On the Birth Centenary of Enver Hoxha
On the 55th Death Anniversary of Joseph Stalin

Stenogram of the Meeting between J. V. Stalin and E. Hoxha
Regarding Albanian-Yugoslav Relations, and the External and Internal Politics of Albania

Moscow                23 March 1949
                             22 hours 00 minutes


Present: From the Soviet Side: A. Y. Vyshinski, USSR Ambassador to Albania D. S. Chulekha and V. I. Erofeev (Interpreter)

Present: From the Albanian side: President of the Albanian State Planning Commission Spiro Koleka and Albanian Ambassador to the USSR M. Prifti.

After mutual exchange of greetings Com. Stalin asks if the Albanian delegation has comfortably come here.

Hoxha answers that they have reached very comfortably.

Hoxha says that he has first of all been assigned to give to Com. Stalin the deepest feelings of love from the people of Albania and gratitude for all that has been done and is being done for Albania.

Com. Stalin thanks him. Com. Stalin asks if all that has been promised has been given to Albania.

Hoxha answers in the affirmative.

Com. Stalin says that it is good that the Soviet people sailed on an Italian marine liner and brought it in.1 The ship was brought in complete safety. The cruiser was manned by the Italians. Before handing it over to the Soviet Union they damaged it in the Black Sea. Com. Stalin comments that the Italians in this task behaved as bad people.

Hoxha says that it so happens all the time with the Italians.

Com. Stalin asks what questions Hoxha has.

Hoxha answers that first of all he would like to sketch out the situation that is developing in the country and in the party, then come to presenting a few requests of an economic nature and also tell about the Albanian army and its needs. Besides, he wanted to present a few questions about which the Albanian comrades wanted clarification from Com. Stalin. In the end Hoxha wanted to describe, in brief, the situation on the Albanian borders.

Com. Stalin commented that Hoxha is not constrained and can put forward whatever questions he wants.

Hoxha says that the letter of the Party of the Bolsheviks sent to the CC of the Yugoslav Communist Party and the Resolution of the Inform Bureau saved Albania from an unimaginable catastrophe.

Com. Stalin asks what constituted this catastrophe.

Hoxha answers that the Yugoslav nationalists pursued certain objectives directed against the USSR, against the democratic and anti-imperialist camp, against Albania itself.

Com. Stalin adds: ‘and against the Muslims’.

Hoxha agreed with this. Hoxha declares that from the moment of the liberation of the country, the Yugoslav nationalist group of Tito continued their disruptive activities in Albania. Albanian communists could not but see that the economic and other relations between Albania and Yugoslavia are developing unsatisfactorily. However, the revolutionary alertness of the Albanian party proved to be insufficiently sharp. The main responsibility in this connection should be directly placed on him, on Enver Hoxha. Well known role in this context was also played by the fact that the Albanians since the war had become used to the friendly relations of Yugoslavia. All this taken together led to the fact that the Albanian leaders did not notice, as it is said in popular parlance, that the fish had begun to rot from the head. The Trotskyites of Yugoslavia got engaged in all sorts of intrigues in the Albanian party, trying to lead it towards a split. In this disruptive activity they tried to depend on the support of their followers like Koci Xoxe, Pandi Kristo and others.2

Com. Stalin asks whether these mentioned persons are Slavs.

Hoxha answers in affirmative, pointing out that Koci Xoxe hails from Macedonia and Pandi Kristo is from Korca.3

Com Stalin asks to which religion these people belong to.

Hoxha answers that both are Orthodox Slavs.

Hoxha declares that the letter of the CC of the VKP (b) criticised the hostile position of the Yugoslav Trotskyites. Had there not been these letters then the honest Albanian communists would have sooner or later been forced to go into the mountains to start a new struggle. Analysing its activities the Albanian party came to the conclusion that all the comments in the letter of the CC VKP (b) were totally justified with the only exception that the Albanian communists never lost the feeling of love and devotion to the Soviet people, to the Party of the Bolsheviks and to Com. Stalin.

