Death Toll: 120,000 – 270,000 Albanians of both sexes and all ages.
255,878 Albanians expelled.
According to the Serbian documents, 239,807 people were expatriated from October 1912 until March 1914, without accounting the children up to six years old. By august 1914 this number had increased to 281,747, again not counting those less than six years old. The vast majority of these were Albanians. Serbia and Montenegro plundered 381,245 hectares of land in Kosova and Macedonia. In Kosova 228,000 hectares of land were taken for colonists, and it was settled by 15,943 families. The ‘Serbization’ of Kosova continued until 1941. In this way the territory for the Serbian national element was created.
On the eastern banks of the Adriatic, a mere three days journey from Vienna, live an autochthonous people who for centuries have been fighting for their freedom and independence against enemies and oppressors of all types. This nation has clung steadfast to its roots through countless wars and the cataclysms of history. Neither the great migrations nor wars with the Serbs, the Turks and other invaders have hindered the Albanians from maintaining their nationality, their language, and the purity and originality of their customs.
The history of this nation is an unbroken chain of bloody battles against violent oppressors, but not even the most unspeakable of atrocities have managed to annihilate this people. Intellectual life has flourished among the Albanians even though their oppressors endeavoured to cut off all cultural development at the root. This nation produced great generals and men of state for the Ottoman Empire. Albanians were among the best judges in Turkey and among the greatest authors of Turkish literature. Almost all the merchants of Montenegro were Albanian, as were many fine businessmen in the major cities of Romania. The Albanians played an important role in Italy, too. Crispi was one of them. Greece’s bravest soldiers were of Albanian blood.
In the wake of the cataclysms wrought by the Balkan War, the ancient dream of freedom and independence for this people is now becoming a reality. The Great Powers of Europe have decided to grant Albania its national autonomy.
But the Serbian thirst for conquest has now found a means of destroying the fair dream of this courageous and freedom-loving people before it can be realized. Serbian troops have invaded Albania with fire and sword. And if Albania cannot be conquered, then at least the Albanian people can be exterminated. This is the solution they propose.
– Excerpt from a work by Leo Freundlich: “Albania’s Golgotha: Indictment of the Exterminators of the Albanian People”
Houses and whole villages reduced to ashes, unarmed and innocent populations massacred en masse, incredible acts of violence, pillage and brutality of every kind — such were the means which were employed and are still being employed by the Serbo-Montenegrin soldiery, with a view to the entire transformation of the ethnic character of regions inhabited exclusively by Albanians.
– Report of the International Commission on the Balkan Wars
In the early 20th century, the Ottoman Empire, which had ruled the Albanian region of Kosova for five centuries, was in disarray. Filling the vacuum, Serb troops invaded the territory to claim and occupy it for Serbia, and to cleanse it of its AlbanianAmbassadors’ Conference in London proposed drawing the borders of Albania according to ethnic and religious statistics to be gathered on site by a commission. The Serbs hastened to prepare the statistics for them with machine guns, rifles and bayonets.
When Serbian imperialists invaded Kosova, they informed the world that they would return again their historical rights they had in 1389 (the battle of Kosovo fought by the Serbian Empire against the invading Muslims). Basing themselves on these “historical rights,” Italy, France, Greece or Turkey could rise and request to get half of Europe, as they once had these regions in their hands. Furthermore, France could request a part of Russia, as Napoleon went once to Moscow in 1812.
In fact, Kosova, known these days as “Kosovo” is historical Albanian land, belonging to the Illyrians since 1200 B.C. Albanians are descended from the Illyrians and are the indigenous inhabitants of Kosova. The Albanian language, which belongs to the Indo-European group, has distinctive vocabulary, morphology and phonetic rules which have engaged the attention of many philologists, of whom several have confidently asserted its descent from ancient Illyrian. Kosova is a colonized Albanian region, and at the time has only 10% to 15% Serbian population that was settled there from older times, around the sixth century A.D.
During the Balkan Wars of 1912, most of Kosovo was taken from the Ottoman Empire by the Kingdom of Serbia while the region of Metohija (known as the Dukagjini Valley to ethnic Albanians) was taken by the Kingdom of Montenegro.
Fittingly enough, the Serbs did to the Albanians what the Ottomans would soon do to the Armenians. In connection with the news report that 300 unarmed Albanians of the Luma tribe were executed in Prizren without trial, the Frankfurter Zeitung writes:
“In the case in question, it seems to have been regular Serbian troops who committed the massacre. But there is no doubt whatsoever that even the heinous massacres committed by irregulars were carried out with the tacit approval and in full compliance with the will of the Serbian authorities.”
