Albania in the 1940’s and 1950’s
According to top-mba-universities, the relations of friendship and collaboration with Yugoslavia suddenly broke off on 10 July 1948 when, as a result of the break between Tito and Cominform, the Communist-Albanian party sided with the USSR. The Tirana government denounced all the agreements with Yugoslavia (with the exception of the friendship and mutual assistance treaty of 9 July 1946, later denounced by Tito on 12 November 1949) and expelled the Yugoslav technicians and experts who, on the basis of said agreement, had initiated the economic and customs union of the Albania with Yugoslavia, with the intention – not excluded by some Albanian leaders – to bring the country into the Yugoslav federation. Titoista Koci Xoxe, vice president of the council and head of the secret police, was arrested along with his followers, convicted of “Trozkist” and “Titoist” activities and then shot (11 June 1949). After the break with Yugoslavia, the Soviet “advisers”, already present in Albania in the army, in the school, throughout Albanian life, multiplied and replaced the Yugoslav ones. Thus, in remaining faithful once again to its historical line, which saw the Albanians insert themselves from time to time in a larger complex, the Albania it passed from the Yugoslav to the Soviet orbit. Also under the presidency of Enver Hoxha, Mehmet Shehu became Minister of the Interior and head of the secret police; the 1946 constitution was modified in July 1950 to be in line with the Soviet one; the teaching of Serbo-Croatian was suppressed, the teaching of Russian was introduced in all secondary schools, while an institute of Russian language and literature was established within the Higher Pedagogical Institute; various Russian language courses began to be held in associations and industries and numerous fellows were welcomed in the USSR and in the Communist countries linked to it. In the religious sector, by a law of November 26, 1949, all religious communities were obliged to develop among their members feelings of fidelity towards the communist power, and their leaders had to receive the sanction of the government; in particular the non-communist leaders of the two great Muslim communities of the Bektāshīe of the Sunni were replaced and in 1950 a Muslim delegation visited the USSR to the Muslim centers of Uzbekistan; legitimate leaders of the Orthodox Church, including Metropolitan Christopher Kisi, were arrested and confined, replaced by Pashko Vodica, created bishop and who wanted to forge closer ties with the patriarchate of Moscow; the Catholic Church in 1953 kept only 100 churches of the 253 previously existing and 2 monasteries, while in August 1951 the links between the Albanian Catholic Church – proclaimed itself “national” Church – and the Holy See were forcibly severed.
From an economic point of view, the Albania it has been applied in a notable effort of industrialization, of increasing agricultural production and exploitation of raw materials (copper, oil, bitumen, chromium), which are exported to the USSR and the communist countries. Due to its leading position towards the West, it was natural that the Albania, even after the break between Tito and the Cominform, would leave aid to the Greek communist guerrillas, so much so that on 21 September 1949 the UN special commission for Balkans advised the General Assembly to declare the Tirana government “primarily responsible for the threat to peace in the Balkans”, asking it to cease aid to the Greek insurgents. Once the conflict in Greece ended, on December 15, 1955 the Albania was admitted to the United Nations.
The isolation from the West in the climate of the cold war has therefore become accentuated, so much so that of the Western powers only Italy (since May 1949), France and Turkey have diplomatic relations with Albania. After Stalin’s death, diplomatic relations with Yugoslavia were resumed in December 1953 and two years later, on May 14, 1955, the Albania he signed the Warsaw Treaty or Eastern Security Pact together with the other states of the Communist group, thus receiving a guarantee of security both from the USSR and from the other Communist states, so that his Balkan position was considerably strengthened. This was true both towards Yugoslavia (which by enhancing the cultural point of the Albanian minority of Kosovo-Metohija intends to make this region a center of attraction towards the Albania), both against Greece, which at the Paris peace conference of 1946 had faced claims on northern Epirus. Meanwhile, relations with the USSR and the “popular democracies” were being made increasingly close and firmly coordinated on an economic and above all military level, so much so that from 13 to 16 May 1959 the Comecon conference was held in Tirana, which ended with the request of greater economic integration between the communist countries. Following previous agreements, broader agreements were concluded in Tirana by N. Khrushchev, during the long visit from 25 May to 4 June 1959, in terms of technical assistance for the construction of factories, concession of Soviet specialists and for a loan of 300 million rubles; on the military level, the USSR maintains the entire control of the Albanian armed forces, trained according to the directives and with Soviet personnel; there was also talk of Soviet naval bases in Albania (Saseno) and installations for missiles. On the whole, the Albania, inserted in the Soviet diplomatic, economic and military system, has undoubtedly benefited from the Soviet interest for its position on the Adriatic and responds to it with a faithful alignment on the political-ideological directives of Moscow.