Com. Stalin says that in these letters not all questions were clarified as we did not know everything. Only after the event we came to know, for example, when the Yugoslavs wanted to send their division into Albania they did not have the objective of saving Albania from the Greek aggression, but had some other objective in mind – to remove the existing regime in Albania. We came to know of it later. Com. Stalin says that not only the Albanians were not sufficiently alert but we also did not understand everything.

Hoxha says that the Albanians were in close contact with the Yugoslavs and they should have been the first to understand the behaviour of the Yugoslavs. Hoxha adds that when he came to know about the intentions of the Yugoslavs to send their division into Albania, he thought that on this question the Yugoslavs must have had an understanding with the Soviet government.

Com. Stalin answers that clandestinely from us the Yugoslavs prepared the dispatch of their division. It is also quite possible that they made the Albanians to understand that this is being done in agreement with the USSR. We came to understand the intentions of the Yugoslavs only by chance from the announcement of Hoxha. When we scolded the Yugoslavs, they apologised and said that it was a mistake.

Com. Stalin asks what is the percentage of non-Albanians in the total population of Albania.

Hoxha answers that the Greeks and Jews live in Albania but their number is very small. In Albania there are about 5-6 thousand Macedonians. They live on the borders of Albania.

Com. Stalin asks if there are many Albanians in Yugoslavia.

Hoxha answers that about one million Albanians live in Yugoslavia.

Com. Stalin asks as to what is the religion of these Albanians.

Hoxha answers that mainly these are Muslims and also those living in the northern regions of Albania are partly Catholics.

Com. Stalin asks if there are many Orthodox Slavs, and also people practicing religions other than that of the Muslims.

Hoxha replied that in Albania there are 30-35% Orthodox Slavs, and 10-15% Catholics. In the main the Catholics are in the north of the country and the Orthodox Slavs live in the central regions and also partly in the south while the Muslims live mainly in the south.

Com. Stalin asks what language do the Orthodox Slavs and Catholics of Albania speak.

Hoxha answers that all of them speak Albanian.

Hoxha states that after the letter of the Bolshevik Party and the resolution of the Inform Bureau the Albanian communists took decisive steps against Yugoslav nationalism both inside the party as well as in the field of economic life of the country. It was hard to immediately fully analyse the status of the situation both inside the party and in the country. This is explained by the fact that Koci Xoxe, one of the most important supporters of the Yugoslavs, proved to be stronger than the opposition and hid many things from the party. Much time was required to establish what a huge effort was made to sabotage the economy of the country and within the party what secret activities were conducted by the leadership of the Yugoslav Trotskyites and what their supporters had done in Albania. Certainly the party committed many serious mistakes. Practically inner-party democracy did not exist. The organisational structure of the party was entirely copied from the Yugoslavs and was in tatters. The Party was under full control of the organs of security. Laws and directives related to the economy of the country were not obeyed. The reaction to the treacherous clique of Tito in the Albanian people was very strong. The struggle against the Yugoslav Trotskyites and their supporters went beyond the limits of the party and all the people on this question got united round the party. Hoxha pointed out that the feelings of the Albanian people towards the Yugoslav people did not suffer from all these happenings. The Party paid great attention to it.

The Party Congress showed that in the struggle against the Yugoslav Trotskyites the party got further strengthened and more united. The Congress also showed that the party, even though it is young, has great strength and energy for the struggle for a correct line. Sharp criticism of the activities of Yugoslav elements took place before the eyes of all the Albanian people. The mistakes committed by the party were acknowledged and the path for their correction was also shown. The Party did not take to the path of taking large scale suppressive measures and acted with restraint taking its cue from the fact that many comrades who took to the wrong path believed that the line which was proclaimed by the Yugoslavs was correct. Thus the comrades who recognized and critically accepted their mistakes were given the opportunity to make amends. Koci Xoxe, Pandi Kristo and three others were the only ones to be arrested. Kristo Temelko,4 one of those person who was most responsible for advancing the detrimental Yugoslav line and for repeatedly expressing ideological enmity towards USSR and towards Soviet comrades who were working in Albania, was not arrested. Kristo Temelko put all facts concerning his activities before the meeting of the Bureau and put his behaviour under very sharp self-criticism that was assessed as sufficiently honest and objective.

