Communist Crimes Scholar Speaks out Over Ban on Institute Studying Before 1944

Enriketa Papa, a scholar of Albanian communist history, a lecturer at the University of Tirana and board member of the Institute for the Study of the Crimes and Consequences of Communism has criticised the Socialist Majority for banning the institute from studying communism before 1944.

In a comment to Exit, she said it effectively means that those scholars wishing to study Albanian communism in more detail and the history of how the ideology was introduced would need the permission of parliament.

She spoke of her concerns over legislative interference in academia.

“To understand communism in Albania, you have to follow the logic of its institutions and to understand how this ideology was propagated and spread throughout the country.”

Papa continues:

“Communist ideology in Albania was introduced in the 1910s-1920s with the first far left-wing activists and the first left-wing political groups in the main cities, not just with the establishment of the Communist Party in November 1941. It was a product of these individuals and groups. Thus by fixing by law, the research focus of a public institution set up to study communism, to events after WWII, it means you prevent the academia from doing their job as independent scholars.”

She added that academic freedom should imply the right to research objectively for truth and knowledge without political interference and hindrance. Centralising and denying the academic freedom of a research institution by a political body, politicises the ISKK which should not be the case.

“To me, this decision was politically determined and the MPs. used their ‘power’ to fulfil their ideology and political aims,” ¬†she said.