The truth about Phobias is about as factual as this desecrated photo. Those who are shooting and have hammer and sickle painted on their backs are not Tito's partisans, but Italian soldiers with their typical helmets, and the civilians shot, whose backs are painted with the Italian flag, are not Italians, but Slovenians.

 

 

 

Miloš Ivančič

FAKE FOIBA

 

Second, updated edition

 

This text is machine translated using Google translate, so I apologize in advance for any mistakes. I am asking you to help me improve it, fix it, clean it up, edit it...

Write to me at ivancic.milos@gmail.com

 

Ta tekst je preveden strojno s pomočjo Google translate, zato se vnaprej opravičujem za napake. Prosim vas, da mi ga pomagate izboljšati, popraviti, očistiti napak, urediti...

Pišite mi na naslov ivancic.milos@gmail.com

 

 

 

Koper, 2020

 

Association of anti-fascists, fighters for NOB values and Koper veterans

Association of anti-fascists, fighters for the values of the LLN and veterans of Koper

 

 

Dedicated to all war and post-war victims,

which politics even in peace

abuses for his nefarious purposes.

 

 

INTRODUCTION BY THE AUTHOR

I'm not a historian, even though revealing the past is very appealing to me, not even a politician, despite the fact that I write a lot about it, but I'm a journalist, already mature, overripe, retired. Although I took on responsible editorial duties at a very young age, I also had the greatest joy of walking among our people, who were divided by the border, recording their life stories and publishing them in shows that told about our people and our places. I also instilled in them pride in our ancestors, that they are Istrians, Primorski, Slovenes.

Through conversations with countless people, I got information that you can't find in books and archives, and through contacts with daily politics, the realization that if you want to understand something seemingly too complicated, you have to step back a bit: if you want to see the whole tree, you have to leave the shadow of its treetops and take another step away. If you want to know what its fruit is like, it is not enough to look at it, because it is not intended for that, but you have to taste it. I already had it in my childhood. It's the same with a valley, a mountain or a country - from afar or from the highest peak you can really see it in its entirety, but if you want to get to know it well, you have to live in it and with it. For man, these valleys and lands are his home, womb, living space and eternal grave. That is why in this book I also write in places about my personal experiences and my own understanding of truths, with the goal of a better life for new generations.

This is also my duty as a journalist. If the role of scientists is to reveal all the secrets of this world with a healthy doubt to the deepest and widest limits, then my role as a journalist is to convey this to those for whom it is intended, to combine and explain it, to connect it with everyday life, to reach a consensus of all the small and great truths.

Although many wanted to convince me that there is only one truth, that is theirs or their god, politician, intellectual... as a journalist, I realized that there can be many more truths, and most of them are Foibe. What's more: even "truths" can be false. Lying escalates into manipulation, false propaganda, incitement, intimidation, hatred, fanaticism, terrorism, war. Through mass media manipulation, we have already developed a real culture of Foibe. We drown in this, we fall into this trap of Foibe - even with Foibe about traps.

This book is my commentary article. Exactly what our teachers of the new democracy said was a forbidden journalistic genre, because they wanted to usurp the right of analysis and personal interpretation to themselves as politicians, unfortunately more politicians. Maybe someone who has already read one of my books will say that I repeat some facts and even my own words, but I don't do this in order to "make the word flesh", but for the simple reason that in today's fast, superficial and to an information-saturated world with one book or another to reach him or that what I want to say would still be heard. Who will say that I am too harsh, direct, accusing in this writing. If I have, I apologize, because I do it only with the intention of raising awareness that this policy of hatred and even desecration of the memory of the dead must be ended.

The first book with this title was published almost unfinished out of necessity and fear that one of the representatives of our nation would go to worship at the foibo of Foibe in Bazovica, which is also the new altar of anti-Slavic fascism, on the centenary of the burning of the National House. And that's exactly what happened. Second, given the conditions in which free associations that honor the values of patriotism and resistance can operate under the government of the extreme right, we have also cleaned up the errors due to necessity, supplemented, edited and released, so that we can continue our fight against Foibe, manipulations, changing the historical truth and separation of the nation or, simply put, against the revival of the original Italian fascism and also the Slovenian servile or collaborationist clerofascism.

Otherwise, as a native of Primorje, from Osapska dolina in the suburbs of Trieste, where we grew up in the style of the Malalan brothers, the dean and Monsignor Franco and Rik, the secretary of the Trieste organization of the Communist Party, I myself am disappointed and hurt by all this. Well, it's probably not just me as a native of Primorje and a Slovenian, but also many of our Italian neighbors, at least those who grew from their historical humanism into anti-fascists and those who didn't dabble in politics, but just wanted to live in accordance with old moral values. But unfortunately, the political rulers have different interests than the nation of good people. I say "political rulers" because I distinguish between politicians who work for their people and those who work for their own and their master's benefit.

My nation is also just as good and most importantly, above all the victims of others (as well as their own who sold themselves to others).

How vile is that policy that exploits even minorities for these vested interests, not only those of neighbors, but also their own neighbors, their historical, economic and cultural connection, people who are the fruit of love from mixed marriages and cultures...

I heard a lot of bad things from people, words and sighs that drowned in tears, but also a lot of proud, happy, loving things when I was recording our people as a border radio journalist. After retirement, I published many of these stories and my insights in books, including what hurt, burned, burned - that's what a person has to throw out of themselves. But even this must be placed in space and time.

As a native, I was seriously affected by the attitude of our neighbors towards our nation, due to what my parents and grandparents experienced, and even personal experiences. And not only what they did to us in the past, but also what they are doing now, when we are supposed to be good neighbors or even new brothers of European freedom and democracy, when they are changing history, turning us from victims to users, systematically developing a new and an adapted fascism derived from the same proto-fascism of theirs that brought the world into World War II.

At the same time, I am extremely disappointed with a large part of Slovenian politics, which, despite their mouths full of words about freedom and equality, reflects a servile attitude or even a new policy of collaboration, some even encourage fascist revanchism. Difficult words, but I can't find more suitable ones, because while I was just continuing the work of my ancestors, conscious and fighting coastal patriots, I experienced so many injustices, pressures, harassment and also threats, which I cannot compare with anything other than fascism.

It is a planned and long-planned direction of the whole world to the right. The fall of the Eastern political bloc and also the waves of migrants coming from the Mediterranean Sea are clearly not enough. Some people in Italy have been preparing for what they have now launched for a long time. This is proven by the manipulations of their media and even more so by the state radio and television station RAI, which, after the "success" of the film Srce v brežen, shot a new feature film Red Land or Rosso Istria (Red Land or Red Istria), is preparing or filming the next one. The proof that this is planned is also the transfer of these Foibe to the European level, not only with a special exhibition about foibles in the EU premises in Brussels, but above all with the performance of Antonio Tajani as president of the European Parliament, which was more than just a revival of Italian territorial claims to their neighbors.

The reaction of official Slovenia to all that is happening in connection with the foibs, or more precisely what the propaganda with the foibs is used for, is sadly servile, and from some still collaborative. The crowning moment was the bowing of the president of our country at Šoht in Bazovica, says the liar.

With all piety for the dead, but first with respect for the victims and heroes of the fight for freedom

When you read this book, remember that fascism, this worst cancer of humanity, does not come from Germany, where it only reached its peak, but from Italy, and its most corrupt mutations are in collaborationism’s. After the war, those allies who feared the rise of communists in Italy and the rest of the world dealt only with the Germans and the Japanese, with the latter with atomic bombs. There was no Nuremberg trial for Italy, no atomic bomb for its criminals, and the halo of fighters against communism was added to fascist collaborationism during the Cold War. So, they left a seed, deliberately, just in case, right here on the border with us Slovenians, a small Slavic nation that sings Long live all nations...

The Italian day of commemoration of the exodus and the Phoebes is not only about preserving memory, but about changing history, even about revising the foundations of the Italian state as a post-war republic that grew out of anti-fascism. What's more, it is about the planned preservation of their proto-fascism of old dreams of empires from the times of ancient Rome, as well as the constant preservation of the so-called border fascism and the ideology of Mussolini's fascism... As if they are aware that our Slovenian or generally Slavic proto-fascism is in slavish collaborationism.

It is indeed necessary to bury all the dead, to express piety to them, but first all respect to the victims and heroes who fell for freedom, not to their users. Exploitation of the dead for politics or even hatred is not a reflection of culture, but of fascism.

What happened after the collapse of the Italian fascist kingdom and after the end of the war was not due to Slavic ethnic hatred towards Italians, as their president of the country says, i.e., Slavic fascism, but because of the century-old sublime hatred of Italian nationalists towards our nation and the quarter-century terror of the Italian of fascism, so the book is about that first.

Hiding and justifying apostasy and betrayal of the nation

In the worst grip of Italian and Slovenian new fascist revanchism are our compatriots from abroad, this most hardened and also noble part of our nation, which has managed to preserve its national consciousness and pride in its history and culture. The worst neo-fascists, not ideologues, but the new aquarists and their leaders, are precisely the renegades of the Slovenian and Croatian nation, who became Italians for their personal gain. So, these are those who betrayed their ancestors and their nation due to the political propaganda of the Cold War, which is also the main cause of the exodus. They are unconsciously or subconsciously aware of these betrayals, which affects their behaviour in one way or another. This often develops into a complex, which, in order to defend against it, they expose it to new lies , manipulations, propaganda and thus develop a counterweight compensation complex. That's why they emphasize their dubious Romanic roots, Italian culture, multi-valuedness, militancy... just what they don't have. It is not just silence or apostasy, but betrayal of the nation, even the crimes they committed as a result of this betrayal. This is their greatest sin or crime against the nation.

Blood is not water, says the old saying, and these Slavic converts certainly feel it, this denial of their mother reminds them a lot in their daily life. Therefore, they must constantly convince themselves of the lie that they are not traitors of the Slavic lineage, but are descendants of the Romanic, true Italians. This cannot be simply hidden or justified, not even by fighting for the true religion or against communism. That is why they also need their martyrs and heroes, their new churches and altars, more and more Foibe, louder brass. If we add to this today's culture of populism and neo-fascist manipulation of the masses, then we can say that it is a matter of preserving or developing that old human fascism, in which the weaklings and degenerates of humanity want to prevail over the good through their association in the buta, even now in neoliberalism.

Fascism is the renaissance of Roman culture

This is also Roman culture. Already in antiquity, both religion and art were in many ways just plagiarisms of ancient Greek, then Jewish, then German, American... and each was corrupted, changed for the worse than the original: the Olympic Peace Games into a gladiatorial slaughter for fun, the love of the Christian faith and union their god with a man was turned into torture, burning at the stake, hatred and mass killing of those who believed differently. They turned the original American freedom into the freedom of the mafia world, the freedom of the stronger, more brazen and bloodthirsty, into capitalist liberalism. The ancient Roman army was indeed the best for its time, but in recent history Italian soldiers, including the most militant fascists, have proven to be cowards, cowards and even derailed. Worse, even his humanism, that

Those who claim that they are the descendants of the Romans, bearers of a two-thousand-year-old culture, forget that the Romans were defeated. They forget that at that time the victors killed or enslaved the vanquished, raped their women and created their own clan. They were barbarians - that's what they call them. But then where did these barbarians go? After the victory, they withdrew from the occupied territory, from Florence and Rome. They did not stay there, and the Italians of today are mainly or primarily the descendants of these victorious masses of barbarians... and of course also the surviving Romans. These victorious barbarians, of course, took much from the Roman culture, just as the Romans did the Greek and then the Jewish gods, but fortunately not the culture of slavery, gladiatorial games and imperialism. However, this former Roman culture experienced its renaissance with fascism.

I am not blaming the Italians, but their fascism

Italians call themselves "brava gente", i.e., good people. My father and many interviewees confirmed to me that when they were in confinement, special battalions or even prisons in Italy, the people there helped them a lot, that the simple locals there were really good people. However, who forcibly moved them from their homes to confinement, imprisoned them, tortured them, killed them, but it wasn't the Italians?

