A People’s Republic
On 10 January 1946 the man who would become the most powerful communist dictator in Europe solidified his power and the People’s Republic of Albania was proclaimed and Enver Hoxha was proclaimed its Prime Minister, Foreign Minister, Defense Minister, and the army’s Commander in Chief.
Although the Albanian Royal Family had been banned from Albania since 1944, King Zog was now formally deposed.
Albania had been one of only two European countries liberated from the Nazis with no Red Army troops on its soil (the other being Greece), and so unlike most of Eastern Europe, Hoxha’s Albanian communists did not owe Stalin anything. They had coalesced completely without Moscow’s input. And yet, Hoxha viewed Stalin as the perfect Communist leader. He became completely devoted to Stalinism – more Stalinist than Stalin himself.
Tensions with Yugoslavia possibly had something to do with Hoxha’s leanings, and indeed the thawing between the USSR and Marshal Tito in the late 1950s caused tremendous stress in Hoxha’s relationship with the Soviets.
But whatever his relationship with the Soviet Union itself, Hoxha would go to his deathbed an ardent Stalinist – the last one to lead a nation.
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