2015 – Statue of Aquf Krosi Recani unveiled- commander of the Balli Kombetar,
 a Nazi quisling militia, in western Macedonia during World War II
by Sasha Uzunov
Team Uzunov blog exclusive – Deputy German Ambassador to Macedonia Mr Marco Acquaticci (pictured below) responds to concerns over Albanian Nazi collaborator statues that have been unveiled in Macedonia. Ambassador Acquaticcci has given Team Uzunov the following statement.
“Let me assure you that Germany intensively faces up to its past and particularly the history of National Socialism [Nazism].
“Germany therefore supports several initiatives and promotes a wide-ranging dialogue related to these issues, also in the countries of the Western Balkans.

We will continue to foster this important culture of remembrance in the future.”

Despite repeated requests from Team Uzunov blog, and In stark contrast to the Germany Embassy, the US Ambassador to Macedonia Mr Jess Baily has declined to comment on the controversial statues of Xhem Hasa (also known under the nom de guerre of Gostivari, Xhemal, Xhemail or Dzemo) and Aqif Krosi Recani, both commanders of an Albanian quisling militia, the Balli Kombetar, funded by Fascist Italy and Nazi Germany during Word War II and active in western Macedonia.
Team Uzunov blog posed the following question to the Germany Foreign Ministry:
“[there]…has been silence in Macedonia over these controversial statues which only sends the wrong message to the rest of the world in that the European Union is deliberately looking the other way at Albanian extremism. This only damages modern Germany’s good standing internationally. Will the German Ambassador to Macedonia counsel Albanian leaders in Macedonia that such statues only do harm to their cause by invoking a Nazi collaborator as a some kind of Albanian national hero and hurts Germany’s reputation in the process?”



Xhem Hasa:


In 2006, the statue of Xhem Hasa was erected in his “honour” in his home village of Simnica, near the town of Gostivar, in western Macedonia. TEAM UZUNOV visited the village and filmed the statue for a special report

Aqif Krosi Recani:

In 2015 the Mayor of Gostivar, Mr Nevzat Bejta, from the ethnic Albanian political party DUI, unveiled a statue to Recani in the village of Recan, near Gostivar, western Macedonia. Bejta, was also the Minister for Local Government in Macedonian government (2011-13) – link here

BEJTA – the man behind the two statues !

Nevzat Bejta, expresses “pride” in building two Albanian Nazi collaborator statues in western Macedonia. Odd way to express “human rights activity.” Normally you would be invoking Nelson Mandela or the Dalai Lama !

2015 – In his speech, the mayor of Gostivar, Nevzat Bejta expressed the happiness that his first mandate in the village of Simnica [2006] was erected the statue of the “national hero” Xhemë Hasë (Xhem Hasa) , and in his second term as mayor, the statue was unveiled of Xhem’s co-worker, the prominent national Ballist, Aqif Krosi (Reçani) [in 2015]. link here

“Во својот говор, градоначалникот на Гостивар, Невзат Бејта, изрази задоволство што неговиот прв мандат во селото Симница подигна статуата на националниот херој Џеме Хаca (Симница), а во неговиот втор мандат како градоначалник беше откриена статуата соработник на Џемe, истакнат национален балист, Акиф Кроси (Речани).”

Në fjalimin e tij, kryetari i Komunës së Gostivarit, Nevzat Bejta shprehu lumturinë që në mandatin e tij të parë në fshatin Simnicë u ngrit shtatorja e heroit kombëtar Xhemë Hasë (Simnica), dhe në mandatin e dytë të tij si kryetar komune, shpaloset shtatorja e bashkëveprimtarit të Xhemës, ballistin të shquar kombëtar, kombëtar Aqif Krosi (Reçani).


A 2009 US Diplomatic cable privately denounced Bejta. But publicly the US refuses to denounce his building of World War II Albanian Nazi collaborator statues !

2009 cable (link to wikipedia):

“The municipality of Gostivar could host the dirtiest mayoral race of the e-Albanian communities. Incumbent DUI mayor Nevzat Bejta has a reputation for dirty politics and corruption.”

Macedonia came under the rule of the harsh Ottoman Turkish Empire (1400s to 1912) and Albanians were used as shock troops -or irregulars known as Bashi-bouzuks- of the Empire in keeping Macedonians in line.

Historian Andrew Rossos writes about the the failed 1689 Austrian assisted Macedonian Karposh uprising against the Ottoman Empire and its consequences:

“Many Macedonian Christians fled with the Austrians to escape the devastation and Ottoman retribution. Some ended up in southern Russia, where they, like other Balkan refugees, set up military colonies, including a ‘‘Macedonian Regiment’’ (Makedonski polk), in the regular Russian army. Muslim Albanian settlers took their place in northwestern Macedonia, changing the region’s ethnographic composition.” see link here


1903 – Reporter likens massacre of Jews (pogrom) in Tsarist Russia to Albanian atrocities against Macedonians.

