Shen Vasil: Koço Dajko

Koço Dajko, my father’s cousin, childhood friend and fellow villager, is also an ex-prisoner. His father died during an interrogation at the prison-fortress of Gjirokaster and never made it to prison.

Koço spent four years in Gjirokaster Prison and three in Burreli Prison, where there were only three things to do: To work, to be hungry and to be beaten. A psychological war was waged against the prisoners. He and his family were stigmatized by the designation “kulak,” in Russian, a farmer characterized as having excessive wealth, and which during the communist years had savage dimensions. Of Dino, Koço says, “He was very courageous, correct and respected by all who knew him.”

Koço Dajko