Fadil Hoxha

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Fadil Hoxha
Fadil Hoxha, commander of Kosovo partisans.jpg
2nd, 8th President of the Assembly of Kosovo and Metohija
In office
11 July 1945 20 February 1953
Preceded by Mehmed Hoxha
Succeeded by Ismet Saqiri
In office
24 June 1967 7 May 1969
Preceded by Stanoje Akšić
Succeeded by Ilaz Kurteshi
1st Chairmen of the Executive Council of Kosovo and Metohija
In office
Preceded byPosition created
Succeeded by Ali Shukrija
Vice-President of the Presidium of Yugoslavia
In office
Preceded by Stevan Doronjski
Succeeded by Lazar Koliševski
Personal details
Born(1916-03-15)15 March 1916
Đakovica, Montenegro
(now Gjakova, Kosovo) [a]
Died22 April 2001(2001-04-22) (aged 85)
Pristina, FR Yugoslavia
(now Pristina, Kosovo) [a]
Nationality Yugoslav
Political party League of Communists of Yugoslavia
Occupation Teacher, Partisan, statesman
Military service
Allegiance Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia
Branch/service Yugoslav People's Army
Years of service1941–45
Commands Albanian Partisans
Battles/wars World War II

Fadil Hoxha (Serbian: Фадиљ Хоџа, Fadilj Hodža; 15 March 1916 – 22 April 2001) was an Albanian communist revolutionary and politician from Kosovo. He was a member of the Communist party and fought in the Yugoslav Partisans during the World War II. After the war, he was the first Chairman of the Executive Council of the Autonomous Region of Kosovo and Metohija (1945-1963) and later member of the Presidium of Yugoslavia (1974-1984).

Serbian language South Slavic language

Serbian is the standardized variety of the Serbo-Croatian language mainly used by Serbs. It is the official language of Serbia, co-official in the territory of Kosovo, and one of the three official languages of Bosnia and Herzegovina. In addition, it is a recognized minority language in Montenegro, where it is spoken by the relative majority of the population, as well as in Croatia, North Macedonia, Romania, Hungary, Slovakia, and the Czech Republic.

Kosovo Partially-recognised state in Southeast Europe

Kosovo, officially the Republic of Kosovo, is a partially recognized state and disputed territory in Southeastern Europe.

League of Communists of Yugoslavia political party in Yugoslavia

The League of Communists of Yugoslavia, known until 1952 as the Communist Party of Yugoslavia, was the founding and ruling party of SFR Yugoslavia. It was formed in 1919 as the main communist opposition party in the Kingdom of Serbs, Croats and Slovenes and after its initial successes in the elections, it was proscribed by the royal government and was at times harshly and violently suppressed. It remained an illegal underground group until World War II when, after the Invasion of Yugoslavia in 1941, the military arm of the party, the Yugoslav Partisans, became embroiled in a bloody civil war and defeated the Axis powers and their local auxiliaries. After the liberation from foreign occupation in 1945, the party consolidated its power and established a single-party state, which existed until the 1990 breakup of Yugoslavia.


Early life

As a young man, Hoxha migrated from his home town of Gjakova to attend secondary school in Albania, since secondary education in the Albanian language was unavailable in Yugoslavia. He continued his education in the town of Shkodër and later in Elbasan. In Albania he joined a communist cell which provided him with his first exposure to the ideas of Marxism-Leninism. In 1939, during fascist Italy's invasion of Albania, Hoxha became active in the emerging resistance movement against the Italian occupation among Albanian youth.

Gjakova City and municipality in District of Gjakova, Kosovo

Gjakova or Đakovica is a city and municipality located in the Gjakova District of western Kosovo. According to the 2011 census, the city of Gjakova has 40,827 inhabitants, while the municipality has,94,556 inhabitants.

Albania country in Southeast Europe

Albania, officially the Republic of Albania, is a country in Southeast Europe on the Adriatic and Ionian Sea within the Mediterranean Sea. It shares land borders with Montenegro to the northwest, Kosovo to the northeast, North Macedonia to the east, Greece to the south and a maritime border with Greece and Italy to the west.

Shkodër Municipality in Albania

Shkodër or Shkodra, historically known as Scutari or Scodra, is a city in the Republic of Albania. It is the capital of the surrounding county of Shkodër, one of 12 constituent counties of the republic. The city is one of the most ancient cities in the Balkans and the fourth most populous city in the country and exerts strong influences in culture, religion, arts and entertainment of northern Albania.

Hoxha returned to Kosovo in 1941, where he worked as a teacher. In the same year he abandoned his post to become one of the founders of the communist partisan movement in Kosovo. Within a short time Hoxha rose through the partisan ranks to become commander, leading battalions which had in their ranks Kosovo Albanians and Serbs who fought against Fascism and Nazism and the Italian and later German occupation of Kosovo.

