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Enver Hoxha

(1908—1985) Albanian statesman

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(b. 16 Oct. 1908, d. 11 Apr. 1985).

Albanian leader 1945–85 Born in Gjirokastër (southern Albania), he studied in France and Belgium and became a teacher. During the Italian occupation of Albania he founded the Communist Party on 8 November 1941 and built up a Communist partisan resistance movement. After the defeat of the Fascist occupation forces (1944) he came to head a popular front government, which he used to entrench Communist Party power and establish a one‐party state. A fierce Stalinist, he broke with his erstwhile comrade Tito, ordering the execution of all his opponents and those identified as ‘Titoists’ in 1948. He then broke with the USSR after Khrushchev had renounced Stalinism in 1961, and with China in 1977. He rendered his country subject to complete isolation, while his regime brutally quashed all opposition: e.g. in 1976 all religious activity was prohibited and all mosques and churches closed. He died in office, leaving a country which had declined to become one of the poorest in the world.

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