IBNA Special Report
Tirana, November 17, 2014/Independent Balkan News Agency
Local authorities in Tirana have organized celebrations for the 70th anniversary of the liberation of the capital, with a cultural-artistic activity at the University of Arts.
Municipality of Tirana has honored for their long contribution during the Anti-Fascist National Liberation War several veterans with certificates of gratitude.
They were honored, because they have participated in the war with the guns in their hands, standing out in several operations against the Nazi and fascist occupiers.
The vice mayor of Tirana, Enno Bozdo (photo) praised the efforts of the youth of that time to fight the occupier: “Although 70 years ago, life and reality was very difficult, the youth made its choice, by becoming a representative of that generation, which put national liberation, prosperity of the fatherland and human dignity on the pedestal and even gave its life for it when it was asked. Today, a burden falls upon the new generation to contribute for a better society, a fairer one, more open and more European.
Mr. Bozdo says that this burden falls upon everyone: “In fact, this burden falls not only upon young people, but upon all of us in order to rise against injustices, human solidarity, confront social problems, to choose between good and evil, rise against pseudo democracy, against the threats to personal liberties and fundamental human rights, against those who swear about the rule of law and then are the first ones to break the law with both feet, against those who declare that they respect the pluralist opinion and then attack their political opponents, against those who declare that every day they’re working for the people and then wake up rich”.
When Tirana was liberated
70 years ago, Tirana was occupied from the Nazi-fascist occupiers, being ranked among the few European capitals to be liberated by the partisan war and the war of the people.
Rome and Paris were liberated thanks to the contribution of the Anglo-American ally forces. Meanwhile, Tirana was liberated by Albanians in a battle that lasted around 20 days and which claimed the lives of 130 partisans.
It was that culminating day that would announce the big victory of the Albanian people against the Nazi-fascists. The people who had showed resistance since the April 1939 invasion, organized itself and prevailed thanks to the sacrifice of the young men and women who loved freedom, their fatherland and their future more than their life.
Seven decades later
70 years later, Albania is no longer invaded and in war with no other countries. Albanians live in a free country, part of the European family, part of western democracies.
But of course, although 70 years later, the challenges of the Albanian society are still there and different, but also as similar to those 70 years ago.
But, at that time, the invader was in front and divisions were very clear. Someone had to be part of values or anti-values, of the war for national liberation and human dignity and another part, close to an expected totalitarian system, based on human anti-values, such as the communist dictatorship in Albania was.
Today, 70 years later and 25 years after the overthrow of communism, people face dilemmas. Some say that the period before communism was one of the most golden ones in Albania, focusing on the period of the Albanian Kingdom, 1928-1939. In fact, the prosperity of trade and construction happened in this period. Italian aid was present as well at that time.
The history of an 89 year old woman who has lived three different periods
When the country was invaded by Italian fascists, some people supported it, while the majority decided to fight against them. Fatime is 89 years old today and lives in one of the old quarters of Elbasan, in the house where 72 years ago she sheltered a wounded partisan. She still has memories of the war period. Fatime says that the war was not like Albanians see it in movies: “I have good memories of those 4-5 years of the Italian invasion and those months that the Germans stayed. Very few people were bothered by them. To them, the problem had to do with communism and adherence in such structures. They had no problems with the common people. At that time, business in our poor country developed a lot. Plants were opened, roads were built and trade was developed. Anyhow, we didn’t like to be ruled by Italians”.
The elderly lady that supported the partisans also recalls the time when she approached them: “I was young, 16-17 years of age, when two partisans came in our house. One of them was wounded. We went in the cellar, because they could come and catch him. We called a woman who worked in the hospital and she helped us to treat him. I remember that it was a long night and several fascists came in our house. They looked everywhere, but as they were searching, we managed to get him out from the back door and take him to the neighbors”.
When Fatime is asked what was the best period that she has ever lived, she has a dilemma: “At that time I was young and the war didn’t terrify me that much. Then we had family problems and we had communism. Now that we’re in democracy, it’s not that we’re seeing anything great”. /ibna/