|Manhattanville Student Unearths Albanian History|
Insight into one of the most controversial events in Albanian history may have been uncovered this summer by Manhattanville College senior Malion Hoxhallari at the National Archives in College Park, MD, who spent a week researching through over ten thousand declassified CIA documents about the 1949 Albanian Subversion mission.
"It was a really tough week," the history and economics major said. "I skimmed more sheets than I had done in my entire life, but it was really productive and really eye-opening."
The American CIA and the British SIS jointly began the Subversion Operation with the intent to overthrow the communist regime that started in Albania, and much of Eastern Europe, in 1945. The mission employed Albanian expatriates and anti-communists to fight the then existing communist Albanian government. The mission failed when Soviet spies alerted Albanian government officials, causing the agents to be punished to death or lifetime imprisonment.
According to Hoxhallari, there has been a lot of speculation in Albania regarding this operation, but there was no concrete proof until recently. He will continue his research in Albania in December.
"I want to look at the Albanian archives to see what our archives have on the other side so I can get a better picture of what happened," he said.
Hoxhallari was awarded a $500 grant from Manhattanville to pursue the research, which he will use in his honors history thesis.
The senior is interested in eventually extending his thesis into a book. His project has already garnered enthusiasm from Albanian publishers.
"I want to write something that will show the truth because people from both sides have died and suffered throughout the operation," he said. "It is better for everyone if the story comes out as it really was."