|Live to Tell in America
Fr. Zef Pllumi's "Live to Tell" in America
I have been hard at work, so that the English translation of Fr. Zef Pllumi's "Live to Tell" will be made available to as many readers as possible, becoming more and more well- known and more widespread in the United States of America. I have been working towards the publication of his first volume in English translation, and now the promotion of it. I am happy to be respected for the work I have done so far and honored to have had the very great assistance of several fine people, whether present here or not; such as Petro Zheji. And although our dear friend and mentor Fr. Zef is not here in person, myself and all the others here must surely feel that his great spirit is with us today.
Fr. Zef Pllumi the author has made his mark by writing these volumes of "Live to Tell". What he has written makes an impact not only because of who he is as a person, a pillar of the Catholic church in Albania; but because these books are symbols of anti-communism. It is very important that his story is heard by as many readers as possible to make them aware, and knowledgeable of what is now recorded in the annals of world history. Now we can share this valuable book with America, and at long last, they will learn from the truth within.
The translation of the first volume is now published through iUniverse is beginning to sell online and through some of the biggest booksellers in the US today. My goal is that the story be recognized for what it is, not only because this is what Fr. Zef would have wanted, but because it is important to history. I have also started work on the subsequent volumes. I want for the US to know Albania, and the country not to be veiled in mystery, and its true story not to be hidden. Hopefully we will become as familiar as good friends who were not able to get to know each other until after Democracy came to Albania.
Fr. Pllumi's story gives Americans an inside, previously untold perspective. This is not an ordinary autobiography, but a unique vantage point of a dedicated priest's first hand account of his experiences and the true story of what he witnessed. He is a credible witness and our sympathy lies with him, as he shares not only his knowledge but his wisdom.
Why does the book mean so much to us Americans who have not perhaps heard of him before, and why do we have sympathy for this hero? Many persons in the US may not even have heard of the existence of the country so far away called Albania, in fact not until after the Kosovo war and Clinton's intervention. Or perhaps they may have their own pre-formed ideas of what Albanians are like, or how come they lived under Communism for so many years, and what they experienced. By now they are interested to learn about post-war Albania and what the life of the people was really like under a newly imposed Communist regime. We really do want to know Fr. Zef Pllumi's story, and what made him and others like him worthy of recognition. This is his true story and that of history, and we are on the side of justice.
Fr. Zef has many American brothers and sisters, whether we are religious or not. We are sympathetic because he suffered as a victim of the system, although his fighting spirit would not be conquered. Any person with any sense of wrong or right would be on his side no matter what religion or what nationality they might be. His voice cries out to us with the truth. He remembers the events and we watch them unfold. We listen to the pages of his testament describing injustice, horror, crime, and suffering, as he unveils truths we had not previously known. At the same time, it is a story of brotherhood, integrity, faith, and honor.
We Americans place ourselves in the story and identify with the hero, the friar Zef Pllumi. He makes it known to us how it was possible that he survived: he was armed with his belief in God, knowing that he and his colleagues strove only to uphold and improve Albania's history, culture, religion, and preserve historical documents and literature.
Mankind and its works. Is there anything new under the sun? Perhaps, this book change something. If anyone is paying attention there is something to be learned.
This is a historical document. It is history and is important to all of the world. Think of the many historical documents destroyed in the beginning of the book. This book has great value because at last he tells us the details of what happened, and he was the only one who could do it. Recalling names, places, events, and what happened to him. He educates, and teaches a universal lesson.
What we learn is more clearly spelled out as what the struggle for religious freedom was like inside of Albania after the war. The struggle to keep Catholicism in Albania, to maintain an organization, uphold the clergy as a group, and not ever lose the faith in the face of unimaginable brutality. We learn of the untold stories of horror that have been erased from memories, and left out of documents
The prison systemization in Albania at the time was drastically different than the prisons in the US, or our prisons today. And so we are given an accurate account of what it meant to become a prisoner in Albania at the time just following the Second World War. And what were politics or lack thereof like at that place and time, and what led up to the establishment of a democracy. And what caused the dispute over territory that led up to the war in Kosovo. The reason we hadn't we heard of Albania before was because it was forbidden for information of this kind to escape the country, and it was not allowed to even speak of or speculate about life in America, where we, living under this Democracy and freedom have been somewhat na´ve as to what the Albanians have been through. We have not experienced what it is like to live under Communism. Where fear, injustice, inhumanity, and senseless crime ruled for too long.
Perhaps we haven't yet heard the story of the Albanians, or that there was religious persecution there, and aren't yet aware of the heroes and martyrs named in this book, and who are pictured in the photos. Yet this is the true documentation of events and the criminal perpetrators of unspeakable crimes are described and even named here in this book. This book has value greater than the confines of a single country.