Tetovo During World War II, 1941-1944
Tetovo and Greater Albania
The UCK seeks to re-establish and re-create the Greater Albania created by Adolf Hitler and Benito Mussolini from 1941 to 1944. History is being repeated and replayed in Macedonia.
By Carl K. Savich
The practical implementation of the Greater Albania ideology was achieved during World War II when Adolf Hitler and Benito Mussolini established a German/Italian sponsored Albanian state which incorporated Western Macedonia, Illirida, Kosovo-Metohija, Kosova, and southern Montenegro. Hitler and Mussolini set the historical and political precedent for the creation of Greater Albania which existed from 1941 to 1944. The Orthodox Slavic populations, the Roma and Jewish populations were to be exterminated and deported. Albanian was made the official language in Kosovo, Western Macedonia, and southern Montenegro. The Albanian Lek was introduced as the official currency. The Albanian national flag, a double-headed black eagle on a red background, was raised in the occupied areas. Hitler and Mussolini had achieved a Greater or Ethnic Albania. The UCK, the so-called Albanian Liberation Army, known also by the acronyms the NLA/KLA/ANA/KPC/LAPMB, seeks to re-establish and to re-create the Greater Albania first created by Adolf Hitler and Benito Mussolini. The agenda, the goals, and the objectives of the UCK are identical to those of the ideologues of Greater Albania during World War II who created a Greater Albania in Western Macedonia, Kosovo-Metohija, and southern Montenegro. Western Macedonia and the city of Tetovo are integral and inseparable components or parts of the Greater Albania ideology. Greater Albania would be incomplete without Western Macedonia. What is being witnessed in Kosovo and in Macedonia today is a repeat or replay of what occurred during World War II, when Hitler and Mussolini established Greater Albania.
Tetovo during World War II: Italian Occupation, 1941-1943
Adolf Hitler and Benito Mussolini established Greater Albania in 1941 following the occupation and dismemberment of Yugoslavia. On April 6, 1941, Germany and allies Italy, Albania, Hungary, and Bulgaria invaded Yugoslavia in Operation Punishment. Yugoslavia was subsequently occupied and dismembered. Hitler and Mussolini then sponsored a Greater Albanian state which included territory from Western Macedonia, Kosovo-Metohija, and southern Montenegro.
Tetovo became a part of Albania. The borders of Albania were enlarged to include not only Tetovo or Tetova in Albanian, but all of Western Macedonia (Illirida), Kosovo-Metohija, and regions of Montenegro. Present-day Macedonia (FYROM) was divided between Albania and Bulgaria. Tetovo was in the Italian zone of occupation until September 3,1943, when Italy surrendered and Germany re-occupied Macedonia. Ethnic Albanians in Macedonia formed the National Albanian Committee to advance the Greater Albania movement and agenda. The Balli Kombetar (BK, National Union) was formed by Midhat Frasheri and Ali Klissura to advance the Greater Albania ideology or cause. The Slavic Orthodox populations were targeted for deportation or murder. The Jews and Roma were similarly to be deported or killed.
Hitler and Mussolini had given the ethnic Albanians Greater Albania. In August, 1941, the Italian occupation forces in Tetovo established a prison for prisoners of war. The Italian occupation authorities gave the civil authority and administration to the Albanian population. All Albanian-inhabited territories, Western Macedonia, Illirida, Kosovo-Metohija, Kosova, and southern Montenegro, were integrated completely into Albania proper. Albanian language schools, an Albanian press, an Albanian radio network were established and an Albanian governmental and political administration was created. Vulnetara, an Albanian paramilitary formation, was organized. Albanian police units were established by the Italian occupation force. Albanian became the official language as Western Macedonia or Illirida became a part of Albania. The Albanian national flag, the double-headed black eagle on a red background, was raised in Tetovo and other cities and towns in Western Macedonia. The Albanian Lek was introduced as the official currency. Tetovo, Gostivar, Struga, Debar, and Kichevo were the key municipalities and districts in Western Macedonia incorporated into Albania, a Greater Albania. Eastern Macedonia was occupied by Bulgarian military forces.
