Volume 11, 2020
Transnational Biographies: Destinies at the Crossroads Before and After the Cold War
An Albanian Hemingway
Petro Marko’s Recollections of the Spanish Civil War
Petro Marko (1913-1991) was an Albanian journalist, writer and communist activist, who volunteered in the International Brigades during the Spanish Civil War. Afterwards, he was imprisoned in the island of Ustica by the Italian occupiers of Albania during the Second World War and was briefly imprisoned by the communist regime of Albania in the late 1940s. Afterwards he worked as a journalist and a writer, being closely surveyed by the communist regime. The Spanish experience was the most important formative period throughout Marko’s stormy life, through which he was able to stay faithful to his communist and internationalist beliefs in the face of fascism and one of the most totalitarian and isolationist regimes in Europe. Marko wrote about the International Brigades in his most prominent novel, Hasta la Vista, and in his posthumously published autobiography. This paper will investigate these works by putting them in the historical context of the events themselves and of the time of the writing process. The aim is to look into how internationalism moulded his own identity, but also how this ideal was presented publicly under a communist regime that was becoming more and more isolated and xenophobic.