Page 433 - Kosovo Metohija Heritage
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the Turks on the other side led to the loss of independence of the Balkan Christians Defending its state in Kosovo, the Serbian people perished in droves and the cream of the Ser- bian nobility was killed In Kosovo the greatest resistance was offered to the Turks during their conquest of the Balkan Peninsula For centuries the Serbian national consciousness has dreamt of its return and liberation of Kosovo, the theme of the most beautiful cycle of Serbian epic poems The Ser- bian national spirit is so enthralled by the Kosovo catastro- phe that it has become a permanent national memento and a source of national strength
Kosovo and Metohija during World War i to World War ii
Upon the liberation of Kosovo and Metohija in 1912–1913, there was neither expulsion of the albanian population from this territory nor Serbian revenge taken against them. at that time the great powers created the albanian state, which naturally did not include Kosovo and Metohija be- cause even though there was some albanian population on these territories, the european states recognized Koso- vo and Metohija as classic Serbian regions. at the same time the european states ordered the Serbian army, which had reached the shores of the adriatic, to withdraw from North albania, even though there were still Serbs living on the territory of the newly created state of albania. Unfor- tunately, World War i soon followed and once again the Serbs endured heavy losses.
The suffering of the Serbs of Kosovo and Metohija dur- ing World War i and the austrian-albanian occupation was also great, beginning with the withdrawal of the Ser- bian army from albania and continuing through the entire occupation; especially during the crushing of the Serbian rebellion in Toplica in 1917, where the albanians actively participated on the side of the Germans, austrians and Bulgarians. During this time, by way of example, a group of Serbian soldiers was perfidiously and bestially slaughtered, an entire company comprised of about 60 soldiers and three or four officers, who had stopped at the monastery of St. Marko of Koriša above Prizren on November 26 (Nov. 13 according to the julian calendar), 1916 to briefly rest as they withdrew from albania and the adriatic Sea. While there they were besieged by albanians from the neighboring vil- lage of Kabaš to whom they surrendered their arms upon receiving an oath (besa) that no harm would befall them. They were all then promptly slaughtered by the albanians. Two elderly Serbs from Prizren, who were the only other visitors to the monastery at the time, Kosta Djordjević (60) and grandmother Mitra (80), were also murdered by the albanians and thrown from the cliffs into the Koriša River gorge. They then completely looted the monastery of St. Marko, destroyed the monastery buildings, and desecrat- ed and vandalized the church itself, destroying the iconos- tasis and old frescos, and vandalizing and desecrating the
MeMORaNDUM onKosovoandMetohija
grave of Simon igumanov of Prizren, a great Serbian phi- lanthropist.
During the course of the occupation from 1915–1918, the following Serbian hierarchs and priests were killed in Kosovo and Metohija:
1–2) Metropolitan Vićentije and his deacon, Cvetko Nešić, who on November 23, 1915 were taken by night from Prizren to Uroševac, where on the night of November 25 they were tied to stakes with wires, doused with gasoline and burned alive;
3–9) Hieromonk Danilo, the elder of the monastery of Saint Marko of Koriša, slaughtered by the albanians on November 17, 1917 with six other members of the clergy;
10) Hieromonk Sava Popović of the monastery of Gra- čanica murdered the night of april 16, 1916 by albanians in his house in Prilužje;
11) abbot Rufin Nikolić, the elder of the monastery of Devič, poisoned by the albanians in November 1917;
12) Priest Kosta jovanović of Prizren murdered in De- cember 1915;
13) Ljubomir Repić, the parish priest in Prizren, tor- tured to death on November 17, 1917;
14) Srećko Djurić, the parish priest in Peć, murdered in 1917;
15) Priest Dena Debeljković, the parish priest of Lipljan, slaughtered on November 12, 1915 in the village of Suvi Do near Lipljan in the house of an albanian and thrown into a ditch;
16) Priest Miljko Simić of Suho Grlo in Metohija, mur- dered in November 1915 in Suho Grlo;
17) Vićentije Simić, the parish priest in Sočanica, hanged with 12 other eminent Serbs from Soćanica and Kosovska Mitrovica on january 30, 1917;
18) Djura Stojanović, the parish priest in Zočište (near Velika Hoča), murdered by albanians on april 20, 1918 on the road from Zočište to Retimlje;
19–20) Priest Toma Protić of Novi Pazar and his co- priest in that parish, Kosta Kulagić of Novi Pazar, captured in a Serbian house in Mitrovica on November 9, 1915, tak- en away and murdered where the Sitnica River flows into the ibar;
21) Petar Bačanin, the parish priest in Vračevo, mur- dered on September 28, 1915;
22) Petar Popović, the parish priest in Štavica near Ro- žaj, murdered with two other Serbs near Sopoćani on No- vember 10, 1915.
Following the liberation of 1918 and the creation of the Kingdom of the Serbs, Croats and Slovenes, subsequently Yugoslavia, the Serbian population of Kosovo and Meto- hija, decimated during the preceding war and occupation, was reinforced by partial colonization which was not, how- ever, systematically implemented nor did the state take proper care of the population of Kosovo. This created op- portunities and possibilities for Communist propaganda to conduct anti-Serb and anti-Orthodox propaganda in

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