At the beginning of the war Leo Freundlich was told quite openly by a Serbian official: “We are going to wipe out the Albanians.” He wrote:
“Despite European protests, this systematic policy of extermination is continuing unhindered. As a result, we regard it as our duty to expose the intentions of the Serbian rulers. The gentlemen in Belgrade will then indignantly deny everything, knowing full well that journalistic propriety prevents us from mentioning names.”
It is evident that we would not make such a report if we were not fully convinced of its truth. In the case in question, the facts speak louder than any full confession could do. One massacre after another has been committed since Serbian troops crossed the border last autumn and occupied the land inhabited by the Albanians.
The first victims of Serbian imperialism were Macedonia and Kosova. However, pan-Serbian imperialists, although forced by the more powerful imperialists to draw back from the Albanian coast, have kept the best and more fertile place of Albania: Kosova. While the Great Powers recognized Albania as a sovereign State on 29 July 1913, Kosova, Dibra, Ohrid and Monastir remained under Serb military rule and on 7 September 1913, King Peter I of Serbia proclaimed the annexation of the conquered territories.
During the occupation, the Serbian army committed numerous crimes against the Albanian population “with a view to the entire transformation of the ethnic character of these regions.” The crimes included massacres, ethnic cleansing, systematic rape and genocide.
The crimes were usually carried out on ethnic and religious grounds and were primarily directed against civilians. The aim of these crimes was to create an ethnically pure Serbian state, or “Greater Serbia”, encompassing Serbia as well as the Serb-populated areas in the Balkans. The Serbian government officially denied reports of war crimes.
In the Albanian town of Luma the massacres were especially bad. General Janković of the army of the Kingdom of Serbia saw that the Albanians would notallow Serb forces to advance, the Serbian army massacred an entire population of men, women and children, not sparing anyone, and burned 27 villages in the area of Luma.
Reports spoke of the atrocities by the Serbian army, including the burning of women and children related to the stack of hay, within the sight of fathers. Subsequently, about 400 men from Luma surrendered to Serbian authorities, but were taken to Prizren, where they were murdered.
The Daily Telegraph wrote that “all the horrors of history have been outdone by the atrocious conduct of the troops of General Jankovic“.
Italian daily newspaper Corriere delle Puglie wrote in December 1913 about official report that was sent to the Great Powers with details of the slaughter of Albanians in Luma and Debar, executed after the proclamation of the amnesty by Serbian authorities.
The report listed the names of people killed by Serbian units in addition to the causes of death: by burning, slaughtering, bayonets, etc. The report also provided a detailed list of the burned and looted villages in the area of Luma and Has.
In northern Albania, Serbian and Montenegrin fighters turned whole villages into crematoriums, where women, children, and the disabled were burned alive.
Their brutality was vividly portrayed in the eyewitness accounts of M. Edith Durham, a British war correspondent and nurse, who administered care to Montenegrin soldiers.
Durham reported that Montenegrins and Serbs routinely mutilated the Albanian, Turkish, and Bosnian Muslim [Bosniak] civilians, and she particularly noted their practice of cutting off the noses and upper lips of their still-living victims:
“[The Montenegrins] all gloried in their bestiality, and related in detail their nose-cutting exploits, imitated the impaling of a Turk upon a bayonet, and the slicing off of his nose and upper lip, and they shouted advice to the still living man: ‘Go home and show your wives how pretty you are!’ All, with very few exceptions, had taken noses. An old man of seventy had only taken two, but excused himself on the grounds of having fallen ill at the beginning…
A Russian surgeon, the only foreign doctor who had been allowed in the Kosovo district, came to work with us for a few days, and corroborated the [Montenegrins’] statement that they had scarcely left a nose on a corpse between Berani [Montenegro] and Ipek [Kosovo.]
Some warm partisans of Montenegro have declared that they do not see anything horrible in the mutilation of dead bodies… but the men’s own account was that they mutilated the wounded before giving them a final bayonet prod…
A report came to me that… in Kosovo [region] the ground in many places was simply strewn with the bodies of women and children… I did not… attach much belief to the report till a Serbian officer turned up at the dinner table, and related, with glee, the valorous deeds of the Serbs. ‘We have,’ he boasted, ‘annihilated the Ljuma tribe.’”
