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Europe's North Korea

May 18, 2024
This is Albania, a small mountainous nation located at the mouth of the Adriatic. Today, this modest territory is the third poorest in Europe and consistently ranks among the most corrupt nations in the region; However, even this less than ideal position is Paradise compared to what it was. Just over 30 years ago, in the mid-1980s, the Albanian state was a communist hermit kingdom that ranked third among the poorest countries in the world, not just in Europe; It was ruled by a paranoid dictator who carried out Stalin's purges against political dissidents and kept the population docile through a network of prisons and brutal secret police almost completely isolated diplomatically and economically.
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The country resisted the modernizing influences of its neighbors and even from the rest of the communist bloc and remained a relic of a totalitarian past; It was the North Korea of ​​Europe an equivalent in every way except its geography and longevity and here is its story, that of the dictator in vosa and his paranoia of a mysterious isolated neighborhood in the nation's capital and life within the state stagnant in the time. 20th century Albania was a nation completely forged in The Crucible. of the conflict it was invaded by Italy in 1939 and only managed to free itself from fascism 5 years later, after a German occupation withdrew from the southern Balkans at the end of 1944, what was left in its place were the rest of the collaborationist monarchist nationalists and the communist partisans in this power. vacuum a relatively unknown variable called enaer emerged at the top of the country's most important political entity, the Albanian Labor Party or PLA.
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Even the country's most widely read chroniclers are baffled as to how exactly this unexceptional man accomplished such a feat. He was not particularly intelligent or influential in the party. It was speculated that his presence at the founding of the party was an attempt to meet religious quotas. All other members were Christians and needed a Muslim member to be representative of the population. By all accounts, he He was simply in the right place at the right time, had a handful of influential allies and, crucially, had the stomach to seize the opportunity with clinical ruthlessness. His unscrupulous strategies would turn him into a paranoid despot rivaled only by his contemporary in North Korea.
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Kim Mils Posa's ruthless approach. to ensure that their policy supremacy would be demonstrated as soon as the German occupiers began to withdraw from the Balkans in late 1944, as the Verar retreated

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wards, the communist-controlled National Liberation Army or the NLA led by The 34-year-old Homeowners' Association followed them and carried out a political cleansing campaign in the abandoned areas where all supposed political opponents were liquidated in these early days of centralization of power and displayed a brutality that would become characteristic of their rule in the words of a New Republic reporter who quotes HOA ordered purges like other people order.
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When he went out for pizza on numerous occasions he would order the arrest, torture and killing of former allies and enemies alike, as well as people he resented on a personal level out of jealousy. He once had a prominent communist named Lazar Fundo tortured to death because because he was a successful Envoy to the supranational organization that sought to unleash the World Revolution and because he had insulted him in the past, H's personal aversion to the fundo was This was a common accusation used in communist nations of the time and the accusation generally held very little water.
It was generally used to justify removing a nuisance to established HOA leadership. It was just a convenient excuse to chase someone. he already despised him and saw him as a potential rival. However, hza must have realized that if he could determine the fund's associates, he could also brand them as Trotskyists, so he requested that, when captured, the torturers extract the names of the fund's allies and the p . The HOA was always on the list. However, this political vigilance would end up making HOA the most paranoid man in Europe during his 41-year rule, from 1944 to 1985, the dictator would kill the party's founding members so they could not use his seniority to undermine its legitimacy and He would execute or send to prison childhood friends for deviating from the party line, such as Stalin, the man after whom he modeled many of his own policies and his own cult of personality, which would further alter the past by eliminating those who had been purged from historical records to gather evidence of anyone's previous involvement with the PLA, would have the faces of the disgraced politicians erased from photos as if they had never existed, eliminating even the slightest traces of opposition when their right - The servant and heir presumptive Meu died due to an apparent suicide in 1981.
There was speculation that Hza had ordered his death, among other things because immediately after his death the dictator absurdly announced that Shahu had been a traitor all along and that in had actually been an agent not only for the Soviets, but also for the Americans, if Shah, whose death was really a suicide, was one only in name days before his death, HOA had forced him into self-criticism for allowing his son to engaged to a woman who had anti-communist relatives in the United States When HZA convened Albania's governing body to discuss the scandal, Shahu must have suspected his time was approaching and decided to take matters into his own hands. hja had not pulled the trigger but had given him the gun, so to speak, shahu was as stubbornly loyal as possible.
