Ramadan Xhangolli, a life between extremes

2024-06-17 10:31:36Histori SHKRUAR NGA NGA PROF. DR. AVNI XHELILI
Ramadan Dzhangolli

By Prof. dr. Avni Djelili

Ramadan Tele Xhangolli was born 104 years ago, on May 5, 1920, in Shënepremte of Gramshit, a large mountain village with beautiful nature and patriotic, hardworking and generous people. Among many other families in Shenepremte, the tribe of Xhangolaj stood out. The three brothers Hysen, Tele and Reshit Xhangolli, under the influence of the older brother, Hysen, who returned to his homeland after several years of emigration, were men of voice throughout the province. Telja, Ramadani's father, was elected mayor of Shenpremte municipality in the 1924 elections. Together with the sons and grandson (Hysen's son) they lined up in the formations of the Anti-Fascist National-Liberation War. The other brother, Reshiti, took an active part in the detachments of Mahmud Xhelil and Malke Zvarishti, which broke the attacks of the Greek Andarts who had reached the borders of Shënepremte in 1913-1914.

Ramadan Xhangolli grew up in this family and social environment. His childhood did not differ from that of other peers, born and raised in Shënepremte with difficulties and lack of time. He started the first grades of school in his village, but finished them in Grabova e Sipërme, because the Shënepremte school did not function for some time. With the encouragement of his parents and thanks to his talents, he attended the Technical School of Tirana, which is also known as the school named after its American director Harry Fulltz. Graduates who graduated from this school were in demand by various sectors of the country's economy. A similar fate befell young Ramadan, who was sent to work in Korça. There he had the opportunity to continue the High School of Korça, while in 1939 he worked as the secretary of the Municipality.

If in its beginnings, Ramadan Xhangolli's life story was typical, ordinary, like many other peers, the next period that begins with Korça flowed atypically. His special qualities and talents, the virtues inherited from his parents such as patriotism, honesty, desire for education, willingness to serve the country and society wherever needed, separated him from many other peers.

In Korça, at a very young age, he came into contact with communist ideas, spread by communist groups operating in this city. In 1936, he participated in the great demonstration that has gone down in history as the "bread demonstration", but in reality it was a large popular anti-Zogist action organized by the communists of Korça. In this city he was identified as an anti-Zogist and a supporter of communist ideas.

Ramadan Xhangolli, a life between extremes
Prof. dr. Avni Djelili

After the fascist occupation of Albania, Ramadan was involved in the anti-fascist movement that had erupted in the city of Korça. With all the energies of a 21-year-old young man, he took an active part in the demonstration of November 8, 1941, when the people of Korça rose up against the Italian fascists. In this demonstration, as is known, after bloody clashes with the police of the time, the hero of the people, Koci Bako, was martyred. 

The participation of Ramadan Xhangolli in these actions is also mentioned by Naxhije Dume, at that time the secretary of the communist women's committee of Korça, while after 1943 she was one of the 15 members of the definitive Central Committee of the NPSH. Among other things, she remembers: "In Korçë, where the activity of guerilla units flourished, I got to know mainly the members of Qarkor, as well as young and old communists such as Nexhip Vinçani, Ymer Dishnica, Nella, Raqi and Nesti Kerenxhi, Ramadan Xhangolli, Koço Theodhosi, Kleopatra Maliqi, Nasi Gjoka, Kiço and Raqi Shamblli, Sotir Manushi, Andrea Ziu and several others".

For Ramadan, Korça became the "habitat" where communist beliefs began to take root in him, where he formed his political identity, which encouraged him to be an engaged young man; it was the environment where he began to enjoy the respect of the members and sympathizers of the communist group of Korça, where he began to be known and respected by them as a man of action. 

Ramadan's activity increased especially during the years of LANÇ, where fellow fighters called him by the nickname "Xhakoja". He worked hard to increase the partisan ranks with young men and women. At the first Congress of BRASH, which was held from August 8 to 17, 1944 in Helma i Skrapar, Ramadan Xhangolli was elected organizational secretary of BRASH. Together with Nako Spiron, he worked for a relatively long time with the party press. Until the complete liberation of the country, he performed important tasks in the first operational area. Take part in the Congress of Permet.

After the liberation of the country, Ramadani was appointed deputy minister of agriculture, while in 1948-50 he was sent for studies in the Soviet Union, which he completed brilliantly. After finishing his studies, he works in the apparatus of the Council of Ministers. In 1952-1953, he was again sent to BS for political science. After returning to his homeland, he was charged with the important task of the first secretary of the party, first in Elbasan, then in Korça, Berat and Tepelen. Finally, he was appointed Secretary General of the Democratic Front of Albania until 1975. He was a member of the Central Committee of the ALP and a deputy of the People's Assembly, elected in every legislature, and even in one of them he was the head of the Assembly's work, while he was and deputy of Gramsci. As a deputy, he maintained regular contact with the voters of all areas, he was very attentive to the problems they raised.