“…And yet Kishineff [now in present day Moldova] looks like a city that had been invaded by a furious enemy. The houses half destroyed, people with bandaged heads, with broken arms and legs— does all this not remind one of a Macedonian settlement or a Slavonic town, invaded by Albanians or by Bashi-Bazouks?”


The World’s News (Sydney, Australia) Saturday 4 July 1903, page 21. link here 

Here’s another

The Register newspaper (Adelaide, South Australia), Thursday 2 July 1903, page 5 – link

London, July 1.

Advices from Sofia intimate that the Bulgarian Government is placing 3,000 additional troops on the Turkish frontier. This measure is due to the increased agitation in the principality owing to the reports that, despite the Sultan’s fair promises, the Turks and Albanians continue to cruelly persecute the Macedonian Christians.



Current Albanian nationalist ideology – has been shaped by the World War II Balli Kombetar – in pursuit of an ethnically pure Greater Albania which would include Albania, Kosovo, a large slice of western Macedonia and a piece of north-western Greece, the Epirus.

Macedonians, according to this extremist ideology, are regarded as being part of an “evil Slav” conspiracy together with Serbs in wanting to persecute Albanians. Many Macedonians regard the epithet “Slav” as being a racist insult used against them to deny their native identity. According to a prominent mainstream academic, Dr Florin Curta of Florida University, there was no “Slav migration” to the Balkans in the 7th century, meaning the modern day Macedonians are people who are largely indigenous to Macedonia. 

Albanian nationalist ideology deliberately ignores the fact that Macedonians were themselves the victims of brutal Serb colonialism beginning in 1912-13 with the partition of Macedonia amongst Serbia, Greece and Bulgaria. Greece and Bulgaria also imposed their own brutal forms of colonialism and assimilation. In 1944 a Macedonian republic, within the framework of federal Yugoslavia was proclaimed.

A report from 1914 – just before the outbreak of the First World War:

The Evening Echo (Ballarat, Victoria, Australia) Monday 11 May 1914, Page 4 -BALKAN MASSACRES – link 

Service in the Royal / Colonial Serbian Army – Albanian and Macedonian recruits who refused to take the oath of allegiance to the Serbian Crown killed.

1941 British Foreign Office report on “colonialism” in what it’s now the Republic of Macedonia – 

His Majesty’s British Minister to Belgrade, R.I. Campbell writing to Lord Halifax, Her Majesty’s British Foreign Secretary,  in 1941: 

“Since the occupation by Serbia in 1913 of the Macedonian districts, the Government has carried out in this area, with greater or lesser severity, a policy of suppression and assimilation. In the years following the Great War land was taken away from the inhabitants and given to Serbian colonists. Macedonians were compelled to change their names and the Government did little or nothing to assist the economic development of the country…”

 Citation: British Foreign Office document –   FO371/29785, Campbell (Belgrade) to Halifax, 6 January 1941.

In April 1941, with the German invasion of then Kingdom of Yugoslavia, that part of Macedonia under Serbian colonial rule was further partitioned amongst Nazi allies Bulgaria and Fascist Italy. Within the framework of an Italian “protectorate” a Greater Albania was proclaimed and included a chunk of western Macedonia.

The Bulgarian occupation forces rounded up the Jews from Macedonia and handed them over to Nazi Germany for the Final Solution, the Holocaust.

A Macedonian partisan resistance, consisting of a loose or unofficial alliance of communists and non communists, emerged in 1941 and grew in size. The partisans cut off from Tito’s Yugoslav partisans because of distance, operated independently and were supplied by the British, the US and Soviets. This 1944 report from US Captain Richard Rayner who was attached to a Macedonian partisan brigade goes into some details over the partisans’ motivation in fighting. see link here

The Macedonian partisans (left) fought the Italians, Germans, Bulgarians, the Albanian Balli Kombetar and even Serbian Chetniks, royalists who wanted the return Serbian colonial rule. A number of ethnic Albanian partisan battalions were also included in the Macedonian partisan army known as the NOVM – the National Liberation Army of Macedonia. 

BALLI KOMBETAR –  was an Albanian nationalist militia formed by Fascist Italy in 1942 and when Italy capitulated in 1943, Nazi Germany took over. It was supplied with gold and weapons. see link here

The Balli Kombetar was involved in ethnic cleansing operations against Macedonians in western Macedonia and also killed anti fascist Albanians.

Balli Kombetar militia


– cited in “Albanian Escape: The True Story of U.S. Army Nurses Behind Enemy Lines– link here

Albanian & Italian colonialists in western Macedonia.

