A Letter of Melihate Deda Sent to the Provincial Committee in December 1944 from the Highland of Kaanik
I have recently made contacts with the military and some military officials. At the beginning, when I was in Monestary Pobozje (Montenegro of Shkup), I noticed chauvinism not only within military but among their officers. Later on, after the liberation of Shkup, when I arrived at Kaanik, I was in close contact with the comrades of the headquarters of the division, I mean the division 42, into which brigades 16, 18, 12 and 17 had entered. Some comrades, one could say the majority of the members of the headquarters of the division, had such wrong points of view as far as their attitude towards the Albanian mass was concerned, that I could immediately observe that the way of their chauvinism was not able to stop, and it threatened with all its power to attack the innocent masses of Albanians.
While at the beginning I thought that our army, since it was fighting against Abanians, was chauvinistic only due to that reason, I came to the conclusion later that hostile elements had penetrated into our liberation army, and under the flag of our army provided commodity for themselves, and with their destructive actions made efforts to blacken the name of our national-liberation army. Comrades, I have doubts, and I do not base them only on my impressions. It is my duty to present everything in order that everyone should carry out precise investigations and give meritory judgement to all of them that ban and prevent our war skillfully.
Our party in this country, when the intentions of National-Liberation War were explained at gatherings, the people spoke openly that our army instead of helping it brought about harm, as it took our elementary weapons at war against various reactionaries, i.e., hostile elements. We could not witness to the people that the propaganda the enemy carried out, the occupier and their servants, had the intention to instigate the civil war, which suits only to the traitors of our peoples.
I will shortly concentrate myself only on some examples here at Kaanik: Brigade 12 arrested the innocent people - beat the children to tell them where the weapons were and who had them. It even arrested a ten-year old child under the suspition that it had relations with the bandits! It beat the peasants that brought food, beans and potato to our army. The villagers came in blood telling that the council was lying, that in fact the behaviour of the army was everywhere almost hostile, etc.
I ought to point out that when the comrade political commisary intervened at the commander for such things, he took the reply: We have the order to kill 50% of Albanians.
When I made contact with the army, I learned of many other horrible things, of which I think it is not wrong to speak openly in order that investigations should be undertaken.
1) The political delegate of the second detatchment, the second company, the first battalion of Brigade 12, Radule Radenovic, told a lot of things and in width. The commander himself had killed people whenever he liked. At the village Bellanoc, the villagers had come out to greet the army and give the soldiers apples, but the order was that they should draw back and get shot in the periphery of the village, and it had taken place. At the village Izvor, the soldiers had shot the villagers, houses were burned, women and children had cried, but they had gone from house to house and had chosen beautiful girls. We dared not say a word, as they would not have any mercy for us, said a young man.
Georgi Sazdov, the head of the second company of the first battalion, said that the leadership is theoretically against amorality and disorders, but in fact they do such things. At a hospital, a comrade woman had fought all night long in order that the whole hospiotal should escape violence.
It had happend quite often, said Radule Radenovic, that the villagers, women and children had abandoned the village because of the fear, and then the order was issued to confiscate the livestock. Undoubtedly, seeing such behaviour, the peasants dare not await partisans.
Brigade 12 had taken many cows and sheep along. Some of them said, we have taken them in war, the others said, we have taken them from criminals. They brought along in this way here livestock from another village called Drenogllava, since they said that the shepherd had a gun with him, the soldiers had taken them...
At meetings at Shtrpce the women were surprised when they heard what was said of partisans, and the army in fact plundered them.
I think that there cannot be such explanations as: Various elements have entered the army, now our army is huge and it is not strange that such things may happen.
An investigation of the roots should be organised and the source of all these misdeeds be found, in order to root out all the hostile elements, that want to instigate hatred within the Albanian and Serbian-Montenegrin mass and who make their endeavour with great skillfullness to degrade our sacred war, our national-liberation army and compromise the war which they have fought.
D. F. - F. P.