Albania after World War II
The People's Republic of Albania was proclaimed on January 11,
1946, by a newly elected People's Assembly. The assembly, which
was elected in December 1945, initially included both communists
and noncommunists. Within a year, however, all noncommunists had
been purged from the assembly and were subsequently executed.
The communists had a monopoly of power by the end of 1946.
The new regime acted swiftly to consolidate its position by breaking
up the power of the middle class and other perceived opponents.
The communist party tried before special tribunals those classified
as "war criminals," a designation that came to include anyone
who was unsympathetic to the new government. Members of the landed
aristocracy and tribal chieftains were arrested and sent to labor
camps. More than 600 leaders were executed during the new government's
first two weeks in power. In an effort to strengthen its grip
on the economy, the government promulgated a series of laws providing
for strict state regulation of all industrial and commercial enterprises
and foreign and domestic trade. The laws legalized the confiscation
of property of political opponents in exile and anyone designated
an "enemy of the people" and levied a crushing "war-profits tax"
against the economically prosperous members of the population.
As part of its program to nationalize industry, the government
confiscated all German and Italian assets in Albania and revoked
all foreign economic concessions. All means of transportation
were also nationalized. As far as the peasantry was concerned,
the new government was cautious. The Agrarian Reform Law of 1945
nationalized all forests and pasturelands, but landowners who
possessed farm machinery were allowed to keep up to forty hectares
Data as of April 1992