The Origins of Ethnic Cleansing in the Balkans: The untold story you’ve never heard

BNI has posted many stories that show the United States and Nato forces fought on the wrong side of that war. Here is an essay, never before published, about the tragedy of that decision with its unforgivable betrayal of a long-time ally, the Serbs, in favor of the Muslim invaders who were doing what they do all over the world, replacing the indigenous population with an Islamic republic, all the while crying that they were the victims of ethnic cleansing. 


by Zhivko B. Damyanovich

Due to the length of this essay, summarizing the main points may be helpful:

1. The Kosovar Albanians came from Albania to the Kosovo-Metohia region as intruders when most of the original Slavic (Serb and Montenegrin) population – who had lived there for up to ten centuries – migrated under the threat of utter extermination due to their (at the time) unsupported fight for freedom from Turkish oppression.

2. The new Albanian settlers – for the most part Muslims, who were therefore trusted by the ruling Ottoman authorities – actively assisted the Turks in the stifling of the remaining Slavs.

3. During the time of direst hardship for the Serbian Army in its 1915 retreat (from the Bulgarian, Austro-Hungarian, and German armies), Albanians living on the route of withdrawal across the Albanian mountains had no compassion for the exhausted Serbian soldiers (a whole third of whom perished during the march) but seized every opportunity to mug, rob and kill any stragglers.

4. The Kosovar Albanians actively joined with Bulgarian and Austro-Hungarian occupation forces in severe persecution and harassment of ethnic Slavs during World War I;

5. Yet, these Albanians were not molested by the Yugoslav authorities in the slightest following World War I.

6. During the Italian occupation of Kosovo-Metohia of 1941-43 and the extension of that occupation by German and Bulgarian forces in 1943-45, the Kosovar Albanians systematically engaged in a sustained and well-organized campaign of ethnic cleansing unknown to the West, displacing a considerable number of Serb and Montenegrin families.

7. Immediately after the liberation of Serbia in 1944, the communist government of Josip Broz Tito enacted a secret order forbidding all those Serbs and Montenegrins who had been expelled or who had fled during the war-years to return to their homes in Kosovo-Metohia! This was a monstrous act against the Serbian people perpetrated by their own government (under a virulently – though covertly – anti-Serb president) in order to conform to an alien, unethical and forcibly imposed ideology never accepted by the Serbs.

8. The Kosovar Albanians on the other hand readily accepted the communists as their liberators and claimed all the legally proclaimed prerogatives of a distinct and compact minority in their own right.

9. Not only were the leaders and those other Kosovar Albanians who were guilty of innumerable atrocities committed during the war-years pardoned and left unpunished; they were treated as the unfortunate victims of Fascism, and thus compensated by being granted full autonomy to handle their own affairs regardless of the weakened remnants of the Orthodox-Christian Serbs and Montenegrins. All of this was enforced within and under the auspices of “The People’s Republic of Serbia”!!!

10. The Kosovars used this unexpected generosity as a further springboard for promoting their nationalist aspirations. First covertly and timidly, then progressively becoming much more blatant and violent, they attacked Slav property and people using all sorts of misdeeds including arson, rape and murder (especially of children, the weak, and the old).

1211. These same Kosovar Albanian authorities secretly permitted – even encouraged – illegal immigration of Albanians fleeing the brutal regime of Enver Hoxha as well as the pitifully wretched living conditions there. In this way, the ethnic imbalance already existing continued to get progressively worse.

12. The population policies of the postwar Yugoslav government were very benign to the Islamic custom of polygamy, resulting in a proliferation of children but also of penurious families living in ever- worsening conditions which all the outpouring of Serbian aid could not counteract. This is a factor readily and deliberately overlooked in stressing the overall compactness of the ethnic Albanian population of the region nowadays.

13. Throughout the time of Tito’s government and beyond (1945-1988), a steady exodus of Serb refugees fled Kosovo-Metohia, intimidated and terrified into doing so by those same Kosovar-Albanian authorities while the muzzled Serbian authorities in Belgrade turned a blind eye. Scared for their lives, they reluctantly left their homes and everything else so dear to them, gnashing their teeth while forced into suppressing their resentment and need for justice, hoping to return in better days.


About the Author

Mr. Zhivko Bogdan Damyanovich was born in Rušanj (now a suburb of Belgrade) in 1916. [At that time, his father and three of his paternal uncles were serving on the Salonika front (with the Allies).] After getting a Bachelor of Science (majoring in agriculture) in 1939 and joining the General Union of Farm Coöperatives in 1941, he served as a pilot with the Yugoslav Air Force during the war (1941 and 1944-45). Upon being demobilized at the end of World War II (1945), he was sent to the Ministry of Agriculture of the Federal People’s Republic of Yugoslavia (FPRY), being in charge of farm wages and product prices. On account of his vigorous opposition to compulsory requisitions of farm products at inappropriately low prices, arbitrary taxation of farm holdings, and enforced collectivization of agriculture, he was expelled from the state-run trade unions and dismissed from the Ministry (1952). Due to the failure of the Peasant Workers’ Coöperatives to improve agricultural production as well as to the consequently drastic changes in farm policies undertaken, he was reinstated and sent to the Economics Institute of FPRY (1953); when the Institute was abolished (1958) as too “liberal”, he was moved to the Federal Planning Commission.

