What does the term Albanian Golgotha ​​mean

Texts and documents on Albanian history

1913
Leo Freundlich:
Albania's Golgotha:
Indictments against the exterminators
of the Albanian people

The little book 'Albania's Golgotha' is essentially a compilation of press reports from Kosova during the Balkan Wars, 1912-1913. The Ottoman Empire, which ruled Kosova for five hundred years, was about to break up and disintegrate. During the armed conflicts that took place across the Balkans, Serbian troops attacked Kosova and occupied it for Serbia. In doing so, they tried - with dire consequences - to purge it of its native, Albanian-speaking population.







Leo friendly

The author of this moving work, Leo Freundlich (1875-1953), was a politician and publicist from Vienna. It is known that Freundlich was born into a wealthy family of manufacturers of Jewish origin in Bielsko-Biala in southern Poland - at that time part of the Austro-Hungarian Empire - and developed a passion for the ideals of socialism very early on. In the Czech town of Aussig (Ústi nad Labem) he worked as a left-wing editor, where he met his wife, Emmy Kögler, daughter of the city's deceased mayor. The couple married in Gretna Green, Scotland, in 1900 and then settled in Mährisch-Schönberg (Šumperk), which Leo represented in the Imperial Council in 1907. Emmy and Leo Freundlich, both very politically active, took part in the founding of the consumer association and gave public lectures to arouse support for socialism. Leo Freundlich became the proud publisher of the successful, left-wing newspaper 'Volkswacht', in which his attacks against the Catholic Church repeatedly brought him difficulties and also once three weeks of "strict arrest". In 1910 the newspaper and local consumption got into financial difficulties, and after the defeat of the German socialists in Northern Bohemia he had to leave the Reichsrat in 1910. The marriage doesn't seem to have coped with that. Together with their two daughters Hertha (1901-1979) and Gertrud (1902-1985), Emmy Freundlich (1878-1948) went to Meran and got a divorce. After that, the couple did not have any contact with each other, although Leo continued to visit his children. With her close ties to the leading social democrats around Karl Renner and to international cooperative members in Vienna, Emmy Freundlich became a well-known publicist and politician in the Austrian cooperative movement. From 1921-1948 she was president of the international cooperative women's guild.

After the publication of 'Albania's Golgotha' in 1913, Leo Freundlich served in the First World War as a soldier in the Austro-Hungarian army in Albania. After acquaintance with Ahmet Zogu (1895-1961) in Vienna, who later had himself appointed King of the Albanians (1928-1939), Freundlich entered his service and acted as honorary consul of the Kingdom of Albanians in the Austrian capital. In this capacity he helped in the 1930s to promote trade relations between Albania and the German Empire. It is reported that he greeted the Hitler salute he hated with an ironic "Heil Zogu" and was amused by the confusion of his German interlocutors, who believed that this was a generally valid form of greeting in Albania.







Leo Freundlich,
1930s

When life became unbearable for the Jews in Vienna, Freundlich moved to Switzerland, where he headed the Albanian mission to the League of Nations in Geneva. In 1939 his daughters also fled Vienna and were taken in by their father. Leo Freundlich, who married a second time, stayed in Geneva during the Second World War, where he lived impoverished and received financial support from his daughters from London and later from America.

After the Second World War and the Communist seizure of power in Albania, we still know that Freundlich wrote a letter to the then Albanian Prime Minister Koçi Xoxe (1917-1949) with the - probably rejected - request to be appointed honorary consul in Vienna again.

 

 

On the eastern bank of the Adriatic, barely three days' journey from Vienna, lives an autochthonous people who have fought for centuries against enemies and oppressors of all kinds for their freedom and independence: the Albanians: Through all the struggles and all historical upheavals, this people has preserved its originality ; Neither the migration of peoples nor the struggles with Serbs, Turks and other conquerors and oppressors were able to prevent the Albanians from keeping their peculiarities pure and unadulterated in race and language, in customs and manners.

The history of this nation is an unbroken chain of bloodiest battles against violent oppressors. But even the most bloody atrocities were incapable of exterminating this vigorous race. And although their oppressors in Albania nipped in the bud any possibility of cultural development, the intellectual life of the Albanians has developed strongly. These people gave the Turkish Empire the most outstanding generals and statesmen, the best judges of the Ottoman Empire are Albanians, just as the most outstanding works of Turkish literature were created by Albanians. Almost all merchants in Montenegro come from this nation, as well as the most capable traders in many of the larger cities of Romania. In Italy the Albanians play an important role in all areas; Among other things, Crispi was one of them. Greece's most capable soldiers are of Albanian tribe.

In the great upheaval caused by the Balkan War, the age-old dream of freedom and independence of this people is now finally to become a reality: the great European powers have decided to give Albania state autonomy.

But the Serbian desire for conquest has found a method to destroy this beautiful dream of a brave and freedom-loving people shortly before its realization. The Serbian troops invaded Albania with murder and fire. If Albania cannot be conquered, the Albanians should be exterminated - that is the solution!

 

* * *

On October 18, 1912, King Peter of Serbia issued his manifesto "To the Serbian People", in which he said among other things:

 

"The Turkish governments have shown a lack of understanding of their duties towards their citizens and have been deaf to all complaints and ideas. It got to the point where nobody was satisfied with the situation in European Turkey. It became the Serbs, the Greeks and also unbearable for the Albanians.

Therefore, in God's name, I have commanded my brave army to go into holy struggle for the freedom of our brothers and for a better life.

In Old Serbia, my army will meet Christian and Muslim Serbs as well, who are just as dear to us, and next to them also Christian and Muslim Albanians, with whom our people have always shared joys and sorrows for thirteen hundred years. We bring all of them freedom, brotherhood and equality. "

 

Six months have passed since this solemn manifesto, and how have the Serbs kept their king's word?

Thousands and thousands of murdered and tortured to death men, women, old people and children, burned and looted villages, desecrated women and girls, a devastated, plundered, ravaged and ravaged country provide the answer to this question.

