Chameria - 62 years from Greek Genocide


Date: Saturday, June 24 @ 11:10:14 PDT
Topic: CHAMERIA


    The Cham Community living nowadays in Albania, constituted of 3OO, OOO members, expelled violently by the Greek chauvinist since 1944 has the request to meet publicly you to present their views about solving their problems dealing with returning of them in their lands according to international laws and all other conventions and existing documents of this kind.

    Chameria

    The Patriotic-Political Association "Chameria" ("cameria") that represents the protection of the human rights and freedoms of the Albanian population of Chameria evicted with violence and terror from its own native land in Chameria (ThesprotiaGreece)

    Taking into account the positive processes that are going on in Europe today and the efforts made by the international community, the CSCE and other organizations to guarantee the fundamental democratic national and human rights and freedoms.

    Making more attainable the rights that should be enjoyed by the national minorities and ethnic groups that have remained outside borders in certain historical circumstances.

    Addresses itself with great respect to the international public opjnion and organizations concerning very important problems of the Chams (cam), Chameria Albanians.

    THE CHAM TRAGEDY - AN INJUSTICE THAT SHOULD BE REDRESSED


    The Albanian region of Chameria or Thesprotia as it is called by the Gréèk administration, begins from the most southern part of today’s Albania.

    It comprises the ‘southern part of the ethnic territories of Southern Epirus, inhabited by Albanians since the ancient times (Pellazgico-Illyrian times) until today.

     

    One people and one ethnic territory continuity is testified to by Greek authors of ancient times and also by the Great Greek Encyclopedia, as well as by many world wide known scientific authorities. This is also proved by the real presence of Albanians there and their language, culture and tradition.

     

    The population of Chameria has been ethnically Albanian. It comprised 99% in the cities and 100% in the villages. Till the beginning of the 18th century, the population of this region was of the orthodox faith. After this period, the process of Islamization began among the Albanians. As a result of this process, according to the statistical data of the Turkish administration, 50% of the Albanian population converted to Islam and 50% kept the Orthodox faith. These figures. have been misrepresented even today, harming ethnic Albanians. The census held by the Turkish administration in 1910 testifies that in the region there were 83.000 orthodox and Muslim Albanians. While the statistical yearbook of the Greek government in 1936 shows that only 26.000 Chams lived in Chameria, it does not mention the Orthodox Albanians, because the Greek government considers them Greeks.


    As a result of the 1944-1945 ethnic cleansing and genocide, 30.000 Albanian Muslims, violently expelled from the Chameria region, were received in the Republic of

    Albania, where they still live today. -
    There are 205.OOO members of this population, a figure which has increased because of the high birth rate of the population after the genocide.

     

    At present, the community of native Albanians of the orthodox faith of Chameria-Thesprotia(Greece), has reached the figure of 250.000-300.000 persons. Today, as a result of the assimilation policy followed by the Greek circles towards other nationalities on Greek territory, this community is under such circumstances which do not allow it to assert its own identity.

     

    The demographic map of the British military mission sent, to the British government in London, which indicates that on the eve of the Second World War, 75% of Chameria’s population was Albanian, is an authentic testimony by western sources about the Albanian presence in the region.

     

    An incontestable testimony about the presence of the Orthodox Albanians in Chameria (Greece) today are the early kinship links that the Muslim Chams have with them, a fact which the Greek circles try hard to deny.

     

    With the decisions of the Conference of Ambassadors in London in 1913, the region was cut off the motherland and annexed to the Greek state, despite its resistance, the native population of Chameria was subjected to a tragic fate; it was considered an Albanian ethnic minority under Greece.
    The destiny of the Albanian minority of Chameria is an Albanian national tragedy not only in terms of territory, but of people as well.

     

    THE GREEK POLICY AND OFFICIAL ATTITUDE TOWARDS THE

    ALBANIAN MINORITY IN CHAMERIA

     

    After the annexation of Chameria in 1913 until today, its population during all these years under the Greek state has not enjoyed national or human rights.

