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Vulnetari

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Vulnetari

Vulnetari
Active 1941—1946
Allegiance
Branch Militia
Type Infantry
Role Axis auxiliaries
Size 5,000[1] — 6,000[2]
Colors red and black
Engagements

World War II in Yugoslavia

Commanders
Notable
commanders
  • Riz Umeri
  • Sali Barjaktar
  • Žuk Adžija
  • Sali Beba
  • Ram Alija
  • Idriz Redža
  • Avdilj Dura
Insignia
Identification
symbol
black-red band around their arms

The Vulnetari (English: Volunteers) or Kosovars[3] were a volunteer militia of Albanians from Kosovo set up in 1941 by Italian forces after the successful invasion of Yugoslavia. They served as an auxiliary force for civilian control[4] and protection of villages.[3] Some of the militia served as frontier guards under both Italian and German rule.[3] The Vulnetari fought only in their own local areas, so they fought against both Partisans and Chetniks, "against whom they showed themselves skilled and determined fighters".[3] The Vulnetari of the region of Đakovica went to Plav and Gusinje to support the Italian counteroffensive during the Uprising in Montenegro.[5]

Independently, Vulnetari units often attacked ethnic Serbs and carried out raids against civilian targets.[1][6] They burned down hundreds of Serbian and Montenegrin villages, killed many people, and carried out plundering campaigns both in Kosovo and Metohija and in neighboring regions.[7]

At the end of World War II, the militia was used to protect retreating German forces. After German forces retreated through Kosovo, members of the Vulnetari militia hid themselves in their villages.[8]

Name

The name of this unit is derived from Albanian word Vulnetarë (volunteers), rendered in Serbian Cyryllic as вулнетари.

History

During Invasion of Yugoslavia in April 1941 Albanian volunteers put themselves at disposal of general Eberhard, the commander of German 60th Infantry division.[9] The Vulnetari were mostly middle-aged Albanian peasants who lived at their homes and did not wear uniforms but only a black-red band around their arms.[10]

Modern-day region of Kosovo in 1941

According to [11]

The commander of the Vulnetari from Rugova was Riz Umeri.[12] Other commanders included Sali Barjaktar, Žuk Adžija and Sali Beba.[13] Ram Alija, from Istok, commanded Vulnetari forces that burned Serbian villages and murdered people in Ibarski Kolašin and Metohija.[14] During one attack, the forces of Bislim Bajgora, helped by Vulnetari from Drenica led by Idriz Redža, burned 22 villages and murdered 150 Serbs.[15]

In mid-July 1941, communication was lost between the Central Committee of the Communist Party of Yugoslavia (CK KPJ) and the neighbouring party organizations in Montenegro and Serbia; the regional committee of the KPJ for Kosovo and Metohija tried to reestablish communication on several occasions and began to move new fighters from their region into Montenegro and Serbia.[16] In two attempts to reach Montenegro and reestablish communication with their Communist organization, more than 20 communists from Metohija were killed by the Vulnetari.[16]

Thousands of Vulnetari and gendarmes commanded by Bislim Bajgora and Šaban Poluža attacked Ibarski Kolašin on 30 September 1941.[17] This region was attacked by Vulnetari from Drenica and Methohija Podgor, and their brutal attacks on the villages of Ibarski Kolašin lasted until 10 October 1941.[18] This attack on Ibarski Kolašin was so violent that the Germans referred to it as the "bloody wave".[19]

On 14 October 1941, Vulnetari forces crossed the Ceranje River and burned Serbian villages up to Lešak.[20] On 15 October 1941, Chetniks from Suva Planina attacked Vulnetari forces and inflicted heavy casualties on them, forcing them to retreat across the Ceranje River. The Chetniks entered Ceranje and burned Albanian houses. On the evening of 15 October, strong Vulnetari forces came from Šalja and forced the Chetniks to retreat during the night. On 16 October, the Chetniks again attacked the Vulnetari militia and forced them to retreat across the Ceranje River. After the battles on 14 and 15 October, all of the Serbian houses between Slatina and Lešak were burned.[21]

On 17 October 1941, the village of Dobruša, near Peć, was attacked by Vulnetari forces consisting of militiamen from Istok, Istok county. Defenders of the village managed to hold on for three days and left the village together with its population. Houses in Dobruša were then plundered and burned down.[22]

On 30 January 1943, the Vulnetari militia captured the village of Grbole and terrorized the residents. At the end of autumn, they expelled the villagers, plundered their houses, and burned them down.[11][23][24][25] Homesteads of Slav population were routinely sacked by the Vulnetari.[6]

Avdilj Dura, from the village of Dure, near Kačanik, became the commander of 5,000 Vulnetari after the Bulgarian capitulation in September 1944.[26]

