Senator Brownback(R-OH): Ich unterstuetze eure Sache!
Erstellt von Partibrejker, 29.04.2005, 18:01 Uhr · 53 Antworten · 2.833 Aufrufe
The Brooklyn Connection
July 19, 2005 / 12 Tamuz, 5765
By Julia Gorin
Albanian-American roofer Florin Krasniqi has been living in Brooklyn and smuggling American guns into Kosovo to arm the Kosovo Liberation Army--this time for war against its erstwhile saviors, NATO and the UN. The KLA are the bin Laden-trained, Iran-backed narco-terrorists whose 1999 jihad against the Christian Serbs we helped fight, abetting secession and creating a mono-ethnic terror haven and future Islamic republic in Europe.
Krasniqi, who raised $30 million from fellow Albanian-Americans to help finance the KLA's war, is the subject of a documentary by Dutch filmmaker Klaartje Quirijns, titled "The Brooklyn Connection," which will air Tuesday night at 10 pm on PBS. The Department of Homeland Security has launched an investigation into Krasniqi, according to Ms. Quirijns, as a result of her award-winning film, which was meant to be sympathetic to Krasniqi's cause of an independent Kosovo, and to highlight the ease of buying guns in America.
Realizing Albanians could lose the good will of Americans once they see the documentary, Krasniqi went on "60 Minutes" last Sunday, to paint himself as a concerned citizen promoting anti-gun legislation.
But "The Brooklyn Connection" is damning, demonstrating just how seriously our 1999 blunder continues to backfire, as the film follows Krasniqi's life: at home in Bay Ridge, Brooklyn, with his wife and three kids; at the gun store buying a .50-caliber rifle; at an army surplus store buying fatigues and holsters; at the airport checking in his firearm; and at a 2003 John Kerry fundraiser writing out thousand-dollar checks.
"With money, you can do amazing things in this country," Krasniqi rhapsodizes. "Senators and congressmen are looking for donations, and if you raise the money they need for their campaigns, they pay you back."
At the event, we see Krasniqi greeting Wesley Clark. "Mr. Clark, this is your group, your KLA," Krasniqi says, introducing the former NATO commander to six or so fellow KLA fighters whom Krasniqi helped resettle in the U.S. Krasniqi himself was smuggled into the country across the Mexican border in the trunk of a car.
Clark shakes hands with everyone, then calls Richard Holbrooke over for more introductions. The politicians and the terrorists have a few laughs before Holbrooke makes a speech calling for speedier UN action on "Kosova's" independence, using the same, purposeful Albanian mispronunciation of the Serbian word that President Clinton had used. Albanian-American Jim Belushi also makes an appearance, via telecast, telling the guests, "If you care about the fate of Albanians in the Balkans, if you care about the safety and prosperity of America…I'm sure you'll do anything you can to make sure John Kerry is elected as our next president."
Indeed, had John Kerry been elected, the architects of our backward 1999 debacle — Clark, Albright and Holbrooke — would be back in position to finish the job they started — that is, officially establishing the independent terrorist state of Kosovo. As UN final status talks on Kosovo loom this year, Clark has been working feverishly to complete the Clinton administration's blunder. In February he wrote a Wall St. Journal op-ed warning that "a violent collision may occur by year-end" if we don't do what the Kosovo Albanians want — and that's exactly what this four-star general advocated doing. After all, unrest in the region shines an unwelcome spotlight on his "successful war", as he spent all of election year billing it in contrast to Iraq. So he wants to close the book as soon as possible on Kosovo, where there were four more explosions over the July 4th weekend — part of the ongoing bombings by our Albanian "rescuees" and a message to persuade the international community that only one final status will be acceptable: unconditional independence, without border compromises with Serbia or protection guarantees for non-Albanian minorities.
"United Nations doesn't know what we are capable of," Krasniqi warns. "If we were capable of getting NATO to help us, I think we are capable of throwing the UN out of there also. And we will throw the UN out if we have to."
The intermittent gunfights between Albanians and NATO (KFOR) troops over the past six years since that American "victory" on behalf of the enemy can attest to that, as can a Kosovo charity that was raising funds for Osama bin Laden. Then there's the KLA member whose application was found at an al Qaeda recruitment office in Afghanistan: "I have Kosovo Liberation Army combat experience against Serb and American forces...I recommend [suicide] operations against [amusement] parks like Disney."
Regardless, Clark has already promised his former campaign donors, the National Albanian American Council, that "Kosova" would be independent. In his op-ed, he even suggested pummeling the Serbs again if Belgrade got in the way; it's easier than fighting Albanian terrorists.
Despite a different administration being in power now, full secession still seems to be the likelihood, what with Congress, the UN, the State Department and a number of George Soros-funded NGOs (non-governmental organizations) pushing for it. If Kosovo does become independent, the international peacekeepers will have to leave, and with them our eyes and ears in this European terror haven and thruway.
Additionally, it will facilitate the continued push to create "Greater Albania", a fight that has already spread to Macedonia and means to embroil parts of Montenegro and northern Greece, as was the plan all along.
In between Krasniqi's on-camera descriptions of the planeloads of guns and ammo he's been sending over to Albania then smuggling by truck or mule into Kosovo, we see his all-American pre-teen daughter dancing around the house to J. Lo before the family's town car takes them to a relative's party at an Albanian catering hall, where Krasniqi is reminded to write a check to "Hyde for Congress." The guests dance on top of dollar bills, strewn about the dance floor like confetti, to a song about Kosovo and the KLA.
Today Kosovo is just five percent away from being ethnically pure--purged of all minorities via pogroms, which reached a crescendo in March of last year. Nearly 200 Serbian churches and monasteries have been burned, destroyed, spray-painted with "KLA" and/or used as a toilet.
There is a hotel outside Pristina, the capital of Kosovo. Atop the hotel sits a tribute to those who helped achieve this dream: a makeshift reproduction of the Statue of Liberty.
Every weekday JewishWorldReview.com publishes what many in Washington and in the media consider "must reading."
A Jewish Albatross: The Serbs
By Julia Gorin
FrontPageMagazine.com | March 16, 2005
Imagine that a country is fighting domestic terrorism by Muslim militants who are carrying out attacks against police, government officials and citizens in a bid to carve out their own state, hoping to provoke a response from the government that will alarm the international community. Imagine that the world duly intervenes, and a peacekeeping force is sent in, paralyzing the nation’s ability to defend itself, and effectively doing the militants’ bidding even as attacks against the non-Muslim population continue. Finally, imagine the intervening internationals severing this nation’s Jerusalem from it and handing it to the provocateurs.
It sounds like a worst-case scenario for the Israeli people, but it is a fate that actually befell the Serbian people, who this year may lose Kosovo as the deadline approaches for determining the status of the province, where Christian churches, monasteries and homes were burned to the ground in pogroms in March of last year. They will lose Kosovo to Albanian Muslims, whose fates are now entirely in the hands of the international Islamist factions with whom they, and we, cast their lot.
As a reprisal of last March looms on the horizon (Kosovo Prime Minister Ramush Haradinaj stepped down when he was indicted for war crimes last week, and the UN Mission in Kosovo was promptly bombed), the reticence about butchered Serbian octogenarians, children and other civilians--alternating with dismissal of these atrocities, even six years later, as “revenge killings”--intimates that terrorized Serbs are an even bigger yawn than terrorized Israelis. That’s why I am calling upon my fellow Jews to break their own conspicuous silence.
In the six years since our bizarre bombing of Belgrade to prevent a genocide that forensics turned up empty (a memo that apparently made it only to European and Canadian presses, leaving a gaping hole in our national dialogue), the sense of something not being said grows palpable. With every explosive report coming from the Balkans--Islamic charities getting busted as terror-funding fronts, terrorist cells being uncovered in Bosnia and Kosovo, explosions on Pristina’s Bill Clinton Avenue, then last year’s coordinated Albanian riots that injured 900, killed 19 Serbs and tried to drive out what was left of Kosovo’s non-Albanian population--more and more people have started to think it, but who has the poor taste to say it?
After all, we were told that a genocide was in progress. We were told of mass graves. A hundred thousand killed and 800,000 displaced, Bill Clinton said.
Soon after the U.S.-led NATO invasion, the 100,000 figure turned out to be closer to 2,000 and included armed Albanian and Serb fighters. “No Bodies at Rumored Grave Site in Kosovo,” read a Reuters headline as early as October ’99, above an article reporting the results of an excavation by international war crimes investigators to check the rumors that Serbs had hidden up to 700 Albanian bodies in a lead and zinc mine. Other “mass graves” turned up empty or hardly massive, and the Racak massacre, the feather that was used to break the NATO camel’s back, turned out to have been staged, according to three forensics teams sent in to investigate--but only after the first team, headed by Finland’s Helena Ranta, initially gave a thumbs-up to “massacre” so that the bombing campaign could commence. (Two years and thousands of lives later, Ranta’s final report confirmed the opposite conclusion.)
Sold on a Holocaust scenario, the American people couldn’t have known what sinister deal they’d signed on to. But my fellow Jews should have smelled a rat. And to my profound disappointment, in the face of a stunning parallel to the Palestinian propaganda war that Jews themselves struggle with, for the most part they have been silent since.
