Colonisation and Serbianisation of Kosova
(by Kosta Novakovic)
“By the end of April I happened to be in Durrës, when the Serbian
soldiers got on ships and left for Serbia. Albanian small boys saw off
the columns of Serbian soldiers, singing the popular national song:
“We aren't Serbs, nor Bulgarians,
We're courageous Albanians...”.
Instead of the word ‘Greeks” the boys put the word ‘Serbs'.
Serbian villagers who constituted the Serbian soldiery, got on ships
singing gladly, that finally ended the expedition against Albania, an expedition
that they did not understand why it took place. The scolding words of the
Albanian boys were not taken badly by Serbian soldiers at all, as they
knew quite well they deserved them, and they were quite a weak revenge
for their barbarism they had displayed to the Albanian population during
six months of Serbian occupation. But behind these Serbian peasants, tired
of the war and illnesses, it was the official Serbia that was leaving Albania
gnashing its teeth of anger and only because they were forced to by the
Ultimatum of the Great Powers and the guns opposite the port of Durrës
on the Austria-Hungarian and Italian ships. War operations were finished
some time ago. Crushing Albania by the Serbian military was an attempt
of Serbian imperialism to take the ports of Shkodra, Durrës and Shën-Gjin.
Even though Serbian imperialists were forced to draw back from Albania,
the conquest of Shkodra and North Albania is still one of the principal
goals of their imperialistic programme. In the Serbian book of military
instructions “What must I know as a soldier?”, appreciated and praised
by the Ministry of War by decree I.P., No. 1161, on 23 August, 1912, it
reads, “All our provinces have not yet been united in our kingdom,... Shkodra,
and part of North Albania...” The rural Serbia did not exist any more.
It lost itself in several tens of years, and in 1912 it disappeared completely.
Instead of it, an imperialist Serbia, pan-Serbian, showed up, with its
pan-Serbian dynasty and pan-Serbian militarism. This new imperialism, crude,
brutal, merciless, dreams of the return of King Duzan's kingdom, and tries
to reach within next ten years the imperialist powers that have existed
for hundreds of years. The Serbian farmer has been a blind tool of pan-Serbian
imperialism, flesh for a gun, an animal without its tail - as the Serbian
officers called him - that was forced under the cudgel of the officers
to attack with bayonets... and burn and harass the occupied regions.
Serbian imperialist government did not leave anything undone to the
Albanians during the occupation. It ordered the rope to rise in dozen of
regions of Albania. It massacred, killed and plundered the poor population.
It bothered only the poor. The rich, beys, landowners and their property
were protected by soldiers, so that farmers could not rise up, and it shared
the land with beys and agas...
The first victims of Serbian imperialism were Macedonia and Kosova.
However, pan-Serbian imperialists, although forced by the more powerful
imperialists to draw back from the Albanian coast, have kept the best and
more fertile place of Albania: Kosova. We call Kosova the whole region
inhabited by Albanians: Kosova, Metohia and the south part of the old Sanjak
to Novi Pazar. More than 500,000 Albanians became slaves of a new ruler.
Besides them, there are aditional 150-200 thousand Albanians in Macedonia.
That is, there are altogether 650-700 thousand Albanians in Yugoslavia.
Serbianisation of Kosova is the wildest example of a nation in the
time of the Balkan War and the Second World War. The wildest terroristic
and inquisition methods that were used in Kosova have not been seen either
in Eastern Ukraine, or in Bjelorussia that are under Poland, or in Besarabia
and Dobrudza that are under Rumania... Only Macedonia can be close to Kosova
from this aspect.
When Serbian imperialists invaded Kosova, they informed the world that
they would return again their historical rights they had in 1389 (before
the battle of Kosova). Basing themselves on these ‘historical rights',
either Italy, or France, or Greece, or Turkey could rise and request to
get half of Europe, as they had once these regions in their hands. Furthermore,
France could request a part of Russia, as Napoleon went once to Moscow
But the ‘historical rights' of Serbia on Kosova are still stranger.
When the Turkish military in the middle ages arrived to the borders of
Austria, the Serbian patriarch Cernojevic and Serbian landowners went on
their expense to fight to the benefit of Austria and to defend the rivers
of the Danube and Sava. The landowner patriarch had taken with him 170,000
Serbian families from Kosova, mostly farmers and settled them on the land
given Austria in Banat and Backa. The place in Kosova that had remained
vacant, was gradually occupied by the Albanians that had lived there around,
and together with a small number of the Serbs that had remained they worked
out the land and made it fertile again! Now after so many hundred years,
pan-Serbian imperialists claim that they have their ‘historical rights',
both in Backa and Banat where the Serbs of Kosova live, and also in Kosova,
which they left that time. This is called historical right! On the basis
of such ‘historical rights, Serbian imperialists want to take ‘pan-Serbian
Kosova' without Serbs. Kosova is a merely Albanian region, and has only
10 to 15% Serbs settled there in older times.