Victims

According to Serbian authors Dušan T. Bataković and Nenad Antonijević the Vulnetari and other paramilitaries murdered 10,000 Serbs in Kosovo and Metohija.[27][28]

Vulnetari in western Macedonia

Xhem Hasa (in the middle)

Vulnetari were also set up in western Vardar Macedonia. Five or six companies of between 1,200 and 1,500 vulnetari were set up in Debar.[29][30] In region of Struga there were two companies of 800 Vulnetari commanded by Bekir aga and Tefik Vlasi. One company of 400 Vulnetari in Rostuša was led by Ali Maliči. The commander of the Kičevo Vulnetari was Mefail, while the commander of the Gostivar Vulnetari was Xhem Hasa.[31][32]

Aftermath

Sali Rama, Žuk Adžija, and several outlaws under their command were arrested and sentenced to prison after World War II.[33] Avdilj Dura surrendered in January 1945 together with about 100 outlaws under his command.[34] Bislim Bajgora was killed in 1947.[35]

In 2010, the Macedonian Albanians political party New Democracy proposed for a monument of Xhem Hasa to be built in Gostivar. A monument of Hasa has already been built in his birthplace, village Simnica, in 2006.[36]

References

  1. ^ a b T. Bataković, Dušan (2007). Kosovo and Metohija: living in the enclave. Serbian Academy of Sciences and Arts, Institute for Balkan Studies. p. 55. Retrieved 21 August 2012. In this new satellite Fascist-type state, the Italian Government set up an Albanian voluntary militia numbering 5,000 men — Vulnetari — to help the Italian forces maintain order as well as to independently conduct surprise attacks on the Serb population. 
  2. ^ Radovi, Томови 8-9. Sveučilište u Zagrebu. Institut za hrvatsku povijest. 1976. p. 207. Retrieved 21 August 2012. Sa ovim snagama sarađivale su kvislinške jedinice »Vulnetara« (oko 6000 ljudi). 
  3. ^ a b c d Tomasevich (2001), p. 152
  4. ^ Dérens, Jean-Arnault (2006). Kosovo, année zéro. Paris-Méditerranée. p. 66.  
  5. ^ Božović, Branislav; Vavić, Milorad (1991). Surova vremena na Kosovu i Metohiji: kvislinzi i kolaboracija u drugom svetskom ratu. Institut za savremenu istoriju. p. 193. Када је, 13. јула 1941. године, у Црној Гори избио општенародни устанак, са Косова и Метохије су у Плав и Гусиње упућивани вулнетари...Највише их је било из околине Ђаковице... 
  6. ^ a b Vickers, Miranda (1998). Between Serb and Albanian: a history of Kosovo. Hurst & Co. p. 134. Retrieved 21 August 2012. the activities of numerous Albanian nationalist movements, and life consequently became increasingly difficult for Kosovo's Slav population whose homesteads were routinely sacked by the Vulnetari. 
  7. ^ Božović 1991, p. 85
    Вулнетари су на Косову и Метохији, али и у суседним крајевима, спалили стотине српских и црногорских села, убили мноштво људи и извршили безброј пљачки.
  8. ^ Borozan, Đorđe. "Albanci u Jugoslaviji u Drugome svjetskom ratu" (in Serbian). Zagreb: Centar za politološka istraživanja. p. 367. Retrieved 3 September 2012. Prvaci Druge prizrenske lige, predvođeni Daferom Devom, povukli su se sa njemačkim snagama, a vulnetarske formacije pritajeno su se sklonile u svoja matična sela. 
  9. ^ Borozan, Đorđe (1995), ]Greater Albania: origin - ideas - practice [Velika Albanija : poreklo - ideje - praksa (in Serbian), Belgrade: Vojnoizdavački insitut Vojske, p. 305,  
  10. ^ Borozan, Đorđe (1995), ]Greater Albania: origin - ideas - practice [Velika Albanija : poreklo - ideje - praksa (in Serbian), Belgrade: Vojnoizdavački insitut Vojske, pp. 305, 482,  
  11. ^ a b Avramov, Smilja (1995). Genocide in Yugoslavia. BIGZ. p. 186. Retrieved 21 August 2012. In the month of June the massacres took on a more organized character when Shqiptar volunteer companies (the so-called Vulnetari) were formed and armed. A company headed by Ram Alia and another group under Tsola Barjaktar [...] 
  12. ^ Vidačić, Rajko (2000), ]About roots of separatism and terrorism on Kosovo [O korenima separatizma i terorizma na Kosovu (in Serbian), Belgrade: Službeni List SRJ, p. 58,  
