I was arrested in 1974 because the state security service found my university diaries and their contents were judged to contain agitation and propaganda against the regime.  But those diaries had never been published and no one other than myself had even read them.  Nevertheless, I purposefully hid them because I knew that I might …

  • May 26, 2021
  • Comments Off on Don’t Even Think It

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Whether Geraldine Marget Virginia Olga Maria Apponyi de Nagy-Appony knew what she was getting into when she agreed to the quickly offered marriage proposal of the eccentric King Zog I of Albania  could be discussed ad infinitum.  When they married she did not speak Albanian, nor did she know much about the country… or her …

  • March 26, 2021
  • Albania , Albania
  • Comments Off on A White Rose in the Land of Eagles

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On 22 March 1992, the first democratically elected leader of Albania since 1924 came into power.   Sali Berisha, head of the Democratic Party of Albania, came to the helm of a nation struggling with the transition between communism and capitalism, between isolation and openness.   But Albania’s journey toward democracy wasn’t as easy as …

  • March 22, 2021
  • Interesting
  • Comments Off on From Isolation to Open

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Thus the day would come when Tito and his henchmen in the course of all sorts of savage accusations and slanders against us would openly publicize one of their most absurd and unscrupulous claims – the claim that they – the Yugoslavs – had allegedly formed the Communist Party of Albania! –Enver Hoxha in his …

  • March 19, 2021
  • Comments Off on Plans For a Nation

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Enver Hoxha died on 11 April 1985.  It was the end of more than an era.  Hoxha had ruled Albania with an iron fist since 1944.  More Stalinist than Stalin, Albania’s allies had all fallen away at various times in his rule; since the Sino-Albanian Split in 1978 Hoxha’s nation had been completely alone.   …

  • March 10, 2021
  • Comments Off on And the Walls Came Tumbling Down

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The events of this novel draw on the infinite well of human memory, whose treasures may be brought to the surface in any period, including our own.  In view of this, any resemblance between the characters and circumstances of this tale and real people and events is inevitable. –Ismail Kadare Published first in 2003 (in …

  • January 22, 2021
  • Reading , Review
  • Comments Off on Book Review: The Successor

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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 …

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DictTheophan (Fan) Noli founded the Albanian Orthodox Church, served as Prime Minister for a short period in the pre-Zogian Albanian government, and was one of the founders of Vatra – the advocacy organization of Albanians abroad. Depending on who is keeping score, these may have been the least of his accomplishments.  He was a polyglot, …

  • January 6, 2021
  • History
  • Comments Off on The Founding Bishop and the Communist Dictator

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When Enver Hoxha proclaimed The People’s Republic of Albania on 11 January 1946, no one was quite sure how the man had gotten himself into such a position. Hoxha was a communist, and he had fought as a Partisan during World War II.  By March 1943, the former French teacher had been formally elected First …

  • December 27, 2020
  • Albania
  • Comments Off on More Stalinist Than Stalin

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