When Albanian Children Suffocated – Book Review


A Book review on Hazir Mehmeti’s “Poisoned Spring”

In the spring of 1990, the mass poisoning of Albanian children by the Serbian regime would take place in Kosovo. Unfortunately, 4-years-old children were also poisoned. They were not guilty of anything other than being Albanians. The Serbian criminals thus killed the family and life of innocent people.

Today, talking 30 years latter about that tragic day, we have the right to state that this barbaric act committed by the Serbian regime was a crime against humanity against the Albanian population in Kosovo. Such a serious tragedy against the lives of Albanian children had never happened in civilized Europe. The Serbian doctrine on the extermination of Albanians, which had the sole aim of expelling the souls of children from their lands, could not eliminate the Albanian blood. The use of toxic gases to extinguish the lives of students in Albanian schools was an open and anti-human genocide with the aim of intimidating the Albanian nation.

To commemorate such a barbaric act, we already have before us an eye witness, Mr. Hazir Mehmeti who saw and lived, and even kept a diary about the poisoned Albanian spring. Dear friends, you will not be surprised that the diary of Hazir Mehmeti “buried” in 1997 by Prof. Bedri Shyti was “unearthed” after the war in Kosova in 1999 when Kosova gained its freedom. Inside that “tomb” under the soil of Vushtrri Village were hidden the documentary facts, the signs and traces that aimed to sow the death of Albanian elementary school students. Perhaps no army in the world could wage poison battles against children, except the Serbian forces in the 20th century. Although the government of Belgrade blocked the entry of foreign doctors and journalists into Kosovo, this book has powerful arguments from the world press and well-known doctors, who supplemented with reliable documented facts the poisoning of Albanian children without hiding such a serious crime against a pro-European people.  

Protecting children was not only a humanitarian task but a mission of every Albanian doctor, teacher, intellectual or ordinary citizen. A serious event had occurred, a tragedy, like other tragedies orchestrated by the Serbian regime fueled by hatred against a freedom-loving people. Foreign institutions that deal with the protection of childrens’ rights in the world should be informed with concrete, reliable information, with ordinary numbers, with the real names of children poisoned in Kosovo. This would be a setting for literary art, or theater, if Albanian screenwriters and directors would prepare an original documentary to compete in Europe and beyond, showing to the whole world what happened in Kosovo. While there was talk of an “acting” of Albanian children poisoned by Serbian politics, time proved that it was the Serbs themselves who threw the poisonous sarin powder into the schools, a chemical weapon left over from the war, in Serbian military bases.  The streets of Kosovo could hear the cries of Albanian children who were not accepted in hospitals, while parents, teachers and brave people were holding in their torsos the poisoned students in trying to save their lives.

We already have in this book terrible evidence of Serbian violence and misery, described by the author of this book, Hazir Mehmeti himself, who has experienced a painful reality of the struggle for life that Albanians had to do especially to protect innocent children. We have here a man who saw with his own eyes and experienced the violence of the Serbian forces, who mistreated him but could not kill his spirit. We have names preserved and extracted from the “living” diary where it was written in black on white paper about the darkest history of the Serbian regime against the martyred children of Kosovo.

Today, we have over 8,000 Albanian students and children with first and last names whose death is announced before all children of the world; the truth of poisoning with the aim of punishing a generation, when their ancestors had fought for centuries for freedom and have shed a lot of blood. I am very shocked by this great horror against the children of Kosovo. I have had the fortune to read other books by Mr. Hazir Mehmeti, but this book is the masterpiece of a creator who was a direct eye witness in this violent story of Serbian barbarians against the young blood of children, against the future, against life. Today we have on the lists of the poisoned, many girls named Liridona, Pranvera, Lirije and boys named Liridon, Ilir, Kushtrim that were poisoned by Serbian forces. Such facts would serve human justice as facts against those barbarians who violated the innocence of Albanian students and babies.

Such horrendous facts would serve for the younger generations to become familiar with the history of the resistance of the Albanian people of Kosova. This book titled “Poisoned Spring” is a work with humane values, with a great power of patriotism and heroism in the name of freedom and life.  30 years later, this serious event comes as an expression of the deepest archival documentation of the tragic genocide of the poisoning of students and Albanians of Kosova in a complete work written by Hazir Mehmeti, a well-known author and scholar of Albanian letters.

Dear Mr. Hazir Mehmeti

You have performed an exemplary act of patriotism in the preparation of the book: “Poisoned Spring”. You held the Albanian students in your arms to save their lives. You have served well to Kosova and the Albanian people with this documentary work so that the new generations know the history of their nation. Thank you very much.   

Violeta Allmuca

Violeta Allmuça, is a renowned Albanian writer, she was born in Dibër, Albania. Studied at the University of Tirana and graduated in 1991. She is a poet, journalist, author and literary critic. She is the author of four novels, two volumes of poetry and a book with essays on Kosovo published in English and Italian in 1999. The poems of Violeta Allmuça are published in various international magazines in Italian and English languages.

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