"In the civil hospital, the room intended for the dead was opened and 10 corpses were seen lying there"?!/ Investigation file of February 4, '44

2024-02-07 16:25:00, Kulturë CNA

"In the civil hospital, the room intended for the dead was opened and 10

Darsnor Kaloçi

Memorie.al publishes some archival documents that talk about the much-discussed event of February 4, 1944, otherwise known as the "February 4th Massacre", with the minutes of the investigative group that was commissioned by the government of that time to unravel the that event, headed by the State Prosecutor, Tod Gjini, from Durrës, the Secretary of the Durres Prosecutor's Office, Tofik Kazanilla, (he was appointed there in the absence of the Secretary of this Prosecutor's Office, Pandeli Kosova), the deputy mayor of the Municipality, Nikola Kotte, of who were accompanied by Lieutenant Dik Cami, assigned by the District Commander of the Gendarmerie, Major Sybi Topalli, to secure the investigation group. From the process - reports that were kept by this investigative group from February 5 to February 16, 1944, only 14 people were killed in total, where 10 of them were in the morgue of the Civil Hospital of Tirana since February 5. while four others were found a few days later, killed in the streets of Tirana, or buried on the outskirts of the capital near the national road Tirana Elbasan.

The event of February 4, 1944, where several people were found killed by gunshots on the streets of Tirana (there is still no exact figure for their number), which is otherwise known as the "Massacre of February 4 1944", is one of the events that has sparked debates for years. Memorie.al is publishing some archival documents with the minutes of the State Prosecutor of that time, who was charged with the investigation and clarification of that event. The minutes in question were kept on February 5, 1944, one day after the murders that were committed in Tirana, and end on February 16. From these investigations, a total of only 14 people were killed, of which 10 corpses were in the morgue of the Civil Hospital of Tirana on February 5, and only two of them were unidentified. And the dead bodies of the other 4 people were found a few days later in different places, such as in the river of Tirana, or buried in the outskirts of the city near Elbasan Street, where it does not appear from these documents that they were identified who they were, but their number remains unclear.

The investigative file with the minutes of the State Prosecutor, Tod Gjini for the event of February 4, 1944


Upon the announcement made to us by the SP authorities (mentioned above) that several corpses of people killed on the 3rd and 4th of February 1944, in the streets of the capital by persons of signed: dated 5/2/1944, Saturday morning, signed by State Prosecutor Tod Gjini, assisted by the Secretary of the Durrës Prosecutor's Office, Mr. Tofik Kazanilla, in the absence of the Secretary of this Prosecutor's Office, Mr. Pandeli Kosova, who is provisionally in the service of the special court, for the Defense of the Fatherland, my husband and from the lieutenant of the Army, Mr. Sadik Cami, the delegate from the District Commander, Mr. major Sybi Topalli, to accompany the head of this Prosecutor's Office, with the investigation of the murders committed on the date indicated above, and by the Deputy Mayor of the Municipality, Mr. Nikolla Kotte, I went to the local hospital, where the staff of that hospital informed us that several corpses were brought to that hospital and placed in the morgue, whose visit was approved by the doctor Mr. Suljemanit from Dibra, from whom the room destined for the dead was opened and ten corpses of people in different civilian clothes were seen lying there, from which they were identified by interested persons.

Vangjel Capo, son of Andon and Vala from Fieri, 22 years old

Tod Shukurti, from Fieri, 25 years old

Hasan Rexhep Çeliku, 34 years old, Chief Worker at the Ministry of P. Botore from Mullet village of Tirana.

Sokrat Vangjel Tako, the son of Aleksandra, aged 43, from the village of Novosel in Përmet and a resident of Mihal Grameno street in Tirana.

Mihal Jani Koço, Marga's son, 23 years old, from Dhuvjani in Gjinokastra, resident of Rrugë e Kavajë in Tirana.

Vincenzo Apel, the son of Felix and Cleopatra, was born in Saranda and lives in Tirana, ruga e Dibra no. 6, age 20, komisioner

Reveni Ludovico Carlo, son of Marija from Italy, resident in Tirana, 26 years old

Gjergj Legisi, the son of Frroku and Dile, was born in Katundin Kthjellë in Mirdita, aged 45, resident in New Tirana, Llagami neighborhood 43

Of the corpses, there are two unidentified ones who...(the writing is not understood).

