Albanian war criminal Aćif Hadziahmetović (1887-1945) -

Period: Second World War

Region: Serbia

Albanian war criminal Aćif Hadziahmetović (1887-1945)

Aćif Hadziahmetović (1887-1945) was an Albanian politician, emigrant, and war criminal loyal to Wehrmacht during World War II.

He enjoyed a great reputation among the Muslim and Albanian population in Stari Ras and Kosovo and Metohija, and his nicknames were "Aćif Bljuta" and "Aćif Effendi".

During the period between the two world wars, he was politically active as a member of the Xhemijet party, which was banned by the authorities of the Kingdom of Serbs, Croats, and Slovenes in the mid-1920s because of its chauvinistic ideas and irredentist plans. He was also the mayor of Novi Pazar and a representative in the National Assembly in Belgrade.

As Hitler and Mussolini carried out the aggression and dismemberment of the Yugoslav kingdom in the spring of 1941, Aćif Effendi welcomed the occupiers in Novi Pazar on April 16. In the following years, Aćif became the leader of Muslim-Albanian extremists who had plans to exterminate Serbs from the southern and southeastern parts of the Kingdom of Yugoslavia.

During 1943-1944, Hadziahmetović was the regional representative of Kosovska Mitrovica in the Parliament of fascist Albania, and also a member of the 2nd Prizren League of the pro-Nazi organization that managed the so-called National Front (alb. Balli Kombëtar).

Due to his contribution to the German war efforts, he was awarded the Order of the Iron Cross, which was considered the highest recognition in the Wehrmacht, awarded to all their loyal collaborators and helpers.

When Partisan units entered Novi Pazar at the end of 1944, Aćif Hadžiahmetović was arrested. On February 21 of the following year, he was publicly executed for cooperating with the occupiers and the crime of genocide.
A memorial plaque to him was unveiled in Novi Pazar in 2014.



Gorazdevac * March pogrom * April war * Kosovo's Spring * Plav end Gusinje

Radonjic's Lake * Pub Panda * Klecka * Mirovica's Marketplace * Bloody harvest

Bus of Livadice * Urosevac *


Likovac * Lapusnik * Kukesh * Yellow house * Plav * Balbaloc


Branka Vasojevka * Baby of Grace * Danilo Milincic * Djordje Martinovic

Hariton Lukic * Shutakovic * Bosiljka Pasjanska * Srdjan Perovic

Ivan Bulatovic *


Ramush Haradinaj * Hasim Thaci * Adem Jashari * Agim Ramadani

Bedri Pejani * Shefket Verlaci * Midhat Frasheri * Mehmed Gradica

Skenderbeg Division * Prizren's League * Bali Kombetar * Agim Ceku

Rustem Mustafa * Kadri Veselji * Kujtim Berisha * Sulejman Selimi

Sali B. * Ibrahim Rugova * Enver Hodza * Redzep Majdani * Petro Koci

Ljuan Hajdraga * Mustafa Kruja


Eyes of Patriarch * Empty house * Mother Ilaria * Abducation Kosovo

Dick Marty * Albanization Serbs * Without punishment *



Aćif Hadžiahmetović was born in Novi Pazar in 1887. At that time, as part of the Ottoman Empire, it was the center of the eponymous sanjak (province) where feudal relations ruled, and Turkish agas and pashas exerted power.

Origin and education

His father was Emin-aga Bljuta, and Aćif himself took the surname of his grandfather Ahmet, who was a Muslim pilgrim - hajji.

Aćif's family moved to Novi Pazar from the area of western Metohija, vicinity of Gjakova, at the foot of Prokletije mountain range.

He finished lower high school in Novi Pazar, and later got a job as a court clerk and secretary to the magistrate of the Municipality of Vushtrri. He spoke Albanian, Turkish, and Serbian fluently.

Career and exile

Aćif successfully completed a Military Academy in Bitola, so he received the rank of captain. He was quickly appointed commander of a Turkish troop with which he fought in the Balkan Wars (1912-1913) on the side of the Ottoman Empire.