The Serbs did not come to Albania as liberators, as murderers of the Albanians. At the London Ambassadors Union, the suggestion was made to determine the borders of Albania according to national or denominational statistics, which a commission would have to collect on the spot. The Serbs hurried to prepare these statistics with machine guns, shotguns and bayonets. You have committed atrocities that are indescribable. The indignation and horror at these misdeeds are surpassed by the deep feeling of oppression that such horrific misdeeds are possible in Europe, not far from great cultural centers, in the twentieth century. And this feeling is made even more difficult by the fact that, despite the fact that reporters from all nations have been telling us about this horrific deed for months, despite Pierre Loti throwing his flaming accusation into the world, nothing is being done to put an end to this horrific murder.

A brave people full of character will be crucified before the whole world, and Europe, Christian, civilized Europe, is silent about it!

Tens of thousands of defenseless people are slaughtered, women are violated, old people and children are strangled, hundreds of villages burned down, priests slaughtered.

And Europe is silent!

Serbia and Montenegro have set out to conquer foreign lands. But in the country there is a freedom-loving, brave people whose necks, despite centuries of bondage, have not yet got used to the yoke of others. So the solution was given out quite openly: The Albanians must be exterminated!

A wild, dehumanized Soldateska made this solution the truth in the most terrible way.

Countless villages are razed to the ground, countless people are slaughtered in animal cruelty. Where the industriousness of generations has created a modest home for the poor Albanians, there are piles of smoking ruins; a whole people are bleeding on the cross - and Europe is silent!

 

* * *

The task of this book is to stir the conscience of the European public. The reports collected here are only a fraction of the material available. More than what they contain is known to the European governments through official consular reports and publications in the major press.

So far the governments have remained silent.

But now every further silence is synonymous with complicity.

The powers that be must give the raging barbarians a categorical "Hands off!" to call out. The cruel extermination procession in Albania must be put to an end as soon as possible. And an international commission of inquiry must be set up to investigate the terrible charges against the Serbian government.

Above all, the Serbian-Montenegrin invasion troops must leave the Albanian territories immediately and the Greek blockade, which is cutting off all food supplies to Albania, must be lifted.

In the name of humanity, in the name of civilization, in the name of the unhappy Albanian people, I appeal to the governments of the great powers, I appeal to the entire European public.

I turn to the public in England, to that nation which at the time of the Armenian atrocities so manfully raised its voice for the oppressed.

I appeal to the public in France, France, which has so often shown that it knows how to protect humanity and human rights.

An unhappy people who have to endure a terrible fate calls for help from their Golgotha.

Will Europe hear his call?

 

Vienna, on Easter Sunday 1913
Leo friendly

The Albanians must be exterminated!

In connection with the news that 300 Albanian Ljumese people who were found unarmed were shot without trial in Prizrend, writes the Frankfurter Zeitung: In the current case, regular Serbian military appears to have caused the bloodbath. But even where the worst slaughter was left to the irregular auxiliary troops, these have undoubtedly acted with complete tolerance and according to the will of the Serbian authorities. At the beginning of the war, the responsible Serbian authorities openly declared to ourselves: "We will exterminate the Albanians." Now that this systematic policy of extermination is being continued unchanged against all European protests, it seems to us our duty to ruthlessly expose the intentions of the gentlemen in Belgrade. Gentlemen will indignantly deny knowing that journalistic propriety prevents us from naming them. But it goes without saying that we would not make such a communication if we could not absolutely hold on to it. After all, the facts speak louder here than the most frank confessions could. Since Serbian troops crossed the border last autumn and occupied areas inhabited by Albanians, there has been one bloodbath after another.

 

A war of extermination

Professor Schiemann wrote in one of the Kreuzzeitung published article: In spite of the strict censorship of the allied Balkan states and in spite of the pressure that is exerted on the war correspondents, the private letters from the theater of war that arrive here, in which the warfare of the Serbs and Greeks is described, gradually give an extraordinarily sad picture. The Serbs, it says in the article, are waging a war of extermination against the Albanian nation, which they would like to destroy to the roots.

Daily Chronicle reported on November 12, 1912 that it was a fact that thousands of Arnauts were massacred by the Serbs. In 2000 near Üsküb and not far from Prizrend 5000 Mohammedan Arnauts were slaughtered. Many villages have been set on fire by the Serbs and the residents slaughtered. During the house searches for weapons, Albanians were simply killed, even if no weapons were found in their houses. The Serbs declared quite openly that the Muslim Albanians had to be exterminated, that this would be the most effective means of pacifying the country.

The war correspondent of the Roman Messaggero reports terrible Serbian slaughter of the Albanians in Vilayet Kossowo. As a result of resistance from the Albanians, the villages of Ferisovic, Negotin, Lipian Babus and others were completely destroyed and most of the residents were killed. A Catholic archpriest said that there had been an angry fighting for Ferisovic for three days, and that after the conquest, the Serbian commander asked the refugees to calmly return and hand over their weapons. After that happened, three or four hundred people were killed. Only half a dozen Muslim families remained in all of Ferisovic. The poorer Serbian families quickly settled in the homes of the wealthy refugees.

The Parisians Humanité publishes an official report made to a consulate in Salonichi. The consulate report describes the activities of the Serbs in Albania: looting, destruction, massacres. The number of Albanian villages that have been completely or partially systematically destroyed by the Serbs is thirty-one. The gangs led by Kristo von Kumanovo, Ssiro Diliow von Üsküb, Alexandrowos von Ishtip and others plundered all villages in the districts of Kratowo and Kochana, set them on fire and slaughtered the entire Muslim population. All Mohammedans were massacred in Schujowo and Mescheli, and another two hundred in Vétreni. Sixty Turks were locked up in a mosque in Bodganitza. Afterwards they were let out and knocked down one by one. In the Kawadar district, thirty-four of the ninety-eight villages were destroyed. The Turks, who believed they were partly saved by a ransom paid to one gang, were killed by another gang. In Drenewo all residents were killed. Between this place and Palikura a number of graves with heads protruding have been found. You are among those tortured who were buried alive! Manhunts.

 

Manhunts

The war correspondent for the Danish newspaper RigetFritz Magnussen, an otherwise Serb-friendly man, describes the actions of the Serbs among the Arnautical population in a telegram that he sent from Üsküb to Semlin by special courier in order to escape strict censorship:

 

"The Serbian warfare in Macedonia has taken on the character of a horrific massacre of the arnautical population, the army is waging a horrible war of extermination. According to statements by the officers and soldiers, 300 arnauts have been murdered between Kumanovo and Üsküb and 5000 arnauts near Pristina. The arnautical villages are surrounded and set on fire, whereupon the inhabitants are chased out of their houses and shot down like rats. The Serbian military speaks of this manhunt in a very boastful way.