Fascism Form of radical, right-wing, authoritarian ultranationalism

Fascism is a form of far right-wing, authoritarian ultranationalism characterized by dictatorial power, forcible suppression of opposition, and strong regimentation of society and of the economy which came to prominence in early 20th-century Europe. The first fascist movements emerged in Italy during World War I, before spreading to other European countries. Opposed to liberalism, Marxism, and anarchism, fascism is placed on the far-right within the traditional left–right spectrum.

National Socialism, more commonly known as Nazism, is the ideology and practices associated with the Nazi Party—officially the National Socialist German Workers' Party —in Nazi Germany, and of other far-right groups with similar ideas and aims.

Nazi Germany The German state from 1933 to 1945, under the dictatorship of Adolf Hitler

Nazi Germany is the common English name for Germany between 1933 and 1945, when Adolf Hitler and his Nazi Party (NSDAP) controlled the country through a dictatorship. Under Hitler's rule, Germany was transformed into a totalitarian state where nearly all aspects of life were controlled by the government. The official name of the state was Deutsches Reich until 1943 and Großdeutsches Reich from 1943 to 1945. Nazi Germany is also known as the Third Reich, meaning "Third Realm" or "Third Empire", the first two being the Holy Roman Empire (800–1806) and the German Empire (1871–1918). The Nazi regime ended after the Allies defeated Germany in May 1945, ending World War II in Europe.

Hoxha was instrumental in the Kosovo communist movement's efforts at adopting a resolution at the Bujan Conference of 1943, which expressed the wish of Kosovo for national self-determination and unification with Albania. However, under Serbian pressure, the Yugoslav Communist Party annulled the resolution, which resulted in Hoxha's marginalization in the party after the end of the war in 1945 and Kosovo's reinstitution into Serbia with a limited degree of autonomy.


Hoxha's political influence in the Yugoslav Communist Party grew during the 1960s, especially after the removal from the upper echelons of the party of Serb hardliner Aleksandar Ranković by Josip Broz Tito. As interior minister, Ranković had pursued a notorious policy of repression against Albanians, which was later criticized by the party. Hoxha led efforts to advance Kosovo's constitutional status in a series of constitutional reforms that took place in Yugoslavia. The efforts were consecrated by the Yugoslav constitution of 1974, which granted Kosovo an equal republican status in all but name.

Aleksandar Ranković Yugoslav politician

Aleksandar Ranković was a Yugoslav communist of Serb origin, considered to be the third most powerful man in Yugoslavia after Josip Broz Tito and Edvard Kardelj. Ranković was a proponent of a centralized Yugoslavia and opposed efforts that promoted decentralization that he deemed to be against the interests of the Serbian people; he ensured Serbs had a strong presence in Serbia's Socialist Autonomous Province of Kosovo's nomenklatura. Ranković cautioned against separatist forces in Kosovo who were commonly suspected of pursuing seditious activities.

Josip Broz Tito Yugoslav revolutionary and statesman

Josip Broz, commonly known as Tito, was a Yugoslav communist revolutionary and statesman, serving in various roles from 1943 until his death in 1980. During World War II, he was the leader of the Partisans, often regarded as the most effective resistance movement in occupied Europe. While his presidency has been criticized as authoritarian and concerns about the repression of political opponents have been raised, Tito has traditionally been seen as a benevolent dictator.

Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia Socialist republic in Southeast Europe between 1943 and 1992

The Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia (SFRY), also known as SFR Yugoslavia or simply Yugoslavia, was a country located in central and Southeastern Europe that existed from its foundation in the aftermath of World War II until its dissolution in 1992 amid the Yugoslav Wars. Covering an area of 255,804 km², the SFRY was bordered by the Adriatic Sea and Italy to the west, Austria and Hungary to the north, Bulgaria and Romania to the east, and Albania and Greece to the south.

Hoxha also fought for the expansion of federal aid and development programs in Kosovo, which led to Kosovo's rapid industrialization throughout the 1960s and 1970s. Hoxha also led or otherwise supported political battles for the expansion of cultural and educational institutions in the Albanian language, leading to the virtual eradication of illiteracy among the Albanian population and the establishment of the Albanian-language University of Pristina in 1970, as well as a Kosovo Academy of Arts and Sciences.

During his political career in socialist Yugoslavia, Hoxha subscribed to the principles of Yugoslav policy of "brotherhood and unity", believing in the need to achieve national equality between Albanians, Serbs, and other national groups within Kosovo and Yugoslavia. In practice, given the grave cultural and economic backwardness which previous regimes had left Albanians in Kosovo, Hoxha believed that overcoming the disadvantages faced by Albanians required special affirmative measures both within Kosovo and at the federal level. Kosovo had inherited the highest illiteracy rates in all of Yugoslavia and was also its poorest region. Hoxha consistently initiated or supported policies which would address these problems, including expanding the educational opportunities of Albanians, expanding Yugoslav programs supporting industrial development in Kosovo, and policies addressing the relative inequality of Albanians in employment, who had disproportionately high unemployment rates.