Macedonia was divided between Albania and Bulgaria. Hitler and Mussolini sought to delineate the borders between Greater Albania and Greater Bulgaria. The Albanians and their Italian sponsors wanted to enlarge the borders of Albania eastward encroaching on Bulgarian occupied territory. The Bulgarians sought to expand westward. On April 20 and 21, 1941, the German foreign minister, Joachim Ribbentrop, and the Italian foreign minister, Count Galeazzo Ciano, met in Vienna to discuss the Bulgarian occupation zone and the enlargement of the borders of Greater Albania eastward. Ribbentrop emphasized the importance of the mines in Kosovo-Metohija and Macedonia that were vital to the strategic interests of Germany. The German and Italian supreme commands reached an agreement on the final demarcation line in Macedonia. Hitler approved the agreement on April 25. The agreement was tentative, however, and was not a final, complete agreement on demarcation lines. The agreement was abandoned later as Italy and Bulgaria could not agree on a border between their two occupation zones in Macedonia and Kosovo-Metohija. Later in 1941, the two sides were able to reach an understanding on where the border should be.
The Italian occupation forces appointed Albanian Dzaferi Sulejmani the president of the Tetovo district. The vice-president was Albanian Munir Tevshana who had come from Albania. Later, Zejnel Starova and Shaib Kamberi replaced him. Kamberi worked for the Italian intelligence service. Selim Shaipi was the representative for Tetovo and was the leader of the Albanian youth movement. Shaipi was also a representative of the Second League of Prizren and was the president of the Third Balli Kombetar Committee. Shaipi fled with the German Army when Tetovo was evacuated in 1944. Husein Derala was made the commander of the gendarmes units in Tetovo by the Italian occupation forces.
The Albanian administration targeted the Orthodox, Slavic populations for elimination, disenfranchisement, de-recognition, and expulsion. Feyzi Alizoti called for the extermination and deportation of non-Muslims. The Greater Albania ideology was anti-Orthodox, anti-Slavic in nature, and atrocities, deportations, and murders were committed against the Slavic, Orthodox populations. Josip Kovac, a Slovenian who was placed in charge of the Tetovo hospital by the Axis forces, described the anti-Orthodox, anti-Christian, anti-Slavic activity of Alizoti as follows:
There were exceptionally hard times in the annexed areas of Western Macedonia and Kosovo-Metohija when Fejzi Alizoti, the High Commissioner, visited. He gave a speech in Tetovo that demanded the annihilation of the non-Muslim communities. Publicly and openly he stated that there will be no peace until the last foreigner---Orthodox Christians---leaves his territory and settles across the border and only ethnic Albanians are left behind. Following his visit, the situation deteriorated and became unbearable for all non-Muslims.
The Italian military intelligence service, OVRA, formed an independent battalion in occupied Tetovo. The battalion was named Ljuboten, a special unit made up of ethnic Albanians in the Tetovo region. This Italian-created Albanian Axis unit was to uncover, question, and annihilate any resistance to the occupation. After the surrender of Italy in 1943, the German forces retained this Albanian formation allowing the unit to keep their Italian-issued uniforms and weapons. Members of the Balli Kombetar later joined the Ljuboten battalion. At the end of 1943, the Ljuboten unit was engaged in the attack on Kichevo in Macedonia.
The Italian occupation of Western Macedonia allowed the Albanian population to create an ethnic Albanian-ruled region. Albanian police and paramilitary units were formed as a proxy army by the Italian forces. The civil administration was entrusted by the Italians to Albanian leaders. Albanian became the official language;the civil and police administration was taken over by ethnic Albanians; Albanian schools, newspapers, and radio stations were established. Tetovo became Tetova, an Albanian Muslim city in the newly-expanded Albanian state.
From the 14th century, Tetovo has been an Orthodox Slavic settlement founded around the Orthodox Church of Sveta Bogorodica (Saint Mother of God)near the mountain source of the Pena river in the Polog valley. Sveta Bogorodica was built in the 13th century when Tetovo began to be regarded as a major Orthodox Church center. Tetovo was the first center of the Orthodox episcopate. The oldest settlement in Tetovo is the region around the Sveta Bogorodica Orthodox Church. The modern city of Tetovo grew from this small medieval Orthodox Slavic settlement of Htetovo with the building and construction of houses around the Orthodox Church.