Com. Stalin asked which post was occupied by Kristo Temelko.

Hoxha answered that he was a General of the Army and occupied the post of political guide of the army.

Com. Stalin asks where Kristo Temelko is and what his work is.

Hoxha answers that he is in Tirana; removed from all jobs and at the moment is doing nothing.

Com. Stalin asks what the nationality of Kristo Temelko is.

Hoxha answers that Kristo Temelko is a Slav by nationality. Hoxha adds, that in its time the Albanian government had requested the Soviet government to permit Kristo Temelko to come to Moscow for studies at the Lenin Military Academy.

Com. Stalin asks if the Albanians received an answer to this request.

Hoxha says that in the beginning the answer was positive but after that nothing materialised.

Com. Stalin asks do the Albanians want to get rid of Kristo Temelko by sending him to Moscow.

Hoxha answers that they wanted to send Kristo Temelko to USSR for studies in the hope that he will be able to rehabilitate himself.

Com. Stalin asks does the party have political faith in Kristo Temelko.

Hoxha answers that party continues to hope that Kristo Temelko can by corrected but it cannot show full political confidence in him.

Com. Stalin comments that, consequently, Kristo Temelko is not at present needed by the Albanians.

Hoxha answers in agreement.

Com. Stalin pronounces that if Kristo Temelko is not needed by the Albanians then we also do not need him. Com. Stalin asks, do the Albanians not want to send Kristo Temelko to the USSR from the point of view of their security.

Hoxha answered that Kristo Temelko himself very much wanted to join the study at the Lenin Military Academy.

Com Stalin says that if the Albanian comrades want, we shall receive Kristo Temelko in the USSR.

Hoxha says that after the Congress steps were taken to cleanse the party. A number of comrades who had compromised themselves by contacts with the Yugoslav Trotskyites were removed from leading positions in the party and in the army. Steps that were directed towards strengthening inner-party democracy were taken and all instructions and steps taken under the influence of the Yugoslavs were changed. Congress elected the CC taking in young and devoted comrades. Besides, steps were taken regarding the Ministry of Internal Affairs in whose work irregularities and mistakes were earlier allowed to take place and there were extremely dirty doings. Just now absolutely fresh strength is given to this ministry. At the moment all over the country elections to the primary and regional party organisational structures and committees are going on. As a result of these elections experienced and devoted comrades shall come to the helm of primary party structures and in the city and regional committees. Big help was rendered by Soviet comrades working in Albania in the correction of mistakes that were allowed to take place in the economy of the country.

Hoxha points out those recent events showed some negative influence inside the party. In case of a number of party organisations there was a fall in discipline. Among weak sections similar anarchy is also visible. Besides, at the present moment when the class struggle has sharpened, a hyper opportunistic feeling became visible in some members of the party. Hoxha says that during the period when the party conducted the struggle against Yugoslav nationalism and their supporters within the party, it somewhat retreated in the struggle against kulak elements in the villages. This retreat was done not to further complicate the condition in the country. However, this led to the fact that due to the activities of the kulak elements the state could not get sufficient amount of maize and bread in the villages. The country started to face a serious economic situation. Another reason for these hardships was that when the Yugoslavs began to prepare for an attack on Albania they did not give to Albania any thing for a period of eight months. This led to chaos in the Albanian market which led to sharp rise in prices. Only the help from the USSR allowed us to mitigate the situation. Hoxha says that in spite of all these hardships the Albanian people have full confidence in their governing leadership and in its contribution and are not afraid of the hardships.

Com. Stalin points out that probably the Albanians are establishing collective farms.

Hoxha answers that in the Congress a decision was taken to start collective farms but we should not hasten in this respect.

