March 04th 2008 02:38:03 PM
From Andy Wilcoxson’s pre-published manuscript:
British journalist Henry Noel Brailsford wrote in his 1906 book Macedonia that in Kosovo “There are few Serbian villages that have not been looted bare on one occasion or another… A village suffers total deprivation for two or three years at a time and then, thanks to hard work, it manages to start a herd, only to have it stolen as well.” He emphasized that the Albanians “manifested semi-feudal terrorism” against the Serbian population saying, “I tried to find out about what kind of a system of land rent this was. As a rule, my questions were met with a smile. The system of land rent in that land, where the Kur’an and the rifle were the only law, was what the Albanian area chieftain chose it to be. The Serbian peasants, the children of that soil, are tenants according to someone’s whim, exposed to every caprice of their domestic conquerors. Albanian highlanders conquer more of the plains each year, while the Serbian peasants flee before them year after year.
During World War II Kosovo was invaded by the Axis powers, and in 1941 Kosovo was annexed to Albania until Allied forces liberated the territory and returned the province to Yugoslav sovereignty.
Many Kosovo Albanians saw the Axis powers as guarantors of their ambition to create a greater Albanian state in Kosovo. In order to realize this goal, many Kosovo Albanians volunteered for service in the Nazi SS.
Several Albanians joined the 13th Waffen-Gebirgs Division der SS “Handschar” (Kroat Nr.1). Although this division was primarily made up of Muslims from the Independent State of Croatia (NDH), it did contain an entire battalion of Albanians commanded by Nazir Hodic from Kosovo.
In the spring of 1944 Heinrich Himmler established the 21st Waffen-Gebirgs Division der SS “Skanderbeg” (Albanische Nr.1). This division numbered more than 9,000 men and was made up primarily of Albanian volunteers from Kosovo.
The Skanderbeg division’s first operation was a raid on May 14, 1944, against the Jewish community in Pristina. Kosovo-Albanian SS troops raided apartments and homes belonging to Jews, looting their possessions and rounding them up for deportation to Nazi death camps. The SS Skanderbeg Division apprehended 281 Kosovo Jews, which included men, women, and children. From May to June 1944 they apprehended a total of 519 Jews and Serbs from Kosovo…They took full advantage of the Axis occupation to wage a second extermination campaign against the Serbs.
The Italian army reported that the Albanians were “hunting down Serbs,” and that the “Serbian minority are living in conditions that are truly disgraceful, constantly harassed by the brutality of the Albanians, who are whipping up racial hatred.”
Carlo Umiltà, a civilian aide to the Commander of the Italian occupation forces in Albania, described some of the atrocities in his memoirs writing, “The Albanians are out to exterminate the Slavs.”
German diplomat Hermann Neubacher, the Third Reich’s representative for southeastern Europe, reported that the “Shiptars [Kosovo Albanians] were in a hurry to expel as many Serbs as possible from the country.”
In June of 1942 the President of Albania, Mustafa Kroja, openly declared his intentions before his followers in Kosovo: “The Serbian population of Kosovo should be removed as soon as possible … All indigenous Serbs should be qualified as colonists and as such, via the Albanian and Italian governments, be sent to concentration camps in Albania - Serbian settlers should be killed.”
Similarly, Kosovo Albanian leader Ferat-bey Draga, said that the “time has come to exterminate the Serbs … there will be no Serbs under the Kosovo sun.”
Fortunately for the Serbs, the Axis powers lost the war. Kosovo was returned to Yugoslav rule and the Albanians were unable to carry out their “final solution” in Kosovo. But World War II left an indelible mark on Kosovo’s ethnic make-up. The Albanian population increased yet again and the Serbian population was further diminished. In 1948, when Yugoslavia took its first census after the war, it was revealed that Albanians were outnumbering Serbs by a ratio of more than 3 to 1 in Kosovo. Albanians had grown to 68.46% of the population while the Serbian population had shrunk to 23.6%.
On April 2, 1981, rioting erupted in Kosovo. Nine people were killed and scores injured as police broke up a mob of 10,000 ethnic Albanian demonstrators who were rampaging through the streets of Pristina smashing shop windows and destroying factory machines. The demonstrators, some armed with guns and firing at the police, pushed children in front of them to make it more difficult for security forces to disrupt the march.
The Yugoslav Government said the rioting was the “worst outbreak of separatist demands” since World War II, and imposed martial law to bring the situation back under control. Eyewitnesses reported that cars and trucks were overturned and burning in the center of Pristina while the army guarded public buildings and ambulances toured the streets to pick up the injured.
The separatist nature of the rioting was clear to one and all. When the New York Times reported on it their lead paragraph read: “Yugoslav tanks and troops took up positions today in a province in the south to put down anti-Government riots by Albanian separatists … the separatists want to unite with Albania, the small and selfisolated Communist country on the Adriatic.”
According accounts published in the Washington Post, the demonstrators were said to be chanting “Long Live Enver Hoxha” along with slogans demanding Kosovo’s unification with Albania.
Things flared up in Kosovo a month later when Pristina University was forced to close its doors amid student demonstrations demanding Kosovo’s unification with Albania.
In 1982 Becir Hoti, an ethnic Albanian official in Kosovo’s ruling Communist Party, explained the situation quite well. He told the New York Times: “The nationalists have a two-point platform. First to establish what they call an ethnically clean Albanian republic and then the merger with Albania to form a Greater Albania.”
This is significant because today’s Western narrative claims that the Kosovo-Albanian population wants to secede from Serbia because they allegedly suffered mistreatment under the rule of Slobodan Milosevic.
That thesis is exposed as fallacy because Slobodan Milosevic’s political career didn’t even begin until 1983, when he took a job as economic advisor to the mayor of Belgrade…Kosovo-Albanian separatism had already erupted violently in 1981 and 1982 — long before the public even knew who Slobodan Milosevic was.
There is another matter of particular significance in this excerpt. One early part of the Western narrative about Albanians vs. Serbs is that in the 1980s the Kosovo Albanian separatists were depicted as — and portrayed themselves for Western consumption as — freedom lovers protesting Communism and seeking to be “liberated” from it. This is what got the Albanians some early sympathy and support from the U.S.
Given that the Kosovo Albanians were looking to join the Albania of Enver Hoxha, when Hoxha ran a far more Stalinist regime than Yugoslavia’s, is yet another crack in the shattered facade of American credibility in the Balkans.