this was his permanent nature.
<<On my way back from Macedonia and the Greek zones en route for Montenegro and Kosova, I heard you were here. Let's see what these Albanians are doing, I thought, and decided to pay you a short visit,>> he said solemnly and waited apparently for me to express my thanks. I merely remained silent in order to let him know that he ought to correct the expression. . . <<these Albanians>>.
But this made no impression on him. He told us (in confidence!) that he was the main delegate of the CPY and the General Staff of the Yugoslav NLA for Macedonia and went on:
<<Since Macedonia, on account of its past and present history, is the key problem of the Balkans, I am more or less obliged to involve myself with all these territories where Bulgaria, Greece, Macedonia, Albania and Serbia converge. The times are difficult and the problems are extremely difficult, but we can't help that, we'll come out on top,>> he
 Enver Hoxha, <<The Khrushchevites>> (Memoirs), Tirana 1980, pp; 135-139, Eng. ed.
ended his introduction with that same tone with which he had started and began to look around to see what effect the knowledge of all this <<heavy burden>> that history had placed on the shoulders of this 30-year old, had made on us!
Conceited and haughty, this was the first impression that struck my mind there and then about <<the man of the Balkans>>. However, he had come as a guest and perhaps fatigue and the struggle against difficulties had worn him out and he had lost control of himself for a moment. So, to soften the atmosphere, I began to speak. I thanked him for the chance visit he was paying us, told him that it was a joy for us when we met communists from sister parties and, regardless of the functions they performed in their own parties, we considered the exchange of opinions with them mutual aid, and better acquaintance with one another, very important.
<<I don't want to detain you long because you have a long way to go,>> I told him and added, <<but there is one thing you should bear in mind: if you have occasion to pass through Albania again, don't take unnecessary risks, as you have done this time. We would not like to hear that the fascists had captured a communist from a sister party somewhere in Albania, especially in the case of a comrade with all those responsibilities you mentioned to us. 'Surrender' to us,>> I said laughing, <<and our comrades, who are everywhere, will take you wherever you have to go.>>
It was plain that this pleased him. He thanked me for the offer of assistance and immediately added:
<<I am always travelling from one place to another. I hadn't planned this meeting, but some knowledge of the situation in your country would be of great help to me in my work. We can also exchange opinions about the situation in Macedonia, Bulgaria and Greece. I have come from there and I believe that their problems are not without interest for you. Do you agree?!>>
We had no reason to oppose a free exchange of opinions. Moreover, after my words, it seemed that he toned down his bragging somewhat.
I started by giving him a brief picture of the life and activity of our Party from the time of its founding, told him something about the work with the Front, with the national liberation councils, as well as about the çetas, battalions and other partisan units. I dwelt a little more extensively on the proceedings of the 1st National Conference of the Party and its very important decisions, especially about the new, higher phase which our war had entered, about the organization and strengthening of our National Liberation Army, about the creation of the General Staff of the Army in the near future, etc.
Not without purpose, I spoke to him in a very quiet and sincere way, bearing in mind to point out the successes achieved and the struggle waged for them, as well as the shortcomings and weaknesses observed and our critical stand towards them. I acted in this way in order to pave the way for our guest and let him understand that this is the spirit in which we talked to comrades and that we expected the same comradely spirit from them. But all this remained only a pious wish.
<<From the exposé which the comrade General Secretary gave us,>> began Tempo as if he were speaking at some meeting between parties, <<I see that you have made progress. I am pleased about this. I have some comments (I think Ramadan Çitaku was translating) about your work up to date, but first, I want to give you a picture of the situation in Macedonia and of how the Bulgarian and Greek communists understand the character of the war.>>
From all the things he prattled about in this first conversation, as well as on two or three other occasions during the summer of that year, he wanted to present himself, not simply as an <<expert>> on Balkan problems, but as a <<great politician>> of the Balkans, as a person who was in a position, there and then, to reach <<conclusions and take stands of decisive importance>>! Both from the tone in which he spoke and from the cut-and-dried manner in which he issued his phrases, as though they were <<the last word>>, he gave the impression that you were facing a man who held all the
strings of the Balkans in his hands and that the present and future of the countries of this region depended on him alone!
We were very unfavourably impressed by this person's open lack of respect towards the leaders of the two sister parties of Bulgaria and Greece, as well as by his use, from beginning to end, of the term <<stereotyped>> and <<stereotypism>>. We were soon to learn what he was getting at.
<<The Bulgarian comrades,>> he told us among other things, <<do not act according to the existing situation, but imitate the experience of the past, learned from books in a stereotyped way. They are waiting for strikes and demonstrations to break out in the cities, as in Russia in 1917, and then they will begin the next phase, the armed insurrection! This means to put an end to the war against the occupiers before it has even begun. And the Greeks are doing the same thing. They have concentrated on the cities alone and expect to seize power later through parliamentary discussions. These things are asinine!>> he exclaimed without the slightest embarrassment (we were soon to get used to this vocabulary which this Serbo-Montenegrin had on the tip of his tongue). <<Everybody knows,>> he continued, <<that a person with any brains ought to see a bit further than the end of his own nose, but not in a stereotyped way, not failing to see or underrating what, you might say, is right under his nose. I am referring,>> he said, all arrogance, <<to the experience of our Party and our General Staff. We are in the mountains, we are waging the great war without waiting for the Bulgarians' and the Greeks' strikes and demonstrations! This is the example that should be followed, especially in the Balkans,>> he said, <<and we are not going to keep it from anybody!>>
He paused for a moment and then he turned to me:
<<So, I am pleased that you, too, have begun the war in the mountains, the partisan war. This is a good sign, but you must speed things up. You are still in the stage of çetas and guerrilla units. Forget about the guerrilla units in the cities, fill the mountains with partisans because, I tell you,
if the struggle is concentrated in the cities alone, then you fall into stereotypism, blindly copy the experience of others, whatever the revolution it is the experience of. . .>>
This communist braggard was flying very high. Was it his custom to speak with such brutal arrogance or did he consider us <<juniors>> and think that he could say whatever came into his head to us? I could not permit him to go on like this, in that tone and with those words. I interrupted him:
<<We do not know the sister parties of Bulgaria and Greece at first hand and we have not had the occasion and possibility to know their current situation in detail. For this reason I do not consider it in order,>> I continued, <<for us even to speak about them and their line here. However, since you have had your say, I have to tell you my opinion.>>
<<I raised this only as an example with no intention of discussing them,>> Tempo tried to excuse himself. <<This is simply a free conversation.>>
<<And I shall speak freely, too,>> I said and continued: <<For them as two communist parties, members of the Comintern, we have always nurtured the same feelings and opinions as for your party and for any other communist party. For such leaders as Comrade Dimitrov in particular, we have always had the best of opinion. I tell you this because the way you speak about the leadership of the Bulgarian Communist Party simply astonishes us.>>
<<We, too, have respect for Comrade Dimitrov,>> put in Tempo, <<but in the concrete instance even he is for pursuing a stereotyped line>> on the question of the war against the occupiers. Perhaps this comes about because he works in Moscow in the Comintern and is acquainted with no other experience than that of earlier revolutions and the war of the Red Army. Precisely here stereotypism. . .>>
<<You make much use of the term 'stereotype', and from what I can see, with this you imply, first of all, the experience of the October Revolution. Or am I mistaken?!>> I said bluntly.
<<In some ways I mean that, too, but let us understand. . .>>
<<Excuse me,>> I interrupted, <<but for us the October Revolution and all its experience is something sacred. Perhaps we have not gone into matters quite as deeply as you,>> I said, not without irony, <<but one thing we know very well: the revolution, especially the October Revolution, is a great thing, a name, a world phenomenon which, above all, means the radical overturning of society. It does not include only strikes and demonstrations, as you said, but above all, it contains in itself the final struggle with such authoritarian means as rifles, artillery and machine-guns. Hence, for us, the revolution is a struggle which is developed gradually and uninterruptedly through all its forms, methods and means, from the most elementary to the general armed insurrection.>>
<<We don't deny these things,>> he interjected, <<but you are going into theory. I was talking about the present war.>>
<<That's what I am speaking about, too,>> I said, <<and by no means simply in the field of theory. I want to tell you that in our whole line we base ourselves on and learn from the irreplaceable experience of the October Revolution above all, of course, while trying to acquaint ourselves with it as thoroughly as possible and to adopt it in conformity with the time, circumstances and conditions of the situation today.>>
I noticed that he was waiting impatiently for me to finish. He was drumming irritably and impatiently on his boots with a twig of wild cherry.
<<This is a complete misunderstanding,>> he said. <<I was referring to something else, but let us leave these things. The problem is that. . .>>
<<And I also have something to say in connection with what you said about the Bulgarian comrades, especially about Comrade Dimitrov,>> I persisted. <<I repeat that we have had no direct contacts with them and have no concrete knowledge of the state of affairs with them. However, I think that you are wrong when you say that Comrade Dimitrov is against the immediate development in breadth of the armed struggle against the nazi-fascist occupation.>>
<<I spoke about what I saw and heard,>> Tempo interjected.
<<A few months ago,>> I objected, <<we received the directives of the Comintern about the line of our Party in the National Liberation War. I am certain that in defining the instructions and directives that the Comintern issues, Comrade Dimitrov has his say and a major place.>>
<<Indisputably!>> said Tempo. <<He is engaged directly with the Comintern.>>
<<How then,>> I asked, <<are we to understand what you said, when, in the directives which are sent to us, we are not told 'wait in the cities', 'busy yourselves only with strikes', but are told 'develop and deepen the war, mobilize all the forces in the armed struggle against the fascist occupiers'?!>>
Tempo's face went red, however he still persisted in his opinion, while stressing that he did not know the directives that had come to us, but knew <<the concrete reality in the line of the Bulgarian comrades>>.
I did not allow him to say any more about the others and he himself drew in his horns, while repeating that he did not open up that theme in order <<to speak ill of third parties>>, but simply for a <<consultation between comrades>>.
The time came for him to issue <<some comments>> about our work. From the first <<comments,>> I saw that he was not so uninformed about our situation as he had pretended to be at first. After saying a few things perfunctorily and <<sweetening us up>> with some talk about our successes, he found it order to list his <<comments>>:
<<First,>> he said, <<sectarian tendencies and stands have been displayed by the Party over collaboration with and approaches to strata and groups of individuals with influence among the people; second, the liberation character of the war should be linked more closely with the problem of the elimination of the old regime, hence, with the creation of national liberation councils; third, the partisan çetas and units should not be considered 'çetas of the Party'; fourth,. . .>>
<<We should denounce the Trotskyite Zai Fundo, as an enemy of the Party!>> interjected there and then.
Tempo was shocked and dumbfounded by my interjection, but quickly tried to recover himself.
<<Yes,>> he said, <<I was going to speak about him, too!>>
<<Comrade Tempo>>. I said quietly, <<these things that you are mentioning to us, we have read two or three months ago in the letter which Comrade Tito sent us and we have discussed them at length with Blazo. It seems that you, too, have been well-informed about them. We can only be pleased about this general interest of yours in our problems.>>
<<Why, don't you want us to be interested?>> he asked irritably. <<Have you no need for aid? Or do you consider our comments out of order?>>
<<Very briefly I told him what we had discussed and what we thought about those things which Tito wrote and, in order to take him down a peg or two, I told him bluntly:
>>In principle those comments might have some basis, but we received them too late. They reached us when those things no longer existed as problems for us. It is of even less value to talk about them now.>>
<<Perhaps,>> said Tempo, <<but when you were speaking at first about the line of the Party, you continuously mentioned the term 'our partisan units', or 'our çetas'. You are speaking as General Secretary of the Party, are you not?>>
<<I certainly am!>>
<<Then it turns out that you, too, consider the çetas and battalions as 'units of the Party'! Precisely this is a mistake of a sectarian character. They are the armed forces of the people, not simply of the Party. . .>>
<<Let us not play with words,>> I interrupted him. <<When we say 'our units and çetas', we always have in mind the people and the Party. Of course, they are armed forces of the people, because the people -- the peasants, the workers and the youth, are filling their ranks. But,>> I continued, <<we do not in any way consider it a mistake, in fact we cannot even distinguish the mistake you see, when we link the çetas and other partisan units closely with the Party. Our Communist Party is the sole creator, the irreplaceable or-
ganizer and leader of them. We inherited nothing from the old army of the ex-king, not even a squad of soldiers, let alone larger units. Thus, all the forces which have gone to the mountains are the fruit of the correct line of our Party which has created them, and in this direction we are not wrong when we call the partisan units ours. Now we have other major tasks ahead of us: we are going to organize big fighting units, starting from brigades, and are about to set up the General Staff of our National Liberation Army. We can never conceive these formations and organs apart from the Party, apart from its role as founder and leader.>>
This person with whom I was talking had a strange habit: whenever he felt himself in a tight spot, he would say, <<All right, all right,>> and immediately hop off arrogantly to some other subject. This is what happened in all the talks we held with him.
<<I don't deny the role of the Party, but it is a mistake to apeak like that, because it appears as if the units are comprised only of communists,>> he put in.
<<That's absurd,>> I said. <<There are many fighters in our çetas and battalions and their ranks are increasing ceaselessly. How can it be thought they are all communists! No, Comrade Tempo, this could not happen. The communists are the vanguard, the forefront of the fighters, they are their <<outstanding leaders, but not the whole effective of fighters.>>
<<Then it turns out, at least, that your staffs are comprised only of communists! This, too, is a criticism we have for you. Since it is a people's army, non-communist elements ought to be included in the staffs, and this work should not be left in the hands of communists only.>>
<<There's no basis for this 'criticism', either,>> I retorted. <<Indeed, I can tell you that most of the leading bodies of our military units are not comprised of communists, but honest patriots, fighters who want the freedom and independence of the Homeland and who have consciously embraced the line of our Communist Party. Naturally, in all this work we stress as the main thing the fact that the central staff, the
leading staff which determines the line, which leads the Front, the work of the national liberation councils and the entire war, is the Party. This we do not deny. On the contrary, we consider it the fundamental factor and the main victory we have achieved.>>
Soon I was to be convinced that it was not the way in which we operated in the Front, the work with the nationalists, or the role of communists and elements not organized in the Party, in the staffs, that Tempo was worrying about. He repeated the things we had read in Tito's letter apparently to show us that <<he knew how to make concrete criticism>>, but after our objections he did not enter into debate. He had something else at the back of his mind.
<<Big staffs must be created without fail,>> he said, continuing the talk, <<because we can't do without them! You, Comrade Enver, said that the leading, central staff is the Party. I agree, but the party is the party while the staff is the staff! The latter has its own functions and role, especially in the direction of following up and co-ordination of the fighting actions. You have remained at the stage of staffs of çetas and battalions. You have delayed too long. Where are your brigade staffs, where is your General Staff?!>>
<<We're listening to you, Comrade Tempo,>> I broke in abruptly, <<but, please remember where you are speaking and why you are speaking. I told you in a comradely way about the development of the war and of our partisan formations up to the 1st National Conference. Likewise, I told you about the concrete tasks which the Conference set in the direction of the creation of bigger fighting formations, and in this context, also about the formation of the General Staff of our army in the near future.>>
<<But where are they!>> he interrupted again with an impatience which I could not understand.
<<In the mountains!>> I said raising my voice. <<In the villages and cities of Albania, everywhere that a whole people, with their Party at the head, are being organized, mobilized and are fighting. Don't you concern yourself, Comrade Tempo,
about whether our affairs are going properly. Everything will be done as it should, at the proper time, and not just as I, you, or anybody else fancies.>>
<<I understand, I understand, Comrade Enver,>> he suddenly softened his tone, <<but look how matters stand: for some time I've been turning over a great idea in my head. It includes Yugoslavia, Albania, Bulgaria and Greece.>>
<<Since it includes the whole of the Balkans it really is a big idea,>> I jibed gently.
<<Yes, the whole of the Balkans!>> he repeated without hiding his satisfaction and continued, <<I have an idea in my head about a big staff, a staff above the staffs, as you might say, a universal organization. Do you understand?>>
<<I'm listening, I'm listening,>> I replied to avoid saying I could not agree with what he was telling me.
<<This staff,>> he continued, <<will be an inter-Balkan staff, or let us call it a Balkan staff for short, and I think it should be comprised of representatives of the general staffs of all the Balkan countries. It would be charged with important functions, would. . .>>
I felt this was not the time for sarcasm, or for taking what-he said lightly. Therefore, I pulled myself together to listen with all the attention that his <<idea>> deserved. Apparently he noticed the sudden change in my attitude and he immediately lowered the euphoric tone of what he was saying:
<<Let us be quite clear,>> he said, <<that I mentioned these things to you only because I chanced to pass through these parts. I'm still turning over the idea in my head, you might say, as a draft idea. I've exchanged some opinions with a comrade of the Greek party and with one of the Bulgarian party, but I mentioned it to them, too, just like this, in passing. I only wanted to set them thinking. The idea still needs time to mature, I have to elaborate it, then we shall put it forward in the proper way. But,>> he continued, <<to round off this talk which we have had, I still insist on what I said earlier: you must create your staffs, especially the General Staff, as soon as
possible. This has great importance. Assuming for a moment that we reach agreement with the Bulgarian and Greek comrades that we should concretize the idea of the 'Balkan Staff', assuming that you agree, too, how are you to take part in it when you still do not have your General Staff?! This is what I was getting at,>> he said and looked up at me to see my reaction.