The Ottoman Turkish Muslim Empire invaded and occupied present-day Macedonia beginning in the 14th century. The Muslim Turks began settling and colonizing Macedonia with Turkish settlers. The Ottoman Turks began the Turkification and Islamicization of Macedonia. The Ottoman Turks altered the Orthodox Slavic nature of Tetovo, which in Turkish was renamed Kalkandele. The Ottoman Turks began settling the level lowlands of Tetovo. The Colored or Painted Mosque (Aladzha or Sharena Dzamija), also known as the Pasha Mosque, was built in 1459 by the Ottoman Turks. The earlier Slavic Orthodox population concentration in Tetovo was on the high ground and on the foothills of the Shar Planina or Mountain range.
In the 18th and 19th centuries, the city began to expand greatly. The city was divided into the Orthodox Slavic quarter and the Muslim Turkish quarter. The Orthodox Slavic quarter or section was on the left side, on the Pena River, made up of the Potok, Dva Bresta, Koltuk, Sveti Nikola, Dol, Pevchina, and Dolno regions. The Turkish Muslim quarter or section included the following regions: The Colored Mosque (Sharena Dzamija) region, Banja, Gorna Charshija, Gamgan, and Saat. After World War II, the ethnic mosaic of the city changed with the displacement of the Serbian Orthodox and Turkish Muslim populations. The city then acquired its present ethnic configuration of Macedonian Orthodox Slavs and Muslim Albanians. Different city subdivisions emerged. New settlements and districts were formed such as Przhova Bavcha, Tabakaana, Gazaana, the Teteks textile plant district, and the Boulevard Boris Kidric.
In the town of Leshok, which had been known as Legen Grad, in the Tetovo municipality, is located the Leshok Monastery which includes the Orthodox Church of the Holy Virgin built in 1326 and the Sveti Athanasius Orthodox Church built in 1924. The tomb of the Orthodox scholar Kiril Pejchinovic lies in the Leshok Monastery. The Church has three layers of frescoes: The lower layer was built in 1326, the middle layer was built in the 17th century, and the top layer was built in 1879. The Leshok Monastery symbolizes the Orthodox and Slavic presence in the region. The UCK separatists deliberately mined and demolished the Monastery in August, 2001, to eradicate and cleanse the Orthodox Slavic influence. Cultural cleansing is followed by the ethnic cleansing of the Orthodox Slavic population. The UCK has ethnically cleansed or driven out much of the non-Albanian population from the Tetovo district.
Tetovo and its population have undergone an evolution and development over the centuries. Like a palimpsest, a parchment that has been written upon over time but that leaves impressions made on earlier layers and substrata, the city of Tetovo has accumulated layers and strata of the different populations, religions, and cultures that have existed in the city. The city presents a palimpsest or mosaic of the differing populations and cultures that have not been erased but remain to reveal the development and growth of the city.
In the 15th century, Tetovo began to be regarded as a major city in the region. The Turkish writer Mehmed Beg in 1436 in the Vakuf noted that Tetovo had stores and shops and was one of the most prosperous regions in the Polog valley. In 1470, Mehmed Kebir Chelebija noted the rapid development of Tetovo. In 1565, under Ottoman Turkish rule and occupation, Tetovo was refereed to as the episcopal religious place Htetovo, an Orthodox religious center, the seat of the Orthodox Church and domicile of the Orthodox religious leader. Haji Kalfa in the 17th century noted in his writings that Kalkandele, the Turkish name for Tetovo, that the city was expanding.
In the 19th century, the population of Tetovo began to increase with settlement from the surrounding villages. The French traveler Ami Bue noted that the population was approximately 4,000-5,000 persons in the 1900s. Half of the population was made up of Orthodox Slavs. In the Turkish quarter, there were the upper and lower Turkish charshi and the Konaci of the wealthy Turkish begs. Many clean streets were noted by the travelers. A. Griezenbach estimated there were 1,500 houses or dwellings in the city. By the end of the 19th century, the population increased as Tetovo became an important trading center. In 1912, the population declined due to the migration of the Turkish population and their resettlement to Turkey.