  13. ^ Vidačić, Rajko (2000), ]About roots of separatism and terrorism on Kosovo [O korenima separatizma i terorizma na Kosovu (in Serbian), Belgrade: Službeni List SRJ, pp. 58, 94,  
  14. ^ Božović 1991, p. 535
    Рам Алија из Укче, такође источки срез, вођа вулнетара са којима је палио српска села и убијао по Метохији и Ибарском Колашину
  15. ^ Mirković, Jovan (2005), Genocid u 20. veku na prostorima jugoslovenskih zemalja: zbornik radova sa naučnog skupa, Beograd, 22-23. april 2003 (in Serbian), Belgrade: Muzej Žrtava Genocida, p. 149,  
  16. ^ a b Milković 1991, p. 21
    Пошто je од средине јула 1941. остао без веза са ЦК КПЈ и суседним партијским организацијама у Црној Гори и Србији, Обласни комитет КПЈ за Косово и Метохију je у неколико махова покушавао да успостави везе и да почне организовано да пребацује нове борце из области у тамошње партизанске јединице. У два покушаја да се пробију до Дрне Горе и успоставе везу са тамошњом организацијом КПЈ погинуло je више од двадесет комуниста из Метохије. Њих су побили „вулнетари" (добровољци) Албанци „чувајући" границу „Велике Албаније" од „Црногораца-партизана и комуниста".
  17. ^ Antonijević, Nenad. Stradanje srpskog i crnogorskog civilnog stanovništva na Kosovu i Metohiji 1941. godine. p. 362. Više hiljada vulnetara i žandarma pod komandom Bislima Bajgore i Šabana Poluže napali su Ibarski Kolašin 30. septembra....Vulnetari su u Ibarskom Kolašinu 1941. ubili 150 ljudi. 
  18. ^ Antonijević, Nenad (5 March 2005). "Albanski zločini nad Srbima na Kosovu i Metohiji u Drugom svetskom ratu Nacistički genocid nad Srbima" (in Serbian). Pravoslavlje.rs. Retrieved 30 August 2012. Ibarski Kolašin, kompaktna srpska teritorija u dolini Ibra, od Ribarića do Kosovske Mitrovice, bio je stalno na udaru albanskog terora. Ovu teritoriju napadali su vulnetari iz Drenice i Metohijskog Podgora. Jedan od masovnih napada dogodio se 30. septembra 1941. Najžešći udari na sela Ibarskog Kolašina trajali su do 10. oktobra 1941. Tada je spaljeno više od 20 srpskih sela. 
  19. ^ Jakšić, Slobodan (1996), Prosveta i škole u starom Kolašinu, Ars Libri, p. 116,  
  20. ^ Bošković, Branko N. (1968). Narodnooskobodilačka borba u Ibarskom basenu (in Serbian). Zajednica naučnih ustanova Kosova i Metohije. p. 101. Retrieved 30 August 2012. После споразума од 30. септембра 1941 вулнетарске снаге су прешле Церањску реку и попалиле српска села све до Лешка. 
  21. ^ Bošković, Branko N. (1968). Narodnooskobodilačka borba u Ibarskom basenu (in Serbian). Zajednica naučnih ustanova Kosova i Metohije. p. 101. Retrieved 30 August 2012. Четници суходолског одреда извршили су наредног дана контранапад наносећи вулнетарима приличне губитке, протерују их преко Церањске реке и у Церањи пале Арбанашке куће. Предвече 15. октобра 1941 из Шаље преко Копаоника пристижу јаче вулнетарске снаге због чега су се четници у току ноћи морали повући. У току 16 септембра 1941 четници су поново извршили контранапад и успели да протерају вулнетаре преко Церањске реке. У борбама 14-15 октобра 1941 спрске породице су на простору Слатина-Лешак остале без крова над главом и без средстава за живот а вулнетарске снаге су при повлачењу имале прилично жртава. 
  22. ^ Antonijević, Nenad. Stradanje srpskog i crnogorskog civilnog stanovništva na Kosovu i Metohiji 1941. godine. p. 362. Dobruša kod Peći napadnuta je od jakih vulnetarskih snaga. Stanovnici su napustili selo i spasavali se odlaskom u Vitomiricu i Peć. Posle odlaska Nemaca i preuzimanja okupacione vlasti od strane Italijana, većina meštana, osim onih koji su otišli u Crnu Goru, vratila se natrag. Načelnik istočkog sreza Dževat Begoli organizovao je novi napad 17. oktobra u kome su, pored vulnetara iz istočkog sreza, učestvovali i vulnetari iz pećkog, dreničkog i đakovičkog sreza. Branioci su izdržali dva dana, a kada im je nestalo municije osigurali su povlačenje staraca, žena i dece, nakon čega su i oni napustili selo, koje je opljačkano i spaljeno. 
  23. ^ Pavlović, Blagoje (1996), ]Albanisation of Kosovo and Metohija [Albanizacija Kosova i Metohije (in Serbian), Pančevo: Evropsko slovo, p. 47,  