<<The main thing is that we must have the leading staff, the Party,>> I told him. <<With it at the head, the commands and staffs of units of a higher level will be created at the proper moment, in conformity with the needs and the rates of the development of the war. As to the exact moment when they will be created, this, I think, you're not asking to know, and I have no reason to tell you. It is a matter for the Central Committee of our Party and the General Council of the National Liberation Front.>>
<<It seems to me you have misunderstood me!>> interrupted Tempo who had been listening to me with his eyes on the ground. <<I told you all this in relation to the idea I have in my head. This is what's on my mind. . .>>
<<To tell the truth,>> I replied, <<such an idea has never crossed our minds, so I cannot take any stand about it, either on behalf of the CC of the Party, or even on my own behalf. Moreover, as you said, you yourself have not elaborated it, hence it is just a rough idea turning over in your mind. Later, perhaps, you will concretize it better, and possibly consult with the comrades of your party and sister parties.>>
<<Certainly, certainly!>> said Tempo.
<<But no longer just in passing!>> I said, half jokingly, and continued: <<If this problem is put before us we shall discuss it and give our opinion. As for your concern, that perhaps you and the others might join in that 'staff' and we be left out since we still have no General Staff of the army, set your mind at rest! In any case,>> I added still half jokingly, <<I don't believe that participation or non-participation of our staff would spoil your idea.>>
<<Oh, no! It is a matter of a Balkan unity. A fraternal unity of this sort between our peoples and countries. . .>>
<<We will never hinder anything which serves the common fight against the nazi-fascist occupiers,>> I told him, <<but let us close this question. You yourself said that it is still too early to discuss it. We have more urgent problems to solve.>>
<<Agreed! We shall see each other again,>> said Tempo, who stood up and shouldered his knapsack.
He seemed gloomier than when he arrived. Apparently he had thought that all he would hear from us would be <<so be it>>. The truth is, however, that in this first meeting we behaved with him in a very comradely way, indeed more so than was necessary, were patient and kindly towards him and what he said. He went away just as suddenly as he came. It seems to me that he turned up again at our Staff a little later and again disappeared towards Macedonia and Greece, only to return one or two other times about the end of July and the beginning of August of that year. I have never been clear about how many times Tempo came and went in the period between March and August 1943. Perhaps this is because on these trips he raised only one problem, one issue -- the <<Balkan Staff>>! During one of these appearances and disappearances, at the end of June, as far as I remember, he said to me:
<<What about allowing Comrade Koçi Xoxe to come to Thessaly with me? We can hold the meeting about the 'staff' with the Greek comrades and free up his legs a bit after his long stay in jail!>>
We had no reason to refuse him. They went, were away
 At the 1st National Conference of the CPA in March 1943, Koçi Xoxe, although still in prison, was elected a member of the Political Bureau of the CC of the CPA and charged with the task of organizational secretary of the Party. Immediately after he came out of prison, at the beginning of the summer of the same year, during the trips he made with Vukmanovic-Tempo to Greece he was recruited by the latter and turned into a blind tool and obedient agent of the Belgrade leadership. He carried on his secret anti-Albanian and anti-Marxist activity consistently, until he was exposed and received the deserved punishment in the Party at the end of 1948, and in 1949 a sentence was passed on him by the organs of the people's justice.
for a week or two, and returned to Albania. Apparently it was a union of souls, because a few days later, when Tempo <<was obliged>> to make another of his trips to Greece about the >>staff>>, he asked to take Koçi Xoxe with him again.
<<You are recruiting Koçi to the 'Balkan cause'!>> said Miladin jokingly.
<<We started this job,>> replied Tempo, <<let us continue it.>>
They returned at the end of July or the beginning of August. At that period we were at Kucaka of Korça district. This was the last meeting I had with Tempo during the years of the National Liberation War. At the same time, it was the meeting in which we had to have bitter arguments with him and hear the gravest accusations which he made about the line of our Party. This meeting marked the beginning of the open, organized interference and pressure of the CPY against us, interference and pressure which still seemed to be exerted by the delegates on their own responsibility, but which in fact, and as was proved later, were exerted on the basis of orders and guided, not by the delegates' own heads, but by the head of the Yugoslav leadership -- Tito and company. However, I shall speak about this later. The fate of the idea that Tempo was <<turning over in his head>>, the fate of the <<Balkan Staff>>, still has to be cleared up.
After he <<concretized his idea>>, by roving up and down all over the Balkans (the truth is that he moved a great deal, willingly and unquestioningly undertook any activity, however dangerous, seemed determined about the things he said, as stubborn as a mule, fearless, in brief, a kind of Dusan Mugosa, but with more capacity and much more capable in the performance of his mission), hence, after he <<concretized>> it he came to Albania all importance, together with another comrade.
<<A representative of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of Greece,>> he introduced this comrade to us and told us a name or a pseudonym which I have never been able to remember.
We met the two new arrivals and, in order to create the <<atmosphere>> for Tempo, I asked jokingly:
<<Well, what about the Balkans?!>>
<<Simmering,>> said Tempo, and it was plain that he was feeling pleased with himself. <<Simmering and steaming!>>
<<Watch out it doesn't blow up!>> I replied.
Stern, arrogant and domineering as he was, Tempo rarely permitted a free conversation. With him, everything, even greetings of welcome, assumed the colour of official formulas. When he was speaking about or expounding on an idea he gave the impression that he was dictating a document. So it was this time, too.
<<The idea presented some time ago about the 'Balkan Staff' has now matured,>> he started his speech, <<and at this meeting I think that we, the representatives of three parties, even in the absence of our Bulgarian brother, should take the first main step towards the practical concretization of the staff. We have reached agreement with the Bulgarian comrades and they will certainly take part in the next meeting. Now, as I see it, this matter. . .>>
I saw that he was aiming very high. Moreover, now he was putting before us as an accomplished fact something to which we had not given the slightest importance. There fore, I put in cautiously:
<<Comrade Tempo, you have had a long, tiring journey. You should rest a little and then we, too, will find time to listen to your idea.>>
<<No>>, he objected immediately, <<it is not a matter of listening only to me. This is an important meeting over a very cardinal problem.>>
<<How, then, can we meet like this, all of a sudden, on a problem which we, too, consider very important?!>> I asked him. <<You know the rules of organization of. . .>>
<<What rules!>> he said with his notorious arrogance. <<This is wartime and matters won't wait while we follow procedures!>>
<<I'm sorry that you present the problem in this way,>> I said. <<If it were a question of procedure, then I should not be present at this talk. But let us overlook that. The problem
you raise is extremely important and I cannot permit myself to sit at a meeting with the representatives of two sister parties without being clear about the purpose of the discussion, without having the opinion and guidance of my comrades, at least of the comrades of the Political Bureau on the matter. . .>>
We went on for a long time opposing one another until, finally, we reached agreement that everything should be considered as a preliminary consultation and exchange of ideas, in simple comradely form, without the slightest official obligation and the things which we would discuss would not, in any way, assume the value of oficial attitudes. After this the comrade of the CP of Greece, who had not opened his mouth up to that time, seemed to wake up. As we heard later, he was a person who had met Tempo in the journeys he made <<through the Balkans>>, but in regard to the problem we were dealing with, he not only had no authorization from the CC of the CPG, but his leadership did not even know that he had involved himself in this problem. Who can tell how Tempo had managed to convince him and drag him into this adventurous undertaking! Indeed, as we heard later, this so-called representative of the CC of the CPG was not even an ordinary cadre of the CP of Greece. We never learned whether Tempo had been deceived, or had brought him along to impose his idea on us <<in the name of two parties>>. However this is not important.
Hence, we began our comradely <<consultation>> which wasted many valuable hours over something which was to end up as it began, an <<idea turning over>> in the head and in the aims of one person who roamed through the Balkans with sinister plans.
I am not going to dwell at length on the nature and character of what Tempo called the <<Balkan Staff>>, or on what we said and how we said it in the consultation we held. But since there has been talk from time to time about this question and especially about the sinister purposes that Tito and company hid behind it, and since, from what I have heard, Tempo has recently made a dirty attempt to involve the name
of our Party and my name in this problem, I must clear up some matters:
As I said, right from the outset, we characterized the meeting which we had with Tempo and the <<comrade>> from the CP of Greece simply as a preliminary consultation among comrades and nothing more. Likewise, we reached agreement that the ideas expressed in this consultation should first be enriched with the ideas which the comrades of the Bulgarian Communist Party might have, and only after this should they be presented to the leaders of the four sister parties, not as conclusions or directives, but simply as ideas for each to analyse for itself in an independent way. We also agreed that the results of the analyses of each party should be made known to the four sister parties and, if all approved this idea, only then could the representatives of the four parties meet together to deal with the problem officially and take a decision.
As it turned out from the development of events, however, the <<analysis>> of this problem in the leadership of our Party never took place. Why?
First of all, during the presentation which Tempo made of his <<idea>>, it was not difficult to distinguish a series of unclear points about which he was unable to reply to my questions and interjections or had been instructed to glide over. However, these were absolutely essential issues. For example, we had no objection to working, through a joint organ if need be, to assist the fighting activities which were being carried on by the partisan armies of each country, for the exchange of experience and information, for the publicizing of one another's successes, for the organization of joint actions, especially, in the border zones, for the planning of simultaneous attacks against the enemy by each country on different occasions which presented interest, etc., etc. But Tempo, who had <<mulled>> this idea over at great length, went far beyond this:
<<No>>, he said, <<this ought to be a staff with greater and wider competences. It should be an inter-Balkan staff which
will have the right to decide the 'major' activities of all the armies of the Balkans. . .>>
Precisely on this point we could not be either clear or in agreement. A staff to which the partisan armies of the four countries would be subordinate! Was this correct? Moreover, was such a thing possible especially in the extremely difficult conditions of that period?! In this case what would be the functions of the general staffs of each country? How would the co-ordination of actions be carried out? Who would lead this <<superstaff>>? If each staff of the separate countries was led by the Central Committee of the party of the respective country, which party would lead the <<Balkan Staff>>? Would that mean creating a <<staff of parties>>, too? Or would we have to go along with Tempo's idea that <<the party is the party, the staff is the staff>> and, consequently, deny and reject the leading role of the Party over the staffs and commands?!
I cannot say that at those early moments we understood that behind the idea of this <<staff>> lurked the megalomaniacal hegemonic ambitions of the leadership of the CPY to rule the Balkans. This we were to realize later. But right at hose moments, apart from the grave doubts which arose in our minds about the character of the <<staff>>, a number of Tempo's expressions also left a bad impression with us. He boasted about <<the marvellous experience>> of the General Staff of the Yugoslav NLA, about <<its proven ability>> to undertake and carry out large-scale battles successfully, the <<readiness>> of this staff <<to make the necessary contribution to the realization of the new idea>>, etc., etc. He went so far as to call the experience of the Yugoslav NLA <<unrivalled>>, <<a model of mountain warfare>>, <<the only successful form of the war in the conditions of the Balkans>>, etc., etc. All these things gave rise to our suspicions that behind the idea of the <<joint staff>> he saw the possibilities of making this <<staff>> subordinate to the Yugoslav staff, and hence, putting the armies of the Balkan countries under the dependence of Yugoslavia.
However, we could not extend this suspicion any further
than Tempo personally. At that period it could not even cross our minds that it was the leadership of a whole party which had chauvinist and hegemonic tendencies. What's more, Tempo declared and insisted that the idea was <<his alone>>.
Precisely these doubts which arose in our minds were the main reason that we never gave the question of the Balkan staff serious consideration. Meanwhile we waited to see what stand the other sister parties would take on it and what the <<opinion>> of the CC of the CPY itself would be. However, in the autumn of 1943 Tempo disappeared and his abortive plan along with him. The idea of the <<Balkan Staff>> was never mentioned again and much later we were to learn that the other parties, too, had quite rightly rejected it.
So, that is how this history began and ended in the summer of 1943, and as I said, after it had been completely forgotten, all that remained of it in my mind was the arrogant figure of the man of the abortive <<staff>> -- Tempo. When he spoke and dictated in cut-and-dried phrases about what <<havoc>> his <<dream staff>> would wreak in the Balkans, it seemed as if the god of war himself had come down and arrived as our guest at Kucaka, except that the <<god>> we had in front of us did not launch thunderbolts and flame from his mouth and knapsack, but only orders and directives.
The custom of keeping notes, as accurate as possible, about the problems that were worrying me, about different events, about talks and consultations I held, I have had since my youth, but I developed it further, especially during the years of the war, even though the conditions were difficult. In this meeting, too, I remember that I jotted down, there and then, the main ideas which were expressed, having in mind that we might need them if we ever had to analyse the problem in the leadership of the Party. However, when Tempo was making ready to set out again <<through the Balkans>>, he approached me and said:
<<Comrade Enver, I saw that during the talks you kept full notes. Unfortunately, I did not do this, because mostly I was speaking. Now I have to talk with the Bulgarian and
other comrades. Would you mind giving me your notes to use in the meetings which I am to hold?>>
<<I don't mind at all,>> I said. <<But, first, they are written in Albanian, and second, they are more a summary of the ideas which were expressed here rather than complete minutes.>>
<<So much the better, because they won't tire the translators,>> he said, and I notice that his face was beaming.
Later I thought that these notes of mine would have been forgotten like the idea of Tito and Tempo itself. But I was wrong. Tempo kept them in the archives, in order to bring them out one day to add to the Yugoslav book of a thousand and one slanders a new slander: Enver Hoxha allegedly agreed with Tempo's idea! <<See, here is a document in his handwriting>>!
However, from the Serbo-Jesuit Tempo nothing but accusations, slanders and a series of similar immoral actions could be expected. As I said earlier, from the first moment we met him, the impression we formed of this person was not good, and four or five months later, at the end of July and the beginning of August 1943, we were to quarrel very fiercely with him. He came back to Kucaka again, just as haughty and arrogant as before, but this time, he no longer threw the question of the <<Balkan Staff>> on the table. He came, all fury and indignation, on another mission -- to launch a heavy attack on the line pursued by our Party. He was together with Koçi Xoxe in whom, on the two trips which they had made to Greece at that time, he had found a soul-mate and they had become fast friends.
 S. V. -- Tempo, in pp. 356-357 of his book <<Revolucija koja Tece>> (The On-going Revolution) Memoari, Beograd 1971, writes: <<After the meeting of the CC of the CP of Macedonia, I set out for Greece again. As on the previous occasion Koçi Xoxe came with me. This means that the two of us became 'experts' on Greece. After all friendship had developed between us. Although he did not speak much in the meetings, with the Greek representative, I noticed that Xoxe supported me, not only because of the fact that I was a member of the CC of the CPY, in which he had great faith, but also because of the fact that we shared the same views.>>
His <<introduction>> was already a formula which we knew by heart:
<<On my way back from Greece and since my route ran this way, I came to see you once more before I go to Kosova, Macedonia and Bulgaria. Comrade Xoxe urged me to come, too. 'Come on,' he said, 'otherwise the comrades will be put out'.>>
<<Comrade Tempo routed the Greek leadership,>> put in Koçi Xoxe there and then. <<What a debate, what a stern criticism! He really straightened them up! I invited him so he could tell you about it at length.>>
<<Why did you hold up the comrade on his long journey?>> Miladin asked Koçi Xoxe. <<You could have informed us about it if you considered it necessary.>>
<<Oh, I can never put things the way Comrade Tempo does,>> protested Koçi innocently, <<he did all the talking.>>
Meanwhile, as if he did not notice what Miladin was hinting at, Tempo licked his lips, placed his briefcase on his knees and embarked on one of his usual outbursts. After pouring out a series of criticisms about the line of the CP of Greece (unfortunately he had grounds for criticism, because the major mistakes of principle of the CP of Greece were evident and recognized also by us at that period), the rest of his spleen he vented on us.
<<Why do I tell you these things?!>> he asked at one moment like a pedantic teacher, giving us a <<superior>> look. <<I tell you,>> he continued, <<because I have criticisms of you and your line, too. Your stand towards the Balli Kombëtar is incorrect, it is wrong.>>
<<How, in what direction?>> I asked him.
<<To put it bluntly,>> he said putting on a very stern mien, <<it has been and is an impermissible opportunist stand.>>
<<The criticism you make is extremely grave, it is an accusation, >>I replied to Tempo angrily. <<What is the basis for what you say?>>
<<Your softness and tolerance towards the Balli Kombëtar from the first moments it appeared on the scene,>> said Tempo,
in his usual style. <<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.>>
Miladin Popovic began to fiddle irritably with his moustache with movements in which it could be seen, that his indifference towards the new arrival was outdone by his displeasure at his words. Nako Spiru, with his eyes on the floor and his hands never still, was crumbling a chip of wood. Sejfulla adopted the stance of the authoritative <<professor>>, while Koçi Xoxe stood in front of <<the Balkan authority>> like a pupil in an examination.