We have carried out the attempted premeditated murder of an entire nation. We were caught in that criminal act and have been obstructed. Now we have to suffer the punishment…. In the Balkan Wars, Serbia not only doubled its territory, but also its external enemies.
After returning from the Balkan war, he published his influential book Serbia and Albania: A Contribution to the Critique of the Conqueror Policy of the Serbian Bourgeoisie, which analyzes the roots of Serbian-Albanian conflict.
Unlimited enmity of the Albanian people against Serbia is the foremost real result of the Albanian policies of the Serbian government. The second and more dangerous result is the strengthening of two big powers in Albania, which have the greatest interests in the Balkans.
Even one Serb Social Democrat who had served in the army previously commented on the disgust he had for the crimes his own people had committed against the Albanians, describing in great detail heaps of dead, headless Albanians in the centers of a string of burnt towns near Kumanovo and Skopje:
…the horrors actually began as soon as we crossed the old frontier. By five p.m. we were approaching Kumanovo. The sun had set, it was starting to get dark. But the darker the sky became, the more brightly the fearful illumination of the fires stood out against it. Burning was going on all around us. Entire Albanian villages had been turned into pillars of fire… In all its fiery monotony this picture was repeated the whole way to Skopje… For two days before my arrival in Skopje the inhabitants had woken up in the morning to the sight, under the principal bridge over the Vardar- that is, in the very centre of the town- of heaps of Albanian corpses with severed heads. Some said that these were local Albanians, killed by the komitadjis [Chetniks], others that the corpses were brought down to the bridge by the waters of the Vardar. What was clear was that these headless men had not been killed in battle.
A report of the International Commission cited a letter of a Serbian soldier, who described the punitive expedition against the rebel Albanians:
“My dear Friend, I have no time to write to you at length, but I can tell you that appalling things are going on here. I am terrified by them, and constantly ask myself how men can be so barbarous as to commit such cruelties. It is horrible. I dare not tell you more, but I may say that Luma (an Albanian region along the river of the same name), no longer exists. There is nothing but corpses, dust and ashes. There are villages of 100, 150, 200 houses, where there is no longer a single man, literally not one. We collect them in bodies of forty to fifty, and then we pierce them with our bayonets to the last man. Pillage is going on everywhere. The officers told the soldiers to go to Prizren and sell the things they had stolen.”
Durham further described how Serbian troops had tortured civilians with slow death, simply for their own entertainment. The following episode occurred in the village of Arzi from 1912 to 1913:
“When passing through the village in November, the Serbs had merely disarmed the people who had not resisted. But when the troops returned in April, they amused themselves by bleeding some of their defenceless victims to death. [The villagers attested:] ‘Not quickly, as you do sheep, but slowly. They made little cuts on the wrists and elbows and on the necks so that they should be a long time dying.’ Some women, with hideous and vivid pantomime, described the manner of the cuts and how the Serbs had danced round the dying victims and imitated their last shudders… Nor were the Serbs themselves ashamed of their exploits, for a Serb officer told a doctor I know, that he had helped to bury people alive in Kosovo.”
As a result of the Treaty of London in 1913, which legally awarded the former Ottoman lands to Serbia, Montenegro and Greece (namely, the large part of the Vilayet of Kosovo being awarded to Serbia), an independent Albania was recognised.
As such, Greece, Serbia and Montenegro agreed to withdraw from the territory of the new Principality of Albania. The principalty however, included only about half of the territory populated by ethnic Albanians and a large number of Albanians remained in neighboring countries.
Official Report Submitted to the Great Powers
We are the first in Europe to be able to publish the full list of atrocities committed by the Serb Army in the Districts of Dibra, Lower Dibra and Luma in northern Albania after the amnesty accorded last October by the government in Belgrade, following the revolt of the Albanian malisors (mountain people).
It is a document of extraordinary importance and has just been handed over to the government of one of the Great Powers by its own plenipotentiary delegate, who personally compiled the notes and names at the sites of the atrocities and terror.
Here is the full version of the official report.
District of Dibra
In Klos, Serb gangs bayoneted Ahmet Aliu and his brother, as well as Nezir Sulejmani and Mehmet Salihu. The whole village was ransacked.
In Valikardha, in middle of the day and in the presence of all the inhabitants, Ymer Halili, Osman Qira, Qerim Zejneli, Ismail Alushi and Sul Hoxha (Muslim priest) were slain by bayonet and were reduced to unrecognisable corpses. Their houses were burnt down after having been pillaged.
