Evasive evidence comes even after many decades of closing the Tepelena internment camp, people point to the time of isolation of Albanians, for ex-persecuted, surrounded by barricade internment camps.
They speak, have mercy, painfully recall the times of a “despotic” regime, which as revenge was the denial of citizen’s freedom, the violation of rights and often spared no life.
But what has remained of the Tepelena internment camp, how it started and how it is drawn today into civic memory.
The stories come to fruition, set on a dramatic background, as the Tepelena Camp was conceived in a mined area with shells left over from the Greek-Greek War, where witnessed the Vjosa River and the most self-sacrificing elephants.
The internment camps rank in dictatorships as death camps by the way they function as centers of suffering and isolation, forced labor, malnutrition and torture for the majority of interned.
One of the most notorious camps of the communist regime in Albania was that of Tepelena, even a real “hell” where thousands of people suffered, women, men and children, and brighter figures of time, such as Cardinal Mikel Koliqi, Dr. Ali Erebara, Dr. Mykerem Janina, Professor Ali Cungu, Professor Gulmy Deda, Writer Mithat Araniti, Academician Pader Lazi, Former Minister of Education, Zef Shiroka (brother of Dr. Shiroka) and other intellectuals who wandered daily between life and death.
The Tepelena internment camp was located at the edge of the Vjosa River in the entrance to Tepelena, on the west side, at the foot of the huge hill overlooking the barracks of the camp, where Bënça Prison was still located and seven miles beyond another notorious camp internment, that of Turan.
In Tepelena camp there were exiles from all over Albania, but predominantly exiled from north and middle Albania. The arrivals were family with women and children and concentrated in groups in a barracks where the number of interneds amounted to 300-600. The barracks were placed one after another bringing the number of up to 2300 total exiles across the camp.
Currently, Tepelena camp has remained silos, torture chambers, iron gate that was guarded by communist-era police officers and evidence of dozens of tombs that have been lost, mostly tombstones and the number reaches up to 115 graves, but there is no figure correct, because the number of dead is some bigger and more suspicious, as it is referred to as two graves that have more than 600 graves.
The guardian of suffering
Neim Pasha condemned by the communist regime with 21 years of imprisonment, where he spent 15 years in the notorious Spaç prison, shows that “when I was released from prison we were brought to Tepelena, stayed in a barracks until I was sheltered in this palace at the entrance to camp of Tepelena “.
Arrived from jail and placed at the entrance to the infamous Tepelena camp, he stands as a “watchdog” of suffering.
Neym says the Tepelena camp was cruel, and was overwhelmed with people coming mainly from the north, opponents of the communist regime.
At that time there was still no law for the internees, but they dealt with tribes and genres, expelling them and entering the internment camps.
The camp was guarded by police, there were room for torture and internees, in addition to malnutrition, were forced to work by collecting wood.
Makabrit has been the motto, the despication of life, the marking of every freedom.
People show, suffering was the motive of the hangman ..!
A resident of the surrounding area who does not want to expose the name shows that “I was a soldier exactly when the camp was closed, but those who heard my ears at that time did not want to tell.”
Young women and girls were tortured, left without eating, forced to work for forced labor.
Torture was inhuman, depraved and beaten barbarous, and often they even … (sma).
One resident shows that: “In 1949, I saw a boy who was no more than 8 years old, who just drank water, died in the country, that thirst had tortured for a long time.
Tepelena records 140 executed, torture did not spare anyone.
According to the Ministry of Interior’s archive statistics, since 1945, which was the first year of internment, 260 people died in this camp, mostly children and the elderly.
The barracks of the camp were enormous, just like a horseshoe (inherited by the Italians) but following each other several hundred meters, as they had previously been the depot of the Italian army and could hold over 300-600 there were many families with small children who caught a little room.
In the camp of Tepelena according to the instructions, all those families labeled by the communist government as reactionaries, kulaks, bourgeois, deceased betrayers, foreign agents, etc. would gather together.
In other camps such as Berat, Kuçova, Tepelena, Turan, Porto-Palermo and then Lushnja, Shtyllas, Savër, Gradishtë, Grabja