The conditions in Üsküb are quite appalling.A ruthless house check is ordered with the Arnauts, and if something is found that looks like a weapon, they are gunned down on the spot. It is extremely unsafe on the streets as there is constant shooting out of and into the houses.

Yesterday 36 Arnauts were sentenced to death by a court martial and shot on the spot. Not a day goes by without gruesome murders of the Arnauts. The river further up is filled with corpses. Hunting expeditions to the surrounding villages are organized every day. Yesterday a Serbian officer invited me to take part in such a hunt, at the same time boasting that he had personally murdered nine Arnauts the day before. "

 

* * *

From a personality whose name and outstanding position must appear as a guarantee for the authenticity of their communications for every conscientious sheet of paper, the Reichspost a dossier on the terrible atrocities perpetrated by Serbian gangs and regular troops in Albania.

This dossier contains the following reports:

 

"The city of Üsküb and its surroundings are witnesses of the inhumanities that were committed against the Albanians. For days I saw the driven hunts that were organized by Serbian armed gangs and also regular troops to Albanians; for three days I saw the flames of the burning villages at night The sky was reddened; five villages in the immediate vicinity of Üsküb lay in ruins even after this period of horror, their population was almost without exception killed, although the Albanians had not opposed the invading Serbs in the vicinity of Üsküb. Behind the fortress of Üsküb There is a rocky gorge that is still filled with the corpses of more than a hundred victims of this persecution. 80 Albanians are also in the gorge of Vistala Voda near the town of Üsküb. Shortly after moving in, a reliable informant, with whom I myself, visited spoke to Üsküb hospital and found b 132 Albanian wounded on his first visit; The next day he only met 80 of them and a few days later only 30 more. The treatment that was given to the wounded Albanians mocked all humanity, they were refused food and drink, so that some of the wounded, according to the testimony of witnesses died of inadequate food in hospital. Many corpses, and, as the population claims, the bodies of the wounded with Laben still in them, were thrown into the Vardar, which washed up twenty to thirty corpses a day below the city. Several Serbian Komitatschi lived in my hotel in Usküb, and they spoke gloriously about their robbery and manhunts in the house, especially when the wine had loosened their tongues. One evening they shot two Albanians in the street in Üsküb who were unarmed and were walking harmlessly on their way. The two murderers, who appeared at the hotel shortly after the crime and got drunk there, were not molested by the military authorities, even though everyone in town knew them to be the perpetrators. A bloody scene occurred at the Vardar Bridge in the city. Here three Albanians who wanted to go into the city to do some shopping were attacked by Serbian soldiers and killed without further ado, without trial or interrogation. Since the soldiers seemed to have trouble digging graves because the earth was frozen, many of the dead were simply thrown into cisterns. Your informant counted 38 cisterns in the Üsküb area that were filled with Albanian corpses. - National persecution is combined with banditry. I myself witnessed how a Serbian soldier who showed two watches and 150 Turkish pounds, which he had already looted when he saw a well-dressed Albanian walking past, declared with sincere regret in Üsküb: "It's a shame that so many people are here ! Otherwise I would give him a bullet! " The Albanese are considered fair game, which no law or jurisdiction protects. Quite a few riots were committed while intoxicated, however, and the drunken gangs of soldiers who wandered about and broke into houses were the most terrible.

Since I have a complete command of Serbian, Serbian officers and soldiers often took me for a connational and so a Serbian soldier told me in a boastful tone of how they stormed an Albanian town near Kumanovo: "Many of the residents who were no longer able to escape, They were hiding in the attics of their houses. We smoked them out and when the huts were on fire they would come screaming and cursing and whimpering for mercy like moles from their corridors. We shot them at the doors; only with the children we saved them Bullets and did it with bayonets. We exterminated the village because a house that had the white flag had been shot out of. " - The military authorities have nowhere resisted these bloodbaths, many officers were involved in the atrocities and there was not a Serbs who did not act in the conviction that they were doing a meritorious work wanted by their superiors amid these inhuman acts. "

 

* * *

In Kalkandele, 85 Albanians, just as they were found, were gunned down in their houses and the village was plundered without any armed resistance having preceded them. The outrages that were committed against women and girls, even against twelve-year-old children, cannot be described; Perhaps it was the height of horror that soldiers, at gunpoints, forced fathers and husbands to witness and shine when the gangs in the houses committed their crimes against the daughters and wives of the victims. In Gostivar, the city saved itself by buying itself out of the Serbian commandant for 200 Turkish pounds. Only 6 Albanians were shot here.

In Ferisovic, in contrast to the places mentioned above, there was an organized armed resistance by the Albanians. It was fought here for 24 hours; Here it happened that an Albanian woman, who had been killed by her husband, seized his rifle and shot five Serbs before she was killed herself. More than 1200 Albanians fell victim to the carnage in Ferizovic. Today the city is almost without a population. Only three Albanian Mohammedans who are over 15 years old live here. In Gillane, too, where the Albanians did not defend themselves, almost the entire population fell by fire and sword. Only a few refugees remained as survivors, and only the ruins tell of the horrors of the downfall of Gillane.

In Pristina, the Serbian occupation ruled even more bloody. The Albanians estimate the number of their dead here at 5,000. In honor of justice it must be said that there was indeed a serious abuse of the parliamentary flag; Here, after the white flag had already been shown, Turkish officers suddenly opened fire on the Serbian troops, apparently with the intention of thwarting the Albanian armistice negotiations. Hundreds of Albanian families atoned for this act with their extermination up to the youngest child in the cradle.

In the village of Leskovac near Ferisovic, eight unarmed Albanians were found by Serbian soldiers and immediately fusilized.