In Peladhia, house-to-house inspections were carried out under the pretext of searching for weapons caches. Many houses were plundered. That of Hasan Pata was burnt down and its owner had his throat slit in the presence of his elderly mother, his wife and his children.
In Krajka, the house of Muharrem Dervishi was torched after having been pillaged.
In Zerqen, all the houses were pillaged and burnt down.
In Sopot, the village was completely ravaged and plundered. Many of the houses were burnt down. All the animals were stolen, and the following persons: Ali Kamberi, his servant, Hamza Disha and Salih Selimi, were bayoneted.
In Dibra (town), several hours before the malissor attack, the local prefect and the military commander arrested eighteen leading townsmen, who were executed without benefit of trial: Ramiz Karanfili, Sheh Husejni, Numan Hasani and Safet Bey. The others only survived thanks to the malisors who by that time had entered the town that the Serb Army had to evacuate hastily.
On their return to Dibra, the Serbs pillaged the whole town and carried off over a million Turkish lira of booty. Many houses were put to the torch, in particular those of Ali Bey. Rakip Qatibi and Kurtish Aga. With incomparable cruelty, the Serbs also massacred many other people, among whom were those minding their own business at home who had not part in the insurrection. Among those massacred were: Kurtish Aga, Behxhet Efendi, Haxhi Syreja Efendi, Reshid Efendi Kusari and Sadullah Shtrazimiri.
At the present time, the town of Dibra is virtually deserted because the inhabitants have fled into the mountains. In the town itself, there are only two or three hundred individuals left of both sexes.
In Gjorica, the day after a visit by an officer delegated by the Austrian Government, who was passing through to verify the Serb evacuation of the region, the Serbs re-appeared in the village and killed a woman and a five-year-old child. They also wounded another woman.
In Homesh, only three of the 150 houses originally standing in the village remained. All the others were torched after having been pillaged. After they surrender, the Serbs killed: Musa Ismajli, Shemsedin Bajrami and Halit Sulejmani who had returned to the village after the amnesty. The first time, they took 1000 head of sheep, 150 head of cattle and 40 horses. The second time, they took 50 head of sheep, nine head of cattle and nine horses.
In Shupenza, after robbing the houses and taking all the valuables and supplies, the Serbs massacred: Alis Myslimi and his brother Abdi, Hasan Abazi and Dalip Elmazi.
In Okshatina, only one house remains intact of the original 74. They were all pillaged and torched. Two men called Ferhat and Nazif were bayoneted. All the animals were carried off.
In Topojan, a village of 68 homes, there was general plundering and burning. A man called Abdullah Xhaferri had his throat slit as he was not able to come up with the sum of five Turkish lira (115 Italian lira), the ransom demanded by the Serb officer commanding the detachment. The Serb soldiers carried off all the animals.
At Kovashica, Malik Bajrami, Aziz Haxhi, Ahmet Ramadani, Leka, Destan Jashari, Sejfedin Elezi, and Sulejman Ramadani were massacred. 150 head of sheep, 41 head of cattle and 13 horses were stolen. A man called Rashid Rexhepi was only spared for a sum of 150 Turkish lira (about 3450 francs) paid as ransom to the commander of the Serb detachment.
In Gjurica (a hamlet near Topojan), 14 men were massacred, among whom the village syndic. Two women were also killed: Naile Seferi and Zemane Ibrahimi, as well as an eight-year-old boy called Ismail Mehmedi, a ten-year-old called Bajram Elezi, a seven-year-old called Rrahman, two twelve-year-olds called Hasan Ali and Elias, and the daughter of Husein Çoka.
In Golevishta, the whole village was ransacked. 74 houses were torched and two men called Halil Numani and Nuredin Mustafa had their throats slit. As to the animals, the Serbs took 1000 head of sheep, 30 head of cattle and 35 horses the first time, and 23 horses, 40 head of cattle and 500 head of sheep the second time.
In Kërçisht, the only two Muslim homes in the village were torched. In addition, 60 head of sheep, two bulls and four cows were stolen.
In Bllata, the Serbs torched 75 houses and massacred Rexhep Lleshi with his brother Abdi and the latter’s son Bajram, as well as the wife of Islam Kuarana. The village was completely pillaged and the remaining animals, being 90 head of sheep and 50 head of cattle, were carried off.