After the Army of the Kingdom of Serbia defeated the Turks and liberated Novi Pazar, Aćif Hadziahmetović fled to Turkey (Asia Minor).

He remained in exile until 1920 when he returned to his hometown.


He married a girl named Mahija, but they did not have children of their own. They adopted two orphans, a boy, Camil, and a girl Mejrem from Gjakovica.

Young Aćif with his father

Politics and the interwar period

After returning to his homeland, he became a member of the Xhemijet  party. It was a Muslim-Albanian political party that gathered the Islamic population from the territory of the Kingdom of Serbs, Croats, and Slovenes. Their goal was to create the so-called Greater Albania and overthrow the Serbian monarchy.

Aćif was appointed mayor of Novi Pazar, and he also became an MP in Belgrade, as a representative of the Raška region in 1923.

Aćif with friends

As early as 1924, the Xhemijet party was banned due to extremism and separatism, and its leader Ferhat-beg Draga was sentenced to 20 years in prison.

Aćif Hadziahmetović himself survived two assassinations.



In April 1939, the leader of fascist Italy invaded the Kingdom of Albania and placed it under his protectorate. The following year, the Triple Pact was created in Berlin, which included Germany, Italy, and Japan. Their goal was to reshape the world and eliminate "unsuitable" people. In April 1941, the Kingdom of Yugoslavia found itself in a hostile environment, except for Greece.

Invasion on Yugoslav kingdom, April 1941.

In "Operation 25", when the Axis Powers carried out the aggression and dismemberment of the Yugoslav kingdom, Albanians also took part in its southern and south-eastern parts.

On April 16, 1941, just ten days after the beginning of the invasion, Aćif Effendi welcomed the occupying soldiers in Novi Pazar, who were led by General Friedrich G. Eberhard (commander of the 60th Motorized Division of the Wehrmacht). It was the German occupation forces that appointed him mayor of Novi Pazar.

Aćif Effendi put together a board of directors consisting of 11 members, all of whom were Albanians. He also formed the gendarmerie, an armed formation composed exclusively of Albanian-Muslim people who wore Nazi insignia and fought as loyal Hitler subjects for the interests of the Third Reich.

Novi Pazar was part of the so-called Greater Albania, a fascist entity that worked on the extermination of Serbs, Jews and Roma during 1941-1944, that is, committed genocide against the non-Albanian population.

Aćif Effendi was the bearer of unprecedented terror and pogrom of Serbs from those in the Raška area and Kosovo and Metohija. This included robberies, rapes, mass murders, arson, desecration of Orthodox churches, etc. He worked closely with Shaban Poluza, who was also a war criminal from the Glogovac area. The two were responsible for the monstrous massacre in Ibarski Kolašin in September 1941, when more than 150 Serbs were killed. They had several skirmishes with Serbian guerrilla detachments (more Chetnik, less partisan).

Albanians loyal to Hitler: Balli Kombëtar

In order to intimidate the Serbian people, Aćif Effendi ordered public gallows to be erected, one in Novi Pazar, but also in Stavnički Suvodol. He briefly had conflicts with Muslims from Stari Ras because he wanted it to be albanianized, but they resisted. He also worked on the annexation of the so-called Sjenica, Štavička, and Deževo districts to greater Albania. At a gathering in front of the crowd in Novi Pazar, Aćif stated:

"There are three million Albanians behind us, Novi Pazar is the center of Albania and we will create a Greater Albania."

He enjoyed the support of Hodja Ramiz Paljevac, as well as Ejup Ljajuc, Osman Djenefendić. They helped him carry out his morbid plans. Insiders stated that he had sent his armed detachments to eastern Bosnia, the Višegrad area.
From 1943, Aćif Effendi was a member of the second so-called Prizren League, a political body that had its own paramilitary detachments: Balli Kombëtar (Albanian: National Front).

Later, the Albanian 21st SS Division was founded.

When Kosovska Mitrovica was annexed by the so-called Greater Albania, Aćif Effendi, as a regional representative went to the parliament in Tirana (Albania), together with Shaban Poluzha, Hussein Husseini, and Ferhat Abdi.

