Prof. Ljubodrag Dimić, Ph. D Faculty of Philosophy Belgrade University. FACTS AND INTERPRETATIONS OF EDUCATION AND EVERYDAY TERROR. Kulturna politika u Kraljevini Jugoslaviji, / Ljubodrag Dimić. Author. Dimić, Ljubodrag, Published. Beograd: Stubovi kulture, Physical. Banjica Concentration Camp: introduction to the Books of Evidence of Detainees . by Ljubodrag Dimic. Currently unavailable.
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D Faculty of Philosophy Belgrade University. The scholars and professionals intent on getting at the heart of the relationship between the Yugoslav state and its Albanian population have for decades lacked both analytical research reports concentrating on various aspects of the issue, ljubdorag large scale synthetical attempts aiming at a general perception of the phenomenon as a whole. In the last few years the picture seems to be somewhat improving.
Outstanding world historiographies now “produce” historiographical literature dealing with the “Albanian question”. However, this literature, resting as it does ljubovrag analogies, stereotypes, general appraisals, “definite truths”, simply runs counter to crucial scholarly methodological conventions, obscuring all kinds of truth.
It complies with political commendations echoing an irrational “infatuation” with the topic and, substituting critical analysis ljuhodrag a historical phenomenon for subjectivism, annuls the demarcation line between facts and their interpretation. On the basis of such, “suspicious” knowledge, accusations are launched with an “intolerable facility”, political actions supported, generalizations made, problems “understood”, events “described”, generations of students “taught”, decisions made.
Hence it is no wonde r that tragedies are generated by a “literal implementation of dimicc one has learnt”. The dominant political, ideological and propagandistic discourse only occasionally approximates the scholarly knowledge. It is on those grounds that that type of literature to which the book of our colleague Noel Malcolm belongs, calls for a protest on the part of the professional historian. In this review we intend to critically analyze only two points central to the book Kosovo.
Dijic all, in similar forms — as assertions, axiom which are self-evident, propositions which are accepted for granted — those two points occur elsewhere in literature both Albanian and Serb. It seems to us more important to draw the attention of the reader to the simic of the processes and the historicity of the events of which our colleague Malcolm voices his “assertions”.
Noel Malcolm is right diagnosing national discrimination of the Albanians in culture and education. Yet, that story is simplified at best, deriving as it does from an one-sided and incomplete analysis of the “measurements and actions” which the state apparatus of the Kingdom of Yugoslavia was trying to implement in the education in Kosovo and Metohija.
In doing so, the author ignores the totality of the relationships of the conservative national set up of the Albanian society, closed for all external influence, distrustful in relation to anything modern on the one hand, and on the other hand to the educational policy of the Kingdom of Yugoslavia.
Malcolm did not find it necessary to carry out a thorough analysis of the patriarchal, clan and family relationships characteristic of the Albanian population, of their life in the fis and cimic “household” communities, of their spontaneous self-sufficiency and dependence on collective experiences, common law regulations, forms of their internal relatedness and solidarity characteristic of that patriarchal set-up.
Only such an analysis he could been enabled Malcolm to reach more reliable conclusions concerning the readiness of the Albanian society in Kosovo and Metohija to accept the state and its educational policy. The existing historical elaborations of those issues have also ignored the archaic views of the Albanians, their ethical and moral norms of behaviour, general illiteracy and the overall, the decisive impact of these on life style, thinking and responses of the collective community.
The Turkophile and Turkophone feelings among the urban Albanians, faded cultural habits, the absence of tradition, the influence of Italy, and so on, all these only reinforced the conservatism of the Albanian national set-up and produced its antagonism to the state as well as its distrust simic every influence, including the educational-cultural influence.
Was the Yugoslav state the only responsible factor? A series of proclamations to the Muslims in the South, some of them translated “into Albanian” — into the Albanian dialect spoken there that is — “intended to enable our imams in the South to make our Muslims aware of the outstanding importance of literacy”.
It was emphasized that “the initiative must be taken by ourselves”, in other words, that the imams themselves must do their best to eradicate the causes responsible for such difficult circumstances, and that the “religious officials ljubodrsg best that the Muslims themselves are the most responsible ones in this respect: For the state dimkc national minorities, the question of schooling and education was one dimjc the decisive questions — because it concerned the vital interests of both the state and national minorities themselves.
The particular political aspirations of the state community, organized in a unitarian way and composed of a variety of cultural and historical legacies, with its uneven set-up of cultural and educational institutions in the first decade of the existence of the Kingdom of the Serbs, Croats and Slovenes, in the wake of former times, education was regulated by as many as 37 different laws and actscalled for a school which would be able to carry out its educational and cultural integration function adjusting itself to new circumstances and at the same time safeguarding the interests of the state.