In Zogjaj, the villages was looted. All valuables, winter supplies and animals were carried off. The Serbs torched 124 houses and, while the fire was reducing everything to ashes, they threw the following people into the flames alive: a woman called Rihane, two girls called Fazile and Myslime, and a seven-year-old lad called Bajram. They also bayoneted Haxhi Myslimi, Nezir Azizi, Halil Numani and Zejnel Hasani. Returning to Zogjaj for a second time, the Serbs massacred: Mustafa Myslimi, Aziz Jusufi, Adem Shabani and Edin Nurka. They also stole seven cows and six sheep that had escaped the first looting.
In Maqellara, 10 houses were pillaged and torched. In addition, the Serbs bayoneted: Elmaz Selmani and his son Selman, Malik Rexhepi and his son Murat, Hasan Sulejmani, Abdullah Qehaja, Hajredin Hasani and his three sons Ymer, Ramiz and Tevfik, his brother Rakip, his father Hasan, Rrustem Mehmeti, Numan Shemsedini, Ramadan Bajrami and Ejup Edhemi. The other inhabitants of the village were forced to hand over 50 head of cattle, two cows and 113 goats in order not to be slaughtered.
In Poçest, the Serbs murdered Muharrem Muharremi and his son Behxhet. They carried off 100 head of sheep and nine head of cattle, as well as a sum of 150 Turkish lira (about 3450 francs) which they discovered in the pockets of the villagers.
In Kërçisht i Poshtëm, the Serbs looted the home of Mehmet Ejupi after having slit the throat of the owner in front of his family.
In Çerenec, they torched 23 houses and massacred Hasan Abazi and his wife, Ramadan Salihu and Rrustem Sulejmani. They pillaged the whole village and carried off all valuables, supplies and animals.
In Bllaca, the village was completely burnt down after having been pillaged. The inhabitants were all put to the sword, quite without cause, so there was no opportunity to compile a list of victims. On their return to Bllaca, the Serbs discovered 250 head of sheep, 37 cows and 28 horses which they carried off, having slain the shepherds.
In Spas, they pillaged all the houses and torched ten of them. They carried off all the animals they could catch, being 150 head of sheep, four horses and 13 head of cattle.
In Klobuçishta, after looting all the homes, they set fire to them. Thirty houses were reduced to ashes. In addition, in the presence of the villagers, they murdered: Adil Bilhali, Ahmed Abazi, Mustafa Murteza, Xhelaledin Destani and his brother Musa, Hajredin Maksuti, Lutfi Fejzullahu, Reshid Murteza and his son Fetah, Gazanfer Zejneli and others. The Serbs also stole 150 sheep and goats, 11 head of cattle and one donkey.
In Pulçishte (Poçest?), the Serbs carried off 103 head of sheep, 15 head of cattle, 14 horses, seven donkeys and 65 Turkish lira in gold (about 1500 francs). Returning a second time, they caught and carried off five head of sheep, 10 head of cattle and one horse.
In Obok, the whole village was looted and the village leader, Ramadan Bajrami, had his throat slit. While passing through the first time, the Serbs carried off a herd of 120 sheep and, the second time, they took away 25 sheep, two bulls, one horse and two donkeys.
In Pesjaka, they burnt down or destroyed all the houses. Of the inhabitants, they murdered the following: Jahja Ismajli, Malik, Mahmut, Sejfullah, Abaz and Vehbi Sulejmani. The Serbs also carried off 14 head of cattle, 50 sheep and one donkey.
In Erebara, the whole village was looted and the following persons were massacred: Ibrahim Osmani, Junus Kurtishi, Xhafer Demiri and Destan Ishaku. They also carried off three horses, one donkey and eight head of sheep. The Serbs also took a herd of 150 sheep belonging to Shukri Bey from a pasture near the village.
In Vojnika, the Serbs looted and torched all the 51 houses and, while the flames were devastating the village, Serb soldiers bayoneted everyone they could find. Among the victims were Sinan Ibrahimi, Nazif Numani, Ali Selimi and Idriz Shabani. In addition, a woman called Shame was tortured and had her throat slit in the presence of her children. All the animals, being 100 head of sheep, eight head of cattle and nine horses, were carried off.
