Albania bunkers: story of a fool paranoia
Albania is special, that’s for sure. During our first trip in this land, so many were the surprising facts we’ve seen. Probably the most incredible thing about this land is the abnormal numbers of Albania bunkers built by crazy dictator Enver Hoxha. More than 700.000!
But why did this dictator decide to build the Albania bunkers?
To sum up, bloodthirsty Enver Hoxha wasn’t exactly the kind of guy easy to be friend with.
Better say: he was kind of picky in his friendships.
After 2nd World War, as a true stalinist, Hoxha decided (of course) that western countries were the absolute evil (and viceversa), and that he wanted to have less than minimum relations with them.
The problem was that also one of Albania’s neighbourhood, Yugoslavia, wasn’t considered by Hoxha a nice example to follow. This because the Yugoslavian dictator, Tito, decided that he wanted to play the game of international relations by himself, without being under the influentials sphere of USSR. Hoxha, a true fan of Stalin (Justin Bieber fans are nothing in comparison), decided to stay loyal to the big guys, the Soviets, and to cut any relations with Yugoslavia. That was 1949.
But then in 1953 Stalin died. That was a huge drama for Hoxha, but not so big as what was going to happen later: the following soviet dictator Nikita Sergeyevich Khrushchev, decided that it was time of a de-stalinization.
“What a horror!” probably exlaimed Hoxha, “let’s shut down any relation with those Soviet traitors and let’s find new friends!”. That was the beginning of the 60s.
Maoist chinese were chosen by Enver as his new buddies. But in the 70s also the Chinese decided that it was time of a modernization, and later, in 1978, they cut all their aid to Albania.
“Traitors, again”, probably thought Hoxha.
Maybe he saw that as a sign of destiny. He was the only true followers of his hero, Stalin, and he was alone in his mission.
But then, all of a sudden, a problem pop up in his mind: “If I do not have any friend, if everybody is a traitor of true stalinist ideals and if communist Albania is the best country in the World, then how long before those ****ers will try to invade us?”
Hoxha, so isolated from the outer world, had no idea that everybody outside Albania didn’t give a **** about him. But his twisting mind was thinking the opposite.
So, to avoid being invaded, Enver decided to build thousand of thousand of bunkers.
That happened from 1967 till 1986, because its paranoia went on since he “broke up” with USSR.
The bunkers were small, medium and large; all looking like mushrooms.
They were, and are, everywhere: in the fields, on the hills, in the cities and even in the sea.
He was so smart that he decided to build them in line, one next to the other, so that a bomber could easily destroy many of them with just one attack. Enver, you were so brilliant!
Of course no invasion ever occured.
The only thing that happened was that the same amount of money used to build the Maginot Line, was wasted to make those bunkers. Unluckily Albania wasn’t France. It was a poor country where its fool dictator decided to use every resource to create those useless and ineffective military defences, instead of building streets and other infrastructures.
Now many bunkers remain in Albania: they are a typical characteristic of this land, and they are reused in many creative ways, trying to make a smart use of something created from the paranoia of a fool.