Dictionary of East European History since 1945

By Joseph Held | Go to book overview
Save to active project

Mallakaster region, in southern Albania; he was a Tosk. He graduated from the American Vocational School in Tirana in 1932. He then went to Italy and enrolled at the Military Academy in Naples. Four months later, however, he was expelled for alleged communist sympathies. He then enrolled and attended the officer's training school of the Albanian armed forces in Tirana.

During the Spanish civil war, he served in the Garibaldi International Brigade on the side of the loyalists. He eventually rose to the command of the fourth battalion of the brigade. After the victory of General Francisco Franco, Shehu was sent to a French concentration camp and spent the years from 1939 to 1942 as a prisoner.

Shehu returned to Albania in 1942 following the French defeat by the Germans and immediately joined the clandestine Albanian Communist party. He was a commander of the Partisan army fighting the occupiers. He was also a commander of the forces engaged in the civil war in Albania, struggling against the non-communist resistance (see National Front for the Liberation of Albania). After the war, he was a faithful follower of Enver Hoxha (see Hoxha, Enver), and supported him in the struggle against the Titoists and against the Soviet "revisionists."

During 1945 and 1946, Shehu attended the Voroshilov Military Academy in Moscow. After his return, he held many high positions in the party and state as well as in the Albanian armed forces. At various times, he was army chief of staff, minister of the interior, and minister of defense.

He was a ruthless, radical Marxist-Leninist who gladly cooperated in the extermination of the opponents of the communist regime. He was considered for a long time the designated heir apparent for Enver Hoxha. When Hoxha decided otherwise and chose Ramiz Alia (see Alia, Ramiz), he also excluded Shehu from the succession and denounced him in the Politburo. Following the denunciation, Shehu committed suicide. True to communist practices, his wife and other family members were subsequently murdered.


Bibliography

Skendi Stavro, Albania ( New York, 1956); Pipa Arshi, Albanian Stalinism: Ideo-Political Aspects ( Boulder, CO, 1990).

Soviet-Albanian Relations. Until 1947, Albania was, for all practical purposes, a satellite of Yugoslavia. With the break between Stalin and Tito, however, Enver Hoxha (see Hoxha, Enver) saw an opportunity to untangle his country from the Yugoslav embrace. In January 1949, Albania applied for and was accepted for membership in COMECON, the economic organization of East European communist countries and the Soviet Union. These countries concluded separate trade agreements with Albania. Soviet technical advisers were sent to Albania and took the place of the departed Yugoslavs. At the same time, Albania became a base for the Greek communist insurgency.

In 1950, a Soviet naval base was built on the island of Sazan, threatening the opening of the Adriatic sea to the Mediterranean. By 1952, the naval base was opera

-72-

Notes for this page

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
Loading One moment ...
Project items
Notes
Cite this page

Cited page

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

Cited page

Bookmark this page
Dictionary of East European History since 1945
Table of contents

Table of contents

Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger
Search within

Search within this book

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

While we understand printed pages are helpful to our users, this limitation is necessary to help protect our publishers' copyrighted material and prevent its unlawful distribution. We are sorry for any inconvenience.
Full screen
/ 514

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.

Are you sure you want to delete this highlight?