 San Bernardino Sun newspaper, California, US, Volume 49, 4 April 1943 – page 4. – LINK
 Bulgaria furious at Axis ally Fascist Italy for deliberately settling cooperative Albanians and Italians in [western] Macedonian towns to deliberately change ethnic composition

 Xhem(al) Hasa Gostivari – WWII Albanian Nazi collaborator

– citation: “Albania in the Twentieth Century: Albania in Occupation and War, From Fascism to Communism 1940-1945” – by Owen Pearson – link





Xhem Gostivari [Hasa] a proven collaborator of the Italians and Germans in Macedonia during World War II- quoted in the book: “The Wildest Province: SOE in the Land of the Eagle,” by Roderick Bailey, Random House, page 100. link




In 1985 Macedonian State TV (then known as Radio Televizija Skopje – when Macedonia was a republic in Federal Yugoslavia) made a film about Xhem Hasa Gostivari, drawing upon Macedonian and Yugoslav archives at the time, which largely tally with British military accounts quoted above.

The selective nature of Macedonia’s ‘civic’ organisations, NGOs – read US government backed – in their behaviour over corruption, rule of law, democracy, Euro-Atlantic values, can be best summed up by the virulent attack on so called Macedonian “nationalism” and various statues and monuments but the incredible silence and inaction over Albanian fascist monuments that have sprung up in the country.
There is kind of moral perversity in attacking a “kitsch” statue of someone purported to be Alexander the Great on a war steed designed to bring in Asian tourists and in the same breadth remaining silent over statues to men who collaborated with fascist Italy and Nazi Germany during World War II (1939-45). The 1940s weren’t that long ago; whilst Alexander the Great is now dust and goodness knows where his remains are after 2,000 years. 

All of this is a smokescreen to appease Greek nationalist demands when even the “Hellenic pedigree” of Alexander is in question. Be that as it may, it’s nothing more than a red herring.

2011 – A museum dedicated to the memory of the Jews of Macedonia who perished in the Shoah has been inaugurated in the former Yugoslav republic, in the presence of the country’s president and representatives of international Jewish organizations, including the World Jewish Congress (WJC).

In his speech, the WJC’s Research Director Laurence Weinbaum pointed out that no Jewish community in Europe had suffered a greater degree of destruction than the Macedonian one. Referring to Macedonia’s principled stand on the restitution issue and to its unwavering friendship with Jews and Israel, he said:

“In much of contemporary Europe, dead Jews are respected, but live ones are defamed. You honor the dead and the living, and in so doing you have set an example to which other nations should aspire. There are nations that are larger, richer, better known and more powerful than Macedonia, but none more decent, gracious, good-hearted and noble.” see link here

2001 – The Kosovo Liberation Army’s Macedonian offshoot, the NLA,
 invaded Macedonia to take territory for a Greater Albania
You have to seriously ask why has there been silence from successive Macedonian governments, as well as various US Ambassadors, EU mandarins over the rise of extremist Albanian nationalist ideology in Macedonia which invokes the likes of Xhem Hasa and Aqif Krosi Recani and even builds statues to such figures?
Both men were commanders of the notorious Balli Kombetar, a quisling militia set up by Fascist Italy and later taken over by Nazi Germany. The Balli Kombetar’s objective was a Greater Albania, involving the ethnic cleansing of Macedonians in western Macedonia. Albanians who opposed the Balli Kombetar also fell victim.
In 2006, a statue to Xhem Hasa was unveiled in his village of birth, Sminica, near the Macedonian town of Gostivar.
In 2015, with much fanfare and nationalist hysteria whipped up against the ‘evil Slavs” – the Macedonians, the ethnic Albanian Mayor of Gostivar Nevzat Bejat unveiled a statue of Aqif Krosi Recani in the village of Recan. 
Both times there was silence from various activists. Would the building of a statue to Hermann Goering or Heinrich Himmler in modern day Germany be tolerated? First and foremost, most Germans wouldn’t even consider the idea to begin with. 
The Albanian political bloc in Macedonia has largely supported these Balli Kombetar statues – which then raises question marks over whether its agenda for increased ‘Albanian rights’ in Macedonia is genuine or not? It’s unheard of genuine activists invoking fascists. Genuine activists would be citing Nelson Mandela or the Dalai Lama.

Getting back to the question over silence – the Albanian Bloc in Macedonia is staunchly pro US and there is a reluctance to go against such allies, the Kosovo Liberation Army’s offshoot in Macedonia, the NLA, which started a war in 2001 in Macedonia.