As journalists fanned the early flames of Serb demonization in Bosnia, starting with a widely circulated 1992 photo of a Serb-run “death camp” for Bosnian Muslims that turned out to have been taken from the inside of a fenced storage area, and showed refugees who had escaped the fighting and were free to go at any time, it should have raised some red flags among my tribe--even if only after the fact. After all, what Jew can forget the NY Times photo from a 2000 riot in Jerusalem, showing an Israeli soldier standing over a bloody young man—the caption identifying the scene as an Israeli policeman and a Palestinian? It subsequently came to bear that the bloody “Palestinian” was a Chicago Yeshiva student who had just been beaten by Palestinians. One need only say the word “Jenin” to a Jew for him to recall the vision of Palestinians digging up old graves to increase the body count there.
But just as Palestinians have been a step ahead of Israelis when it comes to PR, so were Balkan Muslims a step ahead of Serb Christians. Such that when, early on, it came to winning American-Jewish empathy, the Albanian Kosovars were victorious over the Serbs.
A 1994 article in a monthly Jewish publication called “Midstream,” which caught on early, cites an interview between a French journalist named Jacques Merlino and James Harff, of the D.C.-based PR firm Ruder & Finn, which was representing Croatia, Bosnia and the Kosovo Liberation Army. After boasting about having set up meetings between Bosnian officials and Al Gore, George Mitchell, Bob Dole and other politicians, Harff described the achievement he was most proud of: “To have managed to put Jewish opinion on our side…At the beginning of August 1992, ‘New York Newsday’ came out with the affair of [Serb] concentration camps. We jumped at the opportunity immediately. We outwitted three big Jewish organizations--B'nai B'rith, Anti-Defamation League, the American Jewish Committee, and the American Jewish Congress. We suggested to them to publish an advertisement in the ‘New York Times’ and to organize demonstrations outside the United Nations. That was a tremendous coup. When the Jewish organizations entered the game on the side of the Bosnians, we could promptly equate the Serbs with the Nazis in the public mind.”
It was a sneak PR attack, and the Serbs were out-sassed. If anyone should have looked deeper into the story being peddled, it was the Jewish community—who ask that people do their homework before making rash judgments about Israeli operations in the Palestinian territories and siding with the visibly more pathetic side. But the magic “genocide” wand was waved, and organized Jewry fell into its autopilot never-again trance.
It’s all the more tragic considering the historical relationship between Jews and Serbs, both of whom were persecuted by the Nazis’ Croatian, Bosnian and Albanian brigades during WWII. In 1999, under pressure from the U.S. and amid protest from Israelis who knew better, Israel joined NATO’s war against Yugoslavia, leaving Serbs stunned and angry in an era when most of Europe was already being engulfed by a new wave anti-Semitism. Today, whatever Jews remained in Kosovo before our intervention have been cleansed right along with the Serbs.
And yet last March 18th, the second day of renewed Serb cleansing, the House of Representatives was treated to the following resolution on Kosovo by Congressman Eliot Engel (D, NY), who chairs the Albanian Issues Caucus: “When there is no resolution of the final status, the people in a country become restless…Right now there is rampant unemployment. Right now there is very little hope for a future…Self-determination and, ultimately, independence for the people of Kosovo is the only solution…What we have seen…is this ridiculous plan called standards before status…We put forward benchmarks and we tell the people of Kosovo they have to achieve these benchmarks before we can even look at a resolution and at self-determination.”
The speech easily could be mistaken for one that makes the case for immediate Palestinian statehood as a way to end “understandable” violence against Israelis. The irony of it coming from a pro-Israel Jewish congressman is too thick for comment, and yet it got thicker when in his closing thoughts Engel employed the penultimate moral-equivalence phrase that Jews find so maddening in reference to Israel: “The ethnic violence which happened yesterday is a tragic undertaking, a tragic tragedy, and I must call on both sides to stop the violence.”
Especially in light of the millions of Christians who today stand with Israel as it fights for the right to defend itself, too few Jews have stood up for the Serb Christians. No, the Serbs are not the Jews. Not every nation, when provoked, plays as tenderly as Israel, whose teen soldiers risk their lives going door to door to pluck the one or two actual terrorists out of a household of complicit family members.
A 2000 documentary on England’s BBC2 showed an interview with KLA leader Hashim Thaci, in which he admitted, "We knew full well that any armed action we undertook would trigger a ruthless retaliation by Serbs against our people. We knew we were endangering civilian lives, too, a great number of lives." There was also a sound bite from a Kosovo Albanian negotiator named Doug Gorani: "The more civilians were killed, the chances of international intervention became bigger, and the KLA of course realized that."
Had we not been looking for mini Holocausts under every bed, had we not responded like Pavlovian dogs when hearing that a modern-day Holocaust was under way in Europe’s underbelly, we could have seen through the hoax, as well as what it portended for Israel.
Instead, cover articles ran in Jewish newspapers across America, such as the one in the Jewish Journal of Greater Los Angeles that began, "With echoes of the Holocaust and pogroms haunting a collective conscience, the Jewish community in Los Angeles has mobilized forces to come to the aid of Kosovar refugees left homeless and hungry by Serbian President Slobodan Milosevic." A full-page ad read: "OUR HELPING HAND EXTENDS ALL THE WAY TO KOSOVO," and the small print informed readers that the Jewish Federation of Los Angeles had made a donation of $50,000 to the Kosovo Refugee Relief Fund of the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee.
Only when turning to the letters page did one encounter a dissenting voice. It belonged to self-described researcher and writer Paul Stonehill, who compared the one-sided press coverage to that directed against Israel: “I am sad that because of our misguided policy yet another radical Moslem state will appear in Europe. I am sad that the Serbs, who stood up to the Nazis like very few other people did during the war are bombed by the grandchildren of the Allies. And I am ashamed that some Jews have such selective memory."
In 1999 this selective memory afflicted both the ADL’s Abe Foxman (“We’re glad that we’re doing now what we weren’t doing then [WWII]”), and Elie Wiesel, who approved of bombing Yugoslavia when instead the 1941 words of Adolf Hitler should have been echoing through his head: "As soon as sufficient forces are available and the weather allows, the ground installations of the Yugoslav Air Force and the City of Belgrade will be destroyed from the air by continual day and night bombardment. When that is completed we will subdue Yugoslavia."
Sure enough, within weeks of our offensive, Prince Khaled Bin Sultan, commander of the allied Saudi troops during the first Gulf War, called on NATO and the U.S. to extend its “honorable actions” in Kosovo to Palestine. A few years later, when Kofi Annan sent Helena Ranta to look for evidence of massacre in Jenin, karma came calling. Israel's external adviser on the Jenin inquiry, Cambridge University international legal expert Daniel Bethlehem, warned then, "If the committee's findings uphold the allegations against Israel--even on poor reasoning--this…may make it impossible for Israel to resist calls for an international force, the immediate establishment of a Palestinian state and the prosecution of individuals said to have committed the alleged acts."
When, during Wesley Clark’s clumsy yet merciless 78-day bombardment of the Orthodox Christian Serbs, which didn’t break even for Easter (the way our other bombardments have for Ramadan), the possibility of a precedent for Israel was made clear to then Foreign Minister Ariel Sharon by an Italian ambassador, he asked American Jewish leaders to call for an end to the bombardment against Yugoslavia, citing that the KLA was backed by Iran-backed terror outfits and that an independent Kosovo would be a gateway for the spread of terror throughout Europe.
Whether such an organized Jewish voice emerged is unclear; if it did, it was done quietly, to save face. What has begun to take form since is a humanitarian concern for the remaining Serbs of Kosovo. But its language has been meticulously woven, so as not to backpedal too obviously on our overzealous enforcement of a cheap morality.
But we Jews at least should be trying to set the record straight. Though they were late in coming, entire organizations are devoted to debunking the Muslim-spun mythology against Israel that so many in the media dutifully report. The Serbs have no such face to the outside world, and so they do not get their slice of human sympathy. Nor did the Serbs think to buy clout in the halls of power via lobbyists in the U.S. Congress, where the Albanians, Croatians and Bosnians have been buying influence for decades, from the likes of Bob Dole, John McCain, Joe Lieberman, Tom Lantos, Joe Biden, Jesse Helms and Benjamin Gillman, to name just a few. Like the Israelis had for a long time, the Serbs--busy fighting radicals--assumed the ability of the world to see right from wrong, up from down, truth from lie, and didn’t realize they were supposed to be fighting a simultaneous image war. Today, amid a sustained media blackout on the subject of our little 1999 war that has been quietly backfiring and still offers no hint of an exit strategy, Serbian-Americans and others who understand our miscalculation are left feverishly writing letters to editors in response to the many articles that get the Balkans wrong, in a futile attempt to inform the public.
Today, Serbia is the only remaining pocket of multi-ethnicity in the Balkans--where Serbs, gypsies, Jews, Albanian and other Muslims, along with 22 other nationalities still coexist. In fact, when trouble started, many Albanians fled to Belgrade--just as Bosnian Muslims had before them. It’s not unlike the situation of that “racist” state of the Middle East, Israel, with its one million Arab citizens standing in contrast to the surrounding Jew-cleansed Arab lands.
The trial of Slobodan Milosevic at the Hague, meanwhile, was billed as no less than Nuremberg 2. Yet we hear virtually nothing about it. Where are the day-to-day reports of this momentous historical event, dispatches from which should have Americans lining up at the newsstands and scouring their papers for the latest developments? And wouldn’t the biggest trial since Nuremberg at least warrant some punditry?
