Enver Hoxha

former First Secretary of the Party of Labour of Albania, Prime Minister of Albania

Enver Halil Hoxha (16 October 190811 April 1985) was an Albanian communist politician. He was First Secretary of the Party of Labour of Albania from 1941 until his death in 1985. He was also a member of the Politburo of the Party of Labour of Albania, chairman of the Democratic Front of Albania, and commander-in-chief of the armed forces from 1944 until his death. He was the 22nd Prime Minister of Albania from 1944 to 1954 and at various times was both foreign minister and defence minister of the People's Socialist Republic of Albania.

Our country has been invaded many times, but we have always fought the enemies, we have driven them out and we have never mixed blood with them

Quotes edit

Speeches edit

  • The entire Party and country should wake up, throw into the flames and twist the neck of any one who tramples underfoot the sacred law of the Party in defense of the rights of women and girls.
    • "The Further Revolutionization of the Party and Government", speech to local Party organizations on the occasion of rendering accounts and elections (7 February 1967)
  • In order to continuously strengthen the defence of our country, it is necessary that we keep the military preparedness of all structures at a high level and perfect it day by day.
    • "Albania is Forging Ahead Confidently and Unafraid", speech to a meeting of electors in Tirana (8 November 1978)

Moscow Address edit

Reject the Revisionist Theses of the XX Congress of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union and the Anti-Marxist Stand of Krushchev's Group! Uphold Marxism-Leninism!, Address at the Meeting of 81 Communist and Workers' Parties (16 November 1960)
  • Traitors to Marxism-Leninism, agents of imperialism and intriguers like Josif Broz Tito, try in a thousand ways, by hatching up diabolic schemes like the creation of a third force, to mislead these people and the newly-set up states [in Africa and Asia], to detach them from their natural allies, to hitch them up to U.S. imperialism. We should exert all our efforts to defeat the schemes of these lackeys of imperialism.
  • Let us look facts straight in the eye. World imperialism headed by its aggressive detachment, U.S. imperialism, is directing the course of its economy towards preparations for war. It is arming itself to the teeth. U.S. imperialism is rearming Bonn's Germany, Japan, and all its allies and satellites with all kinds of weapons. It has set up and perfected aggressive military organizations, it has established and continues to establish military bases all around the socialist camp. It is accumulating stocks of nuclear weapons and refuses to disarm, to stop testing nuclear weapons, and is feverishly engaged in inventing new means of mass extermination. Why is it doing all this? To go to a wedding party? No, to go to war against us, to do away with socialism and communism, to put the peoples under bondage.
  • Some one may pose the question: will China win her rights over the United States of America, by possessing and dropping the bomb? No, neither China nor the Soviet Union will ever use the bomb unless they are attacked by those who have aggression and war in their very blood. If the Soviet Union did not possess the bomb, the imperialists would speak in other terms with us. We will never attack with the bomb, we are opposed to war, we are ready to destroy the bomb but we keep it for defensive purposes. "It is fear that guards the vineyard," is a saying of our people. The imperialists should be afraid of us and terribly afraid at that.
  • Rankovich wants us to turn our borders into a roadhouse with two gates through which Yugoslav, Italian and Greek agents and weapons could go in and out freely, without visas, in order to bring us their "culture of cutthroats", so that Tito may realize his dream of turning Albania into the seventh republic of Yugoslavia, so that the reactionary Italian bourgeoisie may put into action for the third time their predatory intentions towards Albania, or so that the Greek monarcho-fascists may realize their crazy dream of grabbing southern Albania. Because we have not permitted and will never permit such a thing, we are "warmongers". They know very well that if they violate our borders they will have to fight us and the whole socialist camp.
  • Our only "crime" is that in Bucharest we did not agree that a fraternal communist party like the Chinese Communist Party should be unjustly condemned; our only "crime" is that we had the courage to oppose openly, at an international communist meeting (and not in the marketplace) the unjust action of Comrade Khrushchev, our only "crime" is that we are a small Party of a small and poor country which, according to Comrade Khrushchev, should merely applaud and approve but express no opinion of its own. But this is neither Marxist nor acceptable. Marxism-Leninism has granted us the right to have our say and we will not give up this right for any one, neither on account of political and economic pressure nor on account of the threats and epithets that they might hurl at us. On this occasion we would like to ask Comrade Khrushchev why he did not make such a statement to us instead of to a representative of a third party. Or does Comrade Khrushchev think that the Party of Labor of Albania has no views of its own but has made common cause with the Communist Party of China in an unprincipled manner, and therefore, on matters pertaining to our Party, one can talk with the Chinese comrades? No, Comrade Khrushchev, you continue to blunder and hold very wrong opinions about our Party. The Party of Labor of Albania has its own views and will answer for them both to its own people as well as to the international communist and workers' movement.
Did Stalin make mistakes? Of course he did. In so long a period filled with heroism, trials, struggle, triumphs, it is inevitable not only for Joseph Stalin personally but also for the leadership as a collective body to make mistakes.