The critical anti-fascist public in Italy is aware of this false propaganda, but remains alienated from the increasingly populist politics and media. They were the first to point out many things written in this book. It is not possible to turn all people into hostile nationalists or even fascists, especially if they are aware of what fascism is and what has happened under its ideas in history, as well as in the present.

This book is also a continuation of my previous ones: Peruti of the Trieste aborigine, Lebič - the story of the forgotten exodus, Rose of Osapska, Primorska dežela and Fascism for Butalce, as well as those that you can find on the world wide web, so look for and open the Miloš Ivančič Window.

 

 Foiba near Pazin (Source: it.wikipedia.org).

 

 

FAKE FOIBE

Let's start with the second word of this title.

 

FAKE (Lies)

The Bible says "do not lie", but our media calls lies "fake news". Yes, God also moved from Rome to America. Not just now, but earlier, when the immigrants killed the natives with a cross on sails and swords and stole their land.

Since the real one moved away, they found another one, Mussolini. German orthodox believers, both Catholic and Lutheran churches and even non-believers, had Hitler as their god of lies , who revealed to his students that of all lies , the big, very big ones that people don't even dare to question are the most effective. His apostle of propaganda, Goebbels, then worked out a true science of using lies  for propaganda purposes. He emphasized that a lie must be repeated a lot, because eventually all people will start to believe it. If your conscience bothers you, or if there is a risk of being found out, after you have told a lie many times, you can confess once. You admit that you were wrong, you can also apologize. However, you must not repeat it, so that the previous lie still dominates the memory.

Biblically, this would be called "and the word became flesh."

Even fairy tales are lies

By the way, humans love lies, very much so. Fairy tales, gods, some even politicians, but only their own! We expose ourselves to them, because they make our every day and even our whole life more beautiful - at least until we realize it, and even then, like top scientists, we question every truth. Many people were born because of the "I love you" lie, because by nature the most important instinct for the preservation of the species is sex, the goal of which is to reproduce, not to love. We know that murders happen because of these things.

Yes, love also exists and I believe in it too, but for now let's leave this wonderful word alone. Another proof that we love lies  is that we like to turn a blind eye to the unwanted truth, say she doesn't love me, let alone that she cheated on me.

It's even worse. Humans are raised to be what we are with love, but also lies  and fear, human beings or the highest form of beast that enjoys torturing and killing. And so that no one blames me, I will not mention belief in God, but rather belief in fairy-tale creatures, in Santa Claus and his gifts, or in Snow White. As a rule, these are just beautiful fabrications or lies , but also very cruel ones (read the old version of Snow White again).

Millions of people have died because of the belief in the "one truth". Which God is real, which is his truth? Everyone and everything cannot be. If this is true, then everything else is a lie. But what is a lie: that God created humans or that we humans created God?

If I jump to the present tense, the term lie is understood as the deliberate distortion of the truth, so lies  are also various forms of beautification, silencing of truths, deceiving with other truths, loading various information so that the truth or lies  are lost in them, even scientifically proving one's right and so on. A lie is also the silencing of the truth and emphasizing another. The previously mentioned fake news is also a lie, because often talking about them or referring to them is just an artificial lie, with which one wants to divert attention from the real ones. All of this together can also be called manipulation, especially if their goal is political.

There is even more lying in the political world: listen to and remember politicians' promises before the elections, then what they say and accept in parliament, then their comments in the media... But that's not the worst, even worse than them are some journalists, my colleagues, experts in all-round manipulation (I write about this elsewhere). Wars are also about lies , not just the attack on Iraq because Saddam allegedly had factories for war poisons. Cold, trade, media wars are all lies  and propaganda backed up by hostile measures. I don't know what the Russians or the Chinese write about us, but they certainly don't tell as many lies  as we do about them - just as we didn't once about America or Italy, which I know even better than they do about us. Such unarmed psychological wars have often turned into the worst human catastrophes in history. Remember also the lie about the only true truth of God,

And we mustn't forget those lies , which are tied to foibles, with which today history is changed, and the building blocks of fascism are preserved.

The Italians claim that Istria and Dalmatia (if necessary, also other lands) have always been theirs, since Rome or Venice. But it is not true, because Rome and Venice are not eternal. These places were free thousands or millions of years ago, in between under the Byzantines, the Franks and the French, the Austrians and the Germans... All the greats wanted to appropriate them. It is true that the Italians got them from the British or the Entente before the First World War with a secret agreement in London, namely as a reward for the betrayal of their old al allies. However, these places were not from those who gave them away, but ours, from the people who live here.

Exodus and foibe did not start happening in our country after the Second World War, but already after the First.

Today, Italians say that in the Second World War they too were victims of German Nazism, even part of the victorious alliance. Moreover, they were even victims of Tito's communism.

In the end, they were indeed victims, but victims of their best ally. In this, at least some of their honor was saved by their partisans, who, with the help of the Tito’s, fought together against their worst fascist soldiery of the Republic of Salo. It is true that in the end the Americans and the English freed them, but the biggest winners of the Second World War were the Slavs or Ščavi, the most inferior people for them. Even today, they cannot admit to themselves that the very people on whom they practiced all their worst barbarism won. What else are people who burn the cultural homes of others.

They forget their pro-fascism, about which Umberto Eco wrote a lot, which is even older than nationalism and has its roots in old Roman imperialism, their superiority over barbarians and their attitude towards slaves, who were not even considered human. They even have these genes in their humanism and communism. It is not just a coincidence that Mussolini was first a socialist and even the editor of their newsletter Avanti.

They forget that they "invented" fascism, which is the main culprit for the Second World War and the horrors that happened before, during and after the war as a result. That Nazism was just the German version of their fascism. That they were not only allies of the Germans and Japanese, but that they also started fascist wars of conquest, torturing and killing the civilian population.

At the present time, everything is especially clouded by the forgetfulness, and not only theirs, that fascism developed with the great help of both English, American and French capital and politics, as well as the Vatican clergy. They developed it together, not only as a defence ideology against communism or Bolshevism, but also humanism and liberalism, and above all as a system of controlling the rebellious masses of the exploited working class and nations who wanted freedom, equality...

They forget that their Western friends, who helped them develop fascism, did not achieve all their goals with the end of the Second World War and used them for a new war, a cold war, which was not only against communism, but also against the Slavs. Now Russia is not communist, it is capitalist, and they are still waging a kind of new cold war with it and even with us, Slovenians. Manipulation of exodus and foibe is also one of these new cold fronts. It is still about the common interests of big capital, which wants to totally subjugate the world, and about the old interests of Italian pro-fascism.

They forget that clerofascismo, Nazism, Japanese imperial imperialism, Quislingism, Utsav, Chetniks, various extreme nationalists, such as Bander's OUN in Ukraine, as well as Polpot's communism and ISIS, movements such as CasaPound, etc., are only developmental forms or mutations of fascism adapted to space and time. (Read my book Fascism for Fools )

They forget that as a result of the Second World War, or fascism in all its forms, there were more than 60 million dead worldwide, the vast majority of whom were Slavs, and that the greatest number of victims were among the civilian population of the countries, not the defeated countries, but the victorious ones. After such a war, it is completely understandable that there were massacres and reprisals, in which 6 million people were still dead all over the world. These would not have existed if there had been no war and if various fascists had not committed such atrocities.

They forget that Italy paid an inappropriately lower tax than Germany and Japan for what it did, that it had inappropriately fewer dead than the countries it attacked. In particular, that her soldiers behaved inappropriately more barbarically towards the occupied civilian population than the victorious army did towards hers.

They forget that their war criminals were not convicted of their crimes (also thanks to the Western fear of communism), but even after the fall of fascism they held the highest positions in the country, and after the end of the war, medals. The most prominent examples are the fascist Marshal Pietro Badoglio, who became Prime Minister, after the arrival of the western solders in the Trieste executioner Gaetano Collotti, who was even posthumously decorated (but he and his concubine were not killed by the Tito’s partisans, but by Italian partisans).

They forget their post-war massacres. Because they cannot be hidden, they are now saying that they were carried out by Tito's communist partisans, that we inferior barbaric Slavs killed them only because they are Italians, Italian patriots... They forget that these partisans of ours are liberating us from the Germans and their fascists units only reached Tržič or the border with Friulian life. But who killed tens and tens of thousands of Italians all over their boot?

These, of course, are not just forgetfulness, these are Foibe that have already turned into truth due to constant repetition and extremely widespread manipulation of history. The media is in the hands of those who have capital, interests in the domination or supremacy of the world, but not those who have the most love, honesty, knowledge, ability to develop the species and the world.

And not only the Italians have forgotten this, but also many others around the world, as well as here - and not just by chance.

So, it is not just about Foibe or fake news, as journalists call them today, but about the complete manipulation of history or the truth, its planned change, even the creation of hatred, in Italy also about intimidation with barbaric Slavs, with foibles, with the creation or preservation of ancient hatred towards the Slavs, for the preservation of their old proto-fascism of the exalted nation and the new frontier fascism. Don't say that I'm exaggerating, that I'm inciting racism or even Nazism, as this also means the Holocaust. Yes, the holocaust, because it refers not only to the extermination of the Jews, but also to us Slavs, not by crematoria, but by dying in their many concentration camps, such as Rab and Gonars, which they try to portray as resorts or even camps to which they were these inmates voluntarily walked to escape from the Germans and the Communists.

It is a planned transformation of history, truths, values, a disgusting fascist manipulation, where they attribute their worst crimes to their victims, especially those that affect the emotions the most, such as killing children, rape. Soon the communists will even be credited with eye gouging and crematoria... In doing so, they are even competing with the desecration of photographs of their victims.

Don't believe it? Read this book to the end

Foibe

Now about the foibles. It is supposed to be an abyss, a cave, but full of bones - human or, in Italian - Italian.

There are a lot of caves in the karst world. There is almost no village that does not have a large hole, some also have stalactites, and people are very happy if there is water in these caves. This one also created them, the little one made burrows, and the slowly dripping one made stalactites. Once upon a time, they claimed that one was God, the other the devil, as they were said to lead to hell, but today we know that their creator was water. Among those where the water still flows, the most famous in our country are the Postojnska and Škocjanska jama. However, the one that is the most talked about and written about in all the media around the world is not either of these two or similar underground beauties, but Fojba. Foiba in Italian. We Slavs just softened this name a little.

Phoebe was a Roman priestess

Fojba is not the name of just one cave, but a series of sinkholes of the Pazin river, which long ago and then throughout the entire era of human civilization gnawed and washed its cave, which is its path. It is probably named after the Latin name for the cave "fovea" or the Italian "fossa", which the Italians claim, perhaps after Phobos Mars or Ares's son, the deity of fear, but it is even more likely that she was named after the Christian priestess Phoebe, who during the lifetime of St. Petra led religious ceremonies in the hidden underground of Rome.

These abysses are therefore not named after a Slavic goddess, not Morana at all, but after the Roman and Christian priestess Phoebe. I guess they didn't call her Ščavi that way. These chasms existed before the Slavs and the Romans, long before the descendants of refugees from the Middle East, nursed by a wolf with her milk, created the Roman Empire.

Here lived the Histri, in all probability an ancient Illyrian tribe, most of whom the Romans killed in accordance with their culture, and in all probability, in accordance with the old beliefs about underground deities, also sacrificed some to their new priestess Phoebe. Their historians of the time wrote that tens of thousands of them were slaughtered. The last king of the Histrians, Epulon, fought with his surviving soldiers literally to the last breath. Before they threw themselves into the last fight, they killed their children and wives, so that they would not fall into the hands of the bloodthirsty and corrupt Romans, who would rape, torture and sell them as slaves.

After that, the Slavs, who were mainly shepherds and farmers, not soldiers, came into this decaying Roman culture. They also united with the surviving Histri, who stayed in their castles on top of the hard-to-conquer hills called Tinjan or Atinium.

The Slavs, as the vast majority, even though they were ruled by others, brought here peace, coexistence with new immigrants from all over, from Romania (Istroromuni) to Sicily (Bumbari), until these places were desired by new rulers, first Napoleon, then even more northern Germans. The Russians and Serbs, however, did not send their armies. Serbs settled end masse as Uskoki, that is, half farmers and half soldiers, but not as attackers, but as defenders of Venetian and Austrian cities and castles. This mixture of our predominantly Slavic population was also called Illyrians for many centuries.

