IBNA Special Report
Tirana, September 22, 2014/Independent Balkan News Agency
The city of Shkoder opened on Monday afternoon the doors of the museum of communist crimes or “The place of testimony and memory”, as this museum was officially named.
The construction of this object, which is unique in Albania, has been realized thanks to the funding of the ministry of Culture and Tourism and municipality of Shkoder.
Present in the ceremony of inauguration were local leaders of the city of Shkoder, representatives of religious communities, former political dissidents and their families, citizens of Shkoder, etc. The special guest of this inauguration ceremony was Euro MP, Doris Pack.
This museum will offer information about the terrible years that the Albanian people lived during the communist regime, said the mayor of Shkoder, Lorenc Luka.
The Museum of Communist Crimes is located in the building of the former headquarters of secret services, but which is now a property of the province of Franciscans.
There’s a significant fact; this building is at the center 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 Father Zef Pellumbi, Mon Signor Ernest Coba, Father Bernardin Palaj, Hafiz Musa Derguti, Hafiz Ali Tari, Hafiz Sabri Koci, Hafiz Faik Hoxha, etc 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”, say the residents of Shkoder 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.
Talking about the reason why such museum was decided to be built in Shkoder, mayor Luka says that Shkoder has been one of the cities which has suffered the most from communism.
Based on information, in 1946, Shkoder had 22 prisons and the main one was that of the former secret services headquarters, which will now be 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), 2848 political dissidents and 1924 people who were deported for political reasons. /ibna/