Surroi supports the renovation of Xhafer Deva’s house: A building cannot carry the sins of its owner

„Why Xhafer Deva’s house should be renovated. This is the title of the text and the lack of a question mark in it is not a mistake. The title in this case is a sentence of explanation, not a question. So, the title belongs to the text that should explain my support for the joint project of the Ministry of Culture, the Municipality of South Mitrovica and the UNDP for the renovation of the building built in 1930 by its owner, Xhafer Deva. So there is no dilemma: I fully support this project“, wrote in Koha’s OP ED the famous publicist earlier this week.

In his op-ed, Surroi stated that the project, which he fully supports, should continue.

„It is a project of renovating the architectural value of a public building in Mitrovica, in order to satisfy the cultural needs of Mitrovica and its wider district – among other things, by creating a gallery of visual arts,“ Surroi said.

He added that the building was erected by the family of Xhafer Deva in 1930 and that it was owned by them until 1945 when it became a public building.

„A building whose owner changed immediately after World War II cannot carry the sins of its first owner,“ Surroi emphasized.

In his words, a misconception has been created that this project is about renovating the house of Xhafer Deva, i.e. glorifying his character.

According to him, this is exactly where the German ambassador in Pristina, who expressed concern over the restoration of the house of Xhafer Deva, and described him as „a famous Nazi collaborator/member of the infamous SS Skanderbeg Division,“ is wrong.

Surroi reminded the ambassador that the German Ministry of Foreign Affairs is situated in a building that used to house the Central Bank of the Reich, and then the Central Committee of the Communist Party.

“The fact that decisions were made in the offices and halls of that building against human rights, the dignity of German citizens, and those who had to protect the interests of the ‘dictatorship of the proletariat’ did not prevent the united German government from establishing one of the most important ministries in the world there. From this point of view, it is even a good thing for the house that once belonged to Xhafer Deva be turned into a cultural center in Mitrovica,“ Surroi said.

Surroi says that „the mistake in the definition – ‘homeowner'“ served only as a „catalyst to bring to light the problem of critical historiography in Kosovo, i.e. the memory culture“.

„In the absence of a critical historical assessment, based on credible documents available today from London to Berlin and Rome, Xhafer Deva’s character is circulating on social media as equally important to Western democracies. The problem with this story is that it encounters the first inconsistency: being an exemplary collaborator of Nazism and at the same time an exemplary Western Democrat does not work,“ Surroi said.

In this text, as well as in his previous tweet, Veton Surroi reminded of the scene when Xhafer Deva walked through Podujevo with the Chetnik Kosta Pecanac.

In early February, the announcement of the initiation of the restoration works on Xhafer Deva’s house in South Mitrovica caught the attention of the public and media, both in Kosovo and Serbia, as well as in the region and beyond.

The project, which was supposed to be implemented by the Kosovo Ministry of Culture along with the EU and UNDP, has since been canceled, after several parties, including the German ambassador to Kosovo and the EU rapporteur for Kosovo, highlighted Xhafer Deva’s role as a Nazi collaborator.

The decision was met with dissatisfaction from part of the Kosovan public, which also criticized the German ambassador. Despite the project cancellation, the Kosovo Minister announced that he will not give up on the restoration as Kosovo has enough money for it, but that the work must continue with international partners.

Read more:


Hasani: Deva is a Nazi collaborator; Rohde is right; Ceku’s reaction was pathetic

The head of Simon Wiesenthal proud of helping stop the restoration of Xhafer Deva’s house

Ceku: We won’t give up on the restoration of Xhafer Deva’s house, the false narrative came from Serbia

UNDP and the EU put on hold the restoration of Xhafer Deva’s house

Pacolli: Deva protected the Jews; an avalanche of negative reactions to the statement of the German ambassador

German ambassador on Xhafer Deva’s house restoration: This is memory culture the wrong way

The EU and UNDP concerned over the controversy surrounding Xhafer Deva’s house and are working on alternatives

The case of the house of Xhafer Deva – Cultural heritage of Mitrovica as a Driver for Intercommunity Dialogu



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