|PAGES FROM THE PAST|
By Michael Celik
Most NSC readers never imagined that they will have to revisit the tyrant from Tirana on six glossy pages of their favoured magazine. However, there he was, wearing his Maoist hat and preaching the virtues of his chauvinistic beliefs.
Enver Halil Hoxha (Hoxha means Muslim preacher) was born in 1908 to an Albanian merchant class family and had a privileged upbringing. As such, he was given scholarship to study at the University of Montpellier, France, but quickly dropped out and tried his luck at Sorbonne. He failed as a student again but began to think that socialism is more lucrative. He did not discover socialism as an exploited worker but found a secretarial job in the Royal Albanian consulate in Brussels in 1934.
The turbulence of WWII provided a new opportunity for young Hoxha who had returned to Albania in 1936 and set himself up in business, running a tobacco shop. His western experience and sophistication offered an enormous advantage among his 90 % illiterate and 70% Islamic Albanian population and non-existent working class. When Mussolini invaded Albania in 1939 and the country embraced fascism, Albania still did not have a communist party. It was only in November 1941 that a handful of communists founded the Albanian Communist Party and a year later in 1942, however insignificant; the Albanian National Liberation Front was founded. By virtue of Albania's fascist loyalties and equal fascist sympathies among the Albanians in Serbia's province of Kosovo, Kosovo and Metohija were ceded to the Italian fascist and German Nazi masters and administered from Albania. Pogroms against the indigenous Serb population of Kosovo, Jews and Gypsies were systematic and an exodus of Serbs from their own province was thinning out their numbers. The Albanians have coveted that Serb province ever since they converted to Islam under the Ottoman Empire and thereby acquired a superior status over the Christian Orthodox Serbs. Albanian expansionist designs towards their neighbours, were a constant trait, be it under Islam, Fascism, Socialism or NATO today. While the majority of Albanians supported their Nazi government, which even declared war on the United States in December 1941, Enver Hoxha and his followers saw a greater opportunity in what may come after the Nazi defeat. In 1943, Enver Hoxha entered into an alliance with a right wing Albanian party and accepted their platform of annexing Yugoslav and Greek territories. "In August, a secret meeting was held at Mukje between the Balli Kombe'tar (National Front), which was both anti-Communist and anti-Fascist, and the Communist Party. The result of this was an agreement to fight together against the Italians. In order to encourage the Balli Kombe'tar to sign, a Greater Albania was agreed to, which included Kosovo (part of Yugoslavia) and Came'ria (part of Greece)". http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Enver_Hoxha
While the Partisans in Yugoslavia waged a determined and sustained guerilla effort against the German Nazis, the Albanian communist resistance had very little to show for. It is therefore no accident that the chain of command from the Comintern in Moscow and Enver Hoxha in Albania was via Yugoslavia. The orders from Moscow to Enver Hoxha were to maintain a united front with Yugoslav partisans and achieve greatest possible gains against the Nazi occupiers. Albanian appetites for foreign lands could not be accommodated under this scheme and Enver Hoxha had to abandon his alliance with the expansionist Balli Combetar or risk confrontation with the Comintern. The urge to keep the fascist occupied Kosovo for Albania's communists was strong but not strong enough to repudiate Comintern instructions. A strategic decision was then made to wait for another opportunity. In the meantime, the Yugoslav communist partisans have routed the Albanian fascists in Kososvo and restored it to Yugoslavia's Serbia. Any Albanian communist contribution to the liberation of Kosovo from the Nazis was made within the Yugoslav peoples' struggle to liberate the country and not with Albania's participation. Albanian communists lagged in their efforts to liberate their own country but found themselves in a favourable situation when Italy capitulated to the Allies in September 1943. The Germans tried to intervene in Albania and replace the Italians but were tied down at Stalingrad where the outcome of the war was decided. The Germans abandoned these efforts and left Albania in November 1944. With this emerging vacuum, Enver Hoxha and his guerrillas thus took the opportunity and formed the government of Albania. The People's Republic of Albania was proclaimed on 13 January 1946 and Hoxha ascended the posts of Prime Minister, Minister of Foreign Affairs and the Defense Minister. His immediate goal was to cleanse his government of pro Yugoslav communists and many Albanian communists were purged, even executed. The outlines of Hoxha's xenophobia had emerged much earlier but upon ascending his paramount political position. Enver Hoxha ordered his people to produce babies, even though his nation depended on socialist food shipments to survive.
