ALBANIA, ENVER HOXHA AND JOSEPH STALIN -
Choose Between the Legacy of Tito and the Legacy of Stalin
Alliance Article First Presented At The First Moscow Stalin Seminar, 1994;
Published in Alliance issue number 9;
Next published as a part of three articles in Alliance 29 at:
THIS VERSION IS AS IT WAS FIRST PRESENTED IN MOSCOW, AND IN ALLIANCE NUMBER 9.
"UPON THE RELATION OF ENVER HOXHA TO JOSEPH VISSARIONOVICH STALIN"
I. FROM ANTI-FASCIST WAR TO SOCIALIST REVOLUTION.
II. ALBANIA AND JOSEPH VISSARIONOVICH STALIN.
(A). UPON THE IMPERIALIST ATTACKS UPON ALBANIA,
THE ROLE OF GREECE, AND THE SAGE ADVICE OF STALIN.
Hoxha's criticisms of the KKE on points of principle were :
i) That the KKE Ceded Control of the battle against the Fascists to the British
and American Mediterranean command.
ii) The defeatist Tactics of the KKE - capitulation at Varkiza.
iii) The KKE understanding of guerilla war.
(B) THE PRACTICAL SUPPORT OF THE SOVIET UNION TO ALBANIA IN BUILDING SOCIALISM.
(C) UPON THE REVISIONIST TITO LED COMMUNIST PARTY YUGOSLAVIA (CPY). Yugoslavia
versus Albania; Stalin supports Albania.
i) Relations During the War between the CPY and the CPA.
ii) Tito Obstructs the Albanian path to socialist independence.
iii) Following the Open Letter of the CPSU(B) to the CPY.
Marxist-Leninists view J.V.Stalin as a key touch stone, to distinguish who only
calls themself a Marxist-Leninist from one who is truly a Marxist-Leninist. Only
Marxist-Leninists consider that socialism in the Soviet Union was established
and successfully functioned until shortly after Stalin's death. This view allows
us to sort out from the welter of groups - those that are truly Marxist-Leninist
from those that are not. Over time, a similar significance of Enver Hoxha and
Albania becomes ever clearer.
We will put the view in this article, that Hoxha led the Albanian state through
a two stage war of National Liberation into socialism. Thereby becoming only the
second world power (to date) to establish socialism, after the Soviet Union.
This enormously significant achievement, has not received adequate attention
world wide. This inattention stems from revisionist misinformation and
Marxist-Leninists are, even now, actively re-assessing all their history. Any
claims must be carefully scrutinized. We would argue, that the claims that
socialism was established in several countries (the Warsaw Pact countries and
Cuba, Vietnam, and North Korea) are illegitimate and spurious. We argue that
these false claims devalue and debase the currency of socialism.
In fact, these revisionist illegitimate claims, obscure the differences between
socialism and what was in most of these other countries, a nationalist
"pseudo-socialism". In truth, leaders in these other countries never followed
the explicit advice of both Lenin and Stalin. This advice, warned against
halting the turn from the national democratic revolution to the socialist
revolution. Stalin pointed out, using the prescient phrase "Chinese Wall";
(prescient because the Communist Party China did exactly what he had warned
against), that one should not build a Chinese Wall between the Democratic
Revolution and the Socialist Revolution.
But, still some honest Marxist-Leninists, may not be at this stage convinced
that Albania was the only country to follow the Soviet example. Therefore we
will here try to :
First describe the development of the Albanian revolution from anti-fascist
national war of liberation to the socialist revolution;
Then outline the relations between Stalin and Hoxha, representing the Albanian
party; and in doing so portray the attitude of the Tito revisionists towards the
Together this information, we would argue, spells out the fact that during
Stalin's life time, and with his direct support, the foundations of a socialist
state were laid in Albania.
This review will only take the story up to the death of Stalin in 1953. Of
course Albania's later history is very important to the fight against
revisionism. Unfortunately, here, we cannot deal with these in this paper. The
vital role that Albania played in exposing first Khruschevite revisionism, and
then somewhat later, Chinese (Mao Tse-Tung) revisionism; has to be later
But, here we only briefly remind ourselves, that by any criteria :
Socialism was established by the Albanian state and proceeded to great heights.
Firstly by scientific criteria, socialism was established. ALL private industry
was expropriated, and the state controlled the levers of production, and in turn
the state itself was directed by the working class and peasantry.
Secondly, by the criteria of ordinary folk, this scientific criteria was
translated into the daily life of Albania.
In 1947 the Albanian state had been completely ravaged by fascism, and had no
railway and no industry to speak of, with high illiteracy. Yet by 1989, Albania
was a country whose standard of living was higher than its neighbours (including
Yugoslavia); whose people were educated; and where the people were thriving -
contrary to capitalist propaganda. Albania then exported to its neighbours a
large range of products including electricity, and for wages all workers were
subject to a ratio of highest wage to lowest wage of 1:1.2, of which the lowest
wages went to party members. Diseases that were common in Yugoslavia, just
across the border, were eradicated in Albania. Much more data can be easily
adduced to highlight the real differences in the political, cultural and living
standards of Albania as compared to those of the spurious "socialist" states.
Clearly Albania was a shining Socialist example to the workers and the peasants
of the world. That is why the World Bank and the international capitalists class
led by the USA so actively inspired the coup assisting the traitorous Ramiz Alia
into power. It is true that socialism was dismantled rapidly in this state. But
it took the international capitalist class to do so. Hoxha's acts live on and
will continue to guide the workers and peasants of the still struggling Albania.
But how did Hoxha create the basis of the socialist state, and how did
J.V.Stalin's actions and thoughts interact with Hoxha ?
I. FROM ANTI-FASCIST WAR TO SOCIALIST REVOLUTION.
Marxist-Leninists know that at various points of struggle, different layers of
the masses are drawn into struggle. Before the socialist revolution, this will
include elements who will not adhere to socialist slogans and principles.
Even the Bolshevik revolution itself had two separate stages, first the national
democratic revolution and only then the socialist revolution. As Lenin put it:
"If one does not want to understand that a bourgeois - democratic republic with
a Constituent AAssembly is a step forward from the same sort of republic without
a Constituent Assembly, and that a Soviet Republic is two steps forward, one is
merely closing one's eyes to the difference between the bourgeoisie and the
proletariat." Lenin CW, Moscow 1980, Vol 29: p.498.
At the very time he was travelling back to Russia after exile, in his "April
Theses", Lenin was quite explicit about the two stages of the Bolshevik
"The specific feature of the present situation in Russia is that the country is
passing from the first stage of the revolution - which owing to the insufficient
class-coonsciousness and organisation of the proletariat placed power in the
hands of the bourgeoisie-to its second stage, which must place power in the hand
of the proletariat and the poorest sections of the peasantry."
Lenin Selected Works (SW): "April Theses", Volume 2, Moscow 1977, p.30.
These specific features (ie "insufficient class consciousness and organisation
of the proletariat" - ed) apply to Albania also. As identified by Lenin, the
democratic revolution had taken place in Russia by the April months :
"1. The old Tsarist power which represented only a handful of feudalist
landowners.. has been overthrown and removed, but not completely removed.. 2.
State power has passed into the hands of a new class, the bourgeoisie and
landowners who had become bourgeois. To this extent the bourgeois -democratic
revolution in Russia is completed." Lenin, "The Tasks of the Proletariat In Our
Revolution". SW.Vol 2. p.37.
Lenin also pointed out that the tension of "Dual Power" then existing, would be
resolved by the victory of one or other force:
"The main feature of the our revolution.. is the dual power which arose in the
very first days after the triumph of the revolution. This dual power is evident
in the existence of two governments: one is the main, the real and actual
government of the bourgeoisie the "Provisional Government" of Lvov and Co,;
which holds in its hands all the organs of power; the other is a supplementary
and parallel government, a "controlling" government in the shape of the
Petrograd Soviet of Workers and Soldiers Deputies which holds no organs of state
power but directly rests on the support of a obvious and indisputable majority
of the people, on the armed workers and soldiers.." Lenin, "The Tasks of the
Proletariat In Our Revolution" p.36-37, SW. Vol 2, Ibid.
