Free Republic
Browse · Search
Topics · Post Article

To: mark502inf

Isn't that part of the problem with this entire region. The Balkans fell victim to what many call Islam's 2nd Jihad, starting in this region from as early as 1389. With the collapse and conquest of the Byzantine Empire, the flood-gates were once again open as the dominant Eastern Orthodox Christians were left at the mercy of Islam.

While you dismiss the Serbian population in Kosovo, saying that the region was mostly Albanians...I've seen stats that put the population rate of each group at about a 50/50 representation at the turn of the 20th Century. In fact, (I'll have to see if I can find it) I got that info from an address to Congress, given by a fellow representative who opposed the war in Kosovo.

From what I understand, much of the Serbian (Christian) population of Kosovo was eliminated just prior to, and during, WWII...when the Albanians sided with Hitler as he annexed Kosovo and they carried out a system of ethnic cleansing only rivaled by the Holocaust. From what I read, this is were the huge descrepency in minority/majority status occured as even after the war, Tito wouldn't allow the Serbs to return to their homes.

While both sides have obviously committed atrocities against each other, it is only in recent history that the US has taken an interest in this so-called genocide. Ironic in a way, since the US has taken the side of the very people supported by Islamofascists, as we attacked one of our former allies in WWII.

I fear that this war wasn't just a distraction for an embattled president, but a war to extend an olive branch to the very people who want us dead. While I am willing to learn more about this region and their history, I'm sad that the American people only got one perspective when it came to who the bad guys were in this ongoing conflict.

61 posted on 05/30/2004 11:02:01 AM PDT by cwb (Liberals: Always fighting for social justice in all the wrong places.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 40 | View Replies ]

To: cwb
Here's a long one--I got carried away! In medieval times, Kosovo was predominantly Serb with a small Albanian minority. However, The population of Kosovo has been majority Albanian for hundreds of years. While the exact date when the balance shifted from Serb to Albanian is tough to pick, it most probably occurred shortly after the “Great Migration” of Serbs out of southern Serbia and Kosovo in the latter part of the 17th Century. The Serb population of Kosovo had sided with an Austrian invasion, but found themselves exposed to Ottoman reprisals when the Austrians were defeated and had to retreat. Tens of thousands of Serbs moved north. Many of them settled in Vojovodina—what is now the other province of Serbia. Nice painting of that operation below:

The Library of Congress Federal Research Division does “country studies”. Here are the links to those studies for Albania and Yugoslavia

Here's an excerpt from the Albania country study section entitled The Balkan Wars and Creation of Independent Albania:

"In July 1913, the Great Powers opted to recognize an independent, neutral Albanian state ruled by a constitutional monarchy and under the protection of the Great Powers. The August 1913 Treaty of Bucharest established that independent Albania was a country with borders that gave the new state about 28,000 square kilometers of territory and a population of 800,000. ... The treaty, however, left large areas with majority Albanian populations, notably Kosovo and western Macedonia, outside the new state and failed to solve the region's nationality problems".

And later: "… Albanians claim Kosovo based on the fact that their kinsmen have constituted the vast majority of Kosovo's population since at least the eighteenth century".

And in the Yugoslavia country study: "… After the mid-eighteenth century, Albanians became a majority in Kosovo …"

Census data shows that the Albanian population of Kosovo was pretty consistently at 2/3 of Kosovo’s population for most of the century, although it was probably higher than that prior to 1913. The Albs were not happy about the Serbian takeover and revolted. In a manner familiar to anyone who followed the Kosovo situation in 1998-99, the Serbs brutally put down the Albanian resistance, so there was a drop in the Albanian population in the WWI period.

There's some illuminating comments from the Report of the International Commission to Inquire into the Causes and Conduct of the Balkan Wars Published in 1914 by the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace:

p.158 "They [the Servians] have … resumed possession of their ancient domain, … Old Servia proper (Kosovo Pole and Metchia), despite the fact that this historic domain was strongly Albanian." and p. 148 “... war is waged not only by the armies but by the nations themselves. "The populations mutually slaughtered and pursued with a ferocity heightened by mutual knowledge and the old hatreds and resentments they cherished. … the object of these armed conflicts, overt or covert, clearly conceived or vaguely felt, but always everywhere the same, was the complete extermination of an alien population." and p. 149 "[as a result] the Albanian population [suffered] at the hands of the Servians."

Still, the 1921 census by the Kingdom of Serbs, Croats and Slovenes shows that 65.8% of Kosovo's population was Albanian and 26% was Serbian. That is considered by many scholars to be an undercount of the Albanians based on Albanian reluctance to be identified for either military conscription or for paying taxes.

The 1939 census show that the non-Slav population (ethnic Albanians, Turks, Gypsies, etc.) numbered 422,828 people, or 65,6%, the native Slav population accounted for 25,2% and the settlers (mostly Serbs) for 9,2%. (Settlers refers to the Serb colonisation program; a plan to increase the Slavic population in Kosovo and parts of Macedonia by bringing in Serbs from elsewhere and giving them confiscated Albanian lands).

In 1948, Serbs were 23.6% of the population, while in 1981 they stood at only 13.2%. Because ethnic Albanians boycotted the last census in 1991, there are only estimates of the population's ethnic breakdown for that year: Albanians, 81.6%; Serbs, 9.9%. Nacionalni sastav stanovnistva SFRJ (Belgrade: Savremena administracija, 1991) and Bilten No. 1934 (Belgrade: Savezni zavod za statistiku, 1992).

The Serbian government's Kosovo Coordination Centre's web-site used to have a census table going back to 1921, but it has vaporized--it reflected Albanian majorities in Kosovo prior to WWII & that is a very politically inconvenient truth in Serbia. Here's a hard-to-read table from the UNMIK web-site that shows post WWII figures:

Table 1.1: Total Population and Population by Ethnic Origin According to Population Censuses

Year Total Alb. Serbian Others

1948 729000 68 24 8

1953 808000 65 23 11

1961 964000 67 24 9

1971 1244000 74 18 8

1981 1584000 77 13 10

1991 1956000 82 10 8

68 posted on 05/30/2004 12:25:18 PM PDT by mark502inf
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 61 | View Replies ]

Free Republic
Browse · Search
Topics · Post Article

FreeRepublic, LLC, PO BOX 9771, FRESNO, CA 93794 is powered by software copyright 2000-2008 John Robinson