Bounced from Jared Israel (Emperor's Clothes)

Louis Proyect lnp3 at
Sun Aug 29 06:23:07 MDT 1999

Dear people,

The following interview is very revealing.  It credibly
contradicts the arguments put forward by the media and
also by some opponents of the war against Yugoslavia.
Cedda Prlincevic's words are a Must Read.



FULL TEXT of Interview with Cedda Prlincevic, Chief
Archivist of Kosovo and leader of Jewish Community
in Pristina, capitol of Kosovo province.  Presently a
refugee in Belgrade.

[ The website,,
encourages everyone to reproduce the following interview
by email, on websites, or in print, wherever possible, but
please don't leave anything out, including this note.
Thanks. ]

The interview is divided in two parts, conducted at different
times.  Jared Israel is the interviewer in Part One.  Note that
KFOR essentially means NATO.

Jared: So you are the President of the Jewish Community
in Pristina?

Cedda: It was a small community.  We have all left.

Jared: Why did you leave?

Cedda: Because the political settlement became a military
resolution.  Pressure was on the citizens.  They didn't ask
which nationality you are, you were pressed to leave the
apartments and the city.  Even if I had a paper which said
I am the President of the Jewish Community of Pristina
in English and signed by the President of the Federation
of Jewish Community from Belgrade, Mr. Singer, the
officers from KFOR [NATO], refused to recognize that paper
and I was kept imprisoned in my home for one week.  I gave
it to another KFOR officer later and he said "I have other
business to attend to."

The powers from Albania came inside the country. Their
main purpose was to get all the non-Albanian population
out. With help from Eliz Viza from Israel and from the
Chairman of the Jewish Community from Skopia I was
rescued, taken by Taxi together with my wife and my
mother to Macedonia and from Macedonia I came to
Belgrade. The whole rescue operation of my family
was given to Israeli TV. Altogether there were 40 people
of Jewish origin in Kosovo. They are of mixed marriage,
Jewish-Albanian, Jewish-Turkish and Jewish-Serbian.
All are prepared to go to Israel. To go back to Kosovo
for us is too late. Even though we got a guarantee
from Thaci which is the head of the UCK [KLA], that our
homes would not be touched we have information that
all our apartments and our houses were completely robbed
and demolished. Which means UCK and Thaci do not
have control.

Jared: Or they are lying. What did you do in Pristina?

Cedda: I was public employee, director of archives of
Kosovo and Mutohija. There is documentation there which
gives the story about Serbians and Turks and Albanians
and Jews, whoever lived in Kosovo and the system which
was there.

Jared: Did you ever experience anti-Semitism from the

Cedda: Never. Neither from the Albanians. I was manager,
to Albanians and to Serbians. We were not driven out from
Kosovo by Albanians from Pristina but by Albanians from

Jared: In other words a lot of the people we saw cheering
German troops on the street were not the local residents?

Cedda: The same people who were demonstrating in
Albania a few years ago and demolishing the whole
country - they are in Kosovo now.

Jared: They have been brought in intentionally by the

Cedda: I cannot tell you.

Jared: Put it this way: they haven't been stopped?

Cedda: No one is stopping them. And with the KFOR
assistance, actually. KFOR is there, saw it all, allowed them
to do what they did.

Jared: How did it happen? Were threats made after
which you went to the KFOR and they said "we won't
help you?"

Cedda: They came to our home and threatened they would
kill us. They would slaughter us. My wife was defending
me. My wife is Serbian. And she was defending me in front
of the door.

Jared: How was she doing that?

Cedda: They said we will slaughter you, and she said to
them "Kill me! Slaughter me! I will not go out of my
home!" Then officials of Jewish community come to my
home and put me in a taxi.

Jared: Your wife is a very brave woman. You have made
tears come to my eyes.

Cedda: And the same happens to me here. She is very
brave and I am proud of her.

Jared: OK. OK. Getting back to the people who came to
your house. Had you ever seen them before?