    •Greek official circles, sticking to the concept of absolute denial of the existence of ethnic groups on Greek territory, have followed a well-studied chauvinistic policy in. two directions:

    1. Towards the Albanians of the Orthodox faith it has followed an assimilation policy denying them every ethnic, cultural or language rights, considering them Greeks and intentionally mistaking faith for nationality, an action they still apply today towards Albanians, pretending that all the Orthodox are Greeks.

    2. Towards the Albanians of the Islam faith, they followed the policy of genocide, denying their nationality as well. In many cases, they have intentionally considered them as Turkish Chams and not Albanian Cham as they really are.



    This strategy worked out about one century ago by Greece was achieved at the end of the Second World War, in 1944-1945, when the criminal bands of the notorious General, Napoleon Zervas perpetrated the. ethnic cleansing of the. Chameria Muslim Albanians.


    THE CONTINUOUS GENOCIDE IN CHAMERIA (ETHNIC CLEANSING) AGAINST THE ALBANIANS.
     
    To realize their aims, Greek official circles have never respected the Albanian population of Chameria, being so ungrateful for the historic valuable help it has given to the Greek population through the centuries.

    1. Immediately after annexation they violently persecuted the. innocent Albanian population, perfidiously killing 72 of the most influential men of this region in 1913, in a place called Selan Paramithi (Ajdonat) who had gone there to negotiate with the Greek party. Other dozens of innocent people suffered the same fate.

    To prevent persecution by the Greek government, Cham patriots protested to European circles on June 8, 1913.

    2. The Chams were shocked at the Satanic attempts of the Greek government in 1923-1924 to include even the Muslim Chams among the Muslim Turks living Greece, who according to Lozana Agreement reached on January 19, 1923, between Turkey and Greece, were to be exchanged with the Greeks of Anatolia

    The Greek government flagrantly violated this Agreement; it did not stick to the statement of its representative in Lozana, Kalamanos, on January 19, 1923, whoa declared that his government didn’t intend to exchange the "Muslims of Albanian origiif who, as he himself admitted, "lived in a region clearly determined as Epirus" and though they share the same religion as the Turks, they are in no way their compatriots"~2].

    The Greek-Turkish Joint Commission decided on March 1924~4] not to observe any procedure or formality in the framework of the exchange of the Greek-Turkish population, towards the Albanian population of Chameria, an ethnic and historical reality, that was recognized also by the Greek party.

    Contrary to historical reality and the Agreement reached, the Greek official circles imposed the exchange of( as black slaves in the Middle Ages) tens of thousands of Chams realizing at that time part of their plan for ethnic cleansing of the "minorities" in their territories.

    3. With the coming to power of the Yoannis Metaxas fascist government in 1936, the situation of the Albanian population of Chameria became even more difficult. That government applied an unheard of discriminatory policy;: it continued colonization with Greeks aiming to change the proportion of the population. The name of the places inhabited by Albanians were replaced by Greek place names. It resorted to real genocide, arrests, deportation, and confiscation of property.

    The program stepped up further making the life of the Albanians unbearable.L. Stavrianos, The Balkans Since 1453, New York, 1961, p.60 Council, dated 29.11.1924, in Journal Officiel de Ia SdN:4 October 1924, Process-Verbatix du Conseil. Annexe 689 pp



    4. The situation in Chameria became more troubled and tense especially on the eve of the World War II. Prior to the fascist Italian occupation of Greece, the Greek government made the general Mobilization of the population for war. The Albanians of Chameria, as citizens of the Greek state, asked the then Greek government to mcbiize them to fight against the common enemy.

    "Acknowledging" this peace-loving gesture of the Chams, the Greek government thanked and mobilized them, but instead of arms, it gave them picks and spades to do construction work.

    With this act, the Greek government showed its lack of confidence in theili overlooking their readiness and estranging them from itself; with the intention of accusing later on the Muslim Chams of being collaborators with the occupiers.