Lenin and Stalin showed in practice that the socialist revolution only comes
after the victory of the national democratic revolution. This understanding
allowed Lenin and Stalin to navigate the storms of the colonial and
semi-colonial world, something that Trotsky never could, mixing up the socialist
with the national democratic phase. It was this same understanding that led to
Stalin's later sympathy for the unravelling of revolution in Albania, and
For just as the Bolsheviks of the Soviet Union turned the struggle against
Tsarist feudal oppression into the launching pad for the successful socialist
revolution; the Party of Labour of Albania led the United Front against the
fascist invaders of Albania, from the National Democratic Revolution (NDR)
through to the socialist revolution.
Firstly in the NDR against the Italian fascists, and German fascists;
And then against the internal class enemies in the socialist revolution.
Incidentally, in this epic battle during the Second World War, Albania was the
only state bar the Soviet Union, able to liberate herself entirely by herself
from the fascist grip.
The Communist Party of Albania (CPA) was formed from a number of grouplets who
conducted significant struggle, in the midst of the Italian occupation. In fact
it was these anti-fascist battles of the rank and file that led to more than
just a formal unity between the various groups :
"While the negotiations among the leaders of the communist groups dragged along
for months, the popular anti-fascist forces were growing all over the country. .
a radical change had taken place. The rank and file members of the communist
groups were becoming aware that unity could not be achieved through sterile
talks among chiefs but through a common struggle against the fascist invaders..
The demonstrations were conducted under the slogans : "Long live free Albania",
"Liberty or death!".
From : "History of The Party of Labour of Albania" Volume 1, Tirana,1971, p.70.
(Hereafter listed as PLA).
These activities ultimately led to the formation of a branch of the Korca
Communist Group to be formed in Tirana in 1940 under the leadership of Enver
Hoxha (1908-1985). Under his leadership, the sectarian and Trotskyite elements
of the "Youth Group", were in practice exposed. These included such incorrect
slogans as :
"For a Soviet Albania", during the phase of the anti-fascist battle". p.79, PLA
The Shkodra and Korca groups moved closer together with the need for joint
actions against Italian fascism. Finally the Communist Party of Albania was
formed from a meeting of groups, on November 8th, 1941. The party's ideological
and organisational bases were explicitly those of Lenin and Stalin (PLA History
p.89-91); and explicitly repudiated Trotskyite notions of "the reactionary and
conservative nature of the peasantry, and the lack of a proletariat"; as being
fatal pre-conditions against hopes of any victory (PLA History, p.86).
The STRATEGIC AIM of the party in 1941 was :
"To fight for the national independence of the Albanian people and for a
people's democratic government in an Albania free from fascism." p.92, PLA.
The class struggle was not ignored, but :
"The basic contradiction existing at that time in Albania which demanded an
urgent solution in order to clear the way for national social economic and
cultural development (was) the contradiction between the people and the fascist
The main enemy was :
"The Italian fascists.. and all those who sided with the invaders and had served
them to oppress the Albanian people."
p.93, PLA Ibid.
The principal forces against them were :
"The workers and peasants who bore the main brunt of the fascist oppression, and
(fulfilled the task-ed) to 'set up military units.. (to-ed) spread among the
masses of workers in urban and rural areas."
But in accordance with the tactics of the broadest possible united front with
those GENUINELY fighting the common enemy, the CPA set up a crucial TACTICAL
"But the "non-national patriotic state were also interested in ensuring national
independence. Therefore the party could not afford to neglect these strata, and
it set down the rule of carrying on ceaseless work in order to mobilize them in
the national-liberation movement:
"Unite with the nationalists who really want a free Albania, with all the honest
Albanians who want to fight against fascism."
p.94 PLA, Ibid.
Having linked the masses with the vacillating but genuinely patriotic of the
Albanian nationalists, the CPA proceeded to win the leadership of the National
Liberation War. The process led to the National Liberation Councils:
"In February 1942, the Central Committee issued the first instructions to
establish national-liberation councils which would serve as instruments
organizing and mobilizing the people for the anti-fascist war and at the same
time as the "nuclei of our future government". The councils were to serve as
very important links with the broad masses of the people and unite with them in
the national liberation front." PLA, Ibid, p.107.
The Founding of the National Liberation Front at the Peza Conference on
September 16th, 1942, was key to harnessing the energy of the genuine
In practice the true but non-communist patriots were distinguished from the
false so called "patriots". The latter led by Abaz Kupi did not dare to :
"openly oppose the guiding role the CPA had begun to play in the struggle."
Ibid, p.123. The Councils exercised great influence :
"In the liberate regions the councils exercised the functions of organs of
people's power. They maintained law and order looked after the development of
the economy , the food supply, trade, sowing and harvesting of grain, organized
education culture and the press; they settled councils patched up blood feuds
and maintained the people's readiness for war...
"Throughout the National Liberation Councils, the government functions and the
people are mobilised for struggle and the uprising."
PLA, Ibid, p.125.
It is true that the CPA "had the rich experience of the Soviets". But :
"Naturally it did not merely copy this experience, First and foremost it relied
on the concrete circumstances under which the people ant-fascist uprising was
developing in Albania. The composition of the organs of this uprising harmonized
with its national liberation character. These councils the CC (said).. should
include the militant representatives of the all the anti-fascist forces
regardless of their political opinion and class background."
PLA Ibid, p. 126.
But the CPA during the guerilla war, obstructed and exposed the machinations of
the "Balli Kombetar". Headed by the sham patriot Mithat Frasheri and Abaz Kupi,
the Balli embraced :
"Reactionary bourgeois intellectuals, big landowners and merchants, reactionary
clergymen, rich peasants and others.. The Trotskyite "Zjarri Group" also joined
it. The Balli Kombetar was a motley political union of various reactionary
trends. Its organisation was rotten.. the Balli announced that it did not
recognise the Peza Conference.. they chose to collaborate with the invaders."
PLA, Ibid, p.131-33.
Sectarian elements goaded on by the Yugoslavs agitated for an "open war" against
the Balli at this stage. This would have been premature. Instead of "open war"
against the Balli, the CPA led by Hoxha fought to distinguish between the
rank-and-file and leadership of the Balli. This line convinced the people of
Albania that there was only one true leadership fighting for a national
liberation- the CPA.
When the 2nd National Liberation Conference took place in Labinot on September
1943, the attempts at a rightist accommodation with the Balli by the more faint
hearted of the CPA Central Committee (Ymer Dishnica) had been defeated by Hoxha.
It timely now, to move to the slogan :
"To have the national liberation councils recognized as the sole people's power
PLA Ibid, p.170.
Ultimately the correct line won out and the masses became ever more convinced of
the CPA's correct unhesitating leadership. As time went on, even the more honest
of the British military observers commented, in then secret reports :
"It is exceedingly difficult to explain to the partisans (ie the true National
Liberation Front (NLF) led by the CPA-ED) the reason why the Allies not only DO
NOT denounce these collaborators but give them supplies, and continue to
maintain MILITARY missions with them.. During the past 6 months, together with
Majors Titman and Palmer, I have asked for a change in policy, The position has
remained unaltered.. I am a professional soldier not a politician, but from what
I have seen of the NLF they are perfectly capable of running Albania and to the
satisfaction of the populace."
British Documents of the Public Record Office in Kew, London :
FO371/43551/39/R10429. Cited in "A Tangled Web : A History of Anglo-American
Relations with Albania (1912-1955)", p.99. By W.B.Bland and I.Price. London,
1986, published by The Albanian Society.
The Italians capitulated on September 8th, 1943. But then came the Germans. The
armed battle became even more intense. This led to the escalation of battle
against the Balli internal enemy, more and more the vanguard of reaction. This
coincided with the Abaz Kupi joining forces with the German Quisling
governments; with the connivance of the British. The latter were by now
increasingly worried about Hoxha and the CPA's revolutionary potential, and
wished to prop up their future "right" to exploit Albania via the puppet Kupi;
and British Prime Minister Winston Churchill held talks with the Albanian
It was in this climate that the CPA pushed to establish state power under the
workers and peasants :
"The first question to be taken up is that of state power.. The establishment of
the National Liberation Councils everywhere, their reinforcement and their
protection from all attempts on the part of the "Balli Kombetar" or any other
party to sabotage them, or to combat them overtly... There should exist no other
power than that of the national-liberation councils. On this issue there can be
no compromise and duality." PLA Ibid, p.184.