<<Comrade Tempo,>> I said, <<we have respect for the CPY and for you as a cadre of that party, but you must understand that we can never agree with what you have just said. Nevertheless, we don't blame you greatly for this, because you have not had the opportunity or possibility to acquaint yourself better with the development of events in our country. You alleged that we were taken by surprise by the emergence of the Balli Kombëtar on the scene! I don't know where you got this idea and perhaps this is not the place to discuss it, but so that you can go on your way with an easy mind, there are a few things I want to tell you: Not just at the end of 1942 when the first signs of the emergence of the Balli Kombëtar appeared, but even before the founding of our Party, and, especially, since November 1941, we have made extensive analyses and all-round efforts to win not only the masses of the people, but also other patriotic nationalist elements, no matter how vacillating, unclear, and so on, to the line of the Party. Many of these people understood us and have joined us in the war, others hesitated and others again, despite all our efforts, opposed us and tried to hinder us. We continued our work with the last category, but fascism and open reaction also worked with them in the opposite direction. It became clear that they were not going to come over to us and it also became clear that they were going to organize themselves, or fascism would organize them, to build them up as a counter to our line, to the National
Liberation Front and the National Liberation War. How then, were we 'taken by surprise'?! Just how they were going to organize themselves concretely and what name they would give their grouping is another matter, this we could not guess, but I don't believe that you would call this 'taking us by surprise'.>>
<<Let us leave this aspect,>> interrupted Tempo, <<and look into the matter a little more deeply. Are not your soft attitude towards the Balli Kombëtar and your efforts to reach an agreement with it opportunism?>>
<<No,>> I replied immediately, <<they cannot be called opportunism. The fact is that we have never at any moment reached a compromise with the Balli Kombëtar and there has been no opportunist and conciliatory action with it on our part. On the contrary, right from the outset we have been clear why this organization was created, have expressed this in the Party and among the people and have had no illusions. But you should bear in mind the platform of our Conference of Peza. I don't know whether you have been informed about it,>> I asked him.
<<I've heard about it,>> he said coldly.
<<At Peza,>> I said, <<in September 1942 our Party organized a conference at which the political and organizational foundations of the National Liberation Front were laid, the Anti-fascist National Liberation Council was created and very important decisions were defined and adopted. To make things more clear to you,>> I stressed, <<at Peza in September 1942 we did those same things which your party was to do at Bihac about two months later, at the end of November 1942!>>
Tempo snorted indignantly. The comparison which I used, not without purpose, did not please him one bit. But he said nothing, because there was noting he could say.
<<At this Conference,>> I continued, <<we correctly put forward the platform of the political and organizational unity of the whole people in a single Front, laying down one fundamental condition for this unity: war against the occupier. Irrespective of its true aims, the Balli Kombëtar, which was
created later as reaction against the National Liberation Front, for purposes of demagogy and deception, came out with slogans of the 'war', 'independence', 'ethnic Albania, etc. Naturally, some people were deceived by these slogans. The heads of the Balli Kombëtar also formed a few 'çetas' and are trying to form others. Of course, they have not carried out any action against the Italians and will not do so, but their demagogy has not failed to have some effect. This being so, if we had risen against them with the rifle right from the start, this would have had grave and unpleasant consequences. I'm not talking about the possibility of losing ten or twenty of the heads of the Balli Kombëtar. As far as we are concerned, they were gone from the beginning, they have never been and never will the with us. But our concern is with that part of the population that is deceived, as well as with a number of elements of the middle strata who associated themselves with the slogans of the Balli Kombëtar and whom we must win over at all costs. Had we taken the axe to the Balli Kombëtar from the start, we would have created erroneous views among these people and antagonized them. How then can you call this stand wrong?>>
<<But how can you accept this course of events?>> put in Tempo. <<You want to merge the two sides? This I don t understand. I cannot call this anything but what I called it at the start, opportunism.>>
<<What 'merging' are you talking about?!>> I retorted. <<Such a thing has not occurred and never will occur. Although we have tried to convince the various nationalist forces and groups to hurl themselves into the fight, this does not mean that the Party wants to merge, not even with the Front, let alone with them. It is the Party that leads the Front and, whether or not the Balli Kombëtar enters the ranks of the Front, our Party will never agree to share its leading role with anyone.>>
<<Maybe, maybe,>> said Tempo, <<but I stick by what I said: you should have opposed the Balli Kombëtar with all means right from the beginning. You have treated it very gently.
Tempers were rising but I kept my aplomb.
<<Not at all,>> I told him, <<if we were to do as you advise we would fall into the trap of the Balli Kombëtar and those who created it. Hence, we would land ourselves into the lap of the policy of fascism which has done everything in its power to hinder the war by trying to divide the people, to stir up animosities amongst the ranks of the peasantry, the intelligentsia, the youth, and so on. It wants to involve us in a fratricidal war. We had to avert this and we have done so. Our tactic has been this: All right, we take into consideration the existence of your organization, but what is the platform which you follow? The war?! If you say yes, then come along and let us fight on a single front, in the Anti-fascist National Liberation Front, which is the organization that includes the whole fighting people, all the currents and organizations which are for immediate uncompromising war against the occupiers. The touchstone is the war, the war against the occupiers, an immediate, uninterrupted, organized war, this, Comrade Tempo,>> I continued, <<has been and still is our weapon to expose the Balli Kombëtar and to defeat the policy of its leaders. This is and will remain the touchstone for everybody. And this line has had and still has great effect. The chiefs of the Balli Kombëtar are left isolated. The people who cannot endure fascism, are understanding us more and more and they will continue to do so. When those who have been deceived see that the chiefs of the Balli Kombëtar are keeping them inactive, that the only war they are waging is against chickens, they abandon these chiefs and unite with us. This, then, is our line and I don't believe it is a bad line and wrong.>>
<<Perhaps you don't!>> said Tempo in a tight corner. <<But I still stick to what I said. On this course you will either merge with the Balli Kombëtar or you will remain a mere handful of people and the Balli Kombëtar will face you with the alternative: either join us or we fight you.>>
<<As for the possibility of our remaining a mere handful of people, you need have no doubts in that direction and I find it regrettable that the idea even occurred to you. As for the
Balli Kombëtar threatening us with the rifle, you should know that we have our artillery ready.>>
<<Then, let us leave it to time to prove!>> said Tempo like an oracle of woe.
<<Certainly,>> I replied, <<and you may be sure that time will prove the correctness of what we have done.>>
<<Or of what I say!>> added Tempo, looking mean, and he slapped his stick against his boots.
<<Will,>> I said, <<but I believe that in your heart you, as a communist, don't want what you said to be proved right. Is that not so?>>
<<Of course, of course!>> he muttered.
Our talk was almost at an end. Both sides had become heated and our mutual annoyance was quite plain. However, I could not allow him to get away with this.
<<There is something else which has made an impression on me,>> I said quietly. <<During these last four or five months we have met 'by chance' a number of times. At first you made a criticism of us for a 'sectarian line' towards precisely those elements towards whom you are now accusing us of 'opportunism'. We have told you that neither the one nor the other criticism seems in order to us. However, since we are talking about two opposite accusations over the same thing, I believe that now you must withdraw one of them. Which do you think you will withdraw: the criticism over 'sectarianism' or that over 'opportunism'?!>>
<<You are being sarcastic!>> he exclaimed. <<And this is impermissible in the relations between comrades. But I reply to you without sarcasm: I stick to them both!>>
<<I was not being sarcastic at all!>> I replied. <<I am speaking of two opposite assessments of the same line, of the same problem and from the same person. This won't do at all.>>
<<From the dialectical viewpoint I think that the Yugoslav comrade is right,>> put in the <<professor>> Sejfulla Malëshova in a querulous voice. It was not more than two months since he had returned from emigration and we had welcomed him warmly and co-opted him as a candidate member of the Cen-
tral Committee of the Party. I shall have something to say later about his past and his <<deeds>>, therefore, here I shall dwell only on this instance.
<<Something which is sectarian at one moment>>, continued the <<professor>>, <<can turn into something opportunist later and vice-versa. I am speaking in the theoretical sense, because, of course, I still have not gone into matters in practice. . .>>
Sejfulla Malëshova was soon to go into matters <<in practice>>, too, but this would come to light later. The thing that worried me at this period was the question to which I still was unable to give an accurate answer: Why this incorrect and megalomaniacal stand by these <<emissaries>> of the CPY? Why these <<criticisms>> and accusations which suddenly and arbitrarily turned into one another?! Such questions were to worry me even more just a very little while later when, after the Balli Kombëtar had filled the cup and thrown itself openly into the arms of fascism, we began the open fight against it. This same Tempo and, later, his comrades who in July and August 1943 accused us of being <<opportunists>>, in September and October of the same year were to accuse us of being <<sectarians>>! How then were we to explain such diametrically opposite stands?!
More and more I was beginning to suspect that the emissaries of the CPY were coming to us with the mania <<to find>> mistakes at all costs, to find them even where there were none, or if this were impossible, to fabricate them. Let everything be turned upside down, let white be called black, just so long as we were <<caught out>> in a mistake and a great fuss was made about it! But why are they acting like this? I asked myself. Don't they understand the truth? Don't they know our real situation? Can those who inform them be telling them things the wrong way round? Or can it be that since they come from afar they want to appear as if they come from <<on high>>, from the <<centre>>, from the <<Olympus>> of Marxism-Leninism?!
I thought that all these things had their influence, but in particular, their mania to take the limelight, to show
off, to present themselves as people of great knowledge, was the main reason that impelled Tito's men to make absurd accusations against us, one after the other, without any basis. On these occasions, obviously, we stuck to our guns and neither altered nor infringed the line which we followed simply to please the delegates sent to us! If we had acted otherwise it would have been all over for us. They took notes and filled in their reports, clung tightly to their briefcases and we knew that their reports were going to Tito's Staff. Very well, then, let them write what and how they liked. For Tito and the leadership of the CC of the CPY we had respect and could not doubt their intention. After all we knew that, in the final analysis, it was neither Tito nor anyone else abroad who would judge us for better or worse. We were responsible to our Party and our people. If we acted wrongly, we would render full account for this to them alone. The course of the struggle for victory, on which we were resolutely leading the people, would be the best and most indisputable way of clearing up everything. This is how we rationalized our doubts about why the Yugoslav emissaries talked rubbish about us and, obviously, we continued on our course, convinced that there was no truth in their accusations, either about <<opportunism>> or about <<sectarianism>>.
Time proved completely that there was only one thing wrong with this judgment of ours: at first we considered that the blame lay on the emissaries only, but not on those who sent them -- Tito and company. Time also confirmed that we were completely right when we said that they made their accusations for sinister, non-communist motives, although these motives were much more seriously hostile than we thought at first.
However, if we were revolted with them at first, because we were convinced that they were bullying us for nothing, later we were to learn shocking things. Later we were to learn that precisely at the time when we were talking with the wavering patriots and nationalists, trying to win them over to the course of the war (and for this we were <<opportunists>> (sic!)),
<<these stern fighters against opportunism>> -- Tito and company, had not only entered into negotiations and conclude agreements with the representatives of the Royal Yugoslav Government in exile, but they were talking. . . even with the German nazis, with the greatest criminals of all mankind, in order to reach accord and agreement with them!
In Albania it was a miserable Ali Këlcyra who made contact with the fascist General Dalmazzo and reached with him a <<ceasefire agreement>> and an agreement to fight against us, and as soon as we learned of this filthy act, we rang the alarm bells and exposed this dishonest bey for his collaboration with the chiefs of fascism!
How that act of Tito and company came about it is not up to me to explain. That is the business of the Yugoslavs themselves and, as is known, in the internal struggle which has never ceased there, the moment comes and they themselves bring out one another's dirty linen. This is what happened recently with a series of documents which confirm the statements published long ago about Tito's negotiations with the German occupiers.
At the time when we had good relations with the CPY, we listened with respect when they spoke about the fierce and bloody battles of May and June 1943 fought in the Sutjeska Valley. We had heard about the extraordinary heroism which the Yugoslav partisan brigades had displayed there, had heard about the unrivalled acts of the resistance and
In March 1943, authorized by the Central Committee of the Balli
Kombëtar, Ali Këlcyra, one of its chiefs, signed with the
supreme commander of the Italian fascist occupation troops R.
Dalmazzo a secret protocol on collaboration against the national
 The particular reference is to the book by Tito's official biographer Vladimir Dedijer, <<Novi Prilozi za Biografiju J. B. Tita>> (New Contributions to the Biography of Tito) (2) Rijeka 1981. A whole chapter of this book through authentic documents, gives an accurate picture of the agreement which was signed in March 1943 between delegates of the Staff of the YNLA on the personal orders of Tito and representatives of the High Command of the nazi army in Yugoslavia.
bravery of Serbian, Montenegrin, Croat, Slovenian and other partisans, commanders and commissars. It was said that Tito had commanded the forces in person and, indeed, had been wounded during those days.
Later, however, we learned that all that blood which was shed at Sutjeska, the thousands of brave partisans who gave their lives in that battle did so as a result of an act of treachery of Tito personally. His personal delegates, the ill-famed Milovan Djilas, Koca Popovic and Vladimir Velebit, three of the main cadres of the Yugoslav General Staff, each carrying a white flag, according to the conditions of the German Command, went to talks with the heads of the German army, signed an agreement with them on a <<ceasefire>> and returned to Tito carrying the pledge of nazism. The <<strategist>> Tito thought that the time had come to settle accounts with his internal opponents, with the cetnici and ustase, and directed the cadres of the staff that they should not fear an eventual nazi attack. Vigilance declined and the ustase were considered the main enemy. While Tito's staff was living with the euphoria of victory and the partisan brigades were training for a parade (Tito was anticipating the parade for his assumption of the throne), the nazi staff secretly assembled its own divisions and completely encircled the main troops of the Yugoslav NLA in a narrow valley. So great was the euphoria Tito had aroused in the staffs that even when reports came that the Germans were increasing their concentrations, Tito's men jeered at this information and at those who brought it.
Right at these moments the tragedy erupted. The fresh German troops with air and artillery support wrought havoc. Six thousand valiant Serbian, Bosnian, Montenegrin, Croat and Slovenian men and women paid for Tito's treachery with their life's blood. The author of this terrible history, Tito, as he related himself, was saved by a hair's breadth. . . by a dog, by his personal dog which protected the body of the commander-in-chief and was cut to ribbons!
Tito remained alive also to continue the great plot which he concocted to the detriment of our Party and people.
But, as I said, at that time we did not know and could not imagine that a leader, such as we imagined Tito to be, could do such a thing. For the things which we did know and which did not seem right to us, we laid the blame on the Yugoslav emissaries, such as Blazo Jovanovic at first, Tempo in the spring and summer of 1943 and in a series of other cases. But let us continue with Tempo.
After the fierce quarrel on political issues which we had at Kucaka, we had, what you might call, a ludicrous incident with Tempo's wife Milica, who at that time travelled around with him as his secretary. Before he left, <<the Balkan brain>> wanted to take the only radio transmitter we had. Naturally, we could not give it to him. However, when Tempo was persisting in his request in a reasonably comradely way, Milica intervened and, in a somewhat authoritarian tone, tried to convince us that we had no need for it, while it was very important for Tempo. I lost my temper and I said in an ill-mannered way:
<<You keep out of this. It's nothing to do with you, you are behaving like Geraldina. . .>>
She was offended and began to cry. I begged her pardon. Tempo tried to soothe her and told her: <<Enver said it only as a joke.>> So this incident came to a close.
Tempo left Kucaka totally dissatisfied. Neither the approving interjections of his <<friend>> Koçi Xoxe, nor the approving responses <<in the theoretical sense>> of Sejfulla Malëshova could calm him. These two were the only ones among our comrades who, to this or that degree, displayed support for Tempo's accusations. We shall see later what this would lead to.
After this conflict, up till the liberation of Albania, I never again set eyes on Svetozar Vukmanovic. Each of us had the worst possible opinion of the other. The fact is that he did not come, or was not allowed to come, either <<by chance>> or <<officially>>, to our Staff. However, Tempo was
 Wife of the ex-king of Albania, Ahmet Zog.
not to give up <<the Albanian issue>> in the context of the <<Balkan mission>> which he had undertaken. After this, since it was impossible to do battle with us directly, he carried on his anti-Albanian work <<from a distance>> and indirectly: with letters full of slanders and accusations, while roving around our border zones, quarrelling with our cadres and partisans in these zones. Endless problems, difficulties and obstacles he was to create for us, traps and plots he was to lay and to concoct against us, but in the struggle to defeat them we were to become better acquainted with the truth about <<Tempo's mission>> and about those who had charged him with this mission.
Ominous signs over an old problem
Regardless of the first frictions and bad impressions which we formed about the two emissaries of the Yugoslav leadership in the first part of 1943 up to August of that year, this in no way brought about a cooling of our former feelings and friendly stand towards the CPY and its leadership. We always believed that we had no reason to confuse the leadership of the party, and even less, the party itself, with one or two of its cadres who suffered from the complexes of megalomania and arrogance, despotism and the mania to dictate.
Precisely because we judged matters in this way, in each step we took we tried to rise above the frictions and discontent which were created. We considered our actions very carefully and, with complete communist sincerity, struggled to strengthen our fraternal friendship and solidarity with the just struggle of the peoples of Yugoslavia and the Communist Party of Yugoslavia. In our propaganda, in the meetings and other activities we conducted in the Party or among the masses we spoke openly about our friendship with the peoples of the Soviet Union, with other fraternal peoples, and in this
context with the peoples of Yugoslavia, too. We used all our possibilities to propagate the successes of their war, considering them as our own successes.
This was a very good thing that we did, but it should not be thought that everything in this direction was done easily and without difficulties. The fascist propaganda and that of the traitor governments of the Mustafa Merlikas and company issued an unrestrained torrent of anti-Slav filth, highlighted and publicized the old feuds and squabbles in the relations between our peoples, and shed crocodile tears over the blood and sufferings inflicted on the inhabitants of the Albanian regions of the north in the past by the Great-Serbs' genocide. All this could not fail to have some effect. The manoeuvres of reaction with the so-called fascist <<liberation>> of Kosova and the unification of Kosova and some other Albanian regions with the trunk of the Motherland occupied by the nazi-fascists, gave this propaganda even greater advantages. Another circumstance very damaging to us was created in the first months after the founding of the Party: in the spring of 1942 one of the main bases of the printing equipment of the CC of the Party in Tirana fell into the hands of fascism and, together with our names, the names of Miladin Popovic and Dusan Mugosa were discovered by the SIM.