In Allajbegia, the Serbs pillaged the whole village and torched 65 houses. They massacred the following persons: Ibrahim, Zejnel Dalipi, Salih Ahmeti, Ali Selimi, Hajdar Shabani and his brother Hajredin, Hajredin Muça, Ali Osmani, Numan Elmazi, Sejfedin Selimi, Zejnel Saipi, Salih Sulejmani, Fazli Abazi, and the women Shame, Qamile, Alie, Nimetallah, Hibe, Zaide, Fatime and a five-year-old girl. All the animals in the village and on the surrounding pastures were carried off.
In Avalan, the village was pillaged and four houses put to the torch. The head villager Ismajl Ismajli has his throat slit, and the animals, being 90 head of sheep, 6 horses and 1 donkey, were carried off.
In Çanka, after the village was looted, nine houses were put to the torch. Of the inhabitants of the village, the Serbs bayoneted the following: Beqir Rrustemi, Husejn Abazi, Shahin Numani and Zejnullah. They also carried off 13 animals.
In Kovaçica, the whole village was plundered and 32 houses were torched. Massacred were: Elias Dauti, Nuredin Nurçe, Salih Osmani and Zejnel Troza. The Serbs carried off two bulls, 30 head of sheep and nine cows.
In Bllata e Epërme, the whole village was plundered and 18 houses were torched. Abdul Azizi and Abdurrahman were the only victims of the Serbs. In addition, 42 head of sheep and two horses were carried off.
In Bllata e Poshtme, after being looted, 25 homes were reduced to ashes by the fire. A man called Ali Bllata and his two sons died in the flames. The Serbs also carried off 30 head of sheep, four cows and three horses.
In Lishan, after being looted, the whole village was put to the torch and all the animals found in the stables and out grazing were carried off.
District of Lower Dibra
In Rabdisht, the village was looted and completely devastated. 38 houses and about thirty stables were torched. 65 men were massacred, as usual by bayonet. In addition to them was a six-year-old boy, the son of a local leader, who was throw alive into the flames. The Serbs also carried off 400 head of sheep, 150 goats, 60 cows and 22 horses. A search of the pockets of the inhabitants who were spared death produced the sum of 20 Turkish lira (about 450 francs) which the Serbs confiscated.
In Zimur, the Serbs pillaged and torched seven houses. They bayoneted: Ahmet Shabani, Mulajm Elmazi, Sulejman Zeqiri, Veisel Riza and Salih Shabani. The animals they carried off consisted of 245 head of sheep and 12 bulls.
In Staravec, the whole village was pillaged and 42 houses were reduced to ashes. The victims here were: Husejn Muça, Reshid Rrahmani and a woman called Zobejda. The Serbs caught and carried off 300 sheep and goats, 30 head of cattle and four horses.
In Bahutaj, the Serbs forced Ramadan Mehmeti and his companions to perform balancing acts and then cut their throats. They carried off 10 horses.
In Tomin, the village was pillaged and two houses, a dervish lodge and a mosque were torched. Mazllum Jusufi and a boy of ten were slain. All the animals found were carried off.
In Dohoshisht, after the sacking of the village, 55 houses were torched. Among the victims who were horribly massacred, one could recognize the bodies of: Malik Bajrami, Ramadan Ahmeti, Ymer Sadiku, Zejnullah Hasani, Halil Junuzi, Musa Bajrami, and Shaban Halili. The Serbs carried off 400 head of sheep and 200 horses.
In Zagrad, the soldiers torched eight houses and stole three horses.
In Bellova, the Serbs pillaged the whole village and carried off everything they could transport.
In Grazhdan, 22 houses were ransacked and torched. Aziz Shemsedini, Hasan Zekiria, Xhafer Jusufi, Emrullah Mahmuti, Mont, Beqir, Hasan Durmishi, Rrustem Hasani and his brother Zekiria, Bexhet Nuri and his wife, Ismail Xhelili and his son Elias, Elez Hasani, Emrullah Demiri, Sinan Xhaferi, Aziz Kurtishi, Maksut Numani and Ferhat were bayoneted in the presence of their families. The Serbs also carried off all the animals.
In Muhurr, they looted all the homes and set 14 of them on fire. When they passed through the first time, they took 200 head of sheep, 100 lambs, 30 cows and 15 horses, as well as over 300 Turkish lira (about 7000 francs) they discovered in the pockets of the inhabitants. The second time they passed through the village, Serb troops stole 10 sheep, 10 lambs and one horse. They also bayoneted eleven village leaders.