 

* * *

The city of Prizrend does not offer any resistance to the invasion of the Serbs and yet the blood flowed in rivers here too, so that today Prizrend is the most heavily afflicted city in Albania after Pristina. The local population sadly calls her the "Queen of Death". This is where the Serbian gangs lived worst. They penetrated the houses, knocked down whatever came in their way, regardless of age and gender. The dead remained unburied in the streets for days because the Serbian victors were otherwise busy and the surviving Albanian population was not allowed to venture out of their homes. The raids renewed themselves in the city and the surrounding area every night. About 400 Albanians fell in the first days after the invasion of the Serbs. Nevertheless, the commandant General Jankovic forced the notables and tribal leaders of Prizrend, revolver in hand, to sign a rally of thanks to King Peter for the "liberation by the Serbian army". When the Serbian troops marched westwards and were unable to find horses to transport their loads, 200 Albanians were requisitioned, who were loaded with loads of 50 and 60 kilograms, and then spent seven hours during the night on bad roads for no reason to drift far into the Ljuma area. When the unhappy band reached their goal, completely broken and in a terrible state as a result of the superhuman exhaustion and the ill-treatment they had suffered, even the Serbian commander there expressed his disapproval of this type of process.

A woman from Fandi, named Dila, came to Prizrend with her son, another relative, and two men from the village of Gjugja to do some shopping for her daughter's outfit. Before she left Prizrend, she applied for a permit for herself and her companion at General Jankovic's headquarters so that she could pass through the Serbian posts without being bothered. She got the passport. When the five people arrived in Suni, about hours from Prizrend, the people were stripped of their property, the four men tied and thrown into a pit. The soldiers then shot the unfortunate from the edge of the pit. The desperate mother who witnessed this scene screamed for her son and when she saw that he was no longer agitated and killed, she threw herself on her knees in front of the soldiers and begged them to kill them too. They were tied to a tree and when officers came up to the noise of the gunfire, the soldiers showed a broken piece of bread, which they had taken from the woman and into which they had pressed two Mauser cartridges, and showed this as evidence that the men in the bread were using ammunition tried to smuggle. The officers then let her go on. In the face of the pit in which her shot son lay, the unhappy woman remained tied to the tree without interruption from Monday afternoon to Wednesday; On Wednesday, those who were almost completely exhausted from hunger and the cold of the late autumn nights were driven back to Prizrend, where they arrived on Wednesday night. There she was locked up again and taken to the headquarters the next day. Despite the fact that General Jankovic had to recognize that an innocent woman was standing before him, the pitiable woman was not yet released, but instead imprisoned in the house of the Serbian bishop until the next day. Only then was she handed over to the Catholics and taken to church, where the unfortunate woman was fed.

In Prizrend lived the baker Gioni i Prek Palit, who had to deliver bread for the Serbian troops. One day a supplies sergeant came to him and, as he wanted to come back soon, left his rifle hanging on him. Some soldiers who happened to enter the bakery afterwards saw the rifle and took the baker prisoner because he had violated the gun ban. He was immediately brought before the court martial and shot.

When the baker's brother, Gini, heard of the arrest, he immediately ran to the sergeant and led him to the field gendarmerie, where the latter also testified that the Mauser rifle was his, which he left with the baker for only a short time; he also correctly gave the number that the rifle was carrying and that it was recognizable as his. Gini and the Serbian witness were beaten away. Gini was unable to find out anything about his arrested brother. After ten days, the unhappy mother of the man who was shot, who was looking day and night for her son, whom she believed was still alive, found the body a quarter of an hour outside the city. She asked for the body to be given to her so that she could give it a Christian burial. She was denied it. Thereupon the Catholic pastor appeared before the commandant and, in the name of freedom of religion, asked for permission to bury the light ones in the Catholic cemetery. He was denied this and only allowed to bury the body where it was.

Officers also took part in the atrocities and it happened in Prizrend that a soldier, who in vain asked for shoes or opanks from his clothing officer, was instructed by an officer to take the next Albanian, whom he saw good opanks, from. what he needed - why did he have a rifle! And the officer pointed to his opanks, which he had acquired that way.

 

* * *

In the area around Prizrend, three Albanian villages were completely destroyed, and thirty community representatives from the area were killed. They were accused of being "Austrian-minded". In one of these communities it happened that soldiers drove the Albanian women out of their houses, tied them together and forced them to dance in a row. Then they opened rifle fire at the bound and enjoyed themselves as one of the defenseless victims collapsed bleeding after the other.

When General Jankovic was informed that the tribe of the Ljumese were preparing to obstruct the march of the Serbian troops against the Adriatic, he ordered them to proceed with ruthless severity. In the Ljuma area, 27 villages were completely destroyed and the population was killed right down to the children. It was here that the most terrible atrocities known from the Serbian war of extermination against the Albanians took place. Here it literally happened that women and children were wrapped in straw and burned in front of their bound husbands and fathers. Women who were in fortunate circumstances were horribly mangled and the unborn child was bayonet. My informant, a highly respectable, thoroughly reliable man, added to his report: "All of this is unthinkable and yet true!" 400 men from Ljuma who surrendered voluntarily were taken to Prizrend and shot in groups of 40 to 60 daily. Similar executions take place here every day. Hundreds of bodies are still lying unburied in the Prizrend area. Djakova is also almost completely destroyed and its population decimated.

60 Albanians were killed in Tertenik, 32 in Smira, 20 in Ferban, 19 in Ljubista, and in Kameno Glava, which counted among 50 families, all men were killed without exception. In the latter place the men were forced to stand, then salute militarily, then they were bound and shot without a court martial. There are also few survivors in Presevo.

In Vilayet Kosovo, it is estimated that the number of Albanians killed was 25,000, although this number should not be described as exaggerated.

 

* * *

The Albanian correspondence reports on March 20, 1913: We receive the following report from Üsküb from a reliable Albanian source: In the vicinity of Üsküb, Serbian troops and Komitatschis commit blatant atrocities against the population of the areas they occupy. In local European circles, the following, most reliably established incidents in particular aroused horror: At the end of February, the Serbian military came to the village of Shashare. After all the men and boys in the village were removed, the soldiers raped the women and girls in the village. The same shameful practice was practiced by Serbian soldiers in the village of Letnica. It should be emphasized that both Shashare and Letnica have a pure Slavonic and Catholic population. The nameless wilderness of the Serbian troops does not even stop at Christian tribal comrades. Schaschare is a settlement of over a hundred families.