When one considers also that, more than a year into the trial, the court finally relented from its own one-sidedness and decided it would start trying non-Serbs for war crimes against Serbs as well, the Nuremberg analogy falls apart like a bad joke. How many Jews do we recall being prosecuted at the Nuremberg Trials? And as the Chicago Tribune pointed out on the first anniversary of Milosevic’s trial, Nuremberg took only 11 months “to try, convict, sentence and hang 10 of Adolf Hitler’s top lieutenants.” The Milosevic trial is now in its fourth year.
If, as we were told, there was systematic rape by Serbs, where are the resulting children? Or evidence of mass abortions? Jewish women had Nazi babies, and at Nuremberg there was plenty of testimony and plenty of evidence. So far at the Hague, there has been only testimony (much of which falls apart under cross-examination), and virtually no evidence. Such that the court has had to redefine the very word “genocide”--to at least make it fit what happened in Bosnia after it was unable to make it fit Kosovo. (“War crimes case widens ‘genocide,’” BBC.com, April 19, 2004). Hence we arrive at a state of affairs wherein the UN declares 70,000 dead men, women and children in Darfur to not be genocide, but 7,000 dead Bosnian males in the UN “safe haven” Srebrenica--used as a staging ground for attacks on Serbs--is.
While Byzantine art exhibits at New York museums were humming last year, 900-year-old Serb churches, cathedrals and monasteries in Kosovo were being systematically bombed, burned, looted, and urinated on in a single week. The pogroms had been set off by a rumor, later confirmed false by NATO, that Serbs had drowned some Albanian youths. By the end of March, 366 homes and 41 churches were destroyed, according to an AP report, which quoted 23 year-old Ruzhdi Krasniqi, who “smoked a cigarette as he assessed the damage and said he felt ‘OK’ about [it]. ‘I don't want the Serbs to return here,’ he said. ‘They've got no place here.’”
In response to the violence, Kosovo President Ibrahim Rugova told an Italian newspaper, "Everyone realizes by now that it is clear that independence from Serbia is vital for Kosovo and its inhabitants."
Though he is a moderate and has had at least two attempts on his life because of it, Rugova seems to have followed the Arafat model: Accept the infidel’s (the West’s) help for as long as it moves you closer to your goal. When you hit the inevitable brick wall with the infidel and he ceases to further your agenda, revert to traditional methods and allow violence to engulf the region, turning your guns against the helpful infidel if necessary. Then propose independence as the only possible solution.
Independence, of course, would mean withdrawing UN peacekeepers. As Balkan-based journalist Chris Deliso wrote last year for BalkanAnalysis.com, “Even though they are inept…the UN contingents cannot be replaced by local enforcers without serious repercussions for Europe and America. With no foreign eyes and ears on the ground, pretty much anything can happen….terrorists abroad look for safe havens in states with little or no central control…Kosovo--with its porous borders, fundamentalist minority, criminal underbelly and proximity to the rest of Europe--is a perfect hiding place.” He concludes, “With successes like that, who needs failures?”
But Americans don’t see how Kosovo relates to them. Until 1999, who had ever even heard of a Serb? It was neither an enemy nor a significant international player. So this people and what happened to their country do not occupy any coherent place in the American psyche.
Without being innocent, a people can still be scapegoated and a falsified history go down in the books. Serbs have apologized repeatedly for the heavy hand that Belgrade wielded in responding to the ethnic cleansing of Serbs in Kosovo and Bosnia. They have admitted they are not innocent, while the instigators themselves admit nothing, continue crying out against past Serb crimes, and kill with abandon.
That the Serbs haven’t been innocent cannot continue to be used to mischaracterize the Balkan conflicts and our actions there. Starting with a mistaken premise and working backwards to prove it, then devolving into moral equivalence when it doesn’t work must stop. A reevaluation must begin. Whether it does or not, history’s reckoning will come, such that after an air war against a fictitious enemy, we may have to fight a ground war against the real one.
The world stood by while one-third of its Jews were exterminated last century. This century, the Jews stand by idly with the world as a people’s history is erased. Serbia is reviled, for like Israel, it had the poor taste to not wait for 9/11 to start the resistance against a common enemy.
That’s why, in sounding the call for Serb rehabilitation, I apply a double standard to my fellow Jews. They should be used to it. The Serbs are.
Jo jetzt die Schuld auf die Juden schieben. Sie sind genauso Menschen wie du und ich!!!
Zitat von Albanesi
Remembering Albania's Protection of the Jews During the Holocaust
Date posted: Friday, May 2, 1997
Author: Dr. Anna Kohen
I'm honored to be here today commemorating the biggest tragedy of our nation, the Holocaust. We are also here to celebrate one of the aspects of human behavior -- that of helping each other in time of need. We look back on these dark times of civilization with tearful eyes and broken hearts trying to find lighter moments to ease the pain.
Every tradegy has its own good side. It brings people together regardless of race, color, or religion. It tries to restore hope in their victim's soul and attempts to heal the wounds inflicted on them by their fellow humans. The Holocaust is not only going to be remembered for the millions of lives that perished into the flames of hatred, it will also be remembered for the humanity of others helping the Jews.
There is a small country in the heartland of Europe called Albania where I was fortunately born, where hospitality to foreigners is part of their tradition. During the Second World War, not only did the Albanians save all the Jews who were living among them but they dared to share their homes, their food and their lives with them. Albania has its share of Oscar Shindlers, and, indeed, so many that we could never have thanked each glorious one of them.
Let us be reminded that not one - not one - of the Jews living in Albania, or those who sought refuge there were turned over to the fascists -- all found a safe haven at great danger to their protectors.
My family was one of many who were saved. I'm not a survivor but a child of survivors, born in Vlora in southern Albania. My parents, Nina and David Kohen, came from Janina, Greece. They were living in Vlora when the Nazis invaded Albania. They fled to the mountains and hid in a small Muslim village called Trevlazer. They took Muslim names, my father David became Daut, my mother Nina became Bule, and my brother Elio became Ali. Everyone in the village knew they were Jews but not one person betrayed them.
I had a very interesting experience that I would like to share with you: when I was about 5 or 6 years old, I was walking down the street with my mother, and I heard someone shouting, "Bule, Bule!!!" I turned my head to see what was going on, and this woman was running towards us. She ran to my mother and started to kiss and hug her with tears streaming down her face. Later on, my mother told me that she was one of the women from the Muslim village that had saved her life. Other Jews were hiding in people's houses. As you can see, the Albanian people risked their lives for the Jews. I would not be here today delivering this speech if it were not for the courage and generosity of those Albanians.
Until the year 1990, little was known about Albania and the Albanian Jews but when things began to change in the country, an Israeli photographer, Gavra Mandil, remembered the Veseli family who saved his life. Gavra Mandil had taken refuge in Albania after the Nazis invaded Yugoslavia, and the Veseli family saved him. He invited Refik Veseli to Israel, and, for the first time, an Albanian Muslim was honored with the title Righteous Gentile. As a matter of fact, if you look at the calendar in the Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington, DC, on the second page in the month of February, is a picture of Gavra Mandil and Refik Veseli. Since then, more and more Righteous Albanians were discovered and honored in Israel. A list of all of their names is posted in the museum.
On behalf of the Albanian Jews living in Albania, Israel, and America, I would like to give a message to the Albanian people and the Righteous Gentiles: thank you for saving us, we will never forget you.
As Apostol Kotani says in his recent book, The Hebrews of Albania During Centuries, "Sikur te kisha krahe e te fluteroja do te veja te puthja token Shqipetare qe me shpetoj jeten. / If I could have wings to fly, I would come to kiss the holy Albanian land which saved my life." Thank you.
Jewish History - Jüdische Geschichte
In Albanien sind die Juden seit 1175 nachweisbar. 1492 siedelten sich hier – nach ihrer Vertreibung aus Spanien – sephardische Familien an, später folgten ihnen Juden aus Süditalien. Die Juden bewohnten vorwiegend die Küstenebenen um Durazzo (Durres), Valona (Vlore), Elbasan und Berat. Der berüchtigte Pseudo-Messias Sabbatai Zwi verbrachte die letzten Jahre seines Lebens in Albanien, er starb 1676 in Berat.
Vor dem Zweiten Weltkrieg – bis 1914 – lebten rund 13.000 Juden in Albanien und es existierten einige jüdische Gemeinden, neben Valona und Tirana, auch in Skutari (Shkoder), eine kleine in Koritza (Korce). 1938 flohen deutsche Juden nach Albanien, das sich bis 1943 unter italienischer Kontrolle befand. Im April 1944 wurden 400 Juden nach Priština (Serbien) deportiert, von dort aus weiter nach Bergen-Belsen; die Hälfte der albanischen Juden kamen um.
Später zählte die jüdische Gemeinschaft in Albanien nur noch etwa 1.000 Juden (Jan. 1991). Da in Albanien bis 1990 jegliche Religion offiziell verboten war, existierte daher auch keine organisierte jüdische Gemeinde. Die wenigen albanischen Juden lebten in Tirana und Valona. In Januar 1991 begann erstmals eine größere Ausreisewelle.
