Saturday, July 14, 2018

Castua Massacre: Exhumations Completed After 73 Years

The town of Castua, near Fiume, was the site of a massacre in 1945.

During and after the Second World War, between 1943 and 1947, the Yugoslav Communist Partisans led by dictator Josip Broz Tito perpetrated a series of massacres and ethnic cleansing against the indigenous Italian populations of Dalmatia and Julian Venetia. Several thousand Italians – regardless of age, gender, occupation or political creed – were murdered and dumped into mass graves. These massacres are known as the Foibe Massacres.

The word 'foiba' means 'sinkhole' or 'pit'. It was in these large pits that Italian corpses were discarded by the Yugoslavs. Most of these sinkholes were never explored because the territory fell under Yugoslav occupation in 1945. Even after the fall of Communism and the collapse of Yugoslavia, the Croatian and Slovene governments continued to deny access to these sites for many years, so as not to draw any attention to the massacres or come to terms with their past. As a result, the vast majority of the bodies were never retrieved and most of the victims never received proper burials.

The Foiba of Castua

On May 4, 1945 the Yugoslavs eliminated the last remnants of Italian leadership in Fiume: Senator Riccardo Gigante and nine others, including the journalist Nicola Marzucco, Marshal Vito Butti and vice-brigadier Alberto Diana, were executed without trial by the Yugoslav Secret Police (OZNA) in the town of Castua (today Kastav, Croatia). Their bodies were dumped in a pit in the nearby Loza Forest, located about 10-12 kilometers from the city of Fiume (today Rijeka).

Senator Riccardo Gigante,
Fiuman Italian, murdered by
the Yugoslavs on May 4, 1945
The foiba of Castua had been covered with boulders and hidden by earth. It was first discovered in 1992, thanks to the help of Fr. Franjo Jurčević, the parish priest of the church of St. Helena in Castua. However, 25 years passed without investigation.

Throughout that entire period the Society of Fiuman Studies (Società di Studi Fiumani) and the Federation of Istrian, Fiuman and Dalmatian Exiles Associations (FederEsuli) – among numerous other Italian organizations – advocated research and investigation, but were met with silence.

The Excavations

In November 2017 the silence was finally broken: it was finally announced that a mixed Italian-Croatian commission would carry out a joint inspection in order to verify the conditions for organizing a search in order to identify and exhume the Italians still buried in the pits of Castua and Poloj.

On July 7, 2018 – 73 years after the massacre – the excavation of the foiba of Castua was finally completed. After unearthing the 3 meter deep pit, between 7 and 9 decomposed and fragmented skeletons were discovered. The remains were then delivered to the Italian Consulate in Fiume. Among these remains are Riccardo Gigante, Nicola Marzucco, Vito Butti and Alberto Diana, in addition to others whose names are unknown.

Also discovered were items presumably belonging to the victims: two watches, a prosthesis with two gold teeth, combs, a cuff link and a tobacco pipe.

The bones will be reconstructed and examined by a forensics team in order to help ascertain the number of skeletons, their age, their gender and their names. After this, the remains will finally be laid to rest. It is expected that the remains will be repatriated to Italy by September 2018.

A plan is already underway to organize and conduct a similar research campaign in Ossero, on the island of Cherso, where 28 Italians of the Decima Flottiglia MAS were shot by Yugoslav Partisans and buried in a mass grave on April 22, 1945.


See also:
April 25: The Feast of San Marco – Not Liberation
The Day of Remembrance: The Foibe Massacres and the Julian-Dalmatian Exodus
Titoist Crimes: 50 Priests Murdered in the Foibe Massacres
National Memorial Day of the Exiles and Foibe
The Meaning of the Foibe Massacres
Pits of Death Give up Their Grisly Secret
A Painful Piece of Italian History, Overlooked
The Foibe are Still Open in Our Hearts
The Priests Murdered in the Foibe Massacres
The Rape and Murder of Norma Cossetto
Italian Biographies: Riccardo Gigante

Monday, June 25, 2018

The Cultural Ties Between Dalmatia and Southern Italy

The Natural Borders of Italy

The deeply-rooted cultural ties between Venice and Dalmatia are well-known to all who are familiar with the history and culture of the Dalmatian coast. Equally known are the immemorial ties between Ancient Rome and Dalmatia, which formed the original basis for Dalmatia's Latin and Italic heritage. Much less known, however, are the profound cultural ties between Dalmatia and Southern Italy, and especially between Dalmatia and the Duchy of Benevento.

Beneventan Script

Beneventan script was a medieval script used from the 8th century until the 13th century in Southern Italy and Dalmatia. It originated in the Duchy of Benevento among the Italian monks and scribes of the Benedictine Abbey of Monte Cassino. It derived from Roman cursive, which was in use until the 7th century AD, when it developed into Beneventan and other scripts. Although Beneventan script declined after the 13th century, it survived in some places into the late 16th century.

The common use of Beneventan script is one of the many examples which testify to the ancient and inseparable cultural link between Italy and Dalmatia. Elias Avery Lowe, one of the foremost scholars on Beneventan script, said this about Dalmatia and Beneventan script:
“The aim of the present work has been to give a history of the South Italian minuscule... The use of Beneventan writing in Dalmatia is of interest both to the palaeographer and to the student of western culture. The Italian origin of our script needed no elaborate demonstration, as it is admitted now on all sides...”

“The history of a script which lasted five centuries is indissolubly bound up with the history of the region in which it was used. Such a script would of necessity receive some impress of the intellectual and political movements of its locality, and thus act as a register, as well as a medium, of culture. In the history of western culture southern Italy has played if not a leading certainly a significant part.”

“The peculiar script which grew up and flourished within the ancient duchy of Benevento, and remained in use for nearly five centuries in the monasteries and schools throughout Southern Italy, extending its domain even across the Adriatic to Dalmatia, we shall consistently call by its most fitting traditional name of Beneventan. ... Eastward the province of the script extended beyond the Italian peninsula. We find Beneventan used on the Tremiti Islands in the Adriatic and all along the opposite shores of Dalmatia from Ossero to Ragusa.

From data furnished by the MSS., we know that Beneventan was written in the following places:

Bari, Benevento, Bisceglie, Caiazzo, Capua, Cava, Fondi, Gaeta, Mirabella Eclano, Monte Cassino, Monte Vergine, Naples, Ossero (Dalmatia), Ragusa (Dalmatia), Salerno, San Angelo in Formis, San Bartolomeo di Carpineto, San Benedetto di Cesamo, San Benedetto di Clia, San Libera tore alia Majella, San Lorenzo in Carminiano, San Maria di Albaneta, San Michele, San Nicola della Cicogna, San Vincenzo al Volturno, Sora, Sorrento, Spalato (Dalmatia), Sulmona, Teramo, Traù (Dalmatia), Tremiti Islands, Troia, Veroli, Zara (Dalmatia).”

“Of the minor centres in which the Beneventan script was employed, special mention must be made of those in Dalmatia...

The maritime cities of Dalmatia have ever formed the natural border-land between different races, religions, and languages. ... It is as the outposts of that Latin civilization that they interest us here. If we examine their oldest MSS. and documents we are struck by the curious fact that their script is the same as that used in Southern Italy... The fact can have but one interpretation: it shows that the Latin culture of Dalmatia flowed chiefly from Southern Italy. Had no historical evidence concerning mediaeval Dalmatia reached us, the peculiar script of Dalmatian documents and MSS. from the 10th to the 13th century would have furnished patent and undeniable proof that the culture of Dalmatia was derived to a great extent from its Italian neighbours across the sea. As it is, the conclusion based on palaeographical considerations is confirmed by historical facts.
Beneventan Codices in the
Archiepiscopal Library
Benevento, Italy
In the year 986 when the monastery of S. Chrysogonus of Zara was rebuilt, the prior and nobles of the city, desiring to get for the abbey the most competent head possible, invited Madius, a monk of Monte Cassino, to become its abbot. At a time when the Benedictines were practically the sole custodians of learning, the coming to Dalmatia of a monk schooled in the most enlightened Benedictine centre was probably not without some importance to the culture of Dalmatia. Relations between Monte Cassino and Ragusa are attested by the inscription on the bronze door of Monte Cassino, which records the patrimony of St. Benedict at the time of Abbot Desiderius: in Dalmatia prope civitatem Ragusiam ecclesia sanctae Mariae in loco qui dicitur in Rabiata. The Benedictine abbey of Lacroma, near Ragusa, was founded in 1023 by Peter, a monk from the Tremiti Islands. Between these islands and Monte Cassino there were constant and varied relations in the 11th century. We know from an extant MS. that the Beneventan script was used on the islands. After the conflagration in Ragusa three monks of Monte Cassino are supposed to have come over to restore the Benedictine order in that city. A Bari architect took a leading part in the construction, about 1199, of the Ragusa cathedral. In 1081 and again between 1185 and 1192 Ragusa made common cause with the Normans of South Italy. The town of Cattaro, situated between Ragusa and Antivari, was subject to the ecclesiastical rule of the Archbishop of Bari. It is a well-known fact that there was continuous commercial intercourse between the cities of Apulia and those of Dalmatia.

That the Latin culture of the eastern shore of the Adriatic should be but an extension of that which prevailed on the western is natural enough. But the remarkable fact is that the dominant forces in that culture were Apulian rather than North Italian, as script and dialect show. Until the 15th century, when it began to yield to the Venetian, the dialect of Dalmatia resembled more that of Apulia than any dialect of North Italy. And the style of Beneventan writing usually practised in Dalmatia is of the variety represented by the Bari type, that is to say, by the type which we find throughout Apulia.

As Dalmatian centres of importance may be mentioned Spalato, Ragusa, Zara, and Traù, especially Zara, which possessed the Benedictine houses of S. Chrysogonus and S. Maria, the latter a nunnery which is still in existence.

The fact that the documents of Dalmatia from the 10th to the 12th century were written in Beneventan would naturally suggest that the same script was employed in the production of books. The extant Beneventan MSS. which originated in Dalmatia make this quite certain.”