Com. Stalin says that Albanian comrades should not be in a hurry to establish collective farms. Albania is a backward mountainous country. Even in the Soviet Union we do not have collective farms in mountainous regions. This is why collective farms need not be formed in Albania right now. If the peasants do not have fertiliser, cattle and machines, then the state can come to us for help. For this it is necessary that the state had its machine-tractor stations so that if the peasants want to be helped by machines, the state with the help of these machines could till the land of the peasant and at the time of harvest it could help the peasant in grinding the flour. For this help the state may take from the peasant some type of payment for service. How the peasant divides his maize and wheat is no concern of the state. The state shall get natural payment. The state should have its own organisation of tractors, grinders and would like these machines to help the peasants if they ask for such help. These are not collective farms but at the same time it gives the possibility to the peasants to have a look at the technology and evaluate its significance. In its time in our country these were called machine lending stations. Peasants were lent these machines that were then returned to the state. The same should be done in Albania. So far as distribution of the harvest is concerned, then those peasants who have more land get less. This does not mean a struggle against the Kulaks but this teaches the weaker peasants to act together.

Com. Stalin asks whether there is a national trader bourgeoisie in Albania.

Hoxha answers that there is trading bourgeoisie in Albania but they have neither factories nor shops or warehouses. All this has been taken away from them.5

Com. Stalin says that this is not good. The national bourgeoisie could have helped in producing this or that item or carry out some trade till the state gets strengthened, especially if among this trading national bourgeoisie there are elements that treasure the freedom and independence of Albania. Such patriotic elements among the bourgeoisie should be used and not pushed out. Com. Stalin says that he can cite one example from the practice of northern China. Amidst the Chinese national bourgeoisie, among small and average factory owners and middle class of the traders, there are such people who support the communists. We advised the Chinese comrades not to push out these elements. This nationalist patriotic section of the bourgeoisie considers that only the communists can sustain the independence and freedom of China and that all the other parties have become bankrupt. This is why they have established contact with the communists. This section of the nationalist bourgeoisie left Chiang Kai Shek because it saw that his party was incapable of establishing a united and independent China as it was convinced that the struggle for such a China is being conducted only by the communists. The bourgeoisie in reality helps the communists. As is well known, China is divided into two parts – northern and southern. Some of the trading companies bring in for the Chinese communists items from the south including some American products. On questioning as to why do they do so and why they spend their money on it, they answer that they do not see anyone except the communists who could sustain the freedom of China against the Japanese and the Americans.

Lenin always thought that if the revolution has an anti-imperialist character, the character of protecting the freedom of the country that is under threat, then the communists can get some cooperation from the national bourgeoisie. This cooperation is permissible at a well known stage in the first period. This comment of Lenin must be understood by the Albanian comrades.

In the countries of peoples’ democracy the national bourgeoisie compromised with the German and Italian occupation. This is why when the Russian armies entered these countries then the bourgeoisie left with the Germans. On the territory of Albania there were neither Yugoslav nor Russian armies. This is why, if the Albanian comrades did not kill every one, one or the other of the national bourgeoisie remained. To push away such a bourgeoisie that stands for national independence and may give help, is just not done. It is the same for some of the elements out of intelligentsia who do not have sympathy for the communists but see that only the communists can defend independence of the country. This is why such persons from the intelligentsia, even when they do not sympathise with the communists, they however can help us. To push them away should also not be done.

The Russian Bolsheviks did not practice such politics. If one does not take into account the war against Germany then at the moment of the revolution Russia was not occupied by anyone, and none threatened it. This is why Russian revolution had no anti-imperialist character. Its sharp end was directed within the country. This is why there is a difference between what happened in Russia and what is happening in China, in Korea or in other countries. As there was no direct threat to Russia from outside, the Russian bourgeoisie turned out to be an uncompromising enemy of the revolution. The struggle against it stretched over a few years. The Russian bourgeoisie was not patriotic. It called the French and the British for help and called for intervention. Albanian comrades in their political work must not copy what happened in Russia or in other countries. They must take note of local specifics.

If small capitalists could be found in Albania who would open small enterprises, shops or workshops then they should be given patents, provided with loans and given the possibility to engage in commercial and industrial activities till the economy of Albania does not become strong. When this happens, then another situation is created and it will be possible to freshly put forward this question regarding the bourgeoisie.

Com. Stalin asks how many persons have come with the Albanian delegation.

Hoxha answers that there are eight persons in the Albanian delegation.

Com. Stalin asks to narrate the names of the members of the delegation and the post they are occupying.