Pictured: US Ambassador to Macedonia, Jess Baily (right), having a Fourth of July celebratory drink at the US Embassy with Talat Xhaferi (far left) and Ali Ahmeti (centre). It remains puzzling how both politicians went from terrorists involved in starting a war to “legitimate” politicians via a 2008 “amnesty” passed in the Macedonian parliament. What’s even more interesting is both men from the DUI party, the ex KLA/NLA transformed, were members of a coalition government run by Macedonian “nationalist” Prime Minister Nikola Gruevski (2006-16) forced out over corruption. Yet no corruption charges were ever levelled at DUI; no secret recordings ever “leaked” to the media. It beggars belief that somehow DUI was not involved in any wheeling-dealing…

The objective then was to take territory for a Greater Albania much like the Balli Kombetar during World War II. When the Macedonian security forces thwarted the plan, despite getting off on the back foot militarily, the Western media narrative, in support of the US, changed from grabbing territory to “human rights activism.” Albanian leaders such as Ali Ahmeti, Talat Xhaferi and so on went from being terrorists to “legitimate” political players – in the form of the political party DUI – in Macedonia, courtesy of a 2008 amnesty law introduced by the Macedonian government, no doubt strong armed by the US in the background. The interesting thing is a European Court of Human Rights ruling has laid down that war crimes cannot be “pardoned” or “amnestied” yet no Macedonian court is willing to launch an indictment of Ahmeti or any of the KLA leaders in Macedonia. 

ALI AHMETI ECHOING BALLI KOMBETAR FASCIST IDEOLOGY OF ETHNIC CLEANSING – The Coming Balkan Caliphate book by Chris Deliso. Ahmeti told a western journalist in March 2001,

quote: “our aim is solely to remove [Macedonian] Slav forces from territory which is historically Albanian.”

 One of Ahmeti’s commanders: “like all wars, ours was for territory- not because of some human rights problems.”

 More at links here and here and here and here  

MARK BRANOV – Canadian-Macedonian activist, ex media director for advocacy group United Macedonian Diaspora, and now part of a civic organisation called SNS-Makedonium, explains:

“The tolerance for Nazi symbols illustrates the funny game the EU plays, where it is neither a loose federation nor a strong federation, but it can act like either the one or the other, depending on the day of the week, and the prevailing whim of unelected bureaucrats in Brussels.

“To its credit, Germany goes out of its way to confront its own authoritarian past, almost to an extreme. But Greece does nothing of the sort; the average Greek is hardly aware of what happened in island prisons like Makronisos [Greek island penal colony used to hold ethnic Macedonian prisoners]. Bulgaria actually leverages its EU membership to erase recognition of their Nazi past and rewrite history in a neighbouring country [Macedonia]. 

“The EU-favoured successor parties of the UCK [KLA/NLA in Macedonia] raise monuments to Nazi era  heroes without any protest from Brussels. But, when it comes to other issues, like Athens accepting financial directives on its debt payments, the EU has no problem laying down the law. Brussels employs a local sovereignty” excuse when it feels like sweeping something under the rug, and takes away any local sovereignty whenever it feels like it.”

“Thus, it can dictate human rights terms to a country like Macedonia via the Ohrid Framework Agreement, but it can ignore human rights for Macedonians in Aegean Macedonia.”
Dr Chris Popov, a long time Macedonian human rights activist and a retired Australian public servant with the Federal Department of Immigration, is alarmed over the silence or inaction over the Balli Kombetar statues:

“Those who do not react to such monuments depicting Nazi collaborators and murderers are complicit in the dissemination of Nazi-like Greater Albanian ideology which is based on the racist notion that those lands [western Macedonia] that these mini-imperialists covet are inhabited by “inferior evil Slavs.”
New York Times article from 1982 – detailing the links between the US and Balli Kombetar supporters in the Cold War period 





New Zealand born military officer and official with the League of Nations, Colonel A.C. Corfe DSO (2 bars) had written in 1923 after a fact finding Mission to Macedonia that the Macedonians of Aegean Macedonia [Greece], and incidentally in the other two parts, were fearful of state officials and had nothing to say in their presence:


“But in the evenings in their own houses or when we had given the officials the slip, we encouraged them to speak to us. Then we in-variably heard the same story as “Bad administration. They want to force us to become Greeks, in language, in religion, in sentiment, in every way. We have served in the Greek army and we have fought for them: now they insult us by calling us ‘damned Bulgars”‘ … To my question “What do you want? an autonomous Macedonia or a Macedonia under Bulgaria?” the answer was generally the same: “We want good administration. We are Macedonians, not Greeks or Bulgars…We want to be left in peace.”


Citation: link

Related story: BULGARIA’S HOLOCAUST DENIAL – link here

Related story: BULGARIAN AGREEMENT – link here



read the US CONE OF SILENCElink