February 25, 2003
ERP KIM Newsletter
WAR AGAINST THE DEAD CONTINUING
ERP KIM Info-Service
ITALIAN WW2 MILITARY CEMETERY IN PEC TURNED INTO A GARBAGE
APALLING SITUATION IN THE SERBIAN ORTHODOX CEMETERY OF
Foreingers' cemetery in the upper part of the Serb
Orthodox cemetery in Pec. Graves of Italian, French and Russian
White Guard soldiers now lie underneath tons of trash and debris
dumped by local Kosovo Albanians. Now the snow covers the sad scene
of human madness and utmost lack of respect towards a Christian holy site,
photo: ERP KIM Info-Service, Feb 24, 2003
ITALIAN WW2 MILITARY
CEMETERY IN PEC TURNED INTO A GARBAGE DUMP
The so called Foreigners' cemetery is located between the Serb
Orthodox main cemetery in Pec and the cemetery of the Belo Polje village.
Since the end of the war in 1999 the Foreigners' cemetery was covered by
tons of trash and debris which local Kosovo Albanian constantly dump on
Christian cemeteries in the area. We are presenting a special report by
the ERP KIM Info-service reporter D.P. who investigated the fate of at
least 50 Italian soldiers who were killed by Albanian extremists Balli
Kombetar in 1943-1944 and were burried in the upper part of the Pec
Serbian Orthodox Church will request urgent assistance from the
Italian, French and Russian Embassies in Belgrade and the local
international Kosovo offices to clean and reconstruct the Foreigners'
cemetery as well as the main Serb Orthodox cemetery and protect it from
further Albanian vandalism.
This tragic fate of the Italian, French and Russian graves in Pec
shows again that nothing which bears the sign of cross and Christianity is
holy to Kosovo Albanian extremists and their supporters.
The Foreigners' Cemetery
Cemetery of Italian soldiers killed by Albanian Ballists in 1943 and
other foreign soldiers turned into garbage dump
'What hast thou done? the voice of thy
blood crieth unto me from the ground. 'GEN 4:10
Pec (Kosovo and Metohija)
February 20, 2003.
After the conflict in 1999 Kosovo Albanian extremists
desecrated dozens of Serbian Orthodox cemeteries throughout the Province.
Less well-known is the fact that underneath the tons of trash and debris
maliciously dumped on Christian cemeteries, there also lies an Italian
military cemetery from the Second World War. The bones of Italian soldiers
killed in fury by Albanian Ballists following the capitulation of Italy in
1943 met with the same fate 60 years later.
The new Pec cemetery was established in 1912. It stretches on the right
side of the road, on the exit from Pec in the direction of Decani and
Djakovica. The far side borders with the cemetery and churchyard of the
village of Belo Polje. A few dozen meters from the main entrance to the
cemetery, where the last row of graves ends, (the graves of Serbian
gendarmes on the right side toward the fence) and parallel to it, lies the
so-called Foreigners' Cemetery, which is approximately 20 meters long and
about seven meters wide. Buried in this tract were first French soldiers
(about 10 of them) who were killed in 1914; then members of the Russian
White Guard who came to Pec between 1917 and 1922; and finally, Italian
soldiers from Calabria belonging to Garibaldi's brigade (some 50 to 60 of
them), who were killed and buried here in 1943-1944.
A second tract containing the graves of killed Italian soldiers (between
20 and 30 of them), also killed in 1943-1944, is located in the Roman
Catholic part of the city cemetery, right next to the wire fence, at the
end of the path, to the left of the house of the gravedigger, Radovan.
What happened to the Italian soldiers from Garibaldi's brigade? The
Italian garrison was located at the site of the present-day Advanced
School of Commerce in Pec. After the surrender of Italy in 1943, 5,000
Kosovo Albanians attacked the garrison with the intent of removing the
Italian flag and hoisting the Albanian one, as well as disarming the
Italian soldiers, grabbing their weapons and taking over the garrison
before the arrival of the German army and the final withdrawal of the
Italian one. The Italian soldiers opened fire and killed 13 Albanians in
defense. Members of the Xhafer Deva division of the Albanian nationalist
organization (Balli Kombëtar - National Front founded in 1942), commonly
called Ballists by the Serbs, killed between 20 and 25 Italian soldiers
out of revenge in the wood processing plant in Pec. The Ballists then
began killing Italian soldiers in other locations in Pec, starting with
those who were married to Serb women. Approximately 150 young Serb men
from Pec were killed in the same massacre and their bodies were scattered
from the Pec Patriarchate to the present-day leather and shoe factory. The
Albanians stripped the clothes from the bodies of the Italian soldiers and
left them unburied. The unidentified corpses, which had in the meanwhile
begun to decompose, were claimed by the elderly Serb women of Pec, who
buried them in their city cemetery.