Bisher bestand keine offizielle diplomatische Beziehungen zu Israel. Zum 50. Jahrestag des Kriegsendes (1995) hat Israel den albanischen Staat gewürdigt, da während der deutschen Besatzung kein einziger Jude in die Hände der Faschisten fiel. Mitglieder von vier Familien, die Juden versteckt und so vor Verfolgung und Tod gerettet hatten, erhielten von Israel die Auszeichnung: »Gerechte unter den Nationen«.
»Erster Albaner in Israel geehrt
Der erste Gerechte aus Albanien wurde von Yad Vashem in Jerusalem geehrt. Refik Vesli, 64, der als junger Mann seinen verstorbenen Eltern Vesel und Fatima half, aus Jugoslawien geflüchtete Juden zu verstecken. ist der vierte Moslem, der diese Auszeichnung erhält.
Vesli und seine Frau Drita kamen als Gäste des Geschäftsmannes Gavra Mandil aus Ramat ha-Scharon nach Israel. Mandil war vier Jahre alt, als die Veslis seine Familie versteckten und hat mit seinen albanischen Rettern seit seiner Alia im Jahre 1948 den Kontakt gepflegt.
Vor zwei Jahren schrieb Mandil an den albanischen Staatspräsidenten und lud Vesli nach Israel ein.
Gavra Mandils Vater, der ein Photographie-Studio in Belgrad halte, flüchtete vor den Nazis 1941 in den – von Italienern besetzten – südlichen Teil Jugoslawiens. Nach einem Jahr Internierung drückten die Wächter ein Auge zu und Mandil konnte mit seiner Familie und noch 120 jugoslawischen Juden nach Albanien, das auch von Italienern besetzt war, flüchten. Dort zerstreuten sich die Juden unter der gastfreundlichen Bevölkerung und lebten in relativer Sicherheit bis zum September 1943, als die Nazis die Macht übernahmen.
Vesli senior hatte die Familien Mandil und Ben-Yosef in seinem Haus im Berg-Dorf Kruja bis zu Kriegsende versteckt. Nach dem Krieg kam der junge Refik Vesli nach Belgrad, wo er im Mandil-Studio photographieren lernte, bevor er nach Albanien zurückkehrte.
Alle Juden, die während des Krieges in Albanien versteckt waren überlebten und diejenigen die noch heute in Israel leben, waren voll des Lobes über die Gastfreundschaft und Selbstaufopferung der Albaner. Nachdem Refik Vesli die Medaille erhielt. sagte er: "Ich bin stolz darauf, daß mein kleines, armes Land fähig war Juden zu retten". Er brach in Tränen aus, als eine Frau unter den Zuhörern begann, ein albanisches Lied zu singen. Die meisten der Überlebenden sprachen mit Vesli serbisch, weil sie das wenige Albanisch, das sie als junge Menschen gelernt, bereits vergessen hatten.«
October 1997. At the Civic League's request, Congressmen Lantos and Gilman write a forward to Rescue in Albania by Harvey Sarner. The League begins distribution of 10,000 copies to demonstrate the courage and tollerance of the Albanian people who saved all the Jews in Albania from Nazis in World War II. Here DioGuardi presents a copy to Pope John Paul II at an audience in Rome.
1998 -Washington Greek, Serb, Russian lobbies gegen AACL and Jewish lobby
10 jüdische Organisationen für NATO-Intervention
Appell an US-Präsident Clinton
„Die „ethnische Säuberung“ von albanischen Muslimen im Kosovo erinnert uns allzu lebhaft
an das Abschlachten und die Zwangsvertreibungen von Muslimen während des von Milosevic
und seinen Verbündeten angeführten Völkermordes im Krieg in Bosnien. Als Juden kennen
wir die schrecklichen Folgen einer Beschwichtigungspolitik. Es ist erst eine Generation
her, dass wir die Feuer des Holocaust sahen und ihr Licht beleuchtet noch heute unsere
Vision und macht klar, dass wir im Angesicht von Völkermord nicht passiv sein können.
Unser feierlicher Schwur „Nie wieder“ muss mehr als ein Lippenbekenntnis sein, vielmehr
eine Verpflichtung, nicht nur wachsam zu sein, sondern auch zu handeln. (...) Wir fordern die
Vereinigten Staaten und alle anderen Staaten der Welt auf, ihre Verpflichtung gegenüber der
UN-Völkermordkonvention zu erfüllen (...). Wir begrüssen den kürzlich angekündigten NATOPlan,
Luftangriffe einzusetzen, um den Druck auf Slobodan Milosevic zu verstärken (...).“
Unterzeichner: American Jewish Committee, American Jewish Congress, Anti Defamations
League, Jewish Council of Public Affairs, Jewish Reconstructionist Federation, Hadassah,
National Council of Jewish Women, The Union of American Hebrew Congregation, Orthodox
Union, United Synagogue of Conservative Judaism. Washington D. C., 23. Juni 1998
Madame Allbright war ja auch jüdisch die Exaußenministerin USA , wie viele andere Menschen jüdischer Herkunft die den Kosovoalbaner geholfen haben
Kosovo and the Holocaust: Falsifying History
History is in many ways a myth we create for ourselves. History is constantly falsified to justify wars and territorial claims. Albanian apologists have falsified the role Albania played in the Holocaust to justify an illegal US/NATO war against Serbia and to allow for the creation of a Greater Albania that would include the Serbian province of Kosovo-Metohija. The Albanian role in the Holocaust was falsified and manipulated to advance the creation of an “independent” Kosova, an ethnically pure Albania statelet, a second Albanian state in eastern Europe.
The Jewish victims of the Holocaust in Albania are estimated at 591 from 1941 to 1944, when a Greater Albania was sponsored by Adolf Hitler and Benito Mussolini. There were 33 known families of Albanian Jews living in pre-war Albania. The largest Jewish community consisted of 15 Jewish families living in Vlora. According to the 1930 census, there were 204 Jews living in Albania. At the Wannsee Conference in 1942, when the Final Solution was organized, the total Jewish population of Albania was listed as 200 Jews. By 1939 there were Jewish refugees from Germany and Austria.
The two factors that explain why more Jews in Albania were not killed are that Albania was under Italian control and Albania had a very small Jewish population. Italian forces in Albania rejected the Final Solution as “the German disease” and did not enforce anti-Jewish measures. This is why Albanian Jews were “rescued” in Albania, not because of anything the Albanians did themselves. There was no history of ideological anti-Semitism in Albania. But this was true of every country in the Balkans. A history of anti-Semitism did not exist in Greece, Serbia, Montenegro, Bosnia-Hercegovina, Hungary, or Romania. So Albania was not unique in this regard in any way. The small number of Jews in Albania also played a key role in why they were not killed. During the Italian occupation, they were able to disperse and blend in the general population. When Germany occupied Albania in 1943, the Jewish population was already beyond reach.
What role did Albania play in the Holocaust? Albanian apologists maintain that no Jews were killed in Albania during the Holocaust. Is this accurate? What is the context of this statement? Albanian apologists have consciously and methodically falsified the Albanian role in the Holocaust. The way this was done was to totally suppress the fact that Kosovo-Metohija was a part of Albania from 1941 to 1944. Also left out is the fact that a Greater Albania was in fact created that included not only Kosovo-Metohija, Kosova in the Greater Albania ideology, but southern Serbian territory, territory in southern Montenegro, and western Macedonia, or Illirida. Albanian apologists distort history by implying that it was Albanians that rescued Jews. But in fact it was the Italian occupation forces that opposed the Final Solution and who rescued Jews. Another falsification is the omission of the role played by Xhafer Deva, a Kosovar Albanian Muslim, in the Greater Albanian state and in the Holocaust.
Albanian apologists falsify the history of the Holocaust by suppressing the fact that it was Adolf Hitler who first created a Greater Albania that included the Serbian province of Kosovo-Metohija. They assiduously cover-up the fact that it was Adolf Hitler who set the precedent for an “independent” Kosova, an ethnically pure Albanian Kosova. Albanian apologists have carefully suppressed and deleted this fact.
Rescue in Albania by Harvey Sarner was published in book form in 1997 just in time for the Kosovo conflict and the start of the KLA terrorism campaign sponsored by the US/EU/NATO. It began being used as a propaganda tract immediately. The book was to pave the way for US military intervention in Serbia. It was first published as a booklet in 1992 as “The Jews of Albania”. It was released following the aliyah or emigration of the entire Jewish population out of Albania. They settled in Tel Aviv and other towns and cities in Israel. Little is revealed about the author. This throws up red flags. But Sarner did play a major role in the emigration of Albanian Jews to Israel. So the publication initially was payback or a goodwill gesture from Sarner for the emigration out of Albania to Israel. Israel got 300 new citizens and Albania got the pamphlet “The Jews of Albania”, a thank you note.
Who is Harvey Sarner? He is a third generation American of Jewish-Polish descent. Sarner is a retired American attorney. He is not a historian. The book is essentially a hack job. Sarner has paid or “subsidized” visits to Israel of “Righteous Gentiles”. He has written another book, General Anders and the Soldiers of the Second Polish Corps in 1997. Yad Vashem has listed 118 Serbs as “Righteous Gentiles” who rescued Jews during the Holocaust while only 61 Albanians have been so honored. But Sarner conveniently doesn’t mention this. He is the chairman of the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) Jewish Foundation for Christian Rescuers. He has worked with Jews in Poland, Ukraine, and Albania. His primary focus is on Jewish emigration to Israel and in documenting those non-Jews who have “rescued” Jews during the Holocaust.
