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By Leke Tasi


Events in Reshat Kripa’s book, The Circles of Hell, take place within the ferocious years of the communist regime in Albania. The author has gathered scores of instances of cruelty and deceit within these pages. Fiction allows this when the country and era to be represented were truly inhumane. This work symbolizes not a particular story, as it happens, but a special concentrate of true stories. In fact, the quite unjustified arrest was planned by the police simply to enhance shock and to pressure the relatives of the victim. In the end, the rape illustrates the depravity and arbitrariness that officials permitted themselves, though it is hard to believe that it would have really happened in Albania. These events depict the obsession to oppress  a people isolated for half a century. Without a doubt  Albanians are aconflicted nation, with a huge load of rage and strife, but the people's spiritual and moral codes, no matter how much cruelty flows from the nature of conflict, denies the horror to exceed certain indicators that put the event in a debatable area beyond the possible... The question emerges: Does the atypical event deserve to be exposed? The answer is yes, because the typical event exceeds the specific Albanian context, and deals with those rare circumstances called “the Evil in the world," ideas to caress the dark instincts of man. Causes of how Evil manages to win such freedom remain unexplained, despite the research of historians. Their analysis cannot grasp the power of evil, and thus explains the phenomenon when it occurs, not while it is brewing. However, the dimensions of the organization of Evil are immense, with the astonishing wave of wrongdoing involving nations and continents, while the organization module is the same: a limited clique imposing their will on millions by terror through militant solidarity and iron discipline, prerogative of only those sworn to malice...

This book shows an episode from the postwar terror. It is the year 1974, the protagonist of the story is an engineer, the son of a partisan fallen in war. It happens that this man has studied in Prague, has clear ideas about values and people and, therefore, also for the situation that surrounds him. This is reflected in the books he reads, the friends he chooses (professionals of non-communist affiliation), and the thoughts he has about the work. His fairness, honesty and normality distinguish him in an environment where people of the party fill life with jealousy, hypocrisy and arrogance. The dissatisfied opinion of the main character is discussed high up, and guidance is given from an authority that he should be tested. In a system where values ​​are antipodal with true morality, in order to prove he is a `positive’ citizen, he must collaborate with slanderers to convict his peers solely for their opinions, even those unproven. Otherwise he will face consequences. The engineer refuses and ends up in prison. State security officers tortured him, but could not break him. Then they use a method, mentioned above, that is beyond the possible horrors committed between Albanians.  Unfortunately, in the grim circumstances that swept over the country, this humiliating strategy, carried out with the detainee’s knowledge, proves successful and breaks him. He signs the statement which cements the guilt of his innocent friends, resulting in their severe punishment. His family, involved in this horrific strategy, is finished also, and his name is soiled forever.

In this action against innocent citizens in order to keep people under periodic terror, the highest authority had given unspecified consent to the unscrupulous subordinates to use "Whatever means,” and they found the opportunity to make a shameful villainy in violation of the rules of the regime itself. But is this event real or does principality serve only as a mask? In fact, the alliance of terrorist leaders within the corrupt base, though hidden, has been the concrete foundation upon which the real communist political action was based from the start, an unprecedented management of the wickedness to liberate inexhaustible energies and guarantee the success, since humankind was found unarmed in front of it, also attested to by the Russian literature before and after the revolution. To prove this, it is interesting to see how the superior resolves the problem of violation of morality and duty--he simply avoids the scandal and rewards the corrupt perpetrators, while their dependents that denounced the vileness of the superiors were wickedly removed...  Certainly the logic used was within the track of preservation of the valuable alliance of the leadership with the villains, so the methodology described above is stamped as the outbreak of the Evil in the world. And as proved in the book, it can be fatal for every kindness shown by those who serve it but do not conform to it.


Translated from the Albanian by Hilda M. Xhepa


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