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Serbian Exodus from Kosovo

Excerpts from different Encyclopediae

We have seen that Kosovo was the heart of the Serbian kingdom. During that time almost entire population of Kosovo was Serbian. How did it happen that today it is overwhelmingly Albanian?

There were three great waves of Serbian exodus. The first one was in 1690, during Turkish occupation of Serbian lands. The second one was during Italian fascist occupation of the region during World War II. The third one started during Tito's Communist reign. It did not stop still.

The end of WWII have found the region of Kosovo with during Turkish occupation of Serbian lands. The second one was during slight Albanian majority.

The dramatic changes happened during Communist Tito's time when demographic explosion of the Albanians and expulsion of the Serbs from Kosovo was encouraged.

  • The first wave - during Turkish (Islam) occupation:
    Encyclopedia Britannica, Edition 1987
    (i.e. four years BEFORE the Western instigated wars in Yugoslavia started),
    Vol 29, pages 1070 and 1071
    Entry: Yugoslavia, Serbia, TURKISH RULE,
    On the margins it says: "SERBS IN SLAVERY" (quote):
    Early occupation [of Serbia by Turkey]: All land in Serbia became the property of the [Turkish] sultan, who entrusted it to spahis, military tenants who held it from him in return for their services. The Serbs themselves were bond-SLAVES of the land, most of the revenue being the perquisite of the spahis...
  • The defeat of the Turks outside Vienna (1683) was followed by Austrian counteroffensive in the course of Prince Louis of Baden advanced as far south as KOSOVO. The Serbs then rose against the Turks; but a new Turkish effort, under the grand vizir Mustafa Koprulu, not only won the country back but also SPREAD SUCH TERROR THAT THOUSANDS OF SERBS, WITH THEIR PATRIARCH Arsenije III Carnojevic, MIGRATED TO HUNGARY. For these refugees the Holy Roman emperor Leopold I promulgated a charter (1690), promising to respect their Orthodox religion and guaranteeing them the rights to elect their patriarch...
    (End quote)

  • Second wave - the Italian fascist occupation. During WWII, Kosovo was under Italian occupation - as well as Albania itself. Albania + Kosovo + Western Macedonia, all under Italian occupation was officially caled "Greater Albania". In Kosovo part of this fascist structure the Albanian nationalists got free hand to terrorize the Serbs. Under such pressure estimated 75,000 Serbs left Kosovo. In their empty houses about the same number of Albanians from Albania settled. This definitelly tipped the ballance in the Albanian favour. The first official census in post-WWII Yugoslavia (in 1948) showed 199,961 Serbs and Montenegrins in Kosovo and 498,242.
  • Detailed references to the above quote to follow.

  • The third wave - Communist Yugoslavia: As a result of unbelievable demographic explosion Albanian population in Kosovo DOUBLED by 1971. The official Yugoslav census for that year shows 916,168 Albanians living in Kosovo, while Serb and Montenegrin population reached only to number 259,819.
  • In the next phase Albanian separatists started forceful expulsion of the Serbs.

    More to come.

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History of the Balkans

Big powers and civil wars in Yugoslavia
(How was Yugoslavia dismantled and why.)

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First posted: June 26, 1998
Last revised: May 31, 2004