Here, on this last line of defence against the marauding pirates, and the Huns especially the Turks, there were many skirmishes and battles. The defenders of their homesteads and the soft European underbelly of the slain invaders did not always bury them, but simply threw them into the karst abyss.

 

Stories about it have survived to this day. When I was doing a show about their village in a place between Trieste and Kozina, I noticed an old Turkish sword in a cellar, and I asked the host where he got it, and he replied that he had pulled it from a cave at their villages. Inside the cave, there are still many remains from the Turks, who were defeated here in a battle, and then the bodies and all their equipment were thrown into the cave.

 Adapted extract of a copy from the census folder of the Austro-Hungarian population census in Pazin and its surroundings in 1910 (Source: http://www.kozina.com/premik/1910.htm ).

It is also common knowledge that the brigs of foreign masters who lived in castles in our regions threw rebellious people over the walls or into karst abysses. One such chasm is the one at the Socerba castle, which the Venetian counts deliberately left in the middle of the castle courtyard when the wall was being built. Even the other Italian owners did not close it or cover it up during the restoration of the castle, but left it to intimidate the subjects.

The fear of foibe did not remain only in the memory, but was even written in the folk songs of the Italian minority in Pazin, which also very clearly reflects the time of irredentism and predicts fascism. The fact that Italians were only a minority in Pazin is proven by the data from the 1910 census, from which we can see that 15,966 people used Serbo-Croatian as their language, while only 1,378 spoke Italian. But these were the old and new masters, their henchmen, bureaucrats and serfs.

 

 An open cave abyss, foiba, in the courtyard of the Socerb castle as a reminder to rebellious farmers (Photo: M. Ivančič).

 

Simply put, foibe has become a common name for an abyss of horror, especially among Italians. Caves with water were already in Greek mythology the "anteroom" of Hades. According to their nationalists, rebellious schiava, i.e., slaves, would also be judged there. For them, we were also all Slavs, but in the dialect, they called us "S'ciavi" or " Ščavi«. They also considered themselves culturally more valuable. When the Austrian authorities established a school in Pazin in 1898 with Croatian as the teaching language, the Italians rose to their feet at this news and organized many protests. In the propaganda material, which called for protests against this school in other Istrian cities as well, the Italian organizer even called for arson and throwing people into Fojba.

 Thus, in the Venetian-Trieste dialect, the last stanza of the Italian patriotic poem from Pazin at the bottom of the Foibe went, that whoever offends (Italian) must end up in the Foibe (Source: Collzione di almacchi regionali, Achille Gorlato, La Venezia Giulia Trieste e Istria, Milan, 1925).

 

Fojba for the ethnic cleansing of Slavs in Istria

The poet Giuseppe Cobolli - Giglli alias Giulio Italico, who is less known today, but during the time of Fascist Italy, gave real historical significance to this Fojba with his "poetry". After he even became Mussolini's Minister of Public Works for his merits, children had to memorize his poem Fojba at school. They even set it to music and had to sing it in class.

"A Pola xe l'Arena/ la Foiba xe a Pisin:/ che i buta zo in quel fondo/ chi ga zerto morbin..." And in Slovenian: "In Pula there is an arena, in Pazin there is Fojba, into this abyss let it throws itself at the one who itches." According to the content, he tells us that for those who do not want to become Italians, there is still an arena in Pula, in which beasts tore barbarians live in front of an audience, i.e., our ancestors, and in Pazin also a pitfall from which no one escapes. The poem was first published by Cobolli in 1919.

 Cover of Giuseppe Cobolli alias Giulio Italico Trieste la fedele di Roma from 1919 and two clippings above the stanza and below the text which explains it even better than described in the text above.

 

In order to better understand it, he wrote very clearly in the introduction that Pazin had never belonged to the Republic of Venice, but still kept alive its roots in the Latin world, because despite the German masters they spoke Italian. He then describes a place on a rock under which the stream "Fojba" flows. It was this Istrian muse "Foiba" who chose this place as a just grave for all those who brazenly reject the Italianisms of Istria. You can find the poem and these thoughts of his in other books, including in the magazine Gerachia, whose editor was Benito Mussolini himself.

Infobibing is not a culture of Slavs, but of Italians

This is what they did with those who did not want to become Italians. According to several internet sources, even the right-wing Trieste daily Il Piccolo, which is not in favour of Slovenes, has admitted this. According to Claudia Cernigoi, Foibe fra storia e mito, on October 22, 2001, he published the testimony of the Jew Raffaello Camerinio, who managed to escape the fascists in 1940 before being thrown into a pit of a bauxite mine near Labin. You can also get this letter online.

»The cruelty of the Italian fascists against those who spoke Croatian instead of Italian, or those who opposed changing their Croatian or Slovenian surname to another Italian, was such that at night they forcibly took men, young and old, and, with incredible systems, they dragged them as far as Vignes, Chersano and other neighboring localities, where there were sinkholes, and there, after a pistol shot in the neck, they threw them into the abyss. When these cavities were filled, I saw several trucks, during the day and in the evening, with concrete taken from a building materials depot located at the base of Albona, which headed for those sites and after a short time returned empty. At the time I lived in a house located in the square of Santa Domenica d'Albona, adjacent to the church,

In the Museum of the Yugoslav Army in Belgrade, you can also find photos of the cleaning of the mentioned foibe near Podvinje or the Vignes foibe, to which, according to Cameron’s story, the Italian fascists drove those who resisted changing their Slovenian or Italian surname. This was cleaned up by the Germans at the end of 1943, when they occupied Istria and pulled out several corpses of imprisoned people, and in the process took several photographs and even a short film clip, which they used to spread propaganda that this was the work of partisans. This film was also often shown in Trieste. This is one of the mentioned German photos. But apparently these corpses are not of innocent Italians who ended up in the cave just because they were Italians, but of Istrians who did not want to become Italians, and the fascists threw them into this cave, as Rafael Camerinii wrote.

 Screenshot of the photo published in the Italian Wikipedia (Source: https://it.wikipedia.org/)

 

The son of a Slovenian teacher

But who was this Giuseppe Cobol, then Cobolli, Giulio Italico alias Gigli, the ideologue of fascism and foibe?

He was from Koper, born in Trieste. His father was the Slovene teacher Nikolaus Kobolj or Kobol, supposedly from Vipavski, one of those who, after the Austro-Hungarian school reform, also taught Slovene children to read and write in their own language. This son of his, who is entered in the birth certificate in Trieste as Josip Kobolj, evidently realized at a very young age, like many Slovenians, that he would succeed better in Koper than an Italian, so he changed his name even before the Italians with a royal decree. Immediately after the First World War, you can find him in the press of the time with the already partially changed surname Cobol or even more Italianized Cobolli. As a poet, he took on even more Italian titles, the noble Gigli and Giulio Italico. To be a true Italian, he also became a true fascist. And it paid off for him: he became Mussolini's Minister of Public Works, the people of Koper, out of admiration, benefit or gratitude, even built a real small harbour called Moleto for his sailboat Menefrego. You can find more about him and his barge Menefrego, which became the first school ship of the Slovenian Maritime Academy after the war, in my book Feathers of the Trieste aborigine.

 Giuseppe Cobolli (with an officer's cap in the middle of the photo) during a visit to Sicily (Source: Wikipedia).

 

This Giulio Italico was even more successful than his compatriot SS-Gruppenführer Odilo Globocnik, who was also born in Trieste, i.e., the son of Austro-Hungarian officer Franco Globocnik, as he even became Mussolini's Minister of Public Works. You can find more about him and his barge Menefrego, which after the war became the first school ship of the Slovenian Maritime Academy, in my book Peruti aborigine of Trieste. Gigli was sentenced to 19 years in prison by his fellow Italians, not for inventing foibles and fascist crimes, but because, after the fall of fascist Italy, he became a collaborator of the German occupiers. But since a crow does not pluck out a crow's eyes; he was soon pardoned.

Like most fascists, he did well in a country where fascism survived and took care of himself and his family. Rich and respected, he lived to be 95 years old, and his nephew Giovanni, who kept the nickname Gigli, became the president of the well-known Italian nationalistic football club Juventus thanks to him. He is also known for publicly insulting football player Ibrahimović with a gypsy.

Italo Sauro did not want to be Šavrin

He was another well-known fascist from Koper (with a surname indicating Slavic origin) and a great enemy of the Slavs. This is Italo Sauro, the son of the famous Italian "national hero" Nazario Sauro, who was hanged by their Germanic comrades for treason. Mussolini even made the Italian his adviser on Slavic issues. As Danijel Grmek revealed online, in a special memorandum to Mussolini dated December 9, 1939, he proposed a series of measures that Italy should implement against the "Slavic" population. First of all, to expropriate it, since it owns almost the entire territory of Istria and Dalmatia. Even buying land should be prohibited to them. Expropriation should be carried out by emigrating them, going across the border to Yugoslavia or across the oceans, and those who remain face the tax system, bank credits or administrative measures. Then these emigrated places should be colonized with Italians from Istria and Friuli (who are used to resisting the Slavs), spy networks should be established against "Slavic" leaders and agitators, etc. As a form of Italianization, he also proposed the establishment of new Italian kindergartens and schools. These measures consisted of 16 points, and these 16 points became a constant in Mussolini's policy towards the Slavs.

From Sauro's correspondence with Gianni Apolloni, the prefect of Istria, it can be understood very well how plans for concentration camps for the Slavs were already being prepared in the 1940s. He also proposed the transfer of "Slavic" priests to the interior of Italy, and Italian teachers should be ordered to stay in their villages even during the holidays, because otherwise the results of their work are nullified during this time.

The fact that Italo Saura considered Slovenes to be inferior is also proven by his attitude towards Slovenes in occupied Ljubljana and Dolenjska, as he was firmly against granting them all the rights of Italian citizens after annexation. Probably, it was he who, with his writing to Mussolini, achieved that the inhabitants of these places did not get full civil rights.

After the capitulation of Italy, Sauro tried to implement his policy of hatred towards the Slavs among the Germans as well. Thus, in 1944, the SS proposed to Brigade Commander Günther that the entire non-Italian population between the ages of 15 and 45 in the Adriatic coast (operational zone) emigrate as a measure of anti-partisan repression. The Germans did not accept this, as they considered such a measure impractical.

Although it is clear that, as a high-ranking fascist functionary, Italo Sauro had a great influence on the criminal policy of fascist Italy against Slovenes and Croats through his work, he was never held accountable for his crimes. He died peacefully in 1995, aged 85.

Even these heroes of fascism did not end up in the streets.

A local woman from Pazin (Pisin) told me about these scams, namely that a relative of hers, a Croatian Istran with an Italianized Slovenian surname, was also doing this "infoibing". During Fascism, he was a very keen squad player and especially wanted to prove himself to his compagni d'arme as a true Italian. After the fall of fascism, he realized that now was the time to prove himself to the partisans, so he began to speak Croatian, throwing even his former comrades into the pit. After the end of the war, when people dared to say who he really was, he fled to Trieste and became a very famous ezule there.

Throwing people into caves was also used by the Ustaše in Bosnia and Herzegovina as a form of mass killing. In the first days of August 1941 alone, the Ustashas threw more than 4,000 civilians of Serbian nationality, regardless of gender or age, into 13 caves across Herzegovina. These caves were concreted by the Yugoslav authorities at the beginning of the 1960s, and these crimes were not talked about just for the sake of "brotherhood and unity". But what do the Ustashi have to do with writing about Italian crimes?

The Ustaše, like the White Guard or MVAC, the Montenegrin Chetniks and the Albanian ballism, were to a large extent also the fruit of the Italian imperialist and fascist policy of separating nations by creating servile and traitorous squads and armies that had certain privileges as brigands. As greedy servants, they would also survive the genocide of their own nation, and they would still be celebrated in the churches, because they cooperated with the "army of Christ". The Croatian Ustashi state was first helped to be established by Italy with the desire that, like Abyssinia, Libya, Albania, Greece... it would be part of the great Italian kingdom, the new Roman Empire under the blessing or crucifixion of God's emissary in Rome.