Rescue in Albania is nothing more than a thinly-veiled propaganda tract. His subtitle is: “One Hundred Percent of Jews in Albania Rescued from Holocaust.” The book features an Albanian and Israeli flag on the cover. Van Christo, the Albanian president of the Frosina Foundation, has used the book for “fund raising purposes” to obtain money for the separatist campaign in Kosovo. Lobby money can buy you a lot of lies. That is the American way. And Sarner knows that.
In this propaganda tract, Sarner says nothing about the 21st SS Division “Skanderbeg”, made up primarily of Kosovar Muslim recruits, nothing about the genocide committed by Albanians against the Serbian and Jewish populations of Kosovo, and the genocide in Bosnia-Hercegovina, and Croatia. He says nothing about the destruction of Serbian Orthodox churches and cathedrals in Kosovo. He says nothing about the murder of Serbian Orthodox priests. Is it ignorance? It is willful ignorance. He suppresses and deletes anything negative about Albania and Albanians. A fundamental aspect of propaganda is that it is one-sided, subjective, and tells only half the story. Under this definition, Rescue in Albania is pure propaganda.
In October, 1997, the Albanian American Civic League (AACL, Lobbi Shqiptar), headed by Joe DioGuardi, began a systematic campaign to use the book by Sarner as a propaganda tool in the upcoming Kosovo separatist/terrorist war. DioGuardi lost his re-nomination bid in 1988 for Congress. Rejected by US voters, DioGuardi turned his efforts to the Muslim Kosovars, representing the citizens of another country, Yugoslavia. The AACL had been founded in 1989 by DioGuardi to revive the Greater Albania ideology established by the 1878 First League of Prizren. In 1943, Nazi Germany re-established the dormant Greater Albania ideology or program by establishing the Second League of Prizren under Xhafer Deva.
DioGuardi’s agenda for the AACL is stated as follows: “to liberate the seven million Albanian people in the Balkans from hostile Slavic domination.” This is an echo of Hitler’s statements regarding the Sudeten Germans in 1938. It is nothing less than a racist, neo-fascist and neo-Nazi ideology and campaign of expansion, to create a Greater Albania. The AACL requested that Thomas Lantos and Benjamin Gilman write a Forward to Rescue in Albania. The League distributed 10,000 copies, mostly to influential Jews in the US as propaganda for the coming separatist conflict in Kosovo-Metohija. Congressman Gilman and James Traficant then sent copies of the book with personal letters to each Jewish member of Congress with a “Dear Colleague” letter to other House members.
U.S. Representative James Traficant, D-Ohio, was later found guilty on bribery and corruption charges. A House panel voted to expel Traficant in 2002 from the US Congress. This shows that the Albanian apologists will say and do anything to support Greater Albania, even break the law. It shows that you can buy anything with a bribe. Money can buy a lot of lies. And this is the real danger of all propaganda. Anyone with any money can falsify the facts and manipulate others to kill. Bribes can buy a lot of propaganda, or PR or spin. And the goal is to get people to kill other people and to take their land. Wars come and go, but propaganda methods do not change.
Sarner begins his book on the Holocaust with a discussion of Greater Albania, "The Four Vilayets” under Ottoman Turkey: Janina, Shkodra, Kosovo, and Manastir. This is merely a parroting of the Greater Albania ideology. Sam Vaknin, in “The Myth of Greater Albania”, October 18, 1999, in the Central Europe Review, argued the opposite view: “Historically, there was never a ‘Greater Albania’ to hark back to.” But this is absolutely and patently incorrect and false. Vaknin conveniently and inexplicably suppresses and deleted any mention of the 1878 Albanian League of Prizren, whose sole raison d’etre was to create a Greater Albania. In 1943, the Nazis sponsored the creation of a Second League of Prizren, whose goal again, was to create a Greater Albania. The Kosovar Albanian Muslim Skanderbeg Nazi SS Division was created to establish a Greater Albania. In fact, from 1941 to 1944, there was a Greater Albania which Adolf Hitler and Benito Mussolini created. Vaknin seems to have amnesia on this point. He apparently has deleted the period 1941 to 1944 from his memory. This is convenient for his argument. Four years in the history of Kosovo and Albania are erased from the history books. It is as if the period 1941 to 1944 never even existed. The supporters of Greater Albania and the creation of an independent Kosova are in serious denial and self-repression. Why? They don’t want to admit to themselves, or anyone else, that Adolf Hitler devised and developed the Greater Albania and independent Kosova policies long before they did. Adolf Hitler was there first. Hitler was prescient and way ahead of the curve on Kosovo. And this is why there is denial, amnesia, and psychological self-repression. The result is a falsification of history.
There was a Greater Albania to hark back to, and Sarner does an excellent job in re-creating the Greater Albania ideology. Greater Albania may be a “myth” to Vaknin, but it is not a myth to Albanians but the primary focus of their national being and identity. Greater Albania is a hard factual reality for Albanians. Vaknin makes a semantic distinction that is irrelevant and meaningless. When Kosovo is 100% ethnically pure Albanian and all the Kosovo Serbs and Roma and Jews have been killed or driven out and Serbian Orthodox churches destroyed, the border between Old Albania and New Albania, i.e., Kosovo will be meaningless. Kosova will just be a second Albanian state and the distinction between Albania proper and Kosovo will be moot. Kosova will, for all intents and purposes, and in a practical sense, be part of a Greater Albania. Vaknin’s argument is specious and totally wrong.
This discussion of a Greater Albania is just recycled by Sarner from handouts his Albanian minders provided to him. There is no question that Sarner has been provided Albanian handlers to help him with his facts. What Sarner was not told is that these so-called Albanian Vilayets have non-Albanian majorities and were never part of Albania. This is the myth of Greater Albania. Janina is in northern Greece and has never been part of Albania. The population is majority Greek. There is a small Albanian minority in that former Ottoman Turkish “vilayet”. Manastir, or Bitola today, is in southern Macedonia which is majority Macedonian with a minuscule Albanian population. It was never part of Albania. Shkodra is the territory around southern Montenegro. Montenegro has a minority Albanian population and has never been part of Albania. Kosovo-Metohija is the cradle of the Serbian Orthodox church and of Serbian culture. The towns, cities, and villages all have Serbian names from the medieval period when it was part of Serbia. The oldest Serbian Orthodox churches are located in Kosovo. Albanian settlement and colonization during the Ottoman Turkish period could not erase its Serbian heritage. Moreover, Kosovo-Metohija was never a part of Albania. In fact, there had never been an Albanian state until 1912. But Sarner is silent about all of this.
There are many factual errors and mistakes showing Sarner’s total and complete ignorance of the actual Holocaust history of Albania. He referred to “General Futzstun, the Gestapo chief…” There was no such person named Futzstun. In fact, this was SS Brigadefuehrer Jozef Fitzhum (1896-1945), who was the Higher SS and Police Leader (Hoherer SS und Polizeifuehrer, HSSPF) in Albania. Fitzhum was responsible for internal security, the war against the resistance or guerrillas, and the implementation of the Final Solution. He assumed control in Albania after German forces occupied Albania following the surrender of Italy in September, 1943. He had been the police chief in Vienna from 1938 to 1940. Fitzhum created the 21st SS Division Skanderbeg with Xhafer Deva, made up mostly of Kosovar Muslim Albanians. As noted by Raul Hilberg in The Destruction of the European Jews (1961), Skanderbeg played a major role in the Holocaust, rounding up the Jews in Greater Albania who were subsequently sent to Bergen-Belsen where they were killed.
Sarner sought to make a distinction between Albania proper and Kosovo. He defined Kosovo as part of “the annexed territories”. But this is a bit of a ruse and a phony scam. Kosovo was made a part of Albania in 1941. Kosovo was called the “New Albania”. The Interior Minister of Albania was a Kosovan or Kosovar Albanian Muslim, Xhafer Deva. Deva was one of the most influential Albanians in the Albanian Government. And he was from Kosovo. Sarner seeks to obfuscate this obvious fact by creating a spurious and meaningless distinction.
Sarner admitted that Jews in Kosovo were being sent to the concentration camps where they were killed: “All around them…in the annexed territories, Jews were being transported to the death camps.” He admits that Kosovo Jews were being killed. He doesn’t admit that it was the Albanians who rounded up the Jews so that they could be killed. Why the omission? He is writing propaganda. He seeks to falsify the Albanian role in the Holocaust.
He grossly exaggerated the uniqueness of the “rescue” of Jews in Albania: “In Athens, the Jews refused to supply a list and there was a 50% survival rate.” He is factually wrong. In fact, the survival rate was 66% in Athens for Jews. Athens, like Albania, was in the Italian occupation zone. This explains why the Jews were “rescued”, not because of Albanian actions. It would be analogous to a cheerleader claiming credit for a win of the football team. In short, the Albanians had nothing to do with the so-called rescue. This is giving the Albanians credit for something that they were not responsible for. It is a falsification of history. It is out and out propaganda.