    Shortly prior to the occupauon ot Greece by Italy, the Greek authorities, out of fear for what they had done towards the unprotected Cham population, deported the men from 14 years old and more to concentration camps on the isles of the Aegean Sea, the islands of Medilin, Hio and Corinthus, etc.
    On the way to the concentration camps the Greek official circles created the psychosis that they were prisoners of war who had killed the sons of the Greek people, thereby hiding the truth that they were innocent people forcibly torn away from their homes and from the war front.

    During the exile in the camps of the Mathausen type, the Chams were illtreated and physically liquidated, meanwhile, in the Chameria region there were only unprotected women, old folk, children, subject to killings, robbery and rapes by Greek criminal gangs.

    UNHEARD OF GENOCIDE AND EVICTION OF ETHNIC ALBANJANS


    FROM THEIR HISTORICAL NATWE LAND

    The last act, of genocide, against the Albanian Muslim population in the Chameria region, that led to their ethnic cleansing, began on June 27, 1944.

    The criminal bands of Greek chauvinism resorted to cruelest atrocities in this region. The cruelty committed against this population were beyond imagination. They included killings, rapes, inhuman treatment, such as cutting different body organs, the nose, ear, etc. massacred women, babies and pregnant women. More than 600 men, women and children were killed within 24 hours in the town of Paramithy, on Tuesday, June 27, 1944, which is the date of St. Bartholomeus for the whole Chameria. During the June 1944 - March 1945 period, 1286 persons were massacred and killed in Filat, 192 people were killed in Gumenica, 626 persons were killed in Margellic and Parga.

    There were hundreds of other unidentified and missing persons. During 1944-1945, the Greek chauvinists perpetrated massacres, acts of robbery and rapes against the Albanian population of Chameria; 2900 young and old men, 214 women, 96 children were massacred, 745 women were raped, 76 women abducted, 32 children, younger than 3 years were massacred, 68 village were razed to the ground, 5800 houses and sites of worship were burned down or destroyed, all the furniture houses and 84752 kilos of olive oil, 67434 quintals of corn, 4453 work animals, domestic animals were stolen. The terror was of such proportions that the Albanian Muslim population had to leave their ancestral land for Albania, after March 1945.


    EFFORTS TO INTERNATIONALIZE THE CHAM QUESTION


    After their violent expulsion, the Cham immigrants who had Greek citizenship and Albanian nationality, were immediately organized in Albania during 1945 and under the direction of the Cham Antifascist Committee sensibilized different international bodies as well as the mother state over their tragedy and lawful demands.

    The new Albanian government after the war took the Cham issue to the Peace Conference in Paris and the conference of Foreign Ministers of the Allied Powers, not only supporting the very difficult position of the Chams, but also demanding their repatriation and recovery of their own property. This was their legitimate right that was also defended by the then international decisions on the rights of national minorities.

    The miserable situation of the Chams and their demands were also presented to the Paris Peace Conference (1945) by the then Albanian Foreign minister.

    As well as this, many attempts to internationalize the question and to secure the support of the Allied Powers were made by the Cham National-Liberation Committee, as the most direct representative of the Cham population.

    Many memorandums and telegrams of protest were sent to the Allied Powers and relevant for as to the General Assembly of the United Nations in London and New York, to the Council of the Allied Foreign Ministers in London and Mosóow,to the San Francisco Conference, to the governments of Great Britain, United States of America, to the House of Representatives ‘in Washington D.C., to London andMoscow, to the Mediterranean General Staff; etc.

     

    These demands were not supported or answered. No support or answer was given even by the representatives of the British, Russian and Yugoslav missions that took part in the second Cham Congress held in Vlora-Albania (September 194.5) and saw for themselves the catastrophe of this population.

     

    The international Investigation Commission of the United Nations, during the verification of the tragedy on both sides of the border, drew the proper conclusions in 1946-1947, replete with real facts and evidence about the massacre and painfuI tragedy of the Cham people.

    After this, only the international fora, after having specified the displaced Cham population as immigrants, gave an economic aid of about 1.2 million dollars and other material aid for thousands of Cham refugees who had no bread and no home.

