Page 749 - Kosovo Metohija Heritage
P. 749

destruction it was transformed into an independent and important monastic and educational family. His Grace Vladimir by his kindness will be able to send this attentive director of the restoration of the Most Holy Theotokos to study the hermitage of St. Petar of Koriša and prepare a proposal that it be proclaimed a national antiquity, while the Holy Synod here in Belgrade can intercede with those competent to ensure that the proposal is adopted. The res- toration and maintenance of the monastery of St. Mark would thus be permanently secured.
in the year 1943 albanian prime minister Mustafa Kru- ja with his large entourage of ministers and albanian fanat- ics raised an entire campaign against us and our religion under the auspices of the italian occupation. at a public gathering, he said that Prizren is the future capital of alba- nia when it includes Metohija, Kosovo, Sandžak and the other side of Mts. Šar and Korab, Ohrid and Pelagonija. There is little he failed to jabber about against the Serbs and Yugoslavia on his triumphal travels among his blood- thirsty and half-savage compatriots. in the village of Ora- hovica, in Podrima Prizrenska, a mixed settlement, he said to the albanians: why did you leave Dečani, Gračanica and other Serbian markers, why didn’t you destroy them? He came to Visoki Dečani Monastery and as he gazed from the entrance at the magnificence of the church, he said in the presence of the monastery brotherhood and other Serbs there, ’Whoever built this church for himself has made himself a great monument’ and then, turning toward his escort and the mass of albanians, he added, ’But don’t you forget this is an albanian tomb.’ Minister Kol Biba was with him, together with Xhafer Deva the organizers of the murder or better said the fundamental eradication of the Serbs. Their hellish fall was felt most of all by the Serbs of Peć and in the Peć nahija [Turkish sub district]. They ex- pelled and murdered the new Serb settlers, who had par- tially replaced those Serb old-timers of Metohija they had deported after the Serbian-Turkish wars from 1876 to 1878 with terror, looting and murder from their homes to Topli- ca and other newly liberated parts of Serbia.
These new Serb settlers built churches for themselves, mostly on the foundations of older church sites but with this sort of instigation from the albanian ministers and fur- ther constant undermining from there, all the Serb church- es were destroyed in the villages of Rastvica, Gradište, Don- ji Rakiš, Parcaj, Netac, Ponoševac, and even the old church in Brnjača on the other side of the Drim River, near Oraho- vac in Podrima Prizrenska, a village inhabited by Serb old- timers. in the village of Rastvica they even removed the foun- dation of the church and destroyed the Serb cemetery. in the former location of the church they made bricks last year for the collective, and now the albanians are using it for their own purposes. all of these churches were destroyed during the occupation. The destruction was done in such vile fashion to destroy every Serb trace, as if they had never been there. even the fruit trees and vineyards owned by
Serbs were destroyed to the root. Those owners who re- turned to ruins and ash heaps were left with only a little yard around their houses while all the land improved by their labor was confiscated and used to form state-owned farms, while they, now landless, work for the albanians for a daily wage and suffer terribly. after all, Serb churches are hardly treated better today even outside the district of Dja- kovica. Not far from Peć the consecrated church of the vil- lage of Vitomirica was transformed into a warehouse for all sorts of things. and the same thing is done with the church in Orahovac, district of Podrima. When they want, they take the keys and store whatever they want in the church. after whatever is in it is used up, they return the keys only to take them again when they want. in Velika Hoča in the same district a memorial chapel to the fallen chetniks [Ser- bian patriots] of Laza Kujundžić has been turned into a co- operative warehouse.
The most drastic savagery was the destruction of the new church in the small town of Djakovica. it was built as a memorial church to the soldiers killed in the wars be- tween 1912 and 1918. and their bones that could be gath- ered in the area were brought there. The local parish priest, the late Luka Bulatović, was most active in the building of this true landmark and decoration of the town and was himself buried next to the church. it occurred to some al- banians that this mausoleum church should be destroyed so that they could use the same material to build a monu- ment in the same excellent location to emin Durak, who was proclaimed an albanian national hero after being killed as a partisan [member of the Communist resistance] dur- ing the occupation. The monument was built on a marble foundation and on it are three figures: an albanian, a Serb and a Montenegrin, supposedly as a symbol of brother- hood and unity but ungrateful albania revealed itself pre- maturely and denounced this slogan, which is desirable but presently unnatural and unrealizable because of their fa- naticism. The planner was some Catholic in Zagreb but they say that not even five percent of albanians express any piety when they walk by.
We should honestly admit that local albanians were friends and protectors of the few Serbs, some 70 house- holds, who remained in Djakovica during the Ottoman oc- cupation because they were useful and necessary trades- men (saddle-makers, weavers, potters, etc.), and because the Muslims of Djakovica had traveled, worked among and grown accustomed to Serbs in Bosnia, Kosovo and other Serb regions, mostly as blacksmiths and innkeepers. Their tolerance had its roots in the period before the construc- tion of the Salonica-Kosovska Mitrovica railway, when most of the trade of the central Balkans with the West was done by way of Scutari by the old Roman road crossing the great Drim at Spas in the direction of Djakovica and there di- vided in two, one road leading northwest through Peć, and the other leading east through Prizren. Stories are still told about the Djakovica old-timers’ demonstration of religious
The Suffering and Persecution in Kosovo and Metohija from 1945 to 2005

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