Cedda: Never.

Jared: Were they armed?

Cedda: With machine guns. They completely cleared up
the building and the whole area where we lived.

Jared: Cleared up?

Cedda: The whole area of 30,000 people, they completely
cleared it.

Jared: 30,000? Emptied it?

Cedda: Emptied it. Went from house to house and building
to building.

Jared: Did they kill anyone.

Cedda: Initially one person, family named Kompic, a
Serbian family, they killed, which was an obvious reason
for us not to resist.

Jared: In other words they made an example of one family
and then they said if you want to die -

Cedda: All night they were banging the doors and
slamming the doors and going inside the doors and from
apartment to apartment.

Jared: Was that private houses?

Cedda: Apartment buildings. Many of the people who lived
there are of prominent status and social position in the city.
Even Albanians who lived in the same buildings were also
running away.  It was not only Serbian, it was mixed
nationality. This was something completely unknown in
history of Kosovo. Since Kosovo is multinational,
multi-confessional [i.e., multi-religious] society which lived
500 years together, there was no such level of hatred as

Jared: But you are saying they have sent in Albanians in
large numbers from Albania?

Cedda: This is a pogrom toward non-Albanian population
all around Kosovo area, Djakovica, Pec, Kosovska,
Microvica, all over Metokia. Metokia and Kosovo both.

Jared: But it is not being done by the local Albanians?

Cedda: Yes, the foreign Albanians. They differ in language.
A different dialect. All over Kosovo it is the same situation.
I cannot give 100% that it is done exclusively by Albanians
from Albania. But I have not seen revenge taken on a man
from his next door neighbor who was Albanian -

Jared: Did you try to go to the KFOR?

Cedda: The KFOR was in my house when they came to

Jared: WHAT?

Cedda: When Albanians started to destroy apartments one
person called KFOR and KFOR officer came inside the
house, he was there with his squad. There was a whole
bunch going up and down the stairs, 24 hours pressure of
people going up and down the stairs, banging, entering, demolishing? they
break down
the door and pour in tear gas in some places and they
were robbering -

Jared: Excuse me?

Cedda: Robbing, robbing.

Jared: Now, you said the KFOR men were there? Did they
actually witness it?

Cedda: Yes.

Jared: What did they say?

Cedda: They didn't react at all. They didn't protect nobody.

Jared: For God's sake, what did they say?

Cedda: They said this is for civil authorities to regulate the
problem. They were only concerned with killings.

Jared: Who were the civil authorities?

Cedda: They were not formed yet. There were none.

Jared: How did you know whether you were going to get
murdered when someone banged down the door? I guess
after you were murdered, you would know?

Cedda: Yes. They were just there to put documents if you
were murdered.

Jared: So. Archivists?

Cedda: Yes. Last month a number of very heavy crimes and
murders happened in Kosovo. Instead of getting 'European
democracy' we got a non-defined form of power and -
power is not the right word?

Jared: Fascism?

Cedda: No. Not fascism. Force. Power. Probably the
historian will invent a new word for this?

Jared: It needs a new word.

Cedda: Jews have the word which is called pogrom.

Jared: Yeah. It's a pogrom, that's right. It's a pogrom.
Indiscriminate brutality against a group - in this case
defined by anybody who is - but wait, you say it includes
Albanians -

Cedda: The population expected real security from KFOR
and that's why they didn't leave where they lived?

Jared: Ahh. Boy. You were set up.

Cedda: And that's what surprised us the most. Instead of
defending the population they just stand by and looking
what's happening like it is not a relevant situation. During
June and July 300,000 people left Kosovo which are
non-Albanian population, Serbians, Turks, Gorani
[Slavic Muslims] , "Gypsies," that is the Romi, also people
from Montenegro. 300,000.

Jared: What about - you said Albanians from Kosovo were
being harassed too -

Cedda: Yes. Those who were pro-Yugolsav oriented. Who
were loyal citizens of the system.