The overgrown troops live in other regions even more terribly. In twenty-nine villages of Kara Dag, 280 homesteads were burned down by Muslim Albanians and any male residents who did not escape in time fell under the bullets and bayonets of the soldiers. Like the Huns, the Serbs rage from village to village. The villages of Trstenik, Senica, Vrban, Ljubista and Giulekar were the scene of a horrific blood bath. 238 men were mercilessly butchered here. In Sefer, an old woman was burned alive with her Catholic servant. The misery of the population is immeasurable. In the village of Ljubista, the misery has risen to the point that Muslim Albanian women sell themselves to surviving Mohammedans for 400 piastres as property and to a certain extent as slaves. In this village the Serbs burned a man, an old woman and two children alive. In Giulekar, a pregnant woman's belly was slit open with a bayonet and her womb was torn out. In Presta, a Muslim woman whose husband had been taken away shot five Serb soldiers.The Serbs then set the entire village - 90 farmsteads - on fire and let it go up in flames.

The Serbs devastate entire areas and slaughter the inhabitants. Their anger is directed equally against Muslims and Catholics. The surviving population is in nameless misery and despair.

In a report by German Volksblatt of February 19, 1913 it says: "Only a few villages and towns (of the areas they occupy) are to be regarded as completely spared by the Serbs and there are only too many Albanians who have to avenge the death of their wives and children. When the order was given in the cities to hand over the weapons immediately, there were very, very few who obeyed this order; most of them hid the weapons in the house or they fled with them, because the Albanese would rather separate himself from his whole Good as from his rifle. To back up the order, patrols were sent into the houses to search the houses and woe to him who found weapons. Just a few hours later the court-martial had decided on him. A glaring case It took place in Tirana. Serbian soldiers came to a local merchant and took all sorts of things. When it came to paying, there was no money, which is why a soldier unceremoniously left his rifle to the merchant as a pledge. Later, afraid of the act, the soldier went to the commandant concerned and reported that the merchant had taken his rifle from him. Soon afterwards a patrol came to see the Albanian, found the rifle with him, brought it to the court martial and despite his assurances that I had only taken the rifle as a deposit, he was shot.

An Albanian in the village of Zala north of Kruja shot a Serb who had penetrated his hut and attacked his wife and fled. When the Serbs later came to the scene and could no longer find the perpetrator, all residents, over 100 people, including women and children, were murdered and the village set on fire - unfortunately this is a sad truth. "

 

* * *

Serbian bloodlust

The special correspondent of the Daily Telegraph reports: "All terrible persecutions in world history are overtaken by the terrible actions of General Jankovic's troops. During their march through Albania, the Serbs not only murdered and executed the armed Albanians in a treacherous manner; in their terrible ferocity they murdered defenseless people, old people and women , Children and even infants on their mothers' breasts.

In their victorious drunkenness, the Serbian officers issued the slogan that the most effective way of pacifying Albania would be the complete extermination of the Albanians. They slaughtered around 3,000 people between Kumanovo and Üsküb; near Prishtina alone, 5,000 Albanians fell under Serbian pranks. They did not die in an honest battle, but in a series of horrific murders, and the Serbian soldiers invented new atrocity methods to quench their lust for blood. Houses in several villages were set on fire and the unfortunate residents were knocked down like rats as they tried to escape from the flames. The men were killed in front of their wives and children, then the unfortunate mothers were forced to watch the spectacle of their children being massacred and literally cut to pieces.

Executions were the daily entertainment of the Serbian soldiers. All residents in whose houses weapons were found were executed (it is well known that Albanians carry weapons. The editor.). They were shot or hung up. There were up to 36 executions in one day. It is noteworthy that the Serbian nationalists living in Hungary are outraged by the massacres in Albania. A former secretary to the Serbian Prime Minister, Pasic, Mr Tomic, says that on his journey from Prizrend to Ipek he only saw burned villages on both sides of the road, which had been razed to the ground.

The paths were littered with gallows on which the bodies of Albanians were hanging. Diakowitza street looked like a "gallows boulevard".

Even papers appearing in Belgrade spoke without shame of the terrible atrocities committed by the Serbs. When Colonel Osbic's regiment marched into Prizrend, he called out to his people. "Kill!" When this order was given, the Belgrade newspapers say that "the Serbian soldiers threw themselves into their houses and killed every creature that fell into their hands".

Daily Telegraph then reports after a guaranteed account by an Albanian notable: Anyone who denounces an Albanian to the Serbs is certain that he will be executed. There were people who owed money to Muslim Albanians. They went and denounced their creditors to the Serbs as traitors. The unfortunate Albanians were immediately hanged and the show-off found the means to buy his victim's house and field at a ridiculous price.

In Üsküb, unarmed Albanians were simply killed by the Serbian officers. If only one hunting knife was found in a house, its owner would be killed.

In Ferisowitsch, the Serbian commanding officer had invited the refugees to return and hand over the weapons. But when more than four hundred did that, they were murdered. In all of Ferisovich, barely a dozen Muslim families were left alive. The war correspondent of the Messaggero confirms this description.

In Pana the Serbs killed their prisoners, in Varos and Prishtina the population was literally decimated. The Serbian officers themselves said they were "on the hunt" for Albanians, and one Serbian officer boasted of killing nine Albanians in one day with his own hands.

A doctor from the "Red Cross" said according to the same source: Everywhere in Albania the Serbs murdered without mercy. Neither women nor children nor old people were spared. I saw burning villages in old Serbia every day. At Kratons, General Stefanovic had hundreds of prisoners grouped into two limbs and slammed down with machine guns. General Zivkovic had 850 Albanian notables killed near Sienitza because they had shown resistance.

The Albanian correspondence reports from Trieste on March 12th: At the Albanian Congress, a letter from Kroja near Durazzo was read out. J. is dated and in which it, inter alia. means: The whole building and the villa Mashar-Beys and Fuad-Beys (note: both take part in the congress) burned down. Ali Lam Osmani's brother in Vignola near Kruja was buried alive up to the waist by the Serbs and then shot down. The letter closes with the words: We will not see each other again. Goodbye in the other world!

 

Loot the Serbs!

