January 12th 2008 02:46:18 PM
“The sons of Feriz Memeti and Gahi Memeti have bragged publicly in the village that they are paid 200 German marks for each grenade they throw at Serbs.”
In a continued effort to expose Germany’s and others’ renewed Nazi domination over Serbia in a history that’s been repeating since Germany’s reunification, here is part of a chapter from Hiding Genocide in Kosovo:
Old Habits Die Hard
Zupa valley is situated in a picturesque mountainous region in the south of Kosovo. It runs from the town of Prizren down towards the border with the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia. It is a place with many small villages dotted around the hillsides as the Zupa river winds through the countryside. The communities living there are mixed, with Albanians, Bosniaks (Serbian-speaking Muslims not to be confused with the Gorani who come from one specific region of Kosovo, Gora) and Serbs. There are some Roma scattered among the various Serbian communities still existing in Zupa. The Serbs that remain in the villages of Zupa are, without exception, elderly people, mostly elderly females. This like other places around Kosovo is no place for the young.
I first visited the area in November 2000. I had arranged to go there with Fr Petar, a Serbian Orthodox monk from the Patriarchate of Pec. Fr Petar was travelling to the Zupa area, some sixty kilometers away to visit the villagers and to serve liturgy in the medieval church in the village of Drajcici. We departed from the Patriarchate of Pec escorted by Italian KFOR in two armed personnel carriers (APCs)…We travelled under tight security and reached Prizren in late afternoon. There we stopped at the Bishop’s residence which was later destroyed in the March 2004 riots. At the residence we were changed over to German KFOR…
After Italian KFOR departed we were transferred into German KFOR jeeps and driven to the monastery of Holy Archangels. The whole region of the south west of Kosovo fell under the German area of responsibility and there were certainly plenty of German soldiers around as we pulled up outside the monastery. We stayed overnight in Archangels monastery, which was later burnt to the ground, during the 2004 March riots…The one thing I remember distinctly about that first visit to Archangels was that the monastery had no running water. In order to wash ourselves or flush the toilets we had to carry in buckets of water from an outside pump. The water was cut off in June 1999 and here I was 17 months later visiting the monastery to find that the monks had lived there all that time there with no running water. The monks did not complain. However, later that evening when a UNHCR representative from Prizren visited the monastery I mentioned to him that it was terrible that certain individuals could cut off the water supply to the monastery and get away with it. I remember him saying in a strong American accent that I should not be taking sides. I looked at him in disbelief and pointed out that in any normal place when people vandalised other people’s access to public utilities they were usually brought before a court and sentenced. But of course this was Kosovo under a UN Protectorate, and might was right.
Early next morning we went in German KFOR jeeps to visit the nearby village of Mushnikovo, Fr Petar went to visit some of the Serbian families and I stayed outside near the KFOR jeep. I noticed that the doors of the surrounding houses had yellow markers on them. On some houses it looked like an X, on others it looked like a cross. I asked the German soldiers what these yellow crosses were doing on these doors. I received an answer I could scarcely believe. The young soldier, whom I later photographed, informed me that these were used to denote that Serbs lived in these houses. He said that people had to know which houses were inhabited by Serbs. I wondered why? So I then said to him. “You mean that you are highlighting the fact the Serbs are living in these houses by putting yellow crosses on their doors”. He nodded. I could hardly believe what I was hearing. The previous night the church and the house across from the church had been attacked by rocket propelled grenades and here was German KFOR marking out the houses which were later attacked by extremists. This seemed incomprehensible to me. I pointed out that they were denoting the religious affiliation of these people and outlining the fact that these were Christians in a predominantly Muslim village. I pointed out to the soldier that this was not the first time in their history that the German army had put markers on the doors of people perceived as unter-menschen. I immediately got my camera and took some photos. I asked to see their commanding officer. The German soldiers got very angry so I decided to make a quick exit. I ran into the church yard and went into the church. My heart was beating so fast I thought I would die. I gave my camera to an innocent bystander and hoped for the best. Thankfully, I was able to retrieve it later.
Shortly afterwards, a German army officer came and asked me what my problem was. I pointed out that I was not the one with the problem. He explained that the reason that the yellow crosses were on the doors of the houses [was] that these houses had been searched for weapons and unexploded ordinance and were deemed “free’ of weapons. It was then that I really began to wonder if these people in charge really knew what they were doing. The Muslims, both Slavs and Albanians in the village had no such markers on their houses. They had complete freedom to travel wherever they liked throughout Kosovo and harass and intimidate innocent members of other communities. The Serbs in the village had no such freedom of movement.I was aware that the Serbs and Roma and others were being cleared out of their villages and towns all around Kosovo and I wondered what information the KFOR soldiers on the ground were receiving from the NATO high command. Were they still being fed the propaganda that the few remaining elderly Christian Serbs were the enemy or were the threat?
After we left Mushnikovo we then went to the village of Drajcici where Fr Petar served the Liturgy. It was attended by a few elderly Serbs from the village…You could tell that they were people who had suffered – as an outside observer you could see that their faces were sad. They were poor, their shoes were old but they had made an effort for the occasion that was in it. As I watched them praying the Liturgy that cold November morning I realised many things. I realised that they were old and that their children had fled the village after many attacks and provocations. They the elders in the family were trying to hold on until things might improve. They were receiving little assistance from the outside world. They were afraid for their future and did not feel safe. They were happy that the monks had come to pray with them, in their old church. They probably knew this would be the last time. After all their houses had yellow crosses on them. They were marked with the seal.
The rest of the Slavs in the village had embraced Islam a century before and were Muslims. The writing was on the wall for the Serbs. The future was not for them. As we left the village we met with some Albanian children.They were attending the school which was now flying the flag of Albania. Before 1999 all classes were in Serbian as all the children were either Serbian or Bosniak. Now the village was under the Albanians, the Serbs were pushed out and the Albanians occupied their houses and hoisted their flags. The remaining Bosniak children were forced to have their schooling in Albanian. Forced assimilation. And nobody seemed to be bothered.
As we left the village I again noticed the small yellow crosses made of some kind of resistant cardboard or duct tape which had been pinned on the doors of some of the houses. I visited the village a few times since and remarkably you can still see the remnants of the yellow crosses on the doors although of course most of the Serb houses are uninhabited or illegally occupied. Nowadays only a handful of elderly Serbs remain in these villages and when they die no one will be around to explain to curious visitors why some of the doors are marked with fading yellow crosses.