Koçi Xoxe (pronounced [ˈkɔtʃi ˈdzɔdzɛ]; 1 May 1911 – 11 June 1949) was an Albanian politician who served as Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of the Interior of the People's Socialist Republic of Albania. He was supported by Yugoslavian leader Josip Broz Tito during efforts to bring Albania into the Yugoslavian federation. After Albania's leader, Enver Hoxha, established the country's independence with the support of the Soviet Union, Xoxe was arrested, tortured[dubious ] and executed.

General
Koçi Xoxe
Koçi Xoxe.jpg
Koçi Xoxe during his trial hearing
Deputy Prime Minister of Albania
In office
22 March 1946 – 2 October 1948
PresidentEnver Hoxha
Succeeded byMehmet Shehu
Minister of the Interior
In office
22 March 1946 – 2 October 1948
PresidentEnver Hoxha
Preceded byHaxhi Lleshi
Succeeded byNesti Kerënxhi
Personal details
Pronunciation[ˈkɔtʃi ˈdzɔdzɛ]
Born(1911-05-01)1 May 1911
Negovan, Manastir Vilayet, Ottoman Empire
Died11 June 1949(1949-06-11) (aged 38)
Tirana, Albania
Cause of deathExecution by firing squad
NationalityAlbanian
Political partyParty of Labour of Albania
Signature
Military service
AllegianceFlag of Albania (1946–1992).svg People's Republic of Albania
Branch/serviceState Emblem of the People's Republic of Albania.svg Albanian People's Army
RankGeneral

LifeEdit

Xoxe was born in 1911 in Negovan, near Florina in Greece, back then part of the Manastir Vilayet of the Ottoman Empire.[1] Negovan (today Flampouro/Φλάμπουρο) had a majority of Orthodox Albanians, many of whom sided with the Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople, and a minority of Aromanians (Vlachs).[2] According to some sources, Xoxe was an ethnic Macedonian[3] or ethnic Bulgarian[4] from Aegean Macedonia and was initially a tinsmith.

Around 1937 he emerged among others, such as Enver Hoxha and Koço Tashko, as prominent leaders of Albanian communism.

In the post-World War II era, Yugoslav leader Josip Broz Tito sought to exert his country’s influence over Albania through military support to Hoxha in an attempt to absorb Albania.[5] Xoxe, who headed the Ministry of the Interior and the secret police, the Sigurimi, was supported by Tito. Josef Stalin reportedly told Milovan Đilas, a leading figure in Yugoslavia, that Yugoslavia should “swallow up” Albania.[6]

Hoxha began to fear Xoxe as a rival to his own power. After Xoxe ordered the arrest of moderates with anti-Yugoslav sentiments, including Sejfulla Malëshova, Tito attacked Hoxha in a letter to the Albanian Politburo. Hoxha responded by traveling to Moscow with Nako Spiru and returned with a formal trade agreement with the Soviet Union without consulting Tito.

Tito began to develop a more assertive policy towards the Soviets, which angered Stalin. Over time, Stalin began to side with Albania as a supportive bulwark against Tito. The Soviet Union began to increase Moscow’s presence in the country, spending specialists in mining and oil refining.[5] Xoxe accused Spiru of subversion and, eventually, Spiru was found dead of a gunshot wound in his apartment under suspicious circumstances.[6][5]

Tito planned to send two army divisions into Albania under the pretense of protecting it from a Greek invasion, a move that angered Moscow. He then pushed Xoxe to convene a meeting of the Central Committee where he expelled Hoxha’s supporters and pushed a motion to combine Albania’s economy and military with Yugoslavia’s. Hoxha fought back with Soviet support and cancelled his agreements with Yugoslavia and expelled the country’s advisors. Xoxe attempted to save himself by declaring his support for the Soviet Union and arresting supporters of Tito in the government. The Central Committee, however, flipped on Xoxe, stripping him of his posts and expelling him from the party. In November 1948, he and many others were arrested.[6]

The Soviets wanted to paint Tito as the mastermind of anti-Marxist and anti-Albanian activities with the trials of Xoxe and the others. Xoxe was tortured in prison repeatedly until he confessed to conspiring with Tito against the Albanian government. In May 1949, he was placed on trial where he confessed to having been recruited by Ahmet Zogu, as well as British intelligence and that Tito was an agent of the west. Xoxe was sentenced to death and was hanged on June 11, 1949.[6][7]

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ United States Congressional serial set. U.S. Government Printing Office. 1948. p. 2.
  2. ^ Aarbakke, Vemund (2015). "The Influence of the Orthodox Church on the Christian Albanians’ national orientation in the Period Before 1912". Albanohellenica. 6: 3. "In the period before the Balkan Wars the Christian Albanians in Florina, Bitola and Thessaloniki recognized the Greek church authorities and attended Greek schools."; pp. 4-5. "Kǔnchov has the following to say about their situation: In Ano and Kato Kotori they were Christian Albanians mixed with Bulgarians and liable to be assimilated to the latter. In Bel Kamen and Negovan they were Christian Albanians and some Vlachs. These two villages had relocated from the Konitsa kaza in Ipirus. They came to Bel Kamen around 1840 and to Negovan around 1860… The village Negovan, on the other hand, withstood Bulgarian pressures to participate in preparations for the Ilinden uprising in 1903. Greek diplomats felt the village was relatively safe from the Bulgarians, but had greater apprehension of the Romanian propaganda (Δραγούμης 2000, 78, 180, 372). The villages Belkamen, Negovan and Lehovo became heavily involved on the Greek side in the Macedonian Struggle."; p. 5. "In the wake of the Young Turk revolution a new self-assertion could be traced among the Christian Albanians and the Greek clergy struggled to contain the nationalist Albanians in Korçë and Bitola (Bridge 1976, 401-2). This condition also extended into the kaza of Florina. Albanian and Vlach nationalists also challenged the Greek supremacy in the villages Bel Kamen, Negovan and Lehovo. In the village Negovan the Albanians were able to secure the use of the Patriarchist church by force (Bridge 1976, 418-9, 451-2)."
  3. ^ Balevski, Milčo (1987). Albanija po Enver Hodža [Albania by Enver Hoxha] (in Macedonian). Skopje, Macedonia: Makedonska kniga.
  4. ^ Мете, Серж. „История на албанците" (Serge Métais, "Histoire des Albanais"), С., Рива, 2007, стр. 286
  5. ^ a b c Jeronim Perović (2007). "The Tito–Stalin split: a reassessment in light of new evidence" (PDF). War Studies, archived at University of Zurich. Retrieved 9 June 2020. {{cite journal}}: Cite journal requires |journal= (help)
  6. ^ a b c d Hodos, George H. (1987). "Show Trials: Stalinist Purges in Eastern Europe, 1948-1954". Greenwood Publishing Group. ISBN 9780275927837.
  7. ^ Berend, Iván T. Central and Eastern Europe, 1944-1993: Detour from the Periphery to the Periphery, Cambridge University Press, 1996, page 65 - 66

External linksEdit