WITH the capitulation of Italy (1943), the position of Kosovo and Metohija fundamentally changed. Tens of thousands of Serbs were expelled, the national composition was significantly changed, but the Albanians were left without guardians and protectors. A partisan movement emerged with a new vision of a new order, but also a new approach to demarcation, which was a burning problem and a driver of ethnic conflicts until extermination.
At the same time, there was also an action from Albania, which was again in complete disarray.
The program of the Bali-Kombatar organization was activated, adopted in 1939, and behind which stood powerful individuals, ages and beys. It is about the program of creating “Greater Albania”, for ethnic demarcation with three neighbors. The ideas of this movement were first received in Drenica, where Šaban Poluža gathered a group of about two hundred angry supporters. The number of partisans, commanded by Fadilj Hodža, grew, but Šaban also multiplied his forces.
Who is stronger, the partisans or the ballisticians? The winner was not in sight.
The communists were the first to give in. They instructed Fadil to negotiate with Saban to make a pact. At the beginning of 1945, when the victory of the communists and the liberation of Yugoslavia was obvious, he was offered to join the partisans with his units and to be victorious together in Kosovo and Metohija. Podujevo was chosen as the place of reconciliation and embrace. It was there that Šaban was presented with his four thousand warriors to set off for Belgrade, to the Srem Front. That shocked him – instead of going to Belgrade, Saban set out to liberate Pristina…
A fierce skirmish ensued. One of Šaban managed to get close to Miladin Popović, the party secretary and the most agile communist during the war years, and kill him. Saban had great losses, but managed to preserve the core. When he regained solid ground, he increased his forces to ten thousand fighters.
A front has been opened on Kosovo and Metohija – war after war. The great concern at the top of the new government was understandable. And? The Supreme Commander, Marshal Tito, on February 8, 1945, made a decision: Military administration is being introduced in Kosovo and Metohija! Colonel Savo Drljević was appointed as the military commander, and another Montenegrin, Đuro Medenica, was appointed as the military commissar.
Fierce fighting ensued. Ballists now replaced the partisans, they occupied their forests, and they attacked. The victims were not counted, and Šaban Poluža also died in the clearing of the field. When they lost their heads, the ballistas scattered. Those groups survived for a long time and instilled fear. Individuals, with the help of faithful relatives, survived until 1952. The survivors also arrived before the court.
While the army dispersed the ballistas, the government consolidated in the plains. The final act followed: “The Regional People’s Assembly of Kosovo and Metohija unanimously declares that the population of this Region, just like all the peoples of Yugoslavia, has never recognized the dismemberment of their Region, carried out by the occupiers, nor the dismemberment of Yugoslavia, and expresses the wish of the entire population of the Region, that it be annexed to federal Serbia, as an integral part of it. The people of this region are convinced that they will find full protection in the National Government of Serbia, and that they will be wholeheartedly helped by the people’s government of the whole of Yugoslavia in their political, national, economic and cultural development, and representatives of the Region in the National Assembly of Serbia and in AVNOJ will contribute with all their strength to the construction of democratic Serbia and Democratic Federative Yugoslavia.”
This decision, made on July 10, 1945 in Prizren, was signed by Pavle Jovićević and Mehmed Hodža. It was the final text of the Resolution of the Regional National Assembly of Kosovo and Metohija, which informed the Presidency of AVNOJ.
To what extent did the Resolution reflect the “unanimity” of the people, as expressed by the participants of the Regional Assembly? While the participants in Prizren and part of the people were really celebrating, until then the dissatisfiers retaliated with volleys, weapons with which they defended another resolution, the war resolution, that this area belongs to Albania.
The ideas of the world communist movement certainly had an impact on organized individuals, but one promise made to the people at the end of 1943 in the form of another resolution was decisive. What was it about?
The leaders of the insurgent resistance met on the soil of Albania and adopted the Bujan resolution. It was also the first reaction to the AVNOJ decisions made in Jajce on November 29, 1943, which related to the territorial integrity of Yugoslavia. The participants declared their insurgent goal to be, after all, the opportunity for the people to decide for themselves which country they want to live in – Yugoslavia or Albania. And it was known, considering the numbers and mood, that this province would pass from Yugoslavia to Albania. The Bujan resolution was drawn up and voted for by the Serbian communists, who were the main ones in the fight against the occupiers and quislings. With this promise, they certainly won over a certain number of Shiptars, Arnauts, that is, today’s Albanians. Were they deliberately deceiving? They certainly didn’t.
In the circumstances of the war (and they did not reach Jajce), they did not understand the spirit of AVNOJ, the legal and political foundation of Yugoslavia. They were more under the influence of border combinatorics, who circulated in party circles and who arrived from Moscow, i.e. Comintern. And there it was said, without valid evidence, that there must be a revision of the Yugoslav-Albanian border. In that story, it was speculated, one of the leading Serbian communists from the war years, Blagoje Nešković, was also involved. Nešković advocated the idea of forming two or three sections in Kosmet, due to the cooperation of Šiptar with the occupier.
There was also an extensive analysis on the issue of borders with neighbors, including Albania. The analysis from Moscow was delivered personally to Marshal Tito by Veljko Vlahović and Božidar Maslarić.
When it came to the border with Albania, these two high-ranking party activists also mentioned the sins of the Kingdom of Yugoslavia that it committed on the border with Albania, and when it colonized the border zone and thus achieved an “increase in the percentage” of the Serbian population along the Yugoslav-Albanian border. And, here is a proposal to remove that “sin”:… It may happen that, in the event that a democratic Albanian state is formed, federative Yugoslavia will have to work on correcting the border in favor of Albania and ceding areas inhabited by compact Albanians population. In exchange, Albania can cede to Yugoslavia the city of Skadar, which was occupied by the Montenegrin army in the war with Turkey in 1912, and which was built in the Middle Ages by princes from the Nemanjić dynasty…”. It is easy to see that this border study was not the product of the two signatories, but that it was drafted and processed in the organizations in which they were engaged in Moscow.
In the ANALYSIS from Moscow, which was delivered personally to Marshal Tito through the intermediary of Veljko Vlahović, the establishment of a Balkan federation is considered, where the Macedonian issue was in the center of attention. It is initiated that Macedonia must unite, Vardar with Aegean and Pirin Macedonia. In those circumstances, Thessaloniki also had to belong to the new federation.
Follow us through the iOS and Android apps