  • The Soviet leaders accused Comrade Stalin of allegedly interfering in other parties, of imposing the views of the Bolshevik Party upon others. We can bear witness to the fact that at no time did comrade Stalin do such a thing towards us, towards the Albanian people and the Party of Labor of Albania, he always behaved as a great Marxist, as an outstanding internationalist, as a comrade, brother and sincere friend of the Albanian people. In 1945, when our people were threatened with starvation, comrade Stalin ordered the ships loaded with grain destined for the Soviet people, who also were in dire need of food at that time, and sent the grain at once to the Albanian people. Whereas, the present Soviet leaders permit themselves these ugly deeds.
  • The Albanian people will throw themselves in to the flames for their true friends, and the Soviet Union is such a friend of the Albanian people. And these are not empty words. I am expressing here the sentiments of our people and of our Party, and let no one ever think that we love the Soviet Union and the Communist Party of the Soviet Union for the sake of some one's beautiful eyes or to please some individual, but because without the Soviet Union there would be no free life in the world today, fascism and capitalist terror would reign supreme. This is why we love and will always be loyal to the Soviet Union and to the Party of the great Lenin.
  • The Yugoslavs accuse us of allegedly being chauvinists, of interfering in their internal affairs, and of demanding a rectification of the Albanian -Yugoslav borders. A number of our friends think and imply that we Albanian communists swim in such waters. We tell our friends who think thus that they are grossly mistaken. We are not chauvinists, we have neither demanded nor demand rectification of boundaries. But what we demand and will continually demand from the Titoites, and we will expose them to the end for this, is that they give up perpetrating the crime of genocide against the Albanian minority in Kosova and Metohia, that they give up the white terror against the Albanians of Kosova, that they give up driving the Albanians from their native soil and deporting them 'en masse' to Turkey. We demand that the rights of the Albanian minority in Yugoslavia should be recognized according to the Constitution of the People's Federal Republic of Yugoslavia. Is this chauvinist or Marxist?
  • Did Stalin make mistakes? Of course he did. In so long a period filled with heroism, trials, struggle, triumphs, it is inevitable not only for Joseph Stalin personally but also for the leadership as a collective body to make mistakes. Which is the party and who is the leader that can claim to have made no mistakes in their work? When the existing leadership of the Soviet Union is criticized, the comrades of the Soviet leadership advise us to look ahead and let bygones be bygones, they tell us to avoid polemics, but when it comes to Stalin, they not only did not look ahead but they turned right round, completely backward, in order to track down only the weak spots in Stalin's work.
  • The cult of the individual of Stalin should, of course be overcome. But can it be said, as it has been claimed, that Stalin himself was the sponsor of this cult of the individual? The cult of the individual should be overthrown without fail, but was it necessary and was it right to go to such lengths as to point the finger at any one who mentioned Stalin's name, to look askance at any one who used a quotation from Stalin with great speed and zeal? Certain persons smashed statues raised to Stalin and changed the names of cities that had been named after him. But why go any further?

20th Party Anniversary Address edit

Speech in Commemoration of the 20th Anniversary of the Founding of the Party of Labor of Albania and the 44th Anniversary of the Great October Socialist Revolution (7 November 1961)
  • The world socialist system, which includes in its fold over 1 billion people with a big economic and military potential continually growing at unprecedented rates, has become today the decisive factor in the development of the world history. It exerts a tremendous influence on the world; it has become a great attractive and revolutionizing force. The world socialist system is showing with every passing day its indisputable superiority over the capitalist system. It has become the shield of all the progressive forces of the world, the impregnable bulwark of freedom and peace, democracy and socialism.
  • From the changes that have occurred in the world, there must be drawn correct, revolutionary, Marxist-Leninist conclusions: there must be drawn such conclusions as not to create reformist and pacifist illusions and weaken the struggle against imperialism, but to strengthen ever more this just struggle: there must be drawn such conclusions as not to alienate the peoples from the cause of revolution, but bring them ever closer to it, not divert them from the struggle for their national liberation, but raise this struggle to an ever higher level.
  • We have never cherished illusions about our enemies, we have not embraced and kissed them, we have not flattered them and we have not caressed them, we have never bowed to them. Our Party and Government have always maintained a firm, principled, Marxist-Leninist stand towards the enemies of peace and socialism; they have sharply and constantly exposed the imperialists, whether U.S. or British, French or Italian, and their policy of war and aggression; they have been irreconcilable with and have energetically and unreservedly supported the just cause of the peoples who have risen in struggle against imperialism. They have rendered all their support to the fraternal Algerian, Cuban, Congolese, Laotian and other peoples in their sacred struggle against imperialism, resolutely condemning all the aggressive attempts of imperialism.