     


    THE 1947 - 1990 ENIGMATIC SILENCE

     

    At a time when the Chams hoped for a solution of their legitimate rights, their attempts were ensued with total silence. The 1947-1990 period is one the most grave acts of this tragedy, because that was done by the Albanians themselves. It is the state of the antinational, communist dictatorship of E. Hoxha itself that kept silent. Such silence is still a mystery.

    THE GREEK OFFICIAL ATTITUDE AFTER THE EXPULSION

    OF THE MUSLIM ALBANIANS OF CHAMERIA


    1. Greece violently put an end to every attempt to preserve the identity of the Albanian population of the Orthodox belief; who still continue to live in Chameria. Albanian, their mother tongue, was not allowed to be spoken in public and a number of other measures of assimilation were taken in order to deny completely its Albanian national origin.
    As a result of this assimilation and discriminatory policy, it was impossible for them to assert themselves in Chameria.

    2. After 1945, the action to change the demographic structure of Chameria and it colonization with Greeks, Arumuni and gypsies began. Greece changed the demographic structure of the province because they did not trust the rest of the Albanian population who remained there though it was of the Orthodox confession.

    3. The property of the expelled Chains was given by the Greek government to new settlers without the legal right of ownership.

    4. The present Greek government follows a discriminatory policy towards the Chams in Albania, by preventing them from visiting their homes. It is afraid of the truth about the Chams, of the revival of traditional brotherhood among the Orthodox and Muslim Albanians.
    5. The Albanian place names were replaced with Greek place names.


    THE DEMOCRATIZATION PROCESS IN ALBANIA

    AND THE PROBLEM OF CHAMERIA

    The victory of democracy and the destruction of the communist system in Albania created the conditions to analize this great national misfortune.

    As e result of pluralism, on January 1991, the "cameria" Patriotic-Political Association was created in continuation of the efforts and aspirations of the martir population of Chameria.

    The Chameria question is part of the program of most of the political parties in’ Albania, which are trying to solve it in accordance with the spirit and standarts of the international human rights documents of the UN, the CSCE and the Council of Europe.

    First of all, the "Chameria" Association as well as the Albanian democratic government have asked the Greek state and government to settle this outstanding problem, judging that the bilateral way is the most efficient manner to deal with it. So far, the Greek government and its high officials have adopted a negative attitude.

    According to the Greek official stand, the Muslim Chams will not be allowed to return to Greece "because they have collaborated with the Italian-German invaders during the Second World War and as such they are criminals of war and are punished according to Greek laws" (Statement ,of Prime Minister Mitsotakis, in Tirana, May 1992)


    MASSACRES AND ROBBERY PERPETRATED BY GREEK CHAUVINISM

    AGAINST THE ALBANIAN POPULATION OF CHAMERIA

    (1940-1945)


    Killed persons:

    1940-1941: Internment of all male persons from 16 to 75 years of age, started by the Metaxa regime two months before Greece’s occupation by fascist Italy and continued. Thousands of Chams were interned to the islands of the Aegean Sea.

    During the internment, 450 people died of tortures.


    June 27, 1944 Men Women Total
    Paramithi, Margellic,
    Gumenice and villages:

     
    800

     
    230

     
    1.030

    Parge: 130 - 130
    August 1944 Men Women Total
    Filat and villages:  
    198

     
    61

     
    259

     
    March 1945 Men Women Total
    Filat and villages: 372 59 431
    Deaths in internment: 450 - 450
    Total: 1950 350 2300


    Deaths en route
    (diseases and afflictions): 2 400
    Victims (total): 4 700
    Raped women: 475
    Kidnapped women: 76


    MATERIAL DAMAGE:

    villages / burnt houses
    Parge, Preveze, Arta
    Paramithi, Margellic: 21 / 2300
    Gumenice: 26 / 2300
    Filat: 44 / 1200
    _____ ______
    Total: 91 villages / 5800 burnt houses


    RELIGIOUS OBJECTS BURNT DOWN:
    Paramithi (town) 7 mosques
    “(villages) 54 "
    Gumenice and villages :25 "
    Filat (town) 2 "
    “ (villages):22 "
    Total: 102 mosques

    Large scale plunder of agricultural and livestock products, as well as more than 46 000 sheep and 5 137 cattle


    This is a false and an untrue "hypothesis".