A large garrison of Ottoman Turkish troops was stationed in Tetovo during the 19th century when the city was a major military/strategic base. During the latter half of the 19th century, Ottoman Turkey was referred to as the sick man of Europe because it could not maintain its occupation and colonies in the Balkans and Eastern Europe. Ottoman Turkey suffered military defeats following the Bosnian Insurrection by the Serbian Orthodox populations of 1875 and the First Balkan War in 1912.
Herbert Vivian published his account of his travels to Macedonia in 1904 and offered his eyewitness accounts of Kalkandele (Tetovo) under Turkish rule. Vivian described Tetovo as follows:
Kalkandele is even more beautiful than most Turkish towns. Every house has its garden and a rippling rivulet, tall poplars and cypresses rise up beside the glistening minarets, storks nests, are poised upon the chimneys, weather-beaten wooden dwellings of fantastic shape are relieved by the gay arrangement, always artistic, of Turkish shops, and the women are among the most gorgeously attired in all Macedonia.
Vivian described the Macedonian system as a semi-feudal system. The landed estates are governed by chifji or seigneurs. The peasants have to pay a third of their crop every year in lieu of rent. Macedonians lead a medieval life. Vivian noted the tension between the Slavic Orthodox Christians and the Muslim Albanians. Muslims were allowed to own weapons, but Christians were forbidden to own any arms. Vivian explained:
This question of arms is one which exercises the Macedonians excessively. It is a standing grievance with the Christians that they are forbidden to possess arms, while the Albanians bristle with weapons.
Vivian observed the ethnic and religious polarization and animus between the Orthodox Slavic Christian population and the Muslim Albanian population. In Tetovo, he was a guest of the Serbian Orthodox Prota, or archdeacon. Vivian described the residence as follows:
His house was like a fortress. A high wall protected his smiling garden and huge doors were heavily barricaded at sundown.
I asked the cause of all these precautions, and was told much about the fanaticism of the population, who might at any time wish to raid a Christian household.
Albanian Muslims sought to incorporate Western Macedonia, Illirida, into a Greater Albanian state following the 1878 Albanian League of Prizren in Kosovo-Metohija, which enunciated the Greater Albania ideology. In 1912, Albanian insurgents seized and occupied Skopje itself, demanding that the Ottoman Turkish regime grant them a Greater Albania.
In the 18th century, the population of Tetovo began to increase. Residents from the following surrounding villages and suburbs began to settle in Tetovo: Brodec, Lisec, Selce, Poroj, Shipkovica, Gajre, Zhelino, Dobri Dol, Zherovjane, Novake, Gorno Palchiste, Senokos, Kamenane, and Gradec. Macedonian Orthodox Slavs, Bektashi and Sunni Muslim Albanians, Sunni Muslim Turks, Orthodox Serbian, and Roma were the major population groups of the city. By the end of the 19th century, the population of Tetovo was 19,000. The Slavic Orthodox villages and towns in the Tetovo municipality or district included Vratnica, Staro Selo, Tearce, Leshok, Belovishte, Jegunovce, Rogachevo, and Neproshteno.
Tetovo or Htetovo was originally an Orthodox Slavic settlement. With the Ottoman Turkish conquest, the city was settled by Turks from Anatolia, Asia Minor, and Bulgaria. For much of its history, Tetovo was divided between the Orthodox Slavic section and a Muslim Turkish section. The majority of the Albanian settlement of Tetovo and the surrounding villages resulted due to the influx of Albanian migration and settlement from Albania. Albanian settlement is relatively recent and is due to Albanian migrations from Albania proper into the Polog valley. The Albanian migrations originated in the Albanian districts of Findi Berdita and Luma in Albania. Albanian migration and settlement in Tetovo and the surrounding villages from Albania began only in the 18th and 19th centuries. The massive, intensive migrations of Albanian settlers from Albania proper began slowly to alter the ethnic composition of the majority Orthodox Slavic city. Settlers also came from Kosovo-Metohija. In the late 19th century and early 20th century, the Slavic Orthodox migrated out of Tetovo for economic and political reasons. The total Slavic Orthodox migration out of the city amounted to 5,500 during this period. During World War I, 2,000 left. After World War I, 5,000 Turks migrated to Turkey. Following World War II, another large group of Turks migrated out of the city. These migrations of Turks again changed the ethnic make-up of the city leaving the Orthodox Slavic and Albanian Muslim populations as the bulk of the population of the city.