Hoxha held a number of high posts in Kosovo and Yugoslavia. He served as president of the Assembly of the Kosovo Autonomous Province. He also received the title of People's Hero of Yugoslavia. In 1967 he was appointed to the Yugoslav Communist Party Presidium and in 1974 became a member of the Federal Presidency. In 1978-79 he held the rotating post of Vice President of the Federal Presidency, the highest leadership post in Yugoslavia under Tito.

In 1981, Hoxha faced harsh criticism from radical Kosovo Albanian nationalist movements because of his opposition to the massive demonstrations that occurred in the spring of that year, which demanded republican status for Kosovo. Hoxha and the Kosovar provincial leaders also faced criticism by the Yugoslav party leadership for failures in curtailing the rise of Albanian nationalism in Kosovo.

After the rise of Slobodan Milošević in Serbia, Hoxha, though retired, became subject to a number of political attacks labelling him a nationalist and supporter of secessionism. Hoxha was expelled from the League of Communists of Yugoslavia and in 1991 the Milošević government tried him for treason.

After his retirement in 1986, Hoxha had withdrawn from public life and was notorious for refusing to grant interviews to the press. However, he continued to throw his support behind popular movements in Kosovo. In 1989, Hoxha supported the 1989 Kosovo miners' strike at the Trepça/Trepča Mines protesting against political attacks from Serbia aiming at the erosion of Kosovo's self-government. In 1990, Hoxha became a supporter of the Democratic League of Kosovo and its leader Ibrahim Rugova, in its struggle for an independent Kosovo. In 1998, Hoxha, together with other members of the Association of Veterans of the Anti-Fascist National Liberation War, threw their support behind the armed struggle of the Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA). In a 1998 meeting with the political representative of the KLA in Pristina, Adem Demaçi, Hoxha declared that if he were a young man, he would not wait a minute to join the KLA. He supported the NATO intervention during the Kosovo War.

Though in old age, Hoxha survived the 1999 Kosovo War and remained in hiding in Kosovo. He died of natural causes in 2001, and was buried with high honours in his home town of Gjakova.

Hoxha has published his wartime diary Kur pranvera vonohet [When Spring is Late] (Prishtina: Rilindja, 1980) and a three-volume collection of speeches and articles in Jemi në shtëpinë tonë [This is our Home] (Prishtina: Rilindja, 1986), both published in Serbian (Kad proleće kasni : iz partizanske beležnice) [1] and Turkish editions in addition to the original Albanian. In 2010, an autobiography based on interviews with Fadil Hoxha by Veton Surroi and his father Rexhai Surroi was published under the title "Fadil Hoxha në vetën e parë" [Fadil Hoxha, in the first person] (Prishtina: Koha, 2010). In November 2011, his former associate Ekrem Murtezai published a book called "Fadil Hoxha, siç e njoha une" [Fadil Hoxha, as I knew him]. In 2007, the Association of Veterans of the Anti-Fascist National Liberation War published a collected volume, "Fadil Hoxha - një jetë në shërbim të atdheut" containing documents and memoirs on Hoxha's role during and after World War II.


Government offices
Preceded by
Mehmed Hoxha
President of the Assembly of Kosovo and Metohija
11 July 1945 20 February 1953
Succeeded by
Ismet Saqiri
Preceded by
position created
Chairmen of the Executive Council of Kosovo and Metohija
Succeeded by
Ali Shukrija
Preceded by
Stanoje Akšić
President of the Assembly of Kosovo and Metohija
24 June 1967 7 May 1969
Succeeded by
Ilaz Kurteshi
Preceded by
Stevan Doronjski
Vice-President of the Presidium of Yugoslavia
Succeeded by
Lazar Koliševski

Notes and references


a.   ^ Kosovo is the subject of a territorial dispute between the Republic of Kosovo and the Republic of Serbia . The Republic of Kosovo unilaterally declared independence on 17 February 2008, but Serbia continues to claim it as part of its own sovereign territory . The two governments began to normalise relations in 2013, as part of the 2013 Brussels Agreement . Kosovo has been recognized as an independent state by 112 out of 193 United Nations member states , while 11 states have recognized Kosovo only to later withdraw their recognition.


  1. Kad proleće kasni : iz partizanske beležnice / Fadilj Hodža ; [preveo sa albanskog Esad Mekuli. Author: Hoxha, Fadil Publisher: Beograd : Četvrti jul, 1979 234 pages, 21 cm, Note: Translation of work Kur pranvera vonohet. Language: Serbian

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