(Elias Avery Lowe, The Beneventan Script: A History of the South Italian Minuscule, 1914)
The subject is also discussed by Professor Richard F. Gyug:
“In this period, the coastal centres grew and developed into small cities with civic institutions, including bishoprics... Many also maintained close associations with the nearby coastal centres of southern Italy. ... After the sixth century, the late antique ecclesiastical structure of the region was reduced to a local level by civic changes, and by divisions between Roman-Latin and Slavic regions. ...the coastal cities retained many Latin elements in both their culture and churches. Before the twelfth century, the monasteries of Lombard southern Italy were also a significant influence in Dalmatia. Benedictine monks were established on the Tremiti islands in the Adriatic by the tenth century, and there are records of monastic houses being founded in Dalmatia from Tremiti or from Montecassino, which claimed Tremiti as a dependency. The result is that many of the surviving high-medieval manuscripts from Dalmatia are in Beneventan script, the monastic script of southern Italy, and many of these contain monastic texts or liturgies. Dalmatian churches were also open to adopting southern Italian cults.”
(Richard F. Gyug, Liturgy and Law in a Dalmatian City: The Bishop's Book of Kotor, 2016)
The last sentence concerning southern Italian cults is particularly interesting, because it is very likely that the cult of St. Blaise – the patron saint of Ragusa – spread to Dalmatia from Southern Italy. Veneration of St. Blaise is recorded in the southern Italian town of Maratea as early as 732 AD, two centuries before he was adopted by Ragusa as their patron saint. The extant historical evidence would indicate that the cult of this saint – among many others – spread to Dalmatia and the rest of the Italian peninsula from the south.

Beneventan Chant

Besides Beneventan script, it is also interesting to note that Beneventan chant – a local variety of Roman Catholic liturgical chant, similar to Gregorian chant and Ambrosian chant – was practiced not only at Benevento and in other southern cities on the Italian peninsula, but was also used in Dalmatia, providing yet another testimony of the deep cultural ties between Dalmatia and the southern Italian Benedictine circle in Benevento:
“The cross-Adriatic connection was more than a political expedient. In addition to the cultural ties between Dalmatian and southern Italian monasteries that have already been noted, there were many possibilities for exchange that have left traces in communal practices, liturgy and forms of script.”
(Richard F. Gyug, Liturgy and Law in a Dalmatian City: The Bishop's Book of Kotor, 2016)
“The Beneventan liturgy was practiced at Benevento, Monte Cassino, Bari, and Salerno; in Dalmatia; and in other places almost as far north as Rome.”
(Christopher Kleinhenz, Medieval Italy: An Encyclopedia, 2004)
“Southern Italy was the home of Beneventan chant, also used in Dalmatia, and there are traces of a Naples-Capua tradition also.”
(Peter Jeffery, Re-Envisioning Past Musical Cultures: Ethnomusicology in the Study of Gregorian Chant, 1995)
“The Music of the Beneventan Rite” (2016)

Nearly all the relevant sacred musical sources in Dalmatia were influenced by Benevento and central-southern Italian cultural and musical circles. The majority of Dalmatian liturgical and music sources were written in Beneventan script, and thus the Beneventan type notation was used. In the second half of the 11th century the Beneventan chant used in the Benedictine centres of Benevento and Monte Cassino in southern Italy was gradually substituted by Gregorian chant and the Roman rite. On the other hand, the Dalmatian cities of Ossero, Zara, Traù, Spalato, Ragusa and Cattaro continued to nurture Beneventan chant all the way up to the end of the 13th century.

Dalmatian Language (Dalmatic)

Prior to the spread of the Venetian dialect and standard Italian, the language spoken along the entire eastern shore of the Adriatic was a set of Latin dialects known as Dalmatian or Dalmatic (Dalmatico). From Veglia to Ragusa, and from Cattaro to Durazzo, this was the native language spoken by the inhabitants of the Dalmatian coast in the Middle Ages. The Dalmatian dialects derived from Latin, the language of Rome, which was brought to Dalmatia in ancient times by Roman colonists from Italy.

Although written Latin remained the same, by the 9th century spoken Latin began to diverge into multiple dialects and languages, giving rise to the different – albeit closely-related – dialects of the Italian peninsula and Dalmatia. The dialects of Dalmatia later underwent a strong influence from Venetian before going extinct in the 19th century. As already noted earlier, Elias Avery Lowe regarded the original Dalmatian dialects as being most similar to the ones spoken in Apulia, in southern Italy:
“But the remarkable fact is that the dominant forces in that culture were Apulian rather than North Italian, as script and dialect show. Until the 15th century, when it began to yield to the Venetian, the dialect of Dalmatia resembled more that of Apulia than any dialect of North Italy.”
(Elias Avery Lowe, The Beneventan Script: A History of the South Italian Minuscule, 1914)
The Encyclopedia Britannica also noted a linguistic connection between Dalmatia and Southern Italy:
“Dalmatian and South Italian, on the other hand, were so closely connected with the languages that preserved -s and therefore prefixed the article that in this particular they separated from Rumanian. ... In its consonants, and, as far as one can judge, in its morphology, Dalmatian has preserved the stamp of antiquity. But in its vowel system there are marked changes, especially in the substitution of diphthongs for close vowels... Diphthongs such as they appear also in Istrian and Abruzzian, so that we must presuppose some sort of connection.”
(Hugh Chisholm, Encyclopedia Britannica, Eleventh Edition, Volume 23, 1922)
Even after centuries of Venetian influence, a link between late Dalmatian and the dialects of Southern Italy could still be detected:
“The Dalmatian system stands out by reason of the fact that it is today completely extinct, though it has left traces of its former existence. It is supposed to be the continuator of the Vulgar Latin of the Roman province of Illyricum, on the eastern shore of the Adriatic... Dalmatian became more and more restricted, till in the late nineteenth century it became circumscribed to the island of Veglia (Krk) at the head of the Adriatic. Bartoli managed to record in transcription the speech of the last surviving speaker, Antonio Udina, before the latter's death. From his study, the following facts appear concerning the language in its late nineteenth-century form: Vegliote (the dialect of the island of Veglia) seems to form a link between the eastern Italian dialects, Venetian, Abruzzian, and Apulian, and Rumanian.”
(Mario Pei, The Story of Latin and the Romance Languages, 1976)
The same author goes further, saying that Dalmatian qualifies as an Italian dialect:
“In morphology, there is no indication of a double case, while the fall of final -s brings about the seeming use of Latin nominative forms in the plural, as in Italian. In these respects, Dalmatian would qualify as an Italian dialect.”
(Mario Pei, The Story of Latin and the Romance Languages, 1976)

Italo-Dalmatian Languages

Many linguists regard the Dalmatian, Istrian, Tuscan, Corsican, Central Italian, Southern Italian and Venetian dialects as all belonging the same branch of Italic dialects which they call Italo-Dalmatian. According to those scholars who use this linguistic classification, the dialects of Southern Italy would be more similar to Dalmatian than to the dialects of northwestern Italy, while the Italian language itself would be classified as an Italo-Dalmatian language:
“Italian (Italiano): Indo-European > Italic > Romance > Italo-Western > Italo-Dalmatian.”
(E. K. Brown, Encyclopedia of Language and Linguistics, Volume 2, 2006)
“Italo-Western Romance splits binarily into Italo-Dalmatian and Western Romance. The former language comprises dialects of northeastern, central, and some of southern Italia, also of (mainly coastal?) areas of Dalmatia and Pannonia; the latter language comprises dialects of northwestern Italia, Noricum, Gallia, and Iberia.”
(Frederick Browning Agard, A Course in Romance Linguistics, Volume 2, 1984)
“The language spoken in Abruzzo falls within a set of languages known as Italo-Dalmatian, which also includes standard, official Italian.”
(Luciano Di Gregorio, Italy: Abruzzo, 2017)

Dalmatian Nobility
Marino Ghetaldi (1568-1626)
The Ghetaldi Family of Ragusa
Originated in Taranto, Italy

Several of Dalmatia's most famous noble families originated in Southern Italy. The Ghetaldi family and Bona family of Ragusa both originated in Apulia before settling in Ragusa in the 10th century; the Ghetaldi came from Taranto, while the Bona came from Vieste. The Ragnina family is also said to have originated in the city of Taranto, in Apulia, before moving to Dalmatia (although, according to another tradition, the family would be of ancient Roman origin).

The Bertucci or Bertuzzi family of Lesina likewise traces its origins to Apulia, while the Paladini family of Lesina came from Teramo in Abruzzo. The Bonifacio family of Sebenico originated in Capua. Finally the De Lupis family, which became prominent in Dalmatia and Fiume, originated in Apulia before settling in Dalmatia in the 13th century.

These Italian families gave rise to many notable Dalmatian figures, such as Marino Ghetaldi, Domenico Ragnina, Serafino Cerva, Antonio Bertuccio, Natale Bonifacio, Giovanni Battista Benedetti Paladini, Nicolò Paladini, Paolo Paladini, Lorenzo Doimi de Lupis and Giovanni Biagio Luppis.

Apulia's Dalmatian Saint

It is worthwhile here to briefly reiterate the ancient ecclesiastical bond between Italy and Dalmatia. For many centuries all the major churches of Dalmatia were Italian, the ecclesiastical hierarchy was Italian, and the bishoprics were filled by Italians. On the other hand, on some occasions Dalmatians also entered into the ecclesiastical ranks in Italy. One such man became one of Apulia's most beloved saints: Blessed Agostino Casotti.

An Italian by language and culture, Agostino Casotti was born in the Dalmatian city of Traù into the Casotti family, a noble family of Venetian origin. He is best known in Italy for his tenure as Bishop of Lucera, in Apulia. Although his reign was short, he initiated many memorable public works. He also reestablished Christianity in the town, which was previously occupied by Muslims, and restored the city's old name: Santa Maria della Vittoria (Our Lady of Victory).

He retired to the Dominican convent in Lucera, where he died in the odor of sanctity on August 3, 1323. After his death, he was venerated by the people of Lucera and his cult quickly spread. His body rests today in the Basilica of Santa Maria Assunta in Lucera, Italy.

The Renaissance

Cultural ties between Dalmatia and Southern Italy continued into the Renaissance period. While many architects and artisans from Italy were making their way to Dalmatia, at the same time many Dalmatians were making their way to Italy. The most emblematic example in this period is Francesco Laurana. Born in Dalmatia, he moved to Naples in 1453 and worked for several years at the court of the King of Naples before moving to Sicily in 1467. He returned to Naples in 1471, then worked in Urbino from 1474 to 1477.

It is Francesco Laurana who is remembered and credited as one of the founders of the Italian Renaissance in Sicily. He was in part responsible for the construction of the Triumphal Arch of the Castel Nuovo in Naples and the Mastrantonio Chapel in Palermo. He designed chapels, altars, sculptures, busts, tombs, funerary monuments and other artistic works. His works are preserved in various churches, cathedrals and palazzos throughout Sicily and Southern Italy, including Naples, Palermo, Castelvetrano, Noto, Messina, Siracusa, Sciacca and Andria.