Tetovo: German Occupation, 1943-44
The surrender of Italy on September 3,1943 forced Germany to re-occupy Tetovo and Western Macedonia. Germany organized the XXI Mountain Corps, led by General Paul Bader, made up of the 100th Jaeger Division, the 297th Infantry Division and the German 1st Mountain Division, to occupy the territory abandoned by the Italian forces. The German forces wanted to recruit and enlist ethnic Albanians into proxy armies that would assist the German occupation. The Germans retained the Albanian Ljuboten battalion initially formed by the Italian occupation forces. The Waffen SS sought to incorporate the Albanian manpower of the region into Waffen SS formations, as a German/SS proxy army to maintain the military occupation of the Orthodox Slavic populations. In 1943, the German occupation authorities sponsored the formation of the Second League of Prizren, reviving the 1878 League. The Germans sought to use the racist, extremist, anti-democratic, anti-Orthodox, anti-Slavic agenda of the Greater Albania ideology to maintain and support their occupation of Kosovo and Western Macedonia. Bedri Pejani, the president of the central committee of the Second League of Prizren, a militant and extremist Greater Albania ideologue, even wrote Himmler personally to request his assistance in establishing a Greater Albania and volunteering Albanian troops to work jointly with the Waffen SS and German Wehrmacht. Himmler read the Pejani letter and agreed to form two ethnic Albanian Waffen SS Divisions. Like Hitler and Mussolini, Himmler became an active sponsor of the Greater Albania ideology.
On April 17, 1944, Reichsfuehrer SS Heinrich Himmler approved the formation of an Albanian Waffen SS Division, which was then subsequently approved by Adolf Hitler. The SS Main Office envisioned an Albanian division of 10,000 troops. The Balli Kombetar, the Albanian Committees, and the Second League of Prizren submitted the names of 11,398 recruits for the division. Of these, 9,275 were adjudged to be suitable for drafting into the Waffen SS. Of this number, 6,491 ethnic Albanians were actually drafted into the Waffen SS. A reinforced battalion of approximately 200-300 ethnic Albanians, the III/Waffen Gebirgsjaeger Regiment 50, serving in the Bosnian Muslim 13th Waffen Gebirgs Division der SS Handzar or Handschar were transferred to the newly forming division. To this Albanian core were added veteran German troops from Austria and Volksdeutsche officers, NCOS, and enlisted men. The total strength of the Albanian Waffen SS Division would be 8,500-9,000 men.
The official designation of the division would be 21. Waffen Gebirgs Division der SS Skanderbeg (Albanische Nr.1). Himmler planned to form a second Albanian division, Albanische Nr. 2. The SS Main Office designed a special arm patch for the division, consisting of a black, double-headed eagle on a red background, the national flag/symbol for Albania. The UCK/KLA/NLA/ANA/LAMBP would have an identical arm patch in their separatist/terrorist war for greater rights and human rights in the 1998/99 Kosovo conflict and the insurgency in Macedonia in 2001.The SS Main Office also designed a strip with the word Skanderbeg embroidered across it as well as a gray skullcap with the Totenkopf (Deaths Head) insignia of the SS below the Hoheitszeichen (the national symbol of Nazi Germany, consisting of a silver eagle over a Nazi swastika). Josef Fitzhum, the SS leader in Albania, commanded the division during the formation stages. In June, 1944, August Schmidhuber, the SS Stardartenfuehrer in the 7th SS Division Prinz Eugen, was transferred to command the division. Alfred Graf commanded the division in August and subsequently when the division was reorganized.
