November 21, 2017

Enver Hodja SECOND MEETING with Stalin

March-April 1949 

Our stand towards the Yugoslav leadership from the years of the war. The 1st Congress of the CPA. Policy of terror in Kosova. On the Yugoslav divisions which were to be deployed in Albania. The Titoites aimed to overturn the situation in Albania. On the war of the fraternal Greek people. Erroneous views of the leadership of the Greek Communist Party. The British want naval bases in our ports as a condition for recognition. The road of the economic and cultural development of Albania. On the situation of our peasantry. On the history, culture, language and customs of the Albanian people. 

I went to Moscow again on March 21, 1949, at the head of an official delegation of the Government of the People’s Republic of Albania and stayed there until April 11 that year. Mikoyan, Vyshinsky, etc., as well as all the diplomatic representatives of the countries of people’s democracy had come out to welcome us at the Moscow airport.

We had the first official meeting with Vyshinsky the day after our arrival and on March 23, at 22.05 hours I was received by Comrade Stalin in the Kremlin, in the presence of Vyshinsky and the ambassador of the USSR to Albania, Chuvakhin. I went to this meeting with Spiro Koleka and Mihal Prifti who, at that time, was our ambassador in Moscow.

Comrade Stalin received us very warmly in his office. After shaking hands with each of us in turn, he stopped in front of me: «You look thin in the face,» he said, «have you been ill? Or are you tired?» «I feel very glad and happy to meet you again,» I replied and. after we sat down, I told him that I wanted to raise several questions with him. «Take all the time you need,» he said with great goodwill, so that I would talk about anything I considered necessary. I gave Comrade Stalin an exposition on a series of problems. I spoke in general about the situation in our Party and country, the recent events, the mistakes recognized, as well as about our stand in connection with the Yugoslav question.

 I told him that, as a result of the influence of the Trotskyite Yugoslav leadership on our leader­ ship and the excessive trust of some of our leaders in the treacherous Yugoslav leadership, grave mistakes had been made, especially in the organizational line of the Party, as noted by the 11th Plenum of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of Albania, the proceedings of which had been held in the light of the Letters of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union (Bolsheviks) addressed to the Central Committee of the Communist Party of Yugoslavia and the Resolution of the Information Bureau «On the Situation in the Communist Party of Yugoslavia». «The Central Committee of our Party,» I told Comrade Stalin, «fully endorsed the Resolution of the Information Bureau and we condemned the treacherous anti-Albanian and anti-Soviet course of the Trotskyite Yugoslav leadership in a special communique.

 The leadership of our Party,» I pointed out, «for many years had encountered the hostile conspiratorial activity of the Titoites, the arrogance and intrigues of Tito’s envoys — Vukmanovich-Tempo and Dushan Mugosha.» Among other things, I mentioned that on the eve of the liberation of Albania, Tito, seeking to achieve his anti-Albanian and anti-Marxist aims, sent us a delegation of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of Yugoslavia, headed by its special envoy, Velimir Stoynich. At Berat, he and his secret collaborators, the traitors Sejfulla Malëshova, Koçi Xoxe, Pandi Kristo and others, behind the scenes, prepared their harmful and dangerous moves which constituted a serious plot against the correct line followed by the Party during the whole period of the war, against the independence of the Party and our country, against the General Secretary of the Party personally, etc.

 Although it knew nothing about the plot that was being concocted. the healthy section of the leadership of our Party there and then energetically opposed the accusations made against it and the line followed during the war. Convinced that grave anti-Marxist mistakes had been made at Berat, among other things, I subsequently presented to our Political Bureau the theses for the re-examination of the Berat Plenum, but. as a result of the feverish subversive activity of the Yugoslav leadership and its agents in our ranks, these theses were not accepted.

«The further development of events, the Letters of the Central Committee of your Party as well as the Resolution of the Information Bureau,» I told Comrade Stalin. «made the situation completely clear to us, the hostile activity of the Yugoslav leadership with Tito at the head was uncovered and proved and the plotters in the ranks of our Party were thoroughly exposed at the 11th Plenum of the CC of the Party.

The 1st Congress of the CPA endorsed the turn taken by the 11th Plenum of the Central Committee and made it more thorough-going. It appraised the political line followed by the Party since its founding as correct, and 90 found that the peculiar distortions which became apparent after Liberation, especially in the organizational line of the Party, were the result of the Yugoslav interference and the treacherous Trotskyite activity of Koçi Xoxe, Pandi Kristo and Kristo Themelko.» I mentioned that both Koçi Xoxe and Pandi Kristo were dangerous agents of the Yugoslav Trotskyites in the ranks of the leadership of our Party, that with the guidance, support and backing of the Yugoslav Titoites they had made every effort to usurp the key positions in our Party and our state of people’s democracy.

 In all their treacherous activity they had put themselves in the service of the national-chauvinist and colonialist policy of the Trotskyite Yugoslav leadership towards the People’s Republic of Albania. I added that Kristo Themelko was one of those most influenced by the Trotskyite Yugoslav leadership and had implemented its directives in the sector of the army unreservedly. «However,» I went on, «after the betrayal of the Yugoslav leadership was fully uncovered, he admitted his mistakes and made self-criticism before the Party.» Stalin, who was listening attentively, asked: «What are these three? Are they Slavs. Albanians or what are they?» «Kristo Themelko,» I said, «is of Macedonian origin, whereas Koçi Xoxe is of Albanian origin, although his parents lived in Macedonia.»