Conclusion

These are just some of the many examples of the ancient flow of families and continuous exchange of culture between the eastern and western shores of the Adriatic Sea – a sea which has always united Dalmatia to Italy, rather than separated it.

The Latin and Italic culture which permeated Dalmatia for millennia is due not only to the Venetians and ancient Romans, but can also be partially credited to the close ethnic, linguistic and cultural ties existing between Dalmatia and Southern Italy in the Middle Ages, which no doubt aided in the preservation of Roman heritage in Dalmatia during the onslaught of the barbarian invasions which threatened to erase Latin civilization.

Southern Italy, in a sense, formed the proverbial “missing link” between Dalmatia and the Italian mainland in that period between the Fall of Rome and the Rise of Venice.

Saturday, June 23, 2018

Famous Italians From Eastern Friuli

Some notable Italians of Eastern Friuli (from left to right): Antonio Abetti, Max Fabiani,
Francesco Cergoli, Francesco Macedonio, Mario Mori & Franco Giraldi

(Full biographies: Italian Biographies: Eastern Friuli)

Brief biographies of some famous Italians from Eastern Friuli. The autochthonous Italians of Eastern Friuli were historically called Friulians or Ladins, but today are often called Giulians or Julians.

Eastern Friuli is a historical territory of Italy and one of the three traditional areas that make up the historical Italian region of Julian Venetia (the other two being Istria and the Quarnaro). Anciently the region of Friuli was known as Venetia, but in the Middle Ages the eastern part of Venetia became known as Friuli. Geographically, Eastern Friuli forms a single region with the rest of Friuli and Veneto. Feudal divisions later caused Eastern Friuli to become politically detached from the rest of Friuli, despite being geographically, ethnically and culturally linked. Most of Eastern Friuli later became part of Gorizia-Gradisca. In the 19th century it became part of the Littoral.

Eastern Friuli is comprised of the Goriziano with the Isonzo Valley in the northwest; in the south it includes the Carso with Trieste and its hinterland; in the east its boundaries are historically formed by the westernmost parts of Upper-Inner Carniola, which are separated from the rest of Carniola by the Julian Alps, which constitute the natural frontier of Italy. The boundaries of Eastern Friuli therefore roughly correspond to the former Italian provinces of Gorizia, Trieste and Carnaro (minus Fiume).

During the Early Middle Ages, Friuli was the easternmost territory of the Kingdom of Italy and marked the boundary between the Italian and Slavic worlds. Beginning in the 10th century, Slavic peoples were invited to settle in the rural districts of Eastern Friuli by the Patriarch of Aquileia. Originally all the small towns of Eastern Friuli (including Caporetto, Tolmino, Postumia, Vipacco, Idria, Circhina, Canale) spoke an Italian dialect known as Ladin or Eastern Friulian as their native language, but after the 16th century these towns slowly became populated by Slavic migrants from the countryside and the Italians were gradually subsumed into the growing Slav population.

By the 20th century, nearly half of Eastern Friuli had become Slavicized; the Friulian dialects had mostly disappeared and the Italians had become a minority in the easternmost towns. Only the westernmost towns of Eastern Friuli remained majority Italian: Gorizia, Gradisca, Grado, Aquileia, Monfalcone, Ronchi, Cormons, Trieste. The Italians of Eastern Friuli faced persecution and discrimination under the Austro-Hungarian Empire. In the decades before World War I, the Habsburg government and Pan-Slavists pursued a systematic policy of Slavicization and de-Italianization of Eastern Friuli, especially in Gorizia and Trieste.

Eastern Friuli with the rest of Julian Venetia was reunited with Italy after World War I. Towards the end of World War II the Italians of Eastern Friuli were subjected to ethnic cleansing and genocide by the Yugoslavs, who occupied the land and annexed it to Communist Yugoslavia in 1947. About 350,000 Italians from Dalmatia, Istria and the surrounding region of Julian Venetia were forced into exile after the war. Their homes and property were confiscated by the Yugoslavs.

After the war Eastern Friuli was artificially divided between Italy and Slovenia, with a border wall running through the city of Gorizia. The “Gorizia Wall” was finally dismantled in 2004, but today Slovenia continues to occupy most of Eastern Friuli and the old eastern half of the city. The Friulian Italians and their exiled descendants patiently await the return of their homeland to Italy.

(Note: These biographies only include people born in that portion of Eastern Friuli which is today part of Slovenia.)

  Antonio Abetti - Italian astronomer
  Carlo Antoni - Italian philosopher, historian and journalist
  Silvano Baresi - Italian architect and engineer
  Francesco Cergoli - Italian footballer and coach
  Coronini Family - Italian noble family
  Dragogna Family - Italian noble family
  Max Fabiani - Italian architect, urbanist and politician
  Lucio Fois - Italian soldier; killed in the Foibe Massacres
  Franco Giraldi - Italian director, screenwriter and film critic
  Lantieri Family - Italian noble family
  Franco Liberini - Italian politician, historical researcher and author
  Francesco Macedonio - Italian theater director
  Mario Mori - Italian general and prefect
  Mucci Pinuccio - Italian soldier; killed in the Foibe Massacres
  Ennio Vitanza - Italian sports commentator and television presenter


See also:
Famous Italians From Dalmatia
Famous Italians From Istria
Famous Italians From Fiume and the Quarnaro

Wednesday, May 30, 2018

The Agony of Italian Dalmatia Under Franz Joseph

(Written by Marco Vigna, taken from the periodical “Nuovo monitore napoletano”, October 20, 2013.)

The writer and literary critic Claudio Magris coined the fortunate expression "Habsburg myth" to describe the image presented in literature by some writers of Mitteleuropa of an orderly and cosmopolitan Habsburg Empire capable of ensuring coexistence between its various peoples.

But this precisely is a "myth" of literary origin: the historical reality was quite different.

Magris himself stated that his book was specifically written to criticize and demolish the myth itself, but some people misunderstood this and thought it was an exaltation.

After World War I the Austrian Empire underwent a literary reconstruction that struck the public imagination, but which had very little correspondence to historical reality.

The discrepancy between the actual history of the Habsburg State and its imaginary romantic vision corresponds, roughly, to that existing between historiography and literature.

Moreover, as noted by Magris himself, the same literature that created the "Habsburg myth" showcases itself as characteristically ambivalent in its judgment on the late imperial state, so that its most representative author, Robert Musil [1], in The Man Without Qualities, highlights the substantial void upon which the Empire vainly sought to find something of unifying value for the celebration of the anniversary of Franz Joseph.

Musil's text provides a vastly different (and demonstrably false) image of the Habsburg Empire during the time before its collapse: it presents a plot parallel to that of Hamlet, and reads like a dramatic romance novel.

The famous nickname of "Kakanien" (a neologism created by Musil, from the German 'kaka') is still used today to describe the Austro-Hungarian Empire:
"This notion of the Austro-Hungarian Empire was so curiously contrived that it seems almost futile to attempt to explain it to those who do not have any personal experience. There was no Austrian part and Hungarian part which formed a single whole, as some might think. Instead, there was a Hungarian statal concept and an Austro-Hungarian statal concept, so that an Austrian statal concept was basically absent of any fatherland. ... Many called themselves Poles, Czechs, Slovenes or Germans, and this produced further divisions." [2]
The "noble father" of American historiography on Austria, Arthur J. May, in his important and influential work The Passing of the Habsburg Monarchy concludes the Austro-Hungarian Empire suffered from a serious internal crisis. He also rejects the Habsburg myth.

May believes that this nostalgic and imaginative rehabilitation of the late Habsburg state arose only when Stalin took possession of much of the old imperial territories at the end of World War II. [3]

The role of Habsburg Austria in keeping Italy internally divided and submissive to foreigners is pretty well known in Italy.

Less prevalent, however, is awareness of how the Empire directly attacked Italian national identity, with the goal of ethnic cleansing and denationalization.

Under Habsburg rule, Lombardy-Venetia was tightly-controlled by the Viennese central government, who imposed a forced Germanization from the top-down, which was denounced by Italian political representatives and civilians.

This was not an accident or a secondary measure, but was very typical of the internal structure of the Habsburg Empire, and corresponded to the natural dynamics of this kind of state.

In essence, the imperial authority was trying to insert Lombardy-Venetia into so-called “Mitteleuropa” (a historical, geographical, cultural and ethnic area alien to it), subordinating the economy and society to the interests of Austria and imposing laws and measures contrary to its traditions and interests. [6]

Significantly, it was subjected to an intense economic exploitation by the central Viennese power, which used local resources – drained through taxation – to fund the regions beyond the Alps. [7]

The Austro-Bohemian Field Marshal Joseph Radetzky arrived in Lombardy-Venetia, menacing the Italian inhabitants and hoping to repeat what had happened in the “Galician Slaughter” in 1846.

In the Habsburg region of Galicia a serious agrarian crisis in 1846 led to an extensive Ruthenian peasant insurrection, which led to the massacre of hundreds of Polish landowners.

The revolt met with no effective resistance from the Habsburg military and police authorities and it was suspected that the imperial administrators had fomented and fostered the insurgency in order to better control the Galician region by inciting the different ethnic groups against each other.

Even in Lombardy-Venetia in 1846-1847 there were several riots provoked by the agrarian crisis, which widespread public opinion attributed to the instigating actions of the government. [8] A knowledgeable scholar, the historian Marco Meriggi, wrote on the matter:
“The definition of Germanization, which contemporaries coined and which almost all historians have taken up, used to describe the salient characteristic of the political dynamics of the Empire in the period in question, is certainly well-founded.” [9]
The “kingdom” of Lombardy-Venetia ended in 1866. However, other regions inhabited by Italians remained under Habsburg rule: Trentino-Alto Adige, Julian Venetia, Dalmatia.

Emperor Franz Joseph therefore decided to proceed to their de-Italianization, through the systematic “Germanization and Slavicization” of these lands.

His decision was formalized in the Privy Council on November 12, 1866. The report reads:
“His Majesty has expressed the precise order that we decisively oppose the influence of the Italian element still present in some Crown lands, and to aim unsparingly and without the slightest compunction at the Germanization or Slavicization – depending on the circumstances – of the areas in question, through a suitable entrustment of posts to political magistrates and teachers, as well as through the influence of the press in South Tyrol, Dalmatia, and the Adriatic Coast.” [10]
The imperial order is further proof of the contrast between historical reality and the false “Habsburg myth”.

