THE <<NAIM FRASHERI>> PUBLISHING HOUSE
C O N T E N T S
THE BACKSTAGE PLOT OF BERET . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
THE <<STOJNIC MISSION>>
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
The <<Stojnic mission>> in Albania * Nijaz Dizdarevic -- the <<éminence grise>> of Nako Spiru * The Soviet Major Ivanov <<is informed>> about us through Stojnic * The establishment of our main leadership in liberated Berat * Nako Spiru, Koçi Xoxe, Sejfulla Maleshova and Pandi Kristo are engaged in the Titoite plot. Liri Gega in the role of the <<scapegoat>> * Three steps of the <<Stojnic mission>>: first -- the departure of Miladin Popvic from Albania; second -- the split of our Political Bureau; third -- the split of the CC of the CPA and the condemnation of our main leadership * The seeds of disruption and self-exposure are growing behind the <<unity>> of the p}otters * V. Stojnic's discussion -- the Titoite platform for the subjugation of the CPA and the gobbling up of Albania * Tito, the intermediary of the British * The people's revolts in Kosova * Stojnic serves up the idea of the <<Balkan Federation>> headed by Yugoslavia * The bitter fruits of the Berat Plenum.
TITO'S SECRET AGENCY IN ACTION . . . . . . . . . . . . .
DE JURE IN ORDER TO GOBBLE UP
Belgrade sent the Albanian-speaking Titoite Josip Djerdja in place of Stojnic * The 7th Cabinet for. . . Albania in the chancellery of the Yugoslav Federation * Why is Tito <<against>> the partitioning of Albania?! * The truth on the Pijade-Tsaldaris negotiations in August 1946 * A <<joke>> between Tito and King Paul about the dividing up of Albania * Debate on the policy of elections to the Constituent Assembly; S. Malëshova: <<We must allow the opposition freedon to take part in the elections independently>>; K. Xoxe: <<The Yugoslav comrades were not afraid to reach agreement even with the bourgeois>>; N. Spiru: <<We have no reason to fear our opponents now>>; The people: <<We prefer not to vote at all rather than vote for the reactionaries.>> * Quarrels break out between the plotters themselves * The 5th Plenum of the CC of the CPA in February 1946 * The theses for the re-examination of the Berat Plenum * Belgrade helping its own agents.
THE BACKSTAGE PLOT OF BERAT
The <<Stojnic mission>> in Albania * Nijaz Dizdarevic -- the <<éminence grise>> of Nako Spiru * The Soviet Major Ivanov <<is informed>> about us through Stojnic * The establishment of our main leadership in liberated Berat * Nako Spiru, Koçi Xoxe, Sejfulla Malëshova and Pandi Kristo are engaged in the Titoite plot. Liri Gega in the role of the <<scapegoat>> * Three steps of the <<Stojnic mission>>: first -- the departure of Miladin Popovic from Albania; second -- the split of our Political Bureau; third -- the split of the CC of the CPA and the condemnation of our main leadership * The seeds of disruption and self-exposure are growing behind the <<unity>> of the p}otters * V. Stojnic's discussion -- the Titoite platform for the subjugation of the CPA and the gobbling up of Albania * Tito, the intermediary of the British * The people's revolts in Kosova * Stojnic serves up the idea of the <<Balkan Federation>> headed by Yugoslavia * The bitter fruits of the Berat Plenum.
The period from August 1943, when Vukmanovic-Tempo departed, until August 1944, when Velimir Stojnic arrived, is one of the stormiest and most brilliant periods in the history of our Party and the National Liberation War in Albania. During this time our Communist Party further
increased and tempered its ranks, worked out and consistently followed a clear and correct Marxist-Leninist line in all the fields and, as a result, great victories were achieved.
The strengthening and consolidation of the Anti-fascist National Liberation Front, the organization and strengthening of national liberation councils in villages and cities constitute further evidence of the colossal work and struggle which our Party carried out in that period. The 2nd National Liberation Conference held in Labinot of Elbasan in September 1943 and its very important decisions set the course for all the great and far-sighted work of the Party for the creation of the new state of people's democracy in Albania. The crowning of this work was the organization and holding of the historic Congress of Përmet with complete success in May 1944, a congress which finally accomplished one of the strategic tasks of the Party -- the creation of the new Albanian state of people's democracy.
During this period, in ceaseless clashes with the occupier and the local traitors, the Albanian National Liberation Army rapidly increased its ranks, was armed and tempered in battle, and affirmed itself as an army of the new type. Apart from other things, it successfully withstood one of the heaviest blows of the enemy -- the great nazi Winter Operation of 1943-1944, and in the spring of 1944, on the orders of the General Staff it seized the initiative and launched a counter-offensive. After the creation of a considerable number
 This conference dealt with the strengthening of the democratic people's power as a fundamental question. It approved the Constitution and the rules of the national liberation councils, elected the new National Liberation General Council, publicly denounced the compromise the representatives of the General Council, Ymer Dishnica and Mustafa Gjinishi (secret agent of the British Intelligence Service -- see: Enver Hoxha, <<The Anglo-American Threat to Albania>>, Tirana 1982, pp. 173-224, Eng. ed.) had reached with the representatives of the Balli Kombëtar in Mukje, Kruja district, in opposition to the instructions they had received, and decided on the thorough exposure of the hostile activity of the Balli Kombëtar.
of brigades and other units, which in May 1944 included more than 35 000 fighters in their ranks, apart from the territorial çetas and the armed volunteers in the villages, we went on to the formation of the 1st Shock Division and, a little later, of the 2nd Shock Division of the ANLA. At the end of May 1944 as Commander-in-Chief, I issued the order to the National Liberation Army to launch a general offensive for the complete liberation of Albania from the German occupiers and for the total destruction of the Balli Kombëtar and the Legaliteti and all the other forces of reaction. The flames of the decisive battle swept Albania from south to north. Everything was going well, both on the external front against the Hitlerite forces and on the internal front. The decisive victory was not far off.
Precisely at this period, the efforts and attempts of the Anglo-American allies to interfere savagely in our internal affairs, to prevent Albania slipping from their fingers were intensified as never before. However, we defeated these plans of the allies in time. In the future, too; we were to display unrelenting vigilance and care to neutralize the Anglo-American threat. We were to have struggles and battles with them, but in the final analysis, their cause in Albania was lost.
Precisely at these moments when the storm of the war and the revolution in Albania had reached its climax, Tito's emissary Colonel Velimir Stojnic and his aide Nijaz Dizdarevic arrived at our General Staff. Their arrival marked the beginning of one of the most difficult and delicate periods of our wartime and post-war history -- the period of open and secret clashes and conflicts with the Belgrade leadership.
Enver Hoxha, <<The Anglo-American Threat
to Albania>>, Tirana 1982, pp. 334-352,
 Where this Velimir Stojnic has ended up today we do not know, and we have never heard his name again after the notorious activity he carried on in Albania, while Nijaz Dizdarevic, after being a bow-tied diplomat in Paris, later an ambassador with a string of tranquillity beads in Algeria, was lately chairman of the Foreign Affairs Commission in the Yugoslav Federal Skupstina. (Author's note.)
Thus, for several years on end, the CPA and the Albanian people were to be involved in a new, peculiar war, without artillery and machine-guns, but just as difficult, if not more so, and with more dangerous consequences than the war with weapons against the open enemies.
The <<Stojnic mission>>
Velimir Stojnic came to Albania in the end of August 1944 as chief of the Yugoslav military mission attached to our General Staff.
<<The task of our mission,>> he told us at the first meeting in Helmës, <<is, first, to transmit in a fraternal way to your General Staff the experience of the Yugoslav Staff in connection with big combined operations now that the German troops are withdrawing from Greece; second, to establish regular liaison between the general staffs and armies of our two countries, to examine the possibilities to co-ordinate our actions in large-scale joint operations in the future, and third, to assist in the further organization of the sister army of Albania.>>
Very quickly, however, from the first conversation with this colonel and his main aide Nijaz Dizdarevic, we were to become convinced that their mission was military only in name, in its label and method of operation. Indeed, at the first meeting Stojnic himself told us that he had come also as <<instructor of the CC of the CPY>> attached to our leadership, but we did not accept him in this capacity and he quite openly expressed his annoyance. The truth is that he came for other <<duties>>. Some of them, those most obvious and which, with the level of our knowledge at those moments, we could recognize most readily, we were to understand at that time. The others were to become clear later, when we went back again and again over all those things which
occurred from the moment the Stojnic team arrived in Albania.
Time was to prove that, above all, the <<Stojnic mission>> was a special mission which was sent by Tito to Albania at the end of the war for sinister political aims, for sabotage and espionage. It came to organize the attack on the CPA and its line, to subjugate the CPA, to turn it into a tool and appendage of the CPY. It came precisely on the eve of the complete liberation of Albania in order to attack the foundations on which the new people's state power was being erected, and to prepare the terrain for turning Albania into the 7th Republic of Yugoslavia.
On account of the special relations we had created with the CPY, we welcomed the new emissary of the Yugoslav leadership warmly and whole-heartedly. He told us about the situation in Yugoslavia, the partisan war and the successes achieved under the leadership of the CPY and Tito. And we, too, at the first meeting, told him in a comradely way about the situation and successes of our army, about the Front and the new people's state power which was being set up.
<<Some other day,>> he said, <<I can also tell you about the organization and experience of our Communist Party.>>
<<We shall be very pleased to hear these things,>> I said. <<Ours is a young party and we need to know the experience of older and bigger parties and to exchange opinions.>>
So, at another meeting, Velimir Stojnic talked to us about the CPY, about its past, as well as about the war and the correct development which it assumed once Josip Broz Tito came to the leadership, and the great authority which the party had won among the people through the heroic war towards victory it was waging under his leadership.
On this occasion, I, too, spoke about the history of our Party from its founding, about how it had extended and the successes it had achieved, etc., etc. As soon as I finished, the colonel threw off his <<military>> role and said:
<<In fact, my main mission is military, but as a party cadre and on the special instruction of the leadership of our
party, I shall also talk about party matters and everything else,>> and assuming a very serious air, he began to make <<criticisms>> of us over our line and to list the <<mistakes>> which our Party had allegedly committed <<continually>>!
One of the <<main>> criticisms which Velimir Stojnic had brought was the allegation that the line of our Party had <<continually>> vacillated from right to left, and he did not fail to link the <<opportunism>> of our line with the criticisms of Vukmanovic-Tempo. In fact, Tempo had advocated fratricidal war, had advised us to attack the newly emerged Balli Kombëtar and had criticized the efforts of our Party to win misled elements away from the Balli Kombëtar. For his part, Velimir Stojnic accused us of opportunism in our line and <<proved>> this with the fact that representatives of the General Council of the National Liberation Front held talks with representatives of the Balli Kombëtar in the Mukje village near Kruja at the end of July and the beginning of August 1943. At the same time, while describing Mukje as an <<opportunist act>>, using the same <<argument>>, he reproached us for being sectarian, because we had not continued the talks with these collaborators with Italian fascism and traitors to our people.
After listening quietly to this person (whom at that time we considered at least ill-informed about our line), I said to him:
<<Not only are you in contradiction with yourself and with Tempo, but you force me to the conclusion that you don't know the situation in our country. You have to understand that the Balli Kombëtar is the front of betrayal, its chiefs are collaborators with the Italian fascists. From the moment that the Balli Kombëtar was formed our Party appealed to its members to unite against the occupiers. This was not opportunism in our line, but a correct application of the line. The Balli Kombëtar fought us and collaborated with the Italian occupiers. On the eve of the capitulation of Italy new situations were being created in our war, and we had to take advantage of them. To this end, we appealed
once again to the members of the Balli Kombëtar to join in the war, both against the Italian occupiers who were on the verge of capitulation, and against the new German occupiers. The chiefs of the Balli Kombëtar responded to our call to hold talks and to decide what should be done later. We had our objectives and they had theirs. They came to the talks with us to gain a little credit after the great discredit they had suffered among the people, while, as I said, we set out with the aim of drawing the Balli Kombëtar into the war against the new occupiers, the savage German nazis. If the chiefs of the Balli Kombëtar were to continue to play their old game this time, too, then they would be more thoroughly and finally exposed in the eyes of the people and would be abandoned by the misled elements who comprised the base of that organization. That is why the Mukje Meeting was held. The delegates of our National Liberation Front had been clearly instructed that they were going to Mukje to tell the Balli Kombëtar to join in the war and that beyond this no compromise could be made with them. The chiefs of the Balli Kombëtar had their own plans at Mukje. They not only wanted to create a joint committee, but also wanted parity in the leadership of the Albania of the future. Those who demanded this were those who had collaborated openly with fascist Italy, and they demanded this at a time when they gave no guarantee that they would fight against the Germans and when, amongst other things, they wanted us to accept the thesis of <<greater Albania>> and <<ethnic Albania>>. And the two delegates of our Party fell for the Balli Kombëtar's trap and accepted its demands, because one of them, Mustafa Gjinishi, as it is emerging, was an agent of the British Intelligence Service, and the other, Ymer Dishnica, was an opportunist. Immediately the Party learned of this betrayal by its delegates, it denounced it. Therefore, Comrade Velimir, I tell you that your criticisms of our Party and its leadership either of opportunism or of sectarianism are without foundation.>>
<<I insist that your condemnation of Mukje was sectarian-
ism,>> repeated Velimir. <<You should have found the language to persuade the chiefs of the Balli Kombëtar.>>
<<Never! That would have been betrayal, betrayal of the Party,>> replied Miladin very angrily. <<Had we done that the Albanian people ought to have lined us up against the wall and shot us. Why did this people and this Party fight? To share power with reaction?>>
The debate flared up and went on for a long time. Velimir, Miladin and I did most of the speaking. Koçi Xoxe sat completely silent, but according to the argument, sometimes went red and sometimes pale, while Nako Spiru had no <<chance>> to engage in the debate: his knowledge of Italian had tied him up with number 2 in the <<Stojnic mission>>, with the clever and cunning Yugoslav Nijaz Dizdarevic, to whom he translated what we said.
<<I do not say you should share power,>> Stojnic replied indignantly to Miladin Popovic. <<You ought to have taken part in the meetings envisaged at Mukje, this is what I want to say. Don't try to conceal your sectarianism. It is blatant!>>
<<In what do you see it?>> I asked him.
<<In what I said about the way you acted with regard to Mukje. But I have other facts, too. Liri Gega and Mehmet Shehu have made your sectarianism obvious. By what name shall we call what they are doing?>>
<<They have their own faults and we have criticized them for these things and we shall look into them more deeply. But don't forget that their close collaborator, indeed, their inspirer in all their distortions and sectarian acts, has been your comrade. Dusan Mugosa.>>
<<Leave Mugosa out of this,>> interrupted Stojnic, <<he belongs to us and we shall look into his work. I am referring to your comrades. In Vlora Liri Gega appoints and removes whoever she likes in the regional committee and the command. At Peqin Mehmet Shehu kills 50-60 ballists from the villages of Lushnja, in the North Liri is brandishing a naked sword.>>
<<You seem to be well-acquainted with our-situation!>> I said with obvious sarcasm.
<<I believe I am! Indeed, I know it very well!>> replied Velimir Stojnic arrogantly.
<<Comrade colonel!>> I put in in a stern tone there and then. <<We are friends and comrades, we respect and honour your party and fraternal people, but excuse me, it seems to me you are going beyond your military authority, either as a delegate of the Yugoslav General Staff or as a member of another party. Your interference in our affairs is out of place and your tone is unacceptable.>>
<<We are communists, first of all,>> he said backing down a little. <<There is nothing wrong with our talking about these questions. I told you that I have special instructions from Comrade Tito to talk with you about these matters, too.>>
<<All right,>> I said, <<we can talk as communists, but bear in mind where you are speaking and why.>>
<<I beg your pardon,>> he replied, blushing: <<Perhaps I used some ill-considered expression, but you must understand, I say everything in a comradely way, for your benefit, because we are friends. I have no other aim. But let us leave this for today, we'll talk about it more calmly another time.>>
We parted coldly although we smiled and shook hands. However, I could not get what had occurred out of my mind, especially the unexpected accusation of <<sectarianism>>. A year earlier we had made efforts to win the nationalist elements and anyone else to the course of the war against the occupier and for this Tempo accused us of <<opportunism>>, while now, when we had put the Balli Kombëtar firmly in its place, it emerges that we had fallen into <<sectarianism>>. This was intolerable and I said to Miladin:
<<I don't understand this. Do these delegates want to help us or do they want 'to catch' us, or saddle us with a 'mistake' at all costs. . . ?!>>
Miladin forced a smile, slapped me on the shoulder and said nothing. It was a smile which I had rarely seen on the face of my comrade-in-arms and in hardships. In that smile there was despair, regret, and perhaps also suspicion about what the comrades of his Party were pouring out.
<<Let us fight, let us fight and forge ahead,>> he said, <<and these matters will be cleared up. After all, Tempo and Velo [Velimir Stojnic] and the devil knows who else are neither the CPY, nor the CC of the CPY.>>
<<I wouldn't want to put that in doubt,>> I said.
Those were days full of work, tension and most difficult and varied problems which demanded correct and urgent solutions. During those days and nights, the comrades and I devoted a great part of our time and strength to preparing the strategic and operational plans for the battles which the divisions and other big and small units of our army were waging, or that we planned for them to wage in the general offensive which had been launched. The major problems in the life of the Party, in the army and amongst the civilian population, the problems of the Front and the national liberation councils demanded time and effort from us. Moreover, at the Congress of Përmet we had formed the Anti-fascist National Liberation Committee which performed the functions of the Democratic Government, and the most important thing was that this government was not just a creation on paper or a group of people who had to sit waiting for the day when they would take power.
No, we were a government in action, a government which had power over most of Albania and from day to day this power was being extended to the towns, villages and regions which were liberated. On some other occasion I shall relate in detail what an endless field of complex problems was this of the creation, organization and running of the state and what efforts, work, studies and debates we had to carry out. I want to stress only that the situation, the phase which our war had reached, and a series of other circumstances compelled us to think of and be responsible for everything -- from the major problems of the final battle for liberation, from ensuring food and shelter for the population of the liberated zones, and indeed, even unliberated zones, from the organization of the first work of construction to the taking of preliminary measures for the phase when the Party and the people
would have the whole of Albania free and democratic. In our way, we had the Anglo-American allies, who, like experienced political gamblers, played new cards day after day to lead us up a blind alley, and around us we had internal reaction which saw that it was losing its case and tried to create a thousand obstacles and difficulties for us. Add to this the lack of experience of nearly all of us in the problems of the organization and running of a new state, add the marked lack of cadres, and the picture becomes more or less clear. And precisely in the midst of all this work, with its endless series of difficulties and cardinal, great and little problems, the <<Stojnic mission>> is sent amongst us with its predetermined objectives and aims.
In the first days of September we had gone down to Odriçan (Helmës with its few houses could not shelter all of us), and from there through many ceaseless contacts we led the whole country. The telephone never stopped ringing, radio messages came from all directions, the coming and going of couriers and comrades was uninterrupted. Sometimes, Velimir Stojnic came, too, for a <<consultation>>, for <<assistance>> or simply to say dobar dan.[*] He tried to learn everything and poked his nose everywhere. At one moment, when I was exchanging a couple of words with him in passing, the signals officer came to me and said:
<<Comrade Commander! They report from Gjirokastra that they are going to blow up the Dragot Bridge. German convoys are approaching from the Drino and the Vjosa gorges, and the Dragot Bridge is a key point. They want your opinion.>>
<<In no way!>> I told him. <<Transmit the order immediately not to blow up the Dragot Bridge, but to defend it at all costs.>>
<<Where is this bridge?>> asked Velimir Stojnic all interest immediately.
I went up to the map and pointed it out to him.
* good morning (Serb. in the original).
wasp had stung him. <<It's an extremely strategic bridge. If the German columns cross it that will open up a lot of trouble for you and also for us. Let the Germans be cut up and wiped out on the other side, otherwise they'll penetrate all through Albania and even into Yugoslavia.>>
<<Don't worry,>> I told him, <<our order is that between Kakavia and Hani i Hotit no German is to be left alive. And if some are left we shall pursue them, hot foot, over our borders.>>
<<Then, why not destroy this bridge?!>> he asked again. <<Blowing it up would greatly hinder their penetration. . .>>
<<Because the time has come when we need the bridges. A good many of them have been and are being blown up by the Germans and the officers of the British missions are astoundingly zealous about blowing up many others. But now that our military forces have all our roads and gorges and mountains under control, to blow up the bridge means to blow up the property of the people in power. You don't realize that the Dragot Bridge is a strategic point for our operations. As to stopping the enemy columns, I must tell you that the Këlcyra Gorge is near the bridge and our forces have made it impassable for the Germans.>>
The chief of the Yugoslav military mission went away displeased. As I said, in fact military problems were not his main mission. But in this aspect, too, those who had sent him had charged him with tasks. One of these was to <<influence>> us so that during this period we would engage the maximum number of German units which were deployed in Albania, or those withdrawing from Greece, in battle on our territory, and hence, not permit the penetration of nazi forces into Yugoslavia As we heard later, on the orders of the Yugoslav General Staff, they had formed a strong defensive curtain on the borders between Greece and Macedonia,
 Respectively the south-easternmost and north-westernmost extension of the border of Albania.
with the aim of preventing the withdrawal of the Germans in that strategic direction. Thus, Albania remained the only <<door>> for their withdrawal. Hence, through this <<division of doors>> the mortally wounded nazi beast was to pour its final ferocity on our territories and forces.
Naturally, it had never crossed our minds that such a division of roles could be made during the war. We had always fought with all our might and possibilities to kill every nazi wherever we found him, without ever considering that we could make an <<advantageous tactical withdrawal>> into some safe spot in order to leave the enemy to be wiped out by somebody else. All the battles we had waged up till August 1944 had proved this; it was proved to the best, also, by the heroic and uninterrupted fighting of our forces from August to November 1944 and, after the liberation of Albania, by the fact that a good part of these forces continued the hot pursuit of the nazis beyond our state borders into Yugoslavia. In short, for this part of his mission Velimir Stojnic had to exert no effort. He was left free to concentrate on other, more important aspects. And as I said, he began this work as soon as he set foot in Albania.
How did Velimir Stojnic and his associates begin their work? They divided their roles. Velimir posed as <<competent>> on the organization of the army, the party, the state, the security service, education, culture, etc. In a word, he was <<a great brain>> and it was <<a great favour>> that the Communist Party of Yugoslavia did our Party by sending such a man to give us <<experience>>.
For his part, Nijaz Dizdarevic was a real fox; clever, but evil and a dyed-in-the-wool intriguer. The things he knew, he knew thoroughly and expressed well. He had been charged to work with our youth and to organize them in resistance against the Party, if it opposed the implementation of the diabolical plans of the Yugoslavs. Nijaz Dizdarevic not only became the éminence grise * of Nako Spiru, but
* (French in the original).
he also played on people's <<heart strings>> in the interests of the Yugoslav UDB. During the plot, he <<fell in love>> with a member of the plenum of the Central Committee of our Party, promised to marry her and, when he had gathered all the information he needed, cleared off and left her.
A few days before the arrival of the <<Stojnic mission>>, a Soviet major, Ivanov, had also come to Helmës. As can be imagined, we welcomed him with open arms and with all the honours befitting the representative of the glorious army of Stalin. But it was regrettable that Major Ivanov should represent such an army as the Red Army. He was a clever, cunning type, and as became apparent later, he, too, had come on a military mission, as well as on other <<special>> missions. I well remember how he sat the whole day near the stairs waiting for Colonel Stojnic, and the fact is that Ivanov was <<informed>> about Albania and us, its fighters, in the light in which Stojnic described us. Regrettably the Soviet Union was being informed about Albania through the eyes of Stojnic, and not only on the eve of liberation, but also for several years afterwards the Soviets were <<acquainted>> with us through the tales that Tito, Kardelj, Djilas and others concocted. At every opportunity Major Ivanov continually boosted Velimir Stojnic and Nijaz Dizdarevic to <<convince>> us that <<the two Yugoslav comrades have capacity>>. In reality, however, Velimir Stojnic was a young ass, a very ordinary person, who had learned a few formulas by rote and could speak only about them, apart from the instructions which they had given him and which he would draw from his briefcase and quote time after time.
The first arguments they had with us, especially the clear-cut objections which Miladin and I raised, completely convinced Velimir Stojnic and Nijaz Dizdarevic that they must set to work at once to bring about radical changes. Velimir Stojnic worked persistently to build up a tense situation. He communicated every day by radio with Tito's
staff, especially with its organizational secretary -- Rankovic, wherefrom he received instructions about how he should act.
When he saw that Miladin, as a Yugoslav, did not support them in the criticisms they made, but, on the contrary, opposed them, he sought to remove him from the scene and to isolate me from the comrades in order to attack me more easily. And this is what he did. We were still at Odriçan when he managed to get rid of Miladin. He passed on to him Tito's order that <<Miladin should return as quickly as possible to Yugoslavia and present himself to report>>. The villainy of the Velimir Stojnic group went so far that they did not inform me even <<in a comradely way>> about this decision which was taken about a comrade who had worked three or four years with us and had fought together with us. They had instructed Miladin that, when he talked with me about his departure, he must not tell me that they had summoned him to report, but simply that <<they were sending him to work on another task in Yugoslavia.>>
At first, to avoid upsetting me, he did not tell me the truth.
<<But why precisely at these moments?!>> I asked him. <<Just a few more weeks and Albania will be liberated. Let us enter Tirana together once more, not illegally, with bombs and pistols in our pockets, as in 1941 and 1942, but freely, as victors, then you can go. I'll gather the people and say to them: 'You see this chap. He is a Montenegrin, a Yugoslav. But he is ours, he's an Albanian, too. His name is Miladin Popovic, we call him Ali Gostivari. He is our comrade, our brother, a communist who for four years on end, together with us and with you, fought and made sacrifices, grew up with us, and gave everything he had for this victory, for freedom. Now he is going away. All of you should kiss him and wish him good-bye!'>> As I said this Ali Gostivari wept.
<<Listen,>> I said, <<you have to stay a few more weeks to see freedom!>>
<<I want to so badly, Enver, but. . . I have to go. This is the order from my centre.>>
I sensed that he was hiding something from me. I met Stojnic and asked him in the name of our leadership to intervene with his leadership to postpone the order.
<<That cannot be done,>> said Velimir Stojnic, cold and inexorable. <<Comrade Tito issues an order only once.>>
<<Very well,>> I said, <<but how, by what route, is he to go to Yugoslavia?>>
<<Over the mountains,>> he replied. <<We are still at war.>>
<<No,>> I said, <<we shall not allow this. In 1942 and 1943, when we were illegal, we picked up Blazo and Tempo and sent them on their way by car, when they were fit and well, and we cannot fail to do the same thing for Miladin now that we are almost liberated. You know that he is ill with tuberculosis.>>
<<But what can we do?>> he asked, and added, <<I know only this: he must leave as quickly as possible for Yugoslavia.>>
A plan came to my mind and I sought an urgent meeting with one of the officers of the British Mission. It was the time when the British wanted to be on <<good terms>> with us, so that we would approve their repeated <<variants>> of a landing. At that time we had also reached an agreement with them for a number of seriously wounded partisans to be treated in the allied hospitals in Bari of Italy. The British officer presented himself in the room where I worked.
<<Mister officer,>> I said, <<I want to ask a confidential favour from you.>>
He forgot he was a military man and bowed from <<satisfaction>> that I was giving him the opportunity to do me such a favour.
<<A partisan, a close friend of mine, is very ill. Could you use your possibilities to transport him as quickly as possible to Bari?!>>
<<Of course, tomorrow evening!>> replied the British
 See footnote 1, p. 131 of this book.
officer very <<readily>> and continued, <<you have given me the opportunity, General, to tell you that I want to discuss something with you.>>
I had taken into account that I would have to pay <<the reckoning>>.
<<The day after tomorrow, in the morning,>> I agreed there and then.
<<All right!>> the British officer clicked his heels together and left.
I met Miladin and Stojnic and said to the latter:
<<Tomorrow evening we are going to send Miladin to Bari under his Albanian name Ali Gostivari. Get in touch with your staff so that they take measures for the Yugoslav representatives attached to the Allied Command in Italy to meet him. From there I believe room will be found for Miladin Popovic in one of the ships or aircraft which link your staff with the Allied Command every day.>>
Velimir Stojnic's face darkened with anger that this matter had been settled so neatly, but he had no way to oppose it. We parted.
Before he left, Miladin was strolling thoughtfully. I caught up with him and when we were approaching the church square in Odriçan he put his arm round my shoulders and said to me:
<<Enver, I didn't tell you yesterday because I didn't want to add to your distress, but you ought to know. I'm going because I'm forced to do so in Tito's name. They're not pleased with my work. But I tell you one thing: this Velimir Stojnic and Nijaz Dizdarevic are behaving like enemies. Watch out for them! I only hope that I reach Yugoslavia alive and I'm able to meet Tito, because I'm not going to keep quiet and let them go undenounced.>>
So they removed Miladin.
