In the quality of the President of the Republic, but also as a common citizen, as a person, who comes from a persecuted family, and later on as a politician as well, I have tried to view and build the relation with the politically persecuted, writers and tireless intellectuals, with their families and descendents as well as with the persecution as a phenomenon not as a matter of honesty or just a political tendency, - on the contrary, as a moral obligation and institutional above all
By Bamir Topi
The address of President at the photo-exhibition “Democracy cannot be build upon forgetfulness”
I have expected with great sensitivity this unusual activity that is taking place here today under the auspices of the Institution of the President of the Republic, because its topic carries not just an undeniable historical, political, social and moral truth, but just the message that is contains must disturb our social conscience and keep alive our national memory!
The democracy we are trying to build so painfully, sacrifices and dedication for more than over two decades must really not have its roots based upon forgetfulness. Even worse, on the failed efforts to distribute and justify the measure of responsibility by tenting to make same the sufferers with the committers, the persecuted with the inquisitors. That is why we need such a photo-exhibition from which we can learn more. That is why we need books, documentaries, museums, artistic works and memorial stories! That is why we need live testimonies of the survivors from prisons and camps of communist persecution and memorial of the victims! Today more than ever!
In the quality of the President of the Republic, but also as a common citizen, as a person, who comes from a persecuted family, and later on as a politician as well, I have tried to view and build the relation with the politically persecuted, writers and tireless intellectuals, with their families and descendents as well as with the persecution as a phenomenon not as a matter of honesty or just a political tendency, - on the contrary, as a moral obligation and institutional above all. *** The classes’ struggle, persecution from the cradle, infringement of human rights, violence exercised from the communist dictatorial system against all that thought and acted differently from the caste in power must be punished and rebuked publically and historically! Only in this way we may speak of a consolidated rule of law, for a justice that was delayed, but not denied in a consolidated democracy. The thing that is asked is justice and reestablishment of a denied dignity, not revenge! To speak out and remember the past serves best not only to the present, but also to a future free of invented history and false myths.
No earlier than eight months ago, during a memorial activity for poets and writers murdered by the communist regime, I have publically expressed: “State institutions that cover a historical and cultural inheritance must have a clear vision! Yesterday’s dogmas must be replaced with scientific objectivity!
To forget is to legitimize and to manipulate, thus in order to fight that are needed many publications of literature, documents and professional texts, more expositions and thematic albums, why not also museums of memory, by following the examples of countries with similar history”
The noble objective of the initiators and enablers of this photo-exhibition, Besim Ndregjoni and the Albanian Center of Trauma and Torture Rehabilitation deserve to be praised and to be taken as an example, because today more than ever, after twenty years of democracy, we need to remember and reflect. We need positive heroes of our national history, for figures with real human virtues and with free and democratic spirit, for examples from whom the new generation must draw pride and find inspiration by being nurtured and raised with love for the homeland.
Considering the bitter experience of other nations persecuted during history, the manipulation of history, forgetfulness or purposeful dusting of events and historical personas is penalization and weakening of awareness of a nation and historical memory of the people.
This photo-exhibition and such similar activities like today’s one, especially on the twentieth anniversary of the dictator’s monument toppling, on February 20th, the day that finally freed all the victims of dictatorship, tyranny and human bestiality that lasted for more than four decades, obliges us to never forget that the efforts and the eternal fight of human kind to think and live freely may not be interrupted and ended never. Crimes must be punished, even historically! The guilty must be punished, even so morally! Victims must rest in peace and the living must be freed once and for all from their nightmares, fully convinced that justice has been done, that forgiveness has been sincerely asked! Only in this way, the persecuted themselves may forgive with their heart, will be able to raise more proudly than ever and believe that the holy temple of democracy and its independent institutions have unshaken support and are not threatened by anyone, based upon strong foundations of precious lessons, that we have taken from history and our bitter past! May the memory of their sacrifices and sufferings be eternal and glory to the noble acts of patriots and persecuted!