That testifies that, in the educational policy, the state-national moment prevailed over the “cultural-pedagogical” one. Through that educational policy, the state and national interests were to be safeguarded and two essential tasks to be accomplished: This conception of educational policy of the Kingdom of the Serbs, Croats and Slovenes Yugoslavia did not differ from those of other European countries liubodrag the time, not even from the educational policy in the Kingdom of Albania.
On the other hand, national minorities, including the Albanian minority, found that school and educational laws and their implementation were the “indispensable basis and essential prerequisite for their own cultural and economic survival and development”. It is also the duty of the professional historian to subtly analyze and dimuc an appraisal of the issue of the education of the Albanian population.
That issue cannot be either grasped or accounted for by falling upon propositions and conclusions deriving from formal-judicial norms valid in the Kingdom of the Serbs, Croats and Slovenes. The discussion of that issue needs to include the reasons that determined the national and state policies in education, an insight into the educational policies of the Islamic Religious Community, a closer study of Yugoslav-Albanian relations, a thorough insight into British and Italian Balkans policies, an empirical comparison between the proclaimed and the real.
In terms of formal legality internationally recognized agreements; St. Germaine Treaty with Austria of September 10 th; Minority Protection Agreement of December 5 th; state-legal obligations: The Kingdom of the Serbs, Croats and Slovenes was legally responsible to provide its religious, ethnic and language minorities with “appropriate privileges” in elementary education and, on “certain conditions”, the teaching in their mother tongue.
That legal obligationthough, lacking precision and clarity, gave the state authorities and legislator the right to decide on the modalities through which the minorities would be provided with elementary school teaching in their mother tongue.
Legally, that matter was never definitely settled in the Kingdom of Yugoslavia. The “rationale of the state and national” policy was accounted for by the educational authorities of the time by “vital concerns of the state and the nation”, by “vital concerns on which the peace and development of the state and the nation depend”, by the “deficiency of the Arbanas Arbanenses teaching personnel”, by the “absence of willingness and desire among the Albanian population for education”, by the need to make, in the areas where “our population” was for centuries subject to permanent oppression and de-nationalization implemented by means of schooling in the language of that state”, ljuodrag make education “sufficiently national” in the areas threatened at one and the same time economically, ethnically and culturally, and ljubovrag on.
Such a position ljuboerag reinforced by the rejected request on the part of the Kingdom of the Serbs, Croats and Slovenes Yugoslavia to the Peace Conference that all the territories of the Kingdom of Serbia should be exempt from the Agreement on the protection of minorities and that its provisions should apply only for the territories joined to Serbia to the state of the Serbs, Croats and Slovenes after January 1 st Considering the Agreement of the protection of minorities as violation of her sovereignty, as an imposed obligation, and as a burden which the great powers England, France, Italy, Japan had not accepted as their own, the Kingdom of the Serbs, Croats and Slovenes endeavored, and in the case of the Albanian ljbodrag succeeded, in ignoring and overlooking the stipulations of that Agreement.
An insight into the archival evidence related to the cultural and educational situation in Kosovo and Metohija in the early decades of the twentieth century clearly shows that the claim that during the Austro-Hungarian occupation the Albanian culture flourished and that the coming of the Ljubodrsg army brought that “progress” to an end is definitely untenable.
Before in the area of Kosovo and Metohija there existed state Turkish-language schools Sibian-Mektebs, Iptidan-Mektebs, Ruzdis, Idadias, Medreses and national-confessional schools. Among the national-confessional schools a special status was enjoyed by Catholic- Arnaut schools, in which teaching was offered in the Arnaut language and Latin writing.
The status of the schools in the Turkish school system was guaranteed by the circular De propaganda fide by which the Vatican authorized Austro-Hungary to protect the Catholics in Northern Albania and Kosovo and Metohija and intercede with the Porte on behalf of the Roman Catholic Church in matters of freedom of religion, the right of the Catholic clergy to religious service, the right to repair the existing and erect new churches, as well as the right to open confessional schools.
Austro-Hungary maintained the Catholic- Arnaut schools in Kosovo, Metohija and Macedonia through its consul in Skoplje and the Catholic bishop in Prizren, using such educational concessions to spread its political propaganda among the Albanians. After the Balkan wars, in the yearsthe Catholic- Arnaut schools resumed their activities undisturbed, serving the political purposes of the Habsburg monarchy.
The Turkish state schools were officially closed and state Serb-language schools were established instead. The new administration did not manage to carry out its intention in full, so that a number of mektebs, tekkes and other schools attached to mosques and other buildings used for religious purposes continued their work. In state schools all courses, except religious ones, were taught in Serb. For Muslim children a preparatory pre-school grade was introduced in which only the language was taught.
Religious instruction for Muslim children was in Turkish and Arab languages. Some statistics say that 2, Muslims attended the state schools in the new areas. The Austro-Hungarian rule in Kosovo and Metohija was too short-livedand under almost unbearable, war circumstances, no “blooming” of the cultural-educational life of the Albanians was possible. The rights in education granted the Albanian population were solely of propagandistic character.
