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Gathering Clouds - Compiled by Robert Elsie

Gathering Clouds - Compiled by Robert Elsie



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Published by Bardhylius
The roots of ethnic cleansing in Kosovo. Early twentieth-century documents.
The roots of ethnic cleansing in Kosovo. Early twentieth-century documents.

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Published by: Bardhylius on Mar 06, 2009
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Gathering Clouds
The roots of ethnic cleansing in Kosovo.Early twentieth-century documents
compiled, translated and edited byRobert Elsie
Table of ContentsPrefaceAlbania’s Golgotha. Indictment of the exterminators of the Albanian people by Leo Freundlich (1913)The situation of the Albanian minority in Yugoslavia Memorandum presented to the League of Nations by Gjon Bisaku, Shtjefën Kurti & Luigj Gashi (1930)The expulsion of the Albanians. Memorandum by Vaso
(1937)Draft on Albania by Ivo Andri
(1939)The minority problem in the new Yugoslavia. Memorandum by Vaso
PrefaceThe term ‘ethnic cleansing’ first became a household term for television viewers around the worldin the 1990s. The years of bloody fighting among Serbs, Croats and Bosnians, the latter then calledMuslims, in Bosnia, following the dissolution of Yugoslav federation, constituted a chilling example of a war based purely on ethnicity. The Bosnian Serbs, though not only the Serbs, regarded it as their sacredduty to cleanse territory which they believed to be theirs alone, of all other ethnic groups.The second, equally chilling example followed in the 1998-1999 war in Kosovo. Yet thecleansing of Kosovo, with massive human rights violations, indeed open pogroms, and the organized andwell-executed expulsion of half a million people from their homeland, did not take place by accident or independent of history.The present volume endeavours to throw some light on the historical dimension of ethniccleansing in Kosovo. It is a collection of five seminal texts, written from 1913 to 1944, which demonstratethat ethnic cleansing in Kosovo and elsewhere was a cornerstone of Serbian government policies fromthe time Serbia took over Kosovo from the Turks in 1913.The first report,
 Albania’s Golgotha,
dates indeed from 1913 at the time of the Balkan Wars.With the collapse of the Ottoman Empire, Albania itself had managed to attain independence, but Kosovowas left to Serbia, a tragic mistake for the majority of the inhabitants of the region and one which was tohaunt the Balkans throughout the twentieth century. This work, originally published in German, is acompilation of rare news reports which seeped out of Kosovo at the time. Its author, Leo Freundlich, wasa Jewish publicist and Austrian parliamentarian who represented the Social-Democratic party in Viennaaround the time of the First World War.The second report included in this collection, originally written in French and entitled
TheSituation of the Albanian Minority in Yugoslavia
, is a memorandum addressed to the League of Nationsin 1930 by three Catholic priests, Gjon Bisaku, Shtjefën Kurti, Luigj Gashi, who had been working inKosovo in the 1920s on behalf of the Sacred Congregation of the Propaganda Fide in Rome. Their desperate appeal shows that the situation of the Albanians in Kosovo had not much improved a generationafter the Serb takeover.The three concluding reports, by Serb authors, document the ideology of ethnic cleansing and itssupport among members of the Serbian intellectual community at the time.
The Expulsion of the Albanians,
of 1937 and
The Minority Problem in the New Yugoslavia
of 1944 are works of the notedBosnian Serb scholar and political figure Vaso
(1897-1990). As a student in 1914,
had participated in the assassination in Sarajevo of Archduke Ferdinand of Austria-Hungary, the eventwhich precipitated the First World War. Between the two wars, he was professor at the Faculty of Artsin Belgrade. A leading member of the Serbian Academy of Sciences and Art,
also held severalministerial portfolios after World War II. Among his writings is the monograph
 Istorija politi
ke misleu Srbiji XIX veka
, Belgrade 1958 (History of political thought in Serbia in the 19th century). Equally blunt in its ideology is the
 Draft on Albania
written in 1939 by the well-known Bosnian Serb short-storywriter and novelist Ivo Andri
(1892-1975). Andri
was educated in Zagreb, Graz and Vienna. After World War I, he joined the diplomatic service and served as Yugoslav ambassador to Berlin in 1940. The best known of his many prose works is:
The Bridge on the Drina
, London 1959. In 1961, he was awardedthe Nobel Prize for Literature.Before closing, a remark must be made on the use of Balkan place names. The texts presentedin this reader were taken or translated from a variety of sources and offer a variety of designations for thesame place names. Some authors use the Serbian-language terms for towns in Kosovo, names which arestill often found in English-language atlases and guidebooks. Other authors use the Albanian-language

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