By May 1944, despite harsh German aggression in the winter, the CPA led
partisans were dominant. By 1944, the National Liberation Army had grown to
35,0000 fighters. By now the Red Army had mounted an offensive since January
1944, on the Eastern Front, entering Rumania in April. At this critical time,
the anglo-Americans aided the Kupi and Balli Quislings. But unlike Greece, where
communists were butchered, the CPA followed correct tactics led by Hoxha. At
Permet in April 1944, the Ist Anti-fascist National Liberation Councils
Congress, addressed the question of state power. The CPA identified this
question. With the first democratic elections in Albania ever, the Anti-Fascist
National Liberation Council was elected as the highest legislative and executive
body in Albania, as :
"the representative of the sovereignty of the people and of the Albanian state.
The Anti-Fascist Council elected in Permet was the first peoples Convention of
Albania. The Congress charged the Anti-Fascist Council with forming the
Anti-Fascist National-Liberation Committee with the attributes of a provisional
people's democratic government.. Enver Hoxha was elected Chairman of the
Anti-Fascist Committee. Establishing the supreme organs of the people's power,
the Permet Congress decided:
"The new people's democratic Albania is to be built according to the will
solemnly expressed today by the people through the Anti-Fascist National
PLA Ibid, p.208.
After this, Albania finally liberated herself from fascism.
In Berat in October 20-23, 1944, the Second Session of the Anti-Fascist National
Liberation Council took the decision to change the Anti-Fascist Committee into
the Democratic Government of Albania.
This promised to organise the full democratic elections for the Constituent
Assembly after Liberation. All citizens were guaranteed equality before law,
freedom of meeting, of association, of press of religion and consciences,
equality for women and men, right of election etc; in the "Declaration of The
Rights of the Citizens". The first steps toward agrarian reform was taken with
listing of all land ownership and counting of landless peasants; all foreign
political and military and economic agreements concluded by ex-King Zog were
annulled if they infringed upon Albanian interests; and close relations and
collaborations were envisages with the Soviet Union (p.217-219, Ibid PLA).
When full liberation was achieved on November 29th, 1944;
the working class had played the dominant role in the National Liberation War
correctly led by the CPA.
Despite the fact that :
"Both in the leading organs of the National Liberation War and in the
composition of the Party, the number of workers was small. This did not however
prevent the working class from fulfilling its leading role in this war."
The peasantry had become the main armed force of the National Liberation War and
the "soundest support of the CPA".
It was true that:
"The Albanian peasantry constituted the overwhelming majority of the population.
It is true that it was backward from the economic and cultural standpoint, but
it preserved ..great revolutionary capacities.. against landlords and usurers,
against the former anti-people regimes and ..foreign invaders..The peasantry
accepted the programme ad leadership of the CPA..the well to do peasantry, the
village gentry as a class did not..and aligned themselves with the Balli."
PLA Ibid, p.234-236.
Of the other classes the petty and the middle bourgeois also joined with the CPA
led NLF. Of the petty bourgeois most were enthusiastic. Of the middle
bourgeoisie there was vacillation but most took part. (p.236). Of course the
youth and the women were the most active forces.
Now the tasks were clearly directed towards the second stage - securing
First the army was transformed from a guerilla and partisan army, into a regular
army. Elections to the local organ of power were held. The Democratic Front was
formed, convened at the Ist Congress of the National Liberation Front in August
1945, under the slogan of national unity. This called for elections, which were
held on December 2nd. The only exclusions from the polls were ex-ministers of
the Quislings, war criminals, and those who had lost their civic rights.
During the period directly leading up to the December elections certain
progressive measures were taken.
1. Friendship and alliance with the Soviet Union was proclaimed.
2. Reconstruction was made a priority. Schools, factories, power stations etc.
3. Merchants and capitalists were compelled to pay taxes and yielded up hidden
gold and merchandise. Property was expropriated of hostile elements and those
refusing to pay the progressive taxes.
"In 1945 the revenue from the extraordinary taxation on war profits accounted
for more than half the state budget income."
PLA Ibid, p.261.
In the midst of the electoral campaign, the Soviet Union recognised the
Democratic Government of Albania.
The elections were decisive.
"About 90% of the voters took part.. and 93% of them cast their ballots for the
candidates of the Democratic Front. These were the first democratic elections
ever held in Albania... On January 11th, 1944 the Constituent Assembly,
expressing the will of the People unanimously proclaimed Albania a People's
Republic and chose the new government with Never Hoxha at its head."
PLA Ibid, p.272-3.
THE ENSUING CONSTITUTION :
"Proclaimed that the main means of social production were common property of the
people; and that the private sector was subject to state control. The
Constitution also regarded work as an honour and duty for everybody. It
proclaimed the principle that each citizen was entitled to be paid according to
is work and capability."
p.274. PLA Ibid.
To the cynics the elections must "have been rigged". It is interesting then to
note the views of the 1945 US Special Mission of Special Officer Joseph Jacobs:
"The Albanian leaders are a sincere patriotic group of individuals who are going
to be difficult to deal with."
p.i Bland and Price, Ibid.
"The NLF regime enjoys greater popular support than any opposition group.
Opposition elements are poorly organised and have no positive programme. The NLF
is the only movement which effectively resisted the Fascist invaders. Generally
speaking, the NLF leaders are patriotic and well intentioned. they are more
considerate of the well-being of the people than was any previous Albanian
regime. That they have done as much as they have thus far is remarkable,
considering their inexperience."
Bland and Price : "The Tangled Web", p.140, Ibid, citing National Archives USA
Washington : 84/7/801/7-145.
The People's councils had become the basis of the dictatorship of the
proletariat. What was Stalin's attitude to Hoxha, and to the fledgling socialist
state of Albania?
II. ALBANIA AND JOSEPH VISSARIONOVICH STALIN.
Even leaving aside the powerful impetus to Communists in Albania, of the
Bolshevik Revolution of 1917, the Albanians were heavily influenced by the
Soviet state from 1917 onwards. Unlike the revisionists of the so called Peoples
Democracies, the Albanians truly embraced the Soviet example from the beginning.
The anti-fascist war of national liberation itself, was boosted by the Soviet
example. The Albanian Party history says :
"Led by the CP headed by J.V.Stalin the Soviet people rose in a body to wage
their Great Patriotic War in defense of the freedom and independence of their
Socialist homeland. This just war opened a new stage in the Second World War
strengthened the liberation, anti-fascist character of the struggle of peoples
against the fascist bloc, and laid the foundations for the unification of all
the anti-fascist forces of the world into a single front.. the treacherous
assault on the Soviet people and the outbreak of the great Patriotic War had
deep repercussions in Albania. the broad masses of Albanian patriots were
indignant at the Hitlerite aggression.. Only the Soviet Union had defended the
rights of Albania and had raised its voices against the injustices perpetrated
"Our struggle" Enver Hoxha said, "Did not begin after the entry of the Soviet
Union into the war, but after the entry of the Soviet Union into the War, our
people felt that the blood that they shed would be not be in vain."
PLA. p. 81-2.
In fact the Meeting Of the Communist Groups that formed the CPA, set itself the
task of linking the Albanian National Liberation with the Great Anti-Fascist
World War. And as the PLA History puts it, the most :
"Decisive external factor of the historic victory of the Albanian people was the
Great Patriotic War of the Soviet Union and its great victory Over fascism..
Under the leadership of J.V.Stalin, the Soviet Union bore the brunt of the
Second World War and played the principal role in the destruction of fascism."
PLA, Ibid, p.241.