Hoxha answers that the Albanian state delegation includes Spiro Koleta the President of the State Planning Commission, Koco Teodhosi Vice President of the State Planning Commission, Vasil Kati the Vice Minister of Trade, Jafer Spahiu Vice Minister of industry, Shinazi Dragoti Deputy Minister of Social Work, Nejip Winchani Deputy Chief of the General Staff of the army. Besides, the composition of the delegation includes Teohar Fundo, the trade representative of Albania in Moscow. Hoxha adds that the Albanian government has appointed Koco Teodhosi as its representative in the Council of Mutual Economic Assistance.

Com. Stalin asks as to who is the commander of the Albanian army.

Hoxha answers that he himself commands the army.

Com. Stalin says that the Soviet people and the Bolsheviks have this principle for the setting up of the structures of leading organs of the state: if the Muslims are a majority in the state then there should also be a majority of the Muslims. One should not debunk the religion of the people. People shall not be able to understand why a Muslim is not the head of the state while Muslims constitute a majority in the state. These are elementary things. However, in Yugoslavia this was not understood. This certainly does not mean that only Muslims should be in the government. In order to sustain the unity of the people one should select competent persons from among the national minorities. Participation in the working of the government of the representatives from among the religious and minority nationalities gives stability to the government.

Com. Stalin says that he would like to ask whether the Albanians got the army uniforms from the USSR about which in its time the Chief of the Albanian General Staff had asked for.

Hoxha answers so far they have not received the uniforms but from what he has heard it means these are on the way.

Com. Stalin says that the decision regarding dispatch of the uniforms has been taken.

Hoxha asks for permission to come to the economic questions and says that Albania has prepared a two year plan for the restoration of the economy of the country. This plan considers restoration of the economy firstly by establishing new industrial enterprises for the production and processing of textiles, cotton, sugar, forestry for construction and other items for the need of Albania itself. Secondly, the plan pays attention to strengthening the geological exploration work and expanding the mining of mineral resources. It is also suggested to construct the oil transmission line Patos-Valona6 and an oil refining factory with a capacity of 150 thousand tonnes per year. The plan proposes to work out and scout for underground minerals such as copper, chrome and bitumen. According to the plan, there must be built an electricity generation plant to provide energy to the textile factory. In relation to transport the plan proposes to strengthen auto-transport and to continue the laying down of a railway line Durazzo-Elbasan. So far as agriculture is concerned, the plan proposes to increase the area of irrigated land by the use of new agro-techniques. The plan does not foresee an increase in the production of agricultural machine-building as for the country there are enough tractors that it got from the Soviet Union.

Com. Stalin asks which railway line is being planned to be built.

Hoxha answers that in Albania the construction of the railway line Durazzo-Elbasan is going on. Last year first part of this line Durazzo-Pekin with the length of 37 kms was constructed. The two year plan foresees the construction of the part Pekin-Elbasan with a length of 30 kilometres.

Com. Stalin asks whether Albanians got the wheels from the USSR.

Hoxha answers that the wheels, wagons and other material and machinery were received by the Albanians. Hoxha says that the two year plan also foresees widening the network of schools and an increase in the number of beds in the hospitals. For the realisation of the plan Albania depends on help from the Soviet Union in terms of machines and equipment. On the other hand, Albania concluded commercial agreements with the countries of People’s Democracy and received credit from Czechoslovakia, Hungary and Poland. At the present moment the Albanian delegation is conducting negotiations with Romania, after which it will go to Bulgaria.

Com. Stalin answers that we shall help to the extent possible. Com. Stalin jokingly points out that we hope that the Albanians themselves give all their strength to the fulfillment of the plan.

Hoxha says that Albania also wants to put forward a request about a deputation of Soviet experts in part to help in the construction of textile and sugar factories.

Com. Stalin answers that we shall send persons but the Albanians must develop their own cadre. Our people shall be temporarily in Albania and then shall return to the Soviet Union. Albania should have a permanent national cadre. This is most important.

Hoxha says, that the Albanian government is doing all that is possible to follow this path. Hoxha says that Albanian government presents the request to send to Albania a geological excavation group, and also a group for the exploration of the electro-energy resources of Albania.