The quotation cited above from the Habsburg Council of Ministers on November 12, 1866, with the categorical order to proceed with the Germanization and Slavicization of the Italian population of the Empire subject to them, can be found in countless studies, carried out by historians of different nationalities, in different years, in the course of several independent studies. [11]

We can cite the report by Professor Luciano Monzali in his seminal study on the Italians of Dalmatia:
“The reports of the Habsburg Council of Ministers from the end of 1866 demonstrate the intense anti-Italian hostility of the emperor and the nature of his political policies on this issue.
Franz Joseph was fully convinced of the idea that the Italian and Italian-speaking element was generally disloyal to the Habsburg dynasty: during the Council of Ministers, on November 12, 1866, he gave strict orders to “oppose the influence of the Italian element still present in some Crown lands, and to aim unsparingly and without the slightest compunction at the Germanization or Slavicization – depending on the circumstances – of the areas in question”.” [12]
In any case, Franz Joseph's decision does not mark any radical break with Austrian policies of the recent past: as we have seen, already in Lombardy-Venetia they were carrying out policies of Germanization. Furthermore, the famous report of 1866 gave impetus to projects that were already previously promoted by leading personalities of the Empire.

For example, Field Marshal Radetzky already planned an ethnic cleansing in Dalmatia, saying:
“We must slavicize Dalmatia in order to remove it from the dangerous intellectual influence of Venice, which the Italian population looks to with excessive admiration.” [13]
Similar threats against the Italians well before 1866 were also made by the governor of Trieste, General Ferenc Gyulay (later a Field Marshal, viceroy of Lombardy-Venetia, and commander of the Austrian army in the war of 1859).

In 1848 the government's official newspaper Osservatore Triestino published an article inspired by him, in which he promoted the idea of inciting the Slavic masses of Istria against the Italians, causing a civil war. [14]

The idea expressed by Gyulay was so similar, once again, to the scheme of the “Galician Slaughter”, with the intention of inciting an ethnic group more loyal to the Empire against another ethnic group that desired independence.

Therefore, as far as the denationalization policy implemented by the Imperial Council of Ministers in 1866 is concerned, we can speak of a continuity with previous policy, not a break.

This political direction manifested itself in Julian Venetia and Trentino in measures and initiatives that especially affected the education sector (favoring institutions in the German or Slovenian language, while not opening and even closing Italian schools), the public employment sector and the bureaucracy (favoring the hiring and promotion of Slavs and strongly favoring Slavic immigration, while at the same time proceeding to expel Italians), while the press adopted restrictions against Italian journals (for example, Il Piccolo was subject to seizure, while L'Indipendente suffered from suspension).

The Italian community, sometimes speaking through the city of Trieste or through the episcopate of Trento, often criticized the decisions of state authorities, even challenging the religious policy (the appointment of Slavic bishops to Trieste, the increase of Slovenian and Croatian clergy who were often supporters of their own national movements, and the Germanization policies in Trentino which had anti-Catholic and vaguely Protestant connotations) and police activities (accused of imposing their will at the expense of the Italians)

There were also allegations of Germanization and Slavicization of geographical names and surnames, with public protests and written complaints.

The political conflict between Italian autonomism and Austrian centralism of the state, in which the hegemonic Austrian establishment intersected, thereby causing a national rivalry between the Italians on the one side, and the Austrians and South Slavs on the other. [15]

Ernesto Sestan, one of the most important Italian historians, in his classic study on Julian Venetia emphasized the dual action of defense conducted by the Italians in that region against both the Germanization coming from the centralized state and against the Slavicization carried out by the Slovene and Croatian nationalists.

Germanization and Slavicization, i.e. the central government and Slavic nationalism, were allied to each other, partly because Vienna believed Slovenes and Croats were more loyal, and partly because the national idea of the Slavs was often expressed in the form of Austro-Slavism, a political ideology which was designed to achieve the nationalistic aims of the Southern Slavs within the Habsburg state structure and with the support of the Empire. [16]

A recent study by Gerd Pircher helps to document what fate the Austrians were planning for Trentino during the First World War: once victory was achieved, they planned to maintain a military junta, declare German as the sole official language, impose German in schools, carry out a purge of the Italian administration, Germanize the place names and signs (which they had already begun to do), favor Austrian immigration with the intention of colonizing the region, etc.

These plans were supported by a group of soldiers, led by Archduke Eugene and General Alfred Krauss and Viktor Dankl, who planned the denationalization of Trentino and its Germanization, believing practically every Italian to be a potentially hostile individual to the Empire and interning or deporting anyone who was considered politically unreliable. [17]

Although the Trentino and Julian Venetia were severely attacked, the denationalization of Italians ordered by the emperor reached its maximum severity in Dalmatia.

The main tool used to Slavicize the region was the systematic erasing of Italian culture from schools.

Professor Monzali observes:
"...the transition to a policy of denationalization and forced assimilation of the Italian Dalmatians was very rapid. The education question soon became a prime issue, with the abolition of the Italian language in schools and the refusal of the provincial and municipal authorities (who were Croatian nationalists) to fund any surviving Italian schools." [18]
Starting from 1866, not only were no new Italian schools opened by the authorities, but almost all those that aready existed ended up being closed, and this happened in a region where the written and learned culture had virtually always been primarily or exclusively in Latin and Italian.

Out of the 84 municipalities in which Dalmatia was divided at the time, primary schools in the Italian language remained only in one, the city of Zara, while all the others disappeared: there ended up being only 9 elementary schools in Italian out of a total of 459.

Only two secondary schools in the Italian language remained, and only because they were linked to the seafaring world, where the use of the Italian language had a very strong tradition, and where Croatian was not used: these were the nautical schools of Ragusa and Cattaro.

Naturally, there were no Italian universities, neither in Dalmatia nor in the rest of the empire, as it was forbidden. In summary, the Italians of Dalmatia had primary schools in their own language only in Zara (1 municipality out of 84, even though Italians lived in every city), secondary schools only in Cattaro and Ragusa (2 municipalities out of 84, and it was limited to just two maritime academies), while there was not a single Italian university in the entire empire. [19]

The education question, although very important, was not the only plague to hit the Italian Dalmatian community. Another form of Slavicization of the region was the "complete Croatization of state administration", [20] which made Croatian the official language and essentially expelled the Italians, despite attempts by Italian political representatives to obtain a form of bilingualism, but by now the administration was taken over almost entirely by Croats who refused to compromise. [21]

The political staff was progressively Croatized; the old Italian government was substituted by a new Croatian government.

In 1861, all 84 municipalities of Dalmatia had Italian mayors. In 1900 only one remained, Zara, which was also the only one to retain Italian primary schools, which were forcibly closed in all the other municipalities.

Likewise the provincial Diet, which had always had an Italian majority, now became majority Croatian.

The electoral defeat of the Italians was due primarily to heavy electoral fraud, done with the connivance of the Austrian government authorities; there were forms of corruption, widespread violence and intimidation.

The Viennese central power was in fact able to decisively influence the elections of Dalmatia; the Austrians chose to support the Croatian nationalists and their Italophobic policy. [22]

The traditional and very ancient juridical prerogatives of Dalmatia, which had been preserved by Dalmatia's Latin cities since the 2nd century BC, also came under attack. Some norms and laws dating back to the Middle Ages, which recognized certain forms of autonomy and self-government, were maintained all the way up to the 19th century. Such prerogatives had been respected during the long Venetian period, but were completely destroyed during the short time under Habsburg domination.

Only in this way was it possible for the Croats – within a few years – to dominate and forcefully Slavicize the whole of Dalmatia, a region in which Italians had always formed the predominant and political class, thanks to their undisputed cultural and economic superiority.

The Slavicization of toponyms and onomastics was also part of an attempt to entirely eliminate the Italian ethnic group.

Dalmatian place names were usually Italian on the coast and islands, and Slavic only in the hinterland, however, Italian had always been the language of culture, and even the place names of Croatian origin were usually transcribed in Italian form.

It must be remembered also that the entire territory of Dalmatia had a centuries-old Latin settlement long before the arrival and slow infiltration of the Slavs, who formed a group of invaders and immigrants.

In brief, since the 2nd century BC these areas were entirely Latin, whereas the first Slavic presence only dates back to the 7th century AD and was relatively weak until the 14th century.

The Latin and Italian place names were therefore original, and by far outnumber the Slavic toponyms by a large margin.

The denationalization project implemented after 1866 led to the deletion of Italian names, or sometimes the imposition of bilingualism, even in cases where the names had always been exclusively Italian.

The Lieutenancy of Dalmatia reached the point of issuing a decree in 1912, which perpetually abolished the Italian names of 39 towns that were entirely Croatized.

The distortion of place names took place in land registration acts and in maps, which were pervasively Slavicized. [23]

At the same time they even proceeded to Slavicize surnames. The historian Attilio Tamaro, author of the monumental History of Trieste, among other things, wrote:
"The priests are cooperating in this distorted system of ethnic and historical destruction of Julian Venetia and Dalmatia. The bishops of the provinces, except Parenzo, have blind devotion to the Austrian government, and all are Slavs, by the express will of Vienna. As such, through the episcopal seminaries and through their relations with the provincial interiors, they increased with great intensity the production of Slavic priests and, taking advantage of the small number of Italian priests that the provinces could produce, filled all the parishes with Slavs, even the Italian parishes. The Slavs, ignoring the protests of the inhabitants, were under the strong protection of the Government, with whom they were organically linked in this work: they Slavicized the surnames in birth records, marriage records and deaths records. The goal was to create statistical data and official documents that would seemingly substantiate the non-existence or gradual extinction of Italianity in the region, in order to effect Government policy." [24]
Yet another form of Slavicization took place within the Catholic Church itself, through the liturgy, sacred texts and the clergy.

The bond between throne and altar was tight in the Habsburg Empire, especially after the concordat of 1855, which granted the emperor the right of extensive interference in church affairs, and the clergy could be considered to some extent as imperial officials.

Furthermore, throughout the 19th century the leaders of the Croatian nationalist movement were all priests and bishops.

The most visible aspect of this operation of Slavicization, which was felt by a large part of the Italian population, was the forced introduction of a liturgical rite in the Slavic language, the so-called "Glagolitic rite". It was a novelty in Catholic circles and imitated the Orthodox liturgy, but it had been tacitly tolerated by the ecclesiastical authorities of the Church, since it was limited to a few very small areas.

By the 19th century it had practically disappeared, and it was entirely unknown by the Italian populations in Julian Venetia and Dalmatia. The Papal Curia of Leo XIII and Pius X called upon the supporters of Glagolitic to return to the Latin rite; the popes mistrusted them and opposed their desire to "reintroduce" such rites into a land where it had never been practiced.