In Luznia, all private homes were looted. The Serbs then torched five of the main homes. They carried off all the animals they could find in the stables, over 1500 sheep and goats, and 200 head of cattle. The human casualties, all bayoneted to death, amounted to 45 persons, whose names were carefully verified and recorded.
In Çetush, four houses were torched and the following persons: Asma Hasani, Zejnel Shabani and Osman Numani were massacred. Three horses were stolen.
In Brezhdan, the Serbs pillaged and torched 17 houses. They massacred the following persons: Abedin Osmani, Shahin Mehmeti and Salih Kadri. They also carried off 25 horses.
In Ushtelenca, the whole village was ransacked and thirteen houses were reduced to ashes. The following persons, Numan Rrustemi, Muslim Zeki and Mehmet Gota were massacred. The animal carried off amounted to 17 horses and six bulls.
In Deshat, the Serbs torched 15 houses and threw a ten-year-old boy, a seven-year-old boy and two women alive into the flames. They stole 50 head of cattle and 500 head of sheep.
In Sohodoll, they set three houses on fire and massacred four men: Abdullah Abedini, Tusun Dalipi, Sulejman Bahtiari and Dalip Ismajli, as well as a woman called Belure and her six-year-old son called Mazllum. They also stole 200 sheep and 30 horses.
In Borovjan, the Serbs torched two houses and slit the throat of Rrustem Muharremi in the presence of his family. They also carried off 27 head of cattle, 119 sheep and 5 horses.
In Rashnopoja, they pillaged all of the houses thoroughly, but were not able to burn any of them down. They bayoneted six leading villagers: Bajram Mehmeti, Malik Rakipi, Selman Rakipi, Behxhet Behluli, Osman Azani, Hajredin Maliku, and stole 20 bulls.
In Cerjan, the Serbs torched the houses and killed three men: Fazli Sulejmani, Jashar Hejbati and Bektash Arsllani, and one woman Zobejda. They carried off 14 horses and 60 head of sheep.
In Pilaf, all the houses were looted and five of them were torched. The Serbs bayoneted Dalip Ramadani in the presence of his elderly mother.
In Pilaf-Mahalla, they ransacked all the houses and torched eight of them. They murdered Hasan Fetahu, Salih Jusufi and his six-year-old daughter Fatime. In addition the Serb soldateska hurled a five-year-old boy called Shukri and a four-year-old called Hasan, into the flames. 100 head of cattle, 200 head of sheep and eight horses were carried off.
In Pollozhan, the village was completely ransacked and three houses were torched. There were eleven victims: Hajredin Vehta and his brother Aziz, Jusuf Uka, Hajredin Shkurti, Husejn Zejneli, Hajredin Halili, Said Pasha, Emin Shahini, Elez Numani and his brother Osman and the latter’s son. As to the animals, they carried off 50 head of sheep, 12 bulls and four horses.
In Gliçes (Blliçja?), all the houses were pillaged and five of them were torched. The Serbs cut the throats of three men (Xhafer Rrustemi, Destan Hasani and Xhemal Salihu) and of one woman (Ajshe). They carried off 250 head of sheep and 30 horses.
In Limjan, the whole village was ransacked. Among the inhabitants who were slain by bayonets were Hasan Shahini, Sejfullah Ibrahimi, Abdurrahman Fetahu, Qerim Sadiku and Bajram Xhelili. Also carried off were 200 head of sheep, 20 cows and 10 horses.
In Peshkopia, after all the houses in the village were pillaged, 57 of them, among which the most important houses, were torched. Massacred were: Xhelaledin Abazi, Ali Ymeri, Xhelman Selmani, Hasan Arsllani, Hajredin Shabani and Murat Demiri. 180 head of cattle, 450 sheep and goats, 15 mules and 20 horses were carried off.
In Trepça, the village was looted and Zejnullah Ahmeti has his throat slit savagely in the presence of his family. Two horses and 57 head of sheep were carried off.
In Çidhna, thirty houses were reduced to ashes. Three men were among the victims: Kitan Keloshi, Hasani Hani and Arsllan Sadiku. 500 sheep and goats, 200 head of cattle, 13 horses and 3 donkeys were carried off.
In Renz, the Serbs torched five houses, slit the throat of Zejnel Ahmeti on his doorstep, and carried off 100 sheep and goats, 12 cows and 5 beasts of burden.