Jared: So the people who were living -

Cedda: They could tell from the person's work.

Jared: So the people who were living in the area with you,
were considered by these gangs to be collaborationists
because they were living in a mixed area?

Cedda: No. Only the position of power.

Jared: I'm not sure what you mean.

Cedda: They attacked those who were not for their
separatistic movement. Not supporters of the separatists.

Jared: So they knew which neighborhoods?

Cedda: Yes. They knew. Every loyal citizen of Serbia was
punished. Doesn't matter which party he belongs to,
opposition or ruling party, doesn't matter. Different parties
have different ideas and different religious or national
characters but -

Jared: They didn't care about any of that?

Cedda: No. They have realized the plan of Greater Albania
in Kosovo. From World War II, from Fascism.

Jared: During the bombing the US press says the Serbs
attacked the Albanians. What did you witness?

Cedda: The war was very dirty, between the army and the
secessionists...35 members of my family are here with me
now.  And my mother is here. And one pregnant lady, 8
months. 20 of us are without work. Left everything in
Kosovo. 7 apartments and 3 houses that we owned.
Some land. And all my life. All my life and I am penniless.
I didn't have time, I wasn't ready to go, I didn't even have
a suitcase to pack.

Jared: So for all you know some people didn't get out and
are murdered. Is that true?

Cedda: Yes. All I brought was the Talmud. My mother Bea
is 81 years old. And my wife. I would prefer to stay in
Serbia. First I have a problem with my mother she is old
and sick and what am I going to do with her in Israel now?
I love Israel I was there many times but it is very hard for
me at 61 to settle there.

Jared: My heart goes out to you.

Cedda: Thank you very much.

Jared: Thank you for being brave to give me this interview.

Cedda: It is very difficult but we have to say the truth. I think
that people of good heart and good will, will take this
interview in the best manner.

Jared: I hope so.

Cedda: And this interview should be a beginning of a
different kind of thinking and nobody should be a victim
in the life.

Jared: I agree with you. Before, I asked you a question but
you didn't answer. The Press said the Yugoslav Army
committed atrocities against Albanians during the bombing.
You said the war was dirty. Could you tell us more?

Cedda: Why? Even if I speak about this, nobody trust the
Serbians.  Even if I say no, it did not happen, nobody will
trust the Serbians.

Jared: But I don't know exactly what happened, we need
to know exactly -

Cedda: Even if I say no, even if one Jew coming from
Pristina would say this charge is not true, it is very hard
to believe because he can be a person who has some
reason, he can be accused of -

Jared: So what? So they won't believe you! Let them
believe what they will but at least if you say the truth it is
being said. Don't you see, the truth must be -

Cedda: I was completely out of the fighting between Army
and KLA -

Jared: But you were in Pristina. You are the Chief Archivist
of Kosovo. And you know! I am sure that you know! You
know if there were people going around massacring people,
you know from Albanian friends what was going on, you
know if the Army was involved, if CNN was telling the truth
or lying, you know a thousand times more than I do and
if you can just tell the truth - somebody has to tell the truth
for God's -

Cedda: All right.

Jared: And if bad things happened, say that - just tell the
truth -

Cedda: Bad things did happen. But Serbians as a people
as a nation were not a nation which from the beginning
of its history till this day were doing genocidal atrocities.
But there were individuals who did certain things that
should not have been done. But somebody is taking this, exaggerating, trying
make us the black sheep and - look, the Serbian people
had no problems with the ethnic Albanians and as much
as they saved Albanians the Albanians saved them
especially in the latest period, but as soon as KFOR came
inside and the border was opened to Macedonia and
Albania lots of outside Albanians came inside and the
end of it is a mess, killings. So what I'm saying is during the bombardment
in the places where the people lived there
was no massacre by the local population. The Serbs were
defending the Albanians from the paramilitary troops.

