Page 431 - Kosovo Metohija Heritage
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changed their religion and nationality, were given the name “Arnautaši” by the Serbs. To the extent that it is possible to convert historical information into percentages, approxi- mately 30–40% of albanians in ex-Yugoslavia are of direct Slavic descent (historian Radovan Samardžić).
Serbs in Kosovo and Metohija
in the 19th century and their persecution until the liberation of Kosovo in 1912
Regarding the suffering of the Serbs in Metohija and in Ko- sovo we will quote a Dečani record from the year 1857–58 written Serafim Ristić, from Tetovo by origin:
During this period the Slavic Serb and Slavic Bulgarian and Greek and all Orthodox Christians who are sons of the Eastern Church suffered greatly They suffered at the hands of the cursed Turks but most at the hands of the Albanians May Heaven help us and the Earth hear our cries; may Eu- rope and all who believe in Christ come to the aid of the suffering people Just and all-knowing Creator, have mercy on your flock of Christ The calm and sinful Archimandrite Serafim recorded this 31
Similarly moving is another testimonial by the same Serafim Ristić, abbot of Dečani, also from the mid-18th cen- tury. On behalf of the repressed and persecuted people of the Peć nahija, the Dečani abbot complains to the Otto- man sultan of:
the violent persecutions by the Albanians and mistreat- ments which exceed every measure which, if not stopped will force us out from our land drenched with the blood of our ancestors and from our hearths to flee... For not even ourHolyShrinesbythecriminalsremainuntouched There is no Christian house that has not been looted, no village, no city, no church or monastery that cries not under perse- cution... That is why it is no use to say who did this because what we have said so far has brought no benefit 32
We will quote one other testimonial regarding the suf- fering of the Kosovo Serbs in the second half of the 19th century. This is the letter of the priest Petar with a group of Serbs from Nerodimlje, written as an appeal on March 4, 1872:
Here an Albanian ox is worth more than all the Chris- tiansandalltheChristianchurches Tragicisoursituation, which cannot be described... Twice in two years we have burned and only so that our property could be looted and taken away Old churches are falling apart and cannot be renovated... We weep yet no one hears us but instead we are
31 Record in Dečanski rukopis (Dečani manuscript), No 64, folio 8.
32 This same Dečani abbot, Serafim Ristić, collected and published
a separate book of moving accounts of the Kosovo and Metohija Serbs regarding the persecution against them by the albanians and the Turks. appeals were sent to various sides: istanbul, Petrograd, Belgrade, Vienna, and elsewhere, and he gave this book of dramatic testimonials the characteristic name Plač Stare Srbije (The Cry of Old Serbia). it was published in Zemun in 1864 and contains the text of the cited appeal.
MeMORaNDUM onKosovoandMetohija
told: ’I am your law’ We sue but no one recognizes our right but instead we are told: ’Your right in Kosovo disappeared when Laza (very familiar form of Lazar) was killed’ We hope for improvement but instead things grow worse 33
This second to the last sentence, spoken with malice by a Muslim albanian to mock the poor Kosovo Serbs, attests to the fact that both albanians and Turks were well aware of the Serbian ties to Kosovo and Holy Prince Lazar, and that this is not a “mythomaniac” creation of “Serbian ro- manticism” of the 19th century, as maliciously written by mercenary NaTO historian Noel Malcolm and other pseu- do-historians like him. That is why we will quote on this occasion only one other, again Turkish but older testimo- nial which in itself best speaks to the presence and strength of Kosovo thought and choice among the Serbian free- dom-loving people. Namely, in the year 1806 the vezir of Travnik, Sejid Mustafa-pasha wrote to the Porte in istan- bul (on the fifth day of Muharem in 1221, i.e. March 1806) and attached a written testimonial by a Valjevo naib (assistant to the kadija or judge), Osman-efendija, who fled to Bosnia from the rebellion in Karadjordje’s Serbia and says he spent a year and a half imprisoned “among renegades... with cursed jakov (Nenadović)” in Valjevo and thus learned of their desires and intentions. The rebels, he says, continue to prepare for battle. “They have now sent letters to all sides full of lies and deceit. Their evil intentions are to delay until the feast of St. George and after that, like Prince Lazar once come out to fight in Kosovo, all of them will come out in Kosovo. They constantly hold in their hands books on the history of this prince and he is the great instigator of rebel- lionintheirminds.”34
More data on the suffering, persecution, islamization and albanization of the Serbs of Kosovo and Metohija dur- ing the 19th and at the beginning of the 20th century, al- though far from all, is presented in the aforementioned anthology Zadužbine Kosova (Endowments of Kosovo—pp. 611–728). For purposes of illustration we cite the fact that just one list of albanian crimes against the Serbs in Kosovo composed at the beginning of the 20th century for the pe- riod from january 1, 1904 to the end of December 1905 in- cludes no fewer than 280 victims, including approximately 100 murders and almost the same number of woundings of Serbs, several dozen rapes of Serbian women and girls, and heavy beatings of innocent Serbs while the rest involve looting of money, property and livestock from Serbian households. This increased persecution of the Kosovo and Metohija Serbs during this time occurred at the same time as the influx to Kosovo and Metohija of some 30,000 alba- nians who, after the liberation of Toplica and recognition of the state of Serbia by the european powers at the Berlin
34 Zadužbine Kosova (Endowments of Kosovo), p. 611.
  See Zadužbine Kosova (Endowments of Kosovo), where there are many similar testimonials from the 19th and the beginning of the 20th century.

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