The venal publications of fascism and its collaborationists began to vomit poison against us, describing us as <<sold out>> to Moscow and to the Serbs. In those publications Miladin and Dusan <<were promoted>> to no more or less than the <<chiefs>> of our Communist Party (!) and we were accused of waging the war in order <<to attach>> Albania to Serbia! (Later the Balli Kombëtar was pumped full of this filthy propaganda and later still. . . , dreadful to imagine. . . , just like the Italian fascists, like Pariani, and the Albanian fascists, like Merlika and Ali Këlcyra, Tito and his henchmen, too, were to employ
 Servizio Informazioni Militari (Military Intelligence Service of fascist Italy).
the same terms, the same denigrating names, against our Party in connection with the role of Miladin and Dusan!)
I mentioned all those things to show that it was not an easy job, but, on the contrary, a very difficult and courageous work which our Party undertook in the beginning to create and strengthen internationalist friendship with the peoples of Yugoslavia and the Communist Party of Yugoslavia. We set about this work, taking all this into account, and we never hesitated for fear that the people might not understand us, that the masses might be alienated from us, and we might lose our influence and leading role in the Front and in the war. The people understand you if you know how to tell them the truth and, above all, if you remain loyal to that truth to the end. The fact is that the wise advice of our Party found support among the Albanian people. During the war years, from our side, strong foundations were laid for closer and more fraternal relations between our peoples and parties in the future.
At this period, the problem of those Albanian territories which had been violently annexed to Yugoslavia before and after the First World War, and which in 1941, for its own purposes, nazi-fascism had reunited with the body of the Motherland, presented a much more delicate and complicated matter.
We, as Albanians and as communists, with full consciousness, had always called what occurred in 1913 in regard with the partitioning of our Homeland a great historical injustice. Likewise, as communists and as Albanians, with full right we did not consider what the nazi-fascists did in 1941 in connection with the Albanian national question a true solution, but considered it a trick and a great fraud.
Kosova and the other Albanian territories were united with the body of the Homeland, not to put right an injustice of the past, but for a series of ulterior motives. Through this <<unification>>, first of all, the old ambitions and desires of fascist Italy to enslave the widest possible territories in the Balkans were satisfied. Second, by presenting themselves as <<liberators>>, through this <<unification>>, the hierarchs of fascism
aimed to keep the Albanian population, especially that of the north, out of the National Liberation War. A special aim of this <<solution>> was to neutralize and win over to the side of fascism that section of nationalists and other patriotic elements who, in the cafes of Europe and the drinking dens of the time of Zog, swore black and blue that they were burning with fury and could hardly wait to see the Homeland united! Now fascism said to them, <<There you are, bend the knee to and serve fascism which has dropped your 'unification' into your lap like a ripe apple. . . !>> Hence, this <<unification>> in the fascist way was placed at the disposal of various Albanian quisling governments, which were open tools of fascism, and all the rest of Albanian reaction to wear as a cloak of <<patriotism>> over their shoulders in the propaganda which they had to put out to deceive the people and, especially, against our Communist Party, which appealed to all, young and old, to rise in the general fight for freedom.
At the same time, through this <<unification>> by military force, fascism and nazism left all the paths open for the old squabbles and feuds between the neighbouring peoples of the Balkans to continue at all times. This came about not only because of the fact that this <<unification>> was piecemeal, arbitrary and with plenty of hotbeds deliberately left for future quarrels and clashes, but also because of the other fact that this <<unification>> under the auspices of fascism had no basis or guarantee for the future whatsoever. It could very easily be altered in any way that interested the fascist occupiers and according to the situations that presented themselves. Under fascist occupation, the borders between states and countries had absolutely no value or meaning -- all were under terror, the bloodbath of the Hitlerite and Mussolini empires threatened all.
Many other factors and causes could be listed to explain what was that <<unification>> which the nazi-fascists carried out in Albania in 1941 and this, in the context of the history of that time, remains one of the tasks of our historians. I mentioned a few of them merely to emphasize why we Al-
banian communists never fell for the unrestrained propaganda which was put out at that period about this painful problem of our history.
In the Party and among the people we said openly that our national question as a whole, hence that of Kosova and the other Albanian territories attached to old Yugoslavia, too, could never be solved by nazi-fascism. It could never be expected that those hordes, which had invaded and were burning and devastating the whole of Albania, would <<liberate>> and <<recognize>> a part of it.
Don't be deceived by the demagogic manoeuvres of the members of traitor governments and the chiefs of the Balli Kombëtar, either, who scream and shout about <<greater Albania>> and about <<ethnic Albania>>, we told the people. Those who at all times have been ready to put the whole of Albania up for auction to the highest bidder, can never be defenders of the Albanian cause. Their <<patriotism>> is a fraud. Those who are going to solve the problems of our country and our nation are not and can never be the servants of fascists.
We issued calls to the people: <<Only unrelenting war against the fascists and their collaborators will lead to the solution of our national problem, an integral part of which is the putting right of historical injustices. For this,>> we told them, <<our Communist Party is fighting and the Communist Party of Yugoslavia, likewise, is leading the peoples of its own country on this same course.>>
The people understood us and without hesitation threw themselves into the decisive struggle with confidence in the course on which we were leading them.
In regard to the population of Kosova and the other Albanian regions in Yugoslavia, however, the problem presented greater difficulties. Suddenly the people there found themselves faced with the <<solution>> of their most cardinal problem: the Serbian yoke was thrown off, they were united with the trunk from which they had been cut, an administration staffed by Albanians was set up, people came and went from Tirana to Prishtina and vice-versa, Albanian schools were
opened, Albanian books and newspapers were published, etc., etc. This was a kind of <<liberation>>, except that it was <<liberation>> from an old yoke and falling under a new yoke -- that of fascism.
Precisely in these conditions the problem that presented itself here was the mobilization of the Albanian population of these zones in the fight against an occupier which presented itself to this population as a <<liberator>>. Only another, much more powerful, very advanced, reliable and hopeful alternative would make the people of Kosova rise in struggle against the <<liberator>> occupier immediately and with alI their might.
Only our communist parties could ensure this alternative.
There were two ways open to achieve this essential thing:
First, the Communist Party of Albania, taking no account at all of the fascist <<solution>>, should extend its activities to the people of Kosova and appeal to them openly: rise and fight under the leadership of the Communist Party of Albania against the new occupier -- nazi-fascism, mobilize yourselves in the ranks of the Anti-fascist National Liberation Front of Albania, form çetas, battalions and brigades under the command of the General Staff of the Albanian National Liberation Army, and thus wage the final fight, and its crowning with success will bring liberation from the yoke of the new or any other occupier.
Second, the people of Kosova would be raised in struggle under the leadership of the CP of Yugoslavia, in common unity with the peoples of Yugoslavia, under the command of the General Staff of the Yugoslav NLA.
The immediate aim of both these courses was the same: to drive out the nazi-fascist occupiers through the armed struggle, and as a result, as the fruit of this struggle, our national problem would be solved justly, once and for all, in accordance with the aspirations and dreams of the people and after this, all the other problems would be solved.
It is indisputable that the first course presented many and very great advantages for the mobilization of the people of
Kosova and other Albanian regions in the war. This, without doubt, would also have great advantages and provide much greater possibilities for the propaganda and the whole struggle of our Party in all the other parts of the Homeland. At the same time, the mobilization in the war of the Kosova masses, proven in battle as the bravest of the brave, would also be a contribution to the war of the peoples of Yugoslavia and the Balkans.
However, as is known, the second course was followed. The Communist Party of Yugoslavia 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 would 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 did not consider it in that way simply because the <<CPY demanded it>>. The CPY could demand many things from us, as it did, but right from the start we agreed only to those demands which our Marxist logic told us were right. This is what happened in this case, too. The <<argument>> that <<if the people of Kosova are raised under the leadership of the CPA, Serbian or Montenegrin reaction will not understand this, and it will create problems for the Communist Party of Yugoslavia,>> had no influence on our stand. There was anti-communist reaction opposed to the national liberation war not only in Yugoslavia, but also in Albania, hence, difficulties would be evident for the two parties, indeed they would be greater in our country, because on the question of Kosova Albanian reaction had the card of the truth in its hands.
Hence, more profound reasons and causes impelled us to adopt the solution on which we agreed.
We knew that the Communist Party of Yugoslavia was a party built in a country of many nations and peoples who, in the bitter past of the Yugoslav state, had never had any kind of unity within the Yugoslav Kingdom. On the contrary, as a result of the savagely oppressive chauvinist Great-Serb policy towards other peoples and nations within the
former Kingdom, the feelings of division, old and new jealousies and animosities, had become more profound. Likewise, the efforts of the bourgeoisie and reaction of each part to break away, to secede, or to establish its hegemony over the other parts, had been more than evident in all periods and had played their own role. The main thing was that after the nazi-fascist occupation of April 1941, the Yugoslav Kingdom had ceased to exist. Macedonia was divided between Bulgaria and Italy. Nazi Germany took Serbia, a part of Slovenia and other parts for itself. Montenegro, Kosova, Dalmatia, the Croatian Coast and the southern part of Slovenia went to Italy. The so-called independent Croat state, a creation of nazism, included, apart from Croatia, territories cut off from other countries of the former Yugoslav Kingdom, and so on. An amalgamated state, artificially stuck together, such as the Yugoslav Kingdom had been, could not have any other future apart from artificial separations, stickings together, and patchings up of all kinds.
But these were no moments for discussing whether or not the <<unity>> which the Yugoslav Kingdom had created, ought to be preserved. This would be and had to be a problem of the future. The cardinal problem now was to ensure the unity of all these peoples in the general and decisive war for liberation. This the Communist Party could and must do. But since the Communist Party of Yugoslavia had been built and operated on a federal basis, even though the former Yugoslavia had now been destroyed, the Party had to preserve the former structure on which it had been built and functioned. Nothing else could be done. Otherwise, it would have to be disintegrated, broken up and reorganized on the basis of the former states which comprised the former Yugoslav Kingdom, or it would have to cease to exist entirely. This danger was imminent.
As is known, after April 1941, for a certain period the organization of the Party of Macedonia, part of the CPY broke off all contacts with the CC of the CPY and linked up with the CC of the Communist Party of Bulgaria.
In plain language, this meant that in that part of the
former Yugoslavia the CPY ceased to exist. If we were to do the same thing with the organizations of the Party, however small, of Kosova and other Albanian territories, then the CPY would cease to exist also in Kosova and the other regions of the former Yugoslav Kingdom, which were attached to Albania. Carrying this further, the same thing could occur, if the CP of Italy might demand it, in regard to those parts that were united with Italy, the CP of Hungary in regard to those parts which were united with Hungary, and so on. Thus, it follows that a good part of the CPY would be disintegrated and enter into the composition of those communist parties which operated in the countries with which bits of the former Yugoslav Kingdom were united. The remainder would either be lost or be reorganized in separate communist parties in Serbia and Croatia. At those moments, these would have been risky manoeuvres without any positive results. Moreover, not only could such reorganizations never be carried out, but the times, the conditions and the possibilities did not even permit discussion of them. Hence, in favour of the immediate cardinal problem of the moment -- the organization of the general war against the nazi-fascist occupiers, the former status of the CPY had to be accepted and it had to be assisted to preserve this status. Otherwise, it would not be just the CPY which would suffer. Above all, the struggle of the peoples of Yugoslavia would suffer. The people would remain. without a leadership or, in the absence of the leadership of the communist party, reaction, Draza Mihailovic and company, the Anglo-American allies, etc., would mobilize them in the fight.
This is precisely how the Executive Committee of the Comintern must have judged the matter when it decided that the organization of the Party of Macedonia should break off the links created after April 1941 with the CP of Bulgaria and enter into relations with the Communist Party of Yugoslavia, of which it had long been a part. We, too, had proceeded from such a judgment right from the outset in regard to the stand we took as to who should organize and directly lead the struggle of the people of Kosova and the other Al-
banian regions annexed in the past to Yugoslavia. But, I stress, even though we accepted to make this concession to the CPY for the period of the war, we never permitted the slightest infringement of the Leninist-Stalinist principle on the national question, and in particular, the basic principle of the right of self-determination up to secession. This principle, which the CPY declared would be applied in accordance with the free will of all the nations and nationalities of the former Yugoslav Kingdom, would apply even more to the people of Kosova and the other Albanian regions once annexed to it. This because the question of these regions and the Albanian population which lived in them was quite different from the question of Macedonia, Serbia, Slovenia, Montenegro, etc. Whereas for each of the latter, the question involved peoples and countries of the same nation which constituted a separate entity inside or outside the former Yugoslavia, for Kosova and the other Albanian regions the problem was radically different. They were part of a people and a nation that had been attached, not only artificially but, more importantly, quite arbitrarily to Yugoslavia. Albania was their trunk, they were part of this trunk. Under Yugoslavia they did not constitute a separate nation, a separate unity, as was the case of some others. Precisely for this reason, even if the population of these Albanian regions had risen in struggle at those moments under the leadership of the Communist Party which operated in the motherland, neither the CPY, nor the unity of the other peoples of the former Yugoslav Kingdom in the war would have suffered any serious harm. But, as I said, we agreed to make a concession to the CPY with the aim of avoiding any cause of unnecessary arguments and discussions which would have been harmful at those moments. We made this concession, so that this question could not be used even as a <<pretext>> by others, whether elements with nationalist tendencies within the CPY (there were plenty of them), or elements from the communist parties of neighbouring countries. This was not the time to explain to them where the peculiarity of Kosova and the other Albanian regions
lay, it was not the time for such debates and discussions. If they were necessary, they could be left for later. The main thing now was to arouse the peoples in the general war against the fascist occupation. Later, when the conditions and possibilities had been created, when our communist parties were in power, then yes -- everything would be decided justly and would be settled finally, according to the will of the peoples themselves.
That is how we judged and that is how we acted. I believe that we judged and acted correctly, like mature communists, broad-minded in the treatment of delicate problems, like communists who saw the cause of their own party and country in the context of the general cause, who even at the most difficult moments were able to regard the advancement of the struggle in their own country as closely linked with the great interest of the advancement of the struggle for national and social liberation in the other countries.
Undoubtedly, when we decided to adopt this stand, we took into account all the difficulties and the many problems which would be created for us, especially by reaction. But it should not be thought that even within our Party everything was understood and approved immediately and by everyone. There were comrades who could not easily understand why the people of Kosova should not be mobilized in the war under our leadership at this moment, and there were others, especially discontented elements with a load of old prejudices inherited from the days of groups and megalomania, who exerted pressure on us and intervened openly to change our stand.
In the book <<When the Party Was Born>> I have written how Koço Tashko threatened us with a letter he wanted to send to the Comintern, in which he raised a series of problems in opposition to the line which the Party followed. One of these problems was that of our stand towards Kosova and other Albanian-inhabited regions in Yugoslavia.
<<What is this?>> said Koço. <<Is Kosova to be dependent
 Enver Hoxha, <<When the Party Was Born>> (Memoirs) Tirana 1982, pp. 367-369, 2nd Alb. ed.
on the CC of the CPY?! That is Albanian territory inhabited by Albanians, and now that the Albanians have their own Communist Party, there is no reason why they should be divided, some under the leadership of our Party and some under that of the Yugoslav party.
<<The main thing is that the people, both here and there, should be aroused to fight, the main thing is that our two parties are communist parties and are fighting for a great common cause,>> I told him. <<As for the people of Kosova being mobilized under the leadership of the CPY, this has to do only for the period of the war and is done in the interests of the war.>>
<<I don't understand it, I protest,>> objected Tashko. <<In the letter of which I have told you, I shall write to the Comintern about this problem, too!>> he threatened in the end.
<<Go ahead,>> I told him, <<write about this, too!>>
He did write but, as I have related elsewhere, later he repented his action and withdrew the letter and, moreover, at the 1st National Conference he made a self-criticism of the views he had expressed in it.
We continued on our course with the communist confidence that the crowning of the war of our peoples with success and the existence of our communist parties would be the greatest guarantee that, immediately after the war, the problem of Kosova and the other Albanian territories <<attached>> to the former Yugoslavia would be settled finally, once and for alI.
On many occasions the CC of the CPY itself had declared that it would remain loyal to the Leninist-Stalinist theory on the national question: the right of nations to self-determination up to secession.
These things were proclaimed and declared about whole nations which comprised separate states in that former kingdom, and as such these statements had even greater value for the just solution of the problem of that part of Albania which had been artificially and unjustly attached to Yugoslavia. Since every nation, as a whole, would be permitted to freely choose its own future, the part of a nation violently
attached to an alien body would be even more entitled to this. When I speak in this way, I have in mind the question not of ten or even a hundred villages of a national minority, but the question of territories to the extent of half the entire territories of the Homeland, the question not of 500 or 5 000 inhabitants of a national minority, but the question of a population which was no less in number than the remainder of the Albanian population.
Thus, we believed that the Yugoslav communists understood these things in this same way and we took into account all the difficulties and obstacles which would arise for us. Hence, let Kosova be transformed from an old bone of contention into a territory for the affirmation of the friendship between peoples and their fraternization in the war, a territory to prove that the communist parties are able to provide wise solutions for all the problems left over from history. We passed our test successfully. It was the turn of the Yugoslav comrades to prove in practice their dedication and loyalty to the declarations of principle which they made.
