Drenica, Ottoman Empire
(now Drenica, Kosovo)
|Died||21 February 1945 (aged 73)|
(now Tërstenik, Kosovo)
|Service/||Royal Albanian Army|
|Commands held||Balli Kombëtar (1943–45)|
|Battles/wars||World War II in Yugoslavia|
|Awards||Hero of Kosovo|
Hero of the People, awarded by Albania
Shaban Mustafë Kastrati (1871 – 21 February 1945), known as Shaban Polluzha , was a Kosovo Albanian military leader active in Drenica during World War II. He was a collaborationist, serving in the Royal Albanian gendarmerie and as a commander of the Vulnetari militia. He was briefly a member of the Balli Kombëtar. He was killed by the Yugoslav Partisans.
Shaban was born in Poluža (Albanian: Polluzha), in the Drenica region (now central Kosovo[a]). He comes from a middle class family and he was not educated, but as a young man he became involved in political life, which was imposed on him by the circumstances and injustices of the occupying regimes.
He fought against the Bulgarians and Austrians during the First World War and later with the bourgeois Yugoslav regime. Shaban Polluzha was one of the most famous commanders of the Drenica area during the Second World War. During the Second World War he was also the commander of a part of the front in Montenegro, Kolašin and Sandžak, where he was distinguished for organization and strategy. He was a member of the Islihat Council (peace court) and on the proposal of he was appointed chairman of the Islihat in Drenica. Shaban Polluzha also had political tactics. With political strategy he had made some formal and deceptive connections with the communists, but in reality he never accepted this ideology as an ideology that would solve the Albanian issue. For this, the party and the organizing council of the Assembly of Skenderaj nominated him as commander of the Drenica Brigade. It is well known that after the capitulation of fascist Italy in September 1943, the Supreme Headquarters of the Yugoslav Partisans increased its military activity in Kosovo and other Albanian areas and until November 1944. In these areas, units of many of the Yugoslav Partisans, starting from squads, detachments, battalions to brigades. The headquarters of the Drenica Brigade will condition its departure from Kosovo with the cessation of killings and looting of the civilian population by the Yugoslav army, but after the failure to subdue Shaban Polluzha on January 25, military operations begin to destroy his Brigade.
In 2012 he was posthumously awarded as "Hero of Kosovo" by the Prime Minister of the Republic of Kosovo, Hashim Thaçi.
|a.||^ Kosovo is the subject of a territorial dispute between the Republic of Kosovo and the Republic of Serbia. The Republic of Kosovo unilaterally declared independence on 17 February 2008. Serbia continues to claim it as part of its own sovereign territory. The two governments began to normalise relations in 2013, as part of the 2013 Brussels Agreement. Kosovo is currently recognized as an independent state by 96 out of the 193 United Nations member states. In total, 113 UN member states are said to have recognized Kosovo at some point, of which 15 later withdrew their recognition.|