The first means that Serbian imperialists put in effect were medieval
military means, or means of colonial invaders: extermination of population,
military operations, disarmament of population, crushing the armed resistance,
In 1912 and 1913, 120,000 Albanians were exterminated - men, women,
boys, old men and women, children - hundreds of villages were shot by heavy
guns, a large number of them were burned down, more in Kosova and less
It is to observe that the representative of Russian imperialist tsarist
politics, minister of Russia in Belgrade, Hartvig, blessed this policy
of extermination that was carried out by Belgrade. The Russian Orthodox
Tsar extended his assistance to the Orthodox Serbian brother, king Petar
and his son Aleksandar, to exterminate a whole people and expand the Orthodox
religion in the Balkans. At least 50,000 Albanians were forced to emigrate
to Turkey and Albania and become immigrants, in order to save their lives.
The extermination of the Albanians rarefied Albanian masses in Kosova
to a certain degree, but it could not change the Albanian character that
Kosova has had. The intention to exterminate the Albanians in Kosova was
to settle Serbs instead of them, to colonise Kosova by Serbs, serbisianation
of Kosova. Nevertheless, until the end of 1912, owing to great resistance
on the part of the Albanians, colonisation made a relatively slow progress.
Only a small number of Serbs were settled in the region of Kosova in the
Here we shall provide some official statistics of Serbian government,
that indicate the Albanian character of Kosova. Out of 25,407 rural houses,
only 6,311, i.e., only 17% were Serbs in the province of Kosova in 1919.
In Kaçanik, there were totally 2.5% Serbs in 1924, the rest were
Albanians. In the district of Prizren, there were 17% Serbs in 1921. This
proportion was similar in the districts of Prishtina, Mitrovica, Gjilan,
Peja, and Gjakova, and in some other districts the proportion of the Serbs
was even smaller. In 1921, there were mostly 17% Serbs in whole Kosova.
The Albanian national resistance was put up in two ways: in the legal way,
by the Muslim organisation Cemiyet, and in the revolutionary way, by fighting
with arms by Albanian national detachments that are called ‘kaçakë'
(outlaws). We shall speak of Cemiyet later. The Serbian government attempted
to present Albanian ‘kaçaks' as robbers and put them out of the
law. Every governmental service and every Serbian fascist has the right
to kill them. ‘Kaçaks' in fact are not robbers at all, but they
are good Albanian guerrillas. There are people that can sacrifice everything,
their houses, property and goods, and go to mountains, form guerrilla detachments
and fight against the misdeeds and barbarisms of Serbian military and police.
‘Kaçaks' believe they can dislodge the Serbian regime from Kosova
in that way.
These national warriors have fought a great fight, a fight that ought
to be admired, against very big forces of Serbian gendarmerie and military.
The names of Bajram Curri, Azem Bejta and hundreds of other brave men that
have fallen at that war, have been carved in the hearts of the Albanians
In 1920 more than 10,000 ‘kaçaks' were on the mountains of Kosova.
There were 2,000 of them in Llab only. In 1920, in the time of the uprising
of Llab, the Serbian military, under the command of colonel Radovan Rodovic,
bombarded the big Albanian village of Prapashtica, and all the houses were
Similar to Llab, Albanian national movements were organised in many
other regions of Kosova, and were crushed by great Serbian forces in 1919
and 1924. We can mention here the movements of Plava, Gucia, Rugova in
1919, of Prishtina in 1921, Drenica in 1923, Mitrovica in 1924 and again
of Drenica in 1924. By quelling these uprisings, the Serbian military killed
National resistance in this way was limited to the fights of detachments
of ‘kaçaks'. According to an official report of Serbian government,
there were 1,200 organised ‘kaçaks' in detachments in 1924. In 1927,
the Serbian police published a report: 310 Albanian ‘kaçaks' were
killed, 175 caught as prisoners and 626 surrendered.
In 1927, the movement of ‘kaçaks' ceased to act, but the spirit
of ‘kaçaks' lives in every village and will never cease to exist
until Kosova is free. The pan-Serbian regime knows this quite well. That
is why it has decided to denationalise Kosova totally, not only by crushing
wildly the Albanian movement, but also by grabbing their land and
colonising Kosova by Serbs. I am going to discuss this matter in the next
issue of Liria Kombëtare.”
by KIC (Kosova Information Center), ©Copyright KIC