Pjetër Arbnori

Pjetër Arbnori (actually Filip Toma, born January 18, 1935 in Shkodra, † July 8th, 2006 in Naples) was an Albanian writer and politician. About 28 years Arbnori spent as opponents of the regime in the prisons of socialist Albania. It was 1989/90, a leader of the democracy movement that brought about the end of socialist rule.


1953 Pjetër Arbnori began to work as a teacher, but in 1954 he was dismissed for political reasons. He then worked for several years as a farm laborer. Later he was allowed to take a correspondence course at the Faculty of Philology of the University of Tirana, graduating in 1960 as a literary scholar.

In the same year Pjetër Arbnori was targeted by the secret police Sigurimi. Because of the attempt to establish a social democratic group, he was sentenced to death in 1961. The sentence was however mitigated in a long-term imprisonment. Arbnori spent 28 years in prison Burrel. There was a part of his literary work, which he wrote under the most difficult conditions with hidden pencil stubs on edges of newspaper. Some of these manuscripts were smuggled out of the prison for visits by relatives, others were discovered and burned by the guards.

In August 1989 Arbnori was released. As of January 1990, he participated in his birth city of Shkodra in the uprising against the socialist dictatorship. In the same year he co-founded the Democratic Party of Albania. From 1991 to 2001 he was a member of the Albanian Parliament; 1992-1997 he was President of the Parliament and one of the few politically persecuted in Albania, which received high office after the turn.

Pjetër Arbnori died of a heart condition, as he was treated so in Italy. He was married and had two children.


In the Albanian capital Tirana an international cultural center was named after Pjetër Arbnori.


  • Nga jeta në burgjet komuniste. ( From the life in communist prisons, experience report, also published in German in 1992 )
  • Health dynden vikingët. ( Novella, 1992)
  • Mugujt e mesjetës. (Novel, 1993)
  • Bukuroshja me hijen. ( Novella, 1994)
  • Lettre de prison. (1995)
  • E Bardha dhe e Zeza. (Novel, 1995)
  • E panjohura - Vdekja e Gebelsit. ( Novella, 1996)
  • Shtepia e mbetur përgjysmë. (Novel, printed in 1997, written during 10 years in prison)
  • Vorbulla. (Novel, 1997)
  • I have survived and I have written. In: Werner Daum ( Editor): Albania - Between Cross and Crescent. Penguin Publishing, Innsbruck 1998, ISBN 3-7016-2461-5.
  • Brajtoni, nje vetëtimë e larget. (Novel, 2000)
  • Martirët e R inj në Shqipëri. 10300 Dite e net në burgjet komuniste. (2004)