Ahmed Djevad, the secretary of the Comitée de Publication D. A. C. B., reports according to various eyewitnesses:

 

"In Strumitza the Serbs stole and robbed outrageously. Major Iwan Gribic, commander of the fourth battalion of the 14th Serbian Line Regiment, dispatched 80 carts loaded with furniture and carpets to Serbia. All the young girls and women of Strumitza were violated and violated baptized. The rest of the unfortunate Muslim population is dying of hunger, of misery, of disease ... "

 

The Albanian correspondence was reported from Trieste on March 21, 1913: The need in Albania has reached a terrible level. The Serbian troops who first occupied Durazzo were thrown into the country without having been provided with provisions and fodder by their directors. They were therefore completely dependent on the requisitions, which they carried out with extraordinary rigor. They took nine-tenths of all the supplies they had; In doing so, they refused to hand over confirmations of the requisitioned supplies.

But the Serbian troops did not requisition for their needs only. Whatever food they got was taken away or destroyed. Old olive trees, which had been planted during the Venetian rule and fed their owners, were felled by the Serbs and pregnant cattle were killed. No sheep, no chicken, no Oka maize that the Serbs could get hold of remained untouched. They have also carried out extensive robbery and pillage. In Durazzo the Serbs shipped large quantities of carpets and other stolen goods to Salonika, from where they were transported to Belgrade. They even appropriated ancient benches from the government building in Durazzo and loaded them onto their booty ships.

Fazil Toptani Pasha, to whom we have submitted this report for examination, declares: Everything in this report is true. But these facts are only a small fraction of all the horrific things these barbarians have committed in our fatherland. They broke into Albania with murder, robbery and fire and wreaked havoc, the horror of which nobody can imagine.

Dervish Hima explained to us: Tell the public that a large part of the Albanian people is threatened with starvation. The time of spring cultivation is here; but the Serb stole the seed. Even if the Albanians had seeds, they would not grow anything. Because the people say: If something grew, the Serb would destroy it. The people live in such fear of the Serbs! Mass murder.

 

Mass murder

In Bucharest Adeverul from January 6, 1913, a Romanian doctor, Dr. Leonte that the atrocities he experienced on the part of the Serbian army far exceeded the most horrific expectations. That hundreds of captured Muslims were hounded a hundred kilometers would have been the least disaster for these unfortunate people. But if one of these pitiable men collapsed as a result of exhaustion and hunger, he was simply stabbed to the ground by the nearest soldier with the bayonet and the corpse was left lying there. The fields are still covered with the corpses of murdered old and young men, women and children. When the Serbian troops entered Monastir, all the Turkish wounded lying in the hospitals were killed to make room for the Serbian wounded. The soldiers stole what fell into their hands. Foreign banks were also robbed. A Bulgarian professor who was disliked by the Serbian officers as a result of a toast made to King Ferdinand, has disappeared without a trace since the festive evening on which he made the toast. Dr. Leonte also gives other depictions of atrocities that are equivalent to those of Kumanovo, Prizrend, etc.

 

* * *

The well-known war correspondent Hermenegild Wagner reports from Semlin on November 20, 1912:

During my three days in Nisch, I was able to discover shocking details about the inhuman acts committed by the Serbian troops. I state that I have honorable witnesses for every detail.

A fifty-year-old Albanesian woman who was suspected of having hurled bombs against the invading Serbs in Ferisovic was brought to the Nischer fortress. Instead of bringing the accused before a military tribunal, the unfortunate woman was handed over to the Serbian soldiers, who literally smashed the woman's head with butts.

A Turkish mulassim named Abdul Kadri Bei, who had been captured, was beaten to death in the Nischer Fortress. The body exhibited a fracture of the nasal bone and a rupture of the liver. The victim had been kicked to death.

An Albanian who attempted to escape here was killed by bayonet stabs and when his body was brought to the death chamber, soldiers were horribly beaten there by soldiers.

In the hospital in Nisch, a number of Serbs entered a room where wounded Turks were lying. A Serb shouted jokingly, pointing to a seriously wounded Turk: "It is he who wounded me!" Thereupon the crowd of Serbs attacked the defenseless wounded man and mistreated him with kicks so that he breathed life out under their feet.

A doctor from the "Red Cross" told me with a shudder that the prisoners and wounded who were seen in Nisch and Belgrade were only prisoners of parade. "The Serbs," he said, "do not give any pardon. All Albanians, irrespective of whether they were weapons or not, were mercilessly slaughtered wherever they could be got hold of. Women, children, old people ... there were each other down there (in old Serbia ) Terrible things happened. I don't know how many villages were burned down by the Serbian troops. I saw them burn far and wide every day ... At Kratovo, General Stefanovic had hundreds of captured Albanians line up in two ranks and slammed them down with machine guns General:

"The brood must be exterminated so that Austria can no longer find its Albanian favorites."

General Zivkovic had 950 Albanian and Turkish notables slaughtered at Sjenica after ten thousand Albanians had caused great difficulties for the advance of the Serbian troops.

Very few wounded from the battle of Kumanovo were picked up by the Serbs. The explanation was given by King Peter himself when he visited the hospital in Nisch. When a wounded Serb complained that the Albanians shot at Serbs with captured Serbian rifles and wounded him too, King Peter said literally:

"The pigs will pay dearly for that!"

Serbian eyewitnesses who took part in the battle told me with a laughing mouth how after the battle the dead and wounded, Turks and Albanians without distinction, were thrown into great graves. When it then rained heavily, the sight of the battlefield was not friendly. The shallow mass graves of the Turks had sunk, hands, feet and heads of terribly distorted corpses protruded from the earth ...

 

Devastated villages

In Üsküb a returned Serbian officer spoke with the first expression of justice about the burning of 80 villages in the Luma region.