Immediately after we farewelled him, I summoned Velimir Stojnic to my office, and asked him the reason for Miladin's departure. He said coldly:
<<It was an order from Tito that he should return to Yugoslavia.>>
<<I trust,>> I said, <<that Tito has not ordered that this decision about a comrade who worked in these difficult years together with our Party should not be communicated to me.>>
<<Has Miladin informed you about this?>> he asked.
<<He informed me, but it was up to you to do such a thing,>> I said coldly and asked: <<Why was Miladin summoned to Yugoslavia?>>
<<To render account,>> he replied in an arrogant tone.
<<I don't object to his going or to his rendering account about his work to the CC of the CPY,>> I said, <<but I should have been informed. If it is simply a question of 'rendering account',>> I continued, <<Miladin ought first to render account to our Party, where he worked. And I tell you that he worked very well, as an internationalist communist, while you have not acted correctly. This is my view.>>
<<You stick to your view and we shall stick to ours,>> said Velimir Stojnic and we parted, shaking hands coldly.
After this the second step of the <<Stojnic mission,>> began. I was left as the focal point of the attack. Of course, I did not know and those days I did not even realize what was being prepared and hatched up around me, but I could not fail to be aware of the cold atmosphere that was being created.
In the last days of our stay at Odriçan, Velimir Stojnic came to my office and said to me in a serious tone:
<<Comrade General Secretary. . .>>
I understood that he had come on <<party matters>> because he had adopted certain <<special>> rules of protocol in his relations with us: when he came on military matters he began with <<Comrade Commander>>, when he came on <<state matters>> he began with <<Comrade Chairman>>, when he came on party affairs he began with <<Comrade General Secretary>>.
<<Recently we have had a number of discussions but have
not carried them through to the finish. I think that we ought to go into them thoroughly,>> he said.
<<When the opportunity and possibilities present themselves,>> I replied. <<You realize how busy we are.>>
<<I see that,>> he said, <<but I consider this necessary. These questions are important for your line, for all your work.>>
<<Very well,>> I said. <<As soon as I find the opportunity I shall inform you.>>
<<No, no. I think we should go into them extensively in the Bureau of your Central Committee. Indeed, I find it regrettable that up till now you have not summoned the Bureau to hear me officially.>>
<<The Bureau, Comrade Stojnic,>> I told him, <<meets according to the plan of work it has, according to the problems and conditions which present themselves to us. But I telI you sincerely I have not considered and do not consider it reasonable to summon the Bureau over those matters which you raise.>>
<<This ought to have been done long ago,>> he said in a stern and offended tone. <<As far as I know you are soon to hold a meeting of the Bureau. The comrades have been assembled and indeed I was introduced to Liri Gega who had just arrived from the North.>>
<<It is quite true that we have a meeting of the Bureau,>> I said, <<but it is a meeting of the Bureau of the Central Committee of our Party and I tell you frankly that your request to take part in it is out of place and unacceptable.>>
<<Do you mean to say that you are still against my taking part in it?>>
<<You should not even make such requests, which are contrary to the norms of an independent party, irrespective of our fraternal relations.>>
As he stared at me for quite a pause, without speaking. I saw an expression of internal anger and a cynical smile. Then he muttered something and stalked out. What this smile implied I understood as soon as we had begun the meeting of our Political Bureau. We had decided that at this
meeting we would analyse the more urgent problems of the situation, decide on the work plan of the Bureau for the period up till the liberation of Albania, and the main item, I was to present the main theses of the report which we were to make to the coming plenum of the CC of the Party. Those present at the meeting were Koçi Xoxe, Nako Spiru, Ramadan (Çitaku, Liri Gega and I (two other former members of the Bureau, Ymer Dishnica and Gjin Marku, elected at the 1st National Conference in March 1943, had been expelled from the Political Bureau and the Central Committee of the Party some time earlier: Ymer Dishnica for the betrayal he had committed at Mukje with the Balli Kombëtar in August 1943, and Gjin Marku for his almost complete failure to take part in the meetings of the Political Bureau as well as for his notorious compromise with the Germans in Berat in the autumn of 1943).
As soon as we began the meeting of the Political Bureau, Koçi Xoxe got up and said:
<<I propose we should invite the delegate of the Yugoslav leadership, Comrade Stojnic, to take part in this meeting.>>
Ramadan Çitaku and I, and at first Liri Gega, too, totally opposed this. Nako Spiru was in solidarity with Koçi Xoxe. The meeting of the Bureau about the most important current and future problems suddenly became a battle of words:
<<He is chief of the military mission,>> said Ramadan Çitaku, <<why should he come to the Bureau?>>
<<He is the representative of a sister army and a sister party!>> put in Koçi Xoxe.
 In September-October 1943, Gjin Marku, commander of the partisan forces of the Berat region, without notifying the General Staff and contravening the line of the CPA, allowed the German forces to enter freely into Berat which was already liberated by the forces of the National Liberation Army. This act without precedent in Albania was condemned by the Party as a very serious fault.
ing to this logic,>> I added sarcastically, <<we should even invite the Englishman as an observer, he is our ally. . .>>
Tempers blazed and this was completely unexpected and astonishing to me. Never before had such a scene occurred Since we were failing to agree, it was proposed to put the matter to the vote. Unexpectedly Liri Gega raised her hand together with Koçi Xoxe and Nako Spiru. Ramadan &cCedil;itaku and I were left in the minority.
In this way Velimir Stojnic was given the right to take part, discuss and dictate his will in our Political Bureau.
From these moments begins one of the most unpleasant and gravest processes in the life of our Party, the process of the splitting of our Political Bureau, of <<reorganizations>> of it and <<co-options>> to it, and later, of upsetting the whole Central Committee elected in Labinot in March 1943.
To achieve these results Velimir Stojnic had to work carefully, according to a well thought-out plan. As I said, as soon as he arrived in Albania, he began to apply his plan, but it was only in that meeting of the Political Bureau that for the first time I felt that something serious was going on when the place of the <<honoured guest>> was given to Velimir by vote. Immediately after I ended my main contribution, in which I put before the comrades the theses of the report which I was to prepare for the 2nd Plenum of the CC, Stojnic with a certain <<politeness>> sought the right to speak. In a few words he thanked us for the <<honour>> which we did him and the <<trust>> which our Bureau expressed in him by inviting him to this meeting and immediately opened his brief case:
<<From what the Comrade General Secretary said, I realize that this is a very important meeting. By coincidence (!) the things I want to say to you in a fraternal way are completely in conformity with the theme of this meeting, which is to discuss the problems you are going to put before the plenum of your Central Committee.>>
Everything he said in the course of a good two hours (apart from the time required for the translations consisted in essence of theses which completely overturned all that I had
presented in my opening contribution. In other words, his theses were a complete overturning of the line followed and victories achieved by our Party and at the same time, if they were accepted, were a completely distorted platform for the future. In essence they comprised:
First, a euphoric propaganda of <<the majestic successes>> of the CPY and Tito. He praised Tito to the skies, almost putting him on the same footing as Stalin, and openly implying that <<the Albanians and the Bulgarians are triumphing in the war>> thanks to the great aid of the Yugoslavs.
Immediately after eulogizing Tito, the CPY and their <<brilliant>>, <<creative>> line, etc., Stojnic repeated bluntly and brutally all those things that we had learnt by heart: <<You have not had a clear line>>, <<you have suffered from sectarianism, opportunism and sectarianism again>>.
With these theses Velimir Stojnic aimed to attack the line of our Party throughout the period of the war and to present it as <<unstable, unclear and, especially, sectarian>>.
Second, although the meeting was dedicated to the results of our war, Stojnic passed over this with the odd phrase, indeed in a disdainful tone, and poured out praise solely for the <<experience>>, <<example>> and <<outstanding and great contribution>> of the Yugoslav army.
With such boastful propaganda about their war, Velimir Stojnic aimed to create the impression that our National Liberation War <<was nothing very much>> and <<was not of any great weight in comparison with the war of the peoples of Yugoslavia>>. With this he openly implied that we were indebted to the Yugoslav war for our liberation, and he worked in this direction to create the view that <<our war was simply a war of çetas>>, or even worse, <<a war of terrorists and assassins>>. Hence, he pulled out of his briefcase the old hostile theses of Vukmanovic-Tempo with whom I had always been in open opposition and dispute.
Third, the line of the Party in connection with the Anti-fascist National Liberation Front, according to Velimir, was also a wrong line, a <<sectarian>> line. He went so far as
to make the accusation in the meeting, <<You have not taken a correct stand towards 'patriotic' chiefs>> (such as Cen Elezi, whom we had not admitted to the Front), and he also repeated what he had pronounced on the first day of his arrival, <<You were wrong not to continue the talks>> with the Ballists at Mukje. Along with this, according to him and those who sent him, we ought to rehabilitate Ymer Dishnica.
Fourth, the organizational line of the Party and the policy of cadres, still according to them, turned out to be <<wrong>>, <<carried out on a personal plane>>, because allegedly we had <<removed devoted comrades from leading functions>>, etc., etc.
As a conclusion, the successes of the CPA were <<petty>>, <<partial>> and <<if the CPA emerged triumphant, this was mostly thanks to Yugoslavia, the CPY and Tito>>. So much for the past. Now what had to be done? These things, according to Stojnic, must be <<put in order>> and to put them in order properly there was no alternative for us Albanian communists but to <<follow the Yugoslav road, the advice and instructions of Tito>>, which Velimir Stojnic had brought. The basic idea was this: <<He who is on this road is a true communist, the others must be got rid of.>>
Summed up very briefly, these were the main primary accusations of Velimir Stojnic and the secret aims which he wanted to achieve by means of them precisely now, on the eve of the complete liberation of Albania, when we were emerging triumphant over the nazi-fascist occupiers, the local traitors and internal reaction.
 Element from the gentry of Dibra, opponent of the Party and the National Liberation Front. In the autumn of 1944, through the intervention of Velimir Stojnic on behalf of this old agent of the kraljs of Serbia, under the pretext that he <<had not been so active as the other reactionary chiefs against the National Liberation Movement>>, Cen Elezi was admitted to the ranks of the National Liberation Front. After the establishment of the people's state power, Cen Elezi was to put his activity at the service of the reactionary policy of the Anglo-Americans and the remnants of reaction in Albania.
I cannot claim that I realized immediately, at this meeting, the extent and depth of the secret aims of the hostile work which Tito's emissaries were organizing against our Party and young state. No, the truth was to emerge clearly later, but I must say that from those moments I was more than conscious of one thing: unjust and unwarranted criticisms and accusations were being made against us.
I awaited the reaction of the comrades, but they had hung their heads and were <<waiting>>. I thought that they must have been dismayed at the way in which Stojnic cancelled out all our work, but since he was our <<honoured guest>> they did not want to oppose him openly at the first meeting. But we were communists and there was no reason for us or the guest to take offence at the truth.
I took the floor again (although it was not up to me alone to speak again), and after thanking Stojnic for their <<interest>> and <<concern>>, etc., I began to go over briefly and refute everything that was incorrect in his <<criticisms>> and accusations about our line and situation.
<<Please don't misunderstand me,>> I continued. <<I don't agree with the 'criticism' which you have made here, not because comradely criticism or advice displeases us, but because the truth is completely different. The comrades will express their opinions and you will be convinced.>>
<<I hope you're right!>> said Stojnic smiling enigmatically. <<We shall hear what the comrades have to say.>>
After a brief silence, that same unpleasant atmosphere which developed in the meeting when we discussed whether or not Stojnic should be admitted to the meeting of our Bureau, built up again.
<<On many points the things which Comrade Colonel Velimir Stojnic mentioned here are contrary to those which Comrade Enver will deal with in the report to the plenum,>> said Koçi Xoxe. <<I say we should not be hasty. Let us reflect on them well and then talk about them.>>
<<Where are we going to find the time to reflect and then talk about them?>> put in Liri Gega there and then, with
her well-known mania, not only to oppose Koçi Xoxe about the content of everything he said, but also to sneer at him openly over the peculiarities of the <<pure Korça idiom>> in which he spoke.
<<If you had thought a bit, you would not have made all those sectarian bloomers,>> retorted Koçi Xoxe. <<We'll have a good look at your sectarianism in the Bureau.>>
<<Better sectarian than idling your time away,>> Liri snapped back in her usual style, hitting Koçi on a tender spot.
I shall speak later about the Koçi-Liri <<allergy>> and the scenes which frequently took place between them, but here I want to point out that in the past such open quarrels had not occurred in the Bureau, even between them. Mostly they <<reserved>> their spite for each other for their <<leisure time>> or came to complain to me, sometimes together, sometimes individually.
Thus, with verbal thrust and parry, Liri Gega expressed her opinion on the main problem:
<<Has the line of the Party been sectarian or has it not? This is what we should discuss. I personally have acted according to the line. . .>>
I saw Velimir Stojnic beaming as soon as this <<declaration>> of Liri Gega's was translated. He quickly noted it down and nodded his head in approval. In the endless meetings which we were to hold later, when we went down to Berat, this cunning inimical claim of Liri Gega's that <<I have acted according to the line>>, was to be a powerful weapon in the hands of Velimir Stojnic and his collaborators. Liri Gega's flagrant sectarianism (it really was flagrant) was to serve them as the basic <<argument>> to <<prove>> that the line of the CPA had been sectarian!
Throughout the whole debate Nako Spiru was extremely busy. He was rapidly writing goodness knows what in a notebook. Later I was to learn that he kept detailed notes from our meetings written in Italian to hand to his friend Dizdarevic. From that time on this became a permanent <<duty>> of
Nako and I did not understand how this was done legally and openly before our eyes.
Many years later I was to learn that, amongst other things, the minutes of the 2nd Plenum of the CC of the CPA (the Berat Plenum) written in Italian were found in the Central Archives of the Party. The young comrades who were working with the files of that time asked in astonishment at this <<discovery>>: <<Why these minutes in Italian, why were they translated?!>> When I was told of this I laughed and recalled the tense meetings of the autumn of 1944 and the note books of the <<tireless>> Nako which were filled one after the other. However, the cunning Nako was to manoeuvre beautifully with this <<extra burden>>: in acute situations when it was not in his interest to express his opinion, he buried himself in his <<notes>> and did not raise his head at all.
Nevertheless, his opinion on what should be done was sought, too.
<<When things are prepared well, disagreements are easily resolved,>> he said -- a statement that could have a hundred meanings.
As for Ramadan Çitaku, speaking in his usual slow, calm way, like the men of Kosova (he came from there, hence the pseudonym Baca), he replied:
<<To think before you speak is a good habit, but I want to say one thing: the problem before us is not whether Comrade Enver, on the one hand, or Comrade Velimir, on the other hand, is right. Comrade Enver presented the theses of the main report of the Bureau which will be delivered at the Plenum of the Central Committee of the Party. These theses are from all of us, because, for better or worse, we have all had our say and have all done the work for the line which we have adopted and which we all know. Therefore, I don't understand why we should take long to give our opinion about whether or not Comrade Velimir's criticisms of the line which we have all endorsed and followed are well based?!>>
This straightforward and logical comment of Ramadan Çitaku's, following the opposition which he had expressed in
the earlier meeting about the admission of Stojnic to the meeting of the Bureau, certainly put a red ring round the name of Baca in the Yugoslav plotters' notebook. The open interference and pressure which they exerted on the Bureau during October for the expulsion of Ramadan Çitaku from the Bureau of our Central Committee, was not accidental.
Precisely this first meeting of our Bureau in the presence of Velimir Stojnic and his <<theses>> were to serve as an <<official>> platform for the whole series of meetings, discussions and endless quarrels which were to consume valuable hours, days and nights during October and November of that year when we had so much work ahead of us on the eve of Liberation.
In these meetings, <<of course>> the Yugoslav comrade, Tito's delegate, would also take part and would not leave matters simply at what he said at Odriçan, but was to continue his attacks on the line of our Party in the most brutal way, making me <<the main culprit>> for the <<grave errors>> which had allegedly been observed in the line of our Party in the time of the war.
Although he was not outstanding for his <<keen mind>>, as an intriguer and trained agent of Tito and Rankovic he did his work well. Later we were to realize that he did everything according to a scenario carefully prepared in advance by the Yugoslav leadership. This secret scenario was based on two <<weapons>> which the Yugoslavs had in their hands: First, on the trust and respect which our Party nurtured for the CP and the war of the peoples of Yugoslavia under the leadership of Tito. Second, on the work they had begun much earlier to prepare their agency within the leadership of our Party.
As I said above, we were interested in strengthening our internationalist relations with them and, as communist comrades, wanted to benefit from that good experience that might be applicable in our country. But those things which seemed to us incorrect or unsuitable for our conditions, we had not accepted and did not accept. Despite the repeated contradictions we had had with the Yugoslav comrades, we had not
lost our faith in the CPY and Tito. This was precisely what the Yugoslav leadership had instructed Velimir Stojnic to exploit.
Besides this, the Yugoslavs had long had in their hands detailed information about the main comrades of our leadership, about their level, character, tendencies, temperament, the abilities of each of them and the standing they enjoyed in the Party and among the masses, etc. It was not for nothing that in his letter of September 1942, Tito asked for the biographies of the comrades who were elected to the CC of the Party at the 1st National Conference. Later, Blazo Jovanovic, Vukmanovic-Tempo and others were to supply their leadership with detailed information, gathered in meetings with us or in other, secret ways. The Yugoslav leadership studied this carefully and when the time was approaching to put the finishing touches to the plan of action for the <<Stojnic mission>>, they urgently recalled Dusan Mugosa from Albania, because, as we were told, <<he was charged with another task>>. As has been revealed since, including recent times, Dusan Mugosa under the pseudonym Çalamani had recruited secret agents in the ranks of the cadres, both military and civilian, in the regions where he operated. But let us return to the time of the war when three to four months after the departure of Mugosa, Stojnic arrived in Albania, very well prepared.
In this way, no doubt under orders from Tito and Rankovic, Velimir Stojnic was now putting the information gathered about us to successful use: both to suppress my resistance and that of other sound comrades of the Party and to encourage the anti-party factional work of Sejfulla Malëshova, Koçi Xoxe, Nako Spiru and their associates. Hence, he set about and at Odriçan succeeded in creating the following situation: everything which <<Velo>> said or did <<was right>>, because <<Tito and the CPY said this and whoever opposed it was an enemy and had to be fought>>.
Right from this initial phase of his secret activity, Stojnic succeeded, for the most varied reasons and motives, in
winning over a number of the main comrades of our leadership. Who were the main ones?
One of them was Sejfulla Malëshova. He is known and I'm not going to give a biography of him, but the fact is that his worth at the time of the war was zero. He did nothing, did not carry out any task with which we charged him, allegedly had ability with the pen but did not produce even one poor leaflet. He was a prime example of laziness. I don't know how and from what source he had gained a reputation as <<a professor of Marxism-Leninism in Moscow>>, because he did not prepare even one lecture. His political ideas on many questions were wrong and markedly liberal. He was a careerist who liked flattery and privileges and was the prototype of a petty-bourgeois. All these characteristics of Sejfulla Malëshova were to the liking of the Yugoslav Velimir Stojnic both for that time and for the future, and therefore he supported him in all sorts of ways. Sejfulla was quick to quarrel with the comrades over any petty thing, over a toothbrush, for example. He was characterized by pronounced conceit. He claimed that he was <<a veteran revolutionary>>, that he had <<come from Moscow>> and that he was <<a professor of Marxist theory>>, therefore he nurtured the idea that he ought to be the undisputed <<chief>> of the Party and the National Liberation War. Since this was not being realized, he was silently in opposition to the Party. He considered me as the person who had occupied the place <<predestined for him even before he set foot in Albania>>. Apart from me, nobody bothered to listen to this megalomaniac. Regardless of all his shortcomings and mistakes and the criticism which I made of him, still my behaviour towards him was correct.
The Yugoslavs had thoroughly apprehended Sejfulla's nature, especially his ambition to be <<party chief>> and had found in him the suitable man, even if only for a period, to develop their work of disruption in our Party and to eliminate me. So, Stojnic and Dizdarevic kept Sejfulla close beside them, cunningly flattered his petty-bourgeois pride and
even dropped such hints as <<what a pity that with a capacity such as yours, you are still only a candidate member of the Central Committee>>, etc. Hence, very quickly they made Sejfulla their man, maintained close relations with him, set him to work and greatly <<praised>> his <<theoretical abilities>>, especially when Sejfulla viciously attacked the Party over altogether non-existent stands and faults.
Sejfulla Malëshova, as the petty-bourgeois, liberal democrat and Trotskyite he was, was quite incapable of keeping out of the maelstrom into which the Yugoslavs were driving him. From the depth of hostility to which he had sunk he began his base attack against the Party. According to him, <<the real existence and struggle,>> of the Party had begun now <<that Comrade Velimir Stojnic is putting matters in order>>, implying, along with Velimir Stojnic, himself too.
The other element on whom Stojnic relied heavily was Koçi Xoxe. He was an old member of the Korça Group, a small tradesman who was included in the group of workers because he worked as a tinsmith. At first he loved the Party and communism, but was cowardly, made no efforts to extend his horizon and to raise the level of his knowledge, was one of those few workers of Korça in whom arrogance and haughtiness were obvious and who remained, you might say <<illiterate>>. Neither he nor Pandi Kristo made any effort to learn. Koçi Xoxe learned a few isolated things and all the time scribbled a few illegible notes which only he could decipher. Even these he did not write on normal paper but on envelopes. This was a mania of his. However, he did not need much paper, because he wrote little or nothing. Koçi was neither an organizer nor a man of action. He had a great opinion of himself and posed as being everything. His only merit was based on the fact that he was a worker and that is why he had been elected to the leadership and I respected him. I tried to help him, but I also criticized him, because he was not brilliant in anything -- on the contrary.
The Titoites had been working on him for a long time through Vukmanovic-Tempo, since he came to Albania and
took Xoxe with him on his <<Balkan>> travels to Greece. As I said, at that time I saw nothing wrong in Tempo's association with Koçi Xoxe and agreed that they should go together to Greece twice, because of the additional fact that Xoxe knew the Greek language and originated from Negovan. However, Koçi Xoxe returned from Greece completely the man of Tempo and the Yugoslav secret agency.
All the time he was in prison we had respect for Koçi. When he came out of prison and worked together with me in the leadership we were disillusioned. We sent him with the task of leading the struggle in Korça; he kept himself busy with <<the base and the rear>> and concerned himself with the clothing that was gathered in Lavdar and Punëmira. There he was given every opportunity to work, to create and to organize, but he proved to be an undistinguished comrade of the leadership and made no concrete contribution to the work of the Party, let alone that of the army. With the conceit and pretensions he had, it was inevitable that he would cultivate a great internal discontent. Of course, Tempo was well aware of his spiritual state and it was well known also to Velimir Stojnic who took him over, worked on him, urged him in the direction we mentioned above and made him a weapon against our Party and against me personally. Brainwashed and inflated in this way, Koçi Xoxe emerged as one of the <<persecuted proletarians>> and <<one of the men of the Party with a proletarian heart and great value for the Party>>.
The third person whom Stojnic managed to win over was Nako Spiru.
Nako was unlike the other two from a number of aspects. He was intelligent, clear on the line, courageous and a good organizer. I liked and respected him and, after the death of Qemal, recommended him to replace Qemal in the Youth
 Later, Rankovic, the Yugoslav counterpart of Koçi Xoxe, did not fail to recommend Koçi Xoxe even to Stalin as <<a leader with a proletarian spirit>>, <<the most resolute>> and <<the most clear>> in the leadership of the CPA (!), etc.
Organization and in the leadership of the Party. I continually consulted with Nako, because most of the time we were together. At all times he was in the effective leadership.
However, just as much as the other two, Nako Spiru was a petty bourgeois in his spirit and he had a number of very marked negative traits. He was extremely ambitious and inclined to intrigues. He had gossip and criticism, both justified and ill-founded, on the tip of his tongue. He did not fail to encourage those he liked to advance and to praise them, he was a person who played favourites and worked to fulfil the great desire he had to surround himself with people who listened to him, obeyed him and carried out the orders he gave. Nako was extremely inquisitive and rummaged around to discover the pettiest personal facts about anyone. Many a time when he came and told me petty personal details, which were none of our business, about this or that person, I was astonished at him and criticized him.
<<Where do you hear these things, Nako?>> I asked him reproachfully.
<<I have my methods and my people who keep me in formed,>> he replied.
All these were dangerous tendencies for a communist and a leader and apart from other things, as a result of these tendencies, Nako became involved in that dirty anti-party work which Tito's emissaries hatched up.
The Yugoslavs knew these serious defects and came to know them better. Velimir Stojnic and especially his aide, Nijaz Dizdarevic, who was allegedly engaged with the work of the youth, fostered these ambitions in him and compromised him very gravely. They went so far that Nako Spiru was to send Tito and the CC of the CPY secret reports written in his own hand, reports which they used against him later as pressure and some of which they published, including those parts in which, while describing <<the deplorable situation of our war, the mistakes and bad situation in the Party>>, he attacked me, put the blame on me and sought their aid to ensure that
I was removed from the post of General Secretary of the Party. This is how far this comrade went in his anti-party work. The Yugoslavs, carefully studying Nako's careerist tendencies, his petty-bourgeois desire for power, his spirit as a carping critic, flattered his pride and ambition and encouraged him in all these directions. Nako was to associate himself with their <<criticism>> and <<accusations>> of our line, not because he was <<mistaken>> in his evaluation of the line. In the Yugoslavs' <<accusations>> Nako saw the possibilities for power which were being opened up. If the past line were to be rejected as <<incorrect>>, the main bearer of that line, the General Secretary of the Party, would be rejected, too. Who would take his place?! Obviously, he who contributed most to blackening the past and who would win the affection and gratitude of the Yugoslavs in this way. Because this is how he judged matters, Nako was to involve himself with all his might in the plot, brutally trampling, not only on the Party, but also on the sacrifices of his own life in the 3 to 4 years of the war.
These then were the three main brigands whom the Yugoslavs, through their emissary Stojnic, were now to unleash in all their ferocity against the line of the Party and against the indisputable victory which we had achieved and were achieving in the war.
Naturally, the portrait which I painted above of these elements could never have been made or even imagined with this clarity at Odriçan or even later when we went down to Berat. Irrespective of those shortcomings with which I was acquainted, I considered these people as comrades and treated them as comrades of the leadership of the Party in every step and action which we took. That is why, when I heard the gravest opinions and accusations against the Party from their own mouths, I was taken aback and felt that I was facing a group of comrades who were placing themselves en bloc against the line of the Party and personally against me, the General Secretary. Naturally, I did not realize immediately that we were faced with an organized plot. These three com-
rades of the leadership disguised everything with their <<concern>> to <<examine the issues>>, to <<evaluate the past correctly>>, to learn from <<the experience and comradely criticism of the Yugoslav brothers>>, to <<eliminate the mistakes>>, to <<proceed better in the future>>, to come before the Central Committee as <<clearly as possible>> with <<principled criticism and self-criticism>>, indeed with <<Bolshevik>> criticism and self-criticism, etc. In short, all of them were to vow from start to finish that they were acting solely for <<the good of the Party>>, for <<its salvation>> (!). In fact, however, all these vows about <<the good of the Party>> were a bluff, a mask to conceal the plot which had been hatched up to the detriment of the Party behind my back and the backs of all the other comrades who remained in sound principled positions.
In this meeting of the Political Bureau in which Stojnic launched his accusations, Liri Gega took part, too, but it was her <<bad luck>> to be used by the Yugoslav agency as the <<scapegoat>>. As I mentioned above, during his <<service>> in the region of Vlora in the spring and summer of 1943, Dusan Mugosa became well acquainted with Liri Gega, took note of her many weaknesses, especially her ambitious and careerist spirit, and kept close to her to foster these shortcomings in the interest of his work as an agent. To give the devil his due, Mugosa carried out this dirty anti-party work with Liri Gega and with a number of others in masterly fashion. The sectarian actions which were recognized and had already been condemned by our Party were, in the first place, the fruit of the work of Dusan Mugosa as an agent, in which his <<pupil>> and agent Liri Gega displayed obvious zeal.
For these things, Dusan Mugosa deserved the heaviest condemnation, but in fact he did not leave Albania under a cloud. On the contrary, after performing the role with which his leadership had charged him, by recruiting and fouling whomever he could. Duqi cleared out and left our Party a <<heritage>> of <<mistakes of sectarianism>> which the leadership of the CPY now needed to accuse the leadership of our Communist Party of being <<incompetent>> and <<sectarian>>.
But in order to make these <<accusations>> stick and seem to have a concrete basis, the Yugoslavs now had to <<attack>> their loyal agent Liri Gega, even if only temporarily, as <<the embodiment of the sectarian line of the CPA>>. The wide-ranging attack which was made on our Communist Party was hidden behind <<Liri's mistakes>>.
