Page 435 - Kosovo Metohija Heritage
P. 435

the Porte Romano camp in Durazzo, of those 600 just from Gnjilane, and there were others from Prizren, Uroševac, Priština, Peć and Lipljan. From Gnjilane 600 Serbian pris- oners were put on a cargo ship bound for Trieste and drowned in the adriatic Sea. in Prizren there was a prison of the italian-Balist kvestura in the building of the Roman Catholic seminary where Serbs were tortured horribly and many of them died there. a large number of Serbs was murdered throughout Kosovo and Metohija and a far great number was expelled for all time.
Namely, during the course of World War ii approxi- mately 10,000–15,000 Serbs were murdered in Kosovo and Metohija while approximately 70,000–100,000 Serbs were expelled. a large number of Serbian villages and churches were destroyed and burned down, especially in Metohija (the agricultural combine of erenik near Djakovica, the Peć agricultural combine and others were built after the war on the property of expelled Serbs).
Kosovo and Metohija under Communist rule, 1945–1990
at the session of the National assembly held on March 6, 1945, Tito’s Federal People’s Republic of Yugoslavia offi- cially prohibited the return of Kosovo and Metohija Serbs expelled by the albanians during the war and the occupa- tion. Milošević’s later neo-Communist regime, in power from 1990, was the direct heir of Tito’s Communist regime: it never rescinded this illegal decision by Tito’s assembly, a decision that in fact sanctioned albanian occupationist, Fascist and Nazi brutal persecutions of the Serbs from Ko- sovo and Metohija thus finally changing the ethnic per- centages of the population to the detriment of the Serbs. Throughout World War ii the overwhelming majority of albanians were Balists (Nazi Fascists) and when they turned into Communists at the end of the war, Tito’s regime ac- cepted them without punishment into its ranks, and failed to expel the albanians from albania who had settled in Kosovo and Metohija during the occupation. Under the Communists the albanians continued their campaign of cleansing Kosovo and Metohija of Serbs begun during the occupation because they were rewarded by the Commu- nist Party first an Autonomous District and then with an Autonomous Province, which starting in 1968 and espe- cially after 1974 was almost like a republic. The albanians held full power in which the Kosovo and Metohija Serbs had no part, except for small groups of Communist pol- trons, which served only to cover up the abuse of the Serbs and, using propaganda, to dispel rumors of an increasingly large exodus of Serbian population from Kosovo and Me- tohija in which they were supported by Zagreb, Sarajevo and other anti-Serbian centers in Tito’s Yugoslavia. When some Serbs and especially the Serbian Church began to raise their voice and inform the public of the highly confi- dential “state secret” regarding the persecution of the Ser-
MeMORaNDUM onKosovoandMetohija
bian population in Kosovo and Metohija, Tito’s Commu- nists, among whom there were Serbs, persecuted anyone who so much as mentioned it, and accused the Serbian Church of “prohibited interference in politics” and of “spread- ing nationalism” with the first accusation repeated until recently by the Milošević regime, and the second still being repeated by some individuals from europe and america and their uncritical followers in Belgrade.
The Serbs were gradually but systematically expelled from Kosovo and Metohija, especially after 1965, and from 1966 to 1971 approximately 35,000 of them were expelled from Kosovo and Metohija. From the end of World War ii to 1961, a total of 338 Kosovo and Metohija settlements were ethnically cleansed of Serbs. in the following years the persecution intensified and thus from 1971 to 1982 a total of 220,000 Serbs were expelled while from 1961 to 1981 a total of 606 Kosovo and Metohija settlements were left without Serbian inhabitants. By way of example, 90% of Podujevo’s population after World War ii was Serb; by the previous decade, the Serb population had almost en- tirely disappeared; and today under KFOR and UNMiK there were only three elderly Serb ladies left, one of whom recently died! another example: in 1961 the village of ajva- lija, located between Priština and Gračanica, had 513 Serbs, 597 albanians and 82 Roma; by 1988, there were more than 5,000 albanians and only about ten Serb families; and now under KFOR and UNMiK, the village has been left with- out a single Serb or Roma.
We have no more room here to present in greater detail the suffering and persecution of the Kosovo and Metohija Serbs by the albanians during the course of these 55 years of Communist rule and their high degree of autonomy (which is what the europeans and americans seek for them even to- day). The greatest number of documents about the perse- cution of the Serbs during the period from 1941 to 1944 and their expulsion after the so-called liberation from 1945 to 1989 are in the archives of the Diocese of Raška and Priz- ren and the Holy assembly of Bishops in Belgrade.37
The well-known big albanian demonstrations of 1968 (when they were already demanding a “republic of Kosovo”) and 1981 resulted in increasingly greater and more frequent expulsions of the Serbian population and increasingly bru- tal attacks on Serbian churches, monasteries and cemeter- ies, increasingly flagrant looting of church property and systematic destruction of everything of Serbian character and symbolism. it is characteristic that in 1981, prior to the March 26 demonstrations and later the april 1, three day- long student demonstrations in Priština (allegedly accord- ing to “dissatisfaction with the food in the student cafeteria,”
37 a part of this has been published in the aforementioned book Zadužbine Kosova (Endowments of Kosovo) and in the books of Hiero- monk atanasije jevtić: Od Kosova do Jadovna (From Kosovo to Jadov- no), Belgrade, 1987, pp. 1–202; and Stradanje Srba na Kosovu i Meto- hiji od 1941 do 1990 (The Persecution of the Serbs in Kosovo and Metohija from 1941 to 1990), Priština, 1990, 470 pp.

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