    - To consider the Chams criminals at a time when they have shed their blood together with the Greeks for liberation is a political-diplomatic crime.


    * The Chams did not collaborate with occupiers of any kind; they are their victims.
    * If Chameria had some "collaborators" (a common phenomenon for all the states under Nazi-Fascist occupation during World War II, what about the 30.000 such people in Greece, with general Ralis at the head. Nobody accuses them in Greece, on the contrary they are Eehabilitated by the general amnesty of the Greek state.
    * It is a historical fact that the Chams were the first to take part in the Greek resistance against the invaders (together with ELAS and EAM).
    * Documents that testify to the undeniable truth of the Cham tragedy, do exist.
    * There are documents of the German state which prove that Napolon Zervas, one of the persons, most responsible for the genocide against the Chams, was a collaborator of the German Gestapo.
    The Greek official stand does on honour to the Greek democratic government, which has signed all the international documents on human rights, we don’t blame it today for this tragedy, but it is not human to be a partner of the authors of gravest tragedies in Europe, following World War II, by using false accusations in order to hide the truth.


    THE CHAM TRAGEDY MEANS: 

    *  GENOCIDE
    * ETHINC CLEANSING
    * RELIGIOUS WAR
    * VIOLATION OF HUMAN RIGHTS


    A PROBLEM THAT MUST BE SOLVED

    The Albanian martyr population of Chameria wants that today’s Europe of human dimension, all the international fora, all European political-diplomatic circles, the USA and other countries, the Greek government and people support and help meet its legitimate human demands:


    1. We request that the Greek Democratic government as a member of the European Community, as a state that has signed all International Acts on Human Rights and respect for national minorities, recognizes our denied rights


    2. We request that the Greek state and government should accept the historical reality of the Cham question.


    3. It should recognize the civil and legal rights of the Albanians evicted from their own territories in 1944-1945, as well as their right as legitimate owners of the property they have been robbed of.

    4. We request that the Greek state and government should allow and make possible the free movement of this population to visit its ancestors’ land.


    5. On February 2, 1943, at Markat (Konispol), the Chameria

    umt was formed Later on, it grew in size and assumed the name of the "Chameria" battalion, composed mamly of partisans from the Chamena province.

     

    6. In the spring of 1944, in the village of Qeramice, Filat, the fourth mixed battalion was set up as part of the 15th regiment of the Greek ELAS, including about 500 members from the Albanian minority of Chameria. Chami’officers led some of these

    formations and their subordinate units.

     

    7. Albanians from the Chameria province took part in all the formations of the Albanian National Liberation Anny.

     

    8. Fighting formations composed of Albanians from the Chami minority fought such battles against the Nazi-fascist occupiers inscribing glorious pages in the history of the Greek and Albanian peoples as:

     


    - The 55 day long battle against German forces in August 1944 m the Konispol region on the border between Greece and Albania.
    • The battles along the Skolim-Filat-Gumenica-Janina line.
    Many Albanians from Chameria shed their blood in these battles, giving their lives on the same trenches as the Greek partisans for their joint liberation. They were, just to mention a few, the hero of the Albanian people Ali Demi, Bido Sejko, Muharrem Myrteza, Ibrahim Halluni, Husejn Vejseli and dozens of others who fell on the Qeramica Pass, in Konispol and in many other battles that were fought at that time.

     

    The attitude adopted by the Greek officials, including the present-day official authonties of Greece, to the effect that the Chami people were collaborators of the Nazi-Fascist occupiers, hence, they were war criminals, negates all this contribution of the Albanians of Chameria, slinging mud at the blood they shed for the liberation of the two, Albanian and Greek, peoples. This Greek accusation which is made in an effort to justify and disguise the truth about the Chami tragedy and the ethnic cleansing against the Albanians of Chameria at the hands of Greek theocratic chauvinism in the 1944-1945 period, does not bear scrutiny, it does not hold as an argument either in time and runs counter to the historical truth. In so doing, the present Greek government becomes an accomplice of the authors of the crime and genocide against an innocent and defenseless population.