Despite the opposition of the Italian population of Dalmatia and the distrust of the Vatican itself, the Roman liturgy in the Slavic language (instead of Latin) ended up being introduced under the pressure of the Croatian nationalist clergy.

The diffusion of the Slavic liturgy, which was accompanied also by sermons, songs, etc. in the Croatian language, was used by these nationalists to forcibly Slavicize the Italian population.

The Glagolitic cult was not only reintroduced, but was also imposed in areas where it had never been used and where the inhabitants were overwhelmingly majority Italian. The discontent was naturally very strong among the people, who often preferred to abandon church rather than attend religious services in the Glagolitic rite.

The island of Neresine was the scene of repeated attempts at religious Slavicization, in contrast to Catholic orthodoxy, in contrast to the existing customs, and contrary to the expressed will of the inhabitants.

A Croatian friar named Smolje demanded to celebrate mass in Glagolitic in the parish church of Neresine on September 22, 1895, resulting in all the parishioners abandoning the ceremony and forming a serious insurrection. This same priest demanded to impart baptism in Croatian, so he could Slavicize the names, and refused to do so in Latin even when directly requested by the child's father.

The Superior of the Franciscan convent of Neresine, Luciano Lettich, demanded to impose the Croatian language at the burial ceremony of the spouses Antonio and Nicolina Sigovich, causing several of the relatives and other faithful to voluntary abandon the ceremony. Another episode of the many we could cite, happened on the second Sunday of April in 1906, a Croatian friar insisted on celebrating the Glagolitic rite in the church of San Francesco in Cherso, an island of purely Italian history and culture. The faithful, in the face of this celebration, which seemed to them like nationalistic propaganda, left the religious building en masse, leaving only the Croatian friar.

After these and other similar events, the inhabitants of Neresine – and other areas threatened with forced Slavicization (Ossero, Cherso, Lussinpiccolo) – appealed unsuccessfully to the bishop of Veglia, Anton Mahnich. After their appeals were rejected by the Slavic prelate, they decided to appeal directly to Rome.

The severity of these reported events caused Pius X to intervene, removing Mahnic from his office as bishop.

Even after this, the Vatican had to again directly intervene to denounce and condemn both the liturgical abuse of the use of the Glagolitic rite, as well as the support the Slavic priests were giving to Slovenian and Croatian nationalism, as happened for example on June 17, 1905, when the Cardinal Secretary of State, by order of Pope Pius X, sent a stern letter to the Minister General of the Franciscan Friars Minor with strict orders to energetically intervene and put an end to the behavior of Croatian Franciscans in Dalmatia who were seeking to introduce Croatian into the liturgy.

The Catholic Church itself did not at all welcome the pretenses of the Croatian nationalists and their attempts to restore the Glagolitic rite, both for strict liturgical reasons, and because often times such a request came from pan-slavists with an overt sympathy for Eastern Orthodoxy. In conclusion and in summary, glagolism resurfaced after 1848 and was therefore a liturgical innovation imposed by Slavic nationalists who held ecclesiastical offices, which deeply hurt both the national and religious feelings of Italian Catholics, who were forced to embrace foreign rites of dubious conformity with Catholicism. [25]

The persecutions directed toward the Italians, in an attempt to force them to become Croats, also included the exercise of violence, which became practically endemic, with daily acts of aggression against Italians and Italian property:
"In 1910, at Cittavecchia, during the night, unknown assailants broke open the doors of the local Italian Dalmatian Union, robbed a mirror, two Venetian paintings, a bust of Dante, a lamp, a wall clock, and threw them into the sea. It was a painful acts of vandalism. In Sebenico an Italian worker, when questioned in Croatian, responded in Italian; he was then attacked and beaten. The Croatian Mayor of Sebenico one time proclaimed to the Croats of Zara: "My brothers! Do as we do in Sebenico: take to the streets, with guns in hand, and shoot. The Italians will submit. If you need me, call me: I will join you." Episodes like these took place every day." [26]
The testimonies regarding the widespread use of violence against Italians by Croatian nationalists in Habsburg Dalmatia are numerous and detailed. The police also participated in the anti-Italian assaults, which sometimes were deadly:
"The public administrators were terrorists; the police of the various municipalities became a tool of government suppression. In Spalato a policeman shot and killed an Italian fisherman; the murderer was saved by a psychiatrist. In Sebenico a policeman cut a citizen's head off. In Traù a policeman named Macovan gunned down a poor worker who belonged to an Italian opposition party... The Croatian Party defended the persecution by saying that the Italians refused to recognize the Croatian national character of Dalmatia." [27]
The historical archives of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs contains extensive documentation on the many incidents that occurred at the beginning of the twentieth century, not only in Dalmatia, but also in Trentino and Julian Venetia. [28]

The objective was to extinguish all autonomous political and cultural life, and to forcefully Croatize the Dalmatian Italians.

The impact of these combined series of measures against the Italians was devastating, causing a rapid decline of the Italian ethnic group in Dalmatia.

Professor Monzali wrote:
"In the first unofficial Austrian statistical studies made in the 1860's and 1870's, the number of Italian Dalmatians ranged between 40,000 and 50,000; in the official census of 1880, their number declined to 27,305, and fell even more sharply in the following decades: 16,000 in 1890, 15,279 in 1900, 18,028 in 1910 (out of a total population of 593,784 inhabitants of Dalmatia in 1900, and 645,646 in 1910)." [29]
Partial data associated with individual towns brilliantly exemplifies the overall demographic trends presented above and the collapse of the Italian population. Let's briefly cite the example of Lissa.

This small island, Latin since the Roman period, for many centuries was populated almost exclusively by indigenous Dalmatians who spoke a Romance language, before becoming part of the territories of Venice, to which it belonged uninterruptedly for many centuries. Until 1797, which marked the collapse of Venice, the people of Lissa virtually all spoke the so-called "Veneto da mar" (Venetian dialect).

The census which took place in the era of Napoleon calculated that Italians formed 80% of the population of Lissa.

Compare that figure to the first official Habsburg census, that of 1880: the Italians were valued at 64% of the total population. The census shows a sharp decline of ethnic Italians, but they still remained a clear majority.

But a mere twenty years later, the Italians of Lissa almost disappeared. According to the Habsburg census of 1900, the inhabitants of Lissa were 97% Slavs and only 2.4% Italians.

The Habsburg census of 1910 reconfirmed that the Italians were reduced to a flicker on the island, since they now represented only 2.5% of the inhabitants. In summary, the Italians of Lissa had gone from approximately 80% at the beginning of the 19th century, to 64% in 1880, and finally to 2.4% in 1900.

The size difference of the Italian ethnic group in Lissa particularly stands out: they were 3,292 (64%) in 1880, and just two decades later they were reduced to 199 (2.4%), a decrease of 94%.

Similar observations on the decline of the Italian population can be seen in many other parts of Dalmatia: from 1880 to 1900, according to the Habsburg censuses, the Italians on the island of Arbe declided from 567 to 223; the Italians of Cittavecchia di Lissa from 2,163 to 169; Comisa from 1197 to 37; San Pietro della Brazza from 421 to 43; Spalato from 5,280 to 1,046; Traù from 1,960 to 170. Many other examples could be cited.

In the same period the Habsburg administrative documents report the disappearance of Italians in a number of towns where they had always lived: Bua, Isto, Meleda, Sestrugno, Zirona Grande, etc.

A full enumeration of the statistical data describing the collapse of the Italian population in Dalmatia would take too long, and in any case it would break down the proverbial open door, since these are well-known facts among scholars. [30]

In brief, the number of Dalmatian Italians had suffered a meltdown in a few short years, both in absolute numbers and in percentage ratio of the overall population, as can be seen by Habsburg statistical sources.

The impressive results of this denationalization process can be summarized as follows: in 1845 the authorities calculated the Italian population to be 19.7% of the population of Dalmatia; the Habsburg census of 1865 recorded a total of 55,020 Italians, or 12.5% of the population; the 1910 census counted only 18,028 Italians, or 2.7% of the Dalmatian population.

From 1845 to 1910 the Italians of Dalmatia went from 19.7% to 2.7% of the population. [31] Compared to the total Dalmatian population, the percentage of Italians in 1910 was roughly 1/7 of that of 1845.

The decline of the Italian ethnic group in comparison to the total population of Dalmatia was therefore 6/7: from 19.7% in 1845 to 2.7% in 1910.

Professor Luciano Monzali spoke explicitly about the period of 1866-1914, which witnessed the denationalization of Italian Dalmatians by the Austrian imperial government and by local Croatian nationalists. [32]

This same process took place against Italians in Julian Venetia and in Trentino during the same time period, since the measures used against the Dalmatian Italians were roughly the same as those that were used against people of Italian nationality in Julian Venetia and Trentino.


Bibliographic Notes

[1] C. Magris, Il mito asburgico nella letteratura austriaca moderna, Torino 1963.

[2] R. Musil, L’uomo senza qualità, Torino 1972, p. 162.

[3] A. J. May, The Passing of the Hapsburg Monarchy. 1914-1918, Philadelphia (Penn.) 1966.

[4] M. Meriggi, ll regno Lombardo-Veneto, Torino 1987, p. 268.

[5] Ibidem, pp. 269-270.

[6] Ibidem, p. 100.

[7] Ibidem, pp. 271 sgg.

[8] C. A. Macartney, L’Impero degli Asburgo, 1790-1918, Milano 1976., pp. 356-359; Meriggi, Il regno, cit., p. 327. Cattaneo, Dell'insurrezione di Milano nel 1848 e della successiva guerra, cap. III, “Marshal Radetzky, surrounded by a staff of Teutomaniacs, was desperate at the time to shed blood, boasting of wanting to repeat the massacres of Galicia in Italy. How could we doubt it when we witnessed the executioner Ludwig von Benedek appear in Brescia with military authority, and the brother of the executioner Breindl invested with civil authority?”