The 21st SS Skanderbeg Division indiscriminately massacred Serbian Orthodox civilians in Kosovo-Metohija, forcing 10,000 Kosovo Serbian Orthodox families to flee Kosovo. Albanian colonists and settlers from northern Albania then took over the lands and homes of the displaced/cleansed Serbian Orthodox Slavs. The goal of the Skanderbeg SS division was to create a Serbien frei and Juden frei and Roma frei Kosova, an ethnically pure and homogenous region of Greater Albania. In Illirida, or Western Macedonia, the Skanderbeg SS Division sought to create a Macedonian frei, Orthodox frei, Slavic frei region. The Albanian SS troops played a key role in the Holocaust, the Final Solution to the Jewish Problem, which the sponsor of the Greater Albania ideology, Heinrich Himmler, organized. On May 14, 1944, the Skanderbeg SS Division raided Kosovo Jewish homes and businesses in Pristina. The Albanian SS troops acting as a proxy for the German occupation forces rounded up 281 Kosovo Jews who were subsequently killed at Bergen-Belsen. The Skanderbeg SS Division targeted Macedonian Orthodox Slavs, Serbian Orthodox Slavs, Roma, and Jews when the division occupied Tetovo and Skopje and other towns and cities in Western Macedonia. The goal and agenda of the ethnic Albanian Skanderbeg Waffen SS Division was to advance the Greater Albania ideology by deporting and killing the non-Albanian populations of Western Macedonia.
The Skanderbeg SS Division was formed at a time in the war when Germany was retreating and withdrawing its forces from the Balkans. The Russian Red Army was inflicting severe losses on the German military forces. By November, 1944, the Germans were withdrawing their forces from the Aegean islands and from Greece. At this time, the Skanderbeg Division remnants were reorganized into Regimentgruppe 21. SS Gebirgs Skanderbeg when it was transferred to Skopje. The Kampfgruppe Skanderbeg, in conjunction with the 7th SS Mountain Division Prinz Eugen, defended the Vardar River valley in Macedonia to allow Alexander Loehrs Army Group E to retreat from Greece and the Aegean. The Vardar Valley was crucial as an escape corridor for the retreating German military forces.
The Skanderbeg SS Division crossed into Macedonia and occupied Tetovo and Skopje in the early part of September, 1944. The purpose for the occupation was to garrison Macedonia and safeguard the retreat of German troops from Greece and the Aegean peninsula. By 1944, the German forces in the Balkans were in a defensive posture and were focusing their strategic efforts on a well-ordered retreat and withdrawal. The Bulgarian forces and the Italian forces had occupied Macedonia. The Bulgarian army continued to occupy Macedonia and their presence threatened the German retreat. The Skanderbeg SS Division occupied the Skopje and Kumanovo regions of Macedonia and the Preshevo and Bujanovac region of southern Serbia. The German XXI Mountain Corps was based in Tirana. The Germans also had the 181st Infantry Division at Lake Scutari and the 297 Infantry Division at Valona, both based in Albania, to prevent an Allied landing force in the Adriatic. The German XXI Mountain Corps crossed into Macedonia from Tirana, the capital of Albania and moved northward past Debar and the Tetovo and Gostivar area. By October 1, 1944, the 21st SS Division Skanderbeg then occupied Skopje, the capital of Macedonia. The first Regiment of the Skanderbeg Division occupied Tetovo. A Reconnaissance Battalion of Skanderbeg occupied Djakovica while a Signals Battalion occupied Prizen in Kosovo-Metohija. The Skanderbeg SS Division was based in the towns of Tetovo, Skopje, Prizren, Pec, Djakovica, Kosovska Mitrovica, Pristina, and Novi Pazar.
