Death Verses: How Communist Albania Executed Poets for Subversion
“Poisoned by Ignorance”
Last year, Bedri Blloshmi published a book that includes documents that were used by the Albanian authorities during his brother’s trial, entitled “Forms File, Category 2, No. 840” – the name of the file that the Sigurimi kept on the poet.
The documents reveal that his brother was spied on by people who reported his every move to the authorities. Informants were instructed to engage in political conversations with him to learn his views on the communist system and then report back.
Historian Kastriot Dervishi, an expert on the communist period, said that based on the records he saw, Vilson Blloshmi was initially successful in resisting and outmaneuvering the regime.
“State security always tried to make sure that whoever they were following or trying to recruit didn’t know their techniques,” Dervishi wrote in Bedri Blloshmi’s book.
“But Vilson could have learned that from the persecution and imprisonment of his uncle and father. By listening to the experience of his elders, he managed not to fall into any trap set for him, until the regime had to fabricate charges to arrest him and sentence him to death.
Also in Vilson Blloshmi’s file were analyzes of his poems and notes from people whom the Sigurimi referred to as “critics”.
One example, written by someone named Myzafer Xhaxhiu, highlighted Blloshmi’s “pessimistic outlook on life” and said his works “clearly speak of a nihilistic and pessimistic streak”.
“They speak of boredom, of death, they deny life and the meaning of useful work,” writes Xhaxhiu.
Another “expert” called Koci Petriti concluded that the poem “Sahara” is “dark in content and figuration”.
“The poem also contains many meaningless, dark and contradictory lines that express confusion, dissatisfaction with our reality and fear of not giving an opinion directly,” Petriti wrote.
Historian Dervishi said these “experts” collaborated with Sigurimi officials in order to prove that Vilson Blloshmi’s poems warranted prosecution.
“All of them, in collaboration with each other, blinded and poisoned by their ignorance and myopia, concocted a crime against an intellectual, against a poet and writer at his peak,” Dervishi wrote.