Barbarians and Ščavi

For Mussolini, it was not only about the borders of the Roman Empire, but about the creation of a multi-valued nation that would subjugate the whole world. He made this clear already in 1920 in his speech in Pula, in which he demanded the expansion of Italian territory regardless of the casualties. This is his famous sentence: "Di fronte ad una razza inferiore e barbara come la slava, non si deve seguire la politica che dà lo zuccherino, ma quella del bastone." I confini dell'Italia devono essere il Brennero, il Nevoso e le Dinariche: io credo che si passo sacrificare 500,000 Slavi barbari a 50,000 Italiani«. ("Towards the inferior and barbarous race of the Slavs we must not carry out a policy of offering candy, but a stick. The borders of Italy must pass through the Brenner, the Snežnik and the Dinaric Mountains... I think that for this 500,000 barbaric Slavs may be sacrificed for 50,000 Italians.") In other words, for the new borders of the great fascist Italy, genocide can also be carried out against the inferior barbaric race of the Slavs.

For many centuries, Italian nationalists, irredentists and fascists considered us slaves (s'ciaves), inferiors or subhuman rather than barbarians. Not only did they call all of us Slavs Ščava, but even more the actual attitude towards us was completely racist. After that speech by Mussolini, the fascists started shooting at our people, even at children. In Trieste and other cities and villages, they burned or otherwise destroyed our national and cultural centres, editorial offices and printing houses, workers' homes, savings banks and so on.

Not only Mussolini and his fascists considered us barbarians, but Italians in general, since the days of Ancient Rome. The fact that we are barbarians was recently pointed out to me on Facebook, in Italian, of course, and he also boasted that they have a two-thousand-year-old culture, while we, until recently, grazed sheep on the steppes. I answered him that his two-thousand-year-old culture is also a culture of crucifixion, gladiators, slavery, the burning of witches and scientists, imperialism, colonialism, rape, arson, camps and confinements, torture and killing, the culture of fascism. It's a shame that I forgot about foibe, they are also their culture, but I probably wouldn't have understood that, because their politicians and media have already brainwashed them.

It's not just about Italian fascism and fascists

That the common people do not know this is understandable to me, but that even the intellectual left hides its eyes from the truth, even more, that it preaches Foibe and even hatred, but no. How is it possible or why even their president Giorgio Napolitano, a former partisan, declared us a genocidal nation at the first celebration of Remembrance Day in 2007: "Un moto di odio e di furia sanguinaria, e un disegno annexionistico slavo, che prevalse innanzitutto nel Trattato di pace del 1947, e che assunse i sinistri contorni di una pulizia etnica"? (An incitement of hatred and bloody fury, which was especially evident at the Paris Peace Conference in 1947, which took on the ominous contours of ethnic cleansing.) Even for barbarians who do not belong in Europe, he labelled us: »La disumana ferocia delle foibe fu una delle barbarie del secolo scorso, in cui si intrecciarono in Europa cultura e barbarie." "The inhuman cruelty of the foibe was one of the barbarisms of the last century, in which culture and barbarism were intertwined in Europe.")

At least Napolitano could have learned from his Marxism teachers that culture is not only in fountains and stone statues, but above all in relationships between people, because as a partisan he saw who committed genocide against whom! Apparently, in accordance with his Italian political tradition and culture, he wanted to sweep all this under his carpet and onto his neighbours’. Surely, he also knew that this was the right time.

Those who were still tearing down everything that was done under socialism must have been quietly giggling at this. The leadership of our Republic of Slovenia, which is very proud of our war of independence, remained pragmatically wise or perhaps cowardly silent. They came to Trieste for a reconciliation concert and to lay flowers on the memorial plaques, but the Italian president, like no one before, paid tribute to the victims of Gravestone Cave or any burnt coastal village, and he has not yet apologized.

We are not Jews. Even the president of the extreme right-wing party, Fina, apologized to the Jews, who claimed that neither he nor his party were fascists, and with this very act he admitted it. What do you think, why did he apologize to them, but not to the Slavs, even though they killed or were responsible for the death of a thousand times more of our people than the Jews?

During the celebrations in the following years, their presidents no longer compared us to barbarians, but called us fascists and their nation the victim of our hatred. What else do the words of President Sergio Mattarella mean, that it was not a matter of revenge for previous fascist crimes, but that it was an inadmissible ideological, ethnic and social hatred of our nations towards the Italians (... di un odio, comunque intollerabile, che era insieme ideologico, etnico e sociale). At the same time, he completely forgot what they did with us before, for 25 years, and also what happened after the collapse of fascism and the end of the war with them. As the president of the country, I could really know that more fascists and German collaborators were killed in Italy than in Istria, both in terms of number and percentage.

Even worse, he accused us of barbarism, because he said that this was happening in places under Yugoslav occupation, and that at the very time when freedom and democracy began to return to them after the victory over fascism. (Mentre, infatti, sul territorio italiano, in larga parte, la conclusione del conflitto contro i nazifascisti sanciva la fine dell'oppressione e il graduale ritorno alla libertà e alla democrazia, un destino di ulteriore sofferenza attendeva gli Italiani nelle zone occupati dalle troupe Jugoslave.)

HOW IS THIS POSSIBLE?

Maybe someone will say, all people are bloody under the skin, so they are the same. Yes, it is true, but not according to knowledge, upbringing, experience, culture, values, political beliefs...even our human blood is not the same and we divide it into blood groups, but now they are finding out more and more secrets in our genetic development. But this variety can be the wealth of the mind and reason. Some scientists who research the universe of our genes argue that we, the curly red-haired Aryans, are the closest to the blackest guinea pigs in Africa, the very ones that not only Hitler's but also Mussolini's scientists refused to recognize as humans. But they already considered us subhuman, barbarians and slaves.

I'd like to say one more thing before I go on. During numerous interviews, people who were in confinement or in special battalions in the south of Italy as inferiors told me that there, they met only good people, that they could speak and sing Slovene in the taverns despite all the fascist laws. They also paid for their drinks. This is also written in the book Lebič, in the chapter about our overseas singers. In Sicily, for example, even though they all wore the same uniforms, they were recognized as Slovenes immediately after arriving in the village. How? This is how they said: immediately after their arrival, the Italians first went to the public house, and the Slovenians first to the inn, drank something there and sang together in the choir.

We Slovenians were pagans

We Slavs, like all nations, come from a simple cultural heritage. This was largely conditioned by the free expanses of the steppes, but also by the unfavourable climatic conditions in which people had to unite, but not to attack others and conquer, but to survive, especially in the harsh winters that here they were not known in the south. Slavs were once not divided into slaves, plebeians and patricians, we were all equal, our dignitaries did not acquire their titles on the basis of inheritance, but through elections. These were much more democratic than those in ancient Greece, as absolutely everyone participated in the selection of their delegates, who then elected their princes. Even the American Constitution, which anchored equality and democracy in the world, was written by Thomas Jefferson according to the tradition of our Slovenian arrangement of the land of Karantania. Even Bill Clinton publicly admitted this to us during his visit to Ljubljana. Unfortunately, our politicians and journalists, who are looking for the roots of democracy in Italy or Germany, deliberately overheard this.

We Slavs probably came to the current border with the Italians, or more precisely the peoples who in the "second half" evolved into the Italians, including the Friuli, at the time of the collapse of the Roman Empire. This arrival is documented in the History of the Lombards (Historia Longobardorum) by the Lombard historiographer Paul Warnefried. This book describes the conflict of 670 between the Lombards and the Slavs at the Nadiža River. The conflicts ended with agreements on the right of the Slavs to settle in these places around the Friulian plain. We also have a similar document from the lower part of Primorska. This is the Treaty of Rižana (Placito del Risano), which was concluded in the Slovenian village of Rižana in the presence of the emperor's envoys in 804, and thus regulated the relations between the increasingly numerous Slavic population in the countryside and the Latin population in the coastal cities.

At that time, the Slavs still had their own mythology, namely polytheism, very similar to the ancient Greeks and Romans. Our highest god or father of gods was Svarog, in the west he was also called Svarun or Triglav. But for every area of ​​ignorance or vital importance we had our gods, from the goddess of love Vesna to the goddess of death Morana. We were pagans, so we did not die, but perished. The conquerors then first opened the door to heaven for those Slovenes who remained alive in these struggles and then erased these gods from their memory... similar to what happened with communist gods and ideologies after the fall of the "Eastern Evil Empire".

We Slavs got feudalism and nobility only with the destruction of our culture and Christianization. This new aristocracy was foreign, it was established by foreign rulers and religious leaders, and it also spread partly with new kinship. We had our nobility only exceptionally in large remote expanses and even then, they protected themselves with their Orthodox faith. The culture was based on the script, so they adopted and established Cyrillic as their own, which is otherwise an adapted Greek script, and here in our regions, especially Istria and Dalmatia, the Glagolitic. Only the clergy and the rich who could afford to educate their children were literate.

We Slovenians have been divided in this regard since the times that Prešeren sings about in Krst pri Savici. During the awakening of the European nations, we got back together a little late, but fascism tore us apart again. It is true that during the Second World War we very bravely and successfully resisted the invading fascist armies and won our own freedom, but we did not cleanse the nation of serfdom and our own clerofascismo either by fighting or by post-war massacres. Maybe we did it a little better in Primorska and Istria, where the nation really learned what fascism was, but what about when we were overwhelmed by domestic colonialism shortly after independence.

Sad Istria

In order to understand the current events and especially the Italian desires for Istria, it is necessary to say something more at least about Istria, if not about all of Primorje and Dalmatia. Istria is the heart of this area, and the Soča River is the main vein that brings the warmth of the Mediterranean to the slopes of Triglav.

Istria is not Italian. It was indeed once conquered by the Romans and killed and displaced as slaves all the indigenous population, but even the old Rome collapsed and their conquered territories were overrun by new peoples. However, Latin remained here for a long time as a lingua franca, that is, the language that speakers of different languages ​​use to communicate with each other (like English today) and, of course, as the language of the Catholic Church. With the rise of the Republic of Venice, this role was taken over by Venetian Italian, which even fascism could not replace with official Italian.

For at least fifteen hundred years, Istria has been the westernmost Slavic peninsula with a majority Slavic population, but with seaside towns rooted in Italian culture. Given its geostrategic position at the junction of East and West, the North and the warm Mediterranean Sea, history and culture in the broadest sense of the word are extremely complex. I describe this in more detail in the books Primorska dežela and Abitanti so v Istria, but here I add only a few paragraphs for a better understanding.

With the collapse of the Roman Empire, under the pressure of the eastern and northern peoples, whom they called barbarians, many Romans who colonized the east and interior of Europe took refuge on islands such as Venice, Aegida (Capris, Koper) and Insula (Izola)., or on peninsulas with walls they fortified themselves in smaller towns, such as Piran, Umag, Poreč and so on. Most of these were Roman settlements before, and judging by the legends and names, there were already ancient Greek outposts here. The entire interior of the peninsula was overrun by Slavic peoples.

History tells us that some small towns were also independent states, but the independence of that time can also be compared with the present. Conditionally, of course. The great conquerors from Charlemagne to the Doges of Venice, Napoleon and the Habsburgs controlled these cities in various ways, but above all they collected taxes from them. The Venetian Republic, even if it was not a kingdom, did not have a dictator at the top, and its motto Libertas was limited mainly to the freedom of trade and the free use of its economic or other power. Their "Libertas" could not even in their dreams be connected with the later French "Liberté, égalité, fraternité", let alone with the Slavic equality without layers or classes.

Although the coastal towns used boats to communicate with the rest of the Roman world beyond the sea, it was natural that they communicated more with their Slavic hinterland. If these cities wanted to live, they had to open up to the countryside, but only as much as they needed the cheapest possible food, stone, wood, hay and labor, God-fearing, of course without knowledge or education, enough to work with a hoe, an oar or spear. Thus, they created some class or political, economic and cultural distinction. In cities, they were the masters of urban and suburban land, and the biggest owner was the church, and its clergy was the main bearer of all-round authority over the people. He did this in the language of God, that is Latin, or at least Italian. The well-known Piran resident Diego de Castro wrote that his father, who was a landowner, he never spoke a word of their language with his columns. "Because he didn't know him," says de Castro, "and even if he had known him, he wouldn't have done it."