All this painful anti-party history was to take place during the months of October and November in the liberated city of Berat where we arrived, as far as I remember, a few days after the <<platform>> meeting at Odriçan.
On the eve of the plot
The establishment of the main leadership of the Party, the Anti-fascist General Council and the General Staff in the liberated city of Berat, after about four years of fighting and battles in the difficult conditions of illegality, showed that decisive historic moments for our country had arrived. The National Liberation War was being crowned with major successes. The correct Marxist-Leninist line of the Party was leading our people towards the final victory. The love and trust of the people and the partisans for the Party was great and deeply implanted in their hearts, because it was the Party which educated them, organized them, armed them and led them into the war and to victory.
We had virtually liberated the south of Albania. Thus, the General Staff had come down to the liberated city of Berat and there we prepared the strategic plan of the assault for the liberation of Tirana. A little before we entered Berat, the German rearguard which was encircled by our forces shelled the city. A number of houses were destroyed, but no one was killed. This attack was like the last gasp of an asthmatic, because freedom had already triumphed in these parts. From here we dispatched the orders for military opera-
tions to divisions, brigades and other territorial units, which were to assemble and begin the assault on the capital and, after they liberated it, to pursue the enemy hotly until the complete liberation of Albania. I was in Berat when I received the news about the liberation of our beloved capital city, and a little later, the news of the liberation of virtually all Albania. From Berat I issued the order to some other brigades of our triumphant army to cross our state borders and advance into Yugoslavia. There these brigades, together with two other brigades of our army (the 5th and 3rd), which had received orders to cross the border in September and had liberated most of Kosova, were to continue the war against the German nazis, fighting shoulder to shoulder with the Yugoslav partisan comrades I instructed our partisans that they must fight unsparingly in complete unity with the Yugoslav partisans and in an internationalist spirit for the liberation of the peoples of Yugoslavia. And the Albanian partisans made the word of their Communist Party a reality. They fought with great heroism in Kosova, Montenegro, Sandjak, Bosnia-Hercegovina, Serbia and Macedonia. In these battles hundreds of our partisans were killed and thousands wounded. But the Titoites trampled with both their feet over their heroism and blood and repaid us with hostility and plots against our Party and our socialist Homeland. Nevertheless, we carried out an internationalist duty, and irrespective of what happens, the peoples of Yugoslavia will never forget this sacrifice which the Albanian people made for them.
There in liberated Berat we had decided to work out and solve a series of important tasks which were to remain in history as outstanding events for those moments and for the future. One of these was the preparation of the report for the meeting of the Anti-fascist National Liberation General Council which was to be held before the Plenum of the CC of the Party and the drafting of other relevant documents. This meeting of the Council, which we held with complete success, had great historic importance, because there the Anti-fascist Committee was turned into the Democratic Government of Albania. Thus, on the eve
of Liberation the country had its democratically elected government. This government was the main executive and order issuing organ of our people's state power established by the people through struggle on the ruins of the state power of the enemy classes defeated together with the occupiers.
Another important task was, without doubt, the preparation for the 2nd Plenum of the CC of the Party, a job which, as I said, we had begun at Odriçan, but which, after the interference and <<theses>> of Velimir Stojnic, was in an impasse and dragging on and on with endless discussions and debates.
During our stay in Berat we had placed the centre of the General Staff in the house of the beys of Vrioni, where we had our offices and where I slept. The other comrades were billeted in other houses of the city. These comrades, such as Nako, Koçi, Sejfulla, turned up once a day, with their hands in their pockets, inquired whether there was any news from the military zones and wandered off again. We had charged Pandi Kristo with the task of <<military security>>, but later it was realized that he busied himself with other work of <<security>>. He observed what was done at the Staff, who came and went, what was discussed, and this he reported to Koçi and Velimir Stojnic. Pandi was one of those elements who was implicated up to his neck in the plot at Berat. He was a nullity from every point of view and, apart from the fact that he came from the ranks of <<proletarians>> (in fact, he had been an apprentice), there was nothing brilliant about his past, either. From time to time he boasted of being a <<veteran>> element of the Communist Group of Korça, but all of us knew very well that in 1935, when the Trotskyite faction of Niko Xoxi emerged in this group and opposed the correct line and directives of Comrade Ali Kelmendi, Pandi Kristo was one of the few to associate himself with the factionalist Niko Xoxi. After the deserved denunciation of the faction, Pandi <<withdrew>> from it, <<admitted>> his grave mistake, and united with the sound part of the group. However, he did not rid himself of his old vice of engaging in factionalist activity. Especially after the spring of 1943 he joined up
with the other Xoxe, Koçi, turned into a blind follower of his and, consequently, placed himself in the service of that agency which had recruited Koçi Xoxe -- the Yugoslav agency. All through the years of the war he had gone almost <<unnoticed>> and he began to move and show up in the autumn of 1944, precisely when Koçi Xoxe and Stojnic considered it in order to activize him for their sinister aims.
As for Liri Gega, she stayed <<closer>> to me, impelled by other motives and for other objectives. She thought that rank and positions were shared out in my office and she aimed to grab a big slice for herself. She made herself quite ridiculous with her desire for the limelight. At times she would come to me with a piece of paper in her hand:
<<Have a look at this!>> she said proudly. <<I've drafted two laws. If you agree, we can print and distribute them>>.
<<Take them to Doctor Nishani to see,>> I replied ironically. <<He and the comrades with him know about these matters.>>
<<Let us approve them in the Bureau first,>> insisted Liri, <<and send them to the Doctor all ready.>>
It would simply turn back to the work I had in front of me and Liri would go out. A little later she would come back with another <<proposal>>. One day she stopped me in the street when I was going with Nako and Koçi to see the hall where, shortly after this, we were to hold the meeting of the Anti-fascist National Liberation General Council.
 Omer Nishani (1887-1954) -- patriot and revolutionary democrat, one of the prominent figures of our National Liberation Movement. From September 1943 a member of the National Liberation General Council, at the Congress of Përmet he was elected chairman of the Anti-fascist National Liberation General Council. After the liberation of the country from 1946 to July 1953 he was President of the Presidium of the People's Assembly of the PRA.
look at it when you have time, but you know that this matter can't wait. . .>>
Nako took the paper from her hand, and after blowing a cloud of tobacco smoke over <<the government of Liri>>, he began to examine it with his well-known sarcasm.
<<Your 'government' has two shortcomings,>> he said to Liri. <<You have left the post of one deputy prime minister blank and your name, my poor fool (he had this favourite expression on the tip of his tongue), does not figure anywhere. Oh, I beg your pardon,>> he added, <<you have left it out from modesty. . .>>
<<No, on my honour I didn't!>> said Liri. <<I did not leave that space for myself, but I could find no one to fill it.>>
<<Very well,>> I told her, <<take it to Pandi Kristo, because he is gathering up the proposals.>>
There were some amusing notes about Liri Gega's crude eccentricities but we had no time to waste on them and neither the moment nor the atmosphere were suitable for such things. In general a sombre atmosphere prevailed, especially around Baca and me.
Under the pretext that I was occupied with work, because brigade commanders, members of the Council and other party comrades came to meet me, Nako, Koçi, Sejfulla and company established a silent, undeclared boycott against me.
The arrival of Hysni Kapo and Gogo Nushi at Berat somewhat improved my spirits, because these comrades brought me the warm affection and sincerity of communists. They came from the fighting front, and not from the back rooms where intrigues and plots were hatched up.
Meanwhile the house where Velimir Stojnic and Nijaz Dizdarevic or, as it was called, <<the Yugoslav Military Mis-
Hysni Kapo, member of the CC of the CPA, political commissar of the
1st Corps of the NLA which, at that time, was engaged in operations
in Northern Albania.
Gogo Nushi, member of the CC of the CPA and until then political secretary of the Regional Committee of the Party for Tirana.
sion>> stayed had been turned into a <<main centre of the work>> and gossip. There Nako, Koçi, Sejfulla and others stayed for hours on end. I saw this great <<affinity,>> and I did not like it, because they were wasting a lot of time and keeping somewhat aloof from me precisely at a time when we had an endless series of jobs which had accumulated and many new problems which cropped up at every moment.
From other comrades I was to hear that they were not telling <<stories>> there, but distorting history. When they came to see me I saw them looking sombre and arrogant. Although the situation created and their behaviour did not make a good impression on me, nevertheless I was not alarmed and did not lose my aplomb. I had long been acquainted with the irritability and moodiness of Nako, while the megalomania and pettishness of Sejfulla Malëshova were quite normal.
Something else attracted my attention at that time. Major Ivanov, the representative of the Soviet Military Mission, came to see me less frequently after he became friendly with Velimir Stojnic. He came just for the sake of form, all dressed up, received some information, and off he went for a walk. One day, I remember, he began to speak in glowing terms about the Yugoslav generals such as Peko Dapcevic, Kosta Nadj, etc. Apparently Velimir Stojnic, Nako Spiru and Sejfulla Malëshova were working on Major Ivanov and had won him over.
I continued to work unceasingly in order to cope with the many demands of the army, the state power and the National Liberation Front. Whenever I had any <<free time>>, I concentrated on the report or the <<referat>>, as we called it, which I was to present at the Plenum of the Central Committee. Logic told me that this report, because of the decisive moments at which it would be delivered and because of the forum to which it would be presented, ought to deal forcefully and profoundly with two main issues.
First, since we were on the verge of achieving the complete liberation of Albania, the report <<On the Political Line of the CPA>> ought to sum up the results of this line from
the founding of the Party, and especially from the 1st National Conference, to Liberation.
Second, the new situation we were entering faced the Party with new, major, cardinal tasks, therefore the second part of the report must, without fail, deal with them profoundly, reflect the major tasks of the future, and hence, determine the future political line of a party in power.
This was my own conviction and this conviction was reinforced when I talked with a number of comrades, and so in this spirit I was writing the report which I was to deliver at the 2nd Plenum of the CC of the Party. After some time I completed the first draft and distributed it to the comrades of the Bureau to read. On the insistence of Koçi and Nako, who also voiced <<the opinion of Comrade Stojnic>>, a copy was given to Sejfulla Malëshova to read, too.
<<It doesn't matter that he is not a member of the Bureau,>> said Nako. <<Let him see it, because he might give us some ideas, especially in the aspect of the theoretical treatment of the problems.>> (!)
However, this variant of the report did not reach the Plenum. From Nako, Sejfulla, Koçi and others a <<bombardment>> broke out over every phrase and paragraph of the draft which I gave them to read, a bombardment allegedly from their concern that the report should reflect <<the truth about the line,>> as well as possible.
It is a real Odyssey to describe how the <<official>> variant was arrived at, the one which I was obliged to read at the Plenum, because there was nothing else I could do. I shall mention just a few of these episodes.
Opening the first variant of the report, I made a considered and mature assessment of the line pursued by the CPA in the grave conditions of the war and the terror and arrived at the correct conclusion that the political line of the CPA during the years of the war had been a correct and consistent line, a line on the basis of which the Party itself grew bigger and stronger and under its leadership a whole people was achieving the decisive victory.
Sejfulla and Nako came frowning into the room where I was working and began:
<<Right from the outset there's exaltation,>> said Sejfulla. <<There's excessive praise for the general line of the Party.>>
<<On what do you base this remark?!>> I asked him.
<<In order to determine the character of a line accurately all its component parts must be balanced correctly,>> Sejfulla began his <<philosophizing>>. <<Here you stress the general. But you overlook the particular, the sectarianism and opportunism, each of which has appeared at different times. The whole must be taken into consideration, because there's no general without the particular.>>
<<Listen, Sejfulla,>> I said, <<I'm not opposed to your general or your particular, but this is neither the place nor the time for spinning words. Tell me concretely on what do you base the things you say?>>
<<You mention only the successes, the victories, the positive! Agreed, but why don't you point out the sectarianism and opportunism which have shown up?>>
<<First,>> I said, <<I don't deny the opportunist or sectarian manifestations and stands, and they have been pointed out in the proper place. Second, and this is the main thing, we have achieved a great victory. Neither sectarianism nor opportunism could have led us to this victory, but only a correct line.>>
<<That's what you think, but our opinion is different,>> replied Sejfulla.
I was not so much surprised at his <<opinion>> as at the coolness with which he spoke. I felt that matters were now much worse. Moreover, Sejfulla's emphasis on <<our opinion>> uttered in the presence of Nako, who up till now had kept out of the argument, biting his finger nails from time to time with his characteristic irritability, made me realize that they had not come to make some criticisms, but were demanding essential changes. Nevertheless, I was convinced that the political line of the Party during the years of the war had been correct, and I had stressed and defended this a number of
times in arguments with Velimir Stojnic, therefore I did not retreat. But they did not retreat, either.
<<Are you of the same opinion as Sejfulla, Nako?>> I asked him.
<<Absolutely!>> replied Nako tersely.
<<We must consider it together with the others, but let us continue,>> I told them.
Sejfulla took some crumpled scraps of paper from his in side pocket and spread them on the table. His untidy scrawl, like the efforts of a first-year pupil, immediately struck my eye and suddenly the fact crossed my mind that in his whole lifetime Sejfulla had had very little occasion to write in Albanian. However, this was just a passing thought. The whole series of the most astonishing <<observations>>, <<criticism>> and the dirtiest <<accusations>> began.
<<The Front!>> he raised his voice at one moment as if something had occurred to him. <<The line of the Party regarding the Front! You have embellished it greatly, Enver! Many mistakes have been made in the line toward the Front. How was the Conference of Peza organized?! Try to remember! Why didn't Lumo Skëndo and Ali Këlcyra attend it? Why didn't the Party win over these and many other patriots with influence, but allowed them to line up behind fascism? What about Abaz Kupi? Why did Bazi withdraw from the Movement and go over to reaction? What about other chiefs like these and the people around them?>> Sejfulla was beginning to get wound up. <<No! The Front did not open its doors as a mass organization should have done and did not open them not because they couldn't be opened, but precisely because thee sectarian line of the Party was the factor which led to such a result.>>
I listened to him declaiming so haughtily and, suddenly,
Pseudonym of Mithat Frashëri, chairman of the CC of the Balli
 See footnote on p. 71 of this book.
just as I was getting very angry, I remembered Lenin's famous remark about <<brainless philosophers.>>
I had the prototype of such a philosopher standing in front of me. However, the argument was not in the field of <<pure>> philosophy. I controlled my anger and fixed my eyes on the small pasty white face I had before me:
<<Sejfulla,>> I said, <<when we were preparing and holding the Conference of Peza in the heat of the war, as like as not you did not even know that a village called Peza existed in Albania. As like as not, at that time you did not know that we had formed our Communist Party, that we were arousing the people in the war, that we were taking the fate of the Homeland and the people into our hands. You were still abroad in exile at that time, Sejfulla, so I ask you now: How do you know how we organized the Conference of Peza. . . ?! Second, from what do you draw the conclusion that the Party drove Lumo Skëndo, Ali Këlcyra and the other scum of Ballist reaction under the skirts of the occupiers? Third, how do you know that the line of the Front was sectarian and its doors were closed to those who wanted to fight? In short, my question can be summed up like this: From whose positions, in whose name and in whose favour are you making these accusations and insinuations that you mentioned?!>>
<<Please,>> he mumbled, now deadly pale. <<You are trying to stand over me, and I have criticism about this, too: you want to impose your opinions on us by all means. You. . .>>
<<Just leave me out of this. You made accusations against the Party and its line. You must answer for these accusations, I'm only one person and this has no great importance.>>
<<What has no great importance?! The chief of the Party is the central figure and in his hands. . .>>
<<Sejfulla,>> I interrupted, <<stop dodging the issue, answer the questions I asked you!>>
<<Our conclusion is that which I mentioned,>> he tried to pull in his horns and stole a glance at Nako.
The debate with Sejfulla and Nako went on at length,
and, later, the others were to enter into these <<discussions>>. With the exception of Baca, they were all unanimous.
For many parts they brought me fragments and phrases ready prepared and insisted in unison that their <<discovery>> must certainly go into the report. I opposed them, brought forward arguments, but it was impossible to <<convince>> them. I recalled events and stands of the past, compared them with the Marxist theory, examined them from all aspects, but I could never convince myself that we had acted wrongly. <<But why do the comrades think differently?>> I asked myself over and over again. This sudden about-face was worrying me just as much as their endless <<criticism>> and accusations.
Meanwhile Koçi came and insisted that in my report I must stress the <<outstanding contribution of Comrade Tito to the progress of our Party>>, Nako came and demanded that <<that part about the youth should be revised because it comes out feeble>>, Liri Gega came and said, <<That business about sectarianism is nothing, the stress should be against opportunism>>.
<<We should add,>> put in Sejfulla, <<that our stand towards the Balli Kombëtar has always been vacillating, hesitant and opportunist.>>
<<Up till now you have talked about a 'sectarian stand', how did it become opportunist?>> I asked him.
<<Dialectics envisages both!>> concluded Sejfulla and racked his brain to find where else the report should be <<edited>>.
Naturally, in the report which I had handed them I came out with self-criticism and criticism about the work, but Nako, Koçi, Sejfulla and the others, who had aims which I could not know at that time, on all occasions when there was any mention of shortcomings or weaknesses found it easier to strengthen the dose in order to attain the ends that they had decided on behind the scene. As soon as they saw, for example, that I emphasized in the proper place that <<manifestations of sectarianism and opportunism have appeared>>, Sejfulla jumped up:
<<Let us make it 'have been manifested openly, frequently and in obvious ways'. . .>>
<<In alarming ways!>> <<corrected>> Nako there and then.
<<Very good,>> agreed the <<philosopher>>. <<So, let us leave it like this, 'a large doze of both sectarianism and opportunism has appeared openly and frequently in alarming ways'.>>
One of the first things which struck me was the complete conformity of the <<opinions>> of our comrades with those of the Yugoslav <<comrades>>. I had heard the same views from the mouth of Tempo a year or so earlier at Labinot and Kucaka. Stojnic had repeated the same accusations to me at Helmës and Odriçan during September and October, and now Sejfulla, Nako and Koçi were repeating the same things.
What did this mean?
The stand of Nako, in particular, seemed to me quite astonishing and beyond understanding. If there was anyone who was more informed and linked most directly with the line of our Party, this was Nako, one of my closest collaborators during the grave years of the war. What had happenned to him now? Why had he turned against himself?!
Meanwhile, the endless meetings of the Bureau of the Central Committee continued, meetings in which the exchanges of loaded remarks went on and on and ready-made phrases were served up to me in the room where I was working on the report and other materials. I cannot remember exactly how many times we met during the period of two months that we stayed at Berat and how many whole nights we wasted in unprincipled debates and quarrels. However since the problems which were raised and enlarged on were more or less the same, it could be said that all those meetings and discussions were sessions of a single meeting. Right from the outset the discussions took a wrong course and from those moments I felt clearly that the <<word>> Velimir Stojnic had brought to Odriçan had done us great harm.
Naturally, the true aims of Stojnic's intervention were still not clear to me and I had no way of knowing what they were. But the fact that Koçi and Nako were so greatly in-
fluenced by what Stojnic said was very obvious It seems to, me, I thought, that Koçi and Nako are displaying their solidarity with Stojnic's <<criticism>> and <<accusations>> with the aim of demonstrating to him and to others that they are <<capable>> of understanding the <<mistake>> and taking a stand towards it, and, moreover, are <<capable>> of rejecting what they have accepted and approved in the past for the sake of <<improving the situation>>.
Undoubtedly, a self-critical stand towards the mistakes of the past is a norm for mature and devoted communists. In the concrete instance, however, what in fact was more than right, was being called wrong. In this instance, I thought, the mistake of the comrades lies in the fact that they suffer from, an inferiority complex. They are unable to make a proper assessment of what we have all done together and to defend it with all their might, but on the contrary, reject it simply because <<the Yugoslav delegate told them to do so>>. I could never reconcile myself to this sort of action, therefore, I tried carefully with all my might to convince the comrades of the truth. By producing facts to oppose what Velimir Stojnic said about our line, I fought especially to make the comrades clear so that they would understand that we had no reason to give up or to reject the things in which we were right, simply be cause <<Velimir says so>>. Indeed, through my open opposition, I strove to convince them that no calamity would occur if we opposed our guest's <<criticism>> to his face.
I saw with regret, however, that neither Koçi nor Nako was convinced. They persisted in their attitude, hopping from one point to another. In these meetings Liri Gega was <<on my side>>, but only on one problem -- <<sectarianism>>.
<<My actions have not been sectarian but necessary and correct,>> she insisted. <<We were at war, there was no time for idle talk. . . !>>
As for Ramadan Çitaku, he mostly listened, prepared to say <<something>>, but the hasty interjections of Nako, Koçi and Liri either interrupted him when he began to speak, or did not allow him to speak at all. After a number of sessions
of such arguments, their attacks, especially those of Koçi Xoxe, were suddenly focussed on Liri Gega and Ramadan Çitaku: strong accusations of sectarianism were levelled against Liri Gega, while Baca was accused of inactivity. It was proposed and decided that both of them should be expelled from the Political Bureau, and since this left only three of us, there and then it was proposed to co-opt two others.
<<We should do this right now,>> said Koçi Xoxe, <<and later, to put the thing in order, we should put our proposal and decision on the expulsion of these two to the Plenum! We should also raise the election of other comrades to the Bureau there, too. For the moment, however,>> he continued, <<I think we should co-opt to the Bureau two of the best comrades, Sejfulla Malëshova and Pandi Kristo! These two will bring a new spirit to the Bureau.>>
I shall speak later about what was hidden behind these proposals and decisions which were put forward and carried out there and then. At present I want to point out some of the impressions which I formed at those moments.
First, I could not but be astounded at the fact that Koçi's <<proposal>> was made quite <<unexpectedly>>, and equally unexpectedly was at once approved by Nako and Velimir as though it were about something simple, like getting rid of two chairs and not of two comrades of the Political Bureau of the Central Committee. How could I explain this? <<Inexcusable irresponsibility in the solution of problems and the settling of personal animosities (I had in mind especially the relations between Koçi and Liri) by way of vengeance and not in the communist way,>> I thought at those moments.
Second, two new members of the Political Bureau were proposed and approved there and then, without any preliminary study, consultation or examination of the persons, their stand, and so on. How was Koçi able to come out with these two names so suddenly?! And how could they be accepted <<immediately>>, without consulting the Central Committee, or at least consulting those comrades who were in Berat at that time?
At those moments I branded this activity, too, as <<irres-
ponsibility>>, <<taking hasty decisions>>, <<basing the election of cadres on personal sympathies and relations>>, etc.
My opposition to these unexpected proposals could not have any effect and it didn't because I was one against two, without mentioning Velimir Stojnic whose face was beaming because Koçi Xoxe had <<seized the initiative>> like this.
Later it emerged clearly that the proposal was not unexpected and the approval of it was not given <<irresponsibly>> or <<hastily>> by Nako and Koçi. On the contrary, everything had been well calculated, had been discussed and weighed up carefully behind the scenes. Amongst others, Pandi Kristo was to make this quite clear four years later at the 11th Plenum of the CC of the Party in September 1948.
<<At Berat,>> admitted Pandi Kristo, <<Nako approached me and told me about Miladin's 'mistakes' and about the dissatisfaction with Enver, Baca and Liri. Day by day, he and Koçi talked about such things with me and finally it was decided that Liri and Baca should be removed from the Bureau before the Plenum and at the Plenum the Central Committee should be re-organized. There the question of Enver should be examined because this could not be done in the Bureau. At one moment, I asked Nako,>> continued Pandi, <<'What is going to be done about the Commander? What impression will his removal make among the people and in the Party?' 'We have to persuade him,' Nako replied, 'but if we can't persuade him, the pistol will.'>>
Velimir Stojnic took part in the secret meeting at which what was to be done in the Bureau was decided outside the Bureau.
pp. 552-560 of this book.
 Enver Hoxha.
 From the minutes of the 11th Plenum of the CC of the CPA, September 13-24, 1948. CAP.
 <<Koçi was the closest collaborator of Nako, Velo [Velimir Stojnic] [cont. onto p. 178. -- DJR] and Dizdar [Nijaz Dizdarevic],>> said Pandi Kristo amongst other things <<and they influenced me, too. There was not much good and a great deal of evil about Berat. My discontent and that of Koçi favoured the hostile work at Berat, because Nako would not have dared to do it alone.>> (From the minutes of the 11th Plenum of the CC of the CPA September 13-24, 1948. CAP.)
<<They don't respect the workers,>> Pandi had said at that secret meeting. <<I was left out. I was attached to the staff at Kucaka but what did I do? I was reduced to a cook.>>
Velimir Stojnic listened and nodded approval.
<<Tako je! Tako je! [*] What is the comrade's origin?>>
<<Worker,>> had replied Koçi. <<He's a member of our Central Committee.>> <<Very good, very good, carry on,>> the Yugoslav delegate had encouraged Pandi.
Pandi had poured out everything that came to his mind against the Party, Miladin and me, and Stojnic had asked: <<How has this comrade been promoted in the party?>> <<Through struggle, through efforts!>> Koçi had replied (although Pandi himself had said that he had done nothing or at the most had been a staff cook. But Velimir Stojnic valued something else. He valued Pandi Kristo's ability to cook up slanders and accusations).
After this meeting Nako had taken Pandi Kristo aside:
<<Congratulations!>> he had said. <<They (the Yugoslavs) are very pleased with you.>>
Two or three days later Pandi Kristo shoulder to shoulder with Sejfulla and Koçi and Nako, linked together by Velimir Stojnic, were to rise as a solid bloc against me in the Bureau.
The second step of the <<Stojnic mission>> was achieved. The Bureau of our Central Committee was reorganized behind the scenes and now, in its composition of five members, four were obedient tools of the Yugoslavs.
Understandably, after this the confusion, attacks and accusations burst out more openly and prevailed more readily. My isolation became complete not only within the Bureau but also outside it. Automatically, matters were getting worse and
* That's it, that's it (Serb in the original).
worse and the day when the Plenum was to be held was approaching. I saw that it would be extremely difficult to determine the line and the tasks for the future. A situation had been created in which they were completely involved with the past, or more precisely with blackening the past.
During one of these days, on the eve of the Plenum, Nexhmije [Xhuglini-Hoxha] came to me. There were tears in her eyes and with a feeling of concern and despair which she was quite unable to conceal she said to me:
<<How is this. . . right on the eve of Liberation you have apparently decided to withdraw me from the leadership of the Youth?>>
<<Why?>> I asked in surprise. <<Who told you this?>>
<<Why pretend you don't know? Nako summoned me and proposed that we take a 'walk'. We walked beside the Osum River and there he told me: 'You came to Berat for nothing. . . (she was in the Dibra region and the highlands of Central Albania as the delegate of the Central Committee of the Youth to the 2nd Partisan Division and the terrain in which it was operating).
<<'How do you mean for nothing. . . ?!' I asked him,>> Nexhmije told me. <<'Comrade Enver sent me a letter and at the end told me that in November the meeting of the CC of the Youth and the Congress of Anti-fascist Women would be held. I waited for you to notify me, but since no notification came either from you or from the comrades in the Women's organization, I thought your notification must have got stuck somewhere on the way. That's why I came. Why, should I not have come?'
<<'No, no, since you have come you'd better stay,' Nako told me, 'but you are not to continue to work with the Youth. You have been appointed to another important task as a member of the Agitation and Propaganda Commission attached to the CC of the Party and now you are going to work with Sejfulla Malëshova.'>>
Nexhmije told me these things and fell silent. I was silent
for a moment, too, then I pulled myself together and said with a smile:
<<Is that what you are upset about?! We have a great deal to do and we can't all be engaged with the Youth. The sector which Nako mentioned is very important, too, especially now that the Party and people are taking state power.>>
I spoke in this way because I did not want her to learn about the great quarrels and splits in the leadership. I did not want her to learn about them, because they were extremely delicate problems and had to be kept very secret, but also because I did not want to upset and worry her when, from day to day, we were expecting the great news of the liberation of Albania.
Inwardly, however, I realized that matters were worse than I had thought. By not calling Nexhmije to attend either the Congress of Women or the meeting of the Central Committee of the Youth, Nako and company wanted to keep her away from me, because she might hinder them in what they wanted to do, might hear what was being said and inform me. This struck me immediately and I asked myself: What is this? Are they up to something behind our back. . . ?
However, I kept my mouth shut, because I could not accuse the comrades of such base activity. I was dissatisfied about their activities and stands and my suspicions were building up relentlessly.
