Interview with Pristina historian, a refugee in Florence
Edited by Carol V. Bloom and Sunil Sharma
The following transcript is from an interview which I conducted on
September 19, 1999, in Florence, Italy, with B.H, an historian from Pristina. B.H. is an old friend of mine, who was never able to work as
a professor, due to discrimination against Roma by both the Serbs and
the Kosovo Albanians. B.H.'s report of his own story and of his analysis
of the background and current situation for Roma from Kosovo,
adds a more specific, detailed, and personal accounting to the information
SR: How did you get in Italy?
BH: My wife and I and my three children left Pristina (capital of
Kosovo), two days after the bombing stopped.
BH: When NATO bombs stopped falling in Yugoslavia, my family returned to Kosovo. We were watching the KLA and K-FOR soldiers
hugging each other and celebrating their arrival in Kosovo. At that
moment I thought, this can't be happening! Why is that KLA terrorist
soldier going to hug a K-FOR soldier? I realized it is going to be
like hell here. The KLA were celebrating their arrival with some very
high UNHCR personnel; we saw this and heard about it. Within three
days, all non-ethnic Albanians had to leave Kosovo. My house was
burned by ethnic Albanians in front of the K-FOR forces. I went to
report to the so-called foreign peacekeepers that my house was burning
and one of the soldiers was telling me it's o.k.
My friend's sister was raped by ethnic Albanians and she went to report to the K-FOR officer; he was telling her it's o.k. My neighbor was
kidnapped by KLA and his wife went to report that he's gone and
the officer was telling her it's o.k. KLA was taking our brothers, relatives,
friends and taking them to the KLA torture rooms and wives
went to report to the K-FOR officers; they were telling them it's o.k.
KLA and ethnic Albanians were killing Romani people and they were
telling us it's o.k. Is that really o.k.?
We were kicked out from my home in 5 minutes. KLA terrorists came
to my house and told me that in five minutes we must leave our
homes and then they're going to burn it.
Once we left Kosovo, we needed to pay 400 German Marks, in order
to enter in Serbia. Serbian policeman didn't want to let us
through in Serbia. We came to Monte Negro. There was again
Kosovo Albanian Mafia connected with Milos Djukanovic (the opposition
in Monte Negro). Me and my three children we had to pay
10,000 German Marks (around $ 6,500) in order to go to Italy. We
made a trip for 20 hours in very little space with other 560 people in
the fisherman boat that was 20 meters long (20 yards, approximately).