NEWS

The man, as others didn’t see him

Sixty years after she first met Enver Hoxha and 17 years since his death, his widow still speaks of him with great affection, and still appears to be in love with him. Nexhmije first saw her future husband at a party conference and said she fell in love practically at first sight. «I was then 21 years old, young and impulsive. Enver was a very handsome man. What also impressed me was the exciting way he spoke. We used to meet secretly, because we were in hiding, and we got married later,» she said. The truth is that the Albanian people loved Hoxha, seeing him as a great leader who built their state – at least those who did not suffer from oppression, imprisonment, persecution and exile. Nexhmije Hoxha tries to soften the harsh image of the dictator, the inhuman leader who ruled and in a way still rules the people. «Some try to present Enver as a tyrant, a monster. However, the truth is quite different. He was an affectionate person, polite to his wife, a caring father and grandfather. He read a lot, spoke French, listened to classical music; he liked Strauss, Beethoven and Tchaikovsky. He was very popular. He couldn’t have held onto power for over 40 years if the people hadn’t loved him. The Albanian people now realize what they have lost,» she said.