I spent those days with Hysni [Kapo] and Gogo [Nushi] but said nothing to them, either. I thought it was all an internal problem of the Bureau and that all the difficulties created would be settled in the end; besides, I considered it would be a violation of party secrecy if I talked to them about it. However, I thought and acted in this way because I still did not know that a plot was being prepared behind the scenes. I did not know about the perfidy which the <<comrades>> were engaged in every minute, against the Party and people, first of all, but also against me personally. Had I known this, undoubtedly matters would have taken another course. I would have come out openly before the comrades of the CC,
not to brainwash them, but to make the truth clear them, to warn them about what was being hatched up. And since I did not know what had gone on behind the scenes, I went to the 2nd Plenum of the Central Committee of the Party convinced that we had disagreements in opinions and views with the delegate of the Yugoslav leadership and that the comrades of the Bureau had wrongly expressed their <<solidarity>> with him, but I had not understood clearly what was really hidden behind this solidarity.
Two or three days before the beginning of the Plenum, Koçi Xoxe came to me all concern and said:
<<The vital aid of the Yugoslav comrades, especially of Comrades Tempo and Velo, must be brought out more clearly.>>
<<What must we stress more about the aid of these comrades?>> I asked him in such a <<normal>> tone of <<sincerity>> that Koçi did not sense what I was getting at with my question.
<<From the founding of the Party to this very day!>> he said with amazing zeal. <<We must stress especially that the coming of Comrades Tempo and Velo helped us to distinguish the major mistakes of the past and the present and to dot the i's better.>>
At first I saw the conformity of the <<arguments>> of Tempo and Stojnic with those of Koçi and Nako and Sejfulla with surprise, and then saw them as a coincidence, but during the proceedings of the Plenum in particular, I was convinced that it was not a coincidence but an <<adoption>> of the Yugoslavs' <<arguments>> by our comrades. This was snobbishness, a sign of immaturity, a symptom of submission and putting themselves unconditionally under the judgment of someone <<more powerful>>, regardless of how the truth stood.
Undoubtedly, all these things were harmful and to be condemned, but I thought that at the Plenum, and especially after it, tempers would calm down, the comrades would reflect correctly, would judge matters better and would correct themselves in the course of the work. It was to be proved subsequently, however, that these arguments of mine were
not realistic. At the most they were expressions of my subjective desire and good positive intentions in estimating a great unknown problem. However, the truth lay elsewhere and it was much more serious and more bitter. Thus, it was to be proved that the opposition of the comrades of the Bureau to the line of the Party and to me was not a chance aberration, but was something pre-arranged and concocted in meetings and discussions behind the scenes with the incitement and under the leadership of Velimir Stojnic and Nijaz Dizdarevic.
This was a plot that had been hatched up for two or three months on end in secrecy, behind my back and behind the back of the Central Committee of the Party, and now was to burst in the Plenum in all its ferocity.
The Berat plot
The Plenum began its proceedings on November 23, in the grave conditions I have described above. Apart from the members and candidates elected to the Central Committee of the Party at the 1st Conference of the Party at Labinot in March 1943 (the only absentee was the candidate of the Plenum Mehmet Shehu because he had been charged with carrying out the actions for the establishment and maintenance of order in newly liberated Tirana), Velimir Stojnic also was <<invited>> to take part in the Plenum as the representative of a sister party. I say <<invited>> because the way matters stood, Stojnic would have come to the meeting even uninvited, supported by the majority in his favour in the Bureau, in order to carry through to the finish the third stage of his plan -- the splitting and disruption of the Central Committee of the Party and the removal of me from the leadership.
As far as I remember the three reports on the agenda were delivered on the first day. A reflection of all that had
been prepared and was simmering behind the scenes was the fact that the first person to speak was Sejfulla Malëshova, who delivered a report <<On the present political situation>> of the country. The pitiful document which Sejfulla and company had prepared is not worthy of mention. I want to point out only that the <<report on the political moment>> was more a pathetic declamation written by an opportunist, without any idea or problem, without any directive or task for the moment, let alone for the future. This individual who let the heroic war of the people and the Party pass him by without getting involved in it, he who far from any danger, <<sitting in the garden at my ease>>, warmed his hands on the seared body of the Homeland, now basing himself on the war and heroism of the whole people and Party, found the occasion to boast and strut about what he had no part in. The time had not yet come to express his idea about the <<chief of the Party>> which he brought out later.
I read the report <<On the Political Line of the CPA>> which had been intended as the main report delivered at the Plenum. As far as I know, there is a copy in the archives of the Party, but it is a copy of what you might call the <<official>> variant, of that variant which was prepared with the <<assistance>>, that is to say, with the interference, pressure, <<corrections>>, erasions and additions which Nako, Sejfulla and Koçi made till the last day before the Plenum (Pandi Kristo, as the new member in the Bureau, merely endorsed the <<serious criticisms>> by his comrades, but was capable of no more). Koçi Xoxe delivered the third report with the laconic title <<On Organization>>. Then the discussion and debates burst out and continued for two to three days on end. Among the contributions there were some that went on for more than two to three hours, such as the first contribution by Nako Spiru (because he spoke time after time) or
 Sarcasm with lines by Sejfulla Malëshova:
<<In the garden at my ease
Singing neath the shady trees.>>
one of the contributions of Sejfulla Malëshova, who like Nako and Koçi missed no opportunity to ask for <<just a minute to make an explanation>> and, once he was on his feet, hovered on and on in the Plenum for more than half an hour.
The 2nd Plenum of our Central Committee, summoned to discuss and accomplish very important historic tasks for the Party and for the future of the Homeland and socialism, was turned completely into the opposite of its main purpose. The majority of the comrades of the Central Committee (not including Naxhije Dume and some other) found themselves, to their astonishment and regret, facing a sudden furious attack which struck down and rejected those things which for them were sacred. From the first day, the comrades experienced the same feelings of disillusionment with which I had had to contend for two or three months on end.
The spirit of the reports, especially that of Koçi Xoxe, not only rejected everything good from the past but, and this was most important, directed and called on the comrades to consider matters and deal with them in their contributions in the same murky light and from that same distorted viewpoint as Koçi himself. I well remember the frowning faces of the comrades and the complete icy silence which accompanied the reading of the reports from beginning to end. Not accidentally, Nako, Sejfulla and Pandi were the first to rise to take part in the discussion and Stojnic <<intervened>> a number of times. The aim was to prevent the silence and astonishment of the comrades from turning into the opposite of the <<spirit>> which was dictated from above. The expected result was achieved. The comrades, disorientated and misdirected, were asked to dig into the past and after this, as can be guessed, many of the contributions followed the course prescribed. Among them there were many correct and balanced contributions, like those of Gogo Nushi, Hysni Kapo, Manush Myftiu and others, but the fact is that a number of members and candidate members of the Central Committee, influenced by the general atmosphere, displayed
marked vacillations at the Plenum and accepted, some more than others, the theses of the Yugoslav delegate and his spokesmen -- the group of Nako, Koçi, Sejfulla and Pandi!
In the circumstances in which they found themselves, we can say that this wavering of the comrades was to some extent justifiable and to be expected. Indeed, the comrades of the Plenum were facing greater difficulties than we members of the Political Bureau faced when Velimir Stojnic issued his <<directives>> for the first time at Odriçan. At that time, we were facing accusations from delegates of another party and, had those premises and ambitions which I mentioned not existed in the other comrades of the Bureau, we would have come out as a bloc against the <<guest>> and left him with his <<criticisms>> and the plot itself in his hands. The comrades of the Plenum, however, were hearing the <<criticisms>> and accusations not just from some <<outsider>>, but from the mouths of such leaders of the Party as Koçi, Nako and Sejfulla. This new circumstance gave the <<criticisms>> and accusations what you might call the official seal. The chief conspirator Stojnic had not wasted his time during the two or three months of his stay in Albania: the vicious plan of Tito and company was now served up to the Plenum of the CC of the CPA, not with Yugoslav hands, but with the hands of the main part of the Bureau of the CC of our Party! This fact gave the Yugoslav accusations greater <<credibility>>, because it cannot be said that the comrades at that time were at such a level as to be able to distinguish quickly and clearly what was true and what was false in the things that were said. More important still, it never occurred to anybody that this was a plot organized behind the scenes for diabolical aims by those who posed as friends and whom we, unfortunately, considered and publicized as friends.
The main accusation, which pervaded the Plenum from beginning to end and the whole period before it, had to do with the political line of our Party. The leadership of our Party and I, in particular, were attacked because allegedly we had been unable to define and pursue a correct line, had
allegedly fallen from sectarianism into opportunism and vice versa.
As <<arguments>> to prove this, they presented all the things I described above in the disputes which we had had with Blazo Jovanovic and especially Vukmanovic-Tempo and Velimir Stojnic. The <<new thing>> in the Plenum was that these well-known accusations of the Yugoslavs were now presented by Nako Spiru, Sejfulla Malëshova and Koçi Xoxe as <<their own>>, as a result of their <<own judgment and evaluation>>. This occurred, for example, with Nako Spiru who presented as his own Tempo's thesis that <<our Party and its Central Committee were caught unprepared by the founding of the Balli Kombëtar and did not understand that the Balli Kombëtar emerged as reaction against the National Liberation Front>>. The same thing occurred also with the arch-opportunist Sejfulla Malëshova, who, as the self-contradicting fraud he was, accused us of <<opportunism>> with the Balli Kombëtar during the period when we made efforts to win over the maximum number of nationalists and patriotic elements, especially ordinary people misled by the demagogy of the Balli Kombëtar, etc.
It is not worthwhile to dwell here on the falsity of these accusations of <<opportunism>>, but I want to point out one thing: neither Velimir Stojnic nor his followers had a great deal to say about <<opportunist manifestations>> or the <<opportunist line>>. In the Plenum they passed lightly over the accusation of <<opportunism>> (I shall explain why below), and concentrated all their forces and stress on accusations of <<sectarianism>>. This was described as the <<greatest evil of our Party and its leadership>>, the factor which allegedly had hindered and inhibited the development of the Front, the national liberation councils, the organizations of the masses and the Party itself. Likewise, sectarianism was described as the greatest danger for the future, therefore, according to Stojnic, Nako, Koçi and others, accounts must be settled with <<sectarianism>> and the <<sectarians>>, otherwise neither the Party nor the new Albania would be able to last!
Sejfulla Malëshova, the most perfect embodiment of the classical opportunist that our Party has known, in one of his contributions or interventions went so far as to make the monstrous accusation:
<<The pronounced sectarianism in the line,>> he declared spitefully, <<is turning the Party into a band of terrorists! Our comrades, especially those of the main leadership, have lost the heart of the true communist that treasures human life!>>
The fact is that many of the comrades who spoke after him, even some of those who were confused and accepted the spirit which was dictated, attacked and indignantly rejected this accusation of Sejfulla's. I myself, both in the Plenum and before the Plenum, had clashed sharply with Sejfulla over this vile accusation. A few days before the Plenum, in the period when he had been co-opted to the Bureau, he came to my office all <<alarm>>.
<<A great terror is being imposed!>> he declared angrily.
<<Terror?>> I asked him in surprise. <<Where?>>
<<In Tirana!>> he replied. <<Many repentant officers are being killed.>>
<<In Tirana the great battle for the liberation of the capital is going on,>> I said. <<It's a life-and-death battle. Is that what you call terror? And what officers are you complaining to me about? Now the war is coming to an end,>> I told him. <<When we appealed to them to go to the mountains and fight the occupiers together with us they didn't budge from their comfortable shelters. Now they are 'repenting' too late, and we have to settle accounts with the criminals.>>
<<Ah! This is sectarianism!>> said Sejfulla. <<You have lost the true heart of a communist who values another man's life and thinks deeply before he decides to wipe out someone who might be corrected and serve the country!>>
Apparently, he was angry about the well-deserved sentence which the enemy of the Party and communism Zai Fundo received, since he had shared a whole past in exile with this Zai Fundo -- the past of <<café communists>>. Apparently, he was also angry about the elimination in the
course of the war of those officers of the former Royal Army who, after their service under fascism, had turned into agents of the Gestapo and commanded the traitor detachments that fought shoulder to shoulder with the Germans in Tirana and elsewhere.
<<This is a grave accusation, Sejfulla, and you'll answer for it,>> I told him.
<<Yes, of course, I will answer for it!>> said Sejfulla arrogantly, <<I repeat -- our comrades have no idea that a humane international law exists for the repentants and prisoners.>>
<<Who has repented and when?>> I asked him bluntly. <<The murderers and plunderers, those who have wallowed in the blood of the people?! Those who, having killed and maimed up to November 15, now on the 16th, that they see their cause is lost, are pretending 'to repent'? No, Sejfulla, for the criminals there are the laws of war and these are the most humane laws.>>
<<I am not of that opinion!>> said the opportunist and went out.
And there, he found the opportunity and the courage, not only to raise his monstrous accusation in the Plenum, but even to go so far as to call the leadership of the Party <<terrorist>>.
The other participants in the plot, Koçi, Nako and Pandi, displayed greater <<caution>> in the <<arguments>> which they presented and from many points of view this was more dangerous, because it was more difficult to discredit and expose them there and then. Indeed, Stojnic himself, when he heard Sejfulla's accusation got up and called it <<advanced>>, <<hasty>>, indeed <<unjust. . .>>
This was a reminder to the others: don't utter nonsense like Sejfulla, because you will discredit yourselves and our plans will be thwarted!
So Nako, Koçi and Pandi, and also Naxhije Dume and some others, <<confirmed>> the sectarianism with <<more believable>> facts: the <<sectarian line towards the Front>>, the
<<sectarian stand towards Ali Këlcyra, Bazi i Canës, Cen Elezi,>> etc. Above all, a powerful <<argument>> in the hands of the plotters was the notorious sectarian actions of Liri Gega and Mehmet Shehu. Many of the comrades who were acquainted with the distorted sectarian actions of these two, brought out new facts and this sufficed to attach the label of <<sectarianism>> to the line of the Party and its leadership.
However, as for all the other accusations, the truth was quite different. Just as the line had not been opportunist, it had never been sectarian, either.
Naturally, it would be a deception and self-satisfaction with lethal consequences if we were to think that such dangers did not threaten us, or that such manifestations had not appeared. No, there had been isolated instances, but as soon as we learned of them, as soon as the information reached us, we immediately took the necessary measures to deal with them severely and to prevent them from getting any worse.
Bedri Spahiu got up in the Plenum, too, and to be in solidarity with his <<comrades>>, especially with Sejfulla, amongst other things, said:
<<There has been no lack of sectarianism, because we were inclined in this direction! For example, in Gjirokastra, in 1942 through our sectarianism we closed the doors of the Front to the nationalists. . .>>!
This was all Bedri Spahiu said about this instance, but he <<forgot>> or, better, did not want to tell the whole truth, because if he did so he would prove that it was not the line of the Party that was sectarian but the distortion which he himself had made of this line.
As I said, one of the elements who caused us the most problems and trouble in this direction was Liri Gega, especially with the many instances of her sectarian stands in Vlora and in the North, where we sent her in June 1944. Wherever Liri Gega went she immediately placed her authority above that of the Party and the Bureau of the Central Committee, asked leave of nobody and did whatever crossed her mind. We had continually criticized her sternly for these
actions. Koçi Xoxe proposed that we should send her to the North. This was not without a purpose. Koçi Xoxe wanted to have Liri Gega as far away as possible because he considered her his closest rival who had <<overshadowed>> him and might continue to do so. On the other hand, he was convinced that Liri Gega could not break away from her unhealthy sectarian tendencies and this provided added motives to accuse her of being sectarian and to eliminate her. In fact, in the North she brandished her sectarian sword even more wildly and that is why we summoned her to return to Odriçan with the aim that we would thoroughly and finally analyse her actions, which were completely contrary to the line of the Party.
This was indisputably true in regard to the political line of our Party, a line which, as I said, had been and remained correct and principled and had never been <<sometimes opportunist, sometimes sectarian>>, as Stojnic, Tito's delegate, and the people wound up by him alleged.
The other accusation which was launched at the Plenum and which completely distorted the truth had to do with the organizational line of the Party. Koçi Xoxe presented the platform of this accusation in his report. From beginning to end, this report was an ugly distortion of the truth, filled with grave slanders about the organizational line of the Party, but which in fact went beyond the <<organizational>> bounds and constituted a support for the accusations against the whole political and ideological line of the Party and its leadership.
In this report Koçi Xoxe put forward his hostile anti-Marxist views openly for the first time. From all this mass of accusations and villainous views he expressed, three problems in particular have remained indelible in my mind: the so-called <<monopolization of the leadership of the Party by three or four people>>; the role of the intelligentsia in the war, in the Front, in the state, etc., etc.; the role of cadres.
I shall speak about these matters later also, because for four or five years on end we were to run up against them every day and, regrettably, were to suffer great damage, but
here I want to point out only where these views had their beginning, and why Koçi Xoxe uttered them for the first time at Berat.
According to the things Xoxe read out, it emerged that during the years of the war three or four people had monopolized the leadership of our Party, and he made it <<explicitly clear>> that these were, first Miladin Popovic, second I, third Ramadan Çitaku, and fourth, for a period, Ymer Dishnica; and then, especially, Liri Gega! The others, according to Koçi, had been pushed aside or not consulted at all.
This was all a grave slander and was made in direct support of the main accusation against our political line. From this it turned out that the line had allegedly been worked out by three or four people and since the line was described as <<wrong>> from the start, then these three or four persons were the main ones to blaine for this, and now they should answer for it.
However, at these moments, Miladin had been recalled, Ymer Dishnica, Liri Gega and Ramadan Çitaku had been expelled de facto from the Bureau. Thus, it remained to settle accounts with the one who was still left, with the General Secretary of the Party. According to Xoxe and, after him, according to Sejfulla Malëshova, I was described as <<the synthesis of all the mistakes observed in the political and organizational line.>>
But the fabrication of this so-called four in the leadership was an attack in many directions and done for man aims. It was not fortuitous that Miladin Popovic was listed first among the <<four>>. Indirectly, this was <<endorsement>> of the Yugoslav thesis that the CPA had not only been created by a Yugoslav, but had been led de facto by a Yugoslav!
And now it was not Blazo Jovanovic or Tempo that said this, but the organizational secretary of the Party Koçi Xoxe! Obviously, for the Titoites this service of Koçi Xoxe's had great value.
At the same time this absurd placing of Miladin Popovic
<<at the head>> had the purpose of telling the members of our Central Committee that the General Secretary <<has been elected to that post for nothing; he has been incapable of leading and has done whatever Miladin told him>>. Going even further, the upside down presentation of everything in the line pursued was served up to the members of the Central Committee as a complete <<argument>> to rise not only against the General Secretary, but also against Miladin Popovic. All that the Yugoslavs needed in regard to Miladin was an <<endorsement>>: that he had allegedly been de facto leader of the CPA! They wanted nothing else positive about him, but on the contrary, they attacked him openly and wanted our comrades to attack him, too. Having sent Miladin back under orders to Yugoslavia, Stojnic now wanted <<proofs>> of his <<mistakes>> with the aim that he would receive <<the punishment he deserved>>. And since they could not say openly, <<You are condemned because you did not work for our secret plans>>, they would say, <<You are condemned because in Albania you have been sectarian, opportunist>>, etc., etc.
It is not worthwhile to prove here why what Xoxe put forward in his report was a filthy slander, but I simply want to point out the indisputable truth that, not three or four or even ten persons, but the whole of our Central Committee led our Party and the National Liberation War, jointly with many dedicated cadres around the Central Committee, while Miladin Popovic, who ought to be considered as a comrade of our Party, only assisted to the same extent as each of the other comrades of the Central Committee assisted individually.
I myself, as General Secretary of the Party, had worked with all my strength to play my role as leader and guide of the Party, had tried to guide the Party and the Movement to direct them on the right course, to nurture the comrades with valuable political and organizational directives and instructions, basing myself on the experience of the Party and on the great assistance I was given by the other members of the Central Committee who led the organizations at the base
and the National Liberation War all over Albania. This is the place to say that Miladin Popovic grew up along with us. Our Party raised him, just as it raised all of us. He was a truly internationalist comrade, who loved Albania and the Albanian people greatly and on every occasion took a correct internationalist communist stand in defence of the interests of our country and the just stands of our Party.
Never on any occasion have we permitted the monopolization of affairs and neither have we pushed one or the other comrade aside, but on the contrary, we have done everything possible to engage them to the maximum in work, in action and in leadership.
In his accusation, apart from carrying out Stojnic's instruction, Koçi Xoxe at the same time found the opportunity to express his personal dissatisfaction which he had been accumulating for a long time.
Were we to blame for his obvious inactivity?! Never. Immediately after the founding of the Party, when he was elected a member of the Provisional Central Committee, Koçi Xoxe was arrested and remained in prison until the end of April 1943. Of course, for this period, both he and we <<blamed>> only fascism which locked Koçi in a cell and did not allow him to activize himself in the work which we carried out. With the exception of his good, strong stand in prison, during this period Xoxe did nothing else (and could do nothing else), but nevertheless, at the 1st National Conference we did him a very great honour by electing him to the Central Committee, to the Bureau, moreover, as organizational secretary of the Party, more because he was a worker than for his abilities which we had no possibility of knowing, since, as I said, he was imprisoned soon after the formation of our Party. Simply for this reason an honest communist should have been sincerely grateful to the Party forever, and when he was given the opportunity should have repayed and justified the honour and trust which the Party placed in him, with all his might. Koçi Xoxe did the opposite. By chance, as soon as he came out of prison, he joined up with Tempo and spent the summer
of 1943 in his company. This was where the decline of Koçi began. Worked on by Tempo he stood aside, shut himself away somewhere in the villages of Korça and turned into a quarter-master behind the lines. Are we to blame for this?! Whenever we held meetings and discussions we summoned him, informed him about everything, sought his opinion, but he contributed nothing. He had nothing to contribute for the benefit of the work, while to the detriment of the work he accumulated <<criticisms>> and petty grievances and awaited the opportunity to pour them out. Several times on end I personally had pointed out to him that he should display more activity, more initiative, should assume more responsibility for the various matters according to the function he had, but he just listened in silence. In particular, I was concerned by the fact that he was not properly carrying out the task of organizational secretary of the Party, and all of us saw this. Liri Gega, with her thirst for power, did everything possible to take over this task, indeed, she even managed to convince Baca and, to some degree, Nako Spiru, too. We were in Helmës in May 1944, when we were preparing for the 1st Plenum of the CC of the Party. At one moment Liri and Baca came to me and Liri openly put forward the proposal that the question of the organizational secretary of the Party <<should be thoroughly examined>>.
<<Why>>? I asked her.
<<Because Koçi cannot do it! He is completely out of his depth!>> she told me.
<<We must help him,>> I said. <<Moreover, several times we have instructed you, in particular, to help him.>>
<<No, I can do that no longer,>> replied Liri. <<I am to do the work and he is to be called secretary! That is not good enough. Either he should do the job or we should find some remedy for this.>>
<<What remedy have you in mind?>> I asked her.
<<Either he should do the job properly or we should remove him and replace him with someone else.>>
I understood from the outset what she was getting at,
but I had not thought that she would be quite such a shameless careerist. I egged her on further:
<<Who have you in mind?>> I asked her as though I were <<very interested>>.
<<Well, some active, militant, vigorous comrade. . . Shule, for example.>>
She mentioned the name of Shule in such a low voice that it could hardly be heard.
<<Let us put your ideas before the Bureau,>> I said.
<<Why in the Bureau?>> she objected. <<There are three of us here. I have talked this over with Nako and he said to me, 'Put it to Enver.' So, this is the Bureau!>>
<<Never!>> I said. <<What do you take us for? You haven't the remotest idea about the organizational matters of the Party, although you pose as the most 'expert' in this field. Whether we are three or five members of the Bureau who happen to be together and discuss as the whim takes us, this will not and cannot be considered a meeting of the Bureau. A meeting of the Bureau must be held, the question must be put forward in the presence of Koçi, we must discuss it thoroughly and make the truth clear there. Do you understand. . . ?>>
<<I understand!>> she said in a faint voice.
In the first meeting after this conversation Liri put forward her <<proposal>> with the conviction that it would be approved. She presented the matter from the aspect that Koçi had not been active, had withdrawn and shut himself somewhere in Korça, etc. Liri was right in this, but she said everything from a personal position and with careerist aims. However, she did Koçi over properly. We, too, made our criticisms of Xoxe over those things which he deserved.
Koçi Xoxe hung his head and said nothing. He stood up and made a self-criticism in the Bureau and amongst other things he said:
 The pseudonym of Kristo Themelko.
<<If you are not capable of performing your task, then say openly that you are not fit to be in the Bureau!>> interjected Liri Gega.
<<I can do it better than you,>> retorted Koçi. <<But you detest me!>>
<<I detest your inability!>> Liri attacked him.
I intervened immediately to cool their tempers.
Nevertheless, on my insistence we rejected Liri Gega's proposal and Koçi was advised to put his whole heart into his work, to acquaint himself thoroughly with the problems and to prove himself in the course of his work.
With his eyes on the floor he murmured something, thanked us for the trust we had in him and <<assured>> us that he would show himself to be active.
Three or four months after this, Velimir Stojnic arrived and the formerly invisible Koçi Xoxe emerged on the scene, began to move, became <<active>>, opened his mouth and now, here in the Plenum, he stands up and spits on the truth, complains that we had <<pushed him aside>>, without considering it necessary to say one word about why he had dropped into idleness and out of sight, that is, why he had stood aside from the war and the work for months and years on end.
Then who else had allegedly been pushed aside, according to the thesis of Koçi Xoxe?
Only the person who had been closer to the Bureau than all, Nako Spiru. I could never have imagined that such an absurd thing could be said, but the fact is that not only Koçi, but also Nako himself got up in the Plenum and said:
<<I did not know that I was in the main leadership of the Party!>>
A downright lie! I have spoken in detail in my book of memoirs, <<When the Party Was Born>>, about what place Nako Spiru occupied in our leadership. I only want to say that at those moments my eyes were dimmed with anger, because if there was one person who, right from the outset, had taken part in all the meetings of the Central Committee and the Bureau, who knew all the details, who was better informed
than anyone else, who had frequently spoken in the name of the Central Committee and the Bureau, and indeed, had even taken decisions on their behalf, without preliminary consultation with us, this was Nako Spiru. And now he tells us, <<I did not know!>>
I blamed Nako's ambitious spirit, the moment of unclarity and blindness which had overwhelmed him, his mean tendency to carping criticism. But I could not understand why Nako Spiru denied everything, denied the truth, his comrades and himself. I still did not know that he was implicated up to his neck in a plot behind the scenes.
This then was the truth about Koçi Xoxe's slander that allegedly the work of the leadership of our Party had been monopolized in the hands of three or four people!
His other <<conclusion>>, that allegedly only the intellectuals predominated and ran things in our Party, and on this account, the Party had allegedly lost its proletarian character, was equally unfounded.
From what Koçi said it seemed that only the intellectuals had waged the war, they filled the Front and they had formed the councils! This was absurd. True, our Party had done good work and had won the support of many progressive and revolutionary intellectuals, but the fact is that these intellectuals played that role in the war that the intelligentsia led by a communist party of the working class could play. The working class and the peasantry bore the brunt, the main burden in the war and, indeed, from the numerical viewpoint, the countryside supplied the overwhelming majority of our fighters. In our whole line throughout the war, in meetings, consultations and conferences, we had always firmly stressed the proletarian character of the Party, had always made the greatest efforts to ensure that the Party was pro-
 All the correspondence of Comrade Enver Hoxha published in Volumes 1, 2 of his Works, as well as the unpublished correspondence, testifies to the very close links which Comrade Enver Hoxha and the leadership of the CPA maintained with its member Nako Spiru.
letarian, not only in its ideology and program, but also in the composition of its ranks, and to ensure that workers took first place among the new admissions, followed by the vanguard elements of the countryside and that they should be elected to the leading organs of the Party and the war, etc., etc. Not only had we worked out these directives correctly, but we had also striven to ensure that they were applied correctly.
Koçi Xoxe knew these things, but he launched his accusations for ulterior motives: proceeding from the fact that he himself had been a worker, a <<proletarian>>, as he said (but in fact he had been a petty-bourgeois tradesman), he wanted to open the way to emerge at the head of the Party to become its <<chairman>>, as the <<proletarian>> he was! He insisted strongly that Stojnic's accusation that <<the political line had been wrong>> should be accepted and, according to Xoxe, this had come about because the Party <<was based on the intellectuals>>, that they had made <<endless mistakes>> and were not capable of guiding and leading and that, finally, the Party was a party not of intellectuals but of proletarians and should be led by a proletarian, etc.!
Koçi put this accusation forward at Berat allegedly in a principled way and many could accept it as a correct presentation.
However, there was one person who could not be pleased with what Koçi said and who was to react against him immediately. This was Sejfulla Malëshova. These two, together with Nako as the third, were a group, an orchestra at Berat but within this <<unity>> of conspirators there could not fail to be quarrels, feuds, and the usual contradictions of every kind. When Sejfulla took the floor on this problem he propounded a whole theory to us about how <<a party should be built and advance>> and went on immediately to speak about the need for a <<chairman>> (allegedly he presented the problem in principle) who should be very knowledgeable, <<should have Marxism at his fingertips>> and be capable of manoeuvering in any situation!
