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Digital Archive International History Declassified

April, 1957

KHRUSHCHEV’S SPEECH AT THE LUNCH ORGANIZED IN HONOR OF THE ALBANIAN GOVERNMENT AND PARTY DELEGATION, MOSCOW

This document was made possible with support from the MacArthur Foundation

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    Khrushchev defends Enver Hoxha against personal attacks from Josip Broz Tito, but emphasizes cooperation between Yugoslavia and socialist camp. Khrushchev also suggests that Albania is a potential foothold for the spread of socialism to Asian, African, and Middle Eastern countries, and calls for "ideological war" in order to spread influence to these areas.
    "Khrushchev’s Speech at the Lunch Organized in Honor of the Albanian Government and Party Delegation, Moscow," April, 1957, History and Public Policy Program Digital Archive, Arkivi Qendor Shtetëror (Central State Archives, AQSH), Tirana, Albania, Fondi (F.) 14/AP, Marrëdhënie me Partinë Komuniste (b.) të BS (M-PKbBS), Viti (V.) 1957, Dosja (Dos.) 2. Obtained and translated by Elidor Mëhilli. http://digitalarchive.wilsoncenter.org/document/119258
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We take pride in your friendship. Your party is young, but it has proven to be mature, and it plays a great role in expanding friendship between peoples.

We honestly laughed our heads off when we read Tito’s speech in Pula, in which he chastised Comrade Enver [Hoxha], alleging that he does not know Marxist-Leninist theory. In fact, Comrade Enver knows this theory very well, whereas Tito himself does not, and it is precisely for this reason that he has worked himself into a frenzy and keeps on spouting nonsense.

We must continue to work towards strengthening our foundations and our power in the future as well, but we must withhold our legitimate anger and start from the premise of bringing the people of Yugoslavia closer to us for the sake of strengthening the socialist camp, for the sake of proletarian internationalism.

I think that we are in full agreement regarding these issues.

(Turning to economic issues, Comrade Khrushchev continued:)

We must work in a more organized fashion: We have provided assistance to you, but sometimes we have not done this in a thoughtful manner. We must think more about your country so that Albania can become a force of attraction for the countries of the Near and Middle East, for Asian and African countries—something that would facilitate significantly the development of the socialist camp.

In Albania, which is an important strategic base, we must intensify our war and our bases, not for conducting armed warfare but for conducting ideological war.  In order for this ideological war to be successful, it must be enhanced materially as well, because behind every weapon of mass destruction there is an individual, so we must win the minds of ordinary people, and if we achieve this, artillery and hydrogen bombs cannot shake us up.

As it is known, we have established relations with Asian and African countries. We are not afraid to invite people from Asian countries. A kolkhoz chief told me that a wealthy Indian man had paid him a visit. Upon looking around the kolkhoz, the visitor had said nothing but had started weeping. “I have read many things about you,” this man said, “and they say that you are slaves to the Russians, but I see now that you live very well, and this has touched me deeply, because I remembered the misery of the Indian people.”

Through our efforts, we can turn Albania into a garden in bloom and launch from there our ideological offensive against the enemy’s ideology. We also maintain relations with Egypt, providing assistance to this country, but [Gamal Abdel] Nasser tried to exploit us, like a nationalist. But he cannot possibly miss what is going on in our countries; he cannot ignore these facts. We must bust into the Asian and African countries not with weapons but with ideological warfare, by showing them what Marxism-Leninism is, what brotherly friendship between socialist countries is and how powerful it is.

Now the Americans are providing assistance to Yugoslavia with the aim of exploiting it and dividing the socialist camp. We help out Albania with the intention of increasing the material wellbeing and the cultural level of the Albanian people. We believe that this is in the interest of the triumph of Marxism-Leninism, in the interest of humanity as a whole, in the interest of the ideas to which we hold ourselves accountable.

For these reasons, we believe that, above all, we ought to strengthen our parties, not let ourselves be influenced by external factors, like who is serving as prime minister in this or that country, and so on. Everyone knows that in the past Albania has had a number of prime ministers; in Russia, too, there have been various heads of government in the past, and some of them were good.  But they could not fundamentally change things: The regime stayed the same. Only after the October Revolution, when Soviet power was established, when the Communist Party assumed leadership, things changed and the people assumed power. So, the most important thing is the kind of party that is in power. When a Marxist-Leninist party leads the masses, when socialism is built under the leadership of such a party, then the country is undefeatable…

(Comrade Khrushchev went on:)

Right now we are working to improve the management of industries. This is a great test for us, because we know that it is in the interest of the Soviet people—so we are going toward the decentralization of industries. This does not present any danger to us because our party, which commands everything, is centralized, and our parties are the foundation of everything that happens and all the successes of our countries. Because when the country is not led by a combative Marxist-Leninist party, it can happen as it happened in Hungary.

 

And what happened in Hungary?

In Hungary, the party disintegrated and was left with no leadership; party members joined the counter-revolutionary uprising.

In Poland, too, after [Bolesław] Bierut’s death, the party disintegrated and [Władysław] Gomułka came to power. The party is in dire straits and a lot of work needs to be done for the situation to stabilize. Gomułka has understood as much, but the process of stabilization in Poland is going slowly.

(Then, Comrade Khrushchev proposed a toast to the Party of Labor of Albania, to the Central Committee of the Party, to the Politburo, and to the health of Comrade Enver.)

Notes kept by (translator) M. Mushi.