Aćif Hadžiahmetović

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Aćif Hadžiahmetović
Born 1887
Novi Pazar, Kosovo Vilayet, Ottoman Empire
Died 21 January 1945
Novi Pazar, Yugoslavia
Citizenship Ottoman, Yugoslav
Political party
Džemijet
Religion Islam
Parents
  • Emin Bluta (father)
  • Jalduza (mother)
Awards Iron Cross (Germany)

Aćif Hadžiahmetović (Serbian Cyrillic: Аћиф Хаџиахметовић) or Aćif Bljuta (Albanian: Aqif Bluta, sr. Аћиф Бљута) (1887–21 January 1945) was a politician in the Sandžak region of the Kingdom of Yugoslavia in the interwar period and during World War II. In the interwar period he was mayor of Novi Pazar and a deputy of Džemijet following the 1923 elections. After the Axis invasion of Yugoslavia in April 1941, he was appointed mayor of Novi Pazar under the German military government of the Territory of the Military Commander in Serbia and in 1943–44 was a deputy of Mitrovica in the Albanian parliament. He was also a member of the central committee of the Second League of Prizren. Towards the end of the war, he was executed by the Yugoslav Partisans for his collaboration with the Axis.

Family[edit]

His father Emin-aga was of Albanian origin from Đakovica (Albanian: Gjakovë), while his mother Jalduza was a local of Novi Pazar.[1] He and his wife Mahije had no children of their own but had adopted two orphans from Đakovica, Qamil and Mejreme.[2]

Biography[edit]

A member of Džemijet since its foundation in 1919, he was elected mayor of Novi Pazar in 1920.[2] In 1923 he was elected as a representative of the region in the parliament of the Kingdom of Slovenes, Croats and Serbs. A close collaborator of the party's leader Ferhat Draga, his speeches in the parliament focused on the agrarian reform, which he often attacked as a policy that targeted only Albanian farmers.[3] After Ferhat Draga's imprisonment and the party's dissolution, many of its members faced attacks. Hadžiahmetović himself survived two assassination attempts.[2]

In April 1941 German Nazi forces appointed Hadžiahmetović as mayor of Novi Pazar.[4] He established an Albanian committee of 11 members in Novi Pazar and also a Muslim gendarmerie which was pro-Albanian and whose members wore Albanian symbols.[5] He was one of the signatories of the Resolution of Sarajevo Muslims in 1941. At the same time, with officers like Shaban Polluzha under his command, he organized the defense of the region against attacks by Chetnik forces that targeted Albanian and Muslim civilians[2] and by the Yugoslav Partisans who led the antifascist liberation movement.[6] The principal goal of Albanian forces was the creation of a Greater Albania that would include Novi Pazar in it. As a consequence, efforts were made to Albanize the Bosniak population of Novi Pazar – one of the policies that created the greatest revolt among the local Bosniak population was the prohibition of wearing the Muslim hat, fez.[6] During a public speech made when the first Albanian military forces penetrated into Novi Pazar in October 1941, Hadžiahmetović warned the public present that they are "Albanian, and not Bosniak", and stated: "Behind us stand three million Albanians, our Pazar is the centre of Albania, and we will create a Greater Albania.".[6] At another public speech, Hadžiahmetović is recorded to have said that the population which occupies all lands spanning from Raška (a town in southern Serbia) to the southernmost point of Albania is Albanian.[6]

It was also during his rule, in 1942, that the entire Jewish population of Novi Pazar – 221 individuals, were imprisoned, sent to the concentration camp Staro Sajmište and killed.[7]

In 1943 he joined the Second League of Prizren and was elected a member of its central committee.[8] A few months later, after the incorporation of Mitrovica into Albania he became a representative of the region in the Albanian parliament along with Ferhat Abidi, Hysen Hysnija and Shaban Mustafa.[9]

He was considered a collaborator with the Axis powers during World War II and was executed in 1945 by the Yugoslav government, after he was found guilty of the murder of c. 7,000 Serbs.[10]

Legacy[edit]

In the late 2000s the Bosniak National Council initiated the process of his historical rehabilitation in Serbia. Among others Muamer Zukorlić has praised him as a "hero of Bosniak people".[11] The campaign culminated in the inauguration of a memorial dedicated to Hadžiahmetović on August 3, 2012 in Novi Pazar. This event was attended by Sulejman Ugljanin (Minister Without Portfolio of Serbia), Esad Džudžević (president of the Bosniak National Council) and Ahmedin Škrijelj (deputy mayor of Novi Pazar). The Ministry of Justice and State Administration of Serbia instructed the local administration to remove the memorial.[12] There is also an initiative to name the City Stadium of Novi Pazar after him.

