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Sara Teme
Interdisciplinary Unit
Ms. Amanda, Mr. Ervin, Ms. Anila, Ms. Aurora
13.05.2016
Title: The Cold War

Reflection paper: What it was like to live in Albania during the Cold War?
During the Cold war Albania was under the influence of the USSR therefore it was a communist
country. The country remained under the communist dictatorship from 1944 to 1990 under the
leadership of Enver Hoxha. In November of year 1994 the Germans withdrew from Albania and
there was a power vacuum. At the end of 1944 Hoxha seized power and two years later the
country was declared the People's Republic of Albania. This title became the People's Socialist
Republic of Albania in1976. Hoxha was a big supporter of Stalins methods and soon enough
Albania became a totalitarian communist state. After Stalins death Hoxha did not approve the
new way of ruling in the Soviet States so he separated from it and formed his own way of
communism. A very harsh communism. The Labor Party was everything. It was basically the
root of all politics. Albanians lives and breathed for the party and its ideology. You could not hate
the party or the way thing were ran by it. And of course the leader of the party, Enver Hoxha,
was a great leader and intellectual. He closed off Albania from the rest of the world and isolated
it. A few people could get out to get an education abroad. These people had to occupy some sort
of high position. Capitalism as in all communist countries was hated. There was no private land.
Land owners were stripped of their properties and the farms became collective. Then came the
poverty which was one of the countrys biggest problems. There were rations of food that people
had to collect each day. Those rations were never enough and if one family was rather large then

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it was almost impossible for them to survive. The queues started from 3 AM and lasted for hours.
People ate everything and the products were bio but there were in very limited quantities. There
were also people with friends in high places that got more food than other and had more
advantages. Everything that you could find outside of Albania was a luxury inside of it. If you
had gum or a banana you were practically rich in the eyes of other people. The children however
enjoyed this period. They were raised with the communist ideology. They learned about Enver
Hoxha and the Labor Party every day and also worked in cotton fields as part of the schools
action plan for the youth. Every teacher had to include communism in their lesson plan and if
they didnt they were considered bad teachers. Even the materials included the ideology like
literature for example. Literature was also very limited during the Cold War. Each published
work had to contain the message of the party and express their ideology and love for the mother
tongue and country. Many writers agreed to please the system by alternating or completely
changing their work. These writers were spared by the regime. Some however decided that they
would not conform to the controlling and unfair ways of communism and decided to write works
that were not propaganda for the system but quite offensive. These writers were met with severe
punishments. Some were sent to internment camps or prisons in Spac, Gjirokaster and Maliq.
The majority of the writers were killed and executed and their families were not spared the strict
discipline of the communist regime. Writers like Ismail Kadare had a good relationship with the
regime so his works were published and some of them had to be edited in order to be allowed to
publish. Some other like Arshi Pipa, Genc Leka, Martin Camaj and Benardin Palja refused to
change their works so they were punished for refusng to write propaganda for the system. Some
authors decided to remain quiet and not write anything. The banned art and literaature is now
recollecte dand atored in museums. All in all communism during the Cold war efected Albania

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greatly for ba but also for good. The economy was diversified through industralisation,
improvments in health, education and womenr rights. These changed Albania. They play a
important role on the way it is today. They shaped it future nd have made their roots into its
history.