Wiesenthal Center Urges European Union to Cancel Project to Turn Former Home of Albanian Nazi Collaborator into Cultural Center

February 8, 2022

Jerusalem - The Simon Wiesenthal Center appealed late yesterday to the European Union to cancel its project (together with the United Nations Development Programme-UNDP) to turn the former residence of notorious Albanian Nazi collaborator Xhafer Deva in Mitrovica, Kosovo, into a regional cultural center.

In a letter sent by its Director of Eastern European Affairs, Holocaust historian Dr. Efraim Zuroff to Ambassador Dimiter Tzantchev, Head of the Delegation of the European Union to the State of Israel, the Center noted that Deva had played a prominent role in the Nazi occupation of parts of Serbia and in recruiting Albanians to serve in the Waffen-S.S.

According to Zuroff: 

“Deva played an active role in the fight against the ant-Nazi Serbian and Albanian partisans, as well as in the persecution and deportation to the Sajmiste concentration camp of hundreds of Jews. In addition, as Minister of the Interior in the collaborationist government of Rexhep Mitrovica, he was responsible for the persecution and murder of numerous Serbs.

Deva is a symbol of the collaboration of Albanians with the Nazis and the role they played in crimes against Serbs and Jews. Such a person should not be honored, nor should his residence be converted into a regional cultural center, when his deeds symbolize an extremist genocidal ideology.”

For additional information please contact the Israel Office of the Wiesenthal Center: Tel: 972-2-563-1274 or Tel: 972-50-721-4156, follow the Center on Facebook, or @simonwiesenthal and @EZuroff for news updates sent directly to your Twitter feed.

The Simon Wiesenthal Center is one of the largest international Jewish human rights organizations with over 400,000 member families in the United States. It is an NGO at international agencies including the United Nations, UNESCO, the OSCE, the OAS, the Council of Europe and the Latin American Parliament (Parlatino).

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