[9] Meriggi, Il regno, cit., p. 100. One of the many direct observers of this work of Germanization, Cattaneo, had no hesitation in defining the empire as a “German power” which pursued Germanic nationalist intentions. Cattaneo, Dell'insurrezione di Milano nel 1848 e della successiva guerra, cap. I

[10] The original German version is as follows: «Se. Majestät sprach den bestimmten Befehl aus, dass auf die entschiedenste Art dem Einflüsse des in einigen Kronländern noch vorhandenen italienischen Elementen entgegentreten durch geeinignete Besetzung der Stellen von politischen, Gerichtsbeamten, Lehrern sowie durch den Einfluss der Presse in Südtirol, Dalmatien und dem Küstenlande auf die Germanisierung oder Slawisierung der betreffenden Landesteile je nach Umständen mit aller Energie und ohne alle Rücksicht hingearbeitet werde. Se. Majestät legt es allen Zentralstellen als strenge Plifcht auf, in diesem Sinne planmäßig vorzugehen.» Essa si ritrova in Die Protokolle des Österreichischen Ministerrates 1848/1867. V Abteilung: Die Ministerien Rainer und Mensdorff. VI Abteilung: Das Ministerium Belcredi, Wien, Österreichischer Bundesverlag für Unterricht, Wissenschaft und Kunst 1971; la citazione compare alla Sezione VI, vol. 2, seduta del 12 novembre 1866, p. 297.

[11] Without pretending to exhaustively indicate all the studies on the subject, citing these essential references should suffice: G. Novak, Političke prilike u Dalmaciji g. 1866.-76, Zagreb 1960, pp. 40-41; A. Filippuzzi, (a cura di), La campagna del 1866 nei documenti militari austriaci: operazioni terrestri, Padova 1966, pp. 396 sgg.; C. Conrad, Multikulturelle Tiroler Identität oder 'deutsches Tirolertum'? Zu den Rahmenbedingungen des Deutschunterrichts im südlichen Tirol während der österreichisch-ungarischen Monarchie, in J. Baurmann/ H. Günther/U. Knoop, (a cura di), Homo scribens. Perspektiven der Schriftlichkeitsforschung, Tübingen: Niemeyer, 1993, pp. 273-298; U. Corsini, Problemi di un territorio di confine. Trentino e Alto Adige dalla sovranità austriaca all’accordo Degasperi-Gruber, Trento, Comune di Trento 1994, p. 27; H. Rumpler, Economia e potere politico. Il ruolo di Trieste nella politica di sviluppo economico di Vienna, in R. Finzi-L. Panariti-G. Panjek (a cura di), Storia economica e sociale di Trieste, vol. II, La città dei traffici: 1719-1918, Trieste 2003, pp. 87-88; A. Cetnarowicz, Die Nationalbewegung in Dalmatien im 19. Jahrhundert. Vom «Slawentum» zur modernen kroatischen und serbischen Nationalidee, Frankfurt am Main, Berlin, Bern, Bruxelles, New York, Oxford, Wien, 2008, p. 110.

[12] L. Monzali, Italiani di Dalmazia. Dal Risorgimento alla Grande Guerra, Firenze 2011, p. 69.

[13] M. Scaglioni, La presenza italiana in Dalmazia. 1866-1943, tesi di laurea, università degli studi di Milano.

[14] B. Benussi, L'Istria nei suoi due millenni di storia, Venezia-Rovigno 1997, pp. 480 sgg.

[15] The bibliography on these topics is immense, so we limit ourselves here to a few sources: B. Benussi, L’Istria nei suoi due millenni di storia, Venezia-Rovigno, 1997; B. Coceani, Un giornale contro un Impero. L’azione irredentistica de “L’Indipendente” dalle carte segrete della polizia austriaca, Trieste 1932; U. Corsini, La questione nazionale nel dibattito trentino, in A. Canavero- A. Moioli (a cura di), De Gasperi e il Trentino tra la fine dell’’800 e il primo dopoguerra, Trento 1985, pp.593-667A. Fragiacomo, La scuola e le lotte nazionali a Trieste e nell’Istria prima della redenzione, in “Porta orientale”, 29, 1959; M. Garbari, L’irredentismo nel Trentino, in R. Lill-F. Valsecchi (a cura di), Il nazionalismo in Italia e in Germania fino alla prima guerra mondiale, Bologna 1983; V. Gayda, L'Italia d'oltre confine. Le provincie italiane d'Austria, Torino 1914; A. Sandonà, L’irredentismo nelle lotte politiche e nelle contese diplomatiche italo-austriache, voll. 3, Bologna 1932-1938; A. Tamaro, Le condizioni degli italiani soggetti all'Austria nella Venezia Giulia e nella Dalmazia, Roma 1915; A. Tamaro, Storia di Trieste, Roma 1924; G. Valdevit, Chiesa e lotte nazionali: il caso di Trieste (1850-1919), Udine 1979; P. Zovatto, Ricerche storico-religiose su Trieste, Trieste 1984

[16] E. Sestan, Venezia Giulia. Lineamenti di una storia etnica e culturale, Udine 1997, pp. 91, 95-103; A. Moritsch, Der Austroslawismus. Ein verfrühtes Konzept zur politischen Neugestaltung Mitteleuropas, Wien 1996

[17] G. Pircher, Militari, amministrazione, e politica in Tirolo durante la prima guerra mondiale, Societa di Studi Trentini di Scienze Storiche, Trento 2005. This is the Italian translation of the original work entitled Militar, Verwaltung, und Politik in Tirol in Estern Welkkrieg, Universitatsvelag Wagner, Innsbruck 1995.

[18] Monzali, Italiani di Dalmazia, cit., p. 142.

[19] G. Deuthmann, Per la storia di alcune scuole in Dalmazia, Zara 1920; A. Ara, La questione dell’Università italiana in Austria, in «Rassegna storica del Risorgimento» LX, 1973, pp. 52-88, 252-280.

[20] Monzali, Italiani di Dalmazia, cit., p. 300.

[21] Ibidem, pp. 297-301.

[22] G. Praga, Storia di Dalmazia, Varese 1981; Monzali, Italiani di Dalmazia, cit., pp. 138 sgg., 168-178.

[23] G. Dainelli, Carta di Dalmazia, Roma 1918; A. Tamaro, Le condizioni degli italiani soggetti all'Austria nella Venezia Giulia e nella Dalmazia, Roma 1915.

[24] Tamaro, Le condizioni, cit.

[25] A. Cronia, L'enigma del glagolismo in Dalmazia dalle origini all'epoca presente, in “Rivista Dalmatica”, Zara 1922; M. Lacko, I Concili di Spalato e la liturgia slava, in A. Matanić (a cura di), Vita religiosa, morale e sociale ed i concili di Split (Spalato) dei sec. X-XI. Atti del Symposium internazionale di storia ecclesiastica (Split, 26-30 settembre 1978), Padova 1982, pp. 443-482; S. Malfer, Der Kampf um die slawische Liturgie in der österreichisch- ungarischen Monarchie – Ein nationales oder ein religiöses anliegen? in “Mitteilungen des Österreichischen Staatarchivs”, 1996, n. 44, pp. 165-193; J. Martinic, Glagolitische Gesange Mitteldalmatiens, Regensburg 1981; G. Valdevit, Chiesa e lotte nazionali: il caso di Trieste (1850-1919), Udine 1979; P. Zovatto, Ricerche storico-religiose su Trieste, Trieste 1984.

[26] V. Gayda, L'Italia d'oltre confine. Le provincie italiane d'Austria, Torino 1914, p. 297.

[27] R. Deranez, Alcuni particolari sul martirio della Dalmazia, Ancona 1919.

[28] Monzali, Italiani di Dalmazia, cit., p. 239.

[29] Monzali, Italiani di Dalmazia, cit., pp. 170-171.

[30] D. De Castro, Cenno storico sul rapporto etnico tra italiani e slavi nella Dalmazia, in Studi in memoria della prof. Paola Maria Arcari, Milano 1978; G. Perselli, I censimenti della popolazione dell'Istria, con Fiume e Trieste, e di alcune città della Dalmazia tra il 1850 e il 1936, Trieste-Rovigno 1993; O. Mileta Mattiuz, Popolazioni dell’Istria, Fiume, Zara e Dalmazia (1850-2002), Centro di Ricerche Storiche di Rovigno-Ades, 2005; Scaglioni, La presenza italiana, cit.

[31] Š. Peričić, O broju Talijana/talijanaša u Dalmaciji XIX. stoljeća, in Radovi Zavoda za povijesne znanosti HAZU u Zadru, n. 45/2003, p. 342.

[32] Monzali, Italiani di Dalmazia, cit., p. 142.

Friday, May 25, 2018

Italia Irredenta

(Written by Politicus, taken from the journal “The Fortnightly”, Volume 97, 1915.)

Italy is an extremely densely populated land, and the natural resources of the country are totally insufficient for maintaining a large population. Per square mile there are no fewer than 318.8 people in Italy, as compared with 310.4 in Germany, 189.5 in France, and 100.5 in Spain. As the Peninsula possesses practically no coal and no iron, the foundation of prosperous manufacturing industries is extremely difficult, for cheap coal and iron form the basis of successful manufacturing industries. At the same time, the prevalence of bare and rocky mountains throughout the Peninsula, an irregular rainfall, frequent droughts, the scarcity of subsoil water, the lack of forests, and the absence of large rivers and streams, make the highest development of agriculture impossible. In these circumstances, it is only natural that Italy cannot nourish her rapidly growing population, that she has a very considerable emigration, and that important Italian colonies are to be found, not only in trans-oceanic countries, but in all her neighbour States. The French territories bordering upon Italy with Nice, the Swiss Canton Ticino, the southern part of the Austrian Tyrol, Istria with Trieste, Corsica and Malta, are very largely peopled with Italians.

The Italians are a proud, ambitious, and exceedingly patriotic nation. Their population of 36,000,000 is insufficiently large compared with that of the other Great Powers. The strength of a nation largely depends upon its population. Hence many Italians desire to join to their country the territories near by, upon which Italy has some claim on the ground of history, and especially on that of nationality. However, whilst scarcely a single Italian will be found ready to advocate wresting by force Corsica and Nice from France, the Canton Ticino from Switzerland, or Malta from England, the vast majority of the people passionately desire to take by force the districts peopled by Italians which are retained by Austrians. The reason for this discriminating attitude is obvious. The Italians living under the French, Swiss, and British flags are prosperous, happy, and free. Those living under the Austrian flag are, and always have been, persecuted, oppressed, and ill-treated. Italy has a historic and well-founded grievance against Austria, and Austria has, with incredible short-sightedness, done her utmost to keep that grievance alive. Thus she has created that movement which is usually called "Italia Irredenta," the unredeemed Italy—a movement which strives to bring about the reunion of Italy with all the outlying Italian territories, but which in reality is aimed exclusively against Austria-Hungary.