Besides persecuting Serbs, Hadziahmetović also put Jews on the list for execution. In the spring of 1942, all 220 Jews from Novi Pazar were arrested in a large raid and taken under guard to Srem, where the Nazi concentration camp Sajmište was located, from where no one returned alive.

He was decorated by the Wehrmacht Command with the Order of the Iron Cross, for his contribution to German war goals.



In the summer of 1944, Nazi Germany suffered defeats on all fronts. The Red Army managed to expel Wehrmacht from the Soviet Union and continued the march to Berlin. They entered Romania, Bulgaria, and Yugoslavia with their army, where they helped Yugoslav partisans. They also lost the battle for France on the Western Front.

In November 1944, Partisan units entered Novi Pazar after fighting with the remaining German units, and after Allied planes (American and English) had bombed this city terribly.

Aćif Hadziahmetović was arrested very quickly, and sentenced to death before a military court for collaboration with occupiers and for participating in the genocide. In the Novi Pazar district alone, he was responsible for the death of at least 7,000 Serbs.

He was publicly shot on January 21, 1945, in Novi Pazar.



Glina's church * The April war * Draginac * Kraljevo * Kragujevac * Piva

Kozara massacre * Village Velika * Blazevo * Veljun* Bombing Belgrade

 Draksenic * Garavice * Drakulic * Koricka's pit * Kusonje * Ostrozin * Kriva Reka

Stari Brod * Backa's pogrom * Kikinda * Panchevo *


Ante Pavelic * Alojzije Stepinac * Mile Budak * Vjekoslav Luburic * Mirko Puk

Miroslav Majstorovic * Viktor Gutic * Dinko Sakic * Josef Janko * Kruno Draganovic

Boris III * Asen Nikolov * Bogdan Filov * Vasil Bojdev * Nikola Mihov * Gabrovski

Laslo Bardosi * Miklos Horty * Ferenc Fischer * Henrik Vert * Shandor Kepiro

Mustafa Kruja * Shaban Poluza * Mithat Frasheri * Mehmet Gradica * Acif Efendija

Bedri Pejani * Xhafer Deva * Shefket Verlaci


Barracs on Sava * Beisfjord * Karasjok * Jadovno - Gospic - Pag * Dachau

Barcs * Banjica * Jastrebarsko * Botn * Stara Gradiska * Jasenovac

Kruscica * Kerestinec * Crveni Krst * Plav * Kosovska Mitrovica


Vukasin Mandrapa * Sava Trlajic * Petar Zimonjic * Damjan Shtrbac

Dositej Vasic * Marko Boskovic * Ljuban Jednak * Marija Pocuca * Milan Bastasic

Petra Cvijanovic * Platon Jovanovic * Sava Shumanovic * Vojislav Vuckovic


Dara of Jasenovac * Irod's sons * Angel's in fire * Radio sam svoj seljacki posao

Magnum crimen * Black book * Fratars and Ustasha's slaughter * Jedenje Bogova

Return from the dead * Bloody wheel in Herzegovina * Bloody Fairytale




At the beginning of the 21st century, the Muslim population started the process of rehabilitating Aćif Effendi. Among the political representatives of Muslims in Serbia, Muamer Zukorlić stood out and said he was a hero for Raška Muslims. The paradox is that Aćif was an ethnic Albanian, and during the Second World War, he albanianized Muslims in the Raška area. He even killed several of them because they opposed his ideas.

On August 3, 2012, a memorial plaque dedicated to Aćif Effendi was unveiled in Novi Pazar. Certain ministers in the Government of the Republic of Serbia, such as Ivica Dačić and the President of the Muslim National Council Sulejman Ugljanin, as well as Mayor Ahmedin Skrijelj, also attended the event.

The Ministry of Justice of the Republic of Serbia ordered the local government to remove the disputed board.

At the matches of the local football club, motifs (flags and banners) with the image of Aqif Effendi can often be seen in the stands. The paradox is that he has the status of a war criminal.


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