…………KM aged 22 ………with black pointed shoes ….black socks military trousers, square top brown paint……wool sweater with brown paint sleeves, closed brown civilian jacket with barely visible stripes.

Average age 34 years brown hair, slightly bald face, beardless, in a green woolen scarf, civilian jacket and brown trousers worn under white pajamas with red stripes, a woolen sweater in brown sleeveless shirt, brown dye vest, colored and striped shirt, black civilian military shoes, European brown dye socks.

The two unidentified corpses will remain in the mortuary for the eventuality of identification by those interested who will be informed by means of the will of the case and the condition caused by the current turbulent circumstances for our country.

All the above-mentioned corpses were checked and no documents or signs were found on them to show their identity. The corpses were all mutilated by bullets from automatic firearms (military weapons), in different places of their bodies.

From the Civil Hospital Directorate, it was requested that the visiting doctor come and issue the relative report on the visit of the corpses and on the ascertainment of their death.

You told the Mayor that after the corpses remain exposed for identification at the time that they remain intact if possible, the order for their burial will be given. For certification, a minute was kept which, as it was read, was accepted and signed as follows:

Tirana, on 5/2/1944

Secretary of the Durrës Prosecutor's Office

 (T. Hoxhmilla) State Prosecutor





Signed on 6/2/1944 on Sunday by the interested persons:

Mentor Xhemal Sojli from Struga, resident in Tirana, Spitalit street, 24 years old

Shaqir Huta, 70 years old, pensioner living in Tirana, Sulejman Pasha neighborhood, Rruga e Marjanit

Bajram Ramazan Shkodra, carpenter, resident of Xhami Sherif neighborhood, Hodo Bej street, no. 102, Tirana, it is known to us that on the night of 3-4 of 2/1944, the bodies of the government forces were withdrawing from their homes:

Xhemal Sojlin, that of the first

Haki and Maliq Huta, sons of the second

Fadil Rada, 22-year-old worker, who from the investigations they have done, are not in prisons or other places in the capital.

The interested persons from the information that they have seen that they are in the hills near the forest located on the public road Tirana-Elbasan where the German Army are concentrated, some corpses killed on the night of the above date were transported and buried and we believe that the corpses will be among them the members of their families who disappeared on the night of the event are not mentioned, and they are requested to take action in going to the place for ascertaining the fact by the Head of this Prosecutor's Office. On this announcement, take into account the importance of the situation created by the fact of the event and on the other hand the concentration of the German Army in the place where it will go according to the story of the interested parties, where the mediation of the Prefect of the country was requested for the eventuality of an obstacle to going to the country by the German Army, which ended in the absence of any obstacles from the German military authorities, and at the same time, Mr. Prefect authorized the Capital District Military Command to accompany the The holder of the Prosecution has sufficient power under the command of an officer. The District Commander, Major Mr. Subi Topalli, based on that authorization and upon our request, made the command officer Mr. Dik Cani available to us.

After an action of going to the place, we told about the findings of the case, it required in addition to a long time and a preparation of people and tools, the Local Municipality Command was informed, which informed us that it was ready to make personnel and tools available: so the next day in the morning of 7/2/1944, the day of Han, signed by the State Prosecutor Tod Gjini, accompanied by the Secretary of Durrës, Mr. Tofik Haxhimilla, Lieutenant of the Army, Mr. Dik Cam, with a force of 15 officers and two non-commissioned officers and N/ Mayor Mr. Nikolla Kota, we went to the mentioned place with a car and two trucks that I made available from the Municipality as well as a number of workers, 10-12 workers with the necessary tools, the place which was located on the public road Tirana-Elbasan in a a distance of 3-4 kilometers outside the capital, upon reaching the place of concentration of the German army there we were stopped by the servicemen of the Germans, who informed us of the purpose of the journey, allowed us to pass and thus, guided by a German soldier, we headed to the place where they were said to be located and the alleged corpses. On the verbal questions that were asked to the German soldiers by Mr. Mentor Sojliut, the son of Xhemal, who knew the German language, the soldier declares that exactly in that place, ie. approximately 4 kilometers outside the capital, two days ago a number of corpses of people who could not determine their persons and clothing were brought and left on the public road, where slightly old blood marks were seen, these corpses were then put in and from Italian workers who are in the service of the German Army and work in military works nearby to avoid being eaten by wild animals, outside the road at a distance of 2-3 meters near the public road, a place which seemed to be newly worked. This soldier with an armed force and a car and a truck parked at night approximately at 10 or 11 o'clock and took out the corpses and then they left in the direction of the city where they came. After this information, the site was opened and it was found that in this place, shortly before the digging of the soil up to one meter deep, three meters wide and two meters long, after the data was removed, traces of blood were seen collected and stirred the wet soil and the rainwater that had fallen during the night and found two coats, a raincoat, two handkerchiefs, two republican hats, two piles of sofas, all these still submerged in the wet mud in the manner that were pulled out piece by piece, outside of this place two or three meters away, two notification letters of the Huta brothers were found. After this negative action, there was no need to continue digging and tracking them because of the situation, they were impossible, and therefore the action was ended and we returned inside the city.