    ACTIVE PARTICIPATION

    OF THE ALBANIANS OF CHAMERIA IN THE FIGHT AGAINST THE

    NAZI-FASCIST INVADERS DURING WORLD WAR II - AN

    INCONTESTIBLE HISTORICAL TRUTH

    Chameria and the Chams contributed to the great antttascist war physically, materially and morally; they unreservedly joined total war the occupiers.

     

    1. It were the Chami patriots of Konispol, Filat such as Bido Sejko, Nakije Sejko and Muharrem Demi, Sami Murati from Spatar, Maze Hodo from Koska who, together with other patriots of the Chameria province, called on the people on April 7, 1939 to fight arms in hand against the fascist occupiers by laying ambushes at the Bogaz Pass, at a time when the Greek frontier authorities, under instructions of their government, rejected the request to let the passage of the forces that would fight against the occupiers to both sides of the Greek-Albanian border, with the excuse that they did not want to aggravate relations with fascist Italy.

    2. The appeal for struggle of the Greek government to the Greek citizens, met immediate positive response from the Albanian population of Chameria, who ‘expressed its readiness to line itself up alongside the Greek people in order to cope with the common threat. The Greek government of loanis Metaxa responded to the readiness of the Albanian population to fight with neglect and increasing disbelief. At the meeting on the eve of the declaration of war by fascist Italy with the commander of the 8th division of the Greek army, general Kacimitro, the Chami soldiers asked him for arms to fight the common enemy, for until then they were kept disarmed. In reply to their request, the Chami soldiers were supplied with pickaxes and shovels to open up trenches,thereby treating them as prisoners of war.

    however, though insulted by the attitute of the Greeks, the Albanian population of Chameria committed itself fully on the side of the Anti-Fascist Coalition in order to make its own contribution to the fight against the invaders.

     

    3. In early 1942, an illegal group of anti-fascist resistance was organised at Filat.

    The group also comprised such well- known anti-fascist fighters as Vehip Demi,

    Mustafa Sulo Dauti, Dervish Dojaka, Sami Alushi, Tahir Demi, Muharrem Demi,

    Rexho Huso, Vehip Huso and others.

    4. In March 1943, the Chami fighting unit set up at Filat and a Greek unit formed the first mixed partisan formation, the second fighting formation in Epirus.


    EFFORTS TO INTERNATIONALIZE THE CHAMI ISSUE
    (1944-1947)

    1. By the end of September 1944, at the Shales conference (Konispol), considered at that time the first Congress of the Chami refugees, the Chamis in exile raised their voice calling for cooperation against the occupi&s and the injustice committed by the Greek monarcho-fascists against them.

     

    2. A commission of the Chami Anti-Fascist Council was sent on October 30,

    1944 to Athens to lodge a protest with the Greek government of Mr. Papandreou

    against the Greek massacres in Chameria. The Greek government took no pledge

    or measure.

     

    3. On October 30, 1944, the Chami Anti-fascist Council senf a vote of protest to the government of the Greek National Union, the Mediterranean General Command, the allied governments, the Central Committee of EAM, against the attrocities of the Greek fascists in Chameria.

     

    4. On May 9, 1945, the Chami Anti-fascist Committee sent the Allied Military

    Missions the copy of the telegram addressed to the president of the San

    Francisco Conference as regards the rights of the Chami people under the

    Atlantic Charter.

     

    5. On June 25, 1945, a Telegram of Protest against the massacres in Chameria addressed by the Chami Anti-fascist Committee to the Democratic Government of Albania, the Allied Military Missions (British, American, Soviet, French, Czechoslovak), the Yugoslav Legation, the Albanians in the USA, Italy and Bulgaria.


     

    6. Memorandum to the Allied Foreign Ministers' Conference in London by the delegates to the Chami Congress on September 4, 1945.

     


    7. On September 23, 1945, the Second Chami Congress held in Viora, sent a memorandum to the London Conference, requesting that the Chami issue be taken up for discussion and those who caused the bloodshed be condemned.