The tale of the massacres carries on and as does the horrifying list revealing the martyrdom of the young Albanian people. Details have also been furnished of the atrocities committed in other parts of the District of Lower Dibra in northern Albania, such as:
In Dipjaka, general pillage, murder of a man called Beqir Sulejmani and a ransom of 45 Turkish lira paid by the inhabitants to the Serb commander to stop the massacre. All the animals were carried off.
In Venisht, pillage and torching. The throats of Beqir Asimi and Idriz Tahiri were slit, and the animals carried off.
In Sllatina, 30 houses were torched. Bahtial Idrizi was burnt alive and 1365 head of cattle were carried off.
In Trojak and Velesha, 41 houses were reduced to ashes. The following men: Zaim Idrizi, Abas Huseini and Salih Kadri were murdered. 660 animals were carried off.
In Kalla, 30 houses were torched. A woman called Daveshe was cast alive into the flames. Bajram Rrustemi had his throat slit on the doorstep of his home. 576 animals were carried off.
In Sllova, there were no victims since the population, not trusting the Serb amnesty, fled into the mountains. The village was completely ransacked, 32 houses were reduced to ashes and 319 animals, caught while grazing, were carried off.
In Dardha, general pillaging. Two victims: Nuredin Sulejmani and Ramadan Sinani. 380 animals were carried off.
In Reç, general pillaging and the carrying off of 600 animals.
In Shumbat Palaman, pillaging, torching of eight houses. Three women, Rihane, Selvie and Ajshe, and three men, Jusuf, Bajram and Bajram, were murdered. Over 1340 animals were carried off.
District of Luma
No less terrifying were the horrors perpetrated in the District of Luma, in particular:
In Shullan, general pillaging, torching. All the population had their throats slit, with the exception of three persons who, hearing the screaming and trepidation of the women and children, understood what was going on and took flight into the forest.
In Dodaj and Kiushtan, the houses were pillaged and torched. There were 13 victims.
In Tropojan, the houses were reduced to ashes and the population of over 500 souls was exterminated.
In Çerem, everything was pillaged. Over 350 animals were carried off. There were 23 victims, among whom were seven religious leaders.
In Krusheva, on the orders of Loglop, secretary of the Serb Government in Prizren, the family of Haxhi Ibrahimi, composed of eight members, among whom were three women and a one-year-old baby, two four-year-old girls and one six-year-old girl, were killed in cold blood by the soldateska.
In Bushtrica and Bilush, pillaging and torching of everything. The population, irrespective of gender and age, was put to the sword or burned alive. The animals, caught while grazing, were carried off after the shepherds were slaughtered.
In Çaja and Matranxh, general plundering. About 600 animals were carried off.
In Vasiaj, Palush, Gjabrec and Draç, general plundering. All supplies and all objects having any value whatsoever were stolen. Over 800 animals were carried off.
In Gjinaj, Lusna, Kalis and Vila, in addition to looting, 71 houses were torched, 123 people killed – men, women and children – and 2121 animals were carried off.
In Ujmisht, plundering and torching of 21 houses. 15 victims, among whom a woman, a three-month-old baby, a little boy of four, one of five, and two of eight. 480 animals were carried off.
In Xhaferraj, Brekija, Nimça, Lojmja, Përbreg, all the houses were raised to the ground. The population encircled by the Serbs was ruthlessly massacred. Several were hanged from the branches of trees, most of them had their throats slit. Some were cast into the flames and other suffered even worse torture before perishing. In Brekije alone, a large village of over 150 houses, there were over 1300 victims – men, women and children. In Përbreg, the number of victims probably exceeds 400. Of the whole population of these five villages, only two inhabitants of Xhaferraj and five of Nimça managed to escape extermination.
Other scenes of savagery and carnage took place in Surroj where 130 houses were torched and 55 men and 2 women were slain.
In Bardhovca and Novoseja, these two villages were burnt to the ground. The population fled up into the mountains, except for the wife of Islam Hanxhi and her four small children and the family of Ramadan Jusufi, who were burnt alive. The 1620 animals caught while grazing, among which 320 large ones, were carried off.
In Sula e Fushës and Arrëza, 34 houses were torched. There were 11 victims and all the animals, 610 of them, were carried off.
[From the daily newspaper Corriere delle Puglie, Bari, XXVI, 354, of 21 December 1913, reprinted in: M. D. Skopansky Les atrocités serbes d’après les témoignages américains, anglais, français, italiens, russes, serbes, suisses, etc. etc. (Lausanne: Librairie Centrale des Nationalités 1919), p. 148-161. Translated from the French by Robert Elsie.]