Thus, he twisted the problem in such a way that Koçi
broke out in a cold sweat. The two partners in the plot were already trying to draw each other's teeth. We who knew nothing about what had been hatched up behind our backs, could not understand the sudden antagonism which emerged between them, but they themselves each sensed the threat of the other.
Thus, Sejfulla was for a <<party chief>>, knowledgeable and of a high level, for a theoretician, and here he had himself in mind. Koçi was for a <<proletarian>> without much <<chatter>> and <<theory>>, but <<a person with discipline>>! And here he had himself in mind.
The aims of each of them, put forward as if in <<principle>> at Berat, were to burst out a little later in a fierce quarrel, in a tooth-and-nail fight for power between the two.
Equally implicated with them in the plot at Berat was Nako, and Koçi's views about the <<proletarianization>> of the leadership of the Party and about the <<intellectual elite>> were bound to conflict with the views of Nako as the intellectual he was. Later we were to see that endless mutual quarrels and accusations were to break out between them, too.
As became clear later, the plot of Berat bore the seeds of internal contradictions and struggle for the plotters themselves.
The problem of <<cadres>> was Koçi Xoxe's other weapon to attack the former line of the Party. According to him the Party had done <<little or nothing>> to promote cadres, and the existing cadres were, according to him, either <<unsound intellectuals>> or <<incompetent>> in work and in war. According to Koçi the work of the Party with cadres must be radically changed, a reorganization must be carried out, concrete measures must be taken, etc., etc. There for the first time we heard the declension of the noun <<kadrovik>>* in all its cases. According to Koçi, a <<trusted>> person must be appointed everywhere for the work with cadres and he should have a monopoly of it. From the party cells at the base up to the centre, the <<kadroviks>> would be linked with one another in
* Official in charge of cadres.
a hierarchy up to the topmost level, the main <<kadrovik>> of the CC. This would be Koçi Xoxe, for the time being as organizational secretary of the Party and <<in charge>> of the work of security!
The aim was very subtle and, like the term <<kadrovik>>, the whole system of the <<selection and promotion>> of cadres was not the <<product>> of the shallow mind of Koçi Xoxe. No, someone had dictated it to him, someone had taught him. Very soon it was to emerge that this was the work of the Yugoslav <<friends>>.
Seeing that it was impossible for Koçi to take the place of the General Secretary of the Party at Berat, they elaborated the scheme of cadres and of kadroviks. Koçi, as organizational secretary, was to take the monopoly of cadres into his hands. By also taking over the tasks of minister of internal affairs according to the Yugoslav <<model>>, Koçi would be able more easily to reject the former line on cadres as <<wrong>>, would put the security force above the Party and would have a free hand to begin the purges and the replacing of cadres with those who would serve the plans of his and his masters. This would enable them to create the conditions to remove the General Secretary and Koçi would take power in a terrain long prepared.
Such was the <<invisible>> plan, all the threads of which contrived behind the scenes were to be brought to light by subsequent events and circumstances.
From many viewpoints Koçi's report ought to be called the <<not report!>>
<<The Party did not have a correct, organized line, was not in order, the Front did not work, the councils did not function, the Youth were not led, the people were not awakened, the women were not organized, the councils did not enjoy authority, did not enjoy sympathy, did not play their role, did not and did not. . .>>
After rejecting all our work and sacrifices, Koçi saw fit to place before us the experience of the Yugoslavs.
He praised Tito, Tempo and Stojnic to the skies as <<mo-
dels of justice>>, as <<our saviours>>, praised to the skies their experience which <<we must adopt as quickly as possible>> and he continued:
<<Those things which have not been done here, the Party and councils in Yugoslavia are doing. . .>> After going on and on about this <<experience>>, he ended up:
<<That is the great difference which exists between our councils and those in Yugoslavia!>>
What was the reason, according to Xoxe, that the councils of our country <<had not gone well>>? It came as a shock to hear him, but this is what he said:
<<As a result of the sectarian line of the Party, the national liberation councils are looked on as party cells. In this way, as we have proceeded,>> he concluded, <<there is a danger that state power will remain in the hands of the Party.>>
Such absurdities seem truly unbelievable but we heard all this at Berat.
While rejecting everything, Koçi Xoxe tried to produce some <<theoretical>> argument in his report and in one instance even brought up the experience of the Russian revolution of 1905! This astounded us. Koçi, who did not even know the first thing about the October Revolution was now telling us about that of 1905?!
The truth is that someone had dictated the report to him. This was self-evident from the absolute negation of everything, a negation which could not have emerged from the stupid head of Koçi alone. This was obvious also from its wording. Koçi Xoxe's Albanian was hard to understand. In fact, it was a translation from a Serbian text, a bad translation in which arrogance and the desire to dictate were apparent in every two to three words. This could not be the arrogance of one person, even the most negative person, such as Koçi was in reality, it was the arrogance of a group, of a bigger force. As to what this force was, at that time I could only suspect that the hand of Velimir Stojnic and Nijaz Dizdarevic was behind it. But I was even more convinced that someone else had dictated to Koçi while he
scribbled those 15-20 pages when I noticed that in their euphoria and haste to attack everything, the secret authors and their tool, Koçi Xoxe, had overlooked self-exposing phrases. When he was speaking about the Party, its role in the war and the need for a <<more prudent policy>> of the Party in the Front, Koçi read the following phrase:
<<The Party must not emerge in the forefront and you should not worry that you might suffer damage. In this war, you have built up great authority and this authority cannot easily be lost. . .>>
Even I blushed when I heard this and after Koçi Xoxe finished reading and sat down, I turned back the pages of his report to the relevant place and asked him:
<<Who do you imply by 'You'? To whom were you speaking at this point?>>
Koçi's face went red. <<You. . . , that is, we, the Party, the leadership.>>
<<Oh, we!>> I said in a sarcastic tone. <<Why, from what position are you speaking to us, from outside the Party?>>
<<It was just a slip,>> he said shaken. <<See, a bit further down I say 'we must. . .'>>
<<Clear, clear,>> I said and laid the pages on the table.
<<What do you mean, 'clear'?>> he asked.
<<I mean you have made the matter clear to me,>> I replied curtly.
<<No,>> he said, <<I'm afraid you might misunderstand me. In fact, I'll cross this piece out.>> And I saw him put a stroke of his pen right across the page. Indeed, he thanked me for the attention I had paid when he was reading!
After two reports, as I said, many of the comrades, some of them worked on and deliberately put in support of Koçi, Nako and Sejfulla, and some others misinformed and deceived, asked scores of questions, seeking clarification of the problems presented. Confusion and disorientation pervaded the whole Plenum. It is interesting to note that very good comrades, like Gogo Nushi, for example, concerned about the situation created, but with communist honesty, threw light in the
Plenum on what had been done behind the scenes. Right from the outset Gogo said:
<<Up until the Plenum at Helmës we had an extraordinary sympathy for the comrades of the leadership and for Miladin Popovic, while from the report it turns out that they have hindered us.
<<Then why this completely unexpected turn?>> Gogo explained this there and then:
<<From the Congress of Përmet on, every time I have talked to Nako he has said that 'things are not going well'. A few days ago, Nako told me: 'I had understood the mistakes but had said nothing because I was afraid'.>>
So this is what had gone on! Nako, Koçi and Sejfulla had not been content with their pressure and accusations exerted in a <<narrow>> circle, in the Bureau, but had worked on the others, too. There and then a series of suspicions arose in my mind. What impelled Nako in his actions?! How did it come about that he began to tell Gogo that <<things are not going well>> in the autumn of 1944, on the eve of Liberation, and did not do this earlier? As is known, from January 1944 Nako was in Tirana, he had daily contact with Gogo and the two of them led the organization of the Party there and both of them were among the main cadres. Then why did this Nako, who claimed that he had <<all those criticisms>>, tell Gogo about them now, on the eve of the Berat Plenum, and did not do this before, when they were working together?! The most elementary logic shows that Nako had not talked with Gogo earlier, because earlier, that is, before the summer, he had no criticism to make, had no differences either with the leadership of the Party or with me or with Miladin. As the impulsive and irritable type he was, he had no reason to keep his <<criticisms>> secret and save them up for the autumn of 1944. Automatically, my mind went to the Yugoslav <<friend>> who sat at the head of the table energetically taking notes. Once he arrived everything began to be turned upside down, especially after the <<platform theses>> which he presented at Odriçan.
After Gogo sat down, Nako got up again to make a <<clarification>>:
<<It is true I have said those things to Gogo. My position has been unclear, but I had not seen matters with these eyes with which I see them today. This would have been to my credit, but it was not so. Comrade Stojnic opened our eyes. Now Gogo has raised here that I was afraid to speak out before. This is a misunderstanding. What I did tell him was that if I spoke out it would bring no result. I thought it would do more harm than good.>>
The things Nako said on the many occasions when he spoke during the Berat Plenum constitute perhaps the most accurate reflection of his contradictory character. His whole stand there was more negative and hostile than on any other occasion previously or later.
This was that same Nako who, a little while earlier, wrote articles and letters in his incisive style and spoke to the youth with enthusiasm, as he had done no longer ago than August 1944 at the 1st Congress of the Anti-fascist Youth Union of Albania at Helmës. All his present <<negations>> until a few months ago had been affirmations, given unreservedly about the correct line which our Party had followed on all problems -- in regard to the councils, the Front, the Women's organization, the Youth organization, the organization of the Party itself and its leadership, etc. This he did because he based himself on the reality which he knew well, on deeds, on events, and on people who were his comrades. Now everything was turned upside down. That Nako who, until a few months ago, spoke and wrote with the greatest hatred about the Balli Kombëtar and reaction, about Abaz Kupi, and so on, had now lowered his bugle and it had faded right out. Astonishing, more than astonishing! Had I not known Nako intimately for years, I would have thought that he had spoken in the past from hypocrisy. But no! While he was speaking, the conviction grew on me that something had occurred with him, something profound had unexpec-
tedly made him go over to the other side. What was it? What was hidden behind Nako?
I was convinced that if Nako had ever been guilty of lying and deceit, this was precisely now, at Berat.
Another fact, too, shows what a living contradiction Nako Spiru was in himself and on what a filthy course he had set out. After denying, rejecting and distorting everything, suddenly, when he began to refer to the most recent facts and events, especially to the liberation of the country, the creation of the government, the basks which emerged for us, etc., he <<forgot himself>> and became another Nako, the former Nako:
<<The people>> he said, <<have seen our Party as the banner-bearer of the war. We raised the people to their feet, we brought them to this point and now, through our work, the people have to see that the Party will be the main force of national unity after this, too. This is the issue. The main factor which set the people in movement has been our Party. The people achieved the victory in the National Liberation War because they had our Party at the head. We are in leading positions, we are in command. Now the thing is that we must hold on to these positions. New situations have been created, hence we must remain in these positions and strengthen them.>>
This was one Nako. Another Nako got up in the Plenum of Berat. Right from the outset, in the Plenum, as a member of the plot, he vented his spleen, made many accusations, threw mud at the Party and its leadership and at his own work and efforts in the bloody years of the war. And even while he spoke, while he continued with his accusations, from time to time, unconsciously, when he was referring to facts, the situation and the tasks which emerged, he unwittingly <<divested himself>> of the dirty role of conspirator and came out in opposition to himself, to what he had just said.
As I mentioned, one of the most mature and balanced contributions to the discussion at the Plenum was that of Comrade Hysni Kapo. Naturally, Hysni could not come out openly against that spirit which, you might say, was the
<<official>> predominant spirit in the Plenum, but he did not come out in favour of it as many others did, consciously or unconsciously.
When he spoke about the work of the Party in the Vlora region, Hysni concentrated on the flagrant mistakes of Liri Gega and Dusan Mugosa.
<<Liri's sectarianism and the monopolization of the work by her and Dusan Mugosa,>> said Hysni, among other things, <<were flagrant and we have had many problems and contradictions with them. We have informed the leadership of the Party about these things and on no occasion have the comrades of the leadership said that we were not right. On the contrary, when the cup was full, the leadership of the Party removed both Liri and Dusan from the regional committee of Vlora.>>
Hence, Hysni's contribution proved that neither our line nor our directives were <<sectarian>>, but that the actions of individual persons had been sectarian. This could not be pleasing to Stojnic and company, so Sejfulla Malëshova got up and wanted to <<catch>> Hysni Kapo out in what he said:
<<I have two questions for Hysni,>> he said in his doctoral tone, <<first, if after the Winter Offensive we had not had a sectarian stand towards Skënder Muço, do you think he and his men would have come over to us?>>
Hysni gave him a clear-cut answer: <<Skënder Muço clearly understood the aim of our war, he was opposed to the line of the Communist Party and that is why he did not come over to us and never would. But,>> added Hysni with clever sarcasm, <<with the spirit in which this discussion is taking place, he might have come. . .>>
<<My second question is this,>> continued Sejfulla discomfited: <<Did the directive, which the Central Committee issued at the 1st National Conference for the condemnation of Xhepi, cause harm?>>
 Sadik Premte, former vice-chairman of the <<Youth>> Group. Together with Anastas Lulo, former chairman of this group, he strove to hinder the creation of the Communist Party of Albania. Failing in this, [cont. onto p. 207. -- DJR] later they continued their divisive activity. In June 1942 the Extraordinary Conference of the CPA expelled them from the ranks of the Party. In April-May 1943 he and some of his collaborators organized a dangerous faction in the Vlora region, which was crushed with the direct intervention of Comrade Enver Hoxha.
<<Had we allowed Xhepi to do what he wanted, he would have done a great deal more harm to our work. Our mistake is that we had not sufficiently unmasked and attacked him earlier, even before the Conference,>> replied Hysni.
At this Plenum Velimir Stojnic did not leave his work to be done only by the persons that he had prepared thoroughly for two or three months on end. During the whole meeting he sat there serious and frowning, but his face beamed and his eyes sparkled when Koçi, Sejfulla, Nako and others did their work in the way that the plan of Tito and the leadership of his party he had brought from Yugoslavia required. As soon as he saw that the discussion was taking a course which was not to his interest, however, he immediately intervened arrogantly.
This occurred for example when, after the allegations about the <<sectarianism in line>>, the attack was concentrated on what was described by Koçi and Sejfulla as the <<clique in the leadership>>. Velimir Stojnic was all satisfaction, anticipating that the attack would fall upon me, but the comrades of the Plenum did the opposite. They concentrated their attack on Liri Gega and immediately after her, on Dusan and Miladin. Velimir approved the attack on the latter with a nod of his head and the dose of the criticism was strengthened. As I said, Hysni made a very good portrayal of the sectarian and terrorist characteristics of Mugosa. Other comrades brought up further facts. Tuk Jakova thought that now it was a free-for-all and began to speak about Blazo Jovanovic:
<<Blazo contributed nothing at the 1st National Conference, because he had nothing to contribute,>> said Tuk. <<If we asked him something, he dodged it or did not open his mouth. Tempo came those days, too, and he told us nothing
about how a Central Committee is organized, what the tasks of the Bureau, the Secretariat are, etc.>>
Tuk spoke at length about these two and the truth is that what he said was correct. However, the naive mind of Tuk had understood nothing of what was going on. He had not understood that the task was not to attack the Yugoslav delegates, but that, in the first place, I had to be attacked, the other comrades of the leadership had to be attacked and, of the Yugoslavs, only one, Miladin Popovic, had to be attacked. The others had to be praised. This is what the <<spirit>> of the Plenum required, but Tuk did not understand this, just as others did not understand it, either. From the facts the truth was emerging: the Yugoslav delegates had not brought us any benefit.
Velimir Stojnic stood up and in a brutal way tried to defend the <<honour>> of the Yugoslav delegates:
<<This is not a Plenum about the work of our comrades,>> said Stojnic sternly, <<but about your work, the work of your main comrades. You should speak about them and not about Comrades Dusan, Blazo, Tempo or me.>>
He intervened in this way both earlier in the Plenum and later, but he reserved most of his anti-Albanian spleen for the <<message of greetings>> which he delivered at the Plenum. In the Plenum of the Central Committee of the CPA he behaved and spoke in such a tone as if he were in a meeting of a party cell of a battalion of the Yugoslav army.
His whole contribution consisted of the <<platform>> which he presented to us at Odriçan, but now <<further enriched>> and with many things said more openly, more <<boldly>>. Thinking that his purpose was virtually achieved, from his own mouth he brought out many facts which compromised him and proved that everything that was occurring had been hatched up by him.
From the outset he accused me because <<I refused to call the Bureau of the Central Committee together>> for the gentleman in question <<to present his views>>. In fact, as I have said above, I did not consider it correct or in order for a foreign comrade to take part in the meeting of the Political
Bureau. It was a different matter with Miladin. We ourselves had asked him to come and he never imposed himself on us, never spoke in the tone that Velimir Stojnic used or acted as he did.
<<Comrade Dizdarevic and I,>> he declared boastfully to the Plenum, <<came from Yugoslavia with instructions that we should assist you in all questions of the Party, the army, the youth, the Front, etc. I came with a prepared plan and now I am presenting it to you. I know the situation here in detail. I have not sought to know it because I am inquisitive, or to interfere in your internal affairs, or to infringe the authority of anyone. . .>>
So frequently did he <<vow>> that he <<was not interfering>>, that he <<was not lowering the prestige of anybody>>, etc., that the repetition of such declarations over and over again implied that he had come precisely for this sinister work.
He <<reported>> openly to the Plenum his dissatisfaction with Miladin and me, stressed that <<when we came, your comrades disregarded us and maintained contacts more with Miladin than with me, who came in the capacity of the instructor of the CC of the CPY,>> that <<we quarrelled over many issues,>> that <<the stand of Miladin made my work and meeting with comrades difficult, therefore I demanded his withdrawal from Albania,>> etc., etc.
<<The work amongst the youth has changed,>> continued Velimir Stojnic. <<Comrade Dizdarevic quickly found a common language with the comrades of the youth and has proceeded in complete accord with them. In the Party, however,>> he complained, <<I could make no progress. It was hard to make headway. Thus, all my efforts to take the situation in hand quickly went for nothing. Only after the meeting of the Bureau (he was referring to the meeting at Odriçan), where
From the minutes of the 2nd Plenum of the CC of the CPA in Berat,
pp. 62-63. CAP.
 At that time Nako Spiru was secretary of the CC of the Communist Youth and president of the Anti-fascist Youth Union of Albania.
it was agreed that I should take part, matters started to get under way properly! At that meeting I put forward a number of directives which I'm presenting to you here.>>
What these <<directives>> were we already know. But why did Stojnic consider it <<reasonable>> to repeat them once again, one by one, in front of all the comrades of the Plenum?!
Perhaps I am mistaken, but I have always thought that Stojnic, as a conceited person and none too intelligent, considered that he had achieved everything he wanted, that our Party had been subjugated, and now he ought to tell the whole Central Committee that the true author of all this change, <<the hero of the change>>, was not the group of gallants -- Nako Spiru, Sejfulla Malëshova, Koçi Xoxe and others, but Velimir Stojnic himself.
<<The thing was,>> he said in his discourse, <<that the leadership of your Party had to be shaken up to this situation until it could achieve a meeting like this. Your Party was incapable of doing this shaking up itself. This required a force from outside and this force has come here with us!>>
The monstrosities of this person were incredible.
Supporting Sejfulla Malëshova's accusation that we had allegedly <<lost the heart of the communist>>, Stojnic went even further and <<instructed>> us:
<<The head of the man is not like the head of a rooster on the block. The head of the man has a great role. It is born and dies only once.>>
In my book of memoirs <<The Anglo-American Threat to Albania,>> I have spoken about the attempts of the British to bring about a <<reconciliation>> or a <<reuniting>> of the National Liberation Front with the agent of the British Abaz Kupi in the last period of the National Liberation War, as well as
From the minutes of the 2nd Plenum of the CC of the CPA in Berat, p.
 See Enver Hoxha, <<The Anglo-American Threat to Albania>> (Memoirs), Tirana 1982, pp. 260-261 and 267-278, Eng. ed.
about the hostile aims that were hidden behind these attempts. After the British got nowhere with us, they chose Tito as the <<intermediary>> to bring about this reunion. It is known that they conducted many negotiations with Velebit, the representative of the Yugoslav staff attached to the Allied Headquarters in Cairo, so that he would transmit the request of the British to Tito.
What was discussed and achieved in these negotiations between Tito and the British I do not know, but one thing is indisputable: as soon as Velimir Stojnic arrived in Albania he put pressure on us to display <<prudence>> and accept reconciliation with Abaz Kupi and his men, because otherwise the <<unity>> of the people would be damaged and <<civil war>> would break out. At that time the British, too, had presented the same demand for the same <<reasons>>! This was not just a coincidence. Tito had accepted the role of intermediary, a role which willy-nilly put him on the same footing as those who wanted to sabotage our National Liberation War and put the victories achieved at the cost of bloodshed into the hands of reaction.
Hence, Stojnic carried out the instruction of Tito and the British as soon as he arrived, but while his demand was lost in the course of the discussion at Odriçan (we did not keep minutes of the discussions there), as though to enrich the documentation for the future, he raised the problem at Berat, too, so that it would be recorded into the minutes. His words at Berat, both on this problem and about everything else that he said are down in black and white. He said:
 <<. . . (3) that we should get Tito (through Brigadier Maclean) to influence L.N.C. to agree to return of Abas Kupi. . .>> The same was pointed out later too, in a letter which said, <<. . . getting Tito to use his influence with the L.N.C. at the same time.>> (See the complete notes in the book: Enver Hoxha, <<The Anglo-American Threat to Albania >> (Memoirs), Tirana 1982, p. 273, 262, Eng. ed. )
And who was <<criticizing>> and <<advising>> us about <<a line in favour of the unity of the masses>> and about avoiding causing <<civil war>>?! Precisely those who in their own country, especially in Kosova and the other Albanian regions in Yugoslavia, were pursuing a profoundly wrong anti-popular policy of oppression and division.
I mentioned above our action in sending some units of our army to assist in the liberation of Kosova and the peoples of Yugoslavia in the hot pursuit of the nazi beast.
The entry of our forces into Kosova once again confirmed the patriotic vitality and undaunted revolutionary spirit of the people of Kosova. What the Tempos and others had been deliberately saying for years on end about the people of Kosova describing them as <<linked with reaction>> was quickly refuted. From valiant Kosova, especially after the entry of our forces, 53 000 young men and women filled the ranks of the brigades of the National Liberation Army of Albania and those of Kosova. Although young partisans, they distinguished themselves for their bravery in the war against the nazi-fascists, just like the older partisans. The entry of our brigades brought about that the state power of the national liberation councils, comprised of the finest patriotic sons of Kosova, was extended over the whole province.
However, precisely when the whole of Kosova had turned into a hotbed of the National Liberation War, suddenly an order came from Tito's staff that the partisan forces of Albania and those of Kosova should leave Kosova and pursue the nazi enemy <<to the north>> of Kosova, deep into Yugoslavia. Our forces carried out this order, because they had gone there to pursue fascism until the complete liberation of the peoples of Yugoslavia. But later we were to learn that the purpose of Tito's order about <<the pursuit of the enemy in depth>> was nothing but an almost precise repetition of that trickery which the kraljs and princes had tried to carry through in the past in the fight against the Ottoman yoke. Especially when they saw clearly that the Ottoman forces were being routed and Albania was on the eve of independ-
ence the kraljs of Serbia and the princes of Montenegro left nothing undone so that the Albanian insurgent forces should leave Kosova which was liberated and engage themselves as long as possible in the pursuit of the Ottoman forces in other regions <<to the south>>. Their aim was that the Serbo-Montenegrin armies could occupy Kosova and other Albanian regions without meeting the resistance of the Albanian insurgent forces, or even of the Ottoman occupation forces. This is precisely what Tito was doing in 1945. The Titoite forces entered Kosova, liberated by the forces of our army and the Kosova forces, in order to eliminate the national liberation councils that had been set up and to launch the unrestrained mass terror against the Albanians. These unprecedented reprisals of the Titoites quite rightly caused a great popular revolt which put the <<new Yugoslavia>> in doubt, because the people of Kosova were not seeing any difference from what they had suffered under the <<old Yugoslavia>>. In this extremely difficult situation the patriotic people of Kosova demanded <<the return of the Albanian partisans>>, with the aim that the situation should be resolved justly and the savage terror stopped. In order to avoid the further complication of the situation Tito and company were obliged to agree to this demand, and the partisans returned. No kind of <<organized reactionary>> forces, such as the Yugoslav propaganda talked of, were found in Kosova, but a people who welcomed our partisans exactly as if they were carrying out a second liberation of Kosova. Calm was re-established and after this Tito planned new manoeuvres. Now that the war was over, in the new situation he could solve the acute problems in Kosova with his own forces. However, in order to do this, far from the eyes of the world, and especially far from our eyes, it was necessary that our forces should be finally withdrawn from Kosova and return to Albania. But how? The direct withdrawal of our forces from Kosova over the then state borders would create unpleasant, perhaps grave, scenes for the Titoites. The people of Kosova might rise in revolt again when they saw that the forces of our army
were withdrawing. To overcome this situation Tito again copied the kraljs of the past and staged <<the need to pursue reactionary bands towards the south, towards Greece>> and for this he sought the <<aid>> of those forces of ours which were there. We, who still did not understand Tito's filthy plans, ordered our divisions to act. After they reached the southern most borders of Macedonia our forces were told that <<there was no further need>> for them to stay in Yugoslavia! The border was crossed in the zone of Korça and Prespa, far from the eyes of the people of Kosova. Tito and Rankovic were left free to operate, as they did, with their barbarous methods against martyred Kosova.
These, then, were the people who were <<advising>> us on a <<correct>> line which would lead to <<the unity of the masses>>. Those who, with their policy, were carrying out and planning to deepen the line of genocide and mass extermination in Kosova and the other Albanian regions in Yugoslavia.
But let us go on with Stojnic's <<address>> at the Berat Plenum.
After he threw mud on all our work and successes, after he <<scared>> us, claiming that our <<positions in the terrain and the army>> were not strong, he did not forget also to teach us a series of other <<lessons>> for the future.
<<Don't deceive yourselves,>> he said, <<that you have strong positions. You must bear in mind, amongst other things, that you are threatened by the overthrown bourgeoisie, but you are also in great danger from the external enemies. You must understand,>> he threatened, <<that you are small and constitute no more than an easy prey for reaction.>>
After dwelling at length on the <<theory of the danger>> he came to the point he had been told to make:
<<What I mean is,>> he said, <<that you cannot go ahead without Yugoslavia and, in particular, without the Yugoslavia such as this which now has been created in the Balkans and in Europe. This is a question of the strongest possible relations with us, of whole-hearted links with Yugoslavia,>> continued Stojnic.
Later I shall speak more extensively about the all-round hostile efforts of the Titoite leadership to realize its ultimate aim: the gobbling up of the whole of Albania. In 1947 and the beginning of 1948, in particular, this aim was proclaimed openly, but I want to say that as early as the Berat Plenum Stojnic launched the idea of this gobbling up as a ballon d'essai [*]:
<<As to the form in which our relations should be strengthened,>> he said, <<we cannot tell at this Conference. But let us keep before us the prospect of an alliance, a confederation, or even more. Build your relations with Yugoslavia to this perspective,>> he dictated. <<The perspective of Yugoslavia is the perspective of the Balkans and Europe. The name of Tito has gone beyond the borders of Yugoslavia and you must popularize it, too. My opinion is,>> he said concluding this question, <<that you speak very little about us, therefore in the future you ought to speak more about Yugoslavia and Tito>>.
That was not the place, nor were the conditions suitable, to enter into discussion and seek clarification about what Stojnic meant with this <<confederation, or even more>> and how this Yugoslavia had become <<the perspective of the Balkans and Europe>>. Everything would be made clear later. At Berat the <<ideas>> and <<directives>> which Stojnic had brought from Yugoslavia were only thrown in; separately or all together, they constituted time-bombs with incalculable dangers for the future of our Party and the new Albania. They were all political and ideological time-bombs and bore the Titoite brand. It was still too early for us to be able to understand the full extent of their danger. But at those troubled moments their clocks began to tick as a great menace. In order to give us no opportunity to think at greater length about the essence of his declarations about Yugoslavia and the alliances, however, Stojnic made a complete about-turn and came back to what was the main thing for the moment:
* test ballon (French in the original).
but it should have been stronger and more profound, especially the self-criticism. You must take this criticism in the same spirit down to the base, too, so that the whole Party will be orientated correctly. . .>>
In broad outline this was the whole content of the Plenum which was being held in Berat when the capital, Tirana, had just been liberated and the liberation of the whole of Albania was expected hour by hour.