Meanwhile, we stepped up even further our work and aid in the direction of developing the war in Kosova and the other Albanian territories. It is known that since 1940 and, especially 1941, no small number of communists of Kosova origin had been sent from our communist groups to work and fight there. They sent us two people, we sent them forty-two. We had no pretentions that these people should maintain their connections with us. After Kosova and some other regions were attached to the trunk of the Homeland, hundreds of officials, teachers, etc., were sent to these zones by the Albanian collaborationist governments to set up the Albanian administration there, to open schools in the Albanian language, etc. Taking advantage of this legal opportunity, we made every effort to and did send amongst these people the maximum number of sympathizers and patriotic elements, instructing them to make every effort to make the issues clear to the population of Kosova and to assist them to rise in the fight for freedom.
During 1942 we stepped up our aid and efforts to give an impulse to the awakening of the Albanian population of these regions and to arouse them to fight. In view of the great difficulties which existed, although our Party was young and with a relatively small number of members, still we decided to send a number of other comrades of our Party who originated from Kosova, Dibra, etc., to these zones. Both through them and through propaganda material, we appealed to the population of these zones to rid themselves of any illusion about the alleged liberation which fascism brought them and to mobilize themselves in the fight, shoulder to shoulder with the other peoples of Yugoslavia, under the leadership of the CPY, in order to throw off the yoke of fascism, which was the main enemy that we had in our homes.
Similar calls to and efforts with the people of Kosova and the other regions had been made by the CPY which had sought and had been set the task of mobilizing and leading the people of these zones in the war.
The fact is, however, that the results expected were not forthcoming. Without doubt, all the manoeuvres of nazi-fascism with its so-called liberation of these zones, internal reaction, and the backwardness which these zones had inherited from the past, exerted their influence to bring about this <<hesitation>>. We had taken account of all these things. But there were others which must not be overlooked: a profound influence on the failure of this population to activate itself properly in the war was exerted by the unjust, imprecise and unclear line pursued towards this population by the Communist Party of Yugoslavia itself.
That party issued many statements about its stand on the national question, but in none of them did it make a clear-cut pronouncement on the future of Kosova and the other Albanian regions after the war. This could not fail to disturb and confuse the Albanian population of these zones which had been subjected to the most inhuman suffering and extermination, both before the First World War and after the creation of the Yugoslav Kingdom. Information reached us from
the most varied sources that the Albanian population in its own territories in Yugoslavia had no faith in the Communist Party of Yugoslavia, in its word and in the way in which it was acting in Kosova and elsewhere.
We considered it a proper act that in Kosova and the Dukagjin Plateau (a region which the Serbs called Metohia) a provincial committee of the CPY for these zones had been set up, a committee which maintained direct links with the CC of the CPY. Directly or indirectly, this implied that the leadership of the CPY was not treating Kosova as an estate of Serbia, but in the same way as the other parts -- Macedonia, Serbia, Slovenia, etc.
However, while the creation of the provincial committee at such a rank was a positive step, there was almost nothing Albanian in its composition and functioning, although the overwhelming majority of the population of Kosova consisted of Albanians. Both in the committee and in the other organs which were set up the Serbian or Montenegrin element predominated, at a time when the Serbian and Montenegrin population in Kosova comprised a small minority. Not only were the Albanians' patriotic sentiments and love for their Homeland, not to mention their desire for union with the Motherland, completely disregarded, but they were even branded <<Great-Albanian sentiments>>. Of course, these and other factors could not fail to exert a negative influence, both on the development and growth of the organization of the Party for Kosova and the Dukagjin Plateau, and on the extension of the participation of the Albanian population in the war. At the same time, the bands of cetnici continued to wreak havoc on the Albanian villages and towns of these zones. The hesitation and cooling of the population there, their fear of the uncertain future, the feverish propaganda of reaction, the weaknesses and shortcomings in the organization and work of the Provincial Committee of the CPY for Kosova-Metohia, etc. were convincing the leading cadres of the CPY more and more each day that their role in these zones had no weight at all.
Earlier I mentioned the meetings and quarrels with Vukmanovic-Tempo in the spring and summer of 1943. The question of arousing the population of Kosova and the other Albanian regions to fight was another of Tempo's major <<preoccupations>>. As for everything else, he vented his spleen on me, speaking in offensive terms about the <<Albanians becoming a reserve of the enemy>>, but I did not spare him my opinions.
<<Convince the people of Kosova that the war we are waging will lead to the solution of their problem in the way they want, give them assurances and guarantees about this, show them with concrete examples in your practical activity that you are leading them towards this solution,>> I told him, <<and you will see that the Kosovars will become the vanguard of the anti-fascist fighters. It has never been the custom of the Albanian people to unite with the enemy.>>
<<How can we convince them?>>, he asked. <<They all have their minds only on 'greater-Albania'>>
<<That they have their minds on Albania,>> I replied, <<this is no more than natural. And don't attempt to change their minds, because you will never succeed. For them the national question is vital and this is precisely the point that should be grasped. When they are sure that the fight is for the just solution of the national question, then they will certainly rise in the fight against the present enemy of Albania, Yugoslavia and all mankind -- fascism. Second,>> I continued, and I fixed my eyes on him, <<we communists, in particular, must be extremely careful in the use of terms. In my opinion it is quite out of place for you to employ the expression 'greater Albania'.>>
<<Why?>> he asked. <<What's wrong with it?>>
<<All the evils that those who have created this 'term', the reactionaries of every kind -- Albanian, Serbian, fascist, nazi or any other, include in it. Only they use this term in their own interests,>> I replied.
<<Please, you are offending me gravely,>> he protested, <<I don't understand you.>>
<<Then, I most sincerely regret,>> I replied, <<that you, the most 'expert' of us here on the problems of the Balkans, should say that you do not understand why this is wrong. At all times and regardless of who has used them, Comrade Tempo, the slogans and concepts 'greater Albania' or 'lesser Albania' have been anti-Albanian slogans and contrary to the objective historical truth. There has never been a 'greater Albania' or a 'lesser Albania' and there can be no talk about it. There has been and is only one Albania, which, regardless of the manipulations of reaction of all times, hence, regardless of whether it has been cut up, partitioned or attacked, still remains one, as a nation and country inhabited by people of the one blood, of the one language, of the one culture, of the one history, of the one psychological formation and national formation in general -- by the Albanians.>>
<<Agreed, agreed!>> he said bristling with indignation. <<But I have heard this expression from you yourselves in conversations or seen it in your materials.>>
<<Then, I must tell you that you should read our materials and listen to us more carefully. We have never raised the question of 'greater Albania' or 'lesser Albania' and never will do so. For us there can be no discussion of this matter. On the contrary, in our talks and materials we attack and unmask the reactionaries of every kind who, through these anti-historical and anti-Albanian 'fabrications' try to put on the disguise of 'patriotism' and present themselves to the people as burning 'for the national cause'. With the slogan 'greater Albania' they want to alienate our people from the Party and sabotage the National Liberation War, both here and in Kosova and the other Albanian regions. In short, Comrade Tempo,>> I concluded, <<we use the term 'greater Albania' only on these occasions and in this sense, and will never permit it to be thought that since we attack the bearers of the pseudo-slogan 'greater Albania' we are allegedly in favour of some 'lesser Albania'. As I told you, we are neither for 'greater' nor for 'lesser' Albania. We are for the Albania which, both as a territory and as a nation, is one and one alone.>>
<<I understand, I understand,>> he said, <<but the Balkan region is very complicated, very tangled. I don't believe there is anyone who could clearly define the borders of the countries in this region in a way to satisfy and close the mouths of everybody.>>
<<That is true,>> I replied, <<but in the case of Albania we are not talking about a hill-side, a stream-bed or one or five villages of disputable ownership. Here we are talking about whole plains, mountain ranges, cities and zones which have been arbitrarily cut off from their own trunk and attached to an alien trunk. In this case no problem arises about the use of a knife or a scalpel lest some foreign vein be severed. Here we are talking about extensive and indisputably Albanian territories.>>
<<I cannot pretend that I know these problems well,>> said the <<Balkan expert>>. <<I know only that the national question in the Balkans is extremely complex and we have to operate in all this complexity. My concern is the current war. The problem of raising Kosova in the war worries me greatly.>>
<<For us, too, this is one of the most serious preoccupations,>> I told him. <<But you can be sure that if you explain and re-explain to the Kosovars that they will decide their own future in the way they want themselves, all Kosova will rise in the war. You yourselves demanded that you should organize and lead the people there, otherwise, had they been put in contact with us, these problems would not have existed.>>
Tempo could hardly contain himself while I was speaking like this, but there was one thing that impressed me most: on this problem he did not oppose me strongly; he seemed to have hesitations and vacillations. In principle he conceded openly that I was right and I was truly astonished when, some time later, he agreed that the only way to arouse Kosova in the war was to put its partisan forces under the command of the General Staff of the Albanian National Liberation Army.
This occurred during that long conversation when he put before us the platform of the idea which he was <<mulling over in his head>> about the <<Balkan Staff>>. As I said, at that
meeting each of us expressed his own ideas quite freely, with out any commitment to an official stand, and so, when we came round to the question of Kosova and I expressed my opinion, Tempo said to me:
<<You are right. The partisan forces of Kosova and the Dukagjin Plateau should be under the command of your General Staff. This is the only way in which they can be raised to fight.>>
<<We have never had any doubts about that,>> I said.
He was silent for a moment and then added:
<<In any case, this is just an idea, a proposal which can be settled only within the framework of the 'Balkan Staff'. However, without consulting Comrade Tito, I can't take any concrete action about it.>>
These last two <<conditions>> added even more to my suspicion that everything this Yugoslav said to us concealed sinister aims. He agreed <<personally>> that the partisan forces of Kosova should be placed under the leadership of our Staff (a thing which they had never mentioned previously), but only. . . in the conditions of the existence of the <<Balkan Staff>>! In plain words, this would mean: Let Kosova be aroused under the command of your staff, but your staff itself will be under the command of another big staff -- the <<Balkan Staff>>, which undoubtedly would have to be led by the new <<strategist>> of national liberation wars -- Josip Broz Tito. (!)
The thought flashed through my mind: Can the purpose of this <<staff>> be to subordinate all our countries and the whole of the Balkans to its military and political command?
How right I was in my suspicions was proved a few months later: The idea of the <<Balkan Staff>> faded right out and immediately they changed their tune about the question of Kosova, too!
<<In no way can the partisan forces of Kosova and the other Albanian regions in Yugoslavia be placed under the command of the Albanian Staff!>> Tito's men informed us.
However, there was no need or place for illusions and further debates. We had agreed to this solution from the out-
set and, if a new idea was expressed for a time, this was done in favour of the development of the war in those regions. Tempo himself, who for a moment pretended that he understood the correct way to enliven the movement in Kosova and the other Albanian regions, was very soon to come out on the stage openly as a Great-Serb and anti-Albanian nationalist. Angered by the profound doubt which we expressed over Tito's idea of the <<Balkan Staff>> and even more by the fierce argument in connection with <<opportunism>>, he intensified his attacks and accusations against our Party and its cadres. Now, however, he attacked us <<at long range>>, from across the border, where he roamed about continually as Tito's <<ambassador>> in the Balkans and as the guard dog of the erstwhile domains of the former Yugoslav Kingdom.
About the middle of September I received a letter of his, full of poison and spite about our partisan command and the forces which were operating in the region of Dibra, whom he accused of being <<Great Albanians>> and <<chauvinists>>, and even went so far as to order us to take stern measures immediately, otherwise, he threatened, <<things might reach the point of armed clashes>>!
What great sins had our comrades and partisans committed to arouse all this fury in <<ambassador>> Tempo?
In September 1943 the units of our National Liberation Army, which were operating in the region of Dibra under the command of Comrade Haxhi Lleshi, liberated the city of Dibra with a powerful, lightning attack and, in co-operation with the Macedonian partisan detachments, fought heroically for the liberation of Kërçova, Tetova, Gostivar and Radostusha from the Italians and for the defence of these liberated zones from the German nazis, the Bulgarian fascists and their collaborators.
In all these zones, our Party and the Staff of the National Liberation Army of the Dibra region had long enjoyed great authority and prestige among the local population and, now that the cities and villages of the zone had been liberated by our forces, our authority and prestige were even further
enhanced. This did not occur with the Communist Party of Yugoslavia and the Yugoslav Staff and, in this situation, we considered it reasonable that our comrades should act without losing time. On the basis of our instructions, they worked to establish the anti-fascist democratic state power in Dibra, immediately set about the organization of the national liberation council, assisted in the formation of the local command, in reviving the organization of the Party, etc. Besides Albanians, representatives of the Macedonian minority took part in the council and the command.
We acted in this way because we considered this to be fraternal internationalist collaboration between two sister parties and fraternal peoples. Had we not given these instructions, or were our comrades to act as Tempo wanted, then the victories achieved in the Dibra region would fall into the hands of reaction and, moreover, great problems would be created, both for us and the CPY, among the people. As I said, the CPY was entirely without influence or authority in Dibra, and without the aid and fight of our forces it would not have been able to do anything.
This was precisely what displeased Vukmanovic-Tempo, who had gnawing fear that Dibra would be separated from Yugoslavia.
From end to end his letter stank of unrestrained chauvinism and megalomania. After pouring out all his wrath on our comrades and partisans, in a brutal, despotic tone he informed us that he had given the order that all the communists and partisans who were from the Albanian territories formerly annexed to Yugoslavia should place themselves at the disposal of the Macedonian staff; Haxhi Lleshi and his forces must withdraw from Dibra and could re-enter that zone only if and when it pleased Tempo; the national liberation council, newly formed in Dibra by our comrades, must break off its links with us and place itself at the disposal of Vukmanovic, etc., etc. And as if this were not enough, at the end he accused us, the leadership of the CPA, of <<failing to perform our duties>>, <<ordered>> us to take measures against Haxhi Lleshi and
then his lordship dared to close his letter with this formula of <<politeness>> à la Tempo: <<You are obliged to do this as quickly as possible.>>
I was by now well acquainted with the brutal nature and uncouth character of Tempo and I was not greatly astonished at the tone in which he had written to us. However, in regard to the problems which he raised and the orders which he issued, I had grave doubts that these could be the products of his head and character alone. However, I had no firm argument to carry my idea further. At the same time, I did not consider it in order at all to reply in the same tone. This was not the time to deepen the differences amongst us communists, but the time to intensify the war against the occupier. For this reason I immediately wrote a letter to Comrade Haxhi Lleshi in which I instructed him to exercise the greatest care and not permit any mistake in the relations with the Yugoslav comrades or over the problem of the Macedonian minority in Dibra.
Amongst other things, I instructed him, <<You should carry out extensive work for the fraternization of Albanians and Macedonians in the war, because this is in the interests of our fraternal parties and peoples. In the concrete conditions, however,>> I continued, <<we do not consider in any way right Tempo's order for the withdrawal of the detachments of the ANLA from Dibra, simply for the 'reason' that this city lies within the borders of the old Yugoslav state. If we act as Tempo demands in his letter and give up Dibra, not only will the Macedonians not be able to master the situation, but reaction will deal heavy blows both to them and to us and, indeed, will fight mercilessly and even harder against us. For this reason,>> I instructed him, <<we must set up our national liberation state power, give the Macedonians the rights of a minority, try to ensure that they, too, take part in the national liberation council and in this way try to convince
 See Enver Hoxha, Selected Works, vol. 1, Tirana 1974, pp. 204-208; Eng ed.
the people and win their trust. Only when our positions are strong, and when the positions of the Yugoslav comrades have been strengthened in Kosova, Macedonia and elsewhere, will our forces be able to withdraw, confident that reaction is not going to usurp the victories achieved. In regard to the eventual future of these zones>> I added in the letter, <<that will be decided after the liberation of our countries according to the established principle.>>
Those same days I sent Tempo a letter in which, restraining my justified anger, I explained our correct view calmly and in a spirit of understanding.
This correct stand of the CC of the CPA infuriated Tempo even more. Bursting with all his old Slav chauvinism he wrote again to the CC of the CPA. This new letter was an unrestrained outburst of chauvinism from start to finish. As his opening statement he said that <<the main enemy>> in Macedonia and Kosova was not the German occupier (?), but <<Great-Albanian reaction>> (!) and according to him <<the main task>> was the <<routing>> of this reaction. According to Tempo, our partisan forces which had liberated those regions were hindering the accomplishment of this task (!), and he went so far as to declare that the stand of our partisan forces was essentially in accord with the stand of reaction! After once again demanding that the order he had issued for the withdrawal of all Albanian partisans from Dibra and the dispersal of the national liberation council of the city set up with the aid of the CPA should be carried out, he said:
<<Better to have our Yugoslav council which will carry out the Yugoslav line, even if it does not have authority, than to have a council which has authority but which does not stick to the Yugoslav line!>>
See Enver Hoxha, Selected Works, vol. 1, Tirana 1974, pp. 217-219,
 The original of this letter of S. V.-Tempo addressed to the CC of the CPA on September 23, 1943 is preserved in the CAP.
leadership, I saw that Miladin Popovic, who was there with us, could hardly sit still.
<<I have long been aware that Tempo is despotic and brutal,>> said Miladin, annoyed, <<but that he is such a frenzied Great-Slav had never crossed my mind.>>
<<This comes as a shock and surprise to us, too,>> I told him. <<He is no ordinary cadre, but a member of the top leadership of the Yugoslav party and poses as the organizer of everything in all these territories, both in Kosova and Macedonia, while poking his nose into Albania, Greece and Bulgaria, too.>>
<<He is a disgrace to the leadership of the Communist Party of Yugoslavia and not a cadre of it,>> burst out Miladin. <<With these things he is doing and saying, he is lowering the prestige of the party.>>
We were even more shocked by the closing statement of Tempo's letter. He made the accusation that we, the leadership of the Communist Party of Albania, had fallen into <<Great-Albanian chauvinism>>, that we were <<saboteurs>> of the common cause and of Tempo's <<proposals>>.