Jared: Not from the Yugoslav Army? They didn't have to
defend them from the Army?

Cedda: Never from the Army, not from the police, not from
the regular Serbs. No. But with the withdrawal of the army
there were paramilitary groups that existed on both sides -
and that was when there was dirt.

Jared: But during the bombing?

Cedda: Then there was no massacring at all. For example
in Pristina we were sitting together with Albanians in the
cellar, in the basement.

Jared: From the bombs?

Cedda: From NATO. All of us together, "Gypsies," that's the
Romi people, Serbians, Turks, Albanians, Jews, tenants of the
same building. Together.
We were together.

Part Two
A later interview was conducted by Jared Israel and Nancy
Gust; Nancy trains people in interviewing techniques
professionally. The purpose was to clarify various questions.
The most revealing information about the role of NATO
troops is to be found in the latter part of this interview.

Jared: You said many Albanians fled the KLA, the gangs.
Do you know how many?

Cedda: Tens of thousands. 15,000 went to Vojvodina,
30,000 to Belgrade, many more.

Jared: How did the gangs that attacked buildings know
whom to expel?

Cedda: They had evidence who was who. Also they came
to the offices. People were expelled from the offices. All
the institutions which belonged to the government had
been occupied. The gangsters were coming to work,
whether municipalities, courts or universities, or whatever
which were public, the post office, the civil services,
they would come to the buildings and take over, take
the people outside. They had a register of who was
working in these places.

Jared: Was anybody allowed to stay who lived in your

Cedda: As much as I know in the building I live there is
nobody left. If they were resisting the person was shot

Nancy: Do you know how many people were shot?

Cedda: For instance they found today one lady which was
strangled in the bath. Ljubica Bujouic.

Nancy: She was from your complex?

Cedda: For example today two villages were completely
expelled. And they went to Serbia.

Nancy: The woman who was murdered, that was in your
apartment complex? How did you know that they found
her there?

Cedda: It was an official announcement on the TV but
I knew her. 4500 murders in Kosovo since KFOR arrived.

Nancy: According to?

Cedda: Information that is published by the Media Center
from Pristina. It is called the Center for Tolerance and Joint

Jared: In your apartment complex were there other

Cedda: There were several murders. I can't be sure
because a majority left. Those that resisted were killed.

Jared: How many attackers were there?

Cedda: There were a large number of them. They were
going up and down all day long. It's hard to know how
many. The building itself has 11 stories and 20 entrances.
It's a huge building.

Jared: Was this building singled out?

Cedda: They did the whole area of new buildings begun in
1990, completed in 1995, very luxurious apartments by
our standards luxurious, new buildings, porches, all
different kinds of adjoining facilities.

Jared: And were all the people who lived there employees
of the government?

Cedda: The elite of the city was living in that area. A
majority of university professors and managers of different
state organizations, public organizations, doctors,
physicians, lawyers.

Nancy: Someone might argue that, since these were
luxury apartments and since this was the elite, this was
just a large scale robbery.

Cedda: You cannot call it robbery, because they were
taking us and they were entering, they were occupying the
apartments. We are waiting now for a civil government to
come from the United Nations to start with their control but
we very much believe that we will not be able to return
even though we are being invited to come back. We think
that what is happening now will be legalized by the civil
authorities when they come in and we expect a migration
from the big number of Albanians living now in Europe,
from Switzerland, where there is a huge number, from
France, from London. And they will come from Albania.
They already have.

Nancy: While you were there were the Albanians occupying
the apartments?

Cedda: You cannot call it a robbery because robbery is
when I'm not home and you come inside and take my
TV. Right? This is robbery. But you come inside the
apartment and you kick me out of the apartment, is this
robbery? This not robbery, this is complete anarchy
outside the system. Somebody enters by force,
kicks you out, enters inside and continues to live? Not just
comes there and stays a few hours and drinks coffee and
whisky.  And all the property inside is not guaranteed?
This is like occupying the country, occupying the
apartment by force.

