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The Italian victims of Balkan attrocities

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TheodoreFelix View Drop Down
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  Quote TheodoreFelix Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Topic: The Italian victims of Balkan attrocities
    Posted: 05-Jul-2005 at 00:10
Italy remembers its own victims of ethnic cleansing in Balkans
By Peter Popham in Rome
11 February 2005


In schools and offices they stood in silence and flags flew at half mast
yesterday as Italy remembered its worst atrocity of the Second World War -
a massacre that, until this week, the majority of Italians knew nothing
about.

What happened in the Italian-occupied Balkans as the war wound down was
ethnic cleansing at its most savage and it happened 50 years before the
wars in Croatia and Bosnia.To this day no one knows how many Italians were
expelled and murdered, but some believe the victims to number as many as
15,000, many of whose remains lie in deep crevasses in the Istrian
mountains.

This year for the first time, at the urging of the post-Fascist Alleanza
Nazionale whose leader, Gianfranco Fini, is Foreign Minister, Italy's
bitterly divided political parties agreed to bury the hatchet and mark the
event as Remembrance Day.

Italians had settled the Istrian peninsula and the coast of Dalmatia,
formerly part of the Austro-Hungarian empire, after Italy was ceded them in
the settlement at the end of the First World War. With the arrival of
Mussolini, full-scale Italianisation began and the Italian language was
enforced in schools.

After the fall of the Fascists in 1943, Yugoslavia's partisans took their
revenge. The horror started on 8 September 1943, when thousands of ordinary
Italians were dragged from their homes in Istria, bound, shot and flung
into the crevasses, many of them still alive.

There were further spasms of violence between the beginning of May and the
middle of June 1945, 45 days during which the Yugoslavs had sole control of
the cities of Trieste and Gorizia and the territory around them. Those who
were not murdered were forced to leave their homes and return to Italy.

The Foibe (foibe being the dialect word for a crevasse) massacres have been
a taboo subject in Italy ever since. Antonio Negrin, whose television drama
on the atrocities was shown by the state broadcaster RAI this week told The
Independent: "When I was asked to make this film, I knew nothing about the
massacres, even though I studied history at university. Not a single
Italian history book speaks about them."

After the war, many people had their reasons for wanting them hushed up.
For the right-wing parties they were the embarrassing consequence of the
forced Italianisation under Mussolini. The Communists wanted nothing to do
with them because those responsible were the Communist Yugoslav partisans.
For the ruling centrists, the Yugoslavian leader Tito was the West's one
Communist ally in Europe. Nothing should be done to endanger that asset.

This week, all sides of Italian politics joined hands to welcome the
gesture of remembrance, from former Communist leaders, Piero Fassino and
Walter Veltroni, to Mr Fini, the post-Fascist. Yesterday the head of state,
President Carlo Azeglio Ciampi, laid a wreath at the Altar of the Nation in
central Rome.

The president of the lower house of parliament, Pier Ferdinando Casini,
said: "Parliament has given a clear reply to the hypocrisy and reticence
that marked one of the most tragic and bitter pages in the history of our
country."

The only people who have so far declined to join in the commemoration are
inhabitants of the former Yugoslavia.
11 February 2005 11:34
?2005 Independent News & Media (UK) Ltd.
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baracuda View Drop Down
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  Quote baracuda Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 05-Jul-2005 at 00:25
nice re-invention of history
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  Quote Komnenos Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 05-Jul-2005 at 17:03
Although I will neither deny nor apologise the atrocities commited by the Yugoslavs against the Italian population in Dalmatia or Istria, one should not forget the historical context that is only briefly mentioned in the above article.

The other thing one shouldn't forget, is that the Italian fascists not only militarily and otherwise supported the fascist Croat Ustasha regime during WW2 that was responsible for a large scale genocide of the Serbian, Jewish and other non Croats, but also were guilty of many atrocities in Yugoslavia themselves.
I wonder if that got a mention during the remembrance day?

Italy's secrets
[IMG]http://i71.photobucket.com/albums/i137/komnenos/crosses1.jpg">
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Guests View Drop Down
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  Quote Guests Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 05-Jul-2005 at 17:26
IIRC there were also quite a few massacres of Italian soldiers by German soldiers after Italy surrendered.
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TheodoreFelix View Drop Down
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  Quote TheodoreFelix Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 05-Jul-2005 at 17:26
Interesting Komnenos, I never heard of this.
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  Quote minchickie Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 06-Jul-2005 at 23:29

"Italy remembers its own victims of ethnic cleansing in Balkans"

im sure every other Balkan and non Balkan people remember their own.

why would they forget? 

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