The most direct evidence of the views of Stalin are the testimony of Hoxha from
his five personal meetings with Stalin. Hoxha claimed in his memoirs of the
meetings with Stalin that :
"We Albanian communists have successfully applied the teachings of Stalin in the
first place in order to have a strong steel like Party, always loyal to
Marxism-Leninism, stern against the class enemies."
"With Stalin - Memoirs", Enver Hoxha, p.39, Tirana 1979.
These Memoirs are redolent of a very warm and personal relationship between
these two great fighters for humanity. It is not necessary to belabour this
point, as the book speaks for itself. But we will try to describe briefly some
specific aspects of the relationship between Stalin and Hoxha.
(A). UPON THE IMPERIALIST ATTACKS UPON ALBANIA, THE ROLE OF GREECE, AND THE SAGE
ADVICE OF STALIN.
The Great Powers had always interfered in Albania, setting up their version of
her borders. They had previously in the secret Treaty of London (Signed April
26th, 1915 by Britain France Italy and tsarist Russia) divided Albania into 3
parts; two of which were to be directly under Italian control and one under
Greek control. (From British Foreign Office Records, Kew,
FO371/3148/6163/199287. Cited Bland and Price Ibid, p.6). But the vigorous
policy of the masses led by the CPA made it far more difficult to manipulate
Nonetheless, immediately after the Second World War, when the Greek revolution
was crushed, the British and American imperialists, once again used the Greeks
as pawns by which to disrupt Albania. The Greeks revived the specious claim to
the part of the South of Albania that they called the "Northern Epirus". As an
British Foreign Office memorandum urged :
"The State Department.. are inclined to consider that there might be
justification for limited action by the Greek army just inside Albanian
territory.. There is much to be said.. for hinting unofficially to the Greek
military authorities that a minor incursion of this nature should be winked at."
Cited by Bland and Price Ibid, p.235-236. Kew Documents:FO371/78444/10390/R7696.
Hoxha pointed out to Stalin, that the British and the USA imperialists were
anxious to continue swallowing Albania, just as before the war. In addition the
Greek and Italian and Yugoslavs had designs upon Albania. The advice of Stalin
was to steadily proceed with the building of socialism. Sagely he advised :
"As for the screams of the external enemies about partitioning Albania, they are
just to intimidate you because I do not think there is any danger in this
direction at present.. In the first place Albania is a free and independent
country, the people have seized independence and they know how to defend their
independence. Second the external enemies have themselves contradictions with
one another over Albania. None of them wants Albania to belong only to the
other. If Greece wants to have Albania for itself, this would not be
advantageous to Italy or Yugoslavia, which would raise obstacles.. On the other
hand the independence of Albania has been recognised and confirmed by the
delegation of the big three-The Soviet Union, Britain and the USA. This
declaration may be violated, but it is not easy to do. Hence come what may,
Albania has its independence protected."
Hoxha : "With Stalin", Ibid, p.116-117.
For Hoxha's part, he shared information on the incorrect handling of the
partisan war in Greece; and the immediate post-war problems of the inexperienced
and poorly led Greek Communist Party (KKE).
In 1947, at his Second meeting with Stalin Hoxha was blunt :
"We think that the leadership of the KKE made grave mistakes.. among others that
the Greek Democratic Party (GDA) stood aloof from the people.. made great
mistakes in regard to the expansion of the party in the countryside and the town
during the war.. and during the war against internal reaction and Anglo-American
"With Stalin", Ibid, P.109-110.
Many of these mistakes were the very ones that the Hoxha leadership had to fight
against within the CPA Central Committee. These mistakes were being urged by
Trotskyites, and by hidden Titoite agents. In essence, these mistakes embodied a
lack of reliance upon the masses, and opportunism :
"In the countryside.. the extension of the party was limited, and its
organization weak and lax, with the organisation as of the party frequently
confounded with the EAM (the National Liberation Front-Ed). There was
opportunism both in the organization and in the political line of the national
liberation councils at the village level, there was duality of power and
coexistence with the Zervist reactionary organizations etc. in the liberated
areas and elsewhere. We told the Greek comrades that their putting the Command
of the National Liberation Army under the orders of Mediterranean Command (the
British and the American Command-editor), their talks and agreements of an
opportunist and capitulationist character with Zervas and the reactionary Greek
government in exile, the predominance of peasant elements and of the old career
offers in the leadership of the Greek National Liberation Army, and so on, were
grave errors which would lead the heroic struggle of the Greek people to defeat.
The Varkiza agreement was the logical conclusion to all these wrong actions and
views - it bought about the capitulation to British and local reaction..
Even after the capitulationist Varzika Agreement and the period of 'legality' of
the KKE, the leadership of the KKE did not go deeply enough into its former
mistakes in order to correct them in a radical manner.. it did not have sound
links with the broad masses of the people.. it did not appreciate the new
situation after the defeat of fascism, underrated the internal enemy and
Anglo-American reaction and was unable to foresee the great danger that would
threaten it from these forces of reaction.. It had great hopes in 'legal'
activity and parliamentarism. As a result the party was disarmed before the
enemy, lost its sound ties with the people, the people's revolution in Greece
went through a grave crisis, and the people were given the impression that the
revolution would triumph on the parliamentary road and through elections.. they
failed to prepare themselves for a protracted difficult war, under-rated the
partisan war and described the partisan forces they succeeded in regrouping, as
a regular army. They pinned all their hopes of victory on this 'regular army',
in this way neglecting the main factor-the people, and the Marxist-Leninist
principle that 'the army and the people are one."
Stalin was disturbed about events in Greece, and the apparently strained
relationship between the CPA and the KKE. In fact Stalin arranged for an open
meeting with the leaders of the KKE - Nicos Zachariades and Mitsos Partsalides;
with Enver Hoxha to discuss the allegations of Hoxha. These were openly
ventilated in Stalin's office, on the occasion of Hoxha's Fourth meeting with
Hoxha's criticisms on points of principle were:
i) That the KKE Ceded Control of the battle against the Fascists to the British
and American Mediterranean command :
"Our party supported the Soviet-British-American Alliance, because through to
the end it considered this an anti-fascist coalition to crush the German Nazis.
But at the same time we never created the illusion that the Anglo-American
imperialists would be the loyal friends and allies of the Albanian people.. we
made a radical distinction between the Soviet Union and the Anglo-Americans from
the beginning.. Our Party, our Army and the General Staff of our army not only
never submitted to the dictate of the British and the Allied Mediterranean Head
quarters, but even when we allowed them to give us advice, we took it with very
great caution..our two peoples (ie.Albanian and Greek) developed even closer
fraternal relations during the war.. But we have criticised the comrades of the
leadership of the KKE because the EAM and they themselves committed a major
political mistake of principle in subordinating the National Liberation War of
the Greek people to the Anglo-American strategy and placing it virtually under
the leadership of the British and the Mediterranean HQ. We addressed our
criticism to Comrade Zachariades personally. The person mainly to blame for this
situation was Siantos.. Zachariades was imprisoned.. When we pointed out this
matter to Comrade Zachariades later, he did not give me a clear answer, and
leaned more to the view that mistakes had not been made."
With Stalin, p.166.
ii) Hoxha's Second Criticism Was That the defeatist Tactics of the KKE -
capitulation at Varkiza.
Right wing forces in Greece formed a National Republican Greek League (EDES),
led in name by General Nicholas Plastiras and in practice by General Napoleon
Zervas.In a meeting of May 1944, in Lebanon, the EAM, ELAS and KKE agreed to
place all their military forces under a "Government of National Unity" to be led
by George Papandreou. Papandreou then demanded the disbanding of all military
forces bar those of the Greek Government, when ELAS refused, civil war broke out
led by the British Lieutenant -Colonel Ronald Scobie authorised by Winston
Churchill. On January 3rd, 1945, Papandreou was replaced as Prime Minister by
General Nicholas Plastiras. After this a "peace conference" on February 12th,
was held at Varkiza where the ELAS agreed to disband in return for an amnesty,
and handed in its arms. The remnants of the ELAS then re-grouped as the Greek
Democratic Army, and civil war broke out again.