By contrast, in Bulgaria, an estimated 50,000 Bulgarian Jews were “rescued”. But Bulgarians did allow the Jews of Macedonia and Thrace, then a part of a Greater Bulgaria, to be deported and killed by German forces. Sarner harped on the propaganda statement that there were more Jews in Albania after World War II than before it. But this is misleading. There were only 200 Jews in all of Albania proper during the war. These Albanian Jews were “rescued” because the Italian occupation forces did not support the German Final Solution. Because of this fact, Jews in Eastern Europe all fled to Italian zones of occupation to escape German incarceration and deportation. The Italians also “rescued” Serbs from genocidal attacks by Croatian Ustasha forces, Bosnian Muslims, and Kosovar Albanian Muslims. Albania was part of the route to then Palestine, containing several ports. Jewish refugees passed through Albania because it was on the way to Palestine, not because of an Albanian desire to “rescue” Jews. This is an absurd propaganda construction concocted by Sarner and his Albanian handlers .
Why this obsession and constant harping on “the list”? Sarner wrote his book when the Holocaust movie Schindler’s List (1993) was released. He wants to make the connection very easy to follow for his readers. He doesn’t want to complicate things for them too much. Oskar Schindler did not divulge a “list” of Jews to the Nazis, and the Albanians did not divulge a list to the Nazis. It is very easy and simple to follow. Oskar Schindler was a “Righteous Gentile”, as were the Albanian “Christians and Muslims” who “rescued” Jews. This explains why there is an overemphasis on “the list”.
Sarner does not examine World War II at any length. Although his subject matter is purportedly on World War II and the Holocaust, there is very little on the Holocaust itself. He finally gets around to discussing the Holocaust period in “Chapter 7”, which he titled “The Germans”. Most of the book is on Jewish settlement in Albania and the 1930s period when Jewish-American Herman Bernstein was the US Ambassador to Albania. There is almost no account of the Holocaust and World War II. Why is this? This is because Sarner does not want to elucidate, but obfuscate. He wants to cover-up, not reveal.
He starts off with an incorrect assertion: “The fact” is “ that the Albanian Government and people did not cooperate with the Germans...” According to Sarner, Xhafer Deva, the Kosovar Muslim Interior Minister denied the list of Jews to the German forces on page 43. He offers no evidence for these statements. Factually, the Albanian Government and people did cooperate with the Germans. Indeed, Deva helped to organize the Nazi 21st Waffen SS Division “Skanderbeg”. Moreover, there was an Albanian Muslim Battalion of about 300 men in the Bosnian Muslim 13th Waffen Gebirgs Division der SS “Handschar/Handzar”. Rudi Sommerer was the commander of the Albanian Battalion in the Handzar Nazi SS Division. Kosovar Albanian Muslim Nazir Hodic was a prominent member of the Albanian Battalion in Handzar. This Albanian Battalion would later form the core of the Skanderbeg Nazi SS Division. The SS designed special gray skull caps for the Albanian Nazi SS troops. The Albanian Skanderbeg SS Division also had its own symbol created by the SS and worn as a collar patch, a goat’s head helmet supposedly modeled on the one worn by Skanderbeg himself. Sarner doesn’t even discuss the Balli Kombetar (BK), an ultra-nationalist group committed to creating a Greater Albania that would include Kosovo. Sarner says nothing about the known and widespread collaboration of the Balli Kombetar with the Italian and German occupation forces.
Sarner maintained that in 1943, the German occupation forces made a request for a list of Jews living in Greater Albania. The Germans established an Albanian national committee that created the Regency that governed Greater Albania. In the spring of 1944, the Nazis asked the Regency for the list of Jews according to Sarner. The real reason the Jews in Albania proper were not rounded up and deported was because under Italian occupation they had dispersed and were difficult to concentrate. German forces and Albanian collaborators made an effort to kill all the Jews of Greater Albania, but the German forces had to withdraw from Albania and the war ended before this could be accomplished. But in Kosovo-Metohija, then part of a Greater Albania, and Xhafer Deva’s birthplace, Albanians did round up all the known Jews, who were subsequently sent to the death camps and killed. The reference to “the list” is a smokescreen and Sarner is a pettifogger.
The reason there was a “rescue” in Albania was because the Italian government did not support the Final Solution and prevented its implementation. The German anti-Jewish policy was termed “the German disease” by the Italians.
Albanians, however, did play a major role in the Holocaust, the mass killings of Albanian Jews. Sarner plays dumb. All anyone has to do is to check Raul Hilberg’s seminal Holocaust book, The Destruction of the European Jews from 1961, to learn that Albanians played a key and fundamental role in the Holocaust. Sarner calls Kosovo a part of “The Annexed Territories”. He doesn’t reveal that Adolf Hitler and Benito Mussolini created a Greater Albania. He doesn’t tell us that Kosovo-Metohija, parts of Montenegro, southern Serbia, and western Macedonia were all parts of a Greater Albania. Why? This is the exact same goal today of US foreign policy and of NATO. It is Adolf Hitler’s vision. But today, Hitler’s vision is taken up and revived by the US and NATO and Joe DioGuardi and Thomas Lantos. But Hitler did it first. But of course, Sarner is unaware of all this. His is a blissful ignorance. He does concede that Kosovo was made part of Albania: “In April, 1941” Kosovo “was annexed to Albania…”
Here is what Sarner says about Kosovo: “The Jews in the ‘annexed area’ were not as fortunate as the Jews in Albania proper. Life in the annexed territories was not as secure and there were unfortunate incidents of Jews being abused by the local people.” So he does grudgingly admit that Albanians did participate in the anti-Semitic outrages against the Jewish population, although he does not use the word “Kosovar Muslim” or “Albanian” but refers to “the local people”.
There was a Jewish family that was killed in Albania. The Jewish family Ardel was killed by the Nazis in Albania, but Sarner qualifies this as being a family of partisans. They were killed not because they were Jewish, but because they were partisans.
What about the Balli Kombetar (BK, National Front in Shqip), which emerged after October, 1942 in Vlora, a BK stronghold, where it was founded by Midhat Frasheri? Why does Sarner omit any discussion of the BK? Was the BK an anti-Nazi resistance movement? Was the BK a Nazi/fascist collaborationist group? Sarner suppresses and covers up any information on the BK.
Bernd Jurgen Fischer, the foremost US historian on Albania during the Holocaust, a professor of history at the Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis---Fort Wayne, explained the role of the BK as follows: Much of the Balli Kombetar, which had remained aloof, was finally convinced to throw in its lot with the Germans.” Fischer noted that three members of the BK joined the Rexhep Mitrovica cabinet in January, 1944. Mitrovica was a “Kosovar” or “Kosovan” Albanian. Mitrovica was the Prime Minister in the Nazi-created Greater Albania regime, later replaced by the Zogist Fikri Dine. Xhafer Deva, a Kosovar Muslim, was the interior minister under the Nazi regime. Thus, the two highest positions, the prime minister and interior minister of Greater Albania, were held by Kosovars from Kosovo. Kosovo Albanian Muslims ran Greater Albania.
The collaboration of the Balli Kombetar with the Nazi and fascist forces is well-documented and well established. According to Fischer, “elements of the Balli Kombetar supported the Germans.” Fischer offered conclusive historical evidence and documentation that the Balli Kombetar, although opportunistic, concerned with gaining power, and forcefully annexing “Kosova” to a Greater Albania, was a Nazi/fascist collaborationist group. In February, 1944, British liaison officers reported that it was difficult for the partisans and resistance groups to attack the German forces because “they were being screened by elements of the Balli Kombetar and that these forces had become a normal part of any German force.” Bill Stone, in a review of Bernd Fischer’s book Albania at War, 1939-1945, wrote: “The National Front, however, fragmented completely and for the most part its local leaders chose to cease their already limited resistance activities and collaborate with the occupiers.” This is conclusive proof that the BK was a Nazi/fascist grouping. Fischer leaves no doubt about the role of the BK during the Holocaust. This is why Sarner deletes and covers up any mention of the BK.
Another prominent Kosovar Albanian Muslim, Bedri Pejani, was appointed to committee the Nazi occupation authorities established to rule the Nazi-created Greater Albania. Pejani announced a plan to create a Greater Islamic State consisting of Albania, Bosnia-Hercegovina, and the Sandzak/Rashka region of Serbia. The plan was presented to the Grand Mufti of Jerusalem, Haj Amin el Husseini, who approved of the Pejani plan because it was seen as being in the interests of Islam. The German government, however, opposed the plan. The German occupation regime sought to gain the support of the Albanians by creating a Greater Albania which would include Kosovo. The German occupation officials emphasized that their policy in Kosovo, the “new Albania”, was to annex the province permanently to Albania proper, the “Old Albania”. The Germans sought to convince the Albanians that German foreign policy would achieve the annexation of “Kosova” to Old Albania. The German occupation forces, like the US and NATO and the EU would later do, sought to win over the Albanian population by bestowing on them land that did not belong to them, by giving away Serbian territory to gain the support of Albanian proxies. This resulted in Albanians flocking to the Nazi cause.
In “The Myth of Greater Albania”, Sam Vaknin argued that “in Albania proper, three anti-fascist resistance movements-… Balli Kombetar (the National Front)…fought against the occupiers.” This is patently and obviously incorrect and constitutes a falsification of the history of the BK. It also whitewashes the BK. Factually, the BK was a Nazi/fascist collaborationist movement, not an “anti-fascist resistance movement”. The Federal Research Division of the U.S. Library of Congress published Albania: A Country Study in which the Nazi/fascist collaborationist role of the BK was explained as follows:
Some Balli Kombetar units cooperated with the Germans against the communists, and several Balli Kombetar leaders held positions in the German-sponsored regime. Albanian collaborators, especially the Skanderbeg SS Division, also expelled and killed Serbs living in Kosovo. …The nationalistic Geg chieftains and the Tosk landowners often came to terms with the Italians, and later the Germans….