Since the fall of the Roman Empire, Italy was divided against itself and had ceased to be a State. The country became split up, and many States occupied the Peninsula. Through their divisions and internecine wars, Italy declined and became a prey to other nations, and with Italy's power, Italy's prosperity and civilisation almost disappeared. Slowly the consciousness of a common language and of a common nationality arose. Many Italians began to recognise that unity gives strength; that Italy could find salvation only if it should once more become an organised single nation. The war of the French Revolution and Napoleon's conquest of the Peninsula greatly strengthened the spirit of nationalism and a longing for national unity among the Italians. The overthrow of the great Corsican seemed to promise to the Italians the dawn of a new era. But they had reckoned without Prince Metternich. That great Austrian diplomat intended to make all Italy an Austrian dependency and an Austrian possession. He refused to acknowledge the existence of an Italian nation, stating at the Congress of Vienna that "Italie ne représente qu'une union d'États indépendants, réunis seulement sous la même expression geéographique."

According to him, Italy was merely a geographical expression. He treated with contempt the essential unity of the nation and the loud claims for freedom and self-government raised by the leading Italian people. Owing to his action, Italy was cut up at Vienna for the benefit of Austria. The Austrian Emperor was given the kingdom of Lombardo-Venezia. An Austrian Archduke became Governor of Milan. Austrian princes were made Grand Dukes of Tuscany and Dukes of Modena and of Parma. Austria ruled indirectly also the non-Austrian portions of Italy. The Bourbon King of Naples and Sicily had to bind himself that he would not introduce any institutions irreconcilable with those prevailing in Lombardo-Venezia. Metternich even endeavoured to form a confederation of Italian States dominated by Austria, but he met with a refusal from the King of Sardinia, who was supported by the Emperor of Russia.

At the Congress of Vienna, Austria split up Italy into a number of artificial States, brought the whole country under her domination, and prepared everything for ruling Italy by dividing it against itself, and by over-awing the people. The political reforms which had been introduced into Italy during the revolutionary and the Napoleonic era were abolished. ... All Italian professors who were suspected of liberal views were dismissed. The Press was muzzled. The right of free speech was taken away from the people. All Italians suspected of liberal views or patriotic leanings were spied upon, imprisoned, or hounded out of the country. All Italy began to swarm with police agents, spies, and informers. A most rigorous passport system was introduced, under which suspected Italians were forbidden to travel in their own country, and to leave their homes, even for a few days. The Austrian prisons were filled with Italian patriots. The leading Italians, poets, authors, and scientists were treated as conspirators and common criminals. The poet, Silvio Pellico, was sent for life to the prison of Spielberg. The Lombardo-Venezian kingdom was strongly fortified and filled with Austrian soldiers, and Austrian troops acted as police and executioners in the non-Austrian States of Italy as well. They suppressed the revolution which had broken out in the kingdom of Naples and in the States of the Church.

Owing to this rule of terrorism and persecution, the people were forced to defend themselves by forming secret revolutionary societies. Oppression created despair, and despair violence. Great men like Mazzini preached the employment of anarchistic methods against Austria. Popular risings of the outraged people were ferociously suppressed by the Austrian military. After repeated unsuccessful revolts, the Italians recovered their freedom and their unity in the wars of 1859 and 1866. Austria had to withdraw from the Peninsula, but she retained some valuable districts in the north and in the north-east of Italy, the Southern Tyrol, the Trentino, as the Italians call it, and Trieste and the surrounding districts. The fathers and grandfathers of the present generation have lived and suffered under the Austrian yoke, and they have fought against that country. It is, therefore, not unnatural that there exists throughout Italy a ferocious inherited hatred against the land of the Hapsburgs, especially as Austria has done all in her power to keep that hatred alive by perpetuating in the Italian districts still under her control the wrongs which she had inflicted upon Italy herself until she was driven out of the country. In 1914 a valuable study, L'ltalia D'Oltre Confine—Le Provincie Italiane d'Austria, by Virginio Gayda, was published by Fratelli Bocca, Turin, and much of the information given in the following pages has been taken from that large and reliable book.

During a century Austria has followed the identical policy towards the Italians under her sway. Seeing in them a nation of dangerous conspirators, she has thought it necessary to rule them not by the civil power, but by the military. In the old Lombardo-Venezian kingdom Field-Marshal Radetzki was more powerful than the local governors and the Emperor at Vienna. Even now the military lays down and supervises the policy which is followed by the Austrian Government in the Trentino and in the districts of Trieste. Both districts are treated like a conquered land, both are overawed by numerous fortresses, and by large bodies of troops drawn from the non-Italian portion of Austria's population. In both districts Austria strives to denationalise the Italians by swamping them with men of another nationality, who enjoy the unswerving support of the Government. Austria endeavours to destroy the Italian elements in the Trentino by setting against them the Germans. They are to be converted into Germans. In the district of Trieste, on the other hand, Austria is exploiting the desire of the neighbouring Slavs to acquire that town. Hence she imports into Trieste and the surrounding districts large numbers of Slavs, and endeavours to convert the Italians living in them into Slavs.

The town of Trieste is essentially an Italian town. Some years ago, when visiting it, I arrived in the Porto Vecchio. The boat landed at the Molo San Carlo, and I was driven by the Via del Corso through the Piazza Carlo Goldoni, past the Teatro Goldoni, through the Via del Torrente and the Via Stadion, past the Giardino Publico and the Piazza d'Armi, through the Via Miramar to the Castle of Miramar. In Trieste all the street names are Italian, and so are practically all the inscriptions. The people one sees about look like Italians, and speak Italian. The Burgomaster of the town is called Podestà. One forgets that one is on Austrian soil. Close to Trieste and along the shore are numerous Italian towns and villages, such as Servola, Muggia, Nabresina, Monfalcone, but further inland the towns and villages bear Slavonic names, such as Herpelje, Basovizza, Smarje, etc. The Venetians founded colonies along the Adriatic. The coast towns of Istria and Dalmatia bear Italian names and are largely Italian, but the hinterland is Slavonic.

Among the many nationalities which are found in the Dual Monarchy the Italians are numerically the weakest. Nevertheless, these suffer from a form of persecution at the hands of the Government which is spared to the other nationalities, for nowhere in Austria-Hungary does the Government try to destroy a nationality by swamping it by the importation of large numbers of men belonging to another nationality. This movement was begun between the years 1845 and 1848, when the spirit of nationalism in Italy became aroused. During those years the Government brought 20,000 non-Italians into the town of Trieste. Afterwards that policy was discontinued, but it was taken up with redoubled energy after the year 1866, when Austria lost Venezia to Italy.

During the last few decades the Government has exploited the differences existing between Slavs and Italians regarding the control and ownership of Trieste, and has imported nearly exclusively Slavonic people into that town. Between 1900 and 1910 the Slavonic population of Trieste increased by no less than 130 per cent., whereas the population of the Slavonic province of Carniola increased by only 3.3 per cent. Whenever a need for workers arises, the Government imports Slavonic men. In building the Tauern Railway the Government imported at one stroke into Trieste 700 Slavonic workers and their families. It imported 2,500 Slavonic workers for the construction of the new port of Sant'Andrea. The Austrian Lloyd, which stands under Government control, introduced 1,300 Slavonic workers into its building yards, and the Stabilimento Technico Triestino was forced to dismiss all its Italian employees, and these were replaced chiefly by Slavs. The result of this policy is apparent from the census figures. Trieste is a flourishing town; it is the Austrian Hamburg, and its population is rapidly increasing. However, although the Italian part of the population is growing quickly, the Slavonic part is growing far more quickly, and the result is that the Italian element is losing ground. Between 1900 and 1910 the proportion of Italians declined from 77.4 per cent. to 74.4 per cent. During the same period the Slavs increased from 16.3 to 19.4 per cent. of the population.

The Government endeavours not only to replace the Italian workers of Trieste by Slavonic ones, but it is replacing the army of Italian officials by Slavs. Trieste swarms with officials of every kind. Formerly, the majority of these were Italians, but these have been replaced not by Germans, but by Slavs. In 1910 of 828 employees at the State railway station only 70 were Italians and 728 were Slavs. Of 358 postmen 95 were Italians and 245 Slavs. Of 500 Custom House officers only 146 were Italians, and of 661 policemen fewer than 100 were Italians. In 1910 there were in Trieste 4,600 State officials; of these 3,700, or four-fifths, were Slavs. In the small Italian towns in the neighbourhood no Italian officials have been left. The elimination of all Italian officials is demanded by the military largely because they fear espionage by Italian postmen, etc. The Law Courts also have become denationalised, and only a few Italians are left in higher positions, because they are difficult to replace. When new men are appointed to positions in the Government service non-Italians are always given the preference. A Slav who knows only Slavonic is appointed, and an Italian who knows Italian, Slavonic, and German is not considered.

Formerly the Law Courts were purely Italian. According to the fundamental laws of Austria-Hungary, the Law Court proceedings should be conducted in the language of the majority. That provision, which is rigorously enforced elsewhere in Austria, is disregarded in the Italian portions of the Monarchy. The Law Courts in Trieste are gradually being made Slavonic. The Slavs began twenty years ago to introduce their language into the Courts. Slavonic lawyers settled in Trieste, and some of the judges accepted documents written in Slavonic. Later on some of them began to allow Slavonic to be used in oral proceedings, the judges acting as interpreters, and before long Slavonic began to be used for giving judgment. When, in 1903, the City protested against Slavonic being used in Court, the then Secretary of State, Mr. Koerber, refused to interfere. The Italian judges are dying out, and Slavonic ones are appointed in their stead. Before long the Italians will have completely disappeared from the Law Courts of Trieste.

Among the most powerful nationalising agencies are the school and the Church. The Austrian Government endeavours to denationalise the Italians by means of the school and the Church, and its policy is powerfully supported by the well-organised Slavs, who strive to conquer Trieste for themselves. More than three-quarters of the inhabitants of Trieste are Italians. Yet there is not a single Italian State school of the ordinary type. The Government supports only a nautical school and a commercial high school, which were founded one in 1754 and the other in 1817. In Trieste and on the sea-coast near by dwell 383,000 Italians. They possess only two intermediate schools maintained by the Government, one at Pola and one at Capodistria.

On the other hand, Cracow, with only 100,000 inhabitants, has five Polish intermediate schools and two technical schools supported by the Government. The Government obviously follows the policy of supporting the Poles and suppressing the Italians. All nationalities dwelling in the Italian districts are encouraged except the Italians. In Trieste and the Italian districts near by there dwell fewer than 20,000 Germans, who are scattered among the Italians. Entirely for these the Austrian Government maintains six intermediate schools at Trieste, Pola, and Gorizia, and most of the German schools stand relatively empty. In 1911-12 the eight classes of the German intermediate school at Gorizia were frequented by only forty-six German scholars. Owing to the lack of educational facilities Italians are forced to send their children to German and Slavonic schools, unless they succeed in establishing schools of their own with their own means.