National observers and party officials testified that he had never been involved in a political disagreement with the HOA and that he was completely subservient. American intelligence sources believe the same and doubted that Shahu would ever challenge H's authority. Perhaps the reason for H's actions, other than the ridiculous claim that the second most powerful man in the country was a double agent for two Rival powers, was that shahu was toying with the idea of ​​moderating Albanian isolationism; It was reported that he had recently carried out diplomatic activities with the capitalist nations of Europe and Yugoslavia, Albania's former rival; he is notoriously paranoid about foreign influences and a supporter of isolationism; he may have felt undermined;
Alternatively, some intelligence reports maintain that in 1981 Posa was in favor of a degree of greater interaction with the Western world, if this were the case. So his attack on Shu may have been completely personal, something we will address in the last chapter of this video. Hoa's strong isolationist bent during his time in power is perhaps one of the most obvious parallels with North Korea, such as the Korean Hermit Kingdom. Albania avoided the nations. who should have been her allies, both HOA and Kimil Sang, would break with the Soviet Union and China, effectively alienating the only countries that would have any reason to support them.
Albania already kept all nations on Earth at arm's length, a policy that manifested itself in general hostility toward any foreign, but particularly Western, products, ideas, art or media, the aversion being so extreme that in 1979 an artist named Mark V was sentenced to 10 years of hard labor in one of the most brutal prisons in the country just for producing art that showed traces of citing foreign influences, this alienation from all allies and suspicion of all things foreign meant that hza could present to the rest of the world as he wanted if he wanted to build a narrative that the rest of the world was working to see Albania fail.
And that's what he did when American journalist Harrison Salsbury visited the country in 1957: he noted that Albanians believed the United States was orchestrating a plot to return the exiled King Zog to the throne. Zog had been deposed by the Italian invasion of 1939 and his feared reestablishment would see Albania transformed back into a medieval surom. This kind of sentiment was a product of Albania's propaganda machine now that the United Kingdom and the United States had tried to overthrow the Oa government in the years after World War II under the highly classified code name Operation Valuable. but they had failed miserably and since 1954 had given up the prospect of subverting communism in Albania, but this operation had two lasting effects: it formed the basis of H's external paranoia and gave him justification for being highly prejudiced in trying to eradicate subversion .
It would also lead him to distrust the Soviet Union, which after 1954 opened to the West under Kustov's rule, and China, which did the same after 1972, when more socialist nations came into contact with the capitalist world. HOSA began to believe that Albania was the only true Soviet Union. of Marxism is gone and all the others have deviated from one path in the words of a Yugoslav contemporary in the mind of hosa cita the whole world conspires against the small capitalists and imperialists of Albania against the neighboring revisionist Yugoslavia and the distant CLE and P King the Moscow revisionists Euro Italian and Spanish communists and many others, this led to a siege mentality in Albania that HOSA hoped would drive its subjects to adhere to the principles of the state as if their lives depended on it because otherwise they would he implied that Albania would be defeated, in his own words, in order for Albania to be self-sufficient and protect itself from its enemies, everyone would have to work and live as if they were under siege, this would manifest itself very literally with HOA embarking on an insane campaign to build 170,000 bunkers across the country between 1975 and 85, these concrete buildings permanently.
It projected an air of unrest throughout the country and helped impress upon the minds of every Albanian that the world was against them and that the PLA was in an existential struggle. The construction of these bunkers also meant that money that could have been spent on improving living conditions was taken away. The conditions of the average Albanian were absorbed by a project of paranoia. Between 99.6 and 11.4% of the nation's national budget went to National Defense and much of it was spent on bunkers. This obsession with defense at the expense of the people was not new. Trending in 1971, then Prime Minister Meed Shahu recalled that quote from 1961: "We don't give a damn about bread, but we were desperate for weapons because the revisionist Russians could attack us in the face of a foreign threat received; the well-being of the citizenry came second place". state security Albania was already an extremely poor country with many of its inhabitants on the brink of starvation, and increasing military expenditures only served to increase its misery.
Albania's poverty was most evident in the capital, Tyana, which should have been the country's crown jewel. When Bavarian Prime Minister Franos Strauss visited the country in August 1984, his son noticed that there were no cars on the city streets at night and that when they visited the Albanian Museum of Technology they found a tractor By the 1920s and manually operated telephone switchboards, most of the population lived in cramped apartments with 4 to 10 people crammed into just over 50 square meters, only 1/5 the size of a tennis court, but this was not the case everywhere in Tian, ​​south of the city center.
A forbidden zone, the mysterious and isolated block, this neighborhood was reserved for the upper strata of the Albanian poets office and was populated with luxurious apartments, restaurants, clubs, private clinics and specialty grocery stores. As one individual described it, it was an oasis, presumably implying that its surroundings were comparable. poorly developed when the bloc was created in late 1944 to serve as Albania's Forbidden City, residents were expelled by the Albanian secret police, the seguir to make room for the incoming party apparatus, the area began to be patrolled by police officers closed and checkpoints populated by armed groups. Guards were erected around the perimeter of the neighborhood to keep out the riff-raff; even Enos Street was divided for party members.