 I went on to tell him about the exceptionally great importance which the Letters of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union addressed to the Yugoslav leadership and the Resolution of the Information Bureau had for our Party. «In the light of these documents, which came out at very crucial moments for our Party and people,»

 I told Comrade Stalin, «the character and the aims of Yugoslav interference in Albania became completely clear to the Central Committee of our Party.» After giving a general outline of the many radical measures our Party had taken to put an end to the ferocious anti Marxist and anti-Albanian activity of these agents, I told him that, although we encountered and opposed their crooked activities as early as the war years, still we were conscious of our responsibility, because we should have proved more vigilant.

Here Comrade Stalin interrupted me with these words: «Our letters addressed to the Yugoslav leadership do not contain everything, because there are many matters that emerged later. We did not know that the Yugoslavs, under the pretext of ’defending’ your country against an attack from the Greek fascists, wanted to bring units of their army into the PRA. They tried to do this in a very secret manner. In reality, their aim in this direction was utterly hostile, for they intended to overturn the situation in Albania.

 Your report to us on this question was of value, otherwise we would have known nothing about these divisions which they wanted to station on your territory. They implied that they were taking this action allegedly with the approval of the Soviet Union! As for what you said, that you ought to have shown greater vigilance, the truth is that in the relations with Yugoslavia there has been lack of vigilance not only by you but also by others.» Continuing my discourse, I told Comrade Stalin that the difficult moments created by the Titoites and by the monarcho-fascists who were acting against our country under orders of the American and British imperialists, were overcome successfully thanks to the correct line of the Party, the patriotism of our people and the assistance of the CP of the Soviet Union. This was a major test from which we learned a great deal to correct our mistakes, to consolidate the victories achieved up till now, and to fight to strengthen and develop them further.

Our army accomplished its tasks with courage and lofty patriotism. During the difficult period we went through, the patriotism of the masses was very great. Their trust in our Party, in its correct line and in the Soviet Union was unshakeable. The activity of the internal enemy was short-lived. I told Comrade Stalin that we had neutralized the hostile activity 93 of those who had put themselves in the service of the Trotskyite Yugoslav leadership. We adopted differentiated stands towards those who, in one way or another, were implicated in the antiAlbanian activity of the Trotskyite Yugoslav leadership. Some of them made self-criticism over the mistakes they had committed in good faith, while those who were gravely compromised were already rendering account before the people’s court.

 «Protect your Homeland and the Party,» Comrade Stalin said. «The enemy must be exposed thoroughly, with convincing arguments, so that the people can see what this enemy has done and be convinced of the menace he represents. Even if such an enemy, utterly discredited in the eyes of the people, is not shot, he is automatically shot, morally and politically, because without the people he can do nothing at all.» «The trial which is now going on in Tirana,» I told Comrade Stalin, «is being held with open doors and everything that is said in the court room is published in the newspapers. «At the same time.» I added, «those who have thoroughly understood their mistakes, who have made sincere and convincing self-criticism, we have treated patiently and magnanimously, and have given them the possibility to make amends for their mistakes and faults through work, through loyalty to the Party and the people.

We have even thought we should send one of them to study in the Soviet Union,» and I mentioned one name. «Really?»
Stalin asked me and looked me right in the eye. «Have you requested that this person should come here to study? Do you still have political trust in him?» «We do,» I said, «his self-criticism has become more and more profound and we hope that he will correct himself.» «But does he want to come here?» «He has expressed the wish to come,» I said.

At this point Chuvakhin added some explanations in support of my opinion. «Well, then, since you have weighed this matter well, Comrade Enver, let him come...» Continuing the conversation, I told Comrade Stalin that during the same period the Americans, from Italy had parachuted groups of saboteurs into the south and north of Albania. We killed some of these saboteurs and captured the remainder. Foreseeing the difficulties on our southern border and wanting to have the forces available for any eventuality, we first had to undertake a mopping-up operation in North Albania against the groups of political and common bandits who operated within our borders under the direction of agents sent in by Rankovich, and we did this. These bands in the service of the Yugoslavs carried out a number of assassinations. Our mopping- up operation ended successfully: we wiped out some of them and all the others crossed over into Yugoslav territory, where they remain to this day.

 «Do they continue to send in other saboteurs?» Stalin asked. «We think that they have not given up. The policy of Tito and Rankovich to lure Albanians into their territories in order to organize groups of saboteurs and wreckers with them, met defeat, and at present there are very few defections. Our government has taken economic measures and the political and organizational work of the Party has been strengthened.

The imperialists are training groups of wreckers abroad, just as the monarchofascists and the Titoites are doing on their part. The Italians are not lagging behind. Our present plan is to rout the remnants of the bandits at large in our mountains for whom we have already made things very difficult, and to destroy their bases, which are among the kulaks, especially. Most of the reactionary groupings in the cities have been smashed by the State Security Forces which have scored many successes. Our Party put things in order in the Ministry of Internal Affairs, a former centre of the Titoites, and the State Security has become a very powerful and much beloved weapon of the Party and our people. General Mehmet Shehu is a glorious leader and he enjoys the continuous aid of the Party and the people in his difficult and delicate task. The Party has set itself