Hoxha stated that :
"Our opposition to the leadership of the KKE with Cmde Zachariades at the head
is based in the first place on Varkiza, where the KKE and the EAM signed the
agreement which nothing more than a capitulation a surrender of their arms. The
CPA described this act as a betrayal committed against the KKE and the fraternal
With Stalin, Ibid, p.170-171.
The Varkiza agreement was to have major significance, and devastated the forces
of the Greek Communists.
iii) Hoxha's Third Criticism Was Upon The KKE understanding of guerilla war.
The practical experience of the CPA meant that these criticisms were sharp and
"After the capitulation at Varkiza, the Greek national Liberation War was
resumed.. we have had contradictions with Zachariades, Bardzotas, and Ionnides
over the character of the war the Greek Democratic Army (GDA) should have waged
against.. Greek reaction.. On the basis of the our National Liberation War, we
think that the Greek Democratic War should not have been transformed into a
frontal war, but should have retained the character is a partisan war, fought
with small and large units. In this way the General Van Fleet (of the USA)
superior forces would not have been able to liquidate the GDA.. Zachariades'
views on strategy were in opposition to ours. The comrades of the leadership of
the KKE.. described the.. partisan forces.. as a 'regular' and 'modern' army..
they also claimed that they had equipped it with the strategy and tactics of the
frontal war of a regular army. On the other hand, in their military operations
the Greek the comrades followed the tactics of passive defence which is the
mother of defeat.. the KKE proceeded from the incorrect principle that partisan
warfare has not a final objective, that is, does not lead to seizure of power."
"With Stalin" p.174, Ibid.
Hoxha goes on to point out that the GDA was very demoralised,and with the
continual waiting instead of seizing an offensive, became more so. Even when
there was a positive manoeuvre made in the Battle of Gramos in 1948, the victory
was not built upon to "capture cities," and to "seize power". Hoxha links these
military considerations with an even more significant point- that the leading
role of the party was discarded by the KKE:
"We think that at the battles of Gramos and Vitsi the comrades of the Greek
leadership did not keep in mind the Marxist-Leninist principles of people's
war.. We have told the Greek comrades in a comradely manner that the leading
role of the party in the Greek partisan army must be ensured more firmly; the
political commissar of the company, battalion, brigade and division should be
the true representative of the party, and as such should have the same right to
command, just the same as the commander. But we have noticed and have often
pointed out to the Greek comrades that they have not taken a correct view of the
leading role of the party in the army.. Failure to understand the leading role
of the party in the army was one of the main reason which led to defeat in the
GDA.. In the Greek National Liberation Army (ELAS) the joint command of the
commander and the commissar existed but this was poorly implemented in practice.
The pressure of erroneous bourgeois views of career officers who could not
tolerate trusted people of the party in command alongside them, brought about
that.. the role of the commissar was overshadowed and relegated to second place.
This is a consequence of the views of the leaders of the KKE on the 'regular
Ibid, p.183, 187-190.
Stalin after hearing Zachariades, and having made himself conversant prior with
the facts, supported Hoxha's analysis :
"As regards Varkiza, the Albanians are right.. Varkiza was a major mistake. You
should not have signed it and should not have laid down your arms, because it
has inflicted great harm on the Greek people's war.. as regards the assessment
of the strategy and tactics followed in the Greek Democratic War, although it
was a heroic war, again I think the Albanian comrades are right. You ought to
have waged a partisan war." Ibid, p. 196-197.
THIS DISCUSSION ON GREECE SHOWS SEVERAL THINGS :
Firstly, that the standard Trotskyite argument that "Stalin was responsible for
the debacle in Greece" is incorrect. Here Hoxha testifies that he and the CPA,
advised the KKE to adopt a correct Marxist-Leninist line, one by which the CPA
itself had secured victory.
Secondly, the relations between Stalin and Hoxha were very frank and open. Frank
and warm, but principled also. The open party discussion between the CPA and the
KKE was instigated by Stalin, in the best spirit of proletarian
internationalism.ie. To have open and sharp debate, in order to heal dangerous
rifts, to develop Marxist-Leninist policy, and to prevetn repition of mistakes.
At the end of this potentially bitter debate, Stalin said : "Wait a moment,
comrades! Embrace each other, Comrade Hoxha and Comrade Zachariades!" ("With
Thirdly that the overall assessment of Albania's by Stalin (See beginning of
this section) was in the long run correct. By building socialism the CPA avoided
the capitalist encirclement for many years - until the death of Hoxha in fact.
B) THE PRACTICAL SUPPORT OF THE SOVIET UNION TO ALBANIA IN BUILDING SOCIALISM.
In all the meetings of Hoxha with Stalin, there was considerable talk of how the
Soviet Union could help the fledgling socialist state of Albania. It was clear
that Soviet leader was prepared to help the Albanian state considerably, in both
political and practical terms.
For example, the very name of the Party of Labour of Albania was suggested by
Stalin. The overwhelming mass of the people were from the peasantry, and Stalin
understood the implications of this:
"The overwhelming majority of our people," I (Hoxha) told Cmde Stalin.. "Is
comprised of poor peasants and next come the middle peasants. We have a working
class small in numbers then we have a quite a large number of craftsmen and
townspeople engaged in petty commerce, and a minority of intellectuals. All of
these masses responded to the call of our Communist Party, were mobilised in the
war.. and are now linked with the party and the people's power.. While assessing
the policy of the Party.. towards the masses in general and the peasantry in
particular as correct, Cmde Stalin gave us some valuable comradely advice about
our work in future.. He expressed the opinion that since the biggest percentage
of its members were peasants, our CP should call itself "The Party Of Labour of
"With Stalin, Ibid, p.62.
This suggestion was later adopted by the CPA. Stalin's attitude, showed how well
he understood the problems of a peasant based society, and his practical
experience in the Soviet Union :
"Cmde Stalin asked us in detail about the situation of the middle and poor
peasants in our country. Hoxha told Cmde Stalin, about the policy of the CPA,
and the great all-round work it had done.. in order to find support among the
peasantry and win it over to its side.. Hoxha said "We acted in that way,
proceeding not only from the Marxist-Leninist principle that the peasantry is
the closest and most natural ally of the proletariat in the revolution, but also
from that fact that the peasantry in Albania constitutes the overwhelming
majority of the population and through the centuries had been characterised by
great patriotic and revolutionary traditions.. Cmde Stalin replied :
"In general the peasants are afraid of communism at first because they imagine
that the communists will take the land and everything they have. The enemies
talk a great deal to the peasants in this direction with the aim of detaching
them from that alliance with the working class and turning them away form the
policy of the party and the road of socialism. Therefore the careful and far
sighted work of the CP is very important, as you also said, to ensure that the
peasantry links itself indissolubly with the party and the working class."..
"Stalin advised: "You must set up the Machine and Tractor Stations and
strengthen them, so that they work the land well, both for the state and the
cooperatives and for the individual peasants. The tractor drivers must always be
in the service of the peasantry, must know all about agriculture the crops, and
the soils, and must apply all this knowledge in practice to ensure that
production increases without fail."
"With Stalin", Ibid, p.59-62;75-76.
Of course there was much more advice. But also there was much critical practical
This consisted of everything from maize and cotton seeds(p.153), rails (p.103),
army materials (p.103); and most importantly to specialists and educational help
to build up industry and self-realince of the people:
"We shall help you with specialists in order to speed up the process of
development of the Albanian economy and culture. As for oil think we'll send you
Azerbajani specialists, because they are masters of their profession. For its
part, Albania should send the sons and daughters of workers and peasants to the
Soviet Union to learn and develop so that they can help the advancement of their
Homeland".. We shall assist both with literature and with specialists in order
to help increase the number of higher institutes which are the basis for the
creation of the university"
The generosity of Stalin is to be contrasted to the attitudes of such as the
later to be revealed revisionist Mikoyan :
"Stalin said: Comrades, we are a big country, but you know that we have not
eliminated all the grave consequences of the war. However we shall help you
today and in the future, perhaps not all that much, but with those possibilities
we have. We understand that you have to set up the sectors of socialist
industry, and in this direction we agree to fulfil all the requests you have
presented to us, as well as those for agriculture." Then smiling he said : "But
will the Albanians themselves work?" I (ie Hoxha) understood why he asked me
this. It was the result of the evil-intended information of the Armenian
huckster Mikoyan, who .. not only spoke in a language quite unlike Stalin, but
also used harsh terms in his criticisms of our realization of plans in our
country, alleging that our people did not work etc. His intention was to reduce
the rate and amount of aid.
