Statement of Nisim Navonovic

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NISIM NAVONOVIC, born in 1922. In Pristina, from father Gavra and mother Estera, Jew by nationality, FNRJ citizen, married, permanent residence in Pristina, Bitoljska street number 5. At the request of authorities of Internal Affairs in Pristine to say what I know about arrests, persecutions, internment and execution of Jews, I give the following


During the war, just after the German arrival in Pristina, all Jews were ordered to wear yellow ribbons , forbidden to go to public places and all men up from 18 were sent to forced labor. They were interned to Albania – Berat and Elbasan, I don’t remember the exact date, and that was on initiative of Sukri Beg, Ilijaz Agusi, Vezeli sadik, Dzemal beg, Rusid Beg, Sesivar N., Maljes Kosov, Zenel Barjaktar and National Albanian Committee. There were, in 1941, in Pristina, Jewish refugees from Belgrade, Poland and Austria, who came to Pristina running away from Germans. This refugee group counted about 400 Jews. As soon as Germans arrived in Pristina, they interned all of them to unknown direction and it must be that they were executed because none of them ever came back.

500 Jews from Pristina were interned to Albania. Their property was robbed. They were in Albania till Italian capitulation in 1943, when majority of Jews came back to Pristina. In May 1944. Germans interned all of them to Sajmiste in Belgrade and from there to Bergen Belsen.

I know that 80% of interned Jews from Pristina never came back. Many of them died of starvation, beatings, illnesses and a number of them was shot. In Pristina Muson Aser and Solomon Aser, father and son, were shot. In the time we were in Albania, David Mandil was shot and Balists slaughtered Niko Bohor. Baruh Baruh and Zaki Ruben died in partisans in Albania. At Sajmiste, in Belgrade, Jusef Bivas, Inta Judic and Gizela Levi were shot.

As far as I remember, the interment of Jews from Pristina was carried out by Handzar division – SS unit composed of Muslims from Bosnia. I don’t remember any name of an officer or a soldier from that division. I know that Albanian policemen escorted our train to Kosovska Mitrovica from where the members of DM escorted us to Sajmiste. One of DM members was Peric Dusan from Pristina, now employed as an engineer in the Machinery factory “14.October” in Krusevac.

My father was considered as a wealthy man, so as soon as Germans came, Albanian fascists robbed all our property and interned us to Elbasan in Albania. For some time, as a member of underground, I performed in Pristina tasks which some party leaders were giving my group. In that group, besides us who were Jews, were ti Shiptars from Pristina _ Feta I Djemalj. Feta now works as a clerk in the Market Department in Pristina, and Djemalj works as leather craftsman in his own shop. I suppose *** betrayed me, because during my arrestment about eight Albanian policemen looked for my name in the list they carried with them. They were forcing me to reveal my underground group. I spent a month in a jail and when I was paroled from prison I was asked to give the photograph of my whole family. In the meantime, my whole family was interned to Elseban, where I already was. After the liberation of our country I came back to Pristina. In Pristina my grandfather was killed in jail.

I don’t have anything else to say, because I no longer remember many things.


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