The Father of Bajram Tells

In 1998 we saw on TV what has been done at that time to the Albanians here, in Kosovo. The first offensive of the Serbian army in Shala led straight to deaths and expulsions in our neighbouring villages as well. Bajram was then 16 and was desperate to join the nely found army, the UCK. He said he wants to defend the people in our region against the assaults of the Serbian police and soldiers.

Because of his age though, the UCK didn’t accept Bajram as soldier. When he left high school in order to participate in the training of the UCK, he had about an year more ahead until graduation. In this way he was still not a member of the army, but he prepared for that, he was a scout, scrubbed for the soldiers or transported ammunition to their positions near our village of Bajgora.

On 1. January 1999 Bajram celebrated his 17th birthday. He obtained an UCK uniform and a gun and, being a regular soldier of the UCK, was deployed at first near Bajgora and then also further away.

On 2. May the Serbian army, together with the Serbian police and paramilitary units, started the second big offensive. Bajram got killed in Kodra where he kept watch. Serbian units attacked from three sides the site where he stayed. He defended himself three-quarters of an hour with his gun until he remained without ammunition. One tank approached from behind.

The bullet hit Bajram in the head; nevertheless he must have been still alive. Our soldiers carried him few hundred meters away, to a tractor on which they were collecting the dead. Later they buried all of them together in Subotok. After the war we obtained the possibility to identify the corpses. On that they there were six young soldiers of the UCK.

After finishing school, Bajram absolutely wanted to study. He was a good pupil. Today we unfortunately don’t know what he actually wanted to study. He never talked about that. He was a rather introvert person.

Bajrams’ grave is in Shipol and his family today lives in Bajgora. At the wall of their living room there is a big photograph which shows Bajram in a UCK uniform with a Kalashnikov. The face of Bajram was taken from another photograph and mounted in this one.