Opponents of the rehabilitation of Aćif Hadžiahmetović emphasize that he fought for Greater Albania project, that his aim was to Albanize the Bosniak population of Sandžak, that he collaborated with occupying forces of the Third Reich in the whole period of occupation during World War II, sent a number of communists from Novi Pazar into concentration camps, as well as allowed the elimination of Jewish, Roma and Serbian population of Novi Pazar. For his collaboration he was awarded with Iron Cross by Nazi Germany.[13]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Maliković, Milija K. (1971). Raška i okolina (in Serbian). Istorijski arhiv. p. 81. Retrieved 4 September 2012. "Аћиф Хаџиахметовић досељеник из Ђаковице" 
  2. ^ a b c d Azizi, Ismet. "Përvjetori i 67-të i pushkatimit të liderit politik e ushtarak të Sanxhakut të Pazarit të Ri". Mesazhi (in Albanian). Retrieved 11 January 2013. 
  3. ^ Abdyli, Ramiz (April 15–6, 1993). "The Expropriation Of The Albanian Population And Attempts For Colonisation Of Albanian Territories (1918–1941)". The Kosova issue—a historic and current problem. p. 92. 
  4. ^ "Džudžević: Nismo očekivali ovakvu "histeriju" oko Aćifa". Press online. Tanjug. 9 August 2012. Retrieved 23 August 2012. "u aprilu 1941. godine, komanda nemačke okupacione vojske je postavila na čelnu funkciju u Novom Pazaru." 
  5. ^ Maliković, Milija K. (1971). Raška i okolina (in Serbian). Istorijski arhiv. p. 81. Retrieved 4 September 2012. 
  6. ^ a b c d Šušević, Izudin (2001), "Dnevnik događaja u Novom Pazaru", Novopazarski zbornik (Novi Pazar, Museum Ras) 
  7. ^ Mušović, Ejup (1979). Etnički procesi i ethnička struktura stanovništva Novog Pazara. Etnografski Institut. p. 48. 
  8. ^ Neuwirth, Hubert. Widerstand und Kollaboration in Albanien 1939–1944. Otto HarrassowitzVerlag. p. 145. ISBN 9783447057837. Retrieved 11 January 2013. 
  9. ^ Ligjëvënësit Shqiptarë 1920–2005, Parliament of Albania, p. 41 
  10. ^ Mehonić, Almir (13 August 2012). "Aćif efendija okupirao Vladu". Al Jazeera. Retrieved 23 August 2012. "Još prije toga srbijanska javnost je Hadžiahmetovića optužila da je za vrijeme Drugog svjetskog rata sa svojom oružanom jedinicom bio u službi fašističke Njemačke i da su ga partizani strijeljali 1945. godine, jer je bio odgovoran za ubistvo blizu 7.000 Srba. Uslijedila je odluka Vlade: “Skidaj Aćifa, jer je bio saradnik okupatora”." 
  11. ^ Zukorlić, Muamer (15 August 2012). "Zukorlić: Aćif-efendija naš heroj". Danas (B92). Retrieved 23 August 2012. "Bošnjaci su jedini narod u Evropi koji nikada nije imao fašističku niti bilo koju srodnu ideologiju. Aćif-efendija je naš heroj, rekao je muftija Zukorlić." 
  12. ^ "Odalović: Naloženo uklanjanje table Aćif-efendiji". Beta. 23 August 2012. Retrieved 23 August 2012. "Ministarsvo pravde i državne uprave je naložilo upravi u Novom Pazaru da ukloni tablu posvećenu Aćif-efendiji, upravniku Novog Pazara u Drugom svetskom ratu, izjavio je sekretar Vlade Veljko Odalović." 
  13. ^ Ćorović, Aida (7 August 2012). "Aida Ćorović: BNV rehabilituje Kurtu i Murtu". Sandžačke novine. Retrieved 23 August 2012. "Njegovo ime danas zagovornici iz BNV uporno vezuju za odbranu bošnjačkog življa u Sandžaku od četnika, ali se prećutkuje činjenica da je on bio eksponent Velike Albanije, da je njegov zadatak bio da albanizuje bošnjačko stanovništvo u Sandžaku i da je sve vrijeme okupacije sarađivao s okupatorom i poslao veliki broja novopazarskih komunista i učesnika NOR-a u logore. Istovremeno, u vreme strašnih pokolja koje su počinili četnici pod vodstvom Pavla Đurišića na sjeveru Crne Gore, Bljuta nije reagovao iako je bio u poziciji da ih spriječi ili minimalizuje....Za saradnju sa okupatororn, Bljutu je nacistička Njemačka nagradila gvozdenim krstom."