Writings edit

In order to continuously strengthen the defence of our country, it is necessary that we keep the military preparedness of all structures at a high level and perfect it day by day.

Selected Works, 1941–1948 edit

  • The sacrifices of our people were very great. Out of a population of one million, 28,000 were killed, 12,600 wounded, 10,000 were made political prisoners in Italy and Germany, and 35,000 made to do forced labour, of ground; all the communications, all the ports, mines and electric power installations were destroyed, our agriculture and livestock were plundered, and our entire national economy was wrecked.
    • Enver Hoxha, Selected Works, 1941–1948, vol. I (Tirana: 8 Nëntori Publishing House, 1974, 599-600)

Reflections on China, 1962-1972 edit

  • "This is a wrong course the Chinese comrades are trying to lead us on to, it is an opportunist road of vacillation and concessions to the Khrushchev traitor group which finds itself in grave difficulties, and is intriguing in order to escape defeat."
    • Enver Hoxha, Reflections on China, 1962-1972, vol. I [1] (Tirana: 8 Nëntori Publishing House, 1979)

Yugoslav "Self-Administration" - Capitalist Theory and Practice edit

  • Capitalism has been fully restored in Yugoslavia, as is well-known, but this capitalism knows how to disguise. Yugoslavia portrays itself as a socialist state, but of a special kind, as the world has never seen it before! The Titoites even boast that their state has nothing in common with the first socialist state which emerged from the socialist October Revolution and which was founded by Lenin and Stalin on the basis of the scientific theory of Marx and Engels.
  • The views of Tito and his associates showed from the very beginning that they were far from being “hard-line Marxists”, as the bourgeoisie calls the consistent Marxists, but “reasonable Marxists”, who would collaborate closely with all the old and new bourgeois and reactionary politicians of Yugoslavia.
  • The propaganda [the Communist Party of Yugoslavia] used and the authority the party had won during the national liberation war and during the initial steps of the construction of Yugoslavia after the war gave the Yugoslavian working class the impression that this party was in the vanguard. In reality it was not the vanguard of the working class but of a new bourgeois class that had begun to settle in. This class relied strongly on the prestige of the national liberation war of the peoples of Yugoslavia for its own counter-revolutionary aims, while it obscured the perspectives of the construction of the new society. Such a degenerate party like this was bound to lead Titoite Yugoslavia on anti-Marxist paths.
  • It didn't take long till the Titoites displayed dominating tendencies, expansionism and hegemonism in their relations with the newly founded states of people's democracy, especially in their relations with our country. As we know they sought to impose their anti-Marxist political, ideological, organisational and state views on us. They went so far as to make despicable attempts to transform Albania into a republic of Yugoslavia. In this unsuccessful and disgraceful undertaking the Titoites encountered our determined opposition. At first, our resistance was uncrystallised because we did not suspect that the Yugoslav leadership had set out on the capitalist and revisionist road. But after some years, when its hegemonic and expansionist tendencies were clearly displayed, we opposed them sternly and unreservedly.
    • Enver Hoxha, Yugoslav "Self-Administration" - Capitalist Theory and Practice (Against the anti-socialist views of E. Kardelj) in the book “Directions of the Development of the Political System of Socialist Self-Administration”), Institute of Marxist-Leninist studies of the Central Committee of the Party of Labour of Albania, Tirana, 1978.

