Born October 16, 1908 in Gjirokastër, Albania, Enver Hoxha was the Marxist-Leninist dictator of Albania from November 1944 to his death on April 11, 1985, and was most noted for the utter isolation and opression brought down upon the Albanian people.

During Hoxha's rule, the Communist Albanian government confiscated the farmland of many wealthy farmers and redistributed the land as "Cooperatives" in typical Communist fashion. A paranoid, Hoxha set to building over 600,000 single-man concrete fortifications to look out not just for potential invaders, but for any signs of opposition within their own borders. While making false claims to the outside world that he had completely modernized Albania, after he died and his regime collapsed, the world saw a very different view of Albania, which, instead of being a modern, efficient economic powerhouse had become the poorest nation in Europe, with many citizens well below the poverty line.

As with many other Communist governments, Hoxha's secret police strictly enforced a ban on all religions, destroying religious buildings and severely punishing anybody caught with Bibles, Qur'ans, and any symbols or religious writings. All of this went on despite the constitution of 1976, which guaranteed freedom of expression, freedom of religion, freedom of association, and other basic human rights. All of these rights were denied to worldwide protest, most notably a report published by Amnesty International in 1984 (the year, not the book, although that's quite the coincidence there, if I may say so).

Eventually, Hoxha went into semi-retirement and passed the torch to his successor, Ramiz Alia. Hoxha's death in Tiranë in April of 1985 led to the relaxation of both Albania's internal and foreign policies, while Communism saw itself weakening and eventually collapsing. His death marked the beginning of the end of the imprisonment and execution of political prisoners throughout Albania.

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