<<. . .To hell with you and all your proposals >> swore Miladin. <<These are not proposals, but shameful accusations. I shall write to Tito about this bastard who is ruining everything, not only here, but wherever he goes throughout the Balkans.>>
We analysed the accusations in Tempo's letter with all due seriousness in a meeting we held with a number of comrades of our leadership and, on this occasion, I informed them about all his impermissible stands and made the essence
 <<You are silent about all the work and in this way you are behaving as saboteurs of our common cause,>> wrote Tempo in this part of his letter dated September 23, 1943. He continued: << I proposed these measures to you in my first letter, but in response you wrote to Haxhi Lleshi that he should preach the fraternization of the Macedonian and Albanian peoples. Is that all you found necessary to say to Haxhi Lleshi. . . ? Don't continue to sabotage my proposals, as you have done during these three months>>!! CAP.
of the truth clear to them (in a letter I also informed the other comrades of our leadership, who were dispersed around the regions, about the main problems which I raised at this meeting).
<<Especially his last letter at the end of September is outrageous,>> I told the comrades, among other things. <<Tempo is not writing as a communist when he accuses us of being 'saboteurs' and 'chauvinists'. Every word of his stinks of Great-Slavism. We have tried to listen to him dispassionately, keeping our tempers, but in the meetings he has had with us and now in the letters which he is sending us and with his brutal interference with our comrades in the region of Dibra, he is filling the cup. We are going to give him the reply he deserves for this, and if he considers himself a communist, let him reflect properly and pull himself together. This is for his own good, but especially for the good of our parties and the war of our peoples.>>
<<Can the Yugoslav leadership be aware of what Tempo is doing?>> asked one of the comrades. <<These accusations are very grave and it is hard to believe that he is speaking out of his own head about such delicate problems.>>
<<If you knew Tempo's head, you can believe that he is doing this himself,>> replied Miladin.
<<We have no contact with the leadership of the Yugoslav party,>> I told the comrades, <<so we have to judge only on what we know. Proceeding from this, I think we have no reason to confound Tempo with the sister Communist Party of Yugoslavia or with its leadership. However, this does not mean that we should keep quiet and endure his attacks and slanders. We have kept all Tempo's letters as well as copies of those we have sent him, and as soon as we find the possibility we shall communicate them to Tito. Let him judge all this filth of Tempo's. . .>>
There is no need to dwell further on the unpleasant history of the quarrels and attacks between us and Vukmanovic Tempo at this period, because it is extremely long. Fortunately, it took place mostly through letters and they are pre-
served in the archives of our Party and some have been published. (Perhaps Tempo, too, as an inveterate champion of Great-Slavism, will have kept them to convince his successors about how and how much he fought for the designing and creation of the empire of <<southern Slavs>>, an empire which according to him and all Slavophiles, ought to begin from the waters of the Danube, be freshened by the winds of the Alps, the Carpathians and the Pindus mountains and, especially, be cooled by the waves and gentle breezes of the Black, the Aegaean, the Ionian and the Adriatic seas.)
However, I was speaking about the documents and facts in our possession. They all provide incontestible evidence of the great prudence and maturity with which the leadership of our Party acted in that period in its relations with the Communist Party of Yugoslavia and the war of the fraternal peoples in Yugoslavia.
We remained loyal to the end to the principle that the question of borders and the status of Kosova and other Albanian regions of the former Yugoslav Kingdom should be settled after the war, always insisting, however, that the Anti-fascist National Liberation War should be extended to the maximum there, too. Since the CPY wanted to undertake this work itself, then it was up to that party to carry it out properly without fail. But this was not being done and, regrettably, the blame for this was being laid on the Albanian population which, it was alleged, had <<Great-Albanian sentiments>>, <<illusions about fascism>>, <<tendencies to become a reserve of the nazis and reaction>>, and so on.
We could never reconcile ourselves to such assessments. Not just we, but all those people throughout the world who have had occasion to know even a little about the Albanians and our history, have always pointed out, as one of our most precious qualities, our freedom-loving spirit, hatred for enemies and irreconcilability with occupiers of any kind. Neither the Kosovars, nor the population of the Albanian regions of Macedonia, Montenegro, etc., could be any exception to this.
If the war there was still not assuming the desired exten-
sion, this was evidence of the great shortcomings in the work of those who had undertaken to lead and organize the Albanians in Yugoslavia in this war. In the summer and autumn of 1943, this became more than clear to us and we could not remain indifferent in the face of such a situation. For this reason we decided that Miladin should write a letter to Tito, in which he would present the opinion of the leadership of our Party, an opinion with which Miladin was in full accord. At the same time, both through letters and through those direct contacts we managed to secure with other comrades of the CPY, we again suggested our opinion to them. In essence, this was:
<<There have been mistakes in the course which you have pursued hitherto in regard to Kosova and the other Albanian regions. Kosova, the Dukagjin Plateau, etc., should immediately have their own leadership, emerged from the war, of which the majority must at all costs consist of Albanians; they should have their anti-fascist national liberation council, the composition of which should not be dictated, but should be elected in the most democratic way; and they should have their staffs and commands under the leadership of the Yugoslav General Staff. The party organization of the province should be formed, organized, and steeled in the course of the war, under the CC of the CPY. The Albanians should fight in their own units under the flag of Albania, and their patriotic sentiments, their love for the Homeland, should be supported and publicized along with sentiments of internationalism and fraternal friendship with the other peoples of Yugoslavia. They should be told clearly and frankly that after Liberation, as a result of the war which they are going to wage, they, like all the others, will enjoy the complete and undeniable right to self-determination up to secession. Let the Communist Party of Yugoslavia convince the Albanians, like all the other nations of the former Yugoslavia, through facts and concrete actions that it has the courage, not only to publicly proclaim its principles, but also to defend and apply them.
<<We think that if these things are not made clear to the
Albanian people of Kosova, they cannot be organized to fight properly against the occupiers, because up till now they have not formed any trust in the Communist Party of Yugoslavia. If the Yugoslav internationalist communists do not see the national question of Kosova in this light, even in the future the Albanian people of Kosova will have no confidence in them. Hence, the key to the successful development of the war in Kosova and in the Dukagjin Plateau is to recognize to them openly their right to decide their own fate in the future, a right which must be stated clearly to include all the possibilities -- from unity with the Motherland -- Albania, to living on their own, if they wish. Any other solution the Albanian people of Kosova do not accept and consider unjust and, in reality, we think that it is unjust. Our opinion is that Kosova, the Dukagjin Plateau, and the Albanian territories in Macedonia which border on Albania and are inhabited by Albanians should be united with Albania after Yugoslavia is liberated from the clutches of nazi-fascism. Only such a course will make the Albanians who live in Yugoslavia fight heroically.>>
What was the reply of the Yugoslav comrades towards these just and principled ideas which we suggested to them?
As for Tempo, of course, he was even more infuriated, but we did not hope for or expect anything different from him. But to our astonishment, we learned that on these issues the others were the equivalent of Tempo.
At that period, a letter reached us from the member of the Political Bureau of the CC of the CPY Ivan Milutinovic (at that time he worked in Montenegro), in which he sought our urgent material aid, etc. for the movement and the Yugoslav partisan forces in Montenegro. He told us that during the recent German offensive they had sustained very heavy losses and he described our aid as very necessary and important. On this occasion, he added in the letter, it would be good if he could meet and talk with some comrade of the leadership of our Party and our General Staff.
I immediately summoned Ramadan Çitaku and Vasil
Shanto, both leading cadres of our Party at that time, and charged them with going to the meeting which Milutinovic proposed.
<<Inform Comrade Milutinovic,>> I told them, <<that our leadership has decided to fulfil all the requests for material aid which they made to us. Tell him that we are comrades and co-fighters for the same cause and we share weal and woe together, just as we have done up till now. Then,>> I told the comrades, <<listen to what problems he raises and give him your opinion about them on the basis of the stands and line of our Party. At the same time,>> I instructed them, <<irrespective of whether or not Milutinovic opens up the subject, you must put before him the proposals of our Party in connection with the question of the war and its prospects in Kosova, the Dukagjin Plateau and the other regions populated by Albanians. You know our opinions, so present them as clearly and accurately as possible. Tell him,>> I instructed them, <<that you are speaking in the name of the leadership of the CPA with a comrade who will certainly transmit our opinions to the leadership of his party.>>
They set out and after 15 or 20 days they returned. To say that they were angry is putting it mildly.
<<Another Tempo in Montenegro!>> Ramadan told me. <<He grabbed the money immediately, while everything else he rejected. He did not consider any of our proposals and suggestions correct. He accused us of being 'Great-Albanians', of 'chauvinism', of. . . In short,>> said Baca [Ramadan Çitaku], <<he spoke exactly as if he had Tempo prompting him.>>
<<And at the same time they accepted our aid!>> said Spiro Moisiu angrily. At that time he was commander of the General Staff of our Army. <<With all that money which we sent them so generously, we could have equipped two partisan brigades with clothing and weapons. We have our comrades barefoot and in rags. . .>>
<<We did not give it to Ivan, Spiro,>> I said to pacify him. <<We gave it to the war, to our Yugoslav partisan brothers.>>
<<He not only accepted nothing of what we put forward and levelled a hundred accusations against us,>> added Vasil Shanto, <<but he did not refrain from making accusations against Comrade Miladin, too. 'You should not have brought us such opinions,' he told us. 'I don't understand what Miladin has been telling you?! Or has he turned into a Great Albanian, too?' He was bailing with anger and said, 'I order that Miladin should come as quickly as possible to meet me. He is not acting at all as an internationalist communist!'>>
<<What!>> exclaimed Miladin. <<I am to go to Ivan to learn internationalism?! That will be the day! I shall go directly to Tito and tell him about all these vile things that Tempo and Milutinovic are up to. Let him hear what this kind of leaders are cooking up!>>
<<We opposed his order about Comrade Ali,>> added Baca. <<We told him that in these conditions it was too dangerous. 'If you want him killed on the way by the fascists who are on the look-out for him everywhere, or want him to die of the illness he has (Miladin suffered from tuberculosis), then we'll transmit your order to him,' we told him. After this Milutinovic backed down.>>
For the first time I had serious doubts that we were being gravely deceived in our communist faith and sincerity, both in connection with the ways of developing the current war in Kosova and other Albanian regions annexed to Yugoslavia in the past and in the way in which the question of these Albanian territories would be finally settled after the war. I had reasons for this.
Since we considered the anti-Albanian attitudes of Tempo the <<personal>> symptoms of an element who suffered from the disease of chauvinism, how could we consider the identical stands and expressions of the member of the Political Bureau of the CC of the CPY Ivan Milutinovic anything different?! Right from the outset, with complete communist trust, we had
 The pseudonym of Miladin Popovic during the years of his stay in Albania was Ali Gostivari.
agreed, for the sake of our common struggle, we would not touch the question of borders during the war. We were keeping our word, but why were the Yugoslav comrades doing the opposite?! Why did they jump up infuriated when we demanded that, for the sake of the development of the war, the legitimate rights of the Albanians should be openly recognized, proclaimed and defended?!
<<Those two are neither the Party nor its leadership,>> said Miladin to calm my fears. <<They think differently at the centre, you'll see.>>
We hoped and wished whole-heartedly that this was truly so. Tito must have received our letters, but we were receiving no replies.
<<They have major matters to deal with!>> Koçi Xoxe excused them. <<They have aroused a whole Yugoslavia and have to manoeuvre.>>
Suddenly, however, from the end of October to the middle of December 1943 a flood of letters arrived, addressed to the CC of the CPA, to me and to Miladin Popovic. They were signed either by the CC of the CPY or by Tito himself. In essence, all of them raised only the problem of Kosova and the other Albanian regions of the former Yugoslavia. For a moment it seemed as if the CC of the CPY had established relations with us only over this problem.
Tito's letters, in particular, were the most advanced. While maintaining the same stand as Tempo and Milutinovic, being commander-in-chief, Tito had reserved for himself the right to employ graver terms and accusations against us than his now well-known spokesmen. However, in his letters Tito was more cunning. In one of his letters, after <<pleasing>> us with the expression that he was not opposed in principle to <<the Albanians of Kosova having the right to go where and how they wish>>, he immediately made the accusation that we, the leadership of the CPA, allegedly maintained <<the stand which the reactionary Albanian bourgeoisie maintains>>(?!). To <<back>> this accusation, he claimed that we had allegedly stated that Kosova, the Dukagjin Plateau, Dibra, etc. <<should be
united with Albania immediately.>> <<To raise the question of unification today,>> he continued, <<means to carry grist to the mill of the reactionaries and the occupiers.>>
This was a deliberate distortion of the truth for ulterior motives. Neither Miladin in the letter which he had sent Tito, nor we had at any time raised the problem of unification <<today>>, <<immediately>>. No, we demanded that <<today>>, <<immediately>> the CC of the CPY should publicly proclaim the legitimate right of the people of Kosova and the other Albanian regions in Yugoslavia to self-determination up to secession <<tomorrow>>, that is, after the war and as a result of the war. This is what we demanded, this was the main thing for the moment. What Tito alleged was a distortion of the truth.
His entire letter was evidence of anti-historical and anti-Marxist efforts to dodge the issue. Tito was very annoyed that, in the letters we sent him, we compared the question of the stand of the CPY towards Kosova, etc. with the stand which that same party maintained towards Istria.
<<No,>> Tito waved his admonishing finger at us, <<the case of Istria is completely different from that of Kosova and Metohia.>>
How does the truth stand?
Istria, a peninsula on the Adriatic, was under Austria up until 1918 and in 1919 was given to Italy. Since Slovenes comprised the majority of its population, during the war the CC of the CPY raised the question of its unification with Yugoslavia, arguing that it had been annexed to Italy through violence.
But was the annexation of Kosova and the other Albanian territories in 1913 not an identical annexation through violence by the imperialists?! Of course, it was! Then, why did the CPY consider it right to demand the <<immediate>> uni-
 The quotation is from Tito's letter addressed to the CC of the CPA on December 6, 1943, which is preserved in the CAP. The same allegation, using the identical words, had been made in an earlier letter which the CC of the CPY sent to the CC of the CPA on October 25, 1943.
fication with Yugoslavia of a zone inhabited by Slavs and did not consider right the analogous case of Kosova and other regions torn from Albania?!
The <<arguments>> which Tito provided were ludicrous. Istria, according to him, ought to be united with Yugoslavia because it had <<a developed revolutionary movement>>, while in Kosova this was not the case! Perhaps it was true that there was such a developed movement in Istria (assuming that Tito's statement was correct, since I knew nothing concrete about the situation there), but then the question arose: why was the same thing not happening in Kosova?! With unshakeable conviction I repeat that, if the CPA had made the same call to the population of Kosova as the CPY made to the population of Istria, then Tito would have been obliged to rack his brains to fabricate some other <<argument>>. As likely as not he would have said, <<Kosova cannot be united with Albania since the revolutionary movement in Kosova is more developed>>! Indeed, if the CPY itself, let alone we, were to do the most essential and elementary thing towards Kosova, that is, openly declare its right to self-determination up to secession, then matters would be entirely different.
But this Tito and the party which he led did not do, either at the start or at the finish. Why did they not do it?! Here, without doubt, all that burden of Great-Slav sentiments which the CPY, regrettably, had inherited completely and was defending and developing further, patching it up with slogans of <<unity-fraternity>>, <<internationalism>>, etc., etc., played a major role. Later, however, we were to be convinced that they did not act as Marxists towards Kosova and the other Albanian regions for other, even baser, aims. A powerful revolutionary movement in Kosova and the other Albanian regions would constitute a great obstacle to the sinister plans which the Yugoslav leadership was hatching up in secrecy.
Aloud, Tito and Co. <<complained>> that Kosova <<was not rising to fight>>, but on the quiet this fact certainly pleased them. Later, when the moment came, Tito's army would find
it easier to justify before public opinion the persecution and extermination of thousands of <<counter-revolutionaries>> and <<nationalist and Ballist brigades>> than to persecute and exterminate thousands of Kosovar fighters incorporated in partisan anti-fascist brigades, who after Liberation would demand unification with the Motherland -- Albania. And this is what occurred. At the end of 1944 and during 1945 the Yugoslav National Liberation Army wrought havoc on the population of Kosova and other Albanian regions. This was bound to touch off, as it did, the justified mass revolt of the peasantry and the Kosovar partisan units. Thousands of Albanians refused to submit to the new chauvinist domination and terror. And this situation was exploited by the bajraktars, the Ballists, the brigands and agents of fascism, who for their own interests tried to collaborate with and deceive the masses. Hypocritically seizing on the existence of this reactionary scum, the Titoites tried to blacken and attack this whole justified revolt of the masses as a Ballist movement. Undoubtedly, the elements of reaction deserved the reprisals and the bullet. They were the remnants of the old world, the reserve of reaction, which were being thrown into action for truly counter-revolutionary, anti-Albanian and anti-Yugoslav aims. But the thousands who, through the irony of history, were rising justly in the first anti-Titoite revolt, were neither counter-revolutionaries nor Ballists. These thousands were people of Kosova, Dibra, Ulqin, etc., etc., whom the mistaken political line pursued during all the years of the war by the CPY and the new Titoite terror disillusioned and, quite rightly, caused once again to demand the solution of their national question. Moreover, under the mask of the fight to eliminate <<counter-revolutionary forces>>, the special detachments of the Yugoslav NLA poured fire and bullets indiscriminately upon all the patriots and other honest Albanians of those parts, upon all those who dared express their legitimate surprise: <<Why should we Albanians be under Yugoslavia?!>>
But let us return to Tito's letter of the late autumn 1943.
