Kosovo Recent History

By | June 6, 2022

At the end of the first of the two Balkan Wars of 1912 and 1913, Kosovo was annexed to Serbia; this annexation caused a strong sense of laceration in the Albanians, who suffered the event as a division in two of their nation.

According to Homosociety, in view of the serious Serbian-Albanian conflict, the killing in Sarajevo of Archduke Francesco Ferdinando, the heir of Franz Joseph, took on particular significance. Significantly, the attack in Sarajevo was carried out on June 28, 1914, St. Vitus’s day, a national holiday for the Serbs, who had never forgotten that battle in Kosovo Polje after which Kosovo had passed to the Turks. The attacker, the Bosnian Serb student Gavrilo Princip, explicitly referred to that Serbian cultural tradition which included among other things the exaltation of tyrannicide.

After the formation of the Kingdom of Yugoslavia, foreseen by the peace treaty with which the First World War ended, Kosovo was included in the Yugoslav monarchy, the prerogative of Alexander of Karajeorjevic, who federated the various Balkan nationalities to Serbia (Croatia, Bosnia, Montenegro, Macedonia, Slovenia). In Kosovo, a nationalist organization called Kacak was formed, an Albanian armed resistance group that fought against the Yugoslav army. The resistance of the Kacak ended in 1924, when Ahmet Zogu imposed himself in Albania, who, thanks also to the support of Belgrade, in 1928 became king of the Albanians, with the name of Zog I. Soon, however, Zog I tried to take the distances from Yugoslavia and to this end at the beginning of the Thirties he allied himself with Mussolini, who aimed to make Albania its protectorate. In 1939, when Zog I tried to free himself from the protection of Italy, Mussolini occupied the kingdom of Albania, which passed under the crown of Vittorio Emanuele III. During the Second World War, two Albanian camps of anti-Italian and anti-German resistance were formed: the Communist National Liberation Front (FNC, Fronti nationalal clirimtar), led by Enver Hoxha, and the National Front (BK, Balli komb√ętar), of liberal-nationalist inspiration.

In 1941, when Yugoslavia was divided between the Axis powers, the Germans occupied the eastern part of Kosovo, which included the Trepca area with its numerous mineral deposits from which, until the summer of 1944, they obtained the 40% of the lead needed for ammunition production; the Italians extended their dominion in the southern areas, on the border with Albania and Macedonia. The Italo-German troops enjoyed a certain collaboration among the Albanian Kosovars, who were compensated by a favorable treatment with respect to the Serbian population, subject to typical techniques of ethnic cleansing. The large participation of the Serbs in the war of resistance was therefore also motivated by reasons of national redemption.

From the autonomous province to the 1974 Constitution

At the end of the Second World War, Tito’s victory and the help he provided to Hoxha allowed the return of Kosovo to Serbia, which in 1946 was recognized as an autonomous province within the Yugoslav Federation. Under an apparent acceptance of the state of affairs, in Kosovo there was actually a strong tension against the Federation, also due to the different treatment suffered compared to the regional states of Montenegro and Macedonia which, in comparison, also recorded an Albanian demographic impact minor. Up to the mid-1960s, the work of the Federation Minister of the Interior, Alexander Rankovic, a Serb who did not hesitate, in the name of the ideals of communist internationalism, contributed to exacerbating the feelings of revenge. to inflict continuous mortifications on Kosovar national sentiment. However, Tito, who, with a view to balances and mediations, believed that in the framework of the new communist Yugoslavia no Serbian national primacy should in any case be exalted, was not indifferent to the requests for autonomy by the Kosovo Albanians. In 1970 he accepted the foundation of a bilingual university (Serbian and Kosovar) in Pristina and in 1974 he granted Kosovo a new Constitution which finally recognized the province as a ‘constituent element of the Federation’, the legitimacy of an autonomous local government and the establishment of the flag. The 1974 Constitution remained in force within the Yugoslav Federation until its dissolution. bilingual university (Serbian and Kosovar) precisely in Pristina and in 1974 granted Kosovo a new Constitution that finally recognized the province as a ‘constituent element of the Federation’, the legitimacy of an autonomous local government and the institution of the flag. The 1974 Constitution remained in force within the Yugoslav Federation until its dissolution.

Kosovo Recent History