Culture

"Days of memory" recalls the idea for a statue of Enver Hoxha in Tirana

The international conference "Memory of the future, preservation of history without witnesses", in the framework of the "Days of Memory" activities, has emphasized the need to document the past, opening archives so that dark chapters of history are not repeated. Promoting the encouragement that politics should give to confronting the past, the ambassador of Germany in Albania, Karl Bergner, has said that the message given through the activities dedicated to the communist past is "Never again". But, in an event like this, an attempt a decade ago to erect a statue of Enver Hoxha has also been recalled.

Ambassador Bergner has said that the crimes of the communist regime in Albania should not happen again.

"That's why we have to remember, to know what happened. This is done by archival research, by documenting what happened, but just knowing is not enough. We need to understand how the oppressive system came to exist, we need to understand what individual decisions it allowed to happen. We must also recognize and appreciate the suffering of the victims and develop empathy. The courage of those who opposed paid a high price, and for that we need gratitude", said Bergner, the media in Albania reported on Tuesday.

Jonila Godole, executive director of the Institute for Democracy, Media and Culture, said that there are some challenges in documenting the communist period. "What happened must be made public. The figures are not accurate on missing people, victims, deportees. Tomorrow we may have a history without witnesses, without places of memory, because the places of memory are being destroyed. And there can be a different narrative than what happened", said Godole.

But in the past there have been some perceptions of the administration, especially the local one.

Thomas Schrapel, former director of the "Konrad Adenaur" foundation, was the one who recalled the issue of the statue of the dictator Enver Hoxha. According to him, in the years 2013-2014 he spoke with representatives of high political levels and showed a rather absurd scene.

"Then they said they wanted to erect a statue of Enver Hoxha in Tirana. They would write a text that this was being done for pragmatic reasons, because if we have a statue of Enver Hoxha, many tourists will come to Tirana, maybe the Chinese will come and they will bring money", he recalled.

At the conference, some experiences from the countries of the East regarding the confrontation with the past were presented.

A day before, Lekë Tasi, cellist and painter who ended up interned in Lushnja, had said that he finds the lack of attention and the publication of testimonies on the past disturbing.

"An unjustified and unjust neglect, perhaps and intentionally. The documented historical experience shows that the war has never stopped", said Tasi (95).

With the presence of the German ambassador, the ambassador of Switzerland, the ambassador of Austria and former political persecuted, "Days of memory" continued with the screening of a documentary about Stalin, while until February 26 promotions, films, debates and performances will bring attention events and characters of the sad history of Albania.