|Many Kosovo Albanians joined the Nazis in persecution of the Slavs. Here is the Nazi ceremony in Pec – 1944.|
With dictatorial powers vested in him, Enver Hoxha was well positioned to seek socialist aid for his impoverished country. As Europe's most backward and primitive country, Albania received selfless help from the USSR and Yugoslavia, both devastated by war. "Albania was receiving substantial economic aid from the USSR. Before the end of 1950 several thousand Soviet technicians were at work on various Albanian projects..." Funk and Wagnalls New Encyclopedia, Vol. 1, 1972. Ungrateful for any of that help, Albania under Enver Hoxha hated its neighbours and began to complain that the aid was self-serving. Hoxha's nationalism and xenophobia were in direct conflict with the principles of proletarian internationalism. Hoxha was afraid that his, practically monarchic dictatorial powers, would not stand the test in the socialist scheme of things. He was determined to remain the dictator of Albania to the end of his life and the best way to achieve this was to stir up fears among his people. In that respect, while criticizing Tito, Hoxha was very much like Tito. Both these dictators used socialism for personal aggrandizement and perpetual hold on power which only ended when they died. Both, Tito and Hoxha created their ideological frameworks for straying away from socialism, which they proclaimed to uphold. While Hoxha stayed with the Soviet Union and the socialist community longer than Tito and tried to exploit the- situation for himself, he soon dropped out of Socialism, just as fast as he had dropped out of university in his younger years. A racist who hated Slavs of any political orientation, Hoxha could only stay in the socialist camp while the aid propped up his chauvinistic regime. His animosity for the Soviets was veiled in political arguments and when the CPSU realized that Albania is biting the hand that feeds it, the aid stopped. Enver Hoxha even assumed the right to lecture from his primitive fiefdom how socialism should be conducted in the land of Lenin and what kind of leaders the Soviet Union should have. Albania became a hermit kingdom of demagoguery and totalitarian dictatorship, hostile to all. Driven by paranoia, Albania could not do more than engage in regular sniping and killing of Yugoslav border guards, while large numbers of ordinary Albanians sought refuge from their poverty stricken land by fleeing to Yugoslavia and settling where their Albanian compatriots lived in the Serbian welfare state of Kosovo. Kosovo Albanians had all the rights and privileges in Serbia while Enver Hoxha had denied them in their own country. By contrast, Serbs trapped in Albania were facing extinction and cultural genocide, having no rights as a minority.
The absurd and widely circulated theory
that Albania could not tolerate Soviet changes after Stalin had no
validity whatsoever. If that were the case, this would have been the
problem with all the socialist countries and parties around the world,
which was not the case. The problem was not ideological but racist in
nature. Albania accused the Soviets of revisionism, knowing that Stalin
had died and no matter what his successors did, they could not bring
him back from the dead. That guaranteed that the Soviet Union could not
be right, no matter what it did. As dropout of Socialism, Enver Hoxha
could now ridicule everything Soviet and his imprisoned Albanian people
could not compare for themselves. It is no surprise that Enver Hoxha
fell in love with another chauvinistic nationalist leader, Mao Tse-tung
who envied the Soviet Union and its achievements under scientific
socialism. Mao had tried the same, demanding that the Soviet Union help
China build the nuclear bomb. He had hoped that with nuclear
capability, China could wrestle socialist leadership away from the
USSR. Both, Albania and the People's Republic of China under their
leaders, Hoxha and Mao, thought that with Soviet aid they could propel
themselves to a status they did not deserve. When they tried to go
their own way, their countries degenerated into chaos, poverty and
misery. When they failed in socialist reconstruction, they annihilated
or dismissed their communist parties and ruled as absolute monarchs.
They transformed socialism into a quasi religion, which they imposed on
their masses. This kind of social phenomenon is only possible in semi
feudal societies where people are used to sultans and emperors with an
aura of divine mission. There is absolutely no doubt that Hoxha would
not have tried his hoax during Stalin's stewardship. Stalin had zero
tolerance for traitors and Hoxha and Mao had to wait till after his
death to pursue their racist and chauvinistic dreams. Enver Hoxha died
in 1985 and his people had to wait for NATO to bomb the Serbs and
colonize Kosovo under Albanian terror, just as Hitler and Mussolini did
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