Recognising the danger of losing their nationality by the insidious educational policy followed by the Austrian Government, a powerful movement for counteracting that policy arose among the Italians living in Austria. The town of Trieste is most active in its effort of defending the Italian nationality by means of Italian schools. In 1911 Trieste maintained 21 Italian elementary schools with 16,570 children and 14 country schools. The town of Trieste spends 1,350,000 crowns a year on its Italian schools, and some of the buildings are monuments of Italian nationalism, being constructed regardless of expense. The town maintains besides eight kindergarten schools at a yearly expenditure of 100,000 crowns. In addition to these, Italian intermediate and technical schools have been founded by the town, and considerable amounts are spent every year in subsidising schools, in buying books and boots for the school-children, and in assisting the parents of very poor children. Trieste spends per year no less than 3,262,000 crowns on education, to which more than one-sixth of its total expenditure is devoted.

Although the people of Trieste are allowed to establish schools of their own and to appoint their teachers, the supreme control is retained by the Government, which directs what subjects may, or may not, be taught. Among the subjects which are forbidden may be found the history of Trieste. The children must not know that Trieste was at one time an Italian town. The attempts of the Government to destroy the Italian spirit among the people are often most ludicrous. By an Ordinance of June 21st, 1913, the Governor, Prince Hohenlohe, prohibited the municipality to name two institutions maintained by it after Dante and after Petrarca. Following the policy of pin-pricks, and fearing treason everywhere, sport meetings arranged by the Italians of Trieste are frequently forbidden, under the plea that they would constitute "a nationalist demonstration." Almost anything may be forbidden as "a nationalist demonstration."

In December 1911 a citizen of Monfalcone was ordered to take down a winged lion on his house, because it resembled that of the Republic of Venice, and therefore involved a political demonstration. Italian music is frequently suppressed as a political demonstration. A child at Trieste, eleven years old, playing at home on the piano, started the Garibaldi hymn. A policeman appeared, ordered her to stop playing, and her father was imprisoned for a fortnight for the treasonable action of his daughter. Freedom of speech and freedom of the Press are, of course, non-existent. On February 13th, 1910, the police destroyed in the Servola furnaces twenty tons of printed paper, the result of numerous confiscations of Italian newspapers and reviews. The Italian charitable and sociable organisations are liable to be dissolved without any cause by order of the Authority. The wearing of the Italian colours, or the use of the Italian flag, is, of course, strictly forbidden, although Italy is Austria's ally.

The Government has not only imported a large army of Slavonic workers into Trieste and has endeavoured to suppress the Italian schools, but it has also striven to denationalise the Church. Of 290 priests in Trieste 190 are Slavs, and Slavism is undermining the Italian Church in exactly the same way it is undermining all other Italian institutions. Encouraged by the Government, the feud between the Slavs and Italians has become so bitter that an Italian can no longer be certain to obtain the blessings of his Church if the priest is a Slav. At Spalato a Croatian priest refused to give burial to an Italian. In Topolovaz, in Istria, the parish priest refused to bury an Italian child. In Sterna the Slavonic priest refused the last sacrament to a man because he was an Italian.

All the world over Latin is the language of the Roman Catholic Church, but in the Slavonic parts of Austria Latin is being replaced by Slavonic. At Lindaro a Croatian priest refused to baptize an Italian child because the father wished the function to be conducted in Latin. The Croatian bishop Mahnic ordered the priests in the island of Quarnero to give religious instruction in the Italian schools in the Croatian language, although the children understand only Italian. Apparently, the Slavonic priests are in many cases the agents of an aggressive nationalism. Their race patriotism seems to be stronger than their faith, and they rebel against Rome. How determined is their opposition to the use of Latin may be seen from the fact that on October 28th, 1913, an Italian schoolmaster at Sogignacco, in Istria, was proceeded against in the Law Courts for having disturbed the Roman Catholic divine service because he had sung the Litany in Latin in a procession. Some Slavonic priests are so determined to conquer the country for Slavism that they have endeavoured to force the Slavonic language into purely Italian centres. The Slavonic priests have begun to say in Slavonic masses, sermons, and prayers, and even in Italian Trieste Slavonic has begun to be used in the churches. Naturally, many Italians have left their church in disgust.

The Slavs have founded powerful societies, which provide the Government with Slavonic workers from the Slavonic hinterland, which establish co-operation among them, and which strengthen their cohesion in every possible way. The Narodni Dom gives to every married Slavonic worker who settles in Trieste the complete furniture of a room and of a kitchen. That is, of course, a great inducement for poor people who cannot make a living in Austria to get married and settle in Trieste instead of emigrating.

In self-defence against the attacks of the Government and the Slavonic organisations, the Italians have created organisations of their own. Among these the Lega Nazionale is the best known and the most powerful. It was created in 1890. In 1901, after ten years' existence, the League possessed 131 local groups in Austria, with 24,000 members. It maintained 21 schools and institutions of its own and subsidised eight others. At the end of 1911, after twenty years of existence, the membership had increased to 42,041, and it maintained 74 schools of its own, subsidised 136 others, arid maintained besides 153 libraries and other institutions. It has a yearly income of more than 600,000 crowns and a capital of more than 1,000,000 crowns. In view of the fact that there are only 800,000 Italians in Austria, who, by voluntary contributions, have collected these sums, these results are certainly most remarkable, and are a monument to the patriotism of the Italian people.

Elsewhere in the Italian provinces of Austria the Italians are persecuted as they are in Trieste. Not far from Trieste lies Pola, the Austrian Portsmouth. Of the 4,000 workers employed at the Pola Arsenal, 3,000 who were Italians have been dismissed. In a single year practically all the Italians employed at the Law Courts were replaced. Pola, like Trieste, is pre-eminently an Italian town. But in Pola also the Slavs are increasing far more rapidly than the Italians. In ten years the number of Slavs and Germans at Pola has doubled, while that of the Italians has increased only by one-fourth. In Pola, as in Trieste, the Government endeavours to denationalise the Italians by starving the Italian schools and promoting the teaching of Slavonic. As Pola is an important naval base, the methods employed for terrorising the Italians and for depriving them of their work are far more ruthless than at Trieste.

The sea towns along the Austrian Adriatic, such as Capodistria, Isola, Pirano, Salvore, Umago, San Lorenzo, Cittanova, Parenzo, Orsera, Rovigno, Fasan, are absolutely Italian. But the interior of the peninsula of Istria is Slavonic, except for Italian islands which are found here and there. The Italian farmers in Istria are experiencing hard times, and are gradually deserting the country for the town. Their place is taken by Slavs, whose requirements are smaller than are those of the Italians, and the acquisition of Italian farms is facilitated by the Slavonic cooperative societies, which, desirous of driving out the Italians, consider the acquisition of Italian land as a patriotic deed.

Until recently Italians carried on the Austrian Merchant Marine, but Austria endeavours to drive the Italians from the sea. Lately Austria has established navigation schools, where only the Croatian language is taught. Austria evidently endeavours to make it impossible for Italians to exist and to make a living on the Adriatic coast.

The Italian Tyrol, the Trentino, occupies a most important strategical position. A glance at the map shows that the protecting wall of the Alps is penetrated by the Austrian Trentino. The Austrian frontier ends in the middle of the Lago di Garda. Hence, an Austrian army can penetrate without difficulty into the Italian plain. The Trentino is an Austrian sally-port, which constantly threatens Italy's integrity and peace. Austria has maintained that important position in order to be able to strike a mortal blow at Italy at any moment.

In view of its strategical importance, it is only natural that the military is supreme in the Trentino, especially as the country is practically purely Italian. In Southern Tyrol dwell 373,000 Italians and only 12,000 Germans, and the majority of the latter are soldiers or Government officials. The capital, Trento, or Trent, is purely Italian, and so are the smaller towns. The Trentino is protected against Italy by numerous and extremely powerful fortifications, which command all the approaches from Italy, and the peace garrison consists of thirty-six battalions of infantry, three battalions of engineers, five battalions of fortress artillery, twelve batteries of mountain and field artillery, etc. Regardless of expense, the Government constructs every year military roads. Considering the Trentino a district of the greatest military importance, the Austrian Government, guided by its soldiers, endeavours to overawe the Italian element of the country.

As the Italian Tyrol slopes towards Italy, Italy is its natural market. However, the Austrian Government impedes traffic between Italy and the Trentino in every possible way, and discourages trade and industry. The carriage roads and telephones end at the Italian frontier. The great water powers of the Trentino remain unutilised because the Austrian Government does not allow electric power derived from them to be sold in the Italian plain. Italian financiers are prevented by Austria developing the Trentino, which Austria refuses to develop. The Trentino, like Trieste, lives under a régime of petty persecution. In Trieste, the history of Trieste must not be taught. In the school-books employed in the Trentino history ends with the year 1815. To the school-child history ends at the time when the awakening of nationalism in Italy began. In the Trentino, as in the other Italian provinces of Austria, Italian Associations are prohibited.

Arrests for suspected espionage are frequent in the Trentino and in Pola, and throughout the Italian districts the Italians are spied upon and denounced to the police. People who are suspected of nationalist leanings are expelled. People who are suspected of espionage are often kept in prison during months without trial. In the Trentino the Government endeavours, more ruthlessly than elsewhere, to stifle industry and liberty among the Italians. Unable to make a living, many Italians emigrate from the Trentino. While the Austrian Government encourages the Slavs in Trieste and the districts surrounding it, it encourages the pan-Germanic agitation in the Trentino, and that agitation is all the more successful as it disposes of very considerable funds obtained partly from Austria and partly from Germany.

There are about 800,000 Italians in Austria, and these occupy two extremely valuable positions. The Trentino is a point of the greatest strategical value, the possession of which is of vital importance to Italy. Its possession would secure that country against a sudden invasion from Austria. Trieste is extremely important as a commercial harbour, and Pola is a most excellent war harbour. The Italian shore of the Adriatic is flat and practically harbourless. The Austrian shore of that sea is studded with a large number of excellent natural harbours. The eastern shore of the Adriatic dominates the western, and Valona, lying at the narrow opening of that sea, is at the same time its Gibraltar and its Portsmouth. While Italy is obviously entitled to the possession of the Trentino, both for geographical and national reasons... While, owing to the number of Italians living in the towns, Italy has the strongest claims to Trieste and Pola, the Slavs lay claim to these towns, because they require outlets to the sea. ...the Italians have the stronger claim to Trieste on the ground of nationality...