These coastal towns were also more agricultural than fishing, as they had their own farmers who had both cellars and stables in their town houses. They were called paolani, but they were not allowed to marry fine middle-class women, but only their paolana or fishermen's daughters, and even more preferably girls from the countryside, i.e., Slavic women. These were used to hard and dirty farm work and also healthier. This was most evident during the plague outbreaks, which decimated the urban population, while the village population showed much greater resistance and immigrated among the paolans and fishermen after the plagues. Of course, they accepted Italian and middle-class or petty-bourgeois culture in the city.

We protected the Italians from the Slavs

At that time, the Venetian masters deliberately settled the Uskoki in these surrounding villages, i.e., the Serbs, who defended the West against the Turks on the edge of Bosnia. They were doubly useful, as farmers and soldiers, as they carried a hoe on their shoulder and a saber at their waist. They didn't even know conscript armies at that time, but mainly had mercenaries, and these were the easiest to get from among refugees and various immigrants. These soldiers also had their wives and children with them, but they had to live in settlements in front of the walls.

The majority of the population in the villages around the cities were colonists or a kind of free oppressors, but in the interior, they were much freer shepherds. However, the names of their settlements, some already close to the sea, such as Dvori or Tar, testify that these shepherds had their permanent herds and settlements right on the coasts.

The Middle Ages were known for plagues that decimated urban populations. Back in 1553, when, for example, Koper had about ten thousand inhabitants, the plague epidemic claimed more than six thousand lives. The cities needed soldiers, servants, oarsmen and various other strong workers, and these were people from the other side of the walls. If they came to the cities, they had to learn their language, each with its own version of the Venetian dialect, and adopt their cultural habits. So, they became citizens and could walk in the middle of the street. Even the streets and squares had lines made of white stones, which restricted the Slavic rural population from moving or staying within the lines, so that they could only walk along the edge of the squares and streets, which was otherwise also intended for pouring the contents of night containers.

In Koper, even those who came to the city, where they brought produce to their masters, brought taxes, went to court or just crossed the city to the barge for Trieste, had to speak Italian. If, like Ščava, you couldn't get a slap or a spit - just like me as a child back in 1954.

The Slavs in the villages won the right to Slavic masses, but they could not preserve their Glagolitic script, Latin prevailed.

There were no nations then, they are the product of liberalism and capitalism, but Napoleon brought them here. However, if Maria Theresa wanted to avoid revolutions, she had to start introducing reforms in both governance and freedoms. In addition to these, Slovenes and Croats also got schools in their own language. For her, Istria, Trieste and Rijeka were too important an outlet to the sea, a window for her imperialist goals, so she was very careful here that nationalisms would not develop with the development of capitalism. In part, it succeeded in that many people remained in Istria who did not define themselves nationally and considered themselves Istrians, but on the other hand, it accelerated Italian nationalism and irredentism. Thus, after the occupation of this area, the Italians got a new training ground for the development of nationalisms in Istria, the fascists, however, used this national tension for their low political goals. At the same time, of course, they still referred to their two-thousand-year-old culture, but not to enlightenment and humanism, but to the culture of Romulus, who killed his brother Remus so he could become dictator, or Nero, who burned down his Rome.

 A list of criminal trials from the beginning of the 17th century from the county of Turn und Taxis from Devin, kept by the Trieste state archive, from which it is very clear from the shortened surnames that almost only Slovenians were among the defendants, while the plaintiffs included a few more Italians, the judges were Germans or Austrians (Source: http://www.astrieste.beniculturali.it).

 

With the creation of the Italian nation-state, which united all the small states of the Apennine peninsula under one crown, Garibaldi's ideologues and warriors developed an extreme nationalism that went one step further into irredentism. This was mainly greed for the nearby territories, where some Italian culture was preserved or newly developed, at least in the cities. They also wanted the entire Mediterranean, or as they called mare nostum, and the most daring wanted the entire territory of the former Roman Empire. This irredentism of theirs blended very nicely with fascism.

Nationalism

Nationalism is associated with the development of the bourgeoisie, or more precisely, capitalism. It was the capital tool of the young bourgeoisie to defend its wealth against local and neighboring monarchs and their feudal apparatuses. These, of course, were not nationally defined, but property and, at most, religious, since all of them from the Catholic part of the world were subordinate to the Holy See of the Pope. He was the only one according to God who had the right to share divine authority and, of course, worldly authority as well. With church schisms, however, new representatives of the god or gods appeared. After the discovery of the New World and the relaxations brought by Protestantism, their role began to pass to believers or voters. However, the former crusades, which were primarily predatory, thus spread within Europe as well and reached their peak in the First and Second World Wars.

In nation-states, they were able to organize the army inappropriately better, and above all to increase its combat capabilities on the basis of nationalism, so that the soldiers no longer had to be paid. This and these armies defended the borders of the new countries, their internal market and the freedom or, more precisely, the supremacy of the new ruling class - in the name of the nation. Nationalism and also some of the new freedoms of the bourgeois revolution soon became better weapons for the conquest of neighboring and overseas territories than religion had previously been. So, the French Revolution gave wings to Napoleon, but then also cut them off. The guillotine sang before and after, but most of all at the time when dozens of Communards of the Paris Commune, who were the first to discover this capitalist fraud, were killed.

Fascism grew out of the desire for total power

The citizen became the new sovereign, and the nation became the new god... This is how they spoke and wrote at the time and convinced people of this with many small freedoms and a more humane attitude towards people. However, the real sovereigns were those who had the capital with which they gained power over the elected representatives of the people. The church was also rich and a real capitalist (even the biggest), but it refused to recognize their "divinity" to the nations, as it would lose many privileges and power, which would pass entirely to the laity. Therefore, together with capital, which was afraid of the new class of workers, even more socialists, communists and finally the most dangerous Bolsheviks, it helped to develop fascism as a new stage of capitalism and at the same time extreme ideology and fanaticism. The first war attack with terrible massacres of people was actually carried out by the klerofascists in Spain. More about this in the book Fascism for the people of Butal.

The Italians, who had an extremely rich and important history behind them (for me, the Renaissance is more important than the Roman Empire), had to fight for their national independence or state, and in doing so they systematically strengthened their nationalism, otherwise the French would "join them" Corsicans, and the Germans Tyrolese. Primorska, especially Istria and further on Dalmatia, were extremely interesting for all large, not only neighboring, but also more distant nations, such as the French, Germans, English, Russians, and even the USA, due to the previously mentioned strategic location. With the development of railway and shipping transport, when the world became smaller, the background of these desires was no longer spices and gold, but natural wealth, and with the development of road and air transport, more and more oil.

Italy also conquered colonies, but more with shame than for the glory of its army, but its nationalism, capital and rulers were more eager for the nearest territories. At the same time, it was possible to convince their nationalists of this very easily by manipulations about the former glory and borders of the Roman Empire. But this was not enough to convince the Slavs to surrender, so they began to motivate their nation with irredentism and fascism. Fascism did not arise, it was not developed specifically because of hatred and racism towards Slavs and not even towards Jews, but because of fear of the ever-increasing awareness of the working class, ever-increasing demands for freedom and new rights, in fear of communism and, above all, of the successes of the Bolsheviks. You could also say that it was deliberately mutated from nationalism by adding racism,

In mockery of their racism and lofty attitude towards the Slavs, they made their small and incompetent heir to the throne Vittorio Emanuele III. in 1896 married the taller Montenegrin "princess" Jelena (Elena). They said that it was to strengthen Italy's influence on the other side of the Adriatic, but in fact it was to save the royal dynasty from degeneration. This Savoy king was also the king of the Montenegrin Chetniks and the Ustashi NDH during the Second World War, and he showed his attitude towards the Slavs very clearly in his approval of the criminal behaviour of the fascists not only in our country, but especially in Montenegro.

 Some photos of little King Vittorio Emanuele III. with his great wife Elena, which you can find on the Internet. (Source: Google web search engine).

In this attitude of Italy towards the Slavs, their experience from the First World War was also very important, first the defeat at Kobarid, which remained in the nation as an eternal shame, and then the fear of the Slavs, especially the Bosnians and their knives, which they experienced well, not only at the breakthrough at Kobarid, but along the entire Soča front. But make no mistake, their hatred of Slavs and other inferior barbarians stems from the old Romanic imperialist culture.

Creating hatred towards us Slavs was first of all a necessity for the Italian fascists if they wanted to get their army over us, and then the best weapon, motive or method to turn their nationalists into fascists and to create inflated heroes out of cowards. But since not all people can be killed, they learned from the church that they can be converted. A large part of this change was already prepared earlier during the Christianization, which was not an approach to the original culture of Christ, but to the Roman culture. For those who will not accept it, there are confinements, camps, prisons and foibe. In other words, this can also be achieved through ethnocide and genocide, especially here along the border, where the Italian nation was also able to stretch and expand beyond its means. Indeed, Italy also faced an extremely high birth rate and, as a result, poverty, that is why she also systematically accelerated the emigration of her nation to both North and South America and Australia. Now they saw this solution in our lands.

We Primorci are the skin of the entire Slavic world

Here in Istria, they had extensive experience with Italianization even before fascism. For the majority of those who accepted Italianization, it was a way out of this constant struggle for survival, the possibility of better sales in the city markets, employment, the opportunity to climb the social scale of the evaluation of nations. In general, the latter applied to many immigrants. Why would they become inferior Slovenes or Italians, when they had an excellent opportunity to become Italians, i.e., to change from the Ščavi into more valuable Italians. To become equal to the masters, or rather all warriors for the master. Due to the new doctrine of government, the master even demanded this from them and rewarded them for their conversion.

In large cities, such as Trieste, the main owners were of Austrian or German origin. Of course, they invited them to their mill.

On the other hand, this strengthened the majority of the population's pride in being Slavs or even descendants of the ancient Histrians. History also neglects the psychological, anthropological, sociological, economic and political aspects of these processes, which affected the population during repression or historical events. Coastal Slovenes in particular, as the last marginal Slavic people, are already finely sifted, its skin, which protects the organism or system, but at the same time is also a means of touch, exchange of feelings... a means of communication. Not only that, its horned parts, such as nails, hooves or horns, are also their weapons.

Slovenes are a very old Slavic people who have lived for thousands of years at this junction of Eastern and Western as well as Northern and Southern Europe. The blood of the natives and the great Slavic wave flows in our veins. We were a peaceful, hard-working, pastoral and rural people without our great conquering rulers and armies. That we are not of the same nationality as our masters and that we judge together as one special nation, we began to realize very slowly because of the ideas of the French Revolution brought to us by Napoleon, and then during the Enlightenment of Maria Theresa and Franz Joseph. The Slavs were divided not only by the armies of royal greed, but also by religious ones. Their sharp knives were otherwise felt in the places conquered by the Turks and known today as Bosnia, Herzegovina and Kosovo.

Due to the Turkish invasions and the lordly interests of our masters, a large number of refugees and probably even more planned immigrants from the Balkans settled in our places. From these centuries of wars, they were not only trained defenders, but also immune to the widespread infectious diseases of the then softened cities.

When Trieste became the largest Slovenian city

This coincides with the collapse of feudalism as a system, the development of capitalism, or in other words, the development of industry, trade and transport. It was the latter who brought the Slovenes, along the routes to the sea, as well as between east and west, the knowledge that we are very similar, that we are a nation, even though we do not have our own king or princes, but only our own preachers and poets.

At that time, our largest city was Trieste, the largest number of Slovenians lived here, the largest number of those who were aware of being Slovenian, the largest number of those who had created some capital or knowledge, and the largest number of those who organized as workers.

 Adapted excerpt from the census field of the population census in the city of Trieste in 1910 (Source: http://www.kozina.com/premik/1910.htm ).