The Artful Albanian edit

  • The canon of the Sharia and the Church, closely linked with the laws of the bourgeosie, treated women as a commodity, a thing to be bought and sold by the male... Just as the bourgeosie had made the worker into its proletarian, so had the savage ancient canons of the [shariah], the Church, feudalism and the bourgeosie, reduced woman to the proletariat of the man.
  • Our people, small in numbers, have fought during their whole existence. [The British] have fought too, but the wars of our two people have been of different characters. Our country has been invaded many times, but we have always fought the enemies, we have driven them out and we have never mixed blood with them...
  • I know about your [British] system of democracy, but in that system the workers 'hold keys of straw', as an expression of ours puts it. It is democracy for the capitalists, for the lords, but not for the workers. When we win we shall establish democracy, but not like that democracy of yours. In our country there will be democracy only for the people, while the 'keys of straw' will be in the hands of the beys, aghas and the bajraktars who have always opressed and betrayed the people.
  • "Heroj Tito, druže Tito, naš Tito!" [Hero Tito, Comrade Tito, our Tito!]. This impressed itself on me because we had heard this slogan from the Italian fascists when they shouted, "Duce a noi!" [The Duce is ours!]. I was astonished how they could permit it.
    • Enver Hoxha (1986) The Artful Albanian, (Chatto & Windus, London), ISBN 0701129700

Eurocommunism is Anti-Communism edit

  • Nevertheless, Marxism-Leninism has not disappeared, it is living and flourishing as an ideology and a reality, materialized in the socialist social system constructed according to its teachings. Exemplifying this is socialist Albania, the Marxist-Leninist parties, and those millions and millions of workers and peasants who are fighting every day for the overthrow of the bourgeoisie, for democracy and national liberation. No force, no torture, no intrigue, no deception can eradicate Marxism-Leninism from the minds and hearts of men.

Other edit

  • In Cambodia, the Cambodian people, communists and patriots, have risen against the barbarous government of Pol Pot, which was nothing but a group of provocateurs in the service of the imperialist bourgeoisie and of the Chinese revisionists, in particular, which had as its aim to discredit the idea of socialism in the international arena... The anti-popular line of that regime is confirmed, also, by the fact that the Albanian embassy in the Cambodian capital, the embassy of a country which has given the people of Cambodia every possible aid, was kept isolated, indeed, encircled with barbed wire, as if it were in a concentration camp. The other embassies, too, were in a similar situation. The Albanian diplomats have seen with their own eyes that the Cambodian people were treated inhumanly by the clique of Pol Pot and Yeng Sari. Pnom Pen was turned into a deserted city, empty of people, where food was difficult to secure even for the diplomats, where no doctors or even aspirins could be found. We think that the people and patriots of Cambodia waited too long before overthrowing this clique which was completely linked with Beijing and in its service.
    • In regard to Cambodia, our Party and state have condemned the bloodthirsty activities of the Pol Pot clique, a tool of the Chinese social-imperialists. We hope that the Cambodian people will surmount the difficulties they are encountering as soon as possible and decide their own fate and future in complete freedom without any 'guardian'. (Selected Works Vol. VI, p. 419.)