"With Stalin", Ibid, p.103-4.
Clearly, Stalin fully supported both Hoxha and the Socialist state of Albania.
C) UPON THE REVISIONIST TITO LED COMMUNIST PARTY YUGOSLAVIA (CPY). Yugoslavia
versus Albania; Stalin supports Albania.
After the open exposure of the Trotskyites, revisionism went underground.
Following the further exposure of the revisionists in the Soviet Union such as
Zinoviev, Bukharin, Radek etc; international revisionism was cautious.
The next open attempt to subvert the Marxist-Leninist world movement was taken
by the CPY under Tito. It was the exposure of the Tito by Stalin that ultimately
helped the Albanians to maintain their independence. For, from the earliest days
of the Albanian War of Liberation, until Stalin exposed the CPY, Albania and the
CPA were constantly under pressure to cede its independence in various ways to
the Yugoslavs and the CPY.
i) Relations During the War between the CPY and the CPA.
In summer 1941, the CPA established links with the CPY. The background, between
Yugoslavia and Albania was "embittered" :
"This whole grievous legacy built up over decades had been created by no fault
of the peoples and the Albanian people in particular have never been to blame
for it. The blame for this rests on the anti-Albanian policy of the monarchs of
Serbia and princes of Montenegro who wanted to gobble up Albania.. The monarchs
of Italy, Austro-Hungary, Greece, Serbia, Montenegro, and Bulgaria rushed to
grab whatever they could from the "The periphery of the (crumbling-ed) Ottoman
Empire.".. In particular the Serbian and Montengrin hordes assailed the Albanian
territories.. occupied the outermost region of Kosova.. expelling about 3000,000
Albanians.. In 1912 the Albanians won the great victory - the independence of
Albania... (But-ed) then Albania was cut in half-Kosova and other Albanian
regions were violently annexed to Yugoslavia.. the anti-Albanian policy of..
great-Serb reaction was intensified.. Yugoslavia once again sanctioned its de
jure its "rights', to the occupied Albanian territories.. and tried new ways of
.. gobbling up the whole of Albania. It was precisely the Serbian monarchs who
came to the aid of King Zog who had fled from Albania in June 1924.. Zog carried
out the counter-revolution in December 1924. In return Zog initially gave the
Serbs other pieces of Albanian territory, such as Vermsoh and Shen-Naum."
"The Titoites", Enver Hoxha, Tirana, 1982. p.4-9.
To seek unity and links with the CPY, with these bitter centuries, was not easy.
But the CPY was fighting against fascism itself, and the CPA felt it important
to establish links.
But, the CPY over the next years was to consistently attempt to foster another
agenda-the long term swallowing of Albania.
The CPY falsely claimed "They had set up the CPA."
But actually the CPA had already begun forming itself before the first approach
of the CPA to the CPY in July 1942. The various groups had met on 8th-14th
November, 1941. A CPY contact only arrived in Albania on December 1942. Blazo
Jovanocic, came with a letter from Tito, saying :
"It contains instruction and advice which are very important for you.. Do you
agree with them or not!?"
Titoites, Ibid, p.27.
This hectoring tone and anxiety to "take over" the struggle was to mark the next
years of interaction. The contents of that letter were later claimed by Tito to
"have saved the CPA". But in fact the CPA had already dealt with all the
problems that Tito purported to address.
Among many later "advisers" from the CPY were Svetozar Vukmanovic-Tempo; and
Dusan Mugosa. Apart from denigrating the "stereotype of the October Revolution"
(Titoites p.47. This attitude was vigorously rejected by Hoxha); they also
attempted different subversions. They accused the CPA of sectarianism over
collaboration with the nationalists, yet simultaneously accused the CPA of
"softness" to the Balli :
"Your stand towards the Balli Kombetar is incorrect, it is wrong.. Your softness
and tolerance towards the Balli Kombetar from the first moments when it appeared
on the scene, it took you by surprise and subsequently you have not known what
stand to take. Instead of declaring war on it, you offered the negotiating
Titoites Ibid, p.64.
These charges Hoxha could easily reject, pointing to the successes of the United
National Liberation Front (See above, and further p.64-68 "Titoites"). The CPY
"adviser" Colonel Velimir Stojnic, in 1944, charged the CPA and Hoxha as
"opportunists", for even having talks with the Balli Kombetar at Mukje in August
1943. Again Hoxha pointed out the correct tactics of the CPA. Hoxha tried to end
this sabotage by openly saying :
"Your interference in our affairs is out of place and your tone is
The Yugoslavs however, continued to promote the provocative sectarians of CPA
members such as Liri Gega and Mehmet Shehu. They pursued sectarian acts; such as
the arbitrary shootings of Ballists in violation of Party instructions to
"dispassionately judge crimes". (p.126-30).
The Yugoslavs also began their policy of ultimately subordinating things
Albanian to the CPY :
Early in their interaction the Yugoslavs, promoted :
"A big staff, a staff above the staffs, as you might say a universal
organisation. this staff will be an inter-Balkan staff, or let us call it a
Balkan staff for short."
Titoites, Ibid, p. 53; See also p. 57-61.
Hoxha saw this was ridiculous in times of fascism and war. The other sister
parties involved (Greece and Bulgaria) rejected this absurdity. But this was
only a temporary retreat for the CPY.
Despite all these provocations, the CPA concerned itself only with liberation
from fascism - prelude to the socialist revolution.
Even where Kosova (Albanian territory annexed by Yugoslavia, overwhelmingly
peopled with ethnic Albanians) was concerned, the CPA applied Marxist-Leninist
policy. Despite the demagogic appeals of the Balli Kombetar to the Kosovan
people, that they would "liberate Kosova from Yugoslavia", the CPA :
"Issued calls to the people :"Only unrelenting war against the fascists and
their collaborators will lead to the solution of our national problems, an
integral part of which is the putting right of historical injustices. For this
our Communist party is fighting and the CPY likewise is leading the peoples of
its country on the same course."
As Kosova was now occupied by the Fascists (Balli demagogues even claimed that
this "represented a liberation" from the Serbs) this was a principled stand of
the CPA. Of course, either one of the CPA or the CPY could have led the Kosovan
struggle. In fact :
"The CPY demanded that the population of Kosova and the other Albanian regions
of Yugoslavia should be mobilized in the fight under its leadership and
immediately after the war, this population should decide its own future on the
basis of the Leninist principle of the right of self-determination. This demand
we considered reasonable and fair.. We agreed to make a concession.. so that
this question could not be used even as a "pretext" by others.. this was not the
time to explain the peculiarity of Kosova etc.. the main thing was to arouse the
peoples in the general war against the fascist occupation. Later, when the
communist parties were in power, then yes, then everything would be decided
justly and would be settled finally, according to the will of the peoples
The CPY reneged on its promises for a self-determination. During the war
nonetheless, the CPA unsparingly showed the Kosova people, that struggle they
must - against the fascists. This line persisted, despite serious and false
Yugoslav charges of "Great Albanian chauvinism" (See Titoites p.97-116).
But the CPY was continually exposing itself as having aggrandizing motives. The
Ist Conference of the National Liberation Council for Kosova and Metohia, was
held in Bujan December 31st, 1943 to January 2nd 1944.
This Conference under the leadership of the CPY for Kosova and a local unit of
the CPA (Shkodra and Tropoja, whose partisan units operated in the adjacent
highlands of Gjakova) proclaimed the :
"Albanian people of the Kosova and the Dukagjin Plateau, will have the
possibility to decide their own future through the right of self-determination
up to secession."
But the CC of the CPY headed by Tito, erased this from the written resolutions;
but this fact was kept secret from the CPA (Titoites, Ibid p.121).
