"The Expulsion of Albanians"
The Author: Born in 1897, Vasa Cubrilovic was a 17-year-old member of the
Serbian nationalist group that staged the 1914 assassination of Archduke Francis Ferdinand
in Sarajevo. Spared execution because of his age, Cubrilovic spent World War I in prison
and then returned to Belgrade to study and work in the government of what was then the
Kingdom of Serbs, Croats, and Slovenes. By the 1930s, he was a professor of history at
Belgrade University, where he taught for 40 years, eventually becoming the head of his
department and later the director of the Serbian Academy of Arts and Sciences Institute
for Balkan Studies. Vasa Cubrilovic was the author of vicious plans to rid Yugoslavia of
the Kosovar Albanians. Cubrilovic first presented his ideas to the Serbian Cultural Club,
an organization of Belgrade intellectuals. On March 7,1937, he submitted "The
Expulsion of the Albanians" to the government as a secret memorandum.
The Plan: "From 1918 onwards it was the task of our present state to destroy
the remainder of the Albanian triangle [Kosova]. It did not do this.The only way and the
only means to cope with them is the brute force of an organized state." Cubrilovic
suggested that Albania and Turkey would be the best places to ship Kosovar Albanians.
But, if Tirana objected to the deportation, "the Albanian Government should be
informed that we shall stop at nothing to achieve our final solution to this
question." ".to bring about the relocation of a whole population, the first
prerequisite is the creation of the suitable psychosis. This can be created in many ways
.including bribing and threatening the Albanian clergy, propaganda, and coercion by the
state apparatus." "The law must be enforced to the letter so as to make staying
intolerable for the Albanians: fines, and imprisonment, the ruthless application of all
police dispositions, such as the prohibition of smuggling, cutting forests, damaging
agriculture, leaving dogs unchained, compulsory labor and any other measure that an
experienced police force can contrive.
From the Economic aspect: The refusal to recognize the old land deeds,...
requisitioning of all state and communal pastures,... the withdrawal of permits to
exercise a profession, dismissal from the state, private and communal offices, etc., will
hasten the process of their removal.... When it comes to religion the Albanians are very
touchy, therefore they must be harassed on this score, too. This can be achieved through
ill-treatment of their clergy, the destruction of their clergy, the destruction of their
cemeteries, the prohibition of polygamy, and especially the inflexible application of the
law compelling girls to attend elementary schools, wherever they are .... We should
distribute weapons to our colonists, as need be.... In particular, a tide of Montenegrins
should be launched from the mountain pastures in order to create a large-scale conflict
with the Albanians in [Kosova]. This conflict should be prepared by means of our trusted
people. It should be encouraged and this can be done more easily since, in fact, Albanians
have revolted, while the whole affair should be presented as a conflict between clans and,
if need be, ascribed to economic reasons. Finally, local riots can be incited. These will
be bloodily suppressed with the most effective means.... There remains one more means,
which Serbia employed with great practical effect after 1878, that is, by secretly burning
down villages and city quarters."