Regrettably, even in this crucial situation and these conditions, most of the aims of the <<Stojnic mission>> were achieved. A great deal of mud was thrown at our Party and its correct line in crooked ways and with profoundly hostile methods. The unity in the leadership of the Party, especially in the Bureau of the Central Committee, was attacked and severely damaged. Besides Sejfulla Malëshova and Pandi Kristo it was decided that two other <<Sejfullas>> -- Bedri Spahiu and Tuk Jakova, should be added to the Bureau and it was proposed that later Kristo Themelko should join the Bureau, too, if <<necessary>>! In the book <<When the Party Was Born>> I have spoken about who they were and what they did during the war, and later I shall speak about what they did after the war, too. Here we are dealing with the <<fruits>> of Berat. Nevertheless, one of the main aims of Stojnic and his agents was not achieved at Berat: they were unable to eliminate me from the leadership of the Party and as General Secretary. Although the comrades of the Plenum were disorientated and accepted many unjust accusations, the fact is that they supported the correct general line of the Party, and towards me expressed what they felt: affection, respect and trust. Nevertheless, my authority, not as a person, but as General Secretary of the Party, was diminished by all the poison that the Stojnic gang spewed out. I myself saw and felt this more than anyone. But I did not hang my head. Even when the filthiest things were said, I was convinced that we had a correct line and had the unshakeable conviction that eventually everything would be cleared up and put right. Above all I had the communist conviction that, however things went,
I would be able to stand close to the Party and the people, and leave it to them to give their final correct judgment about everything.
However, the bitterest and most damaging <<fruit>> of the Berat Plenum was the orientation given there for the future: since <<sectarianism>> was described as the <<greatest evil>> and the <<greatest danger>> for our Party, opportunism was given the green light.
This was the main reason why the attack on the alleged opportunism in the line was passed over lightly at the Plenum, without going into it deeply with arguments. Everything had been well calculated by Tito's staff. The accusation about <<opportunism>> was thrown in just to <<prove>> that our Party was allegedly incapable of defining a correct and consistent line and, then this accusation had no further value for the accusers. After all, they were not really concerned either about opportunism or about sectarianism. They were concerned with the subjugation of our Party and of Albania to Yugoslavia. Therefore, we should not be <<sectarian>>, but <<docile>>, <<obedient>>, <<humble>>, <<generous>> up to the point of sacrificing our freedom and selling out Albania! This was the aim of the <<Stojnic mission>> and, regrettably, it succeeded in preparing the ground for this.
In particular, Stojnic's <<directives>> about the future policy of the Party in the Front, the national liberation councils and the organs of state power, in the field of the economy, in foreign policy, etc., constituted that infected anti-socialist mire in which Sejfulla Malëshova and company would try to immerse the new Albania immediately after Liberation.
We had had long bitter arguments over these problems, too, for two to three months on end and in one way or another they were included in the reports delivered at the Plenum, but more particularly in some of the contributions to the discussion. I spoke above about the report which I was compelled to read at the Plenum and the open contradictions I had with the comrades over the majority of the matters which they insisted should be <<added>> or <<corrected>>, but I want to point out that my opposition was not entirely in vain. In <<compensa-
tion,>> Nako, Koçi, Sejfulla, and others, headed by Stojnic, were obliged to <<agree>> that some of my correct views and stands should be left in the report. I emphasized these stands with even greater force also in a contribution I made shortly before the closing of the Plenum.
In regard to the policy of the Party in the Front, for example, after speaking about the new situation created in the country as a result of decisive victories in the war, amongst other things I stressed:
<<We must guard against both the open enemies and the secret enemies. Now that everybody sees that the victory is ours, even the open and declared enemies are trying to link up with the secret enemies and, through them, to get into the Front. Up till yesterday they fought from outside, now they want to fight from inside. However, now it is too late, because our doors are closed to them. The call which we made some time ago to elements who remained on the side of the occupier, was the final appeal. All those who want to avoid their responsibility for the three or four years that they have fought us with arms and every other means, now want to get into the Front. It is our duty,>> I stressed, <<to refuse to admit to the Front those who want to undermine it from within.>>
This stand clashed with the view of Sejfulla Malëshova that <<if the doors are closed, the Front becomes narrow>>, therefore, without attacking Sejfulla by name, I asked the direct question:
<<Does this mean that with this line which we shall follow the Front becomes narrow? No,>> I stressed, <<the Front does not become narrow, it will be enlarged with all those elements who, up till now, have stood aside or have been misled by the traitors but who have not stained their hands with blood.>>
Likewise, both in the report and in my final contribution, I dealt in general outline with some of the future tasks of the Front as a big political organization in which all the masses would be rallied under the leadership of the CPA.
<<The tasks of state power which the Front has carried out hitherto, will be performed from now on by the councils
which,>> I stressed, <<we must ceaselessly strengthen and enliven. The Front must strengthen the alliance of workers, peasants, intellectuals and all other strata.
<<The question of state power,>> I continued <<is the central question for the Party, and this not only because it is a current problem facing us, but also because we lack experience in this field. We must strengthen the councils, must purge them of alien elements who have been admitted in error or through machinations, must ensure that the people have complete confidence in the councils and regard them as their own organs of state power.>>
However, although the plotters were obliged to <<permit me>> to present these views, in their contributions they attacked them openly and directly. Thus, when Sejfulla Malëshova spoke, amongst other things, he stressed:
<<The time has come for us to open the doors of the Front and to extend it further. Even in Yugoslavia, where there has always been a correct policy on the Front, now the doors are being opened to all, and this is even more necessary in our country where sectarian mistakes have been made. Not only should we extend the Front,>> he stressed, <<but we should win over those we have lost. Hence, we should accept even those whom we were unable to win during the war>>!
Koçi, Pandi, Bedri Spahiu and, up to a point, Nako Spiru also spoke in this spirit and on the same lines. The ground was being prepared, for the admission to the Front of the Cen Elezis and Co. The seeds of those evils with which we would have to battle later were being sown in the ranks of the Party.
Another <<directive>> of Stojnic which was to cause us many problems and a great deal of work in the future, was that on the stand of our new state towards the allies.
All throughout the war, we had a correct line in this direction and, while recognizing the three <<great Allies>>, we made the necessary differentiation between the Soviet Union, on the one hand, and the USA and Britain on the other.
At that time, we were still in ignorance of the secret
and open contacts and negotiations of Tito with the two Western Allies, especially with Churchill, but we noticed something when, in one of the debates before the Plenum, Velimir Stojnic said:
<<Today you are a state with an official policy. The great Allies which played a decisive role in this war, should all be looked on in the same way by the new state. . .>>
<<How?>> I asked. <<By putting the Soviet Union on the same footing with the other two?>>
<<From the state viewpoint, yes,>> Stojnic explained to me. <<The policy of a true state makes no differentiation. You don't know these things but you'll learn them. Naturally,>> he added, <<in an unofficial way, for example, through party channels, the Soviet Union can be considered as the main and most natural ally, but not through state channels. America and Britain are always allies, and their present policy is positive and in our own interests.>>
Such reasoning seemed to me astonishing and deep within myself I did not agree. How could the policy of the state be different from the line and policy of the party? Another fact made an even greater impression on me. When Velimir Stojnic told me to stress the special role of the Soviet Union <<in an unofficial way>>, he immediately added:
<<Here account should be taken of the concrete special features of the war of each country. For example, the true ally of all of us is the Soviet Union, but you, as Albania, have had and still have, you might say. . . ,>> he mumbled, <<a special, true ally in the Yugoslavia of Tito>>.
Later the comrades presented these views, too, to me as <<their own>>, we had other argument, and in one way or the other they found their reflection in the Plenum. However, proceeding from the fact that the report was to be delivered to the Party, I took the opportunity and stressed forcefully:
<<The Soviet Union, as the first socialist state and through the heroic anti-fascist war which it is waging, is the greatest guarantee for the liberation and the independence of the peoples. Hence, we must implant in the consciousness of the
masses the truth that our most sincere ally and the main supporter of our foreign policy is the Soviet Union.>>
Likewise, utilizing my right to make the closing speech, I said to the comrades:
<<We are on the eve of the complete liberation of Albania, we are facing tasks of great importance, and we have no reason to hide our Party, which has been the true leadership of the liberation war, behind the Front. It must be made stronger, more wide awake and more active than ever at the head of the masses, with the reins of command in its hands and, through a correct stand and line properly applied, accomplish its own program and realize the aspirations of the working people.
<<At this great turning point in the history of our people, we must increase our energies and political perspicacity tenfold, must at the same time confront the Central Committee and the whole Party with the past and future reality, must point out the successes and the mistakes, teach the Party not to become dizzy with success and to learn from its mistakes.>>
Thus the Berat Plenum came to an end. The following day we were to enter Tirana. The whole of Albania was liberated, the immediate task which our Party had put in its program when it was founded on November 8, 1941, had been accomplished with success. These were days when our joy and happiness ought to have been greater than ever. And in fact these feelings were seething in the hearts, the faces and eyes of the people, were expressed openly, and burst out wherever we went during those days. I and the other comrades of the leadership of the Party, all the communists, all the fighters of our heroic partisan army were in the midst of this joy.
However, I cannot hide that, apart from the great joy that we had achieved victory, a great and unpleasant worry about the things that had happened at Berat was gnawing away at my consciousness. It seemed to me that somewhere another great danger for the future was lurking. It was not at all a worry about my future as a person. From the first day
when I consciously set out on the road of communism I had taken everything into account -- the sufferings, hardships, sacrifices, my whole life. I had dedicated them all to the great cause of the people, the Homeland, the Party and the revolution. My concern was solely about the cause of the Party upon which a great deal of mud was being flung unjustly, about its future and the future of the people and the country which it was to lead.
All that gigantic war had been fought and crowned with success and to jeopardize all this now with our own hands would be a disgrace and a grave crime! This would be the most unpardonable crime committed at the expense of this people. This must never be allowed to occur.
Within myself I swore that I would do everything in my power to establish the truth, to ensure that the Party continued on the right course and that Albania would advance on the road which the CPA had promised in November 1941.
TITO'S SECRET AGENCY IN ACTION
Belgrade sent the Albanian-speaking Titoite Josip Djerdja in place of Stojnic * The 7th Cabinet for. . . Albania in the chancellery of the Yugoslav Federation * Why is Tito <<against>> the partitioning of Albania?! * The truth on the Pijade-Tsaldaris negotiations in August 1946 * A <<joke>> between Tito and King Paul about the dividing up of Albania * Debate on the policy of elections to the Constituent Assembly; S. Malëshova: <<We must allow the opposition freedom to take part in the elections independently>>; K. Xoxe: <<The Yugoslav comrades were not afraid to reach agreement even with the bourgeois>>; N. Spiru: <<We have no reason to fear our opponents now>>; The people: <<We prefer not to vote at all rather than vote for the reactionaries.>> * Quarrels break out between the plotters themselves * The 5th Plenum of the CC of the CPA in February 1946 * The theses for the re-examination of the Berat Plenum * Belgrade helping its own agents.
The new historical stage, which our Party and country were entering immediately after Liberation and the establishment of the people's state power, also marks the transition to a new phase in our relations with the CPY and the Yugoslav state.
Now, in both countries our parties were parties in power. Upon them devolved the onerous and noble duty to exert all their strength and abilities both to carry the respective coun-
tries and peoples to new victories and to strengthen and develop the reciprocal relations and links between them.
The special difficulties, circumstances and conditions of the time of the war were over. For our part, we found in those conditions and difficulties, understandable in war time, the main justification for why the direct links with the CPY and especially with its leadership during the past four years had remained restricted to some intermittent steps which had not left us with good impressions but, on the contrary, had disappointed us. However, we still regarded these as isolated instances and did not blame the leadership of the CPY for them. Hence, we continued to retain a good, to some extent even euphoric, opinion about the Yugoslav party and its main leadership, even though for four years we had no possibility to know them concretely at first hand. Now the time had come for each of us to assess the other on the basis of real knowledge of the work, facts, and line which each pursued, and no longer through <<idealist>> judgments, as in the past. The time had come for practice to eliminate any lingering doubt which had remained with us as a result of the restricted and unpleasant contacts of the past, just as any doubt or bad opinion which the Yugoslav leadership might have formed about us on the basis of the reports which its delegates sent, should also be dispelled. Thus, we were ready and predisposed to develop and strengthen to the maximum our friendly relations with the CPY and the peoples of Yugoslavia, being guided in every step by the Marxist-Leninist principles on the relations between fraternal parties and countries. What would the future tell us?!
<<Defence>> de jure in order to gobble up
Albania de facto
The first year of Liberation and indeed the greater part of 1946 in many directions indicated an <<Indian summer>> in our relations with the Yugoslav <<friends>>. It seemed as if many
of their former stands were changing, as if there was an improvement in the grave atmosphere of carping criticism of the past, even as if they were reconsidering some of their unjust stands of the past.
Even Colonel Stojnic, after all the chaos and confusion he had caused us at Berat, began to make approaches to me.
However, what had occurred at Berat hung over us like a black cloud which had not been swept away. On the contrary, its evil effect, great or small, was felt on our work every day.
I said this to Stojnic during one of the many visits he started to pay me after we were settled in Tirana, stressing that for the time being we were seeing only negative effects from the Plenum of Berat.
<<As soon as passions have cooled, you will see that every thing will change,>> he tried to pacify me. <<At Berat the comrades learned how to make criticism and self-criticism. This is very valuable both for today and for the future.>>
<<Except that I have the impression that the criticism was made by throwing mud at the prestige of the Party, its leadership and me,>> I told him.
<<Please, understand me correctly,>> he replied. <<Neither I nor your comrades ever had any intention of disparaging the personality of your Party or even less of you personally. You yourself saw that the comrades of the Bureau never had anything directly against you. On the contrary, they are happy that you are General Secretary of the Party!>>
<<The Party has elected me to the functions I hold, not one or even five persons,>> I said with marked coldness. <<Likewise, whether or not I am to retain these functions was not and will not be a matter for a few individuals, whoever they may be. Above all we have the Party.>>
<<Quite right,>> said Stojnic and, pretending not to understand what I was driving at, he went on to flatter me: <<It is an honour for us to have a friend like you,>> etc., etc.
I have never liked flattery and when occasionally someone has flattered me directly, I have tried to divine what was
hidden behind the flattery and the flatterer. This is what occurred on this occasion with Velimir Stojnic. But he spoke with such an innocent appearance that I found it difficult to understand what had brought about this sudden change in him. Perhaps, I thought, he has sent the Yugoslav leadership a report on what occurred at Berat and Tito has tweaked his ear. Perhaps Velimir himself senses that instead of assisting us with his <<theses>> he did a lot of harm and now wants to smooth things over with me. Maybe he thinks that in some article or official meeting in the future I might report to Tito about the mess at Berat and, to forestall the consequences, he is trying to behave in a friendly way with me.
At the same time I noticed that Stojnic continued to maintain good relations with the other comrades, frequently invited all of us together to the premises of the Yugoslav mission and missed no opportunity to visit us even just to say, <<Hello! How are you getting on?>> I thought that this, too, came within the context of his efforts to undo some of the harm he had done in the past, especially in the period from the end of August to the end of November 1944. Up till the moment he departed from Albania (as far as I remember, about the end of 1945), he became mostly a distributor of invitations and proposals for us to send the maximum number of individual comrades and groups of comrades of different sectors to Belgrade for <<experience>>.
Nevertheless, I had no use for him at all. Any value he might have had (in fact he had none) he had destroyed once and for all at Berat and now, whether or not he was in Albania, whether he smiled or frowned, these things had no importance at all. I have the belief that Tito and Co. sensed this opinion and quickly withdrew him from Albania. In his place came another Titoite, Josip Djerdja, with whom another long and bitter history would link us. He was a diplomat of Albanian origin, from a village in Dalmatia, and he spoke Albanian freely. His grandfather, if I am not mistaken, had been regent of the Serb or Croat monarchy.
Josip Djerdja was a clever, cunning fellow. He adopted a <<popular>> pose, approached anybody at all, and in this direction the language helped him, and did a sophisticated job of gathering information for Belgrade. He tried to be correct and friendly with me, made efforts to eliminate the bad impression that Velimir Stojnic and many others had made on me, showed himself <<accommodating>> and with tendencies to advance the work without any further bitterness. Hence, at first Djerdja was sweet-spoken and a real <<expert>> on all matters. In a note of five or six lines, Tito himself introduced him to us as a trained cadre who would be ready to help us. At one of the first meetings I had with this new Yugoslav representative, he referred to Stojnic.
<<The comrades tweaked his ear a bit over some lack of tact in his relations with you,>> he told me <<in confidence>>, <<but you must understand he was inclined more to military methods because that was his profession.>>
<<It was not simply a lack of tact,>> I replied to this Albanian-speaking Yugoslav. <<A whole history came about and is still continuing as a result of the 'criticisms' which Colonel Stojnic presented to us.>>
<<Your comrades have misunderstood him. As friends and communists we may make mutual criticisms, but this does not mean that they should be accepted unreservedly.>>
<<That is right, but your comrade insisted not only that they should be accepted, but also that they should be made more 'profound'.>>
<<Perhaps, perhaps,>> said Djerdja, <<but I have come with the idea that it is better if we don't hark back to the past. At that time the conditions were such that it was more difficult to know the situations and the problems. The main thing is that now we should march forward shoulder to shoulder like friends and brothers.>>
Meanwhile, other messages of friendship continued to come from Belgrade. Our comrades from various sectors began to come and go back and forth to Yugoslavia and those who met them, especially the officials of the Party, welcomed
them with friendly words and missed no opportunity to send me greetings and <<assurances>> that the <<friendship>> between our two parties and countries <<will be strengthened>>, that <<Belgrade will always have its doors open for you>>, etc.
All these things, taken as a whole, could not fail to warm our hearts and please us. We ourselves were interested in strengthening our mutual relations, desired, first of all that the Communist Party of Yugoslavia and the new Yugoslav state should be as strong as possible and in correct positions. Undoubtedly we thought and hoped that we had something to learn from them, especially on the problems of the organization of the new state of people's democracy, in which we lacked experience, on the reconstruction and construction of the country, on the recognition, strengthening and affirmation of our positions in the international arena, etc.
The fact is that the Yugoslav government was the first to recognize our government as a legal government, and it established diplomatic relations with us as early as spring 1945. We thanked the Yugoslav comrades for this act and expressed our gratitude to them, although after all, this act was no more than a normal action which should be taken immediately by any government of whatever country which pursues a realistic policy in the international arena.
We had no reason to welcome or regard the recognition of our government by the others as any <<favour>>, or <<special kindness>> done to us. Our government was more than lawful, it had emerged from the flames of the war. As a result of the heroic and uncompromising fight which we waged against the occupiers and their local collaborators, our government enjoyed the support and love of the whole people, it resolutely expressed and pursued a correct principled foreign and internal policy and knew and defended its rights and duties in the international arena.
 The decision of the Yugoslav government on the recognition of the Albanian Democratic government was published on May 1, 1945.
principle, that act of recognition of our government by the Yugoslav government was something quite normal, an action which it or any other government ought to take.
In the conditions and circumstances of that time, however, when we were unjustly facing the open boycott and efforts of the Anglo-Americans, not merely to refuse us recognition, but also to overthrow us; when we were still not recognized by the others, etc., the act of the Yugoslav government warranted our respect and gratitude. Moreover, the troubled situation in Greece, as a result of the Anglo-American military intervention, presented a new danger on our southern borders. The Greek government, formed in exile and delivered by the allies directly into the soft seats, immediately proclaimed openly the old pretensions to grab the southern part of Albania. The ancient fable of the so-called Northern Epirus began to circulate through the chancelleries of the Great Powers again and the Greek monarcho-fascist representatives, openly supported by the Americans and the British, launched a furious campaign in international conferences and meetings for a new partitioning of Albania. We raised our voice strongly against this savage and unjust policy which was pursued towards our young state and we ourselves were the fundamental factor and the number-one guarantee that we would defend our lawful rights on the national and international arena, just as we did. The external factors which expressed themselves in our favour had the value of auxiliary, supporting factors.
In the first place, we saw and found one such factor in the just internationalist policy of the Soviet Union led by Stalin, in the Stalinist foreign policy, which, just as it came to the defence of the interests and rights of all other countries and peoples, great and small, also came to the defence of our just cause. Stalin's representatives supported the new Albania and the order of people's democracy which we were establishing, and at the same time, they exposed the efforts of international reaction, its threats and attempts to interfere in our internal affairs or to deny and trample upon our rights. The
fact is that at this period the Yugoslav government, too, through declarations or through its representatives, took a stand in defence of our rights and, indeed, it must be said that it proved especially zealous in connection with the recognition and defence of our state borders from the ambitions of others. Later I shall explain what was the meaning of this <<defence>> and why the Titoites displayed such surprising zeal in connection with our cause. Here I want only to point out what was obvious and loudly proclaimed by them in 1945 and 1946, just as it was proclaimed in 1970 and 1980. As far as we knew and could see at those moments, we undoubtedly had every reason to express our gratitude for this aid they gave us and they accepted our gratitude with pleasure and even became annoyed when we did not lay it on thickly, and especially when we did not publish it in the press and mention it in speeches or did not send it to them in writing. I shall explain what was the meaning of this <<habit>> of theirs to demand everything, especially good declarations, in writing and especially published in the newspapers.
Here I could present a number of other facts and aspects which have to do with our <<warm>> relations with the Yugoslavs in the first and second year after Liberation (in this period there was no economic aid to mention), but I think that I have said enough to prove an authentic truth about the so-called <<period of warm friendly relations>> with the Yugoslavs. I want to say that for their part, all this <<kindness>>, <<aid>> and <<support>> in essence was only a bluff, a great trick, a trap camouflaged with laurel leaves and olive branches, but which concealed under the leaves the iron teeth of sworn enemies of the Party and of the freedom of our Homeland. In saying this, I have no desire to deny either the <<good>> or the truth, or to misinterpret or to avoid the facts, as the Titoites have claimed and still claim. Our Party has never had this habit and it has never allowed anyone in its ranks to distort even one word from history, let alone the whole of history.
The facts are stubborn. Let them speak for themselves.
As the greatest and most <<indisputable>> aid and support which they gave us at the start the Yugoslavs mention the recognition of our government by them in May 1945 and their efforts in international conferences, etc., to persuade others to recognize our lawful government and the inviolability of our borders.
To this end, they present <<facts>>, re-publish statements, reminiscences, etc., etc. Yes, those facts, those statements exist, and we have never denied them. However, the Titoites have always tried to conceal, <<to forget>>, to wipe out any trace of a series of other facts and arguments, which relate to the same question and occurred at the same period. Concretely: precisely at the time when they were loudly publicizing their recognition of our government, of the independence of Albania, and its inviolable territorial unity, in secrecy, in talks at the highest ranks of the state and party leadership they were hatching up plans for the annexation of Albania and turning it into the 7th Republic of Yugoslavia! As early as the beginning of 1945, one of Tito's closest collaborators, Mosa Pijade, demanded that the new chancellery of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia in Belgrade should have, not 6, but 7 cabinets! According to the Titoites, the 7th cabinet was for the <<Yugoslav Republic of Albania>>!
Someone in present-day Yugoslavia may present this in disputable fact as the crazy whim of Pijade, or as an initial <<desire>> or <<wavering>> of others. This is not so. A little later, in 1946 and, especially in 1947 and 1948, these plans for the annexation of Albania were to be put before us officially, with savage pressure by Tito himself and the people around him. I shall speak about this later. Here my purpose is
 Besides other things, the book by Vladimir Dedijer, <<Novi Prilozi za Biografiju J. B. Tita>> (2) Rijeka, 1981 (New Additions to the Biography of J. B. Tito), p. 902, says, <<Mosa Pijade, the great supporter of the Federation of Yugoslavia and Albania, proposed. . . that the plans for the new building of the Federation in new Belgrade should include the immediate building of 7 cabinets: for the 6 Yugoslav republics and for Albania.>>
simply to show the falsity and cunning villainy of Tito and company in connection with their public action of 1945 over the <<recognition>> of Albania.
However, the question arises: why did they decide on and proclaim the recognition of Albania, of our government, etc., at a time when they were secretly working out their annexationist plans? Were they hasty?! Did they make a mistake?! Not at all! They were not fools. And to give the devil his due, they have completely proved their ability and cunning, especially in concocting plots and underhand actions.
In the concrete instance, their tactics was refined and covered many fields.
Tito and company thought (and here they were gravely mistaken) that in one way or the other, Albania was going to belong to them. After Berat they secured the key positions in our leadership, they were aware of and felt our euphoric friendship towards them and thought that they would easily eliminate any remaining obstacle. Hence, they considered that in general the <<internal factor>> was settled. Now the problem was that the annexation of Albania should not arouse debates and problems in the international arena, should never be considered by others as an annexation manu militari *, as a result of war, etc. This annexation, according to them, should be carried out in conditions of peace and bear the brand of the <<lawful will>> of the Albanian state and its legal government. Then they would have no problems. Precisely to this end, as the first step, Albania had to be recognized as an independent state, the new Albanian government had to be recognized as the legal government which expressed the aspirations and desires of the people. When all, and especially the Great Powers, had completed this recognition, then obviously there was no reason why the <<desire>> of a lawful government, recognized world-wide, to unite with whoever it pleased, hence, in the concrete instance with
* through military force (Lat. in the original).
Yugoslavia, should arouse concern and problems. In this way, the problem of Kosova would be solved, too; the question of attaching it to Albania was not raised, but Albania was to be <<united>> with Kosova within the framework of Tito's Yugoslavia!
This was the overriding aim of the Yugoslav government with its act of May 1, 1945. With this it set the <<example>> for the others who should hasten to recognize a legal government in a sovereign country. All the <<aid>> of the Yugoslav government and its <<efforts>> to influence Britain, the USA, France, etc., to recognize the independence of Albania and its democratic government were for this purpose. Hence, Tito and Co. recognized Albania de jure in order to gobble it up de facto.
All their efforts <<to attack>> the ambitions and pretensions of others, especially of the Greek monarcho-fascists in connection with the partitioning of Albania, are part of this plan. Even to this day, this <<aid>> of those years is boasted about in Belgrade and, indeed, is used to <<prove>> that the Yugoslav leadership allegedly not only never wanted the annexation of Albania, but helped to ensure that no part of the territory of Albania would be affected by the pretensions of the monarcho-fascists of that time!
In the middle of August 1946, when the proceedings of the Peace Conference had opened in Paris, we and the whole international public heard about the forceful denunciation which Mosa Pijade made in one of the sessions of the Conference of the proposal of Tsaldaris for a secret Greek-Yugoslav agreement on the partitioning of Albania.
A few days after Pijade had spoken I went to Paris myself to lead our delegation at this Conference and at our first meeting I thanked Pijade for the stand which he and the Yugoslav government had taken towards the filthy pro-
that time prime minister of Greece and its representative at the
Peace Conference in Paris.
 Comrade Enver Hoxha left for Paris on August 18, 1946.
posal of Tsaldaris. I was together with Molotov at the moment I met Pijade, and he was very pleased with my words, the more so because I was speaking in front of Molotov.
<<With their frenzied greed the monarcho-fascist wolves put a major fact in my hands,>> Pijade began to declaim in a boastful tone. <<But I used it and dropped it like a bomb in the Conference!>>
When Pijade ended his boastful proclamation Molotov said with quiet good humour:
<<You gave them just what they deserved! But Comrade Enver was not here those days and does not know the details of how the Greeks came to give you that 'bomb'.>>
<<Tsaldaris summoned me to a secret talk,>> Mosa Pijade set out to tell me with great relish. <<He said to me: 'We have long standing claims towards southern Albania, but you Serbs, too, have claims towards northern Albania. Let us get together and reach agreement on what belongs to you and what belongs to us and finish the business with Albania. It should not exist as an apple of discord between us. Let it be a sweet apple, divided in half by agreement!' They went as far as that!>> said Pijade, fixing his eyes on us to see the effect of his words.
<<Yes, yes!>> said Molotov looking serious, and asked him: <<Then, what happened about the bargain?!>>
<<We could not and never will allow them to lay a finger on sister Albania,>> declared Pijade. <<That is why I did what they had never dreamed I would do in the Conference.>>
I thanked him once again for this statement, describing it as internationalist aid and defence from a representative of a fraternal country. At that time, however, I did not know that precisely this <<defender>> of the southern part of Albania dreamed of gobbling up the whole of Albania, did not know that it was precisely this Pijade who as early as 1945 wanted to <<reserve>> the 7th cabinet in the Yugoslav general chancellery for us!
Hence, in conformity with the secret plans for the annexation of the whole of Albania, Tito's men had no reason not
to come out <<in defence>> of the southern part on which Tsaldaris had his eyes. They believed that things would proceed in their favour and, in this case, why should they allow Albania, the love of their dreams, to be partitioned by the Greeks when they could enjoy the whole of it themselves?!
In brief, the Yugoslav <<defenders>> did not defend Albania as a free and sovereign state, but defended those territories which, in their secret plans, comprised the southern domain of the <<great>> Yugoslav multinational <<state>> of many peoples which they had dreamed of for centuries.
This, then, was the main basis which gave rise to all that zeal of the Yugoslavs for the <<recognition of Albania>> and the <<inviolability>> of its borders.