Before the great discoveries of the world, the development of traffic, Trieste was just a small town, smaller than neighboring Koper. But when the old Austria and with it the whole of Central Europe discovered its window to the world and granted it the status of a free port, and then built one of the first important railway lines to it, this small town grew into a Central European New York. Yes, Trieste also became a melting pot of all the nations that immigrated here. The rich learned German or Italian, but everyone else learned the language of the nation that surrounded this city, which is Slovenian.

 Adapted extract from the census field of the population census in the vicinity of Trieste in 1910 (Source: http://www.kozina.com/premik/1910.htm).

 

Trieste and those who came from the suburbs to work in it every day soon grew into a large city with more than two hundred thousand inhabitants, which was very large for the conditions at the time. At the time of the 1910 census, the city had 160,000 inhabitants, and with its agrarian and working-class hinterland, 230,000. It should be known that at that time there were no such fast and efficient means of transport as there are today, that all food was brought to this city and to the ships on foot or loaded on a wagon, that there were no refrigerators and freezers, so it was had to be brought from the farms practically every day on the fly and that electricity, petrol and oil in the nineteenth century were sold on two markets, which were called Plac od sena (below today's hippodrome) and Plac od drv (near Madonina). Farmers' children stayed in the city in better jobs, if nothing else. so that these goods were delivered to homes. At the same time, if they wanted to earn more, they had to learn or even speak Italian from the rich, or even sell themselves for an Italian, otherwise those from We wouldn't buy sausages. But they didn't have to learn Italian like the dock “fakin” (heavy worker).

During the population census in 1910, as many as 57,000 inhabitants of this city admitted that their spoken language was Slovenian. Only 30,000 inhabitants lived in Ljubljana at the time, and not all of them considered themselves Slovenes, some preferred Austrians - speaking German.

All of Primorska lived with Trieste, not only the current one, but also the wider Austrian Primorje, which with this multitude of Slovenes and other Slavs in Trieste breathed a very Slovenian spirit. We must not forget the fact that there were more camps for United Slovenia and cultural and educational societies than in the rest of Slovenia. In Trieste and Gorica, an inappropriately higher number of Slovenian newspapers were published than in the rest of Slovenia, not to mention their titles and content, which I already described in detail in Primorska dežela.

The case of Koper tells us even more, where only 2,278 Slovenes lived at the time of the 1910 census, who dared to admit it, but in fact there were more. 9,340 identified themselves as Italians, 154 as Serbs or Croats (as stated in the census), and only 122 as Germans. The countryside was entirely Slovenian.

In a letter that municipal employee Josip Ahtik had plastered on the wall of his apartment three years before, he wrote that there are around 1,200 conscious Slovenians living in Koper and around 3,000 who do not show it or pass themselves off as Italians.

In the city of Pula, 3,666 Slovenes, 30,520 Serbs and Croats, 40,861 Italians and 9,607 Germans were enumerated. In the countryside, the relationship was more than the reverse, there were mostly no Italians there, even in the villages for which the Italians had achieved a bilingual administrative designation. Citing later censuses or data from the time of fascism, when more than a hundred thousand Slovenes and Croats were expelled, relocated or expelled from their homes and tens of thousands of Italians were immigrated, when people were no longer allowed to speak their own language and did not dare to do so, but would be a real absurdity.

 Adapted excerpt from the census field of the population census of the Koper area in 1910 (Source: http://www.kozina.com/premik/1910.htm).

 

With the advent of capitalism and the ideas of the French Revolution, among which, in addition to liberties, there is also nationalism, with which the new masters and the rich protect or expand their stronghold, most of these people in the cities formed themselves into the Italian nation, even if they were of more or less Slavic blood. To be Italian was to belong to a nation of masters and even conquerors. Being Italian meant that you could boast of two thousand years of culture and the former glory of the Roman Empire.

Despite the assimilation, the countryside remained very Slavic, not only in language, but in general in its way of life and customs. The priests did their job, but the people of Slavic origin were not warriors, but shepherds and farmers. They were only turned into warriors here by the Turks, and finally by the Italian fascists and German Nazis. Before, they were a humble, healthy and hardy working people who still respected the old patriarchy. This bordered on slavery, but even here there was no real slavery system for a long time, but in these seaside towns with the culture of former Rome, where they knew that in the New World trades very well with slaves again, slaves were still wanted. The most suitable for this lord were greedy Slavs who were ashamed of their origin and were ready to do anything to gain the status of chief servant or even slave. Just like Josip Kobolj.

From the experience of Rome, they already knew very well that this attitude towards slaves can only be maintained towards small, fragmented or divided peoples, but not towards large or connected peoples, and especially not towards those who are connected to their huge Slavic hinterland.

Fascism alla italiana

During the creation of the Italian national state, which united all the small states of the Apennine peninsula under one crown, Garibaldi's ideologues and warriors developed extreme nationalism, which here developed into irredentism. This was primarily greed for nearby territories, where some Italian culture was preserved or newly developed, at least in the cities. They also wanted the entire Mediterranean, or as they called the Mare nostrum, and the most daring wanted the entire territory of the former Roman Empire. This Italian culture, which they spread at that time, was not the Renaissance one from Florence, nor the cosmopolitan one from Venice, but that of Romulus, as imagined by the old Savoy oligarchy and the new nationalist Italian bourgeoisie.

Identify

Irredentism is the movement of the new Italian bourgeoisie for a greater Italy, which fought very roughly for the annexation of the ethnically mixed Austro-Hungarian littoral to Italy. It was launched in Trieste after, in 1865, the president of the Italian government, La Marmora, officially declared that Italy was renouncing its claims to Trieste. At that time, the so-called "Trieste-Istria Committee" addressed a fierce protest to him, from which the Trieste municipal council distanced itself. They then began sowing hatred towards their neighbors, which slowly turned into the belief that the Slavs were only an inferior peasant people, incapable of forming a nation and therefore doomed to assimilation.

 Photo of a poster of Italian nationalists from Pazin from 1898, which says that “the establishment of a Croatian high school in Pazin is a serious threat to the city, Italian culture and history. Therefore, the special committee invites to a public protest, which will be held on December 26, 1898 at 4:00 p.m. in the theatre. The residents of Koper and Trieste also join this, and together with the sister cities of Istria and Friuli, they demand respect for our dearest rights." (Source: FB).

Irredentism was also strongly felt in the Istrian Provincial Assembly, which was the regional self-governing body of the Austrian Littoral. Despite the fact that, as a minority, the Italians gained supremacy according to a special key that mainly took into account the urban population, they grossly exploited this for a real denationalization policy towards the Slavs. They limited Slovene and Croatian education in various ways and demanded the use of Italian even in fully Slavic areas. They also began to change their names, so those who Italianized their first and last names were offered exemption from paying taxes. In this, they were particularly successful in the Croatian part of Istria, further away from Trieste, where poverty and backwardness were greatest, as well as very low national awareness or, more precisely, indeterminacy.

Gulielmo Oberdan was Slovenian

Irredentism soon turned from a political movement into an armed movement. In 1882, Gulielmo Oberdan from Trieste planned the assassination of Emperor Franz Joseph. But he was born as Wilhelm Oberdank... But he wanted to be something else or more in this race of irredentists and therefore accepted the offered Italianises. But that was clearly not enough, he had to confirm it with a "big" act. The police discovered his intentions in time and prevented the assassination. After his execution, he became a "martyr for the freedom of unredeemed Trieste".

Austria-Hungary tried to enforce bilingualism on our territory, but the Italian irredentists even opposed it in the regional assembly of Istria. The most resounding event was in Piran, when on October 17, 1894, the management of the local court ordered the removal of the Italian sign in the court and the installation of a bilingual one. None of the court officials wanted to do this, nor did any of the town's artisans. In the end, the court servant Russier took down the board. As he was removing the sign, a crowd of people gathered, reviled him and threw stones at him. The riots calmed down only during the day, when armed reinforcements and 160 soldiers of the 87th Infantry Regiment arrived from Trieste.

This nationalism and irredentism of theirs later merged very nicely with fascism. With all the good people that our confined, interned or imprisoned Slovenes and Croats met in Italy, and the people who even helped them, when describing the attacks, hatred, and massacres, I cannot use the word fascists, but Italians. Why did the Italian people not only watch this calmly, but participated and even demanded blood, just as they once did in the arena. The crowds that gathered at Duce's speeches when he called for war were not only fascists. But what about the millions of women who donated their gold wedding rings for the army that went to Africa to kill with war gases?

  Installation of a bilingual sign at the Piran court (Source: Facebook, Crimes of Italians against Slovenians).

 

Fascism

Fascism is a developmental form of imperialist capitalism that developed out of fear of new freedoms. His goal is total power, and his greatest enemy is the humane ideas of liberalism and Marxism. He wins the masses with populism and Foibe, motivates them with extreme nationalism and racism, and gross forms of intimidation. Fascism knows how to reward and punish, its culture glorifies audacity, power and war, and its war strategy is based on the genocide of the population.

From a cultural point of view, it is the antithesis of humanism, and from a political point of view, it is the most effective form of struggle against the ideas of socialism or communism. From an economic point of view, this is corporate capitalism, i.e., a combination of political, state and private capital, to which even a part of the working class submits due to certain privileges.

 A leaflet that showed how to turn a Communist waving a red flag into a Fascist: by beating him and dousing him with castor oil (Source: Some Italian company that still sells castor oil and still advertises it with these leaflets from the time of fascism).

Greed wars

The development of modern fascism is also connected with the First World War and its consequences. This started because of the greed of Italy, Austria-Hungary and Germany for new colonies in order to become equal or stronger than France, Great Britain, Spain and other colonial countries. At the beginning of the war, Italy betrayed its allies with the secret London Pact (agreement, memorandum) and went over to its opponents, i.e., the opposing alliance called the Entente, which promised South Tyrol, Istria and Dalmatia to it after the war. Thus, Italy received 550,000 to 600,000 Slovenes and Croats, of which 350,000 were Slovenes, which was almost a third of the Slovenian nation at the time. According to the population census in 1910, 466,730 people in the Julian Territory spoke Slovenian or Croatian as their official language, and 354,908 spoke Italian. at the same time, we must not forget the irredentism and violent assimilation of the Slavic population, especially in Slovenian Venezia and Istria. Therefore, betraying their allies paid off, so the Italians rightly call the First World War the Great War, because they managed to deceive their allies to get special privileges and territories that they had long wanted for their new expansions. However, this territory was not from those who gave it to her, neither was Italy, even this war was not something they were proud of, not only because of the betrayal, but also because of the defeat on the Soča front and the mass killing of their own soldiers by Austria-Hungary an army composed largely of Slavs under the command of the Serb Svetozar Borojević, drove to the Piave. so that the Italians rightly call the First World War the Great War, because they succeeded in deceiving their Foibe to get the special privileges and territories they had long wanted for their new expansions. However, this territory was not from those who gave it to her, neither was Italy, even this war was not something they were proud of, not only because of the betrayal, but also because of the defeat on the Soča front and the mass killing of their own soldiers by Austria-Hungary an army composed largely of Slavs under the command of the Serb Svetozar Borojević, drove to the Piave. so that the Italians rightly call the First World War the Great War, because they succeeded in deceiving their Foibe to get the special privileges and territories they had long wanted for their new expansions. However, this territory was not from those who gave it to her, neither was Italy, even this war was not something they were proud of, not only because of the betrayal, but also because of the defeat on the Soča front and the mass killing of their own soldiers by Austria-Hungary an army composed largely of Slavs under the command of the Serb Svetozar Borojević, drove to the Piave.

The horrors of the war also accelerated the rebellion of the increasingly suffering but also conscious population, not only conscious workers, but also impoverished farmers. After the successful Bolshevik revolution in Russia, the idea of ​​taking power also spread in Europe, especially where the situation was worst due to war and other reasons, i.e., Italy, Germany and Spain. In Germany, the communists and socialists even won the elections and established the Weimar Republic, and in Spain this left-wing republican bloc of parties won. They almost won the elections in Italy, but here the right had a very important counterweight - the Vatican, which at the time owned the whole of Rome and much more...