The German Volksblatt published a report from southern Hungary on February 14th stating:

"The Serbian government should finally be clear about the fact that such denials contribute to making Serbia's love of truth appear even less credible. Samples of the seriousness of such demonstrations could be savored at the time of the regicide officially denied that King Alexander and Queen Draga were murdered by the perjured officers, but that they quarreled and killed each other ... "

Regarding the Albanian atrocities, it is a sad truth that the accounts that have so far reached the public are completely true and have only one flaw: that they are not exhaustive enough. Numerous Serbs themselves confirm this, often with great pride. I only want to reproduce the testimony of one participant in the first phase of the war who is currently practicing his trade in southern Hungary because he prefers to do so. although Serbs from the kingdom to live in the Austrian "oppression" and to avoid the "cultural and religious leniency" of his fatherland as far as possible. This classic witness tells with obvious pleasure that Serbian soldiers mercilessly gunned down whole packs of Albanian farmers whose only "crime" was that weapons were found in their houses. When I was somewhat astonished about this, my informant said calmly: "What should we kill our time with and escort these people to some distant garrison? That way it was much easier and we were free again and could go for a drink with peace of mind!" This practical view seems to be common property of the Serbian military, because a wounded man in a Belgrade hospital told a visitor the following, among other things: "We left the Turks alone, but we killed the Albanian dogs (!) Where possible . " Another evidence is the letter from a Serbian officer, which was also published by the "Magyarorszag", whose Balkan correspondent is the Austrian deserter and former royal Serbian press chief Iwan Iwanovic. The letter says, among other things, that he, the officer, saw with his own eyes how his soldiers tied ten Turkish men, women and children each after the capture of Monastir and burned them alive.Such and similar facts can be heard here from every Serb who has returned from the theater of war. In any case, these people have not read the official Serbian denials in the foreign press ... "

 

* * *

An Albanian near Scopio reports: "We saw Serbian soldiers approaching our village. Everyone ran back into the houses. I was not afraid, wanted to see the strangers and went outside. They were already there. I give one to a soldier small coin. Then I get a blow on the head and fall to the ground. The soldiers left me and rushed into our house. There they killed my mother and father. Then they set fire to the houses and killed everyone. When I was myself could finally get up, everything was on fire. "

In Sefer, in the Gilan region, the Serbs set a fire on a hut and threw the two old inhabitants - they were no longer able to escape - alive into the embers. They tied a man's hands, bade him go, and shot him down.

The following localities were burned down in this month for different reasons: Limbischte, Kolisch, Terpeza and Gilektar. Everything was gutted in the last three places, including women and children.

In the Djakova district, in the village of Boba, four Serb soldiers who tried to rape women were beaten. That was enough. A punitive expedition was dispatched. Boba went up in flames. Everything was cut down. After the work was done, the Soldateska came across 70 Catholic Albanians from Nikoi who wanted to go shopping in the village. The soldiers also wreaked havoc among these people.

In Ipek, Serb soldiers robbed three women, the Montenegrins again robbed three girls.

32 branches were burned down in the Luma area. Whosoever one could get hold of was killed.

In Dibra, too, Serb soldiers indulged in the worst riots. They stole what was take-away. Then new troops came, set fire to 24 villages and killed all residents. ...

In Prizrend, however, the Catholic priest was forbidden to give the last food to the dying. Anyone who comes into contact with the pastor comes before the military tribunal.

 

* * *

From Durazzo, March 8th, it was reported: The Serbian troops burned the following villages:

Ses, Larusk, Mnikle, Scej and Gromni. In Ses, twenty women and girls and several children were locked up in the houses and burned with them.

The villagers around Croja-Kurbino have fled to the mountains and left their belongings behind in order to save their lives.

 

* * *

The Albanian correspondence reports on March 12th from Trieste:

Letters from Tirana report that the Serbian troops have recently committed atrocities in the area around Tirana. The residents of Kaza Tirana had hosted a section of Albanian volunteers and provided them with provisions. When this fact came to the knowledge of the Serbian military commander, he had the village surrounded by troops. All the houses in the village and Fuad Toptani Bei's estate were then cremated. Seventeen men were killed in the flames, ten men and two women were executed.

 

The Serbs also murder Christians

The Reichspost published a letter from Albania on March 20, reporting:

 

"From the pastor of the sanctuary of Cernagora or Setnica, Don Tommaso, the Serbian soldiers stole all the money that belonged to the church by forcing him with drawn bayonets to open the cash register and from it the money that the treasure of the place of pilgrimage was form.

The pastor of Djakova was threatened with death and called out to him: "Either renounce the Austrian protectorate or we will burn your brain out!" But the pastor's courageous demeanor thwarted their threats.

For the past three months the Serbs have denied the pastor of Ferizovic any freedom in the exercise of his office and have anyone imprisoned who speaks to him or goes to him for mass and confession. They tried the same with the two priests of Prizrend.

Against the Catholics of Janjewo (400 families, almost all of them Slavic nationality) all levers were pulled in order to convince them to convert to the schismatic church.

For several centuries, around 8000 Catholics, so-called Laraman, have lived here in this archdiocese, that is, hidden people who have so far not been able to profess their faith openly because of the persecution by the Turks. When the Serbs came, several hundred of these Laramans wanted to openly declare themselves Catholics. When the representatives of the new government found out, the answer came: "Either Mohammedans or Orthodox, Catholics not!"

Near the Letnica sanctuary is the village of Shashara (90 families, all Catholic). Serbian soldiers moved in here, gathered the men in the meadows and tied them with ropes; then they began to plunder the houses and brutally rape women and girls.

The murders of Albanian Catholics are numerous. In Noshez, for example, thirty men were killed in one day who were living peacefully in the village and who committed no crime other than calling themselves Catholic Albanians. At Zhuri entire families of Catholic Malissors who had come to Prizrend to buy salt, oil, sugar, etc., were murdered without guilt on the way; also at Djakova 70 other Catholic people from the Piarre of Nikai. This is how the Catholics are persecuted, nothing happens to the local Orthodox.

In the vicinity of Dibra and Monastir, as well as in Kossowo, numerous villages have recently been destroyed. The robberies cannot be described. Suffice it to say that at times the sheep were sold for two francs each because they did not know where to go with the sheep stolen from the Albanians by Serbs and Montenegrins.

They also want to prevent us from speaking Albanian. Some schools where Albanian was taught have already been closed. "

 

The letter closes with the words: "May God have mercy on us and Europe come to our aid, or we perish!"