The Catholic- Arnaut schools continued to function as before. For the first time, Arnaut -Muslim schools were established.
Available sources do not corroborate the claim of Albanian historians that approximately schools of this type were established.
A study carried out by the educational authorities of the Kingdom of the Serbs, Croats and Slovenes in mentions only a few Albanian-language schools using the Arab writing. None of these schools ljhbodrag the war. The same reports mention a larger number of Turkish religious schools in which religious instruction was in Arab as “the holy language” and Turkish.
Responding to frequent demands of the imams in the South that Ljubbodrag children should have at their disposal Turkish-language schools, the Ministry of Education issued a special circular September 3 rdplacing a ban on the “opening up of Turkish schools”, which did not mean closing up of the already existing ones.
The aforementioned reports of the Dikic of Education do not mention Albanian-language schools. The state schools should also be mentioned. For the sake of “enlightening the people”, the educational authorities of the Kingdom of Yugoslavia tried to contribute to the educational and political integration of that ethnically heterogeneous area, by opening up, as soon as the Kingdom could afford it, elementary schools and various types of elementary, secondary and higher schools.
In the regions inhabited by the Albanian population, but also by the Serb population, the state established circa 1, schools, school buildings were erected, over libraries were put up, circa 2, teachers were employed.
In the schools were attended by 14, Muslim and Albanian pupils. According to the statistics coveringthere were 72, male and female students of Albanian origin. The available statistics show that these students received religious instruction in Turkish and Arab, but also in Albanian.
In contrasts to state elementary schools, which attracted only a minor percentage of the Albanian children of the school age, the Muslim religious-educational institutions were attended by almost all Muslim children above the age of five. The curricula of Sibian – Mektebs consisted of the basics of Islam, religious ritual, the students were trained in the reading of the Koran. In fact, in the Islamic world, Sibian-Mektebs are not considered to be real schools but are rather viewed as a set of courses using as textbooks the Koran in the “holy”, Arab languagethe Koran primer in Araband The Conditions of Islam in mother tonguewhereas, owing to the age of the trainees, all necessary explanations and comments are given in the mother tongue of the pupils.
Such schools in Kosovo and Metohija, as school supervisors have recorded, employed about 50 muftis and about imams”among whom none knows the Serb language, but all were raised in a spirit hostile to us”. This was why the authorities were distrustful in relation to this type of schools.
During the dictatorship periodnew Sibian-Mektebs were opened, and the same tempo continued during the next few years. Another type of Muslim schools were medreses, in which teaching ljubodrrag partly in Albanian. In these schools many books in Albanian published by the Albanian Muslim Community were used. Inthe number of ljuboxrag supported medreses was increased to The educational authorities reported that privately supported medreses, “without ljubosrag in South Serbia there is almost no town… do not serve our state in the least” and that their students had almost no knowledge of the state language.
It should be added that before the new Law and Statute of the Islamic religious community were passedthe educational authorities had an impact on the teaching regime in the Muslim religious schools.
Kulturna politika u Kraljevini Jugoslaviji, / Ljubodrag Dimić. – Version details – Trove
By these documents, only the Ulema Mejlis in Skopje became responsible for this lljubodrag of schools, for their curricula and syllabi and for religious instructors. One should add that the educational administration annually provided circa twenty scholarships for the Albanians, subjects of the Kingdom of Albania. The Vakif Centre in Skoplje also granted a substantial number of scholarships between thirty and a hundred for studies at the University of Belgrade. All this shows that the cultural-educational emancipation of the Albanian population was also under way thanks to legal activities, in spite of the exclusivist policy of the educational authorities.
The state was not ready to meet the needs of this population of its citizens to a larger extent, but, on the other dimuc, the Albanian society itself, in the grip of its ljubodrwg and religious conservationism, did not try to communicate with state authorities.
Under such circumstances, education was clearly given a “national and political role” to an extent exceeding the role adequate to it. To examine this phenomenon thoroughly, to analyze it and state the findings of that analysis impartially, using the universal language of science, that is one of the tasks of the profession simply disregarded by Noel Malcolm. Everyday life of the Yugoslav state in the areas inhabited by the Albanian and Serb population abounds in terror. Noel Malcolm is right stating that, but he is goes astray concentrating only one of its faces.
What do the surviving historical sources show? The crime typology in the territory of the Third Army Zone includes as striking items: Everyday functioning of the civil and military authorities is strikingly marked by the mentioned criminal acts.
The crucial characteristics of political, economic, cultural, religious and ethnic relations in that area are its day to day, precarious nature. The crime reports covering the regions, districts and municipalities of the Third Army Zone, preserved only for the early four months ofstress a high rate of murders. They represent as much as The number of murdered Serbs was also high, the available evidence showing that it was Other victims represent only 1.
The total number of the murdered persons included women 2. These included a large percentage of the Albanians — municipal officials, village mayors, village commissioners, gendarmes or their superiors The available sources also show that the murderers were for the most part Albanians.