A Tragic History of the Jews in the Eternal Memory of the Albanian People in the Balkans
The establishment of this historical Memorial, and the preservation of cultural values and Jewish inheritance in Kosovo, as well as in other areas of Ethnic Albania, should be a permanent symbol of love, mutual good faith, and the further development of good and friendly relationship between the Albanian and the Jewish people as two most loyal and strategic partners of the United States of America.
On May 23, 2013 in Pristina, capital city of Kosovo, was unveiled Memorial Plaque, signed in of remembrance of Jewish victims from the nazi Holocaust (seventy years ago).
As mass media notify (internal and international) “The Memorial Plaque has a width of one meter and two meters high, it is worked in white marble, and in the reports that it is up to the commemoration of Kosovo Jews who perished in Nazi camps during the Holocaust.”
At this unveiling memorial ceremony were present the Kosovo president, Atifete Jahjaga, Prime Minister, Hashim Thaci, President of the Assembly, Jakup Krasniqi and other personalities and non-governmental and religious communities of Republic of Kosovo.
However, the unique and unforgettable of this memorial event was the participation of the Israeli ambassador in Belgrade, Yossef Levy, the U.S. Ambassador in Pristina, Tracey Ann Jacobson, Rabbi of Brussels, Levi Matusof, and Jason Steinbaum “the chief of staff for Rep.. Eliot Engel (DN.Y.), the ranking Democrat on the U.S. House of Representatives Foreign Affairs Committee, who was a champion of Kosovo Independence, who with their significant welcoming speeches, praised the inauguration of the Memorial Plaque the Government dedicated to the Jewish victims of the Nazi Holocaust seventy years ago.”
I am very happy that my people helped Jews when they needed it most to escape from Nazi terror. This is a painful and unforgettable chapter of the Albanian-Jewish history that belongs to World World II.
Jewish victims of Hitler’s Nazi Holocaust of World War II (1939-1945), were killed not only in Kosovo, but in all the territories of Ethnic Albania in the Balkans, Albanians will not ever forget, but will honor and remember forever as fellow men, as our close friends in the hard times of war and peace today.
Indeed, I’m very proud and happy that my grandparents, fathers, mothers, sisters and our brothers, during World War II and, after in peace time (1945-2013) helped and protected Jews as our brothers and best friends, sparing nothing for saving their lives from the Nazi Holocaust machinery.
This painful and largest tragedy of Jewish people, not only the Albanian people in the Balkans, but all freedom-loving and civilized nations in the world, should not be forgotten, but be remembered with piety, with pain and with special human respect. Because of Hitler’s genocide, the Jews were exterminated and suffered the most of all other nations in Europe.
This is a history of undeniable truth about the hundreds of thousands of Jewish victims of the Holocaust monster Adolf Hitler (1939-1945).
It is not strange and surprising why Albanians are the closest friends with Jews and why they help each-other in time of war, and in peace. However, there’s no doubt that Albanians best understand the Jewish victims of the Nazi Holocaust, because they have the same historical tragic fate, over 100 years were victims of Serbs-Slavic Holocaust in the Balkans(1878-2013). Serbian holocaust committed on Albanians of the Ethnic Albania, for more than a century, unfortunately, has not been convicted of either Europe or the world, except America and NATO on March 24, 1999, bombed Serbia because of its genocide, committed in Kosovo (1989-1999). This is the first time in the history of the Albanians that America under its former president, Bill Clinton saved Kosovo Albanians from collective mass graves of Nazi Serbian regime of Slobodan Milosevic(1999). Thanks to the United States and NATO, today, Kosovo (February 17, 2008), Kosovo is an independent and sovereign country recognized by 90 countries of the international community.
There is no doubt that the credit for this historic act- inauguration of Memorial Plaque in Pristina (the capital of the Republic of Kosovo) to Jewish victims of the Nazi Holocaust, is the state institutions of the Republic of Kosovo, primarily the Government lead by its Prime Minister, Hashim Thaci ( who was scheduled to unveil the plaque), said : “This is the place where the last Synagogue of Kosovo stood until 1963 which was destroyed by the communist regime, and thus, even symbolically put the stones to keep in mind the diversity and footprint Hebrew, which has been present for centuries in Kosovo. The plaque reads in Albanian, Hebrew, English and Serbian. This plaque is raised in memory of Kosovo Jews that perished in Nazi camps during Holocaust. People of Kosovo will never forget them. In the name of freedom-loving people of Kosovo, on behalf of the institutions of Kosovo, on behalf of Kosovar citizens of all ethnicities, in my personal name, was once again bend them with their blood formed the foundation of the free world which we now belong to the state of Kosovo.”
Also, this commemorative event greeted and praised Yossef Levy (Israeli Ambassador in Belgrade), saying: “On behalf of the State of Israel and Jewish people, I would say the first two words Shalom, and secondly thank you. We have saying in Hebrew, which means that those who save one life is as if to save all mankind. And, in the former Yugoslavia, particularly the territory of Kosovo and in Albania, people risked their lives and rescued Jews.”
The establishment of this memorial plaque in front of the Assembly of Kosovo (where the synagogue stood until 1963), in honor and remembrance of the Jewish victims of the Nazi Holocaust, is concrete evidence of the historical past (1939-2013) that the Albanian people, never has lost close ties with Jews. Friendly, but they always maintained with pride, never forgetting the importance of their role and the joint efforts of superhuman war of resistance against the Nazi Holocaust as in the Balkans and in Europe.
Despite the fact that what saying critical political and diplomatic theses of Serbia and its Balkan and international allies regarding the denial of the independence of Kosovo, Albanians and Jews, (taking into account their friendly relationship) should be as close to each other in politics, economy, trade, diplomatic, development, culture, military, integration etc.
This is necessary, because these two nations are close allies and valuable strategic partners of the United States in Europe and Balkans. In this context, the Israeli government should consider recognizing the independence of Kosovo as soon as possible.