For confirmation, a process was held - the minutes, which were sung and signed as follows:

Tirana on 7/2/944

 Sec. Proc. Durrës Tog. Gend N/Head. Join Proc. State



Sod on 16/2/1944 at the Prosecutor's Office, in front of me State Prosecutor Tod Gjini assisted by Secretary Islam Alimehmeti, the names Zenel Ismail Reka, sugarcane resident in Tirana, Xhami Sherif neighborhood, Mezini street and Gjyle Shkalla appeared, the widow of Selim Ferra living in Tirana next to the first and declared that the son, Ali Selim Ferra, son of Gjyle Shkalla, 18 years old unmarried sign writer, disappeared from the house in the morning hours of 4/2/1944, was taken by armed forces and his corpse was found in the river of Tirana near Sauk (the end of the river) by carters whose names are not known who happened to see the corpse where they lived and mentioned it, after this announcement it was ordered to transport the corpse to his apartment, after this transportation, together with the doctor, he went to the apartment for the visit of the corpse by the doctor Nasi Kajana, at the end of which the report dated 16/2/944 was issued, from which it is established that the death was caused by the wounds of bullets.

For verification, this minute was kept after it was sung and signed as follows:

Tirana on February 16, 1944

Secretary of the Prosecutor State Prosecutor




The testimony of Gjindarma Hamit Januzi and Xhemal Preçi, an officer of the Zyber Lita Company and serving in the Post-Command of the Madreza, was held on the question.

The year one thousand nine hundred and forty-four, on Friday, February 4, 1944 at 3:00 p.m. in the Office of the Gjindarmeria Command Area on Dajti street, to us, the undersigned, N/lieutenant Mero Bido, Commander of the First Area and Aspirant, Mahmut Hasi, her area assistant, verbalizes as follows:

It was ordered by Gjindrama Hamit Januzi, the son of Januzi and Hume, 20 years old, born in Reç village of Peshkopia and with effective service of the Dedashment of Gjindrameria of Luma and provisionally host at the Madreza Post of this Zone, which declares as follows:

My friend Xhemal Precin and I, from 2-3 to 5 in the morning, we were on duty along Dibra Street, at 2:30 a.m., we saw a patrol of the Kosovo Police, consisting of four ourselves, with those under the banner we had, we went to Bardhyl Street, where after a few minutes we heard some gunshots and turned back in the direction we came, where around the house of Ferhat Halil we saw a person killed and the patrol Kosovars had left that country. I didn't recognize the soldiers of the patrol even when I saw them, because it was dark, neither did the corpse of the murdered man, we don't even know who he is. We do not know the circumstances of how and why they escaped. We did not see them with our eyes when they were killed, we only know that at first there was no one there except the Soldiers in question. We have nothing else to say, which I certify with my signature.

Aspirant N/lieutenant Declarant

                  Hamit Jonuzi

Gjindram Xhemal Preçi, the son of Xhemal and Sibe, 30 years old, born in the village of Reç in Dibra and with service as mentioned above, was questioned, who was questioned and point by point corroborates the statements of the first Gjindram Hamit Januzi, because he did not They told me what I said, I prove it with my finger because I don't know how to read and write.

Aspirant N/lieutenant Declarant


                                Xhemal Preçi

Mustafa Kobeci from Dibra and a resident of Tirana, a 46-year-old baker, was questioned as a witness, who stated the following: Last night I was in your oven baking bread, and I heard some rifle shots near the wall, but I didn't go out because of fear. . In the morning I saw someone dead and I probably didn't tell him who it was and I don't even know who it was. I have nothing else to say, I confirm these with my signatures./Memorie.al

Aspirant N/lieutenant Dishmitari

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