Why the ignorance? Why does Bernd Jurgen Fischer and the Federal Research Division of the U.S. Library of Congress know the role of the BK but other “experts” do not? Clearly, the goal here is to create PR and propaganda for the creation of a Greater Albania including Kosovo, or the practical equivalent, an “independent Kosova”. To reveal the factual history of the BK would not help in the creation of an “independent Kosova”. The whole game here is to conceal the fact that Adolf Hitler was the original sponsor of an independent Kosova, part of a Greater Albania. Logically speaking, it would not help in the creation of an independent Kosova if it was revealed that the BK was a Nazi/fascist group that also sought the same thing, but with Adolf Hitler’s help, instead of Bill Clinton’s. The syllogism would not work.
Sarner incorrectly implied that Albania escaped all the horrors of the Final Solution and Holocaust. But this is not true. Albania too experienced the Holocaust. The German occupation forces imposed anti-Jewish laws in Kosovo. Kosovo Jews wore “J” for “Juden” or “Jew”. Kosovo Jews wore white armbands with the word “Jude” in black letters. ID cards were stamped with a red “J”. Josef Fitzhum was determined to carry out the Final Solution in Albania. Fitzhum ordered the Jews of Vlora deported. And at least one Jewish family was killed.
Sarner finally got around to admitting that Albanians played an active and major role in the Holocaust: “In Prishtina, capital city of the annexed territories, the local authorities complied with German demands and jailed 60 Jewish men.”
The Albanian Government played an active role in the Holocaust. On April 1, 1942, the Albanian Minister of the Interior gave instructions to the Albanian Prefect of Police that Jews who came after the war started should be “gathered on a field of concentration.” On March 20, 1942, he had ordered that the Jews be imprisoned and a list of Jews provided. In Note C, The Fields of Concentration, Sarner conceded that this euphemistic language meant a concentration camp: “This was the name given to what were otherwise known as concentration camps. These were camps for civilians and…their populations were mainly Jews….The camps were surrounded by barbed wire….It was an ugly place.” This is a very roundabout and disingenuous and dishonest way to admit that the Albanian Government set up concentration camps for Jews in Albania. It is artful spin and propaganda. But it is also a malicious attempt at falsifying history. Sarner is rewriting history, creating a phony and bogus history.
Sarner even finally conceded that the Albanian Government and Albanian authorities took an active part in the extermination of European Jews: “In June, 1943…the Albanian police chief suggested the jailing of certain Jews:
‘According to our investigation the Jews listed below are dangerous because they are propaganderizing [sic] against the Axis (Rome-Berlin) and they want to organize and hold meetings. We think these people should be taken away from here as soon as possible to one of the concentration fields, because their staying here could be dangerous to the regime.’”
To complete the circle, Sarner finally grudgingly admits that the Albanian Government and people played a major role in the Holocaust and Final Solution: “In April, 1944, the Germans shipped 400 Jews from the annexed territories to Bergen-Belsen; 100 survived the war.” Sarner then grudgingly admitted that the Albanians participated in the murder of at least 300 Albanian Jews, Jews who lived in Greater Albania.
Then Sarner creates a propaganda smokescreen by arguing absurdly that the Albanians only helped to kill only 40% of the Jewish population of Kosovo, then a part of Greater Albania: “According to our report the survival rate in Kosove [sic] was sixty percent, which made it, relatively, one of the areas with the highest percentage of survival in occupied Europe.” This is a patently absurd and nonsensical argument. It displays a bizarre moral calculus.
Finally, in Footnote 2, Sarner explained why he wrote the book and its ultimate purpose. The book was written essentially as a propaganda tract, a falsified history of the Holocaust, in order to garner support for the creation of a Greater Albania or “independent” Kosova. This is the method to Sarner’s madness. There almost always is some secret purpose, isn’t there? These “experts” always have a hidden agenda that they peddle. Propaganda is, rarely, if ever random. Propaganda is meticulously coordinated and planned out. In propaganda, there is no such thing as an accident or something happening by chance. The book had a clear-cut goal and purpose all along. Propaganda is written for a specific purpose and goal. As Adolf Hitler himself noted, propaganda is not written for “blasé young gentlemen”, but to convince the masses, to persuade key groups, key target audiences. In this case, the target audience was powerful and influential establishment Jews in the US.
Sarner parrots the Albanian and US State Department policy on the Serbian province of Kosovo-Metohija as follows: “The status of Kosova[sic], currently a part of Yugoslavia, is in contention today. Albanians favor either independence for Kosova or its being a part of Albania. The people of the area are ethnic Albanians.” Of course, this statement too is incorrect and is patently absurd. The borders of Yugoslavia are recognized by the United Nations and by international law. Yugoslavia, as a sovereign nation, has a right and duty to safeguard and protect its own internationally recognized and legal borders. But Sarner knows all that. Propaganda is not written to be rational. As Hitler noted, propaganda appeals to the emotions and subjective and irrational nature of man. This is what Sarner is appealing to.
What is the Kosovo conflict all about? Edith Durham in The Burden of the Balkans, published in 1905, explained the Albanian goal in Kosovo succinctly and clearly:
The Christian the Albanian persecutes is the Slav Christian, and this is the old, old race hatred. Of all the passions that sway human fortunes, race hatred is, perhaps, the strongest and the most lasting.
The Kosovo conflict is all about “race hatred”, what we call “racism” today. It is all about finishing the job Adolf Hitler and Benito Mussolini started. It is called genocide and ethnic cleansing. This is the real goal. This is why Sarner is falsifying the history.
Durham also argued that the Shqip or Albanian language is an “Aryan tongue”. The Nazi/fascist sponsors of Greater Albania in 1941 would also argue that the Albanians were part of the Aryan, or master race, a superior race.
In 1991, virtually the entire Jewish population of Albania left for Israel. The Jews were airlifted to Israel after the collapse of the Communist regime. Albania under the Communist regime of Enver Hoxha maintained no diplomatic relations with Israel. Hoxha abolished religion and created an atheistic state in Albania. Today, there are less than 40 Jews in all of Albania. They live in the capital Tirana. In Kosovo, the small Jewish population was ethnically cleansed out of Kosovo in 1999 along with Kosovo Serbs and other non-Albanians after NATO troops occupied the Serbian province. The Kosovo Jews fled to Belgrade. There are no more Jews living in Kosovo today, which is under NATO military occupation.
Durham, Edith. The Burden of the Balkans. London: Edward Arnold, 1905.
Fischer, Bernd Jurgen. Albania at War, 1939-1944. W. Lafayette, IN: Purdue University Press, 1999.
---King Zog and the Struggle for Stability in Albania. Boulder: East European Monographs, 1984.
---“The Jews in Albania during the Zogist and Second World War Period.” Illyria. Albanische Studenten in Hamburg. Deutschland.
---“The Germans in Albania during the Second World War and After.” Lecture held on November 28th, 2003---Albanian Flag Day---in Hamburg. Illyria. Albanische Studenten in Hamburg. Deutschland.
Hilberg, Raul. The Destruction of the European Jews. Chicago: Quadrangle Books, Inc., 1961.
Kohen, Anna. “Remembering Albania’s Protection of the Jews during the Holocaust.” May 2, 1997. Frosina Information Network: An Albanian Immigrant & Cultural Resource. Boston, MA.
Kotani, Apostol. The Hebrews in Albania during Centuries. Tirana, Albania: n.p., n.d.
Sarner, Harvey. Rescue in Albania. Cathedral City, CA: Brunswick Press, 1997.
---The Jews of Albania. Cathedral City, CA: Brunswick Press, 1992.
Vaknin, Sam. “The Myth of Greater Albania.” Central Europe Review. October 18, 1999.
Excerpts on the crimes of genocide committed against the Jews of Kosovo and Metohije during the Holocaust in Yugoslavia, detailing Albanian collaboration with the Nazi and Italian fascist forces (with additional information on the Holocaust in Albania)
from Jaša Romano
THE JEWS OF YUGOSLAVIA 1941–1945:
VICTIMS OF GENOCIDE AND PARTICIPANTS IN THE WAR OF NATIONAL LIBERATION
THE JEWISH HISTORICAL MUSEUM
The Union of the Jewish Communities of Yugoslavia
Director, Jasenovac Research Institute
© Milo Yelesiyevich, 2004.
(Excerpt from pages 152-154)
4 — The Territory of Kosovo and Metohija
Until the Second World War, Jews resided in two places: Kosovska Mitrovica and Priština. One hundred and thirteen lived in Kosovska Mitrovica, while about 400 Jews lived in Priština. Their fates were different, taking into consideration the fact that the Germans administered Kosovska Mitrovica (with the aim of exploiting the Trepča Mines), while Priština was occupied by the Italians.