The original fascism developed in Italy and then from it in Spain clerofascismo, in the Far East Japanese imperialism developed according to this model, and in Germany Nazism and then with their conquests various Home Guards, Ustaše, Chetnik, Ballism, etc. Even the outstretched hand greeting is not originally a Nazi or Hitler invention, but merely a plagiarism of the Italian or Mussolini's Roman salute (saluto Romano).

In the new conditions of the world and after the success of fascism, the Italians, due to the same interests, soon became friends with the Germans again and started the Second World War, which claimed three times as many dead. This was no longer just a clash of armies, but a war of soldiers and black shirts against the unarmed civilian population, the lowest form of human culture, which was manifested in concentration camps and the killing of women and children. Today, only German Nazi concentration camps are talked about. It is forgotten that before the First World War the Italians used them very successfully to exterminate captured Slovenian coastal soldiers, and even more so in the African colonies, during fascism for internment, then during the Second World War for hidden genocide.

The Second World War did not start in 1939 with the German attack on Poland, but much earlier with the Italian attack on Abyssinia, the Italian and German intervention in Spain, the Italian attack on Albania and Greece, the German annexation of the Czech Sudetenland, etc. All this happened with the great agreement of both the English and the French, as well as with the concrete help of American capital. Their politicians constantly visited Italy and Germany, especially Chamberlain, offering help from their banks and signing agreements. However, with the violent attack on Poland, the English realized that sooner or later they too would be the target of the German imperialist forces, which were closer and stronger than the Italian ones.

The Second World War was also imperialist, as the new capitalist superpowers failed to achieve a new division of the world with the first. It was the support of American capital and the Vatican for fascism that made it possible for the fascist countries to become so strong that they dared to start new local and then world wars. The United States, which has the greatest capital power, took the most out of all these wars, and they also got the atomic bomb from the Germans. With its use, the Second World War finally ended, but with it also began a new frightening cold war, which still continues in the form of various local wars, economic, informational, propaganda... The goal of these wars is the same as in fascism, total domination of the whole world.

Fascism is not a unique social phenomenon that began with the rise to power of Mussolini and ended with the death of Hitler, but is an adaptive, developing or mutating form of extreme authoritarianism, which at a certain stage of development of the capitalist system erupted in the crudest form of the wildest human passions for killing, torture and extermination of nations. Now it appears in new guises, especially in the last part.

Peculiarities of Italian fascism

Italian fascism comes from the Italian pro-fascism of the former Roman Empire, which was chosen by the only true God to spread the true religion throughout the world with the help of him and his soldiers. This pro-fascism is engraved in their culture, not only in monuments, but also in the sublime poetry of such "artists" as Gabriele D'Annunzio or Giuseppe Cobolli, about whom we will say something more, and the "science" of Guglielmo Marconi, who they still make him a star today, but they keep silent about the fact that he was the president of the Great Council of Fascists and appropriated the inventions of his "inferior" genius rival, Nikola Tesla. That's why they emphasized their "two thousand years" culture so much, but it ended precisely with poets like D'Annunzio, if not earlier with the Inquisition, which dealt with their science as well.

The first fascist group was founded in Milan, on March 23, 1919, in S. Sepolcro square. As their first action, they carried out an attack on the socialist newsletter L'Avanti. It is worth noting that this editorial office was previously headed by Benito Mussolini. The establishment of this squadron was quickly followed by new ones in other cities throughout Italy, just a good week later, already on April 3, 1919, also in Trieste. They started their violence of beatings and smashing on the same day and even challenged children on Madonnina Street who were returning from a trip to the workers' cooperatives. In the presence of carabinieri, they beat the waiting parents, and then attacked and destroyed a nearby workers' home. The next day, during a general protest strike, they tried to attack the printing office of the newspaper II Lavoratore.

The new Italian fascism, the development stage of capitalism at the time, in fear of communism, combined its fascist ambitions with new conquests of colonies and with the old desires for Slavic space. Mussolini even dreamed of the Pannonian plain and Ukrainian land, where the best wheat for their "pasta" grows. Of course, he soon got a very serious competitor and the greedy Italians focused their dreams on the nearby neighboring area, first of all on Primorska, Istria and Dalmatia, which were promised to them by the Entente powers before the First World War in exchange for the betrayal of the friendly countries of the Axis.

Our populist historians or quasi-historians, who love to watch TV, begin to explain history only from May 9, 1945 onwards, the Italian after September 8, 1943. What was before, what was the cause of everything that happened, the ideology and the war that demanded more than sixty million dead, but this is obviously not important for such "researchers"...

To understand what is happening in Primorska and Istria, we need to know its history. There were no nations in the Middle Ages, they are the product of liberalism and capitalism, but Napoleon brought them here. Venice was not interested in the gossip of their subjects; it was enough that they were stupid enough for peasants and goliaths. The Habsburgs saw the sea above all in our area. Even more than its warmth, its openness to the world suited them, so they called this world of ours their Austrian Primorje, or more precisely Österreichisches Küstenland, which the French "infected" with the freedoms of the Illyrian provinces.

However, if Maria Theresa wanted to avoid revolutions, she had to start introducing reforms in both governance and freedoms. For her, Istria, Trieste and Rijeka were too important an outlet to the sea, a window for her imperialist goals, so she was very careful here that nationalisms would not develop with the development of capitalism. It was partly successful, so that many people remained in Istria who did not define themselves nationally. They considered themselves Istrians, who speak their own dialects, which are a mixture of Slovenian and Croatian as well as Venetian Italian. The Austro-Hungarian rule accelerated Italian nationalism and irredentism precisely with this. Thus, after the occupation of this area, the Italians got a new training ground for the development of nationalism right here in Istria and also in the wider Primorska, and the fascists used this national tension for their low-level political goals.

Minorities are easy prey but big trophies

In order to understand fascism, we must not forget its essence, which is best understood from the chronological order of events. The Italian fascists first started attacking the workers and their unions, homes and other organizations, only two years later they chose the Slovene and Croatian minorities here in the east of their empire, and this was already a very clear political, geostrategic and above all propaganda preparation for wars of conquest. The Fascists carried out their Kristallnacht on the Slovenes almost two decades earlier than the Germans on the Jews, but the Slovenes did not have such a strong diaspora around the world to draw attention to it, and we were sold to the Italians anyway by those great Englishmen, Americans, Frenchmen and Russians. It should be emphasized here, that the new Soviet Union, after the October Revolution, withdrew from this secret agreement and published it in the Izvestja, also by order of Lenin, as an example of a shameful trade in people and territories. Unfortunately, due to the propaganda against communism, even a large part of the Slovenians did not believe them and they still hoped that they would achieve annexation to Yugoslavia with the help of those they gave to Italy.

The lofty and militant Germans also considered us Slavs to be inferior peoples. In a way, they treated us even more sublimely than the Italians, which is also why, when the united Italian state was formed, only the Slovenians of Venice consciously decided to join Italy. They believed in the new progressive Italian politics and hoped for a resurgence of Italian humanism, but this turned into extreme nationalism at that time. But they came out of the rain under the hood.

Due to the political and economic interests of the Western world, today the original Italian fascism has hidden behind its younger, but much bigger brother, Nazism and its Holocaust. Few people today know that Italy had around 500 camps and various extermination prisons on this and that side of the Mediterranean for people who did not want to accept the ideology of fascism and supremacy. Here in our country, where a certain percentage of people also knew Italian, new janissaries were recruited exceptionally, those who didn't want to, drank oil, were deported to the south of Italy, went to a camp or prison. Hundreds of thousands of Slovenes and Croats had to leave their homes, most of them fled to Yugoslavia. Once relatively wealthy Istria, which lived from the growing free port, commercial and industrial Trieste, is now, after its stagnation and attachment to Italy, became more and more poor and old countryside. In the interior of Istria there was even greater poverty than in Sardinia. Pazin was the furthest from Trieste, Pula and Rijeka, where it was possible to earn some money.

The new Italian bourgeoisie, which was still closely connected with the feudal royal and church oligarchy, needed a large and powerful Italy for its economic and religious expansion, a huge number of people to grow food and produce weapons, and of course for soldiers. Strategic points on our soil were also very important. The first was Trieste as a free coastal port, in a completely Slavic environment, but with a strong Italian urban core. How much nicer it would be for them if there were convinced Italians living in Idrija, Postojna, Pivka, but what if there wasn't a single one among the locals.

Children were also raised to become fascists by killing other children

During fascism, the most important condition for any activity was to be a member of a fascist organization, their trade union, and young people in the organizations l'Opera Nazionale Balilla or Fasci Giovanili di Combattimento. Working in squads was even more important. These were cards for enrolment in schools, jobs, promotions, court rulings and even the right to use clubs, castor oil, petrol and guns.

Fascist ideology led by Mussolini advocated an army modelled after the ancient Rome (dell' Antica Roma), Fascist Italy was supposed to become an international military superpower. Already at school, children were dressed in black shirts and taught to march and handle knives and guns every Saturday. Children from 4 to 8 were raised to be unruly wolf children called Figli della Lupa, children from 8 to. 14-year-old boys in Balilla, and girls in Piccole Italiane, young people from 14 to 17 years in Avanguardiste, youth from 18 to 21 years in Giovani Fascista. Students between the ages of 18 and 28 were members of the Gruppa universitari fascisti.

Juveniles were sent to military drill battalions such as the Battaglione della GIL, they were sent to Formia, Gaeto and Scauri as legions of black shirts (legione Camicie Nere). The trucks were going to Libya (Tripoli and Misurata) and preparing to fight in other military hotspots in the Second World War.

If you became Italian, you became a superman, but if you joined the Fascists, with a black shirt you got a license to carry weapons and even to use them. At that time, it was said that they had Carto bianca. That is why drunken fascists from Poreč could even shoot at children while riding the train through Strunjan and were not punished for it at all. Even in Slovenian Istria and all of the occupied Primorje, it was the fascists from Istria who were the worst bulFoibe. These were the teachers who beat children, locked them up and spat in their mouths if they spoke Slovenian. The worst were the policemen of the special inspectorate in Trieste and Collotti's criminals. It could even be said that they shared a common national origin with the Ustashi. This is a special historical phenomenon that appears at the crossroads of Catholic culture and other religions, where extreme hostility has systematically developed over the centuries.

In our country, the parents spontaneously resisted this Italianization and fascism in various ways, so that we also have cases of burning schools, as well as the children themselves, especially a little older than, for example, the Black Brothers. The fascist regime invented special battalions in order to prevent thousands of young Slovenian men of military age from joining the partisans. Most survived, as more than 20,000 Slovenes and Croats conscripted into the Italian army joined the overseas brigades.

In Italy, they were not afraid of the Russians, but of their communists

Italy emerged victorious from World War I. Although she received foreign territories as a gift, in reality she was a sore loser, because without the decisive help of the allies, after the Austro-Hungarian breakthrough on the Soča front, she would certainly have lost the war. It also proved to be a great weak point morally, as they even shot at their own soldiers, and General Cadorna ordered the retreating army to be decimated.

After the war, there was poverty. Capital, which was further strengthened by the war profits, put pressure on the workers in order to make even more profits. However, during the war, a revolution took place in the Soviet Union, in which the working majority, i.e., the Bolsheviks, under the leadership of Lenin and his communists, took power and established a new, fairer Soviet Union and Soviet communist system for the workers and peasants. In Italy, the communists, socialists and other left-leaning workers and peasants were increasingly organized and seriously warned that they would win the next elections and, following the example of Russia and based on the theory of their Marxist Gramsci, take over power through elections, as they did also happen in the German Weimar Republic and as British Labor succeeded. Both capital and the Vatican feared this. The Italian government at the time even tried to expropriate those capitalists who got rich quickly during the war. Soon, ideas about a great Italy, which would be the new Roman Empire, began to spread, and at the same time, well-trained groups of ardites, that is, war raiders, and various organized groups of brawlers, who, in order to be stronger, joined the fascists, began to appear. or "bundles of sticks with an axe", which were called quite squads. They began to attack individual labor leaders or entire groups. connected in fasces or "bundles of sticks with an axe", which were called skvader. They began to attack individual labor leaders or entire groups. connected in fasces or "bundles of sticks with an axe", which were called skvader. They began to attack individual labor leaders or entire groups.