Com. Stalin answers that this is possible. Com. Stalin asks whether there is coal in Albania.

Hoxha answers that there is little coal in Albania; there are small deposits of it in the regions of Tirana and Korca. Besides, the Italians have exposed coal deposits in the southernmost part of Albania.

Com. Stalin asks as to on what the railways operate; on coal or on oil.

Hoxha answers that the railways operate on coal but coal in Albania is not good. Hoxha says that at the moment organising the leadership of the organs of state security is posing a very big problem for Albania. In this connection the Albanian government requests to permit sending of 20 of its officers to the USSR to undergo special courses. After these officers have completed the course, the Albanian government desires to send another 20 officers. If this is not possible then the Albanian government requests that a few Soviet instructors be sent to Albania who could organise such training in Albania itself.

Com. Stalin answers that the officers who would come to USSR for special courses shall first have to learn the Russian language and only then shall be able to start the job. This is why the effect shall be quicker if we send instructors to Albania.

Hoxha says that Albania also needs two instructors for the Ministry of Internal Affairs: one instructor for the police and the other for criminal investigations.

Com. Stalin says that these instructors could be sent.

Hoxha asks if it is possible for the Albanian government to get written material from the USSR on the organisation of the organs of Police.

Com. Stalin answers that the Albanian government can get such materials.

Hoxha says that he wants to touch upon another question that is very important for Albania. The fact of the matter is that Albanian cipher-coding is based on the Yugoslav cipher. This is why the Yugoslavs have the possibility of decoding all the Albanian telegrams. The Albanian government requests that a Soviet instructor be sent who could help the Ministry of Internal Affairs to work out a new cipher-coding system.

Com. Stalin got interested. Com. Stalin asked if such an instructor was needed by the Ministry of Internal Affairs and asks if the Albanian Ministry of External Affairs uses cipher-code.

Hoxha answers that the Albanian Ministry of External Affairs uses the code but this code is safely kept in the Ministry of Internal Affairs. Hoxha says that the Albanian government also requests for sending two radio-plunger systems along with all the required instrumentation and technology. Hoxha underlines that the organ of state security of Albania has established that there are a number of secret radio-broadcasting stations, one of which is located somewhere in the region of the city of Scutari.

Com. Stalin answers that the radio-plunger stations can be sent. Com. Stalin points out that Com. Vyshinski shall lead the group for preparing the answers to the Albanian state delegation and that he shall examine all the requests. Hoxha may meet Com. Vyshinski with all the questions that the Albanian government is interested in. Com. Stalin repeats that we shall help Albania.

Hoxha says that he wanted to touch upon the Yugoslav question. Economic and political relations with Yugoslavia have been broken.

Com. Stalin asks who broke these relations.

Hoxha answers that Albania broke these relations.

Hoxha says that the Yugoslavs are conducting strong propaganda against Albania from their own territory as well as from within Albania and methodically laying down a network of their agents. Besides, the Yugoslavs are conducting intensive propaganda in the northern borders of Albania, trying to attract Albanian citizens to go over to Yugoslavia. Such propaganda has received known success and quite a big section of the peasants from central Albania ran away to Yugoslavia. The Yugoslavs are trying to capture the leadership of various armed bands that roam in the mountainous parts of Albania. The Yugoslav leaders are trying to unite and organise the reactionary elements within Albania so that with their help they may overthrow the existing government in Albania. Recently a band was exposed that was led by the Yugoslav mission and on 21st March these band members began to face their trial before an Albanian court.

Com. Stalin asks if there is a Yugoslav ambassador in Albania and diplomatic relations are continuing or not.

Hoxha replies affirmatively.

Hoxha says that the Albanians are also not sitting with folded hands. They are developing their activities directed against the Yugoslav Trotskyites and continue their contacts with the Albanian minority that lives in Yugoslavia. Besides, The Albanians have organised immigration of Yugoslavs. However, one should very carefully deal with the Yugoslavs coming into Albania as amongst them there may be men of Rankovic.

Com. Stalin comments that Rankovic is sending out his agents.