     

    8. Telegram to the JJNRRA General Headquarters by the Chami Anti-fascist Council asking relief (September 25, 1945)

     

    9. Aide-memoire to Mr. Hutchinson, Labour deputy (Great Britain on November 26, 1945.



    10. Memorandum to the United Nations Assembly by the Chami Anti-fascist Council on the 11th of January, 1946.
    11. Memorandum to the United Nations Assembly in New York by the Chami Anti-fascist Council on October 25, 1946.
    12. Memorandum by the Anti-fascist Committee of the Chami refugees to the Investigation Commission of the United Nations Security Council on the inhuman treatment of the Albanian minority of Chameria in Greece and the massacre perpetrated against it (Tirana, 1947).


    ANGLO - AMERICAN COMMENTS THAT LIGHT ON THE PERSECUTION

    OF THE CHAMS IN THE YEARS 1944-1945

     

    1. In 1944 the Chams were evicted from Northern Greece by guerilla forces under the command of Gen. Zervas acting under the instructions of Allied officers... It was unfortunately true however that the eviction was carried out in an extremely bloody manner, and in the form of a reprisal...

     

    In March 1945 units of Zervas’ dissolved forces, under a certain officer called Zotos, carried out a ruthless massacre of the Chams in the Philiates area, and practically cleared the area of Albanian(Cham) minority.1)

     

    2. Colonel Chriss Monague Woodhouse, head of the British Military Mission in Greece reported as follows in October 1945:

    "Encouraged by the Allied Mission I headed, Zervas drove the Chams out of their homes in 1944. The majority fled to find shelter in Albania... Their eviction from Greece was carried out with large scale bloodshed. Zervas work was followed with a big scale massacre that cannot be excused among the Philiates Chams in march 1945... The result was eviction of the undesirable Albanian population from their own native land"2)

     

    3. In June 1946, Joseph Jacobs, Head of the U.S. Mission in Albania (1945—1946), writes in his report:


    "According to all information 1 have been able together on the Chams issue, in autumn 1944 and during the first months of 1945, the authorities in north—western Greece perpetrated savage brutality by evicting 25.000 Chatns, residents of Chameria, from their homes, where they had been living for centuries on end, chasing them across the border after having robbed them of their land and property. Most of the young people were killed because the majority of the refugees were old folk, and children"3)

     

    -----------------------------------------------------

     

    1)Documents of the. British Foreign Office No.371/58479/ R 10458

     

    2)Documents of the British Foreign Office ice, No.371/48094/544/R8 564
    3)Documents of the U.S Department of State, No.84/3,Tirana Mis— sion, 1945—1946, 6—646.


    REFUTATION OF MR. MITSOTAXIS STATEMENTS
    BY THE GREEK GENERAL, ZERVAS STATEMENTS


    The statements made by Mr. Mitsotakis and the Greek chauvinistic clan that the Chams were collaborators of the invaders and ordinary criminals, that they were not evicted but left on their own to follow the fate of the invaders in order to escape Greek justice and so on are unfounded. The real aim of these statements is to justify the monstrous crimes and genocide against the Cham population. The violent eviction of the Cham population from its own native land, was a strategy long since worked out and applied by Greek chauvinism. This conclusion is also clearly proved by two statements of Napoleon

    Zervas:

    1. In his letter to one of his collaborators, Jani Dani Popovit, he instructs the latter as follows: "Take upon yourself the task of enlightening our compatriots on who cleared Chameria of the Albanians who had been riding roughshod on Hellenism for five hundred years on end" (See: Spiro Muselimi "Historiqi pripatiana tis Thesprotias", p.8, Salonika, 1976). The letter is dated August 4, 1993.

     

    2. In 1950 when Napoleon Zervas was under medical care in France, he declared: "Even if I die right now, i feel at ease. The task entrusted to me to clear Epirus of the Muslim Chams, has been accomplished". (See: The newspaper "Kombi", No. 13, January 3, 1991).



    ACL - 24 June 2006





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