The SS ideology in forming volunteer Waffen SS Divisions of non-German nationalities was that the Waffen SS was advancing the cause of national liberation and national freedom for oppressed/repressed nationalities and aggrieved ethnic minorities. So the Waffen SS perceived itself as a military organization under the leadership of Heinrich Himmler which was made up of national freedom fighters advancing the cause of national liberation, freedom, and independence. NATO/US/EU would adopt the identical interventionist/occupation strategy or paradigm in the 1998-1999 Kosovo conflict and the 2001 Macedonian conflict. The policy was divide and conquer. The SS exploited minorities and nationality groups in the various countries they sought to occupy and dismember. These oppressed/repressed national/ethnic groups and minorities were a natural Fifth Column in every country targeted for military occupation. Heinrich Himmlers SS took on the cause of liberation and freedom/independence for oppressed/repressed minorities and nationality groups. Foremost amongst the groups for SS sponsorship were the ethnic Albanians in the Balkans and the Palestinians in the Middle East. Indeed, Palestinian national leader Haj Amin el Husseini, the Grand Mufti of Jerusalem, worked closely with Himmler and the SS and supported the Albanian and Bosnian Muslim aspirations to independence and separatism from Slavic Orthodox Christian countries. The SS argued that the countries the SS sought to occupy and dismember were artificial nations or states. But how is an artificial state to be defined and who was to make the conclusion? Germany itself was an artificial state established by Prussian leader Otto von Bismarck through military occupation and annexation. Germany consisted of many ethnic groups and many different religions. Bismarck launched wars against Denmark and Austria-Hungary to dismember those nations and to annex their territory to a Greater Germany. The creation of the artificial German state was through military force, through annexation and occupation, achieved by a Prussian military dictatorship and not through democratic means. Germany was thus itself an artificial state achieved through war by the Prussian army. National liberation of oppressed/repressed nationalities and minorities nevertheless remained the ideological basis for the Waffen SS. Later, this identical paradigm would be adopted by NATO/US/EU.
Heinrich Himmler was buttressed in his support of the Greater Albania ideology by Italian archeological research that purported to show that the Albanian Ghegs were of Aryan/Nordic origin, that they were the herrenmensch, the master race. Himmler planned to establish two ethnic Albanian Waffen SS Divisions but the war ended before this could be accomplished. This is the reason the Skanderbeg SS Division is referred to as the Albanische Nr.1 in the SS records.
By January, 1945, remnants of the Skanderbeg Waffen SS Division would retreat to Kosovska Mitrovica in Kosovo and then to Brcko in Bosnia-Hercegovina. The Skanderbeg remnants would reach Austria in May, 1945, when Germany surrendered following the military and political collapse of the regime.
Albanian and German Occupation Forces in Macedonia
The German occupation forces retained the Albanian civil, political, military, and police control and administration of Western Macedonia. The Albanian national flag was flown, the official language was Albanian, and the Albanian Lek remained the official currency in Illirida. The Germans retained the incorporation of Western Macedonia and Kosovo-Metohija into a Greater Albania. Rejeb Bey Mitrovica, however, was replaced by Fikri Dine as the Prime Minister of the Greater Albanian state occupied by the German Wehrmacht. The Albanian Minister of the Interior was Dzafer Deva. Mustafa Kruja and Mehdi Bey Frasheri also held high positions in the Albanian regime. Ernst Kaltenbrunner, who had replaced Reinhard Heydrich as the leader of the SD, was instrumental in setting up the Albanian Nazi Party, which replaced the Albanian Fascist Party that the Italian authorities had set up previously. Much of the civilian and military administration was exercised by ethnic Albanians during both the Italian and German occupations. In Tetovo, there was a total of 1,500 ethnic Albanian Waffen SS troops, members of the 1st Regiment of the Skanderbeg SS Division. In Gostivar, there were 1,000 Albanian SS troops, while in Struga there were 100, and 900 in Debar. In Kichevo, there were 1,500 Albanian SS troops. The total number of Albanian SS troops in Western Macedonia was 5,000. The Albanians made up the police force in Western Macedonia: In Tetovo, there were 16 members of the police force, in Gostivar 10, in Struga 11, in Debar 16, and in Kichevo, 5. There were a total of 5,500 members of the Balli Kombetar in Macedonia, 2,000 of which were based in Tetovo. There was a total of 250 Albanian gendarme units, or armed police units, in Tetovo. An Albanian Battalion for Security made up of 800 members was based in Tetovo. In addition, there were 80 Albanian finasi troops and border guards. The total number of Albanian police and paramilitary units in Tetovo during the German occupation was 4,646. The German Army only had 450 German troops and three Gestapo agents in Tetovo and a total of 2,180 troops and 34 Gestapo agents in all of Western Macedonia. Instead, the German occupation forces created a proxy army and police staff made up of ethnic Albanians, collaborationists who acted as the proxies for the German military forces. Like the Italian occupation forces had done before them, the German military was able to use the Albanian police and paramilitary forces as a proxy force.