Hoxha says that in his opinion, as a consequence of political struggle the Tito’s clique which developed in the partisan movement shall be destroyed.

Com. Stalin comments that this is not excluded.

Hoxha coming to the Greek question says that the Albanian comrades desired to know the opinion of Com. Stalin on this question; in the light of the provocations from the monarcho-fascist army and in the light of all sorts of talks about Albania and in spite of the American aid to the Greek army, whether Albania is directly threatened from the Greek side. At the same time the moral spirit of the democratic army is very high. The Greek democratic army at the present moment is well supplied with equipment. Hoxha says that nevertheless there are a few moments in the behaviour of Greek comrades that cause doubts. Partly he, Hoxha, thinks that the democratic army of Greece is cut off from the people as the monarcho-fascist army evacuates all the people from the areas that are threatened by the democratic army while the democratic army in their turn evacuates the population from its occupied areas into Albania.

Com. Stalin explains that it happens so from those areas where the war is going on.

Hoxha agrees with it.

Hoxha says he feels that the form of the organisation of leadership of the government and of the army of democratic Greece is somewhat strange. In discussions with Zachariadis and other Greek comrades Hoxha got the impression that they underestimate the leading role of the party. In the army there are no political commissars and Zachariadis, due to humility that is not understandable to Hoxha, has so far not become head of the government. Hoxha considers that all has come up due to mistakes made during the time of Marcos and regarding the question of political commissars it is felt that it is a reflection of the earlier mistakes of EAM and ZLAS.

Com. Stalin says that the Greek comrades are not fulfilling the role of the communist party as they appeal to the democratic masses and want to show that the entire people are conducting the war. They are correct in doing so. In so far as political commissars are concerned they are not there even in the Soviet army. Political commissars are not required when in fact the leadership of the army is in the hands of the communists.

Com. Stalin points out that all the talk about the difficulties of Albania is meant to frighten the Albanians. As is well known, the independence of Albania is guaranteed by the declaration of three powers – America, Britain and the USSR. Certainly, the declaration may be violated though it is not so easy. So far as the Greeks of Tsaldaris are concerned, they considerably feebly stand on their feet to freely speak about the division of Albania. If the Albanians behave themselves properly, shower no abuse on the imperialists too much, not frighten them too much but behave more humbly, then no body shall touch Albania. America and Britain do not want that Albania comes under Italy as this will strengthen Italy; they do not want that Albania comes under the Greeks as this will strengthen the Greeks; they do not want that Albania comes under the Yugoslavs. More than this, America does not want that Albania comes under the British. This is why they stand by the independence of Albania.

The meeting continued for two hours and ten minutes.

Transcript by V. Erofeev

APRF. F. 45, Opis 1, Delo, 249, LL.55-74.

Attested copy.

1. What is talked about here concerns marine liner « Julio Chezare » (Julius Caesar), obtained by the Soviet Union in connection with reparations from Italy. In the Soviet Union it got a new name ‘Novorossiysk’. It exploded in the Eisk marsh (near Sevastopol) on 29th October 1955.

2. For details see vol. 1, document No. 302, 305.

3. In the book of E. Hoxha ‘With Stalin. Reminiscences’ (Tirana, 1984) only the latter mentioned Kristo Temelko is recalled as from Macedonia, i.e. is a Slav. In the Soviet record of the meeting all the Pravoslav Albanians are counted as Slavs.

4. Kristo Temelko was one of the close contemporaries of E. Hoxha during the national liberation struggle who participated in the organisational meeting to establish the CPA in November 1941 and was part of the first CC of the CPA.

5. By a series of orders issued by the Interim Democratic Government in January 1945, the private sector in industry and trade was practically liquidated.

6. Here and further on in the text is maintained the Italian spellings of Albanian cities like ‘Valona’ in place of ‘Vlora’ (or Vleora).

Courtesy: ed. G.P. Murashko et al, ‘Vostochnaya Evropa v dokumentakh rossiiskikh arkhivov 1944-53’, Tom II 1949-1953, ‘Sibirskii khrongraf’, Moskva-Novosibirsk, 1998, pp. 44-47.

Translated from the Russian by Jaweed Ashraf

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