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Ethnic Albanian extremists burning books in Serbian language
December 15, 1999

Barbarians burn books
Barbarians burn books
Pristina, December 15th - After the arrival of international KFor forces in Kosovo and Metohija, all workers of Serbian nationality have been driven out of the National University library "Ivo Andric" in Pristina and Serbs are now disabled even to enter the largest "temple of books" in Kosovo, says the manager of the library Jordan Ristic.

Stressing his great concern for the destiny of the entire literal fund in the Serbia's southern province, Ristic said that, according to the eye witnesses, in some cases ethnic Albanian barbarians massively burnt, destroyed or threw away books in the bare eyes of KFor.

Ethnic Albanian extremists have also set on fire the City library in Pristina, which had been the richest library in the entire province, containing some 400.000 units of the literal fund. According to Ristic, besides the books in Serbian language, the fire most probably destroyed books in Albanian, Turkish and languages of the other ethnic groups, an act suitable to the barbarian behavior of the ethnic Albanian extremists.

No certain information cannot yet be learnt about what actually happened with some million of books that were kept in the National University library in Pristina, nor the communication with those who entered its offices after driving out of Serbs can be achieved, Ristic said.

The library was a specific cultural center in which more than hundred events were annually taking place, including music concerts, painting exhibits, book fairs and national gatherings in which participated prominent personalities from the country and abroad. Before the Kosovo Albanians have, under the pressure of their terrorist leaders, excluded them selves from the public life in the province, all the significant events in Albanian language were taking place at the library as well.

Nothing is also known weather the literal funds of the Faculties in Pristina are preserved or not and what condition are they now in, Ristic said and added that Serbs driven out from some places in Kosovo and Metohija personally told him that they've seen how Albanians were throwing the books out from the Serbian houses and burning them publicly in the streets.

It was also confirmed that ethnic Albanian terrorists have destroyed all the private, home libraries, specially the collections of prominent Serbian authors such as Radoslav Zlatanovic, Darinka Jervic, Petar Saric and prof. Dr. Slobodan Kostic.

A private library of director Ristic, containing more than 4.500 books, which was one of the most valuable individual collections in Kosovo and Metohija, was also destroyed. Ristic, whom Albanians have driven out of his apartment threatening him with death, testified that "the third generation of tenets" that moved in his apartment said to him over the phone that "nothing is left out of his library except the parquet".

Destiny of books from the libraries of the Prizren county, where from Serbs have been completely "cleansed", is specially uncertain, such as the library of the Prizren seminary, which was one of the richest spiritual archives of the county. According to Serb witnesses fled from Prizren, the Seminary buildings were looted and partly burnt so the destiny of books can only be assumed.

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