Fr. Xenophont on the location under which lies the
Foreigners' cemetery, Pec, Feb 24, 2003
The Ballists destroyed the markings on their graves
immediately after the burial in order to hide their crime. The commander
of the city of Pec until 1943, who lived in Bologna, knew the history of
these events. He visited the city of Pec between 1970 and 1975 as a member
of the war veterans' association and paid respect to his fallen comerades.
If this senior officer from Garibaldi's brigade is still alive, he is now
between 85 and 90 years old.
How do the two tracts of the Foreigners' Cemetery look today? The part of
the cemetery on the right side, along the road to the cemetery, the
church, and the village of Belo Polje, is buried by mounds of earth,
garbage and cast off iron.
The second tract, a common grave measuring 10 by 2.5 meters and located on
the Roman Catholic part of the cemetery, is either difficult to make out
or, if there are markers on in, has been dug up and filled with the graves
of Roman Catholic residents of Pec.
The Foreigners' Cemetery was completely preserved until 1999. After the
flight of the Serb population from Pec, local Albanian began to desecrate
the graves and transport enormous quantities of refuse to the far part of
the city cemetery, in the very place where the tract with the graves of
foreign soldiers is located. Even before this tract was buried by a
mountain of debris, many crosses on the soldiers' graves were broken.
This report was prepared on the basis of conversations with older Serb
residents of Pec who were eyewitnesses to the above described events, as
well as after consulting with competent individuals who in recent years
have shared the fate of the Orthodox Serbs of Pec and its surroundings.
The report was completed after our three visits to the aforementioned
cemetery accompanied by officers and soldiers of Italian KFOR from the
nearby military base, and UNMIK police, who are completely aware of this
The Serbian Orthodox Church has asked UNMIK and KFOR that clearing of the
desecrated Pec cemetery begin as soon as possible so that the bones of the
Serbs, Italians, Frenchmen and Russians who lie buried here can rest in
photo showing an opened Serb tomb in the Pec cemetery, 24. feb 2003.
APALLING SITUATION IN THE
SERBIAN ORTHODOX CEMETERY OF PEC
The war against the dead has not brought any good to anyone but only
shame and disgrace
Omnia videt Deus et omnia audit
(God sees everything and everything does He hear)
February 24, 2003
Today a delegation of the Orthodox Diocese of Raska-Prizren visited the
Serb cemetery in Pec and the part of the cemetery in which were burried
foreign soldiers from the First and Second World Wars. With profound
regret it was noticed that several more tombs in the Serbian section of
the cemetery had recently been opened and that some wooden coffins inside
the tombs were desecrated and broken.
Such uncivilized behavior of local Kosovo Albanians who have been
desecrating and looting the Serb Orthodox cemetery in Pec in the last
three and half years is one of the most tragic pages of the recent history
of this region and a dark spot on the future records of UN/KFOR mission in
Kosovo and Metohija. It is absolutely impossible to understand that after
so many appeals and requests to efficiently prevent such barbarous acts
international authorities did not do anything to secure the cemetery and
make local Albanians stop with their misdeeds. With their passivity and
disappointing lack of determination international representatives failed
to stop the local Kosovo Albanians from dumping with trash and debris even
the graves of their own soldiers from the Second World War.
It was especially disappointing to learn that destruction of the cemetery
in Pec is not unknown to the local Kosovo Albanian administrators in Pec
at all. They openly allowed their compatriots to turn the devastated Serb
village of Belo Polje and the nearby city cemetery into a public dumping
place which also happened in several neighboring abandoned Serb villages.
Dozens of marble coverings were dismantled from the tombs and sold on the
Serbian Orthodox Diocese of Raska-Prizren raises once again its voice
against the crime which Kosovo Albanians of Pec have comitted against
Christian cemeteries. The war against the dead has not brought any good to
anyone but only shame and disgrace. Those who believe that such gruesome
acts will remain unpunished should be aware that the worldly justice may
be delayed, but no one will ever evade the righteous judgement of God.
Sooner or later the history will bring to the light of the day all evils
which were done against the remains of the deceased and numerous other
Christian sites in Kosovo Province.
Serb cemeteries desecrated after the deployment of
the UN mission
and the NATO led peacekeeping forces in Kosovo
Desecrated Serb Orthodox tomb in Brestovik, near Pec
A scene from the Serb Orthodox Cemetery in Naklo, near
ERP KIM Info-Service is the official
Information Service of the Serbian Orthodox Diocese of Raska and Prizren
and works with the blessing of His Grace Bishop Artemije.
Our Information Service is distributing news on Kosovo related issues. The
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and the Serbian community in the Province of Kosovo and Metohija. ERP KIM
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