  24. ^ Božović 1991, p. 231
  25. ^ Jevtić, Atanasije. "Od Kosova do Jadovna" (in Serbian). Svetosavlje.org. Retrieved 30 August 2012. Један од њих Душан Ђајић, земљорадник, убијен је тако да му је једна нога свезана за високу пречагу лестава док су му другу ногу вукли на ниже, све док је нису ишчупали из бедара. Његова жена Мара гледала је мучење. 
  26. ^ Dželetović Ivanov, Pavle (2000), ]Balli Kombëtar movement 1939—1952: scale, cooperation with Italian and German occupation forces and crimes against Serbs [Balistički pokret 1939-1952 : masovnost, saradnja sa italijanskim i nemačkim okupatorima i zločini nad Srbima (in Serbian), Beograd: Arhiv Srbije, p. 104,  
  27. ^ Bataković, Dušan T. (1998). Kosovo: la spirale de la haine : les faits, les acteurs, l'histoire (in French). L'AGE D'HOMME. p. 43. Retrieved 21 August 2012. On estime que la milice volontaire albanaise Vulnetari (env. 5 000 hommes), assistee per diverses formations paramilitaires, assassina en quatre ans quelque 10 000 Serbs. 
  28. ^ Antonijević, Nenad. Arhivska građa o ljudskim gubicima na Kosovu i Metohiji u Drugome svetskom ratu. p. 479. Najrealnije procene, na osnovu dostupnih arhivskih izvora, ukazuju da je u toku Drugoga svetskog rata na Kosovu i Metohiji život izgubilo oko 10 hiljada Crnogoraca i Srba, među kojima su većina stradali kao žrtve terora i zločina albanskih kvislinga. 
  29. ^ Mitrovski, Bora (1983), Petnaesti (makedonski) udarni korpus NOVJ (in Serbian), Belgrade: Vojnoizdavački zavod,  
  30. ^ Малковски, Ѓорѓи (2002). "Балистичката организација во Македонија во Втората светска војна (1941 - 1944 година)" (in Macedonian). http://www.makedonskosonce.com web site. Archived from the original on 8 September 2012. Retrieved 8 September 2012. вулнетари или доброволна војска. Тие биле организирани на целата територија на Западна Македонија. Во Дебар нивниот број изнесувал од 1.200 до 1.500 лица распоредени во пет до шест чети. 
  31. ^ Малковски, Ѓорѓи (2002). "Балистичката организација во Македонија во Втората светска војна (1941 - 1944 година)" (in Macedonian). http://www.makedonskosonce.com web site. Archived from the original on 8 September 2012. Retrieved 8 September 2012. Во струшкиот крај бројот на вулнетарите изнесувал од 700 до 800 души, кои биле поделени во две чети. Првата чета броела 500 души, а командант бил мајорот Бекир ага. Втората чета се состоела од 300 лица чиј командант бил мајорот Тефик Власи. Во Ростуше дејствувала една чета од 400 души со која командувал Али Маличи. Во Кичево со вулнетарите командувал Мефаил, а во Гостивар Џемо Хаса. 
  32. ^ Mitrovski, Bora (1983), Petnaesti (makedonski) udarni korpus NOVJ (in Serbian), Belgrade: Vojnoizdavački zavod,  
  33. ^ Dželetović Ivanov, Pavle (2000), ]Balli Kombëtar movement 1939—1952: scale, cooperation with Italian and German occupation forces and crimes against Serbs [Balistički pokret 1939-1952 : masovnost, saradnja sa italijanskim i nemačkim okupatorima i zločini nad Srbima (in Serbian), Beograd: Arhiv Srbije, p. 104,  
  34. ^ Vidačić, Rajko (2000), ]About roots of separatism and terrorism on Kosovo [O korenima separatizma i terorizma na Kosovu (in Serbian), Belgrade: Službeni List SRJ, p. 58,  
  35. ^ Ličina, Đorđe (1977). Tragom plave lisice (in Serbian). Centar za informacije i publicitet. p. 95. Retrieved 4 September 2012. Podsjetit ćemo na jednu od najkrvavijih: u borbi s balistima Bislima Bajgore, u prosincu 1946. na Popovoj česmi, kod Vučitrna, poginulo je 18 pripadnika službe sigurnosti i KNOJA-a. Vođa terorističke bande Bislim Bajgora, likvidiran je slijedeće godine. 
  36. ^ "И фашистот Џемо влезе во ред за биста". Нова Македонија (in Macedonian). 2010. Retrieved 8 September 2012. Партијата на Имер Селмани бара да му се изгради споменик на Џемо Балистот во Гостивар, кој во Втората светска војна беше крвник на македонскиот народ и соработник со италијанскиот и германскиот фашистички окупатор...Споменик на Џемо Хаса веќе има во неговото родно село Симница. 

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