Kosovska Mitrovica — Twenty-five Jews fled to Priština with the arrival of the Germans in Kosovska Mitrovica. The remaining eighty-six were subjected to various humiliations as well as the plunder and theft of their property from the first day of the Germans’ arrival. They put signs on Jewish shops that read “Jüdischen Geschäft,” and Jews had to wear a yellow armband that read “Jude.” Along with the Gestapo, the members of the fascist Albanian Committee (Albanski komitet) participated in the mistreatment of Jews and in the plunder and theft of their property. The Gestapo handed over the administration of Kosovska Mitrovica to the Albanian Committee. The President of the municipality, Džafer Deva, ordered the confiscation of Jewish property on May 20, 1941, while commissars, members of the aforementioned Committee, were assigned to Jewish shops. The following Gestapo collaborators were prominent among those pillaging Jewish property: Perijuc Mamut, Ramiz Mulić, and Osman Ibraimović, who was the chief of the Commissariat of Jewish Property. The synagogue was demolished by his direct orders, and its library and archival documents were destroyed.
The occupiers introduced strict controls on the movement of Jews in order to make it impossible for them to escape. In January 1942, they caught Matilda Ruben, who had tried to flee to Priština by disguised herself in traditional Muslim folk costume. They executed her. Five Jews who had been brought from Duga Poljana were executed at the same time.
August 1941. The Germans interned Jewish males in a camp in Kosovska Mitrovica, while the women were taken into custody and assigned to forced labor in a hospital. However, in mid-February 1942, the women and children were transferred to the camp.
March 1942. All the Jews from Kosovska Mitrovica, in other words, the ones held in the camp there, were taken to Zemun and detained at the “Sajmište” camp. They were then sent to Bergen-Belsen shortly afterwards, where they all perished. Of all the Jews of Kosovska Mitrovica, only those twenty-five who fled to Priština survived. During the transfer of Jews from Kosovska Mitrovica to the “Sajmište” camp, one young man managed to escape and hide, but the Gestapo found him later and executed him in Kosovska Mitrovica.
Priština — It has already been noted that some four hundred Jews lived in Priština during the Second World War. After the capitulation of Yugoslavia, twenty-five Jews from Kosovska Mitrovica fled to Priština, where they were joined by 200 Jews from Belgrade and elsewhere in Serbia. In addition to these people, the Germans brought to Priština forty-five Jewish refugees from Poland and Austria, who had been confined in Kuršumlijska banja until the outbreak of the war. The Jewish community of Priština was responsible for their food and lodging.
Over the course of two months, the length of time the Germans stayed in Priština, the succeeded in carrying out a large number of anti-Jewish measures. They plundered and confiscated Jewish property, starting with Jewish shops, where signs reading “Jüdischen Geschäft” had to be posted. Jews were ordered to wear a yellow armband and the men were put to work as forced laborers in a quarry. The Kvesture — an official organ of the Albanian administration — and the aforementioned Albanian Committee participated in the plunder of Jewish property as well as in the mistreatment of Jews. These men included Maljuš Kosova (president of the Albanian Committee), Džemal beg Ismail Kanli (the chief of police), Rašid Memedali (president of the municipality),Rifat Šukri Ramadan, Mahmud Šaban Pašić, Jahja šeh Asan (members of the Albanian Committee) and others.
After the departure of the Germans, Italian Fascist authorities took over the administration of Priština, but the situation in which the Jews found themselves did not improve significantly because the representatives of the Kvesture continued to have the last word, as well as the aforementioned Albanian Committee. The Italian military command also participated in the plunder of Jewish property, but it singled out Jewish refugees from Serbia for blackmail. The Italian military command interned these refugees in the Priština prison, promising that they would not turn them over to the Germans. However, on March 14, 1942, despite having made such promises, the Italian military command handed over 51 of the internees in the Banjici camp to the Germans, who executed them. The Italians authorities transferred the remaining refugees to Albania and interned them in camps in Šijaka, Kavaji and Krnj.
The Italian military command interned the permanent Jewish residents of Priština in a camp, also in Priština, which was moved to the building that housed the elementary school, and not long afterwards, following an order from the Prefecture, all males from the ages of fifteen to sixty-five years of age were transferred to Albania and interned in a camp in Berat. Their fate will be discussed later (see The Prison Camp in Berat).
After Italy’s capitulation, the Germans once again arrived in Priština. This resulted in the renewed plunder and theft of Jewish property, and the mistreatment and humiliation of Jews. The arrival of the Germans put the final stamp on the fate of Priština Jews who were still to be found there, and they were chiefly women, children and the elderly. Acting on orders from the Gestapo, the municipality made a list of all Jews on the basis of those who were arrested in May 14, 1944. They were interned in barracks in Priština. Upon their arrival in the barracks, the Jews were finally robbed of everything they had, and afterwards they were taken to Zemun, where they were interned in the Sajmište camp. After a month, they were sent to Bergen-Belsen, where 177 Jews died. The Gestapo executed two men before the Jews were expelled from Priština.
Two hundred and ten Jews from Kosovo-Metohija were killed. 
The Italian Fascists’ Relations with the Jews in the Occupied Areas of Yugoslavia that Were Annexed to Italy
On the territories that, after Yugoslavia’s capitulation, were annexed by Fascist Italy, as well as in those areas that were occupied by Italy, the methods of exterminating Jews were the same, i.e., genocide. Italy had instituted anti-Jewish measures that were economic and psychological in nature. This relates to the period April 1941 to September 1943, i.e., until Italy’s capitulation.
Even though Fascist Italy did not directly participate in the genocide conducted by the Germans and the Ustaše, it nevertheless did, to a certain indirect extent, participate in these crimes, which can be seen from the following facts:
― Italy made it impossible for Jewish refugees to be granted safe passage through territories it had annexed or occupied, and Italy returned a certain number of refugees to territories under the administration of the Ustaše, allowing them to become victims of genocide;
― The Italian military command in Paga permitted the mass murder of Serbs and Jews in camps that the Ustaše established on the island, even though it was obliged by international law to prevent such mass murder;
― The questor in Sušak, by perfidious and deceitful means, arrested about two hundred Jewish refugees from Western Europe, and handed them over to the Ustaše, who killed them all;
― The Italian military command in Priština handed over a group of Jewish refugees from Belgrade to the Germans, who sent them to the concentration camp in Banjici and killed them there;
― The Italian military command in Dubrovnik did not prevent the deportation of twenty-seven Jews from Dubrovnik from the Ustaše, who killed them all.
(Excerpt from pg. 166)
a) Camps in Albania
These camps were collection centers that had already been built by Fascist Italy in 1941. Jews, who fled Yugoslavia after the capitulation to the Montenegrin coast were interned in these camps just as Jewish males from Priština had been, as well as groups of Jewish refugees from Serbia who sought refuge in Priština. The Italians handed over the administration of these camps to the Albanian Fascist authorities, whose official organs gave free rein to the mistreatment of Jews. These camps were dismantled after the Italy’s capitulation.
The Camp in Berat ― was created at the beginning of May 1942. The first detainees were Jewish males from Priština, who were brought there on May 6, 1942. Along with the Priština Jews, twenty-five Jewish refugees who had fled from Kosovska Mitrovica to Priština, as well as one hundred and fifty Jewish refugees from Belgrade and elsewhere in Serbia who had fled to Priština after the capitulation. All tolled, about four hundred Jews were sent to the camp.
The conditions of life in the camp were extremely difficult, especially with respect to housing and hygiene. Besides that, the Albanian Fascists, to whom the administration of the camp had been entrusted, mercilessly plundered the detainees. Mistreatment was a daily affair. The organizer of all of the crimes in the camp was the Albanian Fascist Džafer Dava from Kosovska Mitrovica, who allowed two Jewish detainees to be killed.
After the capitulation, the Italians dismantled the camp, and the Jewish detainees left for Drač, Tirana, Skadar and various Albanian villages. Wherever they went, they were more or less subject to robbery and plunder by the Balists. The Jews who took up residence in Skadar were subjected to exceptional mistreatment and robbery. They were arrested in groups and mistreated in jail by Balists and the Gestapo, until they had paid the amount demanded. Captain Firer Hoffman, the Chief of the Gestapo in Skadar, excelled in blackmailing Jews. On May 29, 1944, he threatened to execute all the Jews unless they paid 25,000 Albanian napoleons or 1,000 napoleons in gold. The Jews were able to scrape together only 5,000 Albanian napoleons, but promised to pay the remaining 20,000 once their property in Priština was sold. Hoffman released them from prison and let them go to Priština. However, once they were released from prison, the Jews from Skadar fled in all directions and vanished in the Albanian countryside.
 Report by the Commission for the Investigation of War Crimes Committed by the Occupier and Their Collaborators, No. 14900, in the Jewish Historical Museum, Belgrade, K-22, 1a—3/9, reg. No. 3728.
 Documents in the Jewish Historical Museum in Belgrade, 2a-2/5, reg. No. 3727.
 Documents in the Jewish Historical Museum, Belgrade, K-22, 1a-3/9, reg. No. 3728 and K-22 2a 2/5, reg. No. 3727.
Albirght WAR juedisch...richtig...!!!...Betonung liegt auf WAR....!!!
Zitat von Albanesi
..und jene Juden welche euch geholfen haben, sind diejenigen welche die DEMOCRATS gewaehlt haben oder waehlen...
Hier in den Staaten gibt es auch solche Juden, welche die Palaestinenser gut finden....Sind ebenso DEMOCRATS-Waehler....
Es gibt auch etliche, welche die REPUBLICANS waehlen....Die bezeichnen euch als:
"Iran-backed narco-terrorists whose 1999 jihad against the Christian Serbs we helped fight, abetting secession and creating a mono-ethnic terror haven and future Islamic republic in Europe." - Jewish World Review
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