Page 813 - Kosovo Metohija Heritage
P. 813

ficial administration documents, the albanian language has priority. The Cyrillic alphabet is in even a worse posi- tion; it is completely banished from Kosovo, although it was Kosovo and Metohija itself which was the cradle of the Serbian alphabet and literacy. Documents and inscriptions in public places, official documents of the assembly and various other documents, minutes of institutions, textbooks printed in Kosovo and Metohija—which was the cradle of the Serbian alphabet and literacy—for educational pur- poses in the Serbo-Croatian language, all of these (and in instances where the Serbo-Croatian language is actually needed,) are written in Latin alphabet.
as for the situation in the field of education and culture literary and history textbooks can serve as an example. By the beginning of the seventies, the most significant Serbian authors such as Dobrica Ćosić and jovan Dučić were left out of the curricula, and then Milan Rakić, once serbian counselor in Priština, was reduced in such a way that his lyrics from the cycle Peonies of Kosovo (Kosovski božuri) were forbidden for teaching purposes. There were cases when books were burnt, after having been deliberately re- moved from libraries and schools. The same fate almost befell the only Yugoslav Nobel-Prize winner, lvo andrić, because of his alleged pre-war anti-albanian diplomatic service. National literature, especially Serbian folk epics, which had been enlightening generation after generation of Yugoslav youths, were wiped clean out of the curricula of Kosovo schools, as were all poems describing The Battle of Kosovo and the Serbian heroes, with a view to the an- nihilation of national consciousness of history in young people. in general, all subjects in history and literature con- cerning Serbian history, its background, tradition and cul- ture connected with the area of South Serbia, Kosovo and Metohija, were strictly censored in the teaching of history and literature. it was the conscious intent to eliminate all themes and ideas, historical facts, traditions and culture, which undoubtedly bear witness to past Serbian presence in these territories. So, from history textbooks in the Ser- bo-Croatian language and the (curriculum mainly drawn up by albanian such as ali Hadri and his followers), the pupils could have scarcely learned anything about the me- dieval Serbian State, the First Uprising and Karadjordje, the Balkan wars and the First World War. The Serbian past, personalities, and events which had left their marks on his- tory, were undesirable subjects in Kosovo until 1981. the “science” from Tirana was fostered, in which everything
Cultural Genocide of the Serbs
that was Serbian was treated as a negative “omen,” until 1945, implanting in pupils and students the feeling of a col- lective national guilt for the achievements which the alba- nian nation in its history had not attained. On the other hand, the teaching in albanian of such a “science” could produce, in albanian youth only hatred toward everything that was Serbian, which, in the final instance, caused mi- gration from Kosovo.
a ·special case is the preservation of Serbian medieval historical monuments for which above all Kosovo is known throughout the world. Before 1981, very little attention was paid to this segment of Serbian cultural heritage. By the end of the sixties and during the seventies the attention of experts, archeologists, art-preservers, renovators and oth- ers, was mainly concerned with discovery of traces of illyr- ian culture on the soil of Kosovo; work was carried out, digging and excavating everywhere where remnants of il- lyrian culture were suspected. That was mostly encour- aged by a euphoria from Tirana spread by albanologists that the albanians were direct descendants of the illyrians. “The science” in Kosovo accepted it immediately and made efforts to find material evidence as soon as possible. But— there was no evidence of that. Then it happened that dur- ing the construction of the dam on the Fierza River in al- bania (later on waters of that lake flooded parts of Meto- hija in Yugoslavia); in the archeological remnants were dis- covered remains of flooded Vrbnica, and Kosovo’s “experts” were ready to believe it a godsend that they had found an illyrian settlement. all of a sudden, financial means, which till then were in short supply for the purpose of preserving the Serbian cultural heritage, among which were Serbian medieval monasteries, available, so the work with the help of Tirana’s “experts” advanced very quickly. Meanwhile, soon enough it turned out to be the remnants of Slav cul- ture. all of the “experts” were disappointed. The money disappeared in the same way it had appeared, the research dried up and suddenly everybody became uninterested. The site was then buried and sunk in the lake. in the same general manner, until 1981, cultural monuments in Kosovo were dealt with. The public is well-acquainted with the fact that numerous Serbian monasteries are in a poor state, damaged by human hand and utter neglect. it is enough only to mention a few facts: in Banjska, in the churchyard, three weekend cottages were constructed; the Monastery of Gračanica is menaced by moisture; many churches in ethnically pure albanian places in Suva Reka are damaged

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