Page 601 - Kosovo Metohija Heritage
P. 601

The new political course in Kosovo and Metohija em- boldened the nationalists and advocates of unification with albania. The albanians saw the new party policy, drafted by the 1968 and 1971 Constitutional amendments, not as a fresh opportunity for intensified national and cultural emancipation but rather as a long-awaited chance for his- torical revenge against the Serbs, perceived exclusively as their long-time oppressors, and they used the newly-gained political, judicial and legislative powers as a tool against them. The historic term Metohija was officially removed from the official name of the province.
The policy of entrusting rule over Kosovo to ethnic albanians exclusively was endorsed by j. B. Tito, anxious to pacify the growing albanian nationalism in Kosovo. Being a renowned leader of the non-aligned movement and a high-ranking statesman on the international scene, Tito could ill afford to have in his neighbourhood a small Stalinist albania continuing her violent ideological attacks on communist Yugoslavia, thereby challenging both her ideology and her state unity.157
in late November 1968, on the occasion of the Na- tional Day of albania, the albanian students in Priština and several other towns voiced not only demands for a separate Kosovo republic within Yugoslavia, but shouted Greater-albanian, pro-enver Hoxha slogans as well. These demonstrations, severely suppressed by the army and po- lice forces, were hidden from the wider public, although they heralded long-term goals of albanian nationalism in the Province. Kosovo albanians considered Yugosla- via as an imposed, transitional phase on their path to even- tual unification with albania.158 Only several years after the 1968 Kosovo albanians demonstrations praising al- bania’s leader enver Hoxha in Priština and two other towns of Kosovo, did Tito allow closer cooperation between Pri- ština and Tirana in the vain hope that this rapproche- ment would appease the national discontent of the Yugo- slav albanian community.159
Obviously, the ideological and national model for Ko- sovo albanians was not the official Titoist vision of com- munist-inspired policy of “brotherhood and unity” but the Stalinist-type of ethnic nationalism orchestrated by the communist dictator enver Hoxha of albania. Several generations of the Kosovo albanian youth had, through
157 More on albanian–Yugoslav relations: Milorad Komatina, En- ver Hodža i jugoslovensko–albanski odnosi (Belgrade: Službeni list SRj, 1995), 135–145; Branko Komatina, Jugoslovensko–albanski odno- si 1979–1983 Beleške i sećanja ambasadora, (Belgrade: Službeni list SRj, 1995). Useful overviews are available in: Nicolas j. Costa, Alba- nia A European Enigma, (New York: east european Monographs, 1995), and Miranda Vickers, The Albanians A Modern History, (Lon- don: i. B. Tauris, 1995).
158 Miloš Mišović, Ko je tražio republiku Kosovo 1945–1985 (Bel- grade: Narodna knjiga, 1987), 78–93, 150, 240–241, 346–347.
159 Further documentation in: Pero Simić: Raspeto Kosovo Doku- menta o Kosovu I Metohiji (Belgrade: Novosti & Narodna knjiga, 2006).
Kosovo and Metohija: History, Memory, identity
educational arrangements with Tirana, been receiving an education based on a collectivist communist-type ap- proach to the national question mixed with romantic nine- teenth-century, in practice rather aggressive, nationalism. Therefore, enver Hoxha’s official theory that the albanians were the direct descendants of ancient illyrians was con- sidered to be the ultimate “verification” of the historical right of albanians to the whole of Kosovo. From that per- spective, Serbs, who had settled in the Balkans in the late sixth and seventh centuries a.D. (i.e. centuries after the ancient illyrians), were stigmatized in the popular Koso- vo albanian view as intruders into lawfully “albanian lands”.160
From Party-Sponsored Discrimination to ethnic Mobilization
in Kosovo and Metohija, this new nationalistic policy resulted in a behind-the-scenes combination of political pressure and ethnic discrimination against the non-al- banian population. in the provincial administration, most of the Serbs and Montenegrins were either replaced by albanians or politically marginalized. By a tacit agreement within the Communist Party, the Serb officials who had lost their positions in the Kosovo administration were al- most automatically accepted and employed elsewhere in Serbia, so as to tone down their discontent. Continuous administrative, judicial, police or direct physical pressures orchestrated by the albanian-dominated Kosovo commu- nist nomenklatura primarily targeted Kosovo Serbs and Montenegrins. Their quiet but steady migration, mostly to central Serbia, was a process tacitly approved by the federal Yugoslav authorities.161 The few officials who dared to denounce the ethnic discrimination, not only Serbs but also ethnic Turks (such as Kadri Reufi), were punished and expelled from the Communist party. By contrast, the Serb officials who cooperated with the Kosovo albanian lead- ership were rewarded with higher posts in federal insti- tutions or diplomatic bodies.162 The most prominent Ko- sovo albanian scholar Hasan Kaleshi was among the first to denounce, in the 1970s, the ethnic hatred propagated by Tirana-inspired textbooks and related historical writ- ings. Often insulted or boycotted by other colleagues for his criticism of albanian nationalism, Kaleshi died in sus- picious circumstances a few years later.163
161 Pedro Ramet, Nationalism and Federalism in Yugoslavia 1963– 1983 (Bloomington: indiana University Press, 1984), 160–163.
162 D. T. Bataković, Kosovo Chronicles, 70.
163 For more, see M. Mišović, Ko je tražio republiku.
  For the albanian view on illyrian theory and the ethno–gen- esis of Kosovo, see The Truth on Kosova (Tirana: encyclopedia Pub- lishing House, The academy of Sciences of the Republic of albania, 1993). Cf also D. T. Bataković, “Kosovo–Metohija in the 20th Cen- tury: Nationalism and Communism”, Eurobalkans 30–31 (athens: a. Papadopoulou S.a., 1998), 21–27.

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