Prishtina, 17 January 2022
In the 40th anniversary of the murder of Jusuf and Bardhosh Gërvalla and Kadri Zeka, the Prime Minister of the Republic of Kosovo, Albin Kurti, hosted a Commemorative Academy to honour the three prominent activists of the national cause.
Both legally and illegally, whether in Kosovo or diaspora, Jusuf, Kadri and Bardhosh never stopped their national and social activity to join organizations, for the liberation of the country,freedom of people, and justice, welfare and progress of all, Prime Minister said in his speech.
They always criticized and opposed the discrimination and exploitation everywhere, mobilized citizens and compatriots in joint efforts to work, engage and organize for freedom, he added.
Speaking of their activity, Prime Minister stated that Jusuf, Kadri and Bardhosh inspired the workers, students, artists, men and women, young people and the elderly to take action and unite, as they believed in people, believed in their compatriots and how to never detach from them.
“Freedom of Kosovo was embodied in their eternal dream and daily work. The eternal meaning for their everyday deeds that makes the history”, Prime Minister Kurti said.
In this Academy organized in the Red Hall of the Palace of Youth in Prishtina spoke also the President of the Republic of Kosovo, Vjosa Osmani Sadriu, as well as family members of the three activists.
The singer-songwriter, Shpat Deda, and the quartet of bows directed and arranged by Visar Kuçi, interpreted the songs of Jusuf Gërvalla: “Kënga e Bilbilit (Ang. The Song of the Nightingale)” and “Do të kthehem nënë (Ang. Mother, I will come back)”.
Full speech of the Prime Minister Kurti:
Dear President of the Republic of Kosovo, Mrs. Vjosa Osmani Sadriu,
Dear President of the Assembly of the Republic of Kosovo, Mr. Glauk Konjufca,
Dear Gërvalla and Zeka families,
Dear members of the Government Cabinet and Members of the Parliament,
Ladies and gentlemen,
Both legally and illegally, whether in Kosovo or diaspora, Jusuf, Kadri and Bardhosh never stopped their national and social activity to join organizations, for the liberation of the country, freedom of people, justice, welfare and progress of all. They always criticized and opposed discrimination and exploitation everywhere, mobilized citizens and compatriots in joint efforts to work, engage and organize for freedom.
They inspired workers, students, artists, men and women, young people and the elderly, to take action and unite as they believed in their people, believed in their compatriots and how they should never detach from them.
Freedom of Kosovo was embodied in their eternal dream and daily work. The eternal meaning for their everyday deeds that makes the history.
The ability of people that make history lays on the fact that they become aware before us of the moral level of the era when they live, the rule and violence, the occupation and freedom, the corruption of structures but also of opportunities for creation and resistance.
This year marks the 40th anniversary of the murder organized by the Yugoslav secret service – UDB near Stuttgart, Germany, where the leaders of the Albanian National Movement, the heroes Jusuf Gërvalla, Kadri Zeka and Bardhosh Gërvalla, were killed. The assassins – the murderers are still unknown, although the organizer has become known from the beginning – the brutal UDB. When we remember these three martyrs, we become aware that there is no reason for murderous unpunished structures to stop their activity. Also, there is no reason for violence and murder mentality to cease to exist.
The murder of three national heroes Jusuf, Kadri and Bardhosh was a very serious form of homicide in the territory of Europe following the Second World War. It was a political attentat organized by the Yugoslavian state outside its territory, right at the heart of the European consciousness. These three heroes constituted the backbone of the Albanian National Movement organized outside the Republic of Albania. It was clear to this “consciousness” that the Yugoslavian state was mainly led by the Serbian UDB.
UDB, the core of Yugoslavia, realized that Albanians were thinking as being a state: students protest in 1981 that turned into a popular uprising throughout the Albanian-inhabited lands in the former Yugoslavia would create a new potential for freedom.
The unification of all illegal national political groups in Kosovo and throughout all Albanian lands in the former Yugoslavia into a single national movement with extraordinary political, professional and economic potential, unknown until then, was a result of a new spirit of the National Movement. The unification of intelligence and resistance is what scares the regime.
The extent of the organization of protests with diaspora to the foreign democratic territories, mainly in the Western, informing the same of the oppression of the Albanians in Yugoslavia’s allegedly “liberal” Yugoslavia debunked the tale of self-governing democracy and brotherhood-unity between people. In this case, the Albanian diaspora, a hitherto safe source of remittances for the Yugoslavian economy, was turning into a dangerous anti-Yugoslav force. Having its political, economic and intellectual potential, it would guarantee the organization of the liberation war in Kosovo in 1998 and 1999.
This is the line that unites our thoughts when we gather to commemorate these heroes. They had to be eliminated by the UDB, even at the heart of the Europe, because they were not simply calling for a Republic, but were elaborating on its enabling lines. They were acting in the perspective of the total organization of the Albanian state-building: state-building is the ability to elaborate on all dimensions of freedom.
The fact that the Yugoslavian UDB had identified this unification of the Albanian patriotic potential into a National Albanian Movement as greatest danger following the Second World War, in addition to the mass imprisonment of thousands of patriotic women and men, girls and boys, is also supported by the numerous murders of the Albanian patriots, members of the National Albanian Movement who had embraced this spirit of unity and initiated a political – military organization, such as Rexhep Mala and Nuhi Berisha, Bajram Bahtiri, Zijah Shemsiu, etc.
The murder of the heroes Jusuf, Kadri and Bardhosh was the heaviest blow against the National Albanian Movement at the core of its establishment, at the initiative of unification. However, the embraced spirit of political and patriotic unification forged by Jusuf, Kadri and Bardhosh since 1982 has followed all the main political and military organizations of Albanians in the former Yugoslavia, until the last KLA-led Kosovo Liberation War.
