HALL OF COMMUNIST PERSECUTION

The hall of communist persecution looks more like an exhibition, as the National Historical Museum will also open the hall of the period 1945-1990, in order to conclude the complete cycle of our national historical and cultural timeline. This hall will consist of objects, documents and photos passed down by the previous hall, which closed down in 1992. The new hall will be set up based on a contemporary museological scientific concept.

The hall of communist persecution is located on the second floor of the National Historical Museum. The hall will exhibit documents, photos and historical objects, which are placed according to a thematic-chronological timeline from 1945-1990. The first showcase will introduce to the visitors some original documents such as execution decisions, list of death punishments, political prisoners, announcements of the High Military Court etc. The Uprising of Postriba takes the main place along with the trials against the opponents of the communist regime. A cruel persecution campaign took place during the judicial process against the engineers and technicians of the American technical school in Tirana. The photographs regarding the Soviet Union Embassy hold a special interest as well as those in relation to the trials conducted against the liberal members of the Albanian parliament.

The hall also displays the political persecution of Albanians from Kosovo and Cameri. In 1967, Albania was proclaimed as the only atheist country in the world. The attack and destruction of the clergy was a peculiar case all over Europe. The atheist campaign was accompanied with the destruction of the cult objects, which comprised a significant part of the Albanian cultural heritage. 740 mosques, 608 churches and monasteries and 530 Bektashi tekke were closed in the following year.

In the map, visitors will find a hall where prisons, camps of forced labour, as well as the internment camps of the Albanian state will be displayed. In Albania during that period of time there were prison hospitals and mental health hospitals where politically accused individuals were “treated”. The atmosphere of that time inside the image of a cell will certainly evoke emotions among visitors.

Further, under a metaphorical title “Dictatorship eats its own offspring” the visitor is introduced to the murder of the four main ministers of the communist regime, Koci Xoxe, Beqir Balluku, Mehmet Shehu (Prime Minister) and Kadri Hazbiu who were accused of as “people’s enemy”.

The other showcase displays the self-isolation of Albania and the poverty of Albanians due to that isolation (food coupons, photos showing the long queues outside the shops etc.). This miserable situation of Albanians brought about their reactions against the system and the isolation of the country, which were expressed in the tracts against the communist regime.

The other showcase displays celebrities of art, literature and culture who were executed by firing squads, by hanging, or imprisoned and interned under different charges. Dozens of women and girls were executed by firing squad and were imprisoned during that period. The instruments of torture against prisoners are displayed in a separate showcase.

The other display shelves reflect the Stalinist regime model in Albania: places of executions and murders of Albanians on the border with the neighbouring countries.The last showcase of the hall exhibits the fall of the communist dictatorship.

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