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Born Jan. 10, 1913, in Corrushi, in southern Albania; died Dec. 17, 1981. Albanian state and political figure.
Shehu studied at a military school in Naples in the mid-1930’s. From 1937 to 1939 he fought in the ranks of the international brigades in Spain. Interned in France in 1939, he returned to Albania in 1942 and took part in the struggle against the fascist occupiers and in the activities of the Communist Party of Albania (CPA; since 1948, Albanian Workers Party [AWP]). In 1943, Shehu was elected a candidate member of the Central Committee of the CPA. In 1943 and 1944 he commanded the 1st Partisan Brigade and then a division of the National Liberation Army. In 1944 and 1945 he was a member of the Antifascist National Liberation Council.
After the liberation of Albania from fascist troops in November 1944, Shehu became deputy chief of the General Staff of the People’s Army; he twice served as chief of the General Staff, in 1946 and 1947 and again in 1948. He became a member of the Central Committee of the AWP and the Politburo of the Central Committee in 1948; from 1948 to 1953 he was secretary of the Central Committee. From 1948 to 1954, Shehu was deputy chairman of the Council of Ministers and minister of internal affairs. He became chairman of the Council of Ministers in 1954 and was appointed to the additional post of minister of national defense in 1974. Shehu was first elected a deputy to the People’s Assembly in 1947.