The shock wave of the 7th plenum of the ALP Central Committee in 1975 against the group accused of sabotage in the economy and oil, also kidnapped Ramadan Xhangolli, without being accused and without working in these sectors, but as a member of the Central Committee he expressed his opinion own in the plenum. Apparently, his intervention did not go down well with the leadership. This plenum also marked the political end of Ramadan. He was dismissed from all positions and exiled to Peqin, where he worked as a simple clerk in a manufacturing enterprise until 1986, when he passed away at the age of 66.

This was telegraphically the trajectory of the rapid and impressive ascent in the state and party hierarchy of Good Friday Ramadan Xhangolli. Despite the bitter and not at all deserved end, the important duties he held, he did not have as a gift from anyone, he did not have them for someone's hat, nor for his beautiful eyes, as the people say. He built his career with his own work and sacrifices during the war and after the liberation of the country.

Ramadani was appointed to important leadership positions because he had acquired the appropriate maturity to take on such tasks, he had acquired enough ability to think and judge politically, he had made for himself the ability of political foresight, to foresee the long-term consequences of the decisions and actions he took. He acquired these skills in the schools he attended, in the struggle for the liberation of the country, but also in the intensive daily activity as an important party leader in the districts.

Ramadan had another quality: the ability to take responsibility for himself. Responsibility as a party leader was a property of his character, which was manifested in his daily commitments. The most significant expression of such responsibility was honesty, integrity, correctness, punctuality and dedication in the performance of duties. These qualities were his most powerful weapon.

Several episodes in his relations with the high leadership of the party speak for the stability of his character. He sometimes found it difficult to conform to the dictates from above, it was not easy for him to compromise his convictions, he could not allow himself to turn into a dogmatic party leader with trampled dignity. He expressed his views openly in the party forums. Such was the case, e.g. when Ramadani opposed at the first ALP Congress the proposal to change the name of the party from the Communist Party to the Labor Party. In the capacity of congress delegate, among other things, he declared against this proposal. He compared the new name of the party with the name of the organization "Puna" which, as the offspring of the Communist Group of Korça, had the character of a mass organization of workers. But his protagonism did not always suit the leadership.

When he was the first secretary in Korça, Ramadani was criticized by the party for some weaknesses in his work; nothing bad so far. If we keep in mind that his activity as the first secretary in the districts extended in the 50-60s of the century. past, which would be the years of radical transformation of the economy, as is understandable, difficulties or weaknesses would be present. The collectivization of agriculture according to the Soviet example, the harsh directives and decisions on the establishment of socialism in the countryside, the herding of livestock, were violent experiments that were carried out at the expense of the peasantry. All these great transformations could not go smoothly. But the bad thing was that the high leadership of the party, even though they knew and affirmed the ability and energy of the first secretary at work, the endless problems and difficulties, which he encountered every day in the field, connected them to the arrogance of Ramadan. Jhangolli. E. Hoxha himself said: "Someone can think how you can give Xhako the epithet of a conceited man, look at him as he is..., from the outside appearance and from the life he leads, he seems simple... You, friend Ramadan, do not you are one of those haughty people who want to have a good house or a luxury car, but you are haughty in your views..." But was Ramadan's arrogance the only cause of the difficulties and problems of great transformations in a backward country and without infrastructure, as Albania was in those years?

The people of our area did not know Ramadan as conceited or arrogant, on the contrary, he was down to earth, he never avoided work, he loved his country and his people and served him with piety. He did not know how to cover his weaknesses with party propaganda, but even the trumpeted successes did not intoxicate him, he was restrained and did not jump into adventures.

The people of our side loved and respected Ramadan precisely because he was a simple man and instilled trust in them. When he communicated with them, it was important not because Ramadan told them appropriate and true words, but because they heard those words from their son. He will remain one of the learned and cultured men of Gramsci, a personality with a clear and distinct political identity, part of our historical heritage.

For his contribution during the war and after it, the Municipality of the city of Gramsci awarded Ramadan Xhangolli the title "Citizen of Honor" with the motivation: "For the great help he gave during the Anti-Fascist National Liberation War, for his valuable contribution as an important cadre in several districts of the country and for the dignified representation he has given to Gramsci throughout his activity".