Naturally, in working for this main strategy at those moments Tito and company, at the same time, were also pursuing other aims, through this <<internationalist>> policy of <<defence>>.
By emerging in the forefront of <<defenders>> of the cause of Albania they were investing capital in the progressive and democratic world to enable themselves to pose as <<champions>> of the rights of other countries, as <<proven internationalists>>, as the representatives of a state and a party which nurtured no ambitions for annexation or hegemony. On the contrary, they made world opinion believe that even when others talked to them about agreements and secret treaties to the detriment of third parties (as in the case of Tsaldaris), they not only did not agree, but denounced the annexationists publicly! The purest of the pure! -- that is how Tito's men could be described.
Thus, the game was played in a subtle and dangerous way. This appearance of <<purity>> in this initial phase was to serve them as a powerful argument later, at the second step, <<to prove>> that in the question of the union of Albania with Yugoslavia there was no sort of plot or secret moves on the part of the Yugoslavs. <<No,>> Tito and company would defend themselves, <<we accepted the unification because this was the desire of the Albanians themselves and we had no
pretensions at all in this direction. On the contrary, as you know, gentlemen, it was we who came out in defence of the independence of Albania and the recognition of its independence even when others were silent about this or had pretentions to partition it.>>
Many years later, when it had become clear, not only to the Yugoslav chauvinists, but also to everybody else, that in connection with Albania Tito had made his reckoning without the owner, a Greek monarcho-fascist was to emerge again and repeat to the Yugoslavs the act of Tsaldaris in 1946, this time <<from positions of equality>>. However, this new attempt at negotiations differed somewhat from the former one. This time the participants were of higher rank: the monarch of Greece Paul in person was to make the proposal for the dividing up of Albania to the president of Yugoslavia Tito. Another difference is the fact that this time Tito did not see it appropriate to denounce the proposal even there, tête-à-tête with the King, let alone in public.
Naturally, time has shown and will show what was behind this <<royal joke>>, which was made in Corfu looking across the straights of Albania. But one thing is indisputable: Aesop's famous fox called the grapes which she desired so much <<unripe>> only when she saw she could not reach them!
As, I said, however, this belongs to a later period, the period when we had long been at daggers drawn with Yugoslav modern revisionism. So Iet us return to the period of <<friendship>>, the period when Tito and company <<defended>> us and supported us de jure in order to gobble us up de facto.
This was true of the Yugoslav policy towards us at that time in all other aspects. This was also the aim of the <<backing>> and <<support>> which Velimir Stojnic suddenly began to express to me after the plot at Berat, of the <<greetings>> which Tito and company sent me through various people, and of the high Yugoslav decoration which they awarded me in 1946. All these things were done to make us slacken our vigilance, to cover up any doubt about the plot with a curtain
of rose-tinted smoke, and to strike the blow at us precisely when we did not expect it.
As we were to learn later, while they were issuing me <<certificates>> of trust and gratitude, at the same time the flattering and further incitement of the ambitions of Koçi Xoxe, Nako Spiru and Sejfulla Malëshova continued, with the aim that they should now carry out what they were unable to accomplish at Berat -- my removal from the leadership of the Party. In this first period Nako Spiru was displaying all his pro-Yugoslav inclinations, but it was to be proved later that the mutual links between Nako and the Yugoslav leadership had no correct Marxist basis. They were links of an agent with his employers. Nako dreamed of becoming general secretary of the Party, and he thought he could use the Yugoslavs in order to replace me, but it was the Yugoslavs who used Nako for their purposes. That vile and perfidious document of Nako Spiru's written secretly to the Yugoslav leadership, in which he used the worst words about me and demanded that my work should be examined, in other words, that they should use their influence to remove me from the post to which the Party had elected me, belongs precisely to this phase.
However, the Yugoslavs passed over the request which Nako made to them in silence, apparently because they saw in Nako an element who might cause them problems or upset their plans. They preferred Koçi Xoxe. Nako was very hurt but, driven by his ambition, he established new links with others. The Yugoslavs were to see Nako's new links, but they continued to maintain complete silence about his compromising document. However, in the grave circumstances of November 1947 (I shall speak about them below), Tito's men were to bring this compromising document out of the drawer and to confront Nako with it, as a means of pressure, as a <<weapon>> which, in the grave circumstances created, made Nako kill himself. But this time, too, we were to be told nothing, because at those moments it was in the interest of the Yugoslavs that the circumstances of Nako Spiru's suicide
should remain the greatest possible mystery for us. Even later, the Yugoslavs were to produce this document again and to publish only some parts of it with the aim of creating the worst possible opinion about us amongst the public.
Such, then, were the <<Yugoslav comrades>> who posed as <<pure Marxists>> and whom we, unfortunately, lacking facts and lacking unity in our ranks, continued to consider comrades and friends both in 1945 and in 1946.
Of course, even at this period there were some signs, some indications, minor or major, which could not be concealed and could not make a good impression on us.
Groups of comrades, a youth delegation or a delegation of the Women's Organization went to Belgrade on visits or on business, and to our astonishment the Yugoslav comrades mentioned the name and praised the <<merits>> of Liri Gega! On one occasion, Liri who had been condemned at Berat had to go to Yugoslavia (I don't remember why or in what circumstances, but no doubt through the intervention and mediation of the Yugoslavs themselves), and the number-two member of the Yugoslav leadership Milovan Djilas accorded a warm, cordial welcome to this person expelled from our Political Bureau and from the Central Committee of the Party on account of her grave sectarian mistakes! They began to put pressure on us to rehabilitate her and Ymer Dishnica, whom we had condemned for opportunism.
What could we call these actions of the Yugoslav comrades?! They made all those accusations against us and built a whole platform, that of Berat, basing themselves on the mistakes and grave faults of these two elements. How, then, did it come about that now they were supporting them and putting pressure on us to re-admit them to the leadership of the Party?! Astonishing!
As I said above, Liri Gega was one of their pledged agents and at Berat the Yugoslavs were obliged to sacrifice her, <<to condemn her>>, not because of the damage which she had caused the CPA, but simply because they treated her mistakes as the mistakes of the leadership of the Party, mainly mine
and Miladin's. After this, it was natural that they should ask us to rehabilitate Liri Gega. As for Ymer Dishnica, the Yugoslavs wanted to rehabilitate him, because they had long been aware of his opportunist and conciliatory tendencies. Such an opportunist in our leadership would be one vote more in favour of the Yugoslavs' secret plans.
Naturally, even though we did not know the meaning of the countless <<surprises>> of the Yugoslavs at that time, we did not agree to their proposals. It seemed that they were not <<annoyed>> about this and we continued our work, always retaining our respect and friendship for them, but also proceeding cautiously on this course. A series of their stands and views which either increased our doubts, or gave rise to serious suspicions and concern, made this prudence even more necessary.
In April 1945 a group of militarymen went to Yugoslavia to gain experience in a course or seminar organized with the Yugoslav military cadres. As soon as they returned Mehmet Shehu, Kristo Themelko, Tahir Kadare and, I think, two or three others came to my office and began to describe to me what they heard and learned:
<<An analysis of major themes about the experience of the October Revolution and the revolution in Yugoslavia was made,>> Mehmet Shehu began to report. <<Comrades Tito and Kardelj personally explained the tactics and the strategy of the Yugoslav party on this cardinal question. In an extremely interesting way and with creative originality the comrades. . .>>
<<Yes, yes,>> I interrupted to imply to Mehmet Shehu to get on to the content of the matter, <<what was said concretely?!>>
<<This conclusion constituted the essence: The Yugoslav revolution did not follow the course of the Russian revolution, each had its own peculiarities. The Russian revolution could not be applied in the conditions of Yugoslavia, therefore the Yugoslav revolution is peculiar and herein lies the merit of Comrade Tito, and our armies should be organized on this basis.>>
<<Is this the conclusion which you drew from what you
heard or the conclusion at which the Yugoslav comrades have arrived?>> I asked very worried.
<<It is the conclusion that Comrades Tito and Kardelj have now arrived at,>> replied Mehmet Shehu.
At that moment I remembered the debate with Tempo in the spring of 1943 about the same problem. Tempo had served up to us precisely this <<conclusion>>, this view at that time and I had strongly opposed him, describing it as not right and disparagement of the international value and importance of the Great October Socialist Revolution. At that time I laid the blame on Tempo, while now it turned out that Tito and Kardelj were in the same position.
Mehmet Shehu sensed my disapproval and immediately changed his tactics. He backed away from any further presentation of the new Yugoslav <<strategies and tactics>> and left Themelko to jump into the murky waters.
Themelko presented all the views expressed by Tito, Kardelj and other Yugoslav leaders. Apart from what I mentioned above, the other views were about <<the stages of the revolution>>, on which the Yugoslavs thought that <<since the stage of the bourgeois democratic revolution has still not been completed, we shall delay the transition to the second stage, the stage of the proletarian revolution>>; that <<the road of transition from the former to the latter stage is the road of reforms>>; that the <<national liberation councils are organs of the bourgeois democratic revolution>>; that <<one of the distinctions between the October Revolution and the Yugoslav revolution is that in the Yugoslav revolution the bourgeoisie is a member, a participant in the front>>; that <<Tito has enriched Marxism with the tactic of the national liberation war>> (!), etc., etc.
I cannot claim that I had everything clear at those moments, but many of these views seemed to me dubious, even unacceptable, some had a smell of inordinate boasting and megalomania, while others were full of equivocation and fraught with great dangers.
Very cautiously I told the comrades that such problems
are important but extremely difficult, that the Yugoslav comrades themselves are undoubtedly still studying these problems, that the experience of the war and the revolution cannot be generalized immediately and easily, etc.
<<I say these things to you,>> I told the comrades, <<so that you will be prudent and cautious, both in the talks and lectures which you will give and in our daily work. Then, since the Yugoslav comrades have not made public the things that they told you there, you yourselves should not implicate yourselves in the propagation of the views which you heard. We must consider everything well, must weigh it up and compare it with the teachings of Marxism-Leninism,>> I instructed them finally. <<In this way we shall learn and shall not permit mistakes.>>
The generals got up and left, but the things which they told me I was to mull over in my head for a long time. On the one hand, I was worried about the essence of the views expressed by the Yugoslav comrades, about their mania to come out so quickly with major <<generalizations>> and great pretensions to the point of describing themselves as <<enrichers>> of Marxism-Leninism! But, I thought, perhaps the initial euphoria after the victory leads them to such hasty conclusions. In time everything would be put in order, the aid of comrades, especially the Soviet comrades, would not be with held, either from the Yugoslavs or from us, to make matters clear to us and help us adopt correct stands.
My main worry was about our comrades. They were too ready to exalt everything the Yugoslavs said. Of course, we considered Tito and company as comrades and friends, but the tendencies to <<absorb>> without any reason everything they said did not seem to me correct or communist. This was not the first occasion that I had noticed this kind of euphoric exaltation and subjugation to the <<great>> and <<powerful>>.
At that period Koçi Xoxe had gone to Belgrade on a <<special>> mission and as soon as he returned he came to my office. Sejfulla Malëshova and Pandi Kristo were there, too.
<<What honours, what a reception they accorded us!>> he
told me. <<I can't describe them. Apart from General Marko (Rankovic), Comrades Djilas and Kardelj received me!>>
He mentioned the names of the latter two in such a tone of veneration that you would think <<God>> himself had met Koçi.
<<Who are they?>> I asked him casually there and then, as though I had not heard their names before. Naturally, I knew very well who Djilas and Kardelj were, had no bad impression about them and did not want to infringe their authority, but Xoxe's veneration did not seem to be correct.
Koçi was shocked at my <<tactless>> question.
<<Comrades Djilas and Kardelj?!>> he said opening his eyes wide to display his astonishment. <<They are Tito's greatest brains. They are big chiefs. You might say they are the ideologists of the Party.>>
<<Oh!>> I said <<in surprise>>, <<Then, they really are big shots. What did they talk about?>>
<<We talked about everything. A little about everything. About the war, the government, security, defence. They spoke well of us. They are going to help us. 'Don't be too hasty in this period,' they told me, 'so that you don't muddle up. . . the advance of the revolution!'>>
<<What do you mean with 'advance'?>> I asked him.
<<Well, as they told me, that is, the stairs, the steps. . . ,>> mumbled Koçi.
<<The stages of the revolution, that's what they told you!>> Sejfulla corrected him disdainfully.
<<That's right, that's what they told me, we must not muddle up. It was a terribly complicated business, but as far as I understood, we shouldn't be too hasty, because for the time being we'll be a democracy for the people, but the bourgeoisie shouldn't be greatly disturbed, because you mix up those, what do you call them, stages.>>
<<Never mind, never mind,>> interrupted his colleague Sejfulla with open scorn. <<This is a whole theory, I shall explain it to you some day. But in essence they are right, all my efforts in the Bureau and in the government are in that direction.>>
We shall see what Sejfulla was driving at with his <<in-
terjections>>. I was speaking about that kind of unquestioning, blind veneration which a number of our comrades were creating towards the leadership of the CPY, I don't mean that its authority and prestige, or the warm mutual relations of our comrades with the Yugoslav comrades should have been infringed, but when I found the occasion, I stressed that trust and respect should be mutual, and in our relations there should be no creation of the positions of <<big shots>>, <<masters>>, who know and decide everything, as against the <<little fellows>>, the <<apprentices>>, who ought to sit in silence, listening humbly, and carry out what the <<master>> says. An end had to be put to this evil. The comrades had to be trained and tempered so that they did not judge things through the head of this or that individual, but according to the line of the Party, taking the reality as the basis, and being guided only by the Marxist-Leninist theory.
However, at that period this essential thing could not be achieved. Some of the comrades of the Bureau of our Central Committee had been <<indoctrinated>> in such a way that they kept in step with the Yugoslav <<friends>> in everything and made every stand dependent on the Yugoslav stands.
In this way, although apparently standing <<on the side lines>> and without <<direct>> interference, the Yugoslavs were ensuring that their plans for the subjugation of our Party and the usurpation of Albania proceeded normally. The Yugoslavs were doing their work with <<our>> hands, through the people whom they had carefully prepared during the war and at Berat and had now thrown into the offensive.
The secret agents of Belgrade in our ranks
After the attack which they made on us at Berat, Tito and company also needed the smokescreen of <<affection>> and <<friendship>> to cover up any evidence about the true author of the plot at Berat, and to carry their work through to the
end. At Berat they planted the seeds of the destruction of our future, planted them, sad to say, amongst us, in the ranks of the leadership of our Party, and immediately after this, <<withdrew>> to leave the evil which they had planted to develop of itself within our leadership.
It was not long before their plans began to yield the first results. The fact is that a line, which was not a correct Marxist-Leninist line, was imposed on the leadership of our Party in a hostile way. After the Berat Plenum it could readily be noticed that in our speeches and documents little was said about the Party and a great deal was said about the Front. This was a consequence of <<my sectarian mistakes>> since I spoke a great deal about the Party and allegedly little about the Front. At the same time, they imposed on us the view that we should keep the Party in a semi-illegal situation and maintain secrecy about its existence and its being in the leadership of the whole life of the country.
<<The existence of the Party should be hidden>> -- this was a consequence of the liquidationist line of the Yugoslavs which had two aims:
First, to lower the prestige and authority of the Party in the ranks of the communists and the people, and consequently to open the way to the liberal, opportunist spirit in ideology, in the political line, in the economy, in the state power, and in every other sector. All this was done under cover of the anti-Marxist <<theorizations>> and distortions in connection with the two stages of the revolution, the period and the roads of transition from one stage to the other, etc. These were also the tendencies of Sejfulla Malëshova and the ideas he had brought with him and which now he was to develop rapidly, supported by the Yugoslav mission.
Second, with the hiding of the existence of our Party, the Yugoslavs were striving to prepare the terrain better for acceptance of the <<leadership>> of the CPY and Tito in our life, as the sole and main leadership, both of Albania and of that <<CPA which had given bad leadership and made so many political and organizational mistakes>>.
At Berat they were unable to achieve their aim of my total liquidation as an important condition for the unrestrained application of their plan and, apparently, they had postponed it for later. Automatically the hopes of the competitors for the same post: Sejfulla, Nako and Koçi, were postponed for later, too. After Liberation they were to do everything in their power to take over the work of leadership completely and to isolate me utterly until they could remove me as unnecessary.
However, they did not achieve this aim either, because I did not sit idle in the work with which the Party and the state had charged me. The unjust criticisms and attacks did not discourage me or drive me to despair. I had lost neither my courage nor my confidence. I still stuck to my conviction that the Party had had a correct political and organizational line, without mistakes, generally speaking, regardless of some subjective errors. Otherwise, we would not have achieved these victories of such great importance, first of all, the liberation of the Homeland and the establishment of the people's state power. At the same time I fought with the complete conviction that matters had to be put right and suitable situations created to present the issues correctly once again.
As soon as any mention was made of <<the re-examination of the past>>, however, the <<comrades>> of Berat displayed an astonishing displeasure and anger which, later, was to turn into obvious fear.
Quarrels and rows broke out in the Political Bureau. Obviously, these quarrels did not break out over minor things but, on the contrary, over the major problems which the country, the Party and the state were facing in all fields.
Thus, we entered the new historical stage without a clearly and accurately defined line. This would have been a minor evil and could have been overcome easily if our leadership had been in harmony and predisposed to exert all its united strength to cope with the problems. Precisely this
essential condition, however, did not exist. After the victory which they scored at Berat, now Sejfulla, Nako and Koçi were not seeking the ways to solve the major problems of the country, but the ways to achieve their own ambitions towards the <<throne>>. On the quiet, each of them aimed to occupy first place. Sejfulla Malëshova, in particular, began to display greater impatience. His great thirst for power, to become <<chief of the Party and the state>>, impelled him to throw off his past laziness and display great zeal. The peculiar, extremely complicated problems which the new situation presented apparently led him to think that the time had come for him to seize the banner. The fact that he had lived in a socialist country, in the Soviet Union, favoured him in this and he posed as if he alone were capable of manoeuvring cautiously in the complicated situation of the new stage we had entered.
In each meeting of the Political Bureau, as soon as the agenda was presented, he would say quite brazenly:
<<Listen comrades, the problems of the construction and organization of the state, the economy, culture, etc., are very complicated and require a dialectical treatment, without falling either to one side or to the other of the opposites. The Soviet experience of the years after the revolution, which I had the good fortune to live through, convinces us that we must be very manoeuvrable; for example: what about nationalizations, the private sector, the state sector, industry, or agriculture?! Are we going to nationalize everything?! Agreed,>> said the <<professor>>, <<this is the aim, this is the future of socialism! But how are we going to do this? Immediately? Through orders? It could be done in this way, because now we have all the means in our hands. But if we were to act in this way we would not be communists, but sectarians, adventurers! Because not only would neither the big owner nor the small owner understand us, but even if we took the enterprises, the banks and the mines over by force, we would not be capable of making them function efficiently.>>
<<Very well,>> interjected Koçi, <<but what are you getting at? Tell us in plain language.>>
<<I'm speaking in plain language, Comrade Xoxe, indeed, I'm explaining Marxism in quite a vulgar way so that you will understand me properly,>> retorted Sejfulla.
On almost all the issues I saw that we were having a great deal of discussion, making a lot of noise and the idea was forming in my mind that this noise was not being made so much on account of the <<nature of the problems>>, but rather that one and the other was grasping at the <<nature of problems>> in order to realize special personal aims.
When we defeated Sejfulla with sound arguments against his <<theories>> about the defence of the private sector, etc., he immediately clutched at Lenin's <<NEP>> and, when here, too, we proved that he was distorting Lenin, he immediately grasped at Tito.
<<Please! Please!>> he protested. <<Comrades Tito, Kardelj and Djilas don't talk for nothing. They themselves are not being hasty and how many times they have advised us not to be hasty. We are in the stage when the proletariat and the bourgeoisie, private property and socialist property will proceed parallel. We must not skip the stages.>>
We had very long debates during 1945, especially over the major problems of the elections to the Constituent Assembly, how we were to proceed in these elections, what they would represent, what the role of the Party should be in this great political campaign, who the candidates to be proposed to the people would be, etc.
<<Let us not forget,>> said Sejfulla Malëshova raising his voice, <<that these elections will put the seal on how much the people want us, or more precisely, whom the people are with.>>
<<What are you saying?>> I asked him. <<In the year 1945 you still want proofs of whom the people are with? The people are with the Party, with the Front, with the Democratic Government which we have formed and which is running the country!>>
<<You are right, indeed, we are in agreement in principle,>>
put in Sejfulla. <<But we must convince everybody, and especially the world, that the people are with us. The votes will demonstrate this conclusively. We must not underestimate what the Anglo-American allies say. Nor must we underestimate the voices of that trend which is crystallizing as an apposition within the Front and which is demanding to take part in the elections independently!
<<We say that the people are with us. The Anglo-Americans say that this is not so. They say that the people don't want us! We shall defend our viewpoint, but without underestimating or ignoring the voice of the opposition. What I mean is that we must not act as sectarians in the election campaign, but as the vanguard of democracy. And democracy means that we must allow people -- electors and candidates for election, freedom, so they can act freely. We should present our list of candidates, but should allow the opponents, that is to say, those who are not with us, freedom to run their own candidates. In this way we will shut the mouth of reaction which says we have restricted freedoms and have eliminated democracy.>>
<<Such a course,>> I objected immediately, <<will lead us, not just to an impasse, but to destruction. To allow reaction to come out independently in the election campaign means to accept sharing power with them, that power which we created through bloodshed and sacrifice.>>
<<No, don't judge the matter so narrowly,>> said Sejfulla. <<This would be only a tactic. The people will see that we are for complete freedom and will link themselves with us even more.>>
<<The opposite will occur,>> I said. <<In this way we will disappoint and confuse the people, the workers and peasants, the masses of the poor of town and countryside. When they see in the lists of candidates elements who have sucked their blood in the past, elements who have been alien to the war or have stood aside from the war, they will have the right to think: What did we fight for? To elect such people to the leadership?!>>
<<One moment! One moment!>> shouted Sejfulla as if he had found the famous point of Archimedes. <<Logic is leading you to the point. When the people see elements they do not like in the lists, then they will cast the ballot balls not for them, but for our lists. In this way the differentiation will be made and these elements will be isolated! Then we will be able to say to the American and British allies unreservedly: You see, Gentlemen, whom the people are with?! Our victory will be sanctioned.>>
<<I am apposed to such a policy, however 'broad' and democratic' you call it, Sejfulla,>> I said bluntly.
<<This is falling into sectarianism!>> shouted Sejfulla. <<It is a return to that line which we attacked at Berat. And I'm sorry to say, Comrade Enver, that I observe with regret that you have still not understood Berat.>>
<<I have not understood and never will understand the Plenum of Berat in the way you say,>> I told him. <<If sectarian stands and mistakes were attacked at Berat, this by no means implies that now we should go over to the opposite -- opportunism.>>
<<Only a sectarian assessment could call this platform, which I present and defend and will defend to the end, an opportunist policy,>> screamed Sejfulla. <<Let the other comrades speak!>>
<<These matters are not simple, not simple at all,>> put in Koçi Xoxe. <<However, listening to what Sejfulla says and what Enver says, I think that we should be somewhat more balanced. I am not with one or the other, but I put it like this: we have an experience from the time of the 'Puna' Organization of Korça. When the Comintern sent us the new line in 1937, we took part in the elections as the opposition, presented our lists and the people in Korça gave us most of their votes. We won at that time irrespective that afterwards the regime threw me and a series of comrades out of office. Here I lean towards Sejfulla. He is right. I hope that the reactionaries won't win anything. If they win, we'll see what we shall do. . . We won't allow them to take power from us. . .
Then, we have the experience of the Yugoslav comrades. They are not afraid to reach agreement even with the bourgeois, with Subasic. They have him in the government. Of course, that's their affair, we don't interfere, but we should not forget that they have always been patient and generous towards reaction. At the Congress of the Party in Serbia the Yugoslav comrades declared that all the political parties should act freely, that they should have their own newspapers and pamphlets opposed to those of the party, that a struggle should be fought between the two sides through the papers, through speeches and, in this way, the people will be convinced about the freedom which they have won. They do this because otherwise reaction would cause trouble for them. We should learn from them because they are our friends. It is not a matter of a few well-known reactionaries, because I know where to put them, but I am concerned about the allies. We are waiting for them to recognize us and they are not recognizing us before the elections. So I say we should take a broader approach. Let them take part in the elections, but they will lose, because their cause has been lost for a long time. However, I think we should consider what Enver said. I say that we should attack some outright reactionary elements and not allow them to present themselves in the lists, but to allow the others.>>
<<I am for a cautious and intelligent policy,>> Nako Spiru added fuel to the fire. <<Comrade Koçi mentioned something from the experience of the recent Congress of the Communist Party of Serbia. I've read those materials, too, and there is something to learn from them, especially from the courage of the Yugoslav comrades and their ability to manoeuvre. They are not afraid of the participation of reactionaries in the elections or even of their getting into the councils. 'Even if the elements of reaction triumph in a council,' said the Yugoslav comrades about their own experience, 'we should not throw them out because their election shows that we do not have all the masses with us. We should allow them to run things and, since they are reactionaries, they will not fulfil
the demands of the masses. In this way they will expose themselves and will be abandoned by the people.' That is what the Yugoslav comrades said,>> repeated Nako, <<and I think that this is a bold and clever tactic. We have no reason to fear, either, now that we are in power.>>
<<I insist on what I said before,>> I said speaking again. <<Comrades, you know that after the blow it received, reaction pulled in its horns, but it has by no means given up its aims and never will. It has begun to move, to rally its forces, to create its links and to organize the attack. External reaction, especially Anglo-American reaction, is in support of it.>>
This is not the occasion to dwell longer on the endless debates we held over those cardinal problems at that period, but I only want to point out that from what was occurring amongst us I was becoming ever more worried about a series of things.
First, I saw that a dangerous spirit and trend of opportunism was making itself felt and Sejfulla Malëshova was the banner-bearer of this tendency.
Second, the lack of unity of thought and action between us was very obvious. Almost all of us (with the exception of Bedri Spahiu and Tuk Jakova) were involved in arguments and disputes, but I saw that the contradictions of Koçi and Pandi and, up to a point, of Nako Spiru, too, with Sejfulla, were not contradictions of views, but had to do more with side-issues, with <<individual retorts>>, etc. It seemed to me that the comrades were not so much concerned about Sejfulla's opportunism as about Sejfulla himself, his strutting and posing, as the <<incontestable>> authority, <<know-all>> and a leader <<of the first order>>.
This situation had to be grappled with and changed. I was even more convinced of this after the conclusion with complete success of the general elections which were organized throughout the country in December 1945. Through their votes the people proved that they were linked with the Party and our Democratic Front like flesh to bone. How-
ever, in the positive general picture there were also some saddening instances. Through the pressure of Sejfulla and the others, in some cases elements that the people detested were allowed to present themselves in the lists of candidates. Reports reached us immediately:
<<We prefer not to vote at all rather than vote for Riza Dani,>> a group of residents of the electoral zone at which the candidature of this anti-popular element had been proclaimed, said openly. Similar things occurred with others. There were cases when the electors voted for elements they did not like, solely because the Party had told them to do so, but not from their own conviction. I'm referring to elements such as Suat Asllani, Selaudin Toto, Shefqet Beja, Gjergj Kokoshi and others, who were to come out openly later as a dangerous group of enemies in the ranks of our Constituent Assembly.
At the same time Sejfulla Malëshova urgently pressed on with his efforts for the greatest possible opening up and orientation towards the West, for economic links with it, because, according to him, <<in this way we will advance more rapidly and dispel from the minds of our allies the idea that we violate democracy>>, because <<we can do nothing on our own>>, because <<our friends (the Yugoslavs) have their own problems>>, etc. Therefore, according to Malëshova, our eyes should be directed towards the West. So that they would <<recognize>> us, in one meeting Sejfulla said:
<<We should re-examine the question of the treaties of the time of Zog with the Americans and the British!>>
<<In what direction ?>> I asked in surprise.
<<In the direction of recognizing these treaties. It will do us no harm if we recognize them!>> replied Sejfulla quite unabashed.
<<That is to say we should reject the decisions of the Congress of Përmet. Is this what you want, Sejfulla?>> I asked angrily.
<<Don't forget, comrades,>> said Sejfulla, addressing Koçi, Nako and the others, <<that the Congress of Përmet was held
in the period of sectarianism, before Berat! The decision taken there 'to re-examine', that is, to reject Zog's treaties with the allies seems to me to be a sectarian decision!>>
I opposed him strongly and indignantly and, to my surprise, Koçi Xoxe sided with me, a thing which he had rarely done since Berat.
<<Sejfulla Malëshova, you are going too far,>> he said. <<How can we reject the Congress which gave us the government? If we do as you say, it turns out that we should link up with America and Britain, but that time is over. As for contacts and friends, now we have others. Are we to recognize the oil concessions to the British and Americans?! This is serious. We need the oil ourselves and our Yugoslav friends are short of it, too!>> concluded Koçi Xoxe and angrily slapped the envelope, on which he had jotted down two or three lines, on the table.
