Turks slaughter us and Albanians burn down our homes:
To the respected gentlemen representing the great powers at the Congress of Berlin:
According to widespread opinion in the German capital, the work of the Congress of Berlin, the ultimate European court of justice, is drawing to an end. However, since the issue of the suffering people of tragic Old Serbia [Kosovo and Metohija] has yet to be discussed by the high-level representatives of the European powers, I, the undersigned, with the authority granted to me by this people, respectfully direct my humble request to the esteemed members of the Congress so that they may be so good as to acquaint themselves for what the subjugated and almost completely destroyed people of Old Serbia hope.
Gentlemen, take pity on the suffering of a people which has been treated extremely badly and has found itself on the edge of the abyss, cast under the feet of others as slaves and stripped of every hope. Since the Almighty God in His mercy has placed in your hands the fate of a people who have been enslaved for centuries on European soil and since the great European powers have accepted the noble task of alleviating the tragic fate of the population of this part of Europe, may you act as the fathers and benefactors of the forgotten people of Old Serbia at this critical moment.
This people has endured unprecedented suffering to the present day because it was abandoned to the mercy, and lack thereof, of Turkish and Arbanas [Albanian] renegades. Now that the position of all the peoples of the Balkan peninsula has been improved, is it just that we should remain in the chains of awful tyranny? Is it just that the Turks continue to slaughter us and Arbanasi to burn down our homes? Is it just that we remain subjugated by treatment which is worse than treatment of livestock in Europe? Because we fought in the war for liberation; because we revolted against exploitation; because we demonstrated our desire for freedom and unification with our brothers, if the old order is restored, Muslim fanaticism will be unrestrained; it will be even more brutal and it will cause us even greater suffering than in the past.
This is why we once again raise our voice before the European community and ask that it show mercy toward us and that it not abandon us to this bloody and brutal enslavement. If it cannot guarantee our freedom, let it at least ensure some degree of autonomy for us and our personal safety.
As the representative of this just request, I beg Your Excellencies to accept my expressions of respect by which I remain
Your Excellencies' most humble servant
In Berlin, 3 July 1878.
Archmandrite and authorized representative
of the people of Old Serbia
Note: This letter is taken from "Hvosno", publication of St. Sava Cultural Center in Istok. Following the displacement of most Serbs from Istok, it is now based in Leposavic