Kosovo and the Bar Tragedy of March 1945 Cover Image
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Kosovo and the Bar Tragedy of March 1945
Kosovo and the Bar Tragedy of March 1945

Author(s): Robert Elsie
Subject(s): Military history, Studies in violence and power, WW II and following years (1940 - 1949), History of Communism, Historical revisionism, Fascism, Nazism and WW II
Published by: De Gruyter Oldenbourg

Summary/Abstract: Communist partisan forces took Kosovo in December 1944 and returned it to Serbian rule, after a brief interlude under Italian and German occupation. Soon thereafter, great numbers of Kosovo Albanians of men and boys were forcefully mobilized into the Yugoslav Army, not only to strengthen its ranks, but in particular, to overcome any potential anti-communist resistance in Kosovo by getting as many young men as possible out of the country. In late March 1945, about 7 700 men were mustered in Prizren and sent off to the coast in unarmed echelons of about 2 000 each, ostensibly to fight the retreating Germans. They soon discovered that they were not soldiers, but prisoners. Of these men, 2 355 perished at the hands of their communist officers and guards, 1 560 in Bar (Antivari) alone. This paper tells of the massacres and of the tragedy that set the pace for post-war ethnic relations in Kosovo.

  • Issue Year: 2012
  • Issue No: 71
  • Page Range: 390-400
  • Page Count: 11
  • Language: English