Defying De-Stalinization: Albania’s 1956
Abstract

Abstract:

Drawing on recently declassified Albanian, Soviet, East German, and Western archival sources, as well as a rich historiography on Nikita Khrushchev’s secret speech and the Hungarian revolution of 1956, this article investigates the little-known events of 1956 in Albania. Rejecting de-Stalinization, the Albanian Communist leader Enver Hoxha was able to vindicate his position against Yugoslavia’s brand of socialism abroad, fortify his rule at home, and claim more aid from Moscow, Beijing, and the Soviet bloc. This article discusses the Tirana Party Conference of April 1956, treating the Albanian Party of Labor (the Communist party) as an “information society.” The article assesses deliberations over security and ideology at the highest levels and demonstrates how tiny Albania came to embody, in exaggerated form, both the promises and the perils of socialist exchange, in addition to mirroring the profound inconsistencies of Khrushchev’s de-Stalinization campaign.