Further unprincipled acts of the CPY followed. After the CPA had lit the torch
in Kosova, Albanian partisans of the CPA helped actively in battle to achieve
the liberation of Kosova. Now, Tito ordered the CPA and Kosova partisans, to
pursue the Nazis into the North. This allowed the Titoites to :
"Enter Kosova, without meeting the resistance of the Albanian insurgent forces,
Kosova liberated y the forces of the CPA army and the Kosova forces. Tito
eliminated the national liberation councils that had been set up and launched
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. In this extremely difficult position the patriotic people
of Kosova demanded the return of the Albanian patriots.. Tito.. was obliged to
agree to this demand, and the partisans returned.. after this Tito planned new
manoeuvres.. it was necessary for him that our forces should finally withdraw
from Kosova and return to Albania..But how? The direct withdrawal of our forces
from Kosova .. would create unpleasant and grave scenes for the Titoites. The
people of Kosova might rise in revolt again.. Tito staged the "need to pursue
reactionary bands towards the South, towards Greece.", and for this he sought
the aid of those forces of ours. We .. ordered our divisions to act. After they
reached the Southern most borders of Macedonia our forces ere told there "was no
further need" for them to stay in Yugoslavia. The border was crossed in the zone
of Korca 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 the martyred Kosova."
Meanwhile, the Yugoslavs had actively recruited agents, such as CPA CC member
Koci Xoxe, later to be exposed as a dupe of the CPY. All of this activity was
directed against Enver Hoxha who had constantly exposed the Yugoslav emissaries
and obstructed them. Even during the war, the Yugoslavs attempted a coup, by
using these secret agents in the CPA Polit Bureau. The thrust was that Hohxa had
been sectarian in the line of the CPA. But this was occurring just as the
Liberation of Berat and the South of Albania was being achieved by the correct
policies of the CPA and Hoxha.
On the eve of liberation of the entire country, the 2nd Plenum of the CC of the
CPA was held in Berat, on November 23rd. This marked the naked attempts by the
previously concealed Yugoslav revisionists to disrupt the Albanian party. Prior
to the Plenum, the Yugoslavs had captured a hidden majority on the CC of the
PLA. These hidden agents were led by Koci Xoxe, and also included Nako Spiru and
The immediate object was to "Open the Front" to include the Balli, who were by
now exposed. The Second objective was to remove Hoxha.
An initial victory at the Plenum was scored by the hidden agents, who labelled
Hohxa as : "The synthesis of all the mistakes observed in the political and
organisational line." ; and the lien of the party as falling from "sectarianism
into opportunism" "Titoites", Ibid, p.187-191.
The PCY delegate manipulating the agents, Stojnic, gave away the future agenda.
He addressed the conference to say :
"You cannot go ahead without Yugoslavia and in particular, without the
Yugoslavia such as has now been created in the Balkans and in Europe..The
perspective of Yugoslavia is the perspective of the Balkans and of Europe.. you
speak very little about us, therefore in the future you should speak more about
Yugoslavia and Tito."
Titoites, Ibid,p. 214-5.
Another future agenda - alliance with the Western Great powers was also made
Stojnic said in the debate before the CPA Plenum :
"The great Allies which plays a decisive role in this war should all be looked
on in the same way, by the new state.."
"How",asked Hoxha. "By putting the Soviet Union on the same footing with the
"From the State viewpoint yes," Stojnic explained. "The policy of a true state
makes no differentiation. 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."
Titoites, Ibid, p. 220.
Hoxha firmly refuted this sabotage in his speeches.
Although the Berat Conference was a major set back; in one goal, the CPY failed.
They did not eliminate Hoxha from the leadership, as the respect of the Plenum
was so high for him. Hohxa was still able to push the correct line, which was to
maintain the independence of the Front, and to now face the fact :
"That the question of state power is the central question for the party..we must
strengthen the councils and purge them of alien elements."
Despite these treasonous acts by a supposed fraternal party, after the
liberation of Tirana on the close of the Berat Confernce, the Albanian army
pursed the Hitlerite forces into Yugoslavia and helped to liberate Montengro,
Sandjak, and Bosnia (PLA History, Ibid, p.231).
ii) Tito Obstructs the Albanian path to socialist independence.
The attitude of Stalin towards helping Albania to build itself up, and develop
its socialist industry has been described above. This attitude was in marked
contrast to the behaviour of the Tito Regime. The post war relationship between
Tito and Albania was one of obstructing its development. This facilitated Tito's
plan to swallow Albania. Hoxha cites the Yugoslav, V.Dedijer,
"As early as the beginning of 1945, one of Tito's closest collaborators, Mosa
Pijade demanded that the new chancellery of 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." (Rijeka 1981) Titoites,
Tito and Kardelj and other Yugoslavs; expressed to their hidden agents in the CC
of the CPA (Mehmet Shehu, Kristo Themelko Koci Xoxe, Sejfulla Maleshova) the
Titoite revisionist views:
"On the "stages of revolution", 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 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"; and that "one of the distinction between the October Revolution and
the Yugoslav Revolution is that in the Yugoslav Revolution the bourgeois is a
member, a participant in the front"; that " Tito has enriched Marxism with the
tactics of the national liberation war."
The strategy of which Berat was one part, was becoming clear. The Berat
Conference upbraided the CPA for Sectarianism in the Democratic Front. Now, the
"innovative" views of Tito about the "stages of revolution", justified the
agents of Tito in obstructing the second stage of revolution in Albania. The
line give out was:
"Comrades Tito, Kardelj and Djilas.. advice us not to skip the stages." (See
Now the CPY even pressured the CPA to accept the ex-King Zog's treaties
concluded with the imperialists.
Hoxha refused to allow the temporary defeat at Berat to dissuade him of the
correct Marxist-Leninist line. The ambition of the 3 main hidden agents, each
vying for power, helped the Marxist-Leninists. These agents were Xoxe, Maleshova
In the Spring of 1946, Hoxha launched his counter attack in the Polit Bureau of
the PCA on the errors of the Berat 2nd Plenum. Although the CPY tried to prevent
it, Hoxha pushed to hold openly (as opposed to secretly, as the CPY urged) the
5th Plenum for the 1st Congress of the CPA. Just at this juncture, Tito urgently
requested Hoxha to come to Belgrade in July 1946.
Hohxa asked for tangible assistance in credits for the development of
agriculture and industry; and a mutual aid treaty. Tito in return developed the
idea of the "Balkan Federation". This had first been suggested by Georgii
Dmitrov, the Bulgarian Communist who played a central role in the Comintern. As
Tito took this idea, it was a vehicle by which, to use Hoxha's words:
"He aimed to and struggled to annex the whole of the Balkan including Albania
Titoites, Ibid, p.287.
A treaty of friendship and Mutual Aid, as well as a Economic Convention was
indeed signed between Albania and Yugoslavia. Though Hohxa obstructed talk of
the Balkan Federation, this pressure continued. Stalin effectively stopped this
manoeuvre. As Hoxha said:
"Xoxe, Kristo, and Themelko exerted considerable pressure on me to seek to enter
the "Balkan Federation". which in their head meant that we should unite with
Yugoslavia. I did not encourage the. One day about the beginning of 1948, they
came to me and said :"The Balkan Federation is being formed between Yugoslavia
and Bulgaria!". We wrote to the CPY.. we never received any reply. Stalin who
had divined Tito's expansionist plans drew Dmitrov's attention to them and at
the beginning of 1948 the latter declared publicly that he had been wrong in his
views about the Federation of Yugoslavia with Bulgaria."
Ibid, p. 287-88.
The reality of Tito's Aid, soon became clear :
"In the first year after Liberation we had trade relations only with
Yugoslavia.. the trade was virtually one-way and in our disfavour. We gave more
than we received, We gave good products and received rubbish. We expropriated
the big merchants of their property and sold the fabric to the Yugoslavs at
prices which they set, while the razor blades and minor things of this type
which they sold us cost us the earth. We imported grain from them because we
were short of it, some leather and iron plough shares and these they sold to us
at their internal prices which were very high. We sold them olives, cheese,
olive-oil.. when we did not have enough of them for ourselves."