<<Don't try to put me in a difficult position with the Yugoslav comrades!>> Sejfulla turned to Koçi Xoxe. <<We were together when we talked with them and they suggested that we should recognize Zog's treaties with the allies, because it would do us no harm.>>
<<What's this, what's this?>> I asked immediately. <<When did this occur?!>>
<<Koçi and I were together with Kardelj and Djilas,>> Sejfulla began to explain, <<and we outlined to them the conditions the Western allies laid down for us. They told us that we could recognize the treaties. Let Koçi tell you himself.>>
<<Don't mix up things or involve Comrades Kardelj and Djilas in them,>> retorted Koçi Xoxe with a frown, but with a trembling voice. <<We were not talking about Zog's concessions but about the recognition of our government by the allies.>>
<<That's what I said,>> Sejfulla snapped back.
<<Yes, but in the first place, you had more to say than they did. You presented matters in such detail you made a mess of it. You confused me, let alone them. That's how the matter stands. Don't confuse the comrades.>>
<<When you had discussed this with the Yugoslav comrades, why did you not inform us after you returned?>> I asked Koçi and Sejfulla. <<This is an extremely serious problem.>>
<<How do you mean, we have not informed you!>> Sejfulla defended himself. <<All my efforts in the Bureau for an intelligent tactic with the allies have been in that spirit. I considered that Koçi had told you the details.>>
<<You confuse matters and now you are confusing all of us!>> retorted Koçi Xoxe. <<With all your great theory you are only making a mess.>>
This, then, was the advice which the Yugoslav <<comrades>> and <<friends>> gave us! We should reject what we had decided at the Congress of Përmet, accept everything that the Americans and the British suggested to us and retain the enslaving treaties which Zog had signed with them. Koçi Xoxe tried to soften and deny this truth, but 4-5 months later open pressure to recognize Zog's enslaving treaties was to be exerted on us again by the Yugoslav leadership. Of course, we did not submit to these pressures and continued our former stand.
The quarrels broke out again, only this time extremely bitter quarrels and with mutual recriminations between Koçi and Sejfulla. Bedri and Tuk, vacillated as usual, mostly posed as neutral, while Nako Spiru listened, all eyes and ears, and tried to find the most favourable position for him to adopt. The balance leaned in favour of Koçi Xoxe. Sejfulla Malëshova was suddenly placed in the centre of the attack. To my surprise, in a number of meetings and discussions that we held at that period, Koçi, Nako and Pandi Kristo
 A radiogram which Nako Spiru sent from Belgrade on April 25, 1946 to Comrade Enver Hoxha included the following: <<They think that we should recognize the treaties with the Americans under the formula that Albania accepts all the pre-war commitments with other states with the exception of aggressors. In regard to the treaties with America, Kardelj sees nothing of importance, says they can easily be accepted.>> CAP.
turned on Sejfulla Malëshova with all their might. They presented a series of new facts and arguments which proved the treachery of Sejfulla Malëshova, but also proved some thing else: these facts, which they knew and had discussed with one another, they had kept completely hidden from me.
All these things threw light not only on the grave mistakes of Sejfulla Malëshova, which I knew in general outline and had long opposed. The main thing was that new light was being thrown on an <<old>> mistake, on the Berat Plenum. The time had come to analyse and judge calmly and with maturity and responsibility the things that had occurred.
The end of Sejfulla Malëshova brings
the plot hatched up by the Yugoslavs more to light
The dialectic of things was having its way. The plot hatched up behind the scenes at Berat bore within itself, besides the dangers and all the other perils for the Party and the country, the seeds of disaster for the plotters themselves.
At Berat Koçi Xoxe, Nako Spiru and Sejfulla Malëshova comprised a <<unity>> and had been egged on by the Yugoslavs in a joint attack against our Party. The Yugoslavs had done this by nurturing in each of them ambitions to occupy the main post. However, there were three of them and only one post. Hence, the time would come when the <<unity>> of the main anti-party trio at Berat would fall apart. The personal ambitions of each of them would be directed towards getting rid of the other two partners.
The development of events and the interests of the plotters were to bring about that the first pawn to be eliminated! from the game would be Sejfulla Malëshova. In fact, he had deserved punishment, not only now but much earlier, and it could even be said that his entire promotion to the leadership was a mistake. In that short period of the war that he
spent in Albania, he showed himself to be an unrivalled coward, and had no idea where and how the fighting and actions were carried out. He was for a struggle of cafes and drawing-rooms, a battle of smart phrases spoken, of course, because it was a great effort and sacrifice for him to write. After Liberation he proved to be a liberal parliamentary democrat, who did everything in his power to impose on the Party a <<broad>> opportunist line, a <<front without restrictions>> in which even the war criminals could take part.
Both during and after the war, Sejfulla Malëshova demonstrated that he was a friend and supporter of all the politicians of the cafes and the secret chambers, of bourgeois elements, of the kulak strata and reactionary clergy. He was, in fact, opposed to the socialist revolution, opposed to the dictatorship of the proletariat in theory and practice.
On account of Sejfulla's endless hostile anti-Marxist stands and actions of this type, we rightly decided to condemn him at the 5th Plenum of the CC of the CPA in February 1946. But the motive for the condemnation of Sejfulla Malëshova was the obvious one, the party motive. I say this because now <<someone else>> was interested in his condemnation. This <<someone else>>, first of all, was the Yugoslavs.
They exploited the anti-party tendencies of Sejfulla Malëshova for as long as it interested them and then, when they saw that he was becoming a nuisance to them, indeed with his pro-Western inclinations, he was even becoming dangerous, they agreed that he should be removed from the scene. On this occasion they satisfied mostly the ambitions of their main preference -- Koçi Xoxe With the elimination of Sejfulla Malëshova one competitor of Koçi Xoxe's for absolute power was removed. This was the main reason why Koçi Xoxe and, together with him, Nako Spiru, smiled their approval and expressed complete solidarity as soon as I put forward in the Bureau the necessity for holding the 5th Plenum. Long afterwards I was to learn the truth that they seized on my demand for the examination of Sejfulla Ma-
lëshova's grave mistakes and faults for other, essentially anti-party, interests and aims. Willy-nilly, on this occasion the Party came <<to the aid>> of Koçi and Nako to remove one of the rival partners from the scene. But, to give credit where credit is due, they themselves, willy-nilly, were to <<assist>> the Party with the host of facts which they were to present.
At that time, of course, I did not and could not know the true motives which inspired Koçi Xoxe in the attack against <<opportunism>>, but I noticed that he was displaying great activity and day by day dug out from the dossiers new <<arguments>> against Sejfulla. Nako Spiru did not lag behind in this campaign, either. He continued his old game: through his people he gathered facts exposing Sejfulla and strove to outdo even Koçi Xoxe in the condemnation of the opportunist. At the 5th Plenum these two tried to appear as <<the saviours of the situation>>. Within the sessions of the meeting, from what they said they seemed to be in solidarity with each other and with me and all the comrades of the Central Committee. This seemed to me like a good sign. Perhaps, I said to myself, the moment is coming to strengthen the unity so long desired and sought. Perhaps the comrades are beginning to understand where the orientation which Berat gave us might lead us and now are pulling themselves together. However, I was wrong and the first signs of this and my suspicions about it appeared right there at the Plenum. In their contributions and comments both Koçi and Nako confined all the evil to Sejfulla alone, only to the opportunist, but not to the opportunist spirit and tendency which had begun to appear after the Berat Plenum. Sejfulla was the most advanced, the banner-bearer of this alien anti-Marxist spirit, but if the analysis and criticism were to be concentrated on his person alone we were going to gain nothing. Why had this opportunist tendency entered amongst us? Where did it have its roots, causes, reasons? What factors assisted Sejfulla to flaunt his liberal tendencies so strongly?
Both Koçi Xoxe and Nako Spiru glided over or avoided
these essential questions. I had the unshakeable conviction that everything had its origin at Berat, in the unjust accusations of Velimir Stojnic about the alleged <<sectarianism>> in the line of the CPA, therefore, in the report which I delivered to the 5th Plenum I stated the cause of the evil openly. Naturally, in the report and in the remarks which I made I did not criticise either Stojnic or his <<directives>> directly. (Apart from other things, this would have been a mistaken step on my part, because in this way the possibility would have been given to Koçi, Nako and their comrades to attack me as <<anti-Yugoslav>>, <<sectarian>>, <<incorrigible>>, etc.). However, I cautiously portrayed the mistakes of Sejfulla Malëshova on their true background of the <<new>>, <<broad>> spirit about which we spoke at Berat.
<<At Berat,>> I stressed amongst other things, <<we looked for sectarianism even where it did not exist and the question of sectarianism was raised as the greatest threat to the Party. This was fraught with great dangers because it brought about that a young Party, without long experience, like this Party of ours, leaned over in the other direction, to opportunist stands. Those who lost all sense of measure,>> I stressed further on, <<were the comrades who did not base themselves on the experience of the Party and who saw the 'sectarian' tendency everywhere in the past.>>
This is not the place to dwell at length on the report I delivered at this Plenum (it has been published and in itself is the first re-examination of the Berat Plenum), but I want to point out only that both Koçi and Nako, from beginning to end, avoided such a thorough analysis of things and this struck my eye.
<<Why did they not describe the evil as they should?>> I asked myself. <<Can it be that they find it hard to admit that they were wrong at Berat? Why were they so frightened even at the mention of the 'Berat Plenum'?>> My suspicions were growing that they were hiding something.
 See Enver Hoxha, Selected Works, Tirana 1974, vol. 1, pp. 447-518, Eng. ed.
Another feature which I did not like in the stands of Koçi Xoxe and Nako Spiru at the 5th Plenum was their mania to present themselves before the comrades of the Plenum as the <<discoverers>> of the danger and the <<saviours of the situation.>>
In his contribution and interventions Koçi Xoxe praised the role of the <<cadres>> he had around him, who, according to him, <<had noticed>> and brought up the question of Sejfulla's mistakes. After speaking about the <<observations of cadres>>, Koçi turned on Sejfulla:
<<You,>> he told him, <<wanted to convince us that no harm came from your line and you pushed the cadres aside. You have done us great harm. Control has been overlooked. We had no line on control, exercised no control. Control must be re-established. . .>>
The <<chief kadrovik>> was preparing to take over the reins, to open the dossiers. Under the disguise of the struggle against enemy elements, who had come <<under the influence of the opportunist line of Malëshova>>, Koçi Xoxe was to find ways to extend the line of <<control>>, surveillance, persecution and punishment in all directions, especially against sound cadres in the Party and in the state.
Nako Spiru, for his part, gave all the <<credit>> to the <<youth>>, to <<intelligent comrades with a revolutionary spirit>> who had <<uncovered>> Sejfulla Malëshova! He went so far as to openly oppose the youth to the Party.
<<The comrades of the youth organization,>> said Nako, <<have shown themselves to be more vigilant than those of the Party in the direction of Sejfulla Malëshova. The youth organization is able to turn out capable cadres who can do any work and solve any problem!>>
Naturally, both the cadres and the youth, educated by the Party, had done and were doing their own work in all fields and the Party guided, supported and assisted them with all its might. But the problem could by no means be presented as who <<uncovered>> Sejfulla Malëshova first, the youth or the Party, the cadres or the Party! Such divisions
and oppositions were impermissible and dangerous. The mistakes of Sejfulla Malëshova were uncovered by the Party, the working class, men of the people, among them the youth and the cadres. The mania for the divisions <<the youth>> and <<the cadres>> was incorrect and dangerous. Moreover, both in the Plenum and before and after it Koçi Xoxe and Nako Spiru regarded and presented the youth or the cadres respectively (with the cadres Koçi implied first of all the workers of the Security Service and then the people of the apparatus) as personal <<sectors>>, where, according to them, not the directives of the Party, but the <<leadership>> of Koçi or Nako had a role. At the time of the Plenum we attacked these tendencies (to the extent they were manifested at those moments), but later we were to become clearer about the truth and to have fierce debates and clashes with Koçi Xoxe and Nako Spiru.
The mutual dislike and enmity between Koçi Xoxe and Nako Spiru was obvious at the Plenum. Although they were in solidarity in the condemnation of Sejfulla, the way in which they condemned him and presented the facts gave the impression that they were waging a kind of contest.
Later, all these things were to come clearly to light and it would be proved that both Koçi Xoxe and Nako Spiru did everything in the context of the struggle for personal power. I shall speak about this later. What is of interest here is the fact that at the 5th Plenum one of the most cunning and dangerous enemies was eliminated from our ranks. All the comrades sternly denounced Sejfulla Malëshova and, in one degree or another, it came out clearly that the roots of Sejfulla Malëshova's mistakes lay not simply in his personal tendencies, in his vacillating opportunist nature.
All these things were true, but the main thing is that, first, Sejfulla's tendencies found a basis for support in the <<orientation>> which Velimir Stojnic gave at Berat; second, in the unhealthy atmosphere which existed in our Political Bureau no barrier was raised to and no conditions were created for Sejfulla Malëshova's crooked inclinations to be nipped in the bud.
The 5th Plenum completely confirmed this truth. However, I was convinced that we would be hasty if we were to accept the <<conclusion>> of Koçi, Nako, Pandi Kristo and others that allegedly <<now the evil has been eliminated>> and <<things will go well>>. No, the 5th Plenum only brought out where the source of the evil lay, cleaned up a part of this evil, but the roots remained where they had been. The wound could become infected again and cause us even greater damage.
This became clear immediately after the 5th Plenum. The first signs of the Koçi-Nako enmity, which had appeared in the second half of 1945, now began to get worse and emerge openly. The development of events was creating new situations: the quarrels between Nako and Koçi broke the isolation they had established around me after Berat; and they began to come to me to <<complain>>, to explain the situation and seek my intervention. More and more I was seeing that the <<arguments>> which they presented spoke more about the personal ambitions of each of them than about issues of principle in regard to our work or the line in general.
Of course these ambitions of theirs which seemed sickening to me, had prime importance for them, and the <<advance>> of one could not fail to worry the other.
The fact is that after Liberation, Koçi Xoxe was rising higher than Nako, although he had neither the culture nor the acumen of Nako. But Koçi was pushed ahead because the Yugoslavs placed importance in the <<Macedonian>> Koçi Xoxe, encouraged and boosted him, and in their plan it was he who had to become number one. Koçi began to dress as a <<lieutenant general>> and was minister of internal affairs and organizational secretary of the Party, like Rankovic in Yugoslavia. He began to become arrogant, despotic, and posed as the man <<who knows everything>>.
Nako Spiru watched this rapid rise of Koçi with astonishment and concern. He knew Xoxe's capacities, which were almost nil, and knew the general opinion which we had
of him, and so he was convinced that Koçi was being pushed ahead by somebody else, by an external force. Nako sensed that the Yugoslavs were leaving him in the lurch and his ambitions were not being realized. From this point, without doubt, began Nako's cooling off towards the Yugoslavs and his orientation towards someone <<more powerful>>. But about this I shall speak later. At first, Nako advanced in his quarrels with Koçi with the aim of undermining this situation through methods and forms not in the party spirit, but in the spirit of intrigue which characterized him, and with factional work.
Nako's <<waves>> began to break closer to me, but not openly and sincerely, not by opening his heart to me and disclosing what he had done, but always using the pretext of current work to criticize Koçi. And Koçi behaved in the same way against Nako. From all this I observed that their <<unity>> at Berat was breaking up and the tendencies were for the formation of two groups -- the group of Koçi, Pandi and Kristo Themelko (who after Berat became the Yugoslavs' men completely), and the group
 Under the influence of Koçi Xoxe and the pressure and secret activity of the Titoites, Kristo Themelko, too, after the Berat Plenum joined in the anti-Marxist and anti-Albanian activity of the Belgrade leaders and their agents in Albania. When the Titoite betrayal came to light and the plot which the Yugoslavs had hatched up against the freedom and independence of our country was discovered and foiled, Kristo Themelko admitted his grave faults and mistakes and made self-criticism. With his stand he helped the CPA uncover more thoroughly the secret threads of the plot hatched up by the Yugoslav leadership and its agents, Koçi Xoxe and company. Therefore, only party measures were taken towards Kristo Themelko (he was dismissed from the Political Bureau, to which he was co-opted in the summer of 1946 and expelled from the C.C. of the CPA) and he was given a helping hand to correct his previous faults and mistakes through his work and correct stand. Kristo Themelko highly evaluated the magnanimous and benevolent stand of the Party towards him and mustered all his forces to honourably carry out the tasks he was charged with in important sectors of the economy of our country. For his good work and stand in a party spirit he was, among other things, decorated by the Presidium of the People's Assembly of the PRA.
of Nako Spiru with his cronies of the youth -- Liri Belishova, Fadil Paçrami and others. As for Bedri Spahiu and Tuk Jakova, up till the end of 1945 they were <<neutral>>, or inclined more towards Sejfulla, and after Sejfulla was attacked, they stayed on the sideline.
Meanwhile, many other events in this spirit took place before our eyes and when I considered them, they all focussed on one point, on a single source -- the Berat Plenum. So I considered that the moment had come to raise the question in the Political Bureau and that is what I did. As is known, I summarized my opinions on these matters, on the cause and the source of them in a document for the Political Bureau, a document which is known as <<The Theses for the Re-examination of the 2nd Plenum of the CC of the Party>>. These theses were published in full many years ago, so there is no need to outline them again. I want only to point out that on this occasion, that is, in the spring of 1946, I put forward the conclusion openly and officially in the Political Bureau that the main author of the grave mistakes of the 2nd Plenum was the Yugoslav emissary, Velimir Stojnic, that all his <<theses>> and <<directives>> were wrong and our comrades' support for them had brought about all the grave subsequent developments. I considered that pointing out the danger of these actions, which had caused and were causing divisions, was a necessary action on my part to save the Party from a further split. On the other hand, it was essential and urgent to tell the comrades that Marxist-Leninist unity in the leadership did not exist, a thing which endangered the unity of the whole Party and the people, therefore, this unity absolutely must be established in the leadership of the Party and first of all there where it was lacking, in the Bureau.
 See Enver Hoxha, Selected Works, Tirana 1974, vol. 1, pp. 543-575, Eng. ed.
<<Why should we go into an analysis of past events?>> asked Koçi almost innocently. <<Berat was about the war. That time has ended. Moreover, the 5th Plenum put matters in order for the first two years of peace, we have no reason to go into an analysis.>>
Nako Spiru raised the same opposition, the same arguments.
<<I'm sorry,>> I told them, <<but even after the 5th Plenum sharp disagreements are occurring amongst us. You know this better than anyone.>>
They both hung their heads and blushed. They did not like it that I brought out openly that each of them was coming to me to complain about the other.
<<If we have some disagreements they are over daily matters,>> Koçi Xoxe tried to get out of the difficulty.
<<No,>> I said, <<the way you have presented the matters to me they go deeper than that. Unity is lacking in our leadership and I insist that we must examine the roots of the evil where they lie -- in the Berat Plenum. We must discuss this seriously in the Bureau.>>
<<Since you insist, let the three of us, you, Nako and I get together,>> said Koçi Xoxe. <<There's no reason to involve the other comrades in what occurred at Berat.>>
These words made a deep impression an me.
<<Why?>> I asked. <<Did anything occur there that the others should not know? They were at the Plenum. . .>>
<<They were, but not as members of the Bureau,>> said Nako Spiru coming to the aid of his rival and enemy. <<Better let the three of us discuss the matter.>>
This unexpected <<solidarity>> of these two, at a time when it was known that they were ready to tear at each other's throats, increased my suspicions. Then I said flatly and sternly:
<<I shall not permit a second Berat. We are not going to meet alone again to discuss or decide in the name of the Bureau. I'm ready to present my opinions to the Bureau for analysis.>>
They were obliged to agree, but the fact that they were shocked was quite obvious. So I presented my opinions in the form of theses, telling the comrades of the Bureau right from the outset that my main concern was the lack of unity in the Bureau and that we should discuss this to find the causes and improve the situation.
At the same time I turned to Koçi Xoxe and Nako saying:
<<My conviction is that everything began from the time when we were preparing for the 2nd Plenum and it was fully developed at this Plenum. That is where we must seek the roots of the evil. Therefore, especially you, Comrades Koçi and Nako, and you Pandi, too, must make clear to us: why did you take a stand opposed to the line of the Party at Berat, why did you criticize the Party, from what positions did you proceed, were you subject to outside influences, and do you still stand by your former opinions?! I do not ask this in order to confront you with your responsibility,>> I stressed, <<but so that both you and we will be clear, will thoroughly recognize the mistakes, will correct ourselves through bolshevik criticism and self-criticism and radically improve the situation.>>
After this the discussion began. Both of them put up a stubborn resistance, using the justification that <<at Berat we attacked the manifestations, not the line>>, that <<we did not want to distort the past>>, that <<perhaps we went too far, but without evil aims>>, etc.
I proved with arguments that such excuses did not hold water. I reminded them of the unfair and unscrupulous interference which they engaged in on the report I delivered, but Nako forestalled the evil. He put all the blame on Sejfulla Malëshova.
<<That's right, Sejfulla confused us with his theories,>> Koçi Xoxe expressed his <<solidarity>> with Nako. <<He said that it should be a weighty report and we left this matter to him.>>
We carried on like this for two or three nights on end,
trying to arrive at the truth, but Koçi, Pandi and Nako Spiru swerved away from every truth.
Both during the years of the war and in this period we held the meetings of the Bureau at night. Mostly we met in my home, isolated one of the rooms which I used for work, and frequently continued the discussion till early morning. The occasions were by no means rare (not only when we discussed Berat, but also before and after this), when the debate took the form of a quarrel and voices were raised so high that not only the people of my household, but also the odd passer-by in the street could hear them. (At that time the street in front of the house where I lived and still live was not closed and anybody, good or bad, could walk past freely.)
We had moments of bitter arguments this time, too, only I must point out that Nako, Koçi and Pandi Kristo had lowered their tone to an extent rarely seen before. They were in <<the defensive>> and wanted to get over everything <<quietly>>, like <<angels>>, to avoid letting anything untoward slip out as tempers rose.
As usual Bedri and Tuk at first opened their eyes wide in amazement at the things they heard, and then, when they took the floor, did not know whom to support and whom to attack. I remained alone facing the three of them and realized that in such a situation no progress could be made. I proposed that we should extend the ranks of the Political Bureau with new comrades whose words and opinions ought to help to clear up this problem and to change the situation for the better.
<<First let us finish this analysis,>> said Koçi Xoxe, <<and then attend to that. There is no need to involve others in this story.>>
<<You can see that without calling in new comrades we are not going to get out of this situation,>> I replied to Xoxe. <<Let us increase the ranks of the Bureau and have the opinion and judgment of new comrades -- there's nothing wrong with that, it's all to the good.>>
The argument broke out again. Koçi, Nako and Pandi were especially opposed to bringing new comrades into the Bureau immediately. <<Later, perhaps it can be done,>> they said.
We left the meeting for the next night (it was extremely late), when we were to continue the discussion about my theses and make the proposals for enlarging the Bureau.
The next day, however, everything was suspended: unexpectedly, <<good>> news reached us from Belgrade. Nako Spiru with two or three comrades, cadres of the economy, were urgently required to examine problems of importance for our country and for Albanian-Yugoslav relations. The Yugoslav mission in Tirana informed us <<joyfully>> that all measures had been taken: the tickets were ready, the seats in the aircraft reserved. <<All that was required was that Comrade Nako Spiru should leave as quickly as possible!>>
I was pleased, too, but this unexpected news also surprised me. We ourselves had long been seeking talks with the Yugoslav leadership on problems of mutual relations, especially in the economic field, but no concrete reply had been given us. <<The comrades are busy,>> Josip Djerdja told us. <<As soon as they are free they will welcome you. We are friends, we understand each other's problems, so don't worry.>>
And now the way was open! And when?! Precisely when we were at the climax of the debates over the re-examination of a grave mistake of the past! What a coincidence!
However, it was to be proved that it was not a coincidence at all! The <<kindly>> but <<withdrawn>> stand from <<afar>> of the Yugoslav comrades had come to an end. Apparently they had been informed about what was occurring in our Bureau. They sensed the danger that the crust of the pie might be opened, that the plot they had hatched up at Berat might be discovered, and they took measures immediately. The first step was the urgent summoning of Nako Spiru to Belgrade. We sent him off the next day or the day after, giving him the relevant instructions, and a few days after he had gone I said to the comrades:
<<Let us continue the meeting.>>
<<Without Nako?>> said Koçi in a shocked tone. <<No, that cannot be done. He's involved in this and must be there to speak for himself. He could complain that we have talked behind his back. As you know, he accuses me for nothing.>>
<<Very well,>> I said, <<we shall wait for Nako to return and then continue.>>
Meanwhile from Belgrade Nako sent us good tidings one after the other.
The first thing that Kardelj and Djilas had <<advised>> as soon as they met him was the indefinite postponement of the date which we had set at the 5th Plenum for holding the 1st Congress of the CPA. <<We are still not holding our congress,>> the gentlemen had told him, <<let alone you who are without experience.>> They had put forward a whole bunch of <<difficulties>> (the preparation of reports and resolutions, what we would put forward, how we would organize it, what we would say about our line, how we would come out: legally or illegally, etc., etc.). and then had said:
<<Wait till we hold our congress, see how we do it, prepare the materials and bring them here for us to look them over, and then decide whether or not you're going to hold your congress. As for the way in which you organize it,>> they had added, <<we think that the congress should be held in secrecy, in illegality, to avoid annoying both internal and external reaction! This is what we did with the Congress of the CP of Serbia.>>
I had never been in agreement with such <<advice>> of the Yugoslav comrades, but in particular their insistence on concealing the existence of the Party seemed to me a thing as ludicrous and absurd as it was dangerous. However, my opposition in the Bureau ran up against the <<unity>> of other comrades who, not only repeated the <<arguments>> of Kardelj and Djilas, but also <<discovered>> others and raised them as
5th Plenum of the CC of the CPA decided that the 1st Congress of the
Party would commence in Tirana on May 25, 1946.
 This Congress was held in illegality in Belgrade from 8-12 May, 1945.
a barricade against me in order to have their way. As for the postponement of the holding of the congress, we would have done this even without the <<suggestion>> of the Yugoslav comrades, but for quite different reasons and motives from those Kardelj and Djilas presented. The congress was going to be postponed because we were still not reaching agreement in the Bureau in order to find the roots of the evil and were waiting for Nako so we could continue the discussion further.
As far as I remember Nako returned from Belgrade in May and meanwhile I had begun to put the ideas which I had presented to the earlier meetings about the re-examination of Berat in better order and prepared them in writing in the form of a report. This was the final variant (the one that has been published) which at the beginning of June 1946 I distributed to the comrades of the Bureau to read and study.
<<It is better this way,>> I told them. <<We must not get lost again in endless discussions as we did the first time. We must all prepare ourselves seriously and speak.>>
A few days later the meeting recommenced. Again the earlier pressure, only this time the phrases and <<arguments>> of Koçi and Nako were more <<measured>>, more <<studied>>, and even contained a little <<self-criticism>>. As the first step this was something. Let us carry further.
But we could not continue. An urgent radiogram arrived for me. Hysni Kapo, who was our ambassador to Yugoslavia at that time, sent it to me. <<Marko>> (Rankovic continued to use his wartime pseudonym) had summoned him and had informed him that this time they urgently awaited Enver Hoxha in Belgrade! Now they were only awaiting word from me whether or not I agreed to go <<at the earliest possible moment>> to Belgrade, where they were to give me a <<majestic>> welcome.
 <<Marko told me,>> wrote Hysni Kapo, among other things, <<that it would be good if Enver came as quickly as possible, perhaps on Sunday. Only your opinion is awaited. They will put at your disposal as many aircraft as you need for your trip. They intend to give you a majestic welcome.>> (Radiogram of June 19, 1946, CAP.)
Without doubt the news pleased me and I accepted the <<conditions>>, that is, that I should go <<as quickly as possible>>. Only look -- what a coincidence again and over the same problem: when we put forward in the Bureau the re-examination of Berat for the first time the friends urgently summoned Nako and now, as soon as we started the meeting left unfinished, they summoned me!
However, this was not a coincidence, either. Without doubt, Koçi Xoxe had again signalled his employers about my insistence and they found the remedy. To ensure that I left <<as soon as possible>> they mentioned the names of Tito, Djilas and Stalin himself! Of course, they offered me <<as many aircraft as I wanted>> and <<a majestic welcome>> if only I would leave!
When the news reached me I was truly disturbed that an essential analysis would be left half-way through again, but nevertheless I considered my visit to Belgrade a thing of importance for our work, both for our relations with Yugoslavia and on the international plane. So we left Berat unfinished again. In front of us was Belgrade. It was asking for us urgently.