The German Army used Albanian separatists to create a proxy army of occupation and administration in Tetovo and other cities and towns in Western Macedonia which were annexed to Albania. By furthering and advancing the agenda of the Greater Albania ideology, the German occupation forces ensured that their military occupation of the region would be safeguarded and assured. The German Army in 1998-2001 would play a similar role in the Kosovo and Macedonia conflicts. NATO would pursue an identical policy to that of the Italian/German occupation forces during the 1941-1944 period. The Greater Albania ideology would serve the same purpose again, expediting the military occupation and establishing a proxy army that would act on behalf of the NATO occupation forces. The racist and separatist Greater Albania ideology would be sponsored and furthered by NATO, like it had been by the German/Italian forces, to expedite the occupation and military, economic, and political control and exploitation of first Kosovo-Metohija and then Macedonia.
The Greater Albania established by Adolf Hitler and Benito Mussolini from 1941 to 1944 set the historical precedent for establishing an ethnically homogenous Albanian state which would encompass all areas settled by Albanians. The UCK/KLA/NLA/ANA/KPC/LAMPB goal and agenda is to re-establish and re-form Hitlers and Mussolinis Greater Albania. The Albanian nationalist goal, the UCK goal, is Greater Albania. The terrorist insurgency by the UCK, first in Kosovo-Metohija, then in Southern Serbia, and then in Macedonia, ostensibly to obtain greater rights and equal and human rights is in fact a war of territorial occupation and partition. The British Helsinki Human Rights Group (BHHRG) has noted that Tetovo is the focus of the Greater Albania movement which seeks to turn the Slavic Orthodox city into a center or capital of an ethnically pure Albanian district or municipality. The BHHRG stated that the population of Tetovo was 40% Slavic Orthodox but that there was intense pressure to make the city into an Albanian town, based on the model of Kosovo where the Serbian Orthodox towns and cities were depopulated of non-Albanians creating an ethnically pure and ethnically homogenous Kosova, a de facto independent statelet demanding de jure recognition. The BHHRG alleged that Arben Xhaferi of the DPA appointed all local police chiefs in Tetovo. The DPA radicalizes the Albanian population and pressures the Albanian youth to become nationalist and separatist according to the British Helsinki Human Rights Group. The Group further alleges that Albanian youth are being pressured to attend the Albanian-language University of Tetova with a ideological curriculum based on that followed in Tirana and Pristina. The University of Tetova is nothing more than a boot camp for the indoctrination and training for the establishment of a Greater Albania. Xhaferi seeks to repeat in Tetovo what was done in Pristina. According to BHHRG, this compelled and forced separatist and Greater Albania ideological agitation has not met with unanimous approval within the Albanian population in Tetovo: Not all local Albanians are happy with these developments. During the war some sent their sons to Serbia to prevent their mobilization into the KLA. The BHHRG further alleged that the regional weapons market is run from Tetovo. Menduh Thaci of the DPA is alleged to control Tetovos shops and the black market, such as in oil. There is widespread political corruption and collusion with political leaders. The goal of the Albanian policies, according to the BHHRG, is to force Macedonians to leave Tetovo by a subtle ethnic cleansing. The Orthodox Slavic population is the target of the Greater Albania separatists. The Kosovo model is being repeated in Tetovo, transforming an Orthodox Christian Slavic city into an Islamic Albanian city. Pristina is the blueprint. Kosovo is the model. The ultimate goal or agenda of the UCK separatists/terrorists is the partition/federalization of Western Macedonia, Illirida. Autonomy or de facto partition is the short-term goal. Independence from Macedonia is the long-term goal based on the Kosovo paradigm.
The UCK seeks to re-establish and re-create the Greater Albania created by Adolf Hitler and Benito Mussolini from 1941 to 1944. History is being repeated and replayed in Macedonia.
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