Of course the Albanians wished to transform their state :
"We had to lead the country consistently forward on the road to the construction
of socialism in all fields and in the concrete instance, in the sector of the
economy too. We knew that the fundamental factor for the socialist
transformation of the country was the internal factor; we knew that the external
auxiliary factor would be the Soviet Union of Stalin, in the first place, but
specifically in the conditions when we had still not established the necessary
direct link with the Soviet State, we turned with open hearts to our
neighbouring friends the CPY."
But the CPY had different ideas, revolving around a sort of semi-colonial basis
for Albania in relation to Yugoslavia :
"The CPY said: "This is not the time for transformations of a socialist
character".. Our "friends" greatly hindered and misdirected us also on the
question of the Land Reform.. We were advised that we should not "fall out" with
the former landowners, they told us to take a bit of their land(someone even
"advised" to pay for it with money) and to leave them a good part of the land
which in fact represented areas ten or 20 times larger than those of the
"poor".. As for industry.. we were advised : "Later, we shall see what can be
done with the mines and the oil, but for the time being record what you have,
supply us with raw materials and we shall supply you with ample finished
products".. "Agriculture - that is what you should go in for as the backward
agrarian country you are!" Titoites, p.304-5.
The credits arranged were via Joint Stock Companies. These agreements were
signed on November 27th, 1947.
Increasingly the Yugoslavs violated the agreement by:
i) The open distortion of the customs union with Yugoslavia, to open the borders
to the benefit of Yugoslavia. This allowed Albanian goods to be taken into
Yugoslavia for useless Yugoslav dinars (p.323).
ii) Operating the joint companies without input of funds from the Yugoslavs;
iii) Setting all prices unilaterally; and by not setting up factories in Albania
iv) By on the other hand complaining that the Albanians were not fulfilling
their obligation; despite the fact that these were dependent upon Yugoslav
equipment never sent (p.326).
v) By demanding parity of prices between the 2 countries, which was difficult
for Albania (p.339).
Finally when it became clear to the Yugoslavs that the Albanians had tried to
obtain advice and aid from the Soviets, the Yugoslavs said that:
"A new line is emerging in Albania." Ibid, (p.333).
The Yugoslavs had tried repeatedly to
"keep the road to Stalin closed to us as long as they could if possible."
Yugoslavia tried preventing USSR equipment coming to Albania:
"Albania is like a clock, it cannot work with all kinds of tools, Some may be
better, others may be worse, but whatever they are they must be of one brand!
Not some Yugoslav and some of another production. Since a Yugoslav foundation
has been laid in your country, everything that will be built upon it must be
An "Ultimatum" was put by Yugoslavia in November 1947 :
"The CC of the CPY insisted that the relations of Yugoslavia with Albania ought
to be characterised every day by the idea that our union should be sounder and
our friendship should move in the direction of the fraternization and
collaboration of our peoples, including Bulgaria to. Because of its backwardness
the Albanian economy is not capable of developing independently. The criterion
of this aid is that you should not take everything ready and rely on us in
parasitic way! You will advance yourselves more strongly with us, and our CC
thinks that the Yugoslav aid will be greater when we bring about an economic
union between our countries!".
Ibid, p. 360.
The hidden Yugoslav agents within the CC of the CPA tried to get this line
accepted. But Hoxha tried to fight them off. But the mounting pressure
continued. At the 8th Plenum of the CPA, the party was under the pressure forced
to take the line that a new pro-Yugoslav line was to be taken. The Plenum was
also being pushed towards discarding Hoxha. This all culminated in accepting the
leading role of the Front, thereby discarding the leading role of the Party; as
the Yugoslavs had wanted (See p.459 Ibid).
But Hoxha persisted in his struggle. Hastily the Yugoslavs pressed on with their
mission to swallow Albania. Hoxha demanded these requests to be made in writing.
The reason for the Yugoslav haste to conclude agreement to have a unitary state
between Albania and Yugoslavia became obvious soon. Obviously the Yugoslavs were
aware that the CPSU(B) led by Stalin, were about to expose Yugoslav revisionism.
The Yugoslavs wished to commit Albania to unifciation in one state, before this
But the CC of the CPSU(B) exposed Yugoslav revisionism openly, on March 27th,
1948. There can be no doubt that this intervention of Stalin and the CPSU(B),
had enormous significance in helping safeguard Albanian socialism (The Titoites
Relations were subsequently cool between Yugoslavia and Albania; and conversely
warm between the USSR and Albania.
iii) Following the Open Letter of the CPSU(B) to the CPY.
It soon became clear that Stalin had been aware for sometime about the improper
conduct of the Yugoslavs towards the fledgling state of Albania :
Firstly, Stalin had defended the Albanians refusal to Tito to deploy Yugoslav
troops in Albania(p. 533, Titoites);
Secondly, Stalin openly criticised and prevented Dmitrov's proposal for the
Balkan Federation - a mask for Titoite aggrandizement (p. 5333, Titoites);
Thirdly, as applied to the Balkans, Stalin acknowledged the right of the Kosovan
peoples' to self determination (p.537, Titoites).
Indeed for strategic reasons, as well as reasons of principle, Stalin applied
this to the Yugoslav Federation itself also:
"I think that as Marxist-Leninists in the future too we must attack the
anti-Marxist views and actions of Tito and the Yugoslav leadership, but I stress
that in no way should we ever interfere in their internal affairs. That would
not be Marxist. The Yugoslav communists and the Yugoslav people must attend to
that matter; it is up to them to solve their problems of the present and the
future of their country. It is in this context also that I see the problem of
Kosova and the Albanian population living in other parts of Yugoslavia. We must
not leave any way for the Titoite enemy to accuse us later of allegedly waging
our fight to break up the Yugoslav Federation. This is a delicate moment and
needs very careful handling, because by saying: "See, they want to break up
Yugoslavia," Tito not only gathers reaction around him, but also tries to win
the patriotic elements over to his side."
"With Stalin," Ibid, p.142-43.
Now it became easier to expose the Titoite agents in Albania. The 9th to the
11th Plenums of the CC of the CPA dealt openly with the history and
repercussions of the Titoite penetration of the party. The way was clear for the
continuation of the road to consolidate socialism.
Stalin's aid continued as discussed above.
But even now Stalin warned about the Yugoslav danger :
"In the present situation, you should guard against any danger from Yugoslavia,
The Titoites have their agents in your country, indeed they will smuggle in
others. They want to attack you, but cannot, because they fear the consequences.
You should not be afraid, but must set to work to strengthen the economy, to
train the cadres, to strengthen the party, and to train the army and must always
be vigilant. With a strong Party, economy and army, you need fear nobody."
"With Stalin", Ibid, p.205.
Stalin's forewarning was correct. As Khrushchev came to power, dismantling
socialism in the USSR, the Titoites renewed their assaults on socialism world
wide, but especially upon Albania.
THERE IS LITTLE DOUBT THAT HOXHA WAS A GREAT MARXIST-LENINIST. THERE IS ALSO
LITTLE DOUBT THAT STALIN SUPPORTED THE CPA IN ITS HEROIC STRUGGLE TO FORM A
SOCIALIST STATE. WE CAN ONLY REPEAT HOXHA'S EXHORTATION TO THE PEOPLES OF THE
SOVIET UNION AGAINST KHRUSCHEVITE REVISIONISM. THE MESSAGE RINGS TRUE NOW:
"You who fought and triumphed over the most dangerous enemies of humanity with
the name of Stalin on your lips, what are you going to do?.. In your country the
party is no longer a Marxist-Leninist party. You must build a new party of the
Lenin-Stalin type through struggle.. Will you accept the yoke of a new capital?
We.. have faith in the great revolutionary strength of the Soviet Peoples the
Soviet proletariat, and that is why we are convinced that this strength will
gradually express itself, through struggle and sacrifices , will be built up to
the level the time demands, and will smash Soviet social-imperialism to its very
With Stalin", Ibid, p.41-49.