“An evening in the Museum”


  The National Historical Museum organized “An evening in the Museum” on the topic: “An overview at the prison system and concentration camps in communist Albania”. The referrers were Prof.Ass.Dr. Sonila Boçi, Chief Department at the Academy of Albanological Studies, and Director of the National Historical Museum, Dr. Dorian Koçi.

Dr. Dorian Koçi, referred the theme “Overcoming Forgetfulness”.

“Stalinism was the dominant ideology in Albania and it was applied in all its open forms. One of its main features was the elimination of elites through red terror and the replacement by elites formed out of a communist ideological character. The greatest challenge of Albanian political culture remains precisely in changing this worldview, certainly not by creating a pragmatic man instead of a new one, capable of making greater compromises and obtaining more at the expense of society, but to promote the hierarchy of cultural values needed to create a moral integrity ethic with other nations in Europe”, concluded Dr. Koçi

Prof. Ass. Dr. Sonila Boçi said: “The communist regime was based on two strong ideological pillars: the class struggle and the dictatorship of the proletariat, in which a system of violence and repression was built and justified. During 1944-1951, the regime was installed and consolidated. Under these conditions real opponents had to be eliminated. Violence and repression was characterized by several strata:

a)     Repression against the declared opponents of the PKSH and the National Liberation Front;

b)     Repression to the population in the northern areas of the country;

c)     Repression over the rich population;

d)     Repression to religious communities;
e)     Repression against intellectuals.

The characteristic of this period is the lack of prison infrastructure. Existing prisons in 1944 were totally inadequate to withstand the arrests of all the abovementioned categories.

During 1951-1990 the regime continued the class struggle and the dictatorship of the proletariat. The repression became more structured and systematic through the deportation and prison system. Over the years the regime opened new prisons in all major centers of the country, always distinguishing those reserved for political prisoners. Among the prisons destined for “the enemies of the people” the most notorious are those of Burrel, (1946) which was considered a super prison, impossible to escape and where political prisoners lived in inhuman conditions; Spaç prison (1968), which remained open until 1990 and exploited the work of prisoners for the extraction of copper and pyrite.”​

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