One place on the block is of particular interest, this building adjacent to the Communist Party Central Committee building whose sole purpose was to function. As a kind of club for party elites, within its walls you could find a cinema showing banned foreign films, billiard rooms, and party officials chatting among themselves while drinking expensive liquor. This building, nicknamed The Party House, was the encapsulation of the division between halves and Have. Nots and the hypocrisy of the party elites who break the rules that they themselves had established for the country onbuilding served a unique purpose for the paranoid Envera acted as a panopticon allowing him to closely monitor his subordinates the son of Albanian Trade Minister Sharak Nella wrote that HOSA required all high-ranking party members to attend the club every days to continually evaluate their loyalty to him, he treated this rule with the utmost seriousness to the point that when he brought charges against a minister of his government who had called for, among other things, a democratization of the party, he cited the absence of the Minister in the club during the last two months as an additional justification for his arrest the secret function of the party House reflected the general state of paranoia in the bloc that filtered from HOSA itself and spilled into the rest of the party apparatus to ensure political longevity, residents of the block would marry, which would give rise to an almost incestuous and highly isolated network of relationships, although they insisted on citing close blood.
Affinity was generally avoided, it was a shallow gene pool regardless of this. Close-knit but highly suspicious community, an atmosphere of togetherness was omnipresent, everyone was ready to reveal themselves to each other if they detected a hint of betrayal, even if it was a father, a husband or a son, given the endogamy situation, possibly all At the same time elsewhere in The Block was H's specialized clinic, stocked with Western medicines and staffed by foreign-trained doctors. He employed a renowned French doctor named Paul M to complete his medical team. HOA was diagnosed with diabetes in 1948 and had been undergoing treatment ever since and it is here, in his difficult medical situation, that we can see that his paranoia was selective for all his criticism and suspicion of foreign influences and products.
His medical team was dominated by experience. expatriate and her medical office was stocked with expertise in foreign medicines and medicines whose benefits did not extend to her own population HOA also drove a souped-up Mercedes Benz a product In West Germany, a capitalist power, private property was illegal and therefore , private vehicles were also prohibited, but this did not appear to apply to Enver or many of his cabinet members. The average person would never see a car, as there were only 1,265 private vehicles in the entire country. country within its isolated way in Tana hoa's study filled with literary works translated from the enemy's libraries n Shakespeare Doeski Christie and makavelli all sitting on their shelves with their thorns facing a world to which they did not belong, as the dissidents did politicians under his government were put behind bars literature was also imprisoned hojo's censorship regime bordered on North Korea's infamously restrictive system, but he made sure his library was free from scrutiny when Kimil s died in 1994 Korea North entered a prolonged state of mourning and the average citizen engaged in public displays of hysteria as if the North Korean state's charging star had been similarly extinguished in Albania.
Hosa's death was accompanied by a period of extreme public distress. Hosa's cult of personality had built him up to be what was effectively a God among Men were the glue that held the nation together and its seemingly eternal and infallible protector, so after his passing, for those who had Having been immersed in this propaganda for decades it was as if the world as they knew it was falling apart before their very eyes for dissidents who were not in trance. Because of his spell, they also pretended to be sad for fear of reprisals. In parallel with North Korea, Albanians wailed and screamed at the sight of their dictator's coffin, while others looked somberly forward showing their deference to their beloved leader. as evidenced by the images remaining from the seven days. of mourning ordered after Hosa's death the funeral rights and acts of remembrance were highly choreographed throughout Hosa's life he had been careful to present himself as the sole cause of Albania's good fortune when the Axis powers withdrew from Albania he had He distributed pamphlets throughout the country that cited him as the architect behind the liberation and all the victories against the fascist occupiers.
He never had an official biographer and personally wrote in great detail and self-indulgence the many accomplishments he had heralded throughout his life and how he would be remembered. It was so incredibly important to him that it was speculated that he defeated his most loyal ally in the alleged air of the previously mentioned Me Shahu because he feared that Shahu would overshadow him after his death. Posa's opulent and grandiose funeral was probably his final act of self- deification was a last gasp to ensure that his legacy lived on, in the end it did, surviving even the communist state of Albania, which fell into ruin in 1992.
It seemed that without Hosa's Iron Fist, the Socialist People's Republic of Albania lacked the political will to exist as the Entrenched Elite. the inhabitants of the country only knew loyalty to hja and without her presence she kept them in line they became defenseless Albania opened up to the world the politicians allowed foreign broadcasts to be seen in the country and the fear that kept people in line gradually disappeared the stance could rule from the grave only for a time and with his death the collapse of North Korea in Europe was almost inevitable. Hello everyone, this video was not brought to you by a sponsor, but by the YouTube members of this channel.
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