Little serious scholarly study exists in English either of post-war Albania or its leadership. That which did exist tended to suffer from a lack of reliable primary resource material and either sang the praises of heroic Comrade Hoxha or presented him as an arch demon. Blendi Fevziu, while no apologist for Hoxha, presents here probably the best English language biography of Enver Hoxha has remained something of an enigma among the leaders of the none West aligned leaders of the European powers. Blendi Fevziu, while no apologist for Hoxha, presents here probably the best English language biography of Enver Hoxha based on a range of state archive documentation, interviews and diaries and letters of key actors. Neither a street activist or intellectual; rather someone whose lack of firm position or activism made him seem like a prime neutral candidate for filling a key Party post at a time of internal division and strife.

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Tauris, pp. The Hoxha who had entered the city as a communist partisan was now a weak old man. He was often confined to a wheelchair, had to be hoisted on to his podium using a custom-built lift and was only prevented from falling by camouflaged safety rails. The dictator was deeply vulnerable but still formidably powerful.

It was never achieved. Beaches were wreathed in barbed wire and land borders sealed with electric fences. Over four decades of totalitarian rule, Fevziu estimates that 5, were executed, 24, imprisoned and 70, displaced. The Sigurimi held one million files detailing political sympathies and sexual preferences. Outwardly, this bright start suggests diligence and intelligence. In reality, Hoxha won both these early benedictions, and practically every advantage there-after, through networking.

When he flunked Montpellier, nepotism got him board and lodgings with a wealthy friend of a friend called Hasan Jero whom he later sentenced to 35 years in prison. The same sort of inflence won him a job at the Albanian embassy in Brussels, when the foreign minister to the Kingdom of Albania, Eqrem Libohova, put Hoxha forward for the position. In the postwar years, he was credited with at least some successes.

By , even this relationship had ruptured — leaving Hoxha with none of the financial resources needed to maintain his Stalinist Disneyland. The final seven years of his rule were the most painful for his people. Hoxha enjoyed detective stories, and specifically the work of Agatha Christie.

He read vampire fiction, carpeted his home using wares bought from Italian budget supermarkets and spent evenings watching the torture and murder of his opponents on video cassettes — as his daughter-in-law Liljana later revealed. He left behind 13 volumes of memoirs, edited by his wife Nexhmije. But they tell us little about who Hoxha was. Tel:


Blendi Fevziu

Share via Email Enver Hoxha in Journalists were routinely denied visas and subterfuge had to be employed to get across the border. The main feature was a crackly version of Henry V , starring Laurence Olivier, preceded by a short comedy turn by Norman Wisdom. With his cloth cap at a jaunty angle, censors for the Party of Labour of Albania assumed he exemplified the uplifting struggles of a typical English working-class lad.


Enver Hoxha: The Iron Fist of Albania by Blendi Fevziu review – the People’s Republic tyrant

Demise of a Prime Minister The Final Purges The Years of Solitude Written like a crime novel, based on unparalleled access to once closed Albanian archives, the book is a must read for anyone who wants to understand communist Europe and how dictatorships get set up and eventually survive. This biography is a major achievement.


Enver Hoxha : The Iron Fist of Albania



Enver Hoxha


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