The story of the communist conquest of Albania is no more than an appendix to the story of Tito's conquest of Yugoslavia. Moscow in 1942, subordinated the Albanian communists to Tito, and Moscow messages to the Albanian politburo passed through Tito's hands; the international representatives controlling the action of the Albanian communists were Yugoslavs appointed by Tito.1 It might therefore have been sufficient to deal with Albania in a few paragraphs, were it not for the existence of a source of unusual value: the detailed analysis given of civil war in Albania by Julian Amery,2 a British liaison officer with the Albanian monarchist, anti-communist resistance movement, throws more light upon general communist methods during World War II than any other account concerning any of the occupied countries in either Eastern or Western Europe. And it is merely in order to use all the information of general validity resulting from the analysis of so eminently balanced and penetrating an observer, that we shall deal at some length with the rise of Albanian communism.
Albania did not lend itself to communist penetration during the earlier period of the Comintern, owing to the absence of any labour movement or any Marxist tradition. It was only when, in the thirties, Moscow abandoned all squeamishness concerning the social structure and the doctrinal basis of national communist parties that Albania became suitable ground for communist action.
That action reflected, not primarily the class differences but the age-old regional antagonisms of Albanian political life. The Albanians, like many another 'nationality' of Eastern Europe, are____________________