Its second <<argument>> about why the question of Kosova
could not be compared with that of Istria was that <<it is undesirable for it to come out openly, that between us and democratic anti-imperialist Albania there is a problem over Kosova and Metohia>>! What astonishing logic! To put it bluntly, we must not mention this matter, must keep it secret, because betrayals and plots can be carried out more easily in secret, without giving us a bad name!
I have rarely seen Miladin Popovic so downcast as at those moments when we read and reread the letter of the main leader of the CPY. He kept his eyes on the ground and had gone deathly pale.
<<Perhaps Tito has not written this letter himself, perhaps others have written it for him, perhaps. . .>>
It was a time when we, too, did not want to believe that the CC of the CPY and a man such as Tito had written this letter, it was a time when, out of the respect we had for them from afar, we were ready to excuse them. But there it was, written in black and white with the signatures below.
Nevertheless, grasping at expressions that <<the Albanians will have the right to go where and how they wish>>, that the problem of unification should not be raised <<immediately>>, <<today>>, etc., we managed to ease our qualms. However, in the course of the letter, after he <<instructed>> us on what we had made the priority issue since 1941, that is, <<the main question now is that of the war against the occupiers>>, Tito cunningly, but quite clearly, implied that the question of the Albanian regions and population in Yugoslavia had been predetermined by the CC of the CPY: <<Today, fraternal love towards the heroic peoples of Yugoslavia and towards the joint war against the German occupiers should be cultivated in the Albanian people in Kosova and Metohia,>> he wrote. <<The new Yugoslavia which is being created will be a country of free peoples, and thus there will be no room for national oppression of the Albanian minority, either.>>
 From the letter of the CC of the CPY to the CC of the CPA on October 25, 1943. CAP.
In plain language this meant: the CC of the CPY has determined the borders of the future Yugoslav state and they will be what they were. Hereafter the <<Albanian minority>>, that is, Kosova, the Dukagjin Plateau, Dibra, etc., etc., will remain under the <<new Yugoslavia which is being created>>!
But after this, what was left of the earlier statements of this same Tito about guaranteeing the right of the peoples of the former Yugoslavia to self-determination up to secession?! What was left of the solemn <<pledges>> and <<assurances>> that this problem would be dealt with after the war?! Could it be that such expressions as <<cannot be done today>>, or <<immediately>>, concealed attempts to deceive us and to avoid ever carrying out what had been declared would be settled <<tomorrow>>, that is, after the war?
We discussed these matters at length, along with scores of questions to which Tito's letter and the well-known stands of others gave rise, and we were becoming more and more convinced that the Yugoslav leadership was not acting on this question in a Marxist way or in a comradely spirit.
We had always behaved towards them in the most correct way, had listened to and believed their declarations of principle, were interested in having the warmest fraternal relations with them, but we could never permit the violation of principles for the sake of friendship and that, in the context of principles, the legitimate rights of our Party and people should be trampled on. Hence, we decided that on this occasion, too, we should express our opinion publicly, without directly attacking the Yugoslav leadership and without giving any grounds for them to accuse us of <<nationalism>> and <<Great-Albanian>> tendencies. We considered that the best way to do this would be an appeal by the CC of our Party directly to the people of Kosova and Metohia. In the past, too, we had addressed open calls and leaflets to our brothers in Kosova and the other Albanian regions (indeed one of these we had signed jointly with the CC of the CPY), in which we called on them to take up arms in the
general war for freedom. In them, however, we had confined ourselves simply to calling on them to fight and to fraternize with the other peoples, while we had said nothing about the declaration of the right of self-determination up to secession, because we hoped and believed that the CC of the CPY would do this first, as it ought to. It had undertaken to lead the war in these zones, therefore, it was up to it to proclaim this declaration of principle. However, now that we were convinced that the CC of the CPY was not going to make such a declaration, we decided to have our say. Therefore, we wrote the appeal, printed it in thousands of copies and distributed it mainly in Kosova, Dibra and the other Albanian regions of the former Yugoslavia.
<<Your Albanian brothers,>> we said in it, among other things, <<those who are shedding their blood in the cities and mountains of Albania for the freedom of our people. . . call on you to take up arms and unite with the other peoples -- the Serbs, the Montenegrins, and attack the occupiers and the traitors, attack all those who want to divide and split you.>>
Up to this point we were convinced that even the Yugoslav comrades would be quite content. But if they were consistent in adhering to the Leninist principles on the national question, they had no reason to be discontented over what we went on to say to our Albanian brothers.
<<The only road to salvation and to fulfilling your desires,>> we concluded the appeal, <<is through the war which you will wage against the occupiers together with the other peoples in Yugoslavia, through the national liberation war which will secure you the right to self-determination up to secession.
<<So, unite! Where there is unity, there is salvation!>>
The words of our Communist Party and the Albanian communists in Kosova and other regions warmed the hearts of the population there and encouraged them to rise more vigorously in the anti-fascist war.
 From the appeal of the CC of the CPA addressed to the people of Kosova and Metohia, autumn 1943. CAP.
From that time we retain many memories and letters in which ordinary people, communists and patriots from Kosova, Dibra, Ulqin, Struga, Tetova, Gostivar, Plava; Gucia, etc., told us in most ardent words about their love for their Motherland and our Party, congratulated us on our successes in the war against the occupiers, and openly expressed the general readiness among the masses of the patriotic Albanian people in those regions to take part in the war against fascism. But in all those letters, in some of them with kid gloves and through insinuations (they did not want to hurt our feelings of friendship for the CPY), in some of them quite openly, one could sense the profound doubts and fear which existed among the population of those zones for the future. Distrust of the CPY and its leadership could be sensed in them. Likewise, our comrades whom we sent to Kosova and the other regions inhabited by Albanians on party work or to give their assistance, as well as the Albanians of those parts who came to us, openly expressed their discontent and reservations towards the CPY.
<<They bombard us with questions,>> Haxhi Lleshi told me at a meeting I had with him at that time. <<'Why doesn't the Communist Party of Yugoslavia come out openly in favour of our cause?' they ask us. 'Why don't they make any mention of the question of the status of Kosova, Metohia, Dibra, etc., at least on those occasions when they proclaim the right to self-determination for the other nations of the former Yugoslav Kingdom?!' 'Who can guarantee whether the war which we are waging, and should wage more vigorously, will resolve our age-old sacred cause?' We try to answer them,>> continued Haxhi, <<but believe me, Comrade Enver, there are some things which we don't know how to answer them. We hesitate lest we unwittingly harm the Yugoslav party.>>
<<We must tell our brothers the truth,>> I said to Haxhi. <<First of all, we must explain to them the stand of our Party on this problem. We should tell them that we think and believe that the Communist Party of Yugoslavia has
the same view of the problem of the national question. We should explain to our brothers that the main thing now is the war against the common occupier. That is our main enemy. Hence, the main enemy of Albanians, Macedonians, Serbs, and all. . .>>
At the same time, on the request of the Provincial Committee of the CPY for Kosova and the Dukagjin Plateau, and of the Macedonian Staff, we continued to send more and more party comrades to work in these zones, either among the civilian population, and more especially, as cadres in the cetas, battalions, and other military units which were being set up. Çetas and battalions of our National Liberation Army, time after time, penetrated deep into Montenegro, Kosova and Macedonia, carrying out bold and important actions alone or in collaboration with military units subordinate to the Yugoslav Staff. This comradeship-in-arms, without discrimination, had a positive effect on both the Albanian and non-Albanian populations in those regions. I clearly recall the moment when I parted with my unforgettable comrade, Hajdar Dushi in the autumn of 1943. Hajdar, son of a patriotic family from Kosova, grew up in the Albanian communist movement and immediately after the founding of the Party became one of its most capable cadres. After he worked in Tirana and Durrës for the organization of the Party, in the summer of 1942 we sent him to Berat as delegate of the CC of the CPA to assist the regional committee there. The fascists captured him, tortured and imprisoned him, but Hajdar Dushi withstood all their cruelty heroically. We freed him from prison through a daring action and, after the 1st National Conference of the CPA, he was appointed secretary of the regional committee of Durrës. We had great need for his experience, determination and ability, but, conscious of the aid which we had to give the cause of the war in Kosova, we summoned him and informed him:
<<From this moment you are no longer a cadre of the Party for which you have shed your blood and made every
sacrifice. You are to go to Kosova and enter into contact with the Communist Party of Yugoslavia.>>
<<Long live communism!>> declared the unforgettable Hajdar Dushi, with tears in his eyes, and raised his clenched fist in salute.
He was right to weep, he was being rent from the bosom of his Party. But a great mission awaited him. He went, worked, fought and gave his life with honour and glory, remaining loyal to the end to the cause for which he was sent: to arouse the people of Kosova to drive out the foreign occupiers, and to realize their age-old aspirations.
Scores of other comrades went to Kosova and the other regions before and after Hajdar Dushi. They, too, fought and worked, made their contribution to the mobilization and leadership of the people in the war, honestly expressed the aspirations of their own people in those years, and put their signatures to documents at the important forums to which their people had sent them to consacrate their legitimate right for the future. After the war, however, events took a different course and the Titoite betrayal did its destructive work even amongst some of those comrades. I do not want to delve into the consciousness of those elements or into the dramatic process of their transformation. But in the days of May 1981, while I was leafing over the pages of these notes written years earlier, I was reminded, not accidentally, of an event which took place 40 years earlier.
It was the difficult May of 1942, the days when the fascists had just killed our beloved comrade Qemal Stafa. At those moments the terror and savagery of the occupiers, especially in Tirana, was unprecedented. Searches and arrests went on day and night. Precisely at the moments when the fascists thought they had struck our Communist Party a mortal blow, among other things, we carried out a sensational action to commemorate Comrade Qemal Stafa in the Secondary School of Tirana at that time. We organized a commemorative meeting in which all the pupils of that inexhaustible hotbed of the war and the revolution took part.
At the meeting, according to the instructions we had given, a young communist, a former pupil of that school, who had now gone underground, got up and spoke.
<<The fascists want to extinguish our burning desire for freedom, the fascists want to deny our people the right to exist, the right to fight for their future. They have killed our beloved Comrade Qemal, they are killing and imprisoning the finest sons and daughters of this land, but in our hearts we will build up to ever greater fury our hatred for those who oppress us, kill us and torture us,>> declared this underground comrade, and he continued: <<But we are not deceived. We are not afraid of their violence and terror. There is no force which can defeat us, we are rising in the fight for a just cause. . .<<
This youth was a Kosovar, Veli Deva. I did not know him at first hand, but as political secretary for the Regional Committee of Tirana I was fully informed about the action and its organization.
And precisely this Veli Deva, who in May 1942, in the name of the Communist Party of Albania, issued a call to the Tirana Secondary School youth never to be conquered by the fascist violence, but to rise in the just war for freedom, 40 years later, in May 1981, now in the role of head of the Provincial Committee of the LCY for Kosova, goes legally into the secondary schools and the University of Prishtina in order to put down the lawful outburst of the people and youth of Kosova with violence and demagogy.
I shall speak later about the Bujan Conference at the end of 1943, where the legitimate representatives of the people of Kosova met, discussed and took very correct and very important decisions both for those moments and for the just solution of the problem of Kosova after the war and as a result of the war. One of the organizers of this Conference, and one of the first to sign its lawful and important decisions was Fadil Hoxha. He was one of those members of one of our former communist groups who was among the first to return to his birthplace, Kosova, and fought and
contributed to the mobilization and leadership of the people of Kosova in the war, and was among those who signed with their own hands what the war and the people of Kosova themselves demanded.
In the letters which the Provincial Committee for Kosova and Metohia (the Dukagjin Plateau), one of the main leaders of which was Fadil Hoxha, sent us during the years of the war, the distrust which was felt in Kosova towards the CPY and the Yugoslav partisans because of the savage Great Serb oppression, and because <<the 'Skojevska', also, have killed innocent Albanians>>, was openly expressed. According to one letter, a large majority of the people of Kosova said, <<Let anyone, who wants to, come, just as long as we get Yugoslavia off our backs,>> and continued <<we are waiting for you to assist us.>> When Fadil Hoxha came to Tirana after the liberation of the country and I received him and had a long talk with him in my office in the Prime Minister's Department, he expressed to me this same distrust, these same feelings and opinions of the people of Kosova towards the CPY through his own mouth. He complained about the grave situation that existed in Kosova, about the situation of persecution, with reprisals and terror against Albanians that prevailed in the province, and told me openly that <<we do not see any difference, and there is none, with the past when we suffered under the Yugoslavia of the kraljs.>>
And this same Fadil Hoxha now, in the spring of 1981 raises his hand and gives his vote in the Presidency of the SFR of Yugoslavia, to send in the tanks and bayonets of the Great-Serb army to kill, oppress and put down the people and youth in Kosova who rose to demand respect for their rights. And as if to display openly his complete metamorphosis during these 40 years, Fadil Hoxha, with his head and his pocket completely Titoized, went so far in his
Yugoslav communist youth.
 From the letter of the Provincial Committee of the CPY for Kosmet sent to the CC of the CPA, September 6, 1943. CAP.
defence of the Great-Serb spokesmen that he stood before the Albanian demonstrators of 1981 and their dead and called them. . . <<Scum!>>
But what are these people and this revolted youth demanding today, 36 years after their <<liberation>>? They are demanding that their constitutional, economic, and socio-cultural situation should be put on the right course within the laws of the Yugoslav Federation, demanding to have the status of a republic within the SFR of Yugoslavia, demanding that precisely those rights that were put on the agenda at Bujan in 1943, but which Tito left only on paper, should be realized, demanding an end to the terror and violence in the streets, in the schools, in their homes and in the prisons. Precisely on this account they are called <<irredentists>>, <<nationalists>>, <<counter-revolutionaries>>, precisely on this account tanks and bayonets were sent in against their peaceful demonstrations, precisely on this account the Fadil Hoxhas and Veli Devas of 1942 and 1943 betray themselves and their people, betray the honesty of their youth, betray the blood shed in the years of the war and the blood which was and is being shed this spring in Kosova.
However, I am deviating from my theme. I made this digression in time simply because these days, when the situation in Kosova is so tense and I had to go back over my notes and reminiscences of the war years, automatically the situation at that time contrasted itself with the present situation. If the situation in Kosova has not been settled and put on the right course in all these 40 years, this has occurred because, since the time of the war, the problem of Kosova was presented in a distorted way by the CC of the CPY and was settled in a distorted way, from nationalist and chauvinist positions, contrary to the desire and will of the people of Kosova and the other Albanian regions in Yugoslavia.
Therefore, let us go back to those years. At that time there was one moment when we thought that the question of Kosova was on the way to a just solution. This has to do with the 1st Conference of the National Liberation Council
for Kosova and Metohia, held at Bujan from December 31, 1943 to January 2, 1944.
The Conference took place under the leadership of the Provincial Committee of the CPY for Kosova and, on its request, the organization of the CPA for Tropoja and the Command and party organization of the <<Perlat Rexhepi>> partisan Battalion of Shkodra, which operated in the highlands of Gjakova, gave great assistance in the organization of the Conference.
After fiery discussions, which went on for three days, the Conference decided to call on the people of the province to rise in a body against the German occupiers and traitors, shoulder to shoulder with the peoples of Yugoslavia and the Albanian people, while uniting firmly around the National Liberation Council.
Amongst other things the resolution of the conference proclaimed the right of the people of Kosova to self-determination up to secession. This resolution was adopted unanimously by the delegates and was signed by all the members of the Council.
That document contained among other things: <<Kosova
and the Dukagjin Plateau is a province inhabited for the most part
by an Albanian population, which today, as always, wishes to be
united with Albania. Hence, it is our duty to show the correct
course the Albanian people must follow to realize their aspirations.
Therefore, the only way for the Albanian people of Kosova and the
Dukagjin Plateau to be united with Albania is to fight together with
the other peoples of Yugoslavia in the war against the blood-thirsty
nazi occupiers and those in their pay, because this is the only way
to win the freedom through which all the peoples, hence, the
Albanian people, too, will have the possibility to decide their own
future through the right of self-determination up to secession.>>
(From the resolution of the 1st Conference of the National
Liberation Council for Kosova also published in the book <<People's
Council of the Autonomous Region of Kosova-Metohia 1943-1953 >>,
p. 10, Prishtina 1955.)
 The Council was made up of 51 members of whom 42 Albanians, while the others were Serbs, Montenegrins, etc. Mehmet Hoxha, Pavle Jovicevic, Rifat Berisha, Xhevdet Doda, Fadil Hoxha, Hajdar Dushi, [cont. onto p. 118. -- DJR] Zekerije Rexha, etc., were among those in the Presidium of the Council who have signed this resolution (Ibidem, p. 12 ).
The news of the holding of this Conference and its important decisions reached us quickly, too, and understandably, this was a great joy for us. We saw that for the first time a correct and confident step had been taken, which was giving an impulse to the extension of the war in these zones and setting the problem of their future on the course to a Marxist solution.
We thought that at last the CC of the CPY had taken a correct view of the problem of Kosova and the other Albanian regions and that, since it had not considered it opportune to come out itself with the declaration about the right to self-determination, it had left this to the people of Kosova themselves through their lawful representatives.