Jared: There was a week during which you said you were
imprisoned in the apartment and couldn't leave. Was that
the week during which the gang was marauding around?

Cedda: Yes, the first week when KFOR came, I was inside
the apartment without the ability to go outside because a
huge number of Albanians came inside and I was afraid
to leave the place.

Jared: They were all over the building?

Cedda: No, no, the city. Inside Pristina. The KFOR was very
much concerned about the military withdrawal of Yugoslav
Army but without paying attention to the civilians.

Jared: At what point did the gangs come? Ws it
immediately or was it after a few weeks?

Cedda: Together with them. In other words, the KFOR
arrived and the gangs arrived.

Jared: When did they attack the complex?

Cedda: They attacked immediately. When the Russians
came to Pristina, before the British, to the airport, the
people were expecting that they would protect them but
it was not so.

Nancy: How long was it before your apartment complex
was attacked? When did that happen?

Cedda: At the very day that the British entered my part
of the city the gangs started to attack different buildings in
this huge area. It's a quarter of Pristina, the section called

Nancy: Are you saying the gangs arrived physically in the
same time and place as the British soldiers? The gangs
traveled with British soldiers?

Cedda: Yes. The answer is yes. Yes they came together.
Yes. Over the frontier, over the route, over the streets
together. Yes!

Nancy: Did they just come parallel, at the same time but

Cedda: They came in different groups - not together arm
by arm - they come and they go, they're here and there -
very often you see them together, mingling, but each of
them has a separate organization.

Nancy: But you saw them mingling together

Cedda: Yes! Yes! For example a gang comes to the
building and a tenant calls KFOR and the KFOR arrives and
gets around the building and then KFOR leave and the
fellows continue to move around.

Nancy: Did the Albanians leave when you called KFOR?

Cedda: No they stayed. They didn't leave.

Nancy: You're saying the gangs broke into the place, moved
into the places, that people called the KFOR, KFOR came
and they did nothing?

Cedda: You know sometimes they had funny situations.
KFOR would come and they said, the Albanians said, "We
don't have a place to stay for the night" so the KFOR says
"OK, so stay together in the tenants apartment."

Jared: The same apartment as the people they were trying
to throw out?

Cedda: Yes.

Jared: Is that correct?

Cedda: Yes, yes. That's what they suggested. So the
Albanians and the Serbs, or whoever was there, will
live together in the same building, in the apartment
and the gangsters would say if you don't leave the
apartment in the next two or three hours we will kill you,
we will slaughter you.

Nancy: Can you get more identification of these people?
Were they not from Kosovo, did they identify themselves in
any way?

Cedda: Only in the position that they were armed, and in
the position of the power. Definitely they are making an
ethnically clean Kosovo.

Nancy: When these people came to the building and
threatened you did you call the KFOR?

Cedda: They were in the building already. When the
Albanians came to my apartment the KFOR was already
there. One of the neighbors, a doctor, ran and called the
KFOR soldiers to come and protect the place.

Jared: Did you talk to them.

Cedda: Yes. I spoke to them.

Nancy: Do you know the name of the person you spoke to?

Cedda: The fellow, the soldier was introducing himself as
Major of the British army. And when I showed my papers,
the soldier said forget it, next time.

Nancy: Next time?

Cedda: The papers that said I was the President of the
Jewish Community in Pristina. The soldier just glanced
at the paper and said "Next time," like he didn't have time
to be bothered with this. "Don't bother me now."

Jared: He arrived with a squad of soldiers or alone?

Cedda: With his squad.

Nancy: Did they do anything?

Cedda: If they helped me would I be here now?

Jared: Please don't take offense at these questions. We are
asking in this kind of detail to get the clearest answers.

Cedda: It is not only me that suffered but thousands of
others. People who are of the age of 80 and expelled from
their homes. And they're still doing it on a daily basis. It is
still going on.  *****

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