 

* * *

In its issue of March 21, the New Free Press:

"As we are informed from informed circles, according to recent news, the persecution of Catholics and Mohammedans takes place just as in the districts of Djakova in the districts of Dibra. Numerous murders happen every day. The population is fleeing en masse, leaving their belongings behind. The Persecution is directed not only against Albanians, but also against Catholic and Muslim Slavs. "

 

A slaughtered priest

The New Free Press reports on March 20th:

On March 7, the Soldateska united with fanatical Orthodox clergy in and around Djakova to force the population to convert from Catholic to Orthodox.

About 300 people, men, women and children, including Father Angelus Palio, were tied with ropes and threatened with death to convert.

An Orthodox priest pointed to the soldiers standing by with their rifles and said:

"Either you sign that you have hereby converted to our only true faith or these military fighters for God will send your souls to hell."

The prisoners then signed the sheet on which the declaration of conversion to the Orthodox religion was prescribed.

Father Angelus came last. And he was the only one who had the strength to calmly and gracefully refuse to forsake his faith.

When Father Angelus persisted in his refusal on three requests and despite the pleading of the forcibly converted Catholics, a horrific scene unfolded that in the twentieth century would never have been thought possible in Europe.

At a signal from the Orthodox priests, the soldiers attacked the Franciscan, tore his spiritual garb from his body and began beating him with the butts of their rifles.

Father Angelus fell to the ground with several broken bones and ribs, the Orthodox clergy stopped the soldiers and asked the seriously injured man if he wanted to step over.

And again he shook his head and said calmly: "No, I do not forsake my faith and do not break my vows."

Father Angelus received countless blows from the butt, until finally a soldier pierced his lungs with a bayonet stab, thus putting an end to the unfortunate man's life.

 

A Serbian blood order

A decree has been issued to the local councils of the Kroja district in western Albania, in which, inter alia, called:

"If in the future there is any attack or if only one Serbian soldier is killed in the city, in a village or in its vicinity (!), The place will be burned down and destroyed and all men from the age of 15 upwards will fall for bayonets . "

This order is signed: Kroja, on January 5th, 1913. The commandant: A. Petrovic, Captain I. Class.

As the birthplace of the national hero Skanderbeg, whose castle still stands in this city today, Kroja is a sacred place for the Albanians!

 

Serbian voices

The German Volksblatt of February 8th writes:

"The Serbian minister for culture and education, Ljuba Jovanovic, publishes a declaration in a Slavic paper in which he emphasizes, among other things: The Muslims will of course be equal to all others with regard to their civil rights. As regards their religious affairs, the Vakuf- ( Church) assets remain in their administration and their monasteries are respected as the Christian ones. The Muslims, with the exception of the regular troops, did not oppose the Serbian occupation and as a result they were not harmed by the Serbian troops. The Albanians, however have resisted the Serbian occupation and often even shot at soldiers after they had already surrendered, not only in the open but also from the houses of the occupied places. Hence what happens everywhere and always, wherever Non-combatants with a victorious A rmee conflicted. (That is, for the slaughter of the Albanians.)

 

* * *

The Belgrade Journal Piedmont, which is regarded as the mouthpiece of radical military circles, deals in its issue of March 20 with the question of Scutari and declares that Scutari must go to Montenegro. "If this is not possible," says the paper, "then Scutari must be razed to the ground."

 

Serbian officers boast of their atrocities

The Albanian correspondence reports from Durazzo: The atrocities committed by the Serbs in Albania are monstrous. Serbian officers openly boast of them. In Kosovo, in particular, the Serbian troops were horrifying. A Serbian officer said here: The women had mostly hidden their jewelry and did not want to give any of it. In such cases we shot a person from the house and all the jewelry was there immediately. The Serbs lived particularly terribly in the Ljuma area. Men were burned alive, old men, women and children were murdered. In Kroja, the birthplace of Skanderbeg, a number of men and women were simply fusilized and a lot of houses burned down. The Serbian commander, Captain Petrovic, published a ukase in which he officially announced these atrocities. Several Albanians were sentenced to flogging in Tirana. Serbian soldiers kept pounding the unfortunate until they were dead. In Kawaja and Elbassan people were also officially beaten to death by the soldiers. A well-known, decent, wealthy man, the son of a Turkish colonel, was shot dead in Durazzo. Afterwards the Serbian commander published a verdict by posting a wall that accused the man who had been shot of theft and sentenced him to death. The Serbs destroy Catholic churches; they say these are Austrian buildings that have to be swept from the ground. Serbian soldiers and officers harass the population day and night.

A Serbian soldier was recently found murdered. The Serbian commander immediately had five Albanians innocent in the murders captured and shot.

 

A bloodbath before Scutari

The Albanian correspondence it is reported from Podgoritza: After the battle of Brdica, which ended with such a heavy defeat for the Serbs, the Serbian troops threw themselves on their retreat in the village of Barbalushi. The frightened residents went to meet the Serbs with crucifixes in their hands and pleaded for mercy. But that didn't help. The overgrown troops threw themselves on the defenseless villagers and stabbed many men, women, old people and children. No fewer than six bayonet stitches were found in an eight-year-old child who had been torn to pieces by the monsters.

 

The Serbian denials

The Serbian government has recently responded to most reports of Serbian atrocities with denials. In any case, these official denials were made very promptly, but they all too openly bore the stamp of insecurity. For the mere assertion that the allegations made are untrue, detailed charges of such grave nature cannot be eliminated.

The present, by no means exhaustive, selection of reports from various sources, not only Austrian, but also Italian, German, Danish, French and Russian sources, will probably have more weight before the court of world history than any denials of the royal Serbian press office.

 

* * *

In a denial on February 8, the Serbian press office declared that "such atrocities as allegedly carried out by the Serbian army are simply impossible today in a people that are fundamentally religious and tolerant." The answer must be: An army whose officers attacked their king and queen at night, murdered them, tore their corpses with fifty-eight saber blows and threw them out of the window, can very well be expected to perform such atrocities, all the more so as the head of the perpetrators of that bloodbath in the Konak zu Belgrade, Colonel Popovic, was one of the leaders of the Serbian incursion into Albania and is currently in command of the Serbian occupation of Durazzo.

 

 

[Leo Freundlich: Albania's Golgotha ​​- acts of indictment against the exterminators of the Albanian people. Collected and edited by Leo Freundlich (Vienna: Josef Roller, 1913) 32 p.]