In 1960, Mr. Damyanovich was able to use an invitation to specialize in land economics to move to Canada, where he graduated from the University of Toronto with a Master of Science (1962). He then had several jobs with the Ontario Agricultural College, the Manitoba Department of Agriculture and Conservation, and the Federal Trade and Commerce Department of Canada before moving in 1965 to Rome (Italy) to work for the Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO) of the United Nations. He retired in 1978 and currently lives in Canada.

Throughout his career, Mr. Damyanovich wrote close to one-hundred expert-level reports, most of which were published (in Yugoslavia and for intra-governmental use only). His Master’s thesis “Labour Productivity in World Agriculture” won the Agricultural Economics Society of Canada’s award as the best submission in Land Economics at Canadian Universities in 1962; however, he was never allowed to defend his major work, the study “Resources in World Agriculture and their Use, 1947-78″ which was submitted as his PhD dissertation at the University of Belgrade, due to political interference.


The ongoing drama in the Balkans has made me deeply frustrated as a human being. It is not a mere question of my heart being split between my allegiance to Canada (as my adopted country) versus my feelings for my relatives, friends, and ancient homeland afflicted with so many disasters. It is far more than that.

I abhor atrocities of any and all kinds. I must note how from my earliest childhood I heard time and again how terribly my people suffered under Turkish tyranny for centuries, and then under the Austro-Hungarian and Bulgarian invaders in World War I. Furthermore, I myself underwent the experience of World War II in which Yugoslavia was dismembered, with her inhabitants exposed to terrible losses, oppression, and terror. However, unknown to the Western World, a reign of terror continued for many years after the war’s end via the purges conducted in many districts in Serbia of monarchists known as ￿etniks, in which many families perished.

As a boy I was very proud of how, after the end of the First World War, the Serbian people were greatly praised by others: not only for their bravery, but also for their generosity and kindness even to their fallen enemies. This praise was given both on an individual and collective level (especially considering the terms imposed on their foes). Doctor Archibald Reiss, a Swiss war correspondent of the time, expressed his great admiration for the Serbs by asking in his will that his heart be buried on the battlefield of Kajmak￿alan (altitude of 2,520 metres) where in September 1918 he had witnessed the Serbian army break through the Salonika front (near Thessalonika, Greece) with Allied help. He made this gesture as a token of deepest homage to the gallantry and valour of the Serb soldiers he had been with throughout their four years of war, sharing in their sufferings as well as in their ultimate victory.

I therefore find it exceedingly hard to believe the stories now being circulated and repeated endlessly in the Western media of the worst cruelty and evil being perpetrated by Serbs in Kosovo upon their Albanian brethren. Is it possible that a nation, proud of its mediæval glory, culture, and centuries-long struggle for freedom from various oppressors, can fall so low as to disgrace her entire past, disavow her ancestral fame and honour, turn her soldiers into the lowest barbarians, and expose her whole people to universal condemnation leading to the catastrophic ruin currently being inflicted?

Very likely there is some truth in these stories, but surely not to such an extreme extent.

In all great conflicts throughout history, whether they are intertribal skirmishes, civil clashes, or international wars, the truth is the first casualty. I used the word ‘casualty’ in terms of the truth being distorted, ignored, and filtered to suit various interests. There is no nation that can claim not to have had dark periods in its history, with atrocities, senseless massacres and enforced famines. Africa is a prime example with wars in Nigeria (Biafra), the Congo, Somalia, Angola, Mozambique, and more recently in Rwanda and Burundi. Even now the cycle continues with the Sudanese, Kurds, Chiapas natives, Tibetans, Chechens, Armenians, east Timorese and others. It has been the same throughout history; except there often were no war reporters to document, or historians to research and preserve the facts about those horrors for posterity.

It is extremely hard for me to accept the discriminatory generalization of various measures and actions undertaken by the present authorities in Kosovo as presented by the American media and repeatedly rebroadcast throughout the rest of the member nations of NATO. I’m particularly appalled by the ease with which journalists, Members of Parliament, and even governing statesmen (and women) use provocative and incendiary language. Do the events in Kosovo amount to “genocide,” or is the use of such terms rhetorical excess? Are we really dealing with a new “Holocaust,” or mere clichés that readily fit in with such defamatory and hate-inciting idioms? I don’t think more needs to be said about the utter inappropriateness of using such terms without substantiation nor the dreadful harm that can be caused by intentionally misusing such words.

Let us consider the accusations being levelled against the Serbian nation of “ethnic cleansing.” For a long time, I’ve been waiting for the Yugoslav authorities, or someone else, to explain the severe ethnical imbalance in the population of Kosovo and Metohia present at the outset of these past months’ unfortunate events. Surely, one ought to wonder how has it come to be that the Serbian presence in its own homeland has dwindled to where they are now an almost-negligible minority (10% of the total inhabitants)?! If this “cradle of Serbian civilization”, their “Jerusalem” was (and is) so dear to Serb hearts, how have they come to the point of losing almost all claim to it?!? In answer thereto, let me attempt a brief historical essay.








Why have Muslims not been on trial in the Hague – for atrocities against humanity