Despite the extensive analysis of the historical, political and legal background of many Balkan conflicts in recent years, little attention has been paid to the tragedy of the Cham ethnic community. In 1913 the territories inhabited by almost half of the Albanian population were exempted from the boundaries of the new state of Albania. Nearly 700,000 ethnic Albanians found their homelands incorporated into Serbia and Greece and the land of the Chams, a coastal area between southern Albania and rth-west Greece kwn as 'Chameria', was entirely incorporated into Greece. Since that time, the predominantly Muslim Chams have faced severe persecution in Greece, including forced expulsion from their homes, particularly under the Metaxas regime in the 1930s and also during World War II. The documents gathered together in this book address all of the periods of forced expulsions of the Cham population from Greece. The publication of these documents provides an unparalleled historical record of the Cham story, but more importantly illustrates the violations of human rights inflicted upon the Cham community. This book will be essential reading for scholars of Balkan history, politics and legal issues. It will provide a fascinating insight into one of the forgotten tragedies of the twentieth century.
Robert Elsie is an internationally recgnised expert in the field of Albanian studies. He is the author of over sixty books, primarily on Albania, its culture and history. Bejtullah Destani is an Abanian scholar and founder of The Centre for Albanian Studies.