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The memory against forgetting - never again dictatorship

  • Written by Portal Editor
The memory against forgetting - never again dictatorship

"The place of testimony and remembrance," as the Museum of Communist Crimes in Albania is described, crime committed and held by the dictator Enver Hoxha, which is in Shkoder too because of so many victims of the communistic regime from here.

Our visit on the spot showed the terror of the Communist rulers very clearly. The building of this museum, unique in Albania, was realized and opened in 2015 thanks to the financing of the Ministry of Culture and Tourism and the municipality of Shkoder. The museum shows artifacts and detailed information about the terrible years, the Albanian people suffered during the Communist regime.

The Museum of Communist Crimes is located in the building of the former headquarters of the secret services, which is now a property of the province of Franciscans. There’s a significant fact; this building is at the centre of the city of Shkoder and the traces of the tortures made to intellectuals and innocent people by the communist regime, are still alive, although 50 years have gone by.

This building has been one of the 22 notorious prisons built in the city of Shkoder from 1945 until 1950. Many intellectuals from Shkoder have suffered in this prison which lasted more than 40 years and which has now turned into a museum. Imprisoned and tortured in here during the years of the communist regime were prominent intellectual figures of the northern city and beyond, where among them were clerics like Father Zef Pellumbi, Mon Signor Ernest Coba, Father Bernardin Palaj, Hafiz Musa Derguti, Hafiz Ali Tari, Hafiz Sabri Koci, Hafiz Faik Hoxha and many intellectuals and renowned figures from Shkoder and beyond.

The people of Shkoder still preserve their memories of the horrors of this building fresh. This building still serves as a referral points. “At the former secret services headquarters”, the residents of Shkoder say to each other when they want to indicate the location.

The first floor was decided to be restored and turned to its previous state and left as such. Meanwhile, the second floor will act as a museum for those who died and suffered as a result of tortures.

The premises of the former prison and the headquarters of the secret services located on the left of the building, have remained untouched by the owners. The interventions that have been made, serve the purpose of the idea. Passage from one premise to another is made through elements that are a reminder of the Hell’s circles and the shackles or elements that have been used as part of the tortures. The writings of the convicts on the walls have been preserved. This museum will show the suffering, tortures and executions without trials of hundreds of people from Shkoder, who in an effort to oppose the communist regime and its ideology, were victims of the communist terror and violence.

Based on information, in 1946, Shkoder had 22 prisons and the main one was that of the former secret services headquarters, which now is a museum. As a district, Shkoder had 601 people executed from the communist regime, 136 people who died in prisons (out of them, 63 were clerics of different religions), 2.848 political dissidents and 1.924 people who were deported for political reasons.

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