Uran Kostreci: When I went for the first time in 1963, I found very good people there. By that I mean that
they were part of the old group, truly political prisoners. Four to six of them were first-class
intellectuals. I found Kudret Kokoshi from Vlora; Engjëll Çoba from Shkodra, Et’hem
Haxhiademi, good playwright and translator from Elbasan.
They were all old, but I stayed with them unlike the other youngsters, because I felt I could learn from them, and so I did. There was Koço Tasi, a lawyer from Përmet. I took philosophy lessons from him. I stayed
with these kinds of people, but also others who, although not of this intellectual and
educational background, were good people.
This was so true that they put me in Room no. 8. Burrel had ten rooms. It was 120 meters long, fully cemented, with four windows per room. Rooms were 8.5 m by 5.5 m, standard. They put me in Room no. 8, it happened to be like
that. There were 33 people who stayed on cement, on some kinds of sheets that not everyone had. But I need to say, which is of interest, that when I went, there was still a tradition of a proper prison. There were 33 people and, it pains me to say only one was a spy. I won’t say his name, he’s died and is from Myzeqe.
The other 32 were very good people. I found Engjëll Çoba there, who was friends with my father, too. Therefore, my father’s friendships influenced my relations with some of them, so it was easier for me to get closer to them, or
better yet they invited me to their circle. If you allow me, I will use a not so appropriate term, but I figuratively milked them, in the good sense of the word. I milked their knowledge as well as I could.
Yes! And they allowed themselves to be milked by me. They really wanted to help me. That is where I learned Italian, commented Dante Alighieri, learned history and philosophy, and many other things. That is where I learned about the history of Albania for the first time, because what we learned at school was useless.