WAR AGAINST THE DEAD
Post-war Desecration of Serb Orthodox Cemeteries
The following photos were taken in a few Serb Orthodox villages near Pec (Western part of Kosovo Province): Brestovik, Berkovo and Siga during the second half of 2001. They illustrate desecration of Orthodox Christian cemeteries by Kosovo Albanian vandals and extremists. These scenes of horror and pain do not show the war-time damage and vandalism but are testimony to the post-war systematic destruction of everything which is Serb and Christian in this region.
Despite the more than 100 destroyed and heavily damaged Orthodox churches in Kosovo and Metohija, not many people in the world are aware that in addition to a visible war against the living Serbs and their culture, an invisible and incomprehensible war against the dead is being waged by Kosovo Albanian vandals, who are destroying and desecrating Serb cemeteries all over the Province despite the presence of NATO led troops and the UN Mission.
(click each image to see the larger size photo)
The most gruesome thing in this campaign against the dead are numerous instances of vandal exhumations of mortal remains and their scattering around the graveyards or simply their removal to unknown locations. In many tombs, some of which you may see on these photos, bodies and mortal remains have simply disappeared. In several cases human bones were found near the tombs, half-eaten by dogs. Items of clothing and other personal belongings of the deceased lie scattered nearby.
One of the possible explanations for these most shocking acts of barbarism, which are definitely unprecedented not only in Kosovo but in the entire former Yugoslav area, is probably the intention of the extremists to prevent the return of expelled Serb population to their destroyed villages by all possible means. Despite the efforts of the international community to commence the process of returns, local Kosovo Albanians remain resolutely opposed to and determined to prevent this process, which has been stipulated by the UN Security Council Resolution 1244.
It is enough to just imagine how the returnees would react upon finding the mortal remains of their dear ones scattered around and torn up by dogs and other animals. On the other hand, this incomprehensible sacrilege shows the utmost lack of all moral norms and principles among a good part of Kosovo Albanian population, which tolerates such acts in complacent silence. Since the end of the war, there has been almost no public opposition to destruction of churches and cemeteries.
Equally puzzling and disappointing has been the silence of the International Community which acts as if caught by surprise when proof of these barbarous acts of vandalism is presented. Almost all cases of church and cemetery desecrations are casually dismissed as a tragic consequence of the war despite the fact that the International Mission in Kosovo and NATO - led peacekeepers took upon themselves the obligation to actively prevent violence and acts of supposed revenge. Kosovo Serbs know well that desecrations of their cemeteries is nothing new because in the period of Albanian autonomy in Kosovo many similar cases were recorded throughout the Province.
The message sent by destroyed Serb villages, desecrated cemeteries and churches is that there is no more place even for dead Serbs in Kosovo, not to mention the living ones. While UN and KFOR officials in Pristina boastfully speak of the progress of democracy, Kosovo Albanian extremists continue to destroy with impunity all remaining traces of Serb existence and culture in the region turning the Province with centuries long Christian tradition into almost an exclusively Islamicized territory.
Many cemeteries have also been turned into garbage dumps, another example of unspeakable hatred and barbarism. Trucks loaded with garbage regularly dump tons of filth in the ruined Serb villages and cemeteries thus polluting the soil. This happens under the full knowledge of local Albanian municipal authorities who not only prevent such acts but even encourage their population to oppose to the return of Serb refugees. Unfortunately, neither UNMIK nor KFOR have done anything so far to prevent further devastation of Serb abandoned villages and cemeteries.
The latest addition to the evil repertoire of Kosovo Albanian extremists is planting mines and booby traps in desecrated Serb Orthodox cemeteries. Extremists know well that Serbs give special respect to their deceased ones and, fearing that the Serbs might ask from KFOR to help clean and put a fence around their cemeteries, they discourage this eventuality by planting explosive devices between the graves and tombstones. This is why, KFOR unwillingly gives permission for Serb visits to their cemeteries, even under heavy military escort, especially in Western part of Kosovo. Visits to cemeteries are becoming increasingly difficult because of the great potential danger of planted explosive devices.
As graves and tombs slowly disappear amidst the heaps of garbage, dirt and weeds, the war against the dead continues in Kosovo. This campaign serves to give a clearer portrait of the present rulers in Kosovo and an indication of where the province is likely heading. With the highest crime rate in Europe, human trafficking and drug smuggling, Kosovo is becoming more and more notorious as a land in which even the dead cannot sleep peacefully.
These photos and words uttered in deepest pain and bitterness are just a humble attempt to move the hearts of the mighty ones who boast of the great success of the Peace Mission in Kosovo. In fact, instead of becoming an oasis of peace for the troubled population, Kosovo is becoming a synonym for disorder, insecurity and barbarism.
the Lord rest in peace those who suffer martyrdom
Report by www.decani.yunet.com
DESECRATIONS OF SERB CEMETERIES IN THE PAST
On September 27, 1988, the Day of the Glorification of the Holy Cross, in the village of Grace near Vucitrn, 5 Albanian young men unearthed from a tomb, in the Serbian cemetery the remains of two Serbian babies, Radojko and Dragica Petrovic, the twins who had died immediately after their birth. They scattered their remains around the tomb. When the grandfather of the Serb children found out what happened, he immediately informed the authorities. A few days later, after an intensive police investigation the Kosovo Albanian vandals were arrested. They tried to justify themselves saying that "they were looking for money". An Albanian journalist of Pristina, Maksut Sehu, commented this event: "We (Albanians) are all affected by this crime which will leave an indelible trace on all of us".
Desecrated Serb cemeteries from 1980-ies
Even Saints are not left undisturbed
famous Devic Monastery
of St. Joanikije, f. c. A.D.?1440, was looted and vandalized and
the marble tomb of the saint was desecrated, June 1999