After this, of course, the old <<fear>> of the Yugoslav leadership that reaction and the Great-Slav nationalist elements inside or outside the CPY might accuse it of <<destroying>> Yugoslavia, was averted, too. The decisions which were taken and published by the lawful representatives of Kosova and the Dukagjin Plateau, who included not only Albanians, but also representatives of the Serbian and Montenegrin minorities in these regions, were a very effective weapon in the hands of the CPY. Now it had a great opportunity to welcome the decisions of the Bujan Conference as an expression of the will of the population of that zone, and in this way, to finally wipe out that mistake which it should not have allowed, at least since 1941. In February 1944 we published a special article about this important event in a bulletin of <<Zëri i popullit>>. In it we expressed our most ardent congratulations on the Bujan Conference, again appealed to our brothers in Kosova to rise with greater fury in the war and not without purpose, we emphasized and welcomed the main decisions of this Conference.
Amongst other things, after pointing out that <<The National Liberation Council for Kosova and the Dukagjin Plateau
has undertaken to show the people the right road which they must follow to realize their own aspirations,>> the article emphasized that the war against the nazi occupiers and its stooges was and remained the only way to win the freedom through which all the peoples, hence, the Albanian people of Kosova and the Dukagjin Plateau, too, <<. . .will have the possibility to decide their own future through the right of self-determination up to secession>> (underlined in the original)[*]
As for the attitude of the CC of the CPY towards this event, we were hearing not a word. Much later, we would learn the truth, which like all the rest, was extremely bitter. As soon as it had heard of the decisions of the Bujan Conference, the CC of the CPY reacted furiously and demanded that its declaration on the right of the people of Kosova to self-determination up to secession should not be published in any way. The affirmation of the representatives of the people themselves meeting in the conference that, <<the people of Kosova and the Dukagjin Plateau. . . today, as always, wish to be united with Albania>>, had to be erased from the resolution on the order of the CC of the CPY and must not be published. The reason was that the leadership of the CPY headed by Tito, irrespective of a series of <<principled>> declarations about the <<just>> solution of the national question of the nations and nationalities of the former Yugoslavia, had always worked and aspired to keep Yugoslavia intact and, indeed, to extend it further. In particular, the violation and rejection of the principles on the national question by the CPY was consecrated at the 2nd Meeting of the AVNOJ at Jajce at the end of November 1943.
It is neither my duty nor the purpose of these notes to analyse and assess all the decisions of that meeting. Neither is it my duty to evaluate whether its main decision on <<the construction of a new Yugoslavia on the federal principle>> which, it was claimed, would ensure <<equality for Serbs,
* Bulletin of <<Zëri i popullit>>, 3rd Year, No. 33, February 7, 1944. CAP.
Croats, Slovenes, Montenegrins>>, etc. was taken in a right or wrong way.
The Serbs, the Croats, the Macedonians and the Slovenes have assessed this decision and if they wish let them assess and reassess it as they deem most correct. What I want to point out is that with this decision, at least the inclusion of Kosova, the Dukagjin Plateau and other Albanian regions within <<the new federal Yugoslavia>> was done just as arbitrarily, this time, too, as it had been done by the imperialist powers in the Treaties of Versailles and London several decades earlier. In taking this decision the will of the people of Kosova, Dibra, etc., was totally disregarded. Only the will of the CC of the CPY was taken into account. No representative of Kosova and the other Albanian regions of the former Yugoslavia took part in this meeting, indeed, the representatives of the Provincial Committee of the CPY for Kosova and the Dukagjin Plateau were not even informed about it.
The decision of this meeting was not made known to us for a long time. At the same time, the fact that the Bujan Conference was organized a full month after the Jajce Meeting and took decisions which were contrary to the <<will>> of Jajce, but in conformity with the will of the people of Kosova, shows that neither the people of Kosova, nor the leaders of this zone, knew anything about what had been decided behind their backs by the CC of the CPY.
This is one of the most flagrant examples of the permanent perfidy of the Yugoslav leadership towards the Albanians.
Our brothers, the Albanians of Kosova and the other regions should have been represented at Jajce without fail and their right to freely have their say should have been respected. There they should have been allowed to express what they thought about their own future: Would they unite with Albania, or would they remain under the <<new Yugoslavia>>?! And, if they expressed themselves in favour of the latter solution, they should also have expressed themselves freely, with a will, not dictated by anybody on how they would build their future under Yugoslavia. That is, in this
case, they should have expressed themselves whether they wanted to be a separate republic, like Serbia, Slovenia, Croatia, Montenegro, etc., wanted to be an autonomous unit, or wanted to be dependent on another unit, etc., etc. In short, this should have been the most elementary act, which the CC of the CPY should have done in advance to ensure that the extensive Albanian regions were represented at Jajce. Over years, the leaders of the CPY had assured us that the will of this population would be respected and taken into account in everything. But, as I said, this was not done and they flagrantly broke their word. Hence, this act can have no other name but perfidy.
Still worse, although everything about the future of Kosova had been decided at Jajce at the end of November 1943, even in 1944 letters and messages were sent to us from Tito and his henchmen (as I said only about the question of Kosova) in which the truth was hidden, in which they used such phrases as <<the question should not be raised today>>, <<but tomorrow>>, that the Albanians of Kosova <<will be free to go where and how they want>> (as if they were gypsies, without a homeland and possessions, and not an autochthonous people who were born, brought up, killed or died on their own soil).
Time was to prove that we were deceived not only in regard to the past period. While concealing the truth from us, while presenting the matter as something <<for tomorrow>> the Yugoslav leadership was preparing for more ferocious secret actions. Now Tito's closest collaborators and his official biographers write that he was greatly <<concerned>> about the question of Kosova, especially in 1944-1945, that he was <<vacillating>>, <<hesitating>>, etc. What these <<vacillations>> and <<concerns>> of Tito's were we do not know, but logic tells us that Tito and his henchmen were not in the least concerned about the <<special>> problem of Kosova at that period (or later). They had decided this. Their concern had to do with the other part of Albania, hence, with studying ways and means to place the whole of Albania under the domination
of Yugoslavia. This, too, we were to learn later, indeed this was to constitute one of the most dramatic chapters of our battle with the Titoites.
This is how matters stood at the close of 1943 and at the close of the period up till the summer of 1944 in our relations with the leadership of the CPY.
Here someone might say that for the whole period from August 1943 until summer 1944 only one side, one aspect of relations with the CPY -- that of the question of Kosova and other Albanian regions annexed to Yugoslavia, has been touched on. But why is there no mention of other aspects of these relations? What collaboration, what exchange of ideas, what accord or conflict with the CPY was there during this period, for example on the problems of the Party, the war, the Front, the state, etc., etc.?!
The fact is that after the bitter conflict with Vukmanovic-Tempo at Kucaka in August 1943 up till August 1944, that is a full year, no one was sent by the Yugoslav leadership to hold consultations, exchange experience or anything else of this sort with us. The fact is, also, that during this period, we did not receive any letter or other special material from the Yugoslav leadership which dealt with such problems as those of the life of the Party, the army and the national liberation war, the organization and functioning of the new state power which we were consolidating, the Anti-fascist National Liberation Front, etc., etc. In short, in all these aspects, each party went about its own business as it thought and judged best, on the basis of principles on which it operated and the reality of its own country.
Naturally, when I say that there is nothing to mention from these aspects, this does not mean to say that throughout this whole period there was a total loss of contact and information between our two parties. No. From time to time, various materials reached us, materials which spoke about the life and organization of the CPY, the Yugoslav National Liberation Army, the organization of the new state power, etc., etc. Likewise, there were occasions when, apart from
<<Radio Moscow>>, we picked up the broadcasts from the <<Free Yugoslavia>> Radio Station and heard some communique or commentary about the life and activity of the CPY and the Yugoslav partisan army.
For our part, too, from time to time, we gave the Yugoslav leadership comradely information about the state of the war and its prospects in our country, about the manoeuvres of the occupiers and reaction, and about the victories achieved. Miladin Popovic from time to time sent the Yugoslav leadership some information on his own behalf about the development of the war and the situation in our country.
In order to prove how absurd is the claim of the Yugoslav leadership about the aid which they allege to have given us during the period up till the end of 1943, I want to mention one more fact: the letter of J. B. Tito addressed to Miladin Popovic on October 9, 1943 for the CC of the CPA. Whichever way you look at it, this letter, too, which is in the archives of our Party, cannot have any description from our side other than that which we gave Tito's first letter, which reached us in December 1942 and which I mentioned earlier.
With his own mouth, or more precisely with his own hand, Tito proved that at the end of 1943, just as at the end of 1942, he had not the slightest idea about the situation of our Party and our National Liberation War. After asking whether it were true that <<the leader of the partisan army of Albania is a former prefect of police>>!!! (apparently he had learned that from Radio London!), Tito began his <<instructions>>. In October 1943 he told us that if the partisan ranks in Albania had increased, we should go over to bigger formations, brigades!
We could only smile in pity, because we had taken the decision to go over to big formations in March 1943 at the 1st National Conference; in June we had issued the instruction for the formation of the 1st Shock Brigade, while in October, when Tito gave us his <<instructions>>, we had already created the 1st and 3rd Brigades and were continuing to work for the formation of other partisan brigades.
Tito made himself even more ridiculous with the <<advice>> he gave us on the question of the future state power of Albania. <<I advise you,>> he said <<that the setting up of the people's state power should begin in Albania, too. . . , with the people's liberation councils as its basis. . .>>, and, after describing to us the <<specific difficulties>> in regard to this problem in Yugoslavia, he continued: <<Amongst you, in your country, you can immediately set up a people's government which should be based, as I said, on the people's liberation councils. . . If the situation in your country is not ripe for this, then create a people's national liberation council, which will carry out all the functions of the government until the time comes for such a government to be formed.>>[*]
Any one who does not know the reality of our country at that time or wants to distort this reality, as the Titoites have done and are still doing, might say: <<There you have the clear directives which Tito has sent you! Why do you deny him his merits?>> With the historical truth in front of us, we have the right to reply, as we have done: The Communist Party of Albania at no time received and did not wait to receive <<directives>> from Tito on the cardinal problems of its activity or any other kind! And if what he wrote to us on the problem of the state power is to be called directives, then we have no alternative but to describe them as <<directives>> that came too late, or, as the people say, <<a day after the fair>>. Concretely: In the spring of 1942 the Communist Party of Albania had begun the work to set up the people's democratic state power with the creation of the first national liberation councils; at the end of that year the whole country had been filled with councils, while in September 1943, the 2nd National Liberation Conference at Labinot had declared them the only state power of the people in Albania. As for Tito's other <<instruction>>, that we should set up <<a people's national liberation council>>, it must be
 From Tito's letter addressed to Miladin Popovic for the CC of the CPA, October 9, 1943. CAP.
said: In Albania, as early as September 1942, and not in October 1943, when it <<occurred>> to Tito, our Party had formed the National Liberation General Council! The Presidium of the General Council, which emerged from the Labinot Conference in September 1943, carried out a series of functions of the Democratic Government!
In short, Tito knew nothing about what was done in our country and issued <<instructions>> to us about things which we had already done very well for ourselves long before. Therefore, it is not our fault that we did not await Tito's <<directives>> and then act. On the contrary, had we remained waiting, had we stopped to see what Tito and his henchmen would <<direct>> us to do, the cause of the Party and the future of our people would have been lost! This would have been a great and unpardonable sin.
Thus, however much one racks his brains and memory, nothing could be found in favour of the <<unlimited aid>> which the Yugoslav <<friends>> claim they had given us in that period.
But perhaps they are referring to our old <<friend>>, Dusan Mugosa, who for most of this period (up till May 1944) remained in Albania. If Tito and company base their pretended <<aid>> in this period on the <<contribution>> of Mugosa, then I must say a couple of words about the <<contribution>> of this Titoite, who appeared to be unimportant and crazy, but who was charged with sinister long-range missions.
As the man of the <<terrain>> which he was, from the spring of 1943 Dusan Mugosa <<stuck to>> the region of Vlora. He was especially in tune with Mehmet Shehu and, later, when we sent Liri Gega there as delegate of the CC, these three became like a tripod. They were known as people of deeds and action, as resolute and brave, but the three of them were also known for their arrogance and conceit, for their insatiable thirst to be seen and heard, even to the extent of committing terrorist acts for which they were continually criticized and warned orally and in writing. But I am referring to Mugosa. Exploiting his friendship with Mehmet Shehu and Liri Gega, Dusan got himself into meeting
after meeting, contact after contact, and half in Albanian, half in Serbian, tried <<to convince>> the Skënder Muços and Hysni Lepenicas to associate themselves with the line of the Front and with the war which the Communist Party of Albania led!
With his tactless and irrational interference, especially in a district like Vlora, Mugosa only damaged the work that we did.
How much work and effort the Party, especially Hysni Kapo, had to expend to put right what Dusan Mugosa, Liri Gega and Mehmet Shehu weaved by night and unravelled by day in the region of Vlora.
We began to receive signals, one after another, about their grave sectarian mistakes, and after we described their work as seriously harmful, we removed them from the Vlora district.
Of course, we were bound to act cautiously, as we did, to avoid leaving any grounds for dissatisfaction, especially in the <<friend>> Mugosa. In August 1943, we formed the 1st Shock Brigade and Dusan persistently demanded that we send him there.
<<I'll be in permanent action,>> said <<the man of the terrain>>, <<and with Mehmet Shehu I get along very well.>>
And truly he did get along well with him.
In one of our meetings with Tempo we had had a fierce quarrel with him over what we should call our partisan brigades. He said, <<You should call them proletarian brigades,>> as in Yugoslavia. While Miladin, Spiro Moisiu and I insisted that they should be called <<shock brigades>>, because in this way we left no room for misunderstanding even in terminology, did not go beyond the slogans of the National Liberation War, etc. Despite Tempo's insistence, we acted as we ourselves thought best. The only one of our people who liked the Yugoslav term was Mehmet Shehu. In front of us he was obliged to call the 1st Brigade, where we had appointed him commander, a <<Shock Brigade>>, but in confidential conversations and letters to the Yugoslav <<friends>> he called it <<a proletarian brigade>>. Indeed, in one of these letters which he sent to Mugosa, Mehmet Shehu expressed his <<profound regret>> that Dusan was leaving Albania <<before
the completion of the placard which he had ordered with the inscription, 1st PROLETARIAN Brigade.>>
Undoubtedly, this was part of the <<contribution>> of Dusan Mugosa who, in the absence of Tempo, applied the instructions and ideas of Tempo to introduce splits and differences in the opinions and stands of our comrades. However, the negative influence of Mugosa in the 1st Brigade was especially apparent in other aspects. The heroic deeds and exemplary fight which the valiant partisans of this brigade, under the leadership and inspiration of the Party and the General Staff, waged during the years of the National Liberation War, are well known. History has spoken and will continue to speak about these things. However, without in any way implicating the effective of the brigade, or the overwhelming majority of its cadres, it must be said that during those years, some arbitrary, harmful and sectarian acts, also, were carried out on the personal orders of Mehmet Shehu and the direct instigation and inspiration of Dusan Mugosa. Such, for example, was the case of the execution of a group of Ballists, who, captured after an armed clash with our forces, were shot in violation of the instruction of the Party, which in such cases called for dispassionate judgement on the basis of the crimes which each individual had committed. We sternly condemned this act immediately. Both in the terrain and in the brigade, Mugosa brought us nothing but harm with his sectarianism. But this was not the end of the <<contribution>> of Dusan Mugosa. The black smoke of his
A copy of this letter and other letters, full of Mehmet Shehu's
admiration for Dusan Mugosa, can be found in the CAP.
 Among other things, in a letter that Comrade Enver Hoxha addressed to Mehmet Shehu on November 5, 1943, he wrote: <<Executing them is an excess, a mistake and out of place, because, instead of bringing us any good, it harms us. We must bear in mind that the peasants who are in the çetas of the Balli Kombëtar are innocent, unclarified and victims. . . we must not antagonize the peasants, because they are the pillar of the Party, and behaving towards them like you did is sure to have repercussions among the peasant strata. We must in no way give the enemy an excuse to accuse us of what we are not>>. CAP.
work, as a secret agent, with some of the cadres of the 1st Brigade, or wherever he was successful, has appeared a number of times on the horizon of the Party, during the whole of its course, right up to the present day, whenever the Party has clashed with anti-party groups or individuals in the leadership.
Hence, for Tito and company, the <<merits>> of this sectarian, megalomaniac and careerist are very great. Dusan Mugosa roamed through the <<terrain>>, not simply on account of his <<personal enthusiasm>>, but because he had been charged to poke his nose in wherever he could gather information about our comrades and send it to the Yugoslav leadership.The plans and cadres were being prepared in secret for the attack on the leadership of our Party, for the distortion of our correct line and the complete subjugation of the Communist Party of Albania. Not accidentally, 4-5 months before Velimir Stojnic came to Albania, Dusan Mugosa was summoned to return urgently to Yugoslavia for <<special>> duties. We farewelled him in a way which he did not deserve (with honours and thanks), but he, too, <<honoured us>> as we did not deserve: he gave the Yugoslav leadership the facts it needed to arrive at the conclusion that they had to act swiftly, with a strong hand, against the CPA and our leadership. Otherwise, the card the Titoites held to get Albania into their clutches would become worthless.
A new period was beginning in our relations with the CPY. That is, the time was coming when the Yugoslav leadership would concentrate its attention on <<assisting us>> in those aspects which up till now it had neglected: in our internal problems. The time was coming when, after a lapse of a year, Tito's third emissary for the years of the National Liberation War was to be attached to our leadership. This was a colonel -- Velimir Stojnic. One of the most grievous events with the most serious consequences for our Party and country, the 2nd Plenum of the CC of the CPA, known in history as the <<backstage plot of Berat>> is linked from beginning to end with the name and mission of this special envoy of Tito.