Dear participants, allow me to express another feeling. I believe that we here share the whole idea that state-building is complete liberation. It is about the idea of state-building or the virtue of state-building that arises in each of us. The virtue of state-building is the relationship that must be worked on between the social and civil vector and the national and political vector. When we remember a hero, we do not honour the moment of death as a liberator, but that of life as liberating state-builder.
At every step of the history, we had to do three actions at once. To be liberated at the price of sacrifice, to build at the price of sacrifice and to create, again, at the price of sacrifice.
Therefore, when we gather in to commemorate a personality, we need, among other things, to understand how liberation, building and creation are intertwined in the life of the personality we commemorate. This time we gathered to commemorate someone who has left traces. And not only for ourselves. When we commemorate heroes, we are obliged to make a comparison of our times with the times of occupation. We are here today to commemorate Jusuf Gërvalla, his friend Kadri Zeka, and his brother Bardhosh Gërvalla. The tribe and political society are entangled in this trio of heroes. But the civil and political aspect are deeply entangled in Jusuf.
Let me present the first momentum of Jusuf. He has organized more than 150 interviews on names, events and topics…related to what? Related to art. I do not believe that in today’s conditions of freedom there are journalists of art who have made such a number of interviews on the topic of creativity. So, I can honestly say that Jusuf Gërvalla, just for the sake of the landscape he provides us, represents a magical state-builder. He did not militate for freedom, but for qualified freedom.
A great tracker of topics and events, he turns right there into the chronicle of the time of making. When you start reading his journalism, you have the opportunity to live the then days and facts: to see the beginning and retrieval, talents being born and styles emerging. From minimum to pompous events; from childish topics to the definition of the relationship between inspiration and technique in creativity; and from tradition to the role of technological transformations and others. This is where the sociological plane of the city is completed. And we understand that even in the conditions of occupation we have had for decades the great scene of the city as the scene of existence that is full of quality. Thanks to Jusuf, we come to the understanding that man never completely loses his freedom. This is the second perspective of Jusuf Gërvalla as state-builder. An extent of social profitability that removes the empty pledge even at the conditions of occupation.
However, a state builder feels that he cannot only be the microphone on the stage: he also should be the speaker, even if for a while, whether at a torrential pace or at a varied form. Music, prose and poetry. Life must be filled vertically in the chronicle and horizontally in creativity. Journalist and creator. Jusuf performs both these two dimensions of the work, two directions of state-building, with great ease. Our hero reveals us that we have had the feeling of state-building since the beginning, but we did not know how to point it out, make it happen and elevate in our subsequent actions.
And this is best achieved in his poetry. Addressing the poetics of the village, he perfects the landscape of heritage, as only in the aspect of the heritage, the civilian may become political. The state-building dimension of the poet lies herein. The poet passingly mentions the extreme nature of the truth. He writes for the grandfather, brother, and friend. In his 39s, always engaged in creation and chronicle, literature and music, he could not waste time. He had learned from his grandfather the irreversible rhythm of his life and that of his friends. Grandfather, as Jusuf tells us:
“Puts the watch slowly and quietly between the hands, and raises it
Does everyone know that a man has his own watch?”
Dear participants in this commemorative event,
Murder is not the end, but it leads to the meaning. When you read Jusuf’s works, whether interviews, articles, journalism, prose or poetry, or when listens to his music, you become aware of something. He had rhythm in his blood and tempo in his veins. The chronicle has the periodic rhythm, the journalism has the rhythm of the problem, the poetry has the rhythm of the verse, and music is tempo in verse and mass. This what the man should embrace in the rhythm of his life mass. Jusuf did not stop, but he was stopped.
And when an individual carries within himself a combination of liberation, building and creation, only the violence and terror of the occupation should stop him. The state-building must maintain its pace in the conditions of occupation. This resembles the metaphysics and ethics of Jusuf Gërvalla. The rhythm of the living must be conceived in the conditions of occupation. I will quote another verse from Jusuf’s work:
“There is ground underfoot everywhere, yet sky above nowhere
The path from my house to the bed was great as the world itself”.
If we only had a little bit of clarity of freedom under occupation, we would embrace the poet’s motto: the whole world lies between the grandfather and the European city. Jusuf has passed this path to knowledge and qualification of activities within the time and at the tempo of every day. Whoever rises with the superior responsibility to make a world within one day, it is both a poet and a state-builder.
However, let us mention more openly the state-building dimension of the trio. Friend tandem and brother tandem. This is the strongest trio, the knot which the occupation regime stroke to death. But when tandems are created, it is difficult for the occupation regime to stop the echo. When trios of friends aiming freedom are created, it is impossible to stop the urges. “Three fell and thousands rose” was the then title.
We still see the scene as written by the Kadare’s pen under the narration of Suzan. Over that whiteness in the middle of the night, the family started to gather around the vehicle carrying the three friends. This is where the belief for and swear to thread of state-building were given rise. And Donika, his daughter, your minister, my Deputy Prime Minister, is here. The state-building has its pace and tempo. I consider the trio Jusuf, Kadri and Bardhosh as the trio of martyrs for the freedom of state-building.
Liberators are state-builders and state-builders in every era are liberators. The fight for freedom resembles the fastest learning and deed for state-building. In the quarter of a century of the war of Gjon Kastriot Skanderbeg we have the first records of sate-building. We need to popularize the possible chronicles. Today, the January 17th, more than five centuries have passed since the death of Skanderbeg. Four decades have passed since the death of the three friends, as long as they lived. State-builders are always there. Another quote:
I create it in my head,
with my hands,
and walk the planet.
I need to go where I can find you.
Jusuf Gërvalla, friend of Kadri Zeka and brother of Bardhosh.