Quotes about Hoxha edit

Three years ago, I was with Peter Kemp in Leon, Nicaragua, when one of us spotted the news of the death of Enver Hoxha, Albania's communist leader whom Peter had known in the war. Peter rose to his feet, lifted his beer-mug, and gave the toast: 'Stoke well the furnaces of Hell!'
[Hoxha] is quite cultured, but you sense Western influence on his upbringing.
  • He is very handsome and leaves a good impression. He is quite cultured, but you sense Western influence on his upbringing.
    • Vyacheslav Molotov, as quoted in Vladimir Dedijer (1953) Tito Speaks: His Self Portrait and Struggle with Stalin, (London, Weidenfeld & Nicolson, page 313)
  • Hoxha's picture is plastered on just about every wall in the land. His profile adorns Albania's monetary unit, the lek, and at meetings of the Communist Central Committee (most of whom are related to each other and to the boss by blood or marriage) Hoxha speaks from a podium decorated with a plaster bust of himself. Like his country, Hoxha is full of surprises. Instead of being a rough, tough mountain chieftain, he is a former schoolteacher and was the pampered son of a well-to-do Moslem merchant. Though he has the mentality of a brigand, his manners are those of a cultivated bourgeois and reflect his education at universities in France and Belgium.
  • Hoxha seems to be well informed about literature, the theater, and philosophy, particularly the philosophy of education... He might well be pictured holding the sword of the dictatorship of the proletariat in one hand and the Western "lamp of learning" on the other.
    • Peter R. Prifti (1978), Socialist Albania Since 1944: Domestic and Foregin Developments (Cambridge, MIT Press, page 9)
  • Hoxha grew up in a world of blood feuds and skulduggery. His country was still part of the Ottoman Empire when he was born. It was a world of Islam, male chauvinism and cultural and philosophical backwardness. He fought his way out of this. He played a major role in building a Communist movement in extremely harsh and adverse conditions and held power longer than any non-hereditary leader in the world-more than forty years. He saw it all. This alone entitles him consideration, even if not respect.
  • Hoxha was not just 'quite' cultured, he was very cultured. In spite of coming from the most backward country in Europe, he was by far the best-read head of any Communist party in the bloc. On visits to the other countries in Eastern Europe, he often comments on the philistinism of his bloc colleagues. Hoxha knew fluent French and had a working knowledge (either verbal or written) of Italian, Serbo-Croatian, Russian and English. The range of references in his memoirs is not what one would expect from a Balkan ex-Muslim Stalinist.
  • Hoxha is both unusually well read and intelligent on the one hand, and an out-and-out Stalinist, on the other. These two sides of his character coexist without any resolution or synthesis. For Hoxha, Stalin can do no wrong. The world is divided into black and white: Stalin and those who agreed with him are good; those against Stalin are bad. On these issues, Hoxha is entirely predictable and often boring. He manifestly distorts events and flatly refuses to confront the evidence, for example, on Stalin's purges and the show trials in Eastern Europe after the war... In effect, when in trouble he wheels out Marxism-Leninism and deploys it like magic, in an incantatory, ritualistic way. But it is a magic straitjacket.
  • In a way, even more than Stalin, Hoxha had a vision of 'socialism in one country'- not for geo-strategic reasons, but out of alleged ideological purity, which served as a convenient cloak for nationalism. This is different from isolationism, with which Albania is usually taxed. Rather, Tirana's policy has been one of absentation- refusing, for example, to participate in the European Security Conference (which Hoxha termed 'a conference of insecurity').
  • Hoxha was often called a Stalinist. He was a Stalinist in two important ways. One was his advocacy of a very rigid form of centralised planning... The other was his use of brutal methods and often concocted evidence, compounded by his outspoken enthousiasm for harsh measures. But he was not 'Stalinist' in other important aspects. He was a cultured and well-read man. He was also in much closer contact with the population of his country than Stalin...
    • Jon Halliday (1986), as quoted in his introduction to the English language translation of Hoxha's The Artful Albanian, (Chatto & Windus, London), ISBN 0701129700
  • On the positive side, an objective analysis must conclude that Enver Hoxha's plan to mobilize all of Albania's resources under the regimentation of a central plan was effective and quite successful... Albania was a tribal society, not necessarily primitive but certainly less developed than most. It had no industrial or working class tradition and no experience using modern production techniques. Thus, the results achieved, especially during the phases of initial planning and construction of the economic base were both impressive and positive.
    • James S. O'Donnell (1999) A Coming of Age: Albania under Enver Hoxha, New York, page 186
  • Albania's Enver Hoxha was unusual in being well read in the European literature classics - and Molotov thought his cosmopolitanism a reason for suspicion. But Hoxha was a conventional communist dictator in denying his people access to disapproved alien culture.
  • The Spectator contributor Peter Kemp, who was dropped into Albania during the second world war, was later asked what he thought of Albanians. 'What can you think of a nation,' he answered, 'whose emblem is a two-faced buzzard?' Three years ago, I was with Peter Kemp in Leon, Nicaragua, when one of us spotted the news of the death of Enver Hoxha, Albania's communist leader whom Peter had known in the war. Peter rose to his feet, lifted his beer-mug, and gave the toast: 'Stoke well the furnaces of Hell!' Since Hoxha's death, his long-time interpreter has gone into exile, where he reveals that his former boss indulged in sexual practices which, in the words of the Church of England, 'fall short of the Christian ideal'. He was a rampant and aggressive sodomite who murdered many of those he embraced as well as those who refused him. The late Enver Hoxha, after the second world war, conferred with his namesake Fadil Hoxha, a senior communist in Kosovo, on whether to form an alliance. The break between Tito and Stalin put paid to the notion. Recently Fadil Hoxha fell from grace for making what he later described as a joke. To someone who had complained of the numerous rapes of Serb women in Kosovo, Hoxha replied that if more Serb women were prostitutes, there would be less rape.
  • The Spectator, 'TWO-FACED BUZZARDS', 12 December 1987

External links edit

  Encyclopedic article on Enver Hoxha on Wikipedia
  Media related to Enver Hoxha on Wikimedia Commons