And to make sure there is no mistake, I will once again emphasize what I described in detail in the book Fascism for Butalce. Fascism did not start because of hatred of the Slavs, and in Germany the Jews, but primarily because of the fear of the awakening of the working class, labor movements, socialism, communism, and especially the victory of the Bolsheviks and the beginning of the spread of rebellions and the establishment of Soviet republics in the developed part of Europe as well. Hatred of Slavs or Ščavi of older origin, not only as a mass of migrants coming from the northeast, but as a lever of Roman and Germanic imperialism. Fascism, which is based on emphasizing the multivaluedness of the race, which is supposed to be given by God, naturally first exploited the weakness of minorities. These were ideal for strengthening nationalism and turning it into chauvinism, racism and fascism.

Mussolini knew how to use this fear of the Bolsheviks, racism towards the Schav’s and greed for territory very well.

Fascism in the Julian countryside

In Italy, they don't even know what they did to us Primorje and Istrians, it's not in their interest. Even in Ljubljana, Maribor and all the places in the interior of Slovenia, they don't know or they forget, and they forget for the same reason as the Italians, because they would like to forget the sins of fascism, especially their own, and some would rather revive it. Not only the above, but also the following should not be forgotten.

The first shooting of the innocent civilian Slovenian population began already with the Italian occupation of our ethnic territory during the First World War, when the Italians unexpectedly attacked their former allies in the back. At that time, they even penetrated into Upper Posočje and began to dominate the civilian population. So, just to show who and what they were, they forcibly dragged 61 locals from their homes and then shot every tenth one in Idrijsko pri Kobarid. Then they killed four more from neighboring villages. Several thousand people were forced to emigrate to the interior of Italy because of the front. Many people did not return, because they had nowhere to go due to destroyed villages and contaminated fields, pastures and forests.

After the disintegration of the Austro-Hungarian army, the Italians selected all the Slovenian and Croatian soldiers from Primorje and Istria and took them to various camps in the interior of the peninsula. After the seizure of power, those who were already at home were conscripted and imprisoned in camps. Here, following the experience from Libya, they were systematically starved to death or left to be picked up by the then Spanish flu, typhus and other diseases. According to unresearched data, 10 to 12 thousand Slovenian and Croatian boys and men died in these death camps. Among these internees was my grandfather Štefan, who escaped only because he was needed as a translator from German, Hungarian, French and Russian, and also because he spoke and especially wrote Italian better than most Italians.

The Italian army disembarked in Trieste on November 3, 1918. For the Italian irredentists, this was a great event, a holiday, and for the rest, the beginning of the tragedy called fascism, even though the official annexation of the Julian Territory to Italy was not until January 5. 1920.

Slovenes began to be deported from the occupied territory as early as November 1918. Thus, under the military administration, around a thousand persons from the Julian Region were interned in Sardinia, mainly party leaders, teachers, lawyers and priests.

Then, upon assuming power, around 20,000 Austro-Hungarian citizens had to emigrate from Trieste, who were replaced by immigrants from the south of Italy. In two decades, more than a hundred thousand Slovenes and Croats emigrated from the Julian Territory or fled to escape squad fights, internment, prisons and shootings. During fascism, tens of thousands of Slovenians were imprisoned even before the war, and even more were confined to the south of Italy. Since the Coroneo prison in Trieste was too small, they were also taken to prisons in Koper, among them the heroes of Bazovica. But they also soon had to expand and arrange a new torture chamber in Semedela. In Trieste, torture chambers and prisons were then set up in Villa Triste, at the Jesuits, in Cologna Street and in the underground of Oberdan Square.

Slovenian priests were also feared in Trieste

The Slovenian and Croatian economy was brought to its knees already in 1919 by the replacement of the Austrian kroner with a new currency. And even that was only possible for 15 days, after which all valuables remained just plain paper.

The Trieste irredentists, like others in Italy, transformed themselves into fascists, cheering themselves on by shouting and smashing through the streets. That it was not just cowards, but sick nationalists as well, is proven by the already mentioned attack on children, followed by attacks on priests. As early as 1919, as many as 6 coastal priests were among the victims of the squadron. That year, the bishop of Trieste, Andrej Karlin, was also physically dealt with in the diocesan ordinariate and expelled.

Less well known is the very serious incident that took place on August 4, 1919 in Trieste; British rear admiral Sir Edwyn Sinclair Alexander-Sinclair reports on it, in which Italian soldiers are said to have fired on a crowd of people, mostly Slovenes, killing nine and wounding 15 to 20 people. The incident is shrouded in mystery. On that day, the Italians also set fire to the Slovenian Workers' House in Trieste.

At that time, there was a lot of highly conscious labor in the Julian countryside, especially in Trieste, but it only started to be organized more decisively after the first attacks of the squadristi. Thus, on September 21, 1919, the Slovenian Social Democrats joined the Italian Socialist Party, from which the Italian Communist Party emerged on January 21, 1921, which included Slovenian and Croatian communists from the Julian Territory.

That it is not only fascism towards free-thinking labor, but also ethnocide against Slovenes, is evidenced in writing by the decree of the mayor of Trieste, who on February 20, 1920 issued a decree banning Slovene inscriptions on graves and cemeteries.

The very beginning of fascist violence in Trieste and Istria is best described succinctly in the book From political squad to massacres in Rižarna.

"Fascist ringleaders Piero Pisenti in Friuli and Francesco Giunta in the Giulia region incited hatred and organized squads against the working class. At the same time, they acted against the Slovenian and Croatian minorities. The economic right encouraged them. The diary II Piccolo, bought and run by Alessi, kept them up by constantly challenging and inciting chauvinism. Their goal was to destroy the socialist opposition and portray the violence in the light of "national defense". In January 1920, fascists attacked the workers' chamber in Vodnjan (Pula). In May 1920, the first armed fascist squads were established in Trieste. On July 13, 1920, the fascists, with the support of the police and carabinieri, attacked and burned the National House in Trieste."

The Italian nationalist and fascist barbarism in Trieste can also be clearly understood from an article in Slovenské narod dated July 15, 1920: " Yesterday evening (July 13) around 6 o'clock, an ordered crowd of about 500 arrived in front of the Balkan Hotel (Narodni dom) Fakinov, who started demonstrating against the Slovenes in Yugoslavia. Calls were heard: Morte ai Ščavi! Abbassa Yugoslavia! Suddenly, revolver shots fell from the crowd, after which the frenzied gang rushed Balkan. While one of them was demolishing the rooms on the ground floor, the rest of the gang went to the hotel, poured large amounts of kerosene on all the interior spaces, furniture and other things and set the building on fire." All the most important Slovenian organizations were based here: the theater, the credit bank and the Balkan Hotel.

Many sources state that Italian fascists, nationalists and chauvinists also destroyed other Slovenian and Slavic institutions in Trieste on the same day that they burned down the National House. Shattered and devastated were:

- Law office and apartment of dr. Kimovca at Trg Oberdan 5.

- Inn Lenček "Al Gallo" on Trg Oberdan 6.

- Cafe “Al Commercio” at Street XXX Ottobre 18.

- Branch of Ljubljanska kreditna banka at Ulica XXX Ottobre 11.

- Law office of dr. Josip Vilfan in Ulica XXX Ottobre 13.

- General Savings Bank at 39 Torre Bianca Street.

- Folk school of the Serbian church community in Ulica Bellini.

- Law office of dr. Matej Pretner and dr. Henrik Okretič in Ulica Machiavelli 15.

- Law office of dr. Josip Abram and dr. Josipa Agneletta in Ulica Genova 11.

- Jadranska banka at the corner of Cassa di Risparmio and S. Niccolò streets.

- Hrvatska štedionica on Borzne trg 3.

- Forwarding company Balkan on Nabrežje Nazario Sauro 14.

- The office and apartment of the SHS Kingdom delegate at Venezia Square 1.

- Jak Štok bookstore and stationery store at Ulica Milano 37.

- The company Franz&Kranz in Ulica Machiavelli 32 (the co-owner of the company was a Czech).

- The warehouse of the merchant Andrej Perek at 3 S. Niccolò Street.

- Inn Makarska in San Lorenzo Street 5.

- Josip Stančič's shoe store at Piazza Vecchia 5.

- Drinks shop Drage Štoka at 29 C. Battisti Street.

- Edinost Printing House in Ulica sv. Francis 20.

On July 13, 1920, the National Home in Pula was also burned down. Here, too, the reason or excuse was the killing of an Italian navy officer in Split, but actually Mussolini's appeal in Pula.

In the following days, fascist gangs attacked Slovene headquarters in the Karst and Croatian headquarters in Istria, which not only caused the deterioration of relations between Italians and minorities, but also the strengthening of common anti-fascism. This is what he writes in the already mentioned book From political squads to massacres in Rižarna:

"Socialists violently condemned these "horrible acts, which took place before the eyes of a shamelessly passive and approving government". On August 27, 1920, the fascists attacked several socialist headquarters in Tržič and Trieste, and then they gathered in a provocative manner in the workers' quarter near Sv. Jacob in Trieste. The people rebelled and several were injured in the conflict. The police intervened and arrested about a hundred anti-fascists. The next day, the unions organized a protest strike. At the end of August, the trial against the "rebels in Vodnjan" took place before the military court. All 47 defendants were convicted because they collectively resisted fascist violence (supported by soldiers and carabinieri) and encouraged the attackers. /…/

The fascists opposed the political strike and physically dealt with the representatives of the proletariat. The carabinieri and the police also descended on the workers. In order to prevent the attack of the fascists at St. Jakob, the workers erected a symbolic barricade on September 8, 1920. Clashes intensified. During the three days of riots in the city, the communist Bruno Taboga, the socialist Forgioni, the republican Stefano De Radio were killed, and besides them many were wounded. At St. Jakob's royal guard Giuffrida was killed. In the meantime, the fascists destroyed the headquarters of the workers' chamber and the youth culture club in Pondares Street."

That year, we could count at least 120 different attacks on workers' homes and institutions, especially and increasingly on Slovenian and Croatian cultural centers. But the hatred and aggression did not stop, but continued worse every year.

Persistent Istria

People began to resist this fascist terror, first of all the workers, who were the most organized. Probably the biggest rebellion against the Italian government and its capital, which had already merged with fascism, took place already at the beginning of 1921 in Labin, a year after Mussolini's famous speech in Pula. It was there that the workers, who were all of Croatian nationality, first felt the dual Italian nationalist or even fascist hatred towards the socialist labor movement and towards the Slavs. Organized sections of the fascists first attacked the union leaders in the Raša mine, so on March 2, approximately 2,000 miners stopped work in Labin and protested against the attacks and almost slavish attitudes of the mine management. During the strike, the miners occupied the mine, organized the authorities, set up anti-fascist guards and proclaimed a republic. The entire population participated in this. The Italian authorities suppressed the rebellion with the army on April 8, 1921, with the participation of around a thousand soldiers and two battleships. This was followed by a terrible terror on the population, two miners were killed and many were injured, even more imprisoned. In Rovinj, 40 people were imprisoned, and two miners died during torture, and in Pula, 52 participants in the rebellion were tried.

In 1921, fascists from Trieste burned the other three Slovenian homes there, namely at St. Ivan, in Rojan and Barkovlje.

The next more serious wave of fascist violence arose during the parliamentary elections in 1921, when the fascists organized and apparently very planned in many places before the elections attacked the trustees of individual left-wing parties and the party of Yugoslav unity in order to confiscate their election materials. At the same time, they burned several Slovenian cultural institutions, killed 12 Slovenians and injured many others. On the very day of the elections, May 15, fascists from Koper killed Jože Sabadin in Mareziga, and Josip Bonin in Čežarje. Because the locals in Mareziga rebelled, bloody reprisals followed. Six months later, the organizer of the rebellion, Ivan Babič - Jagr, also known as the American, was captured and killed. During these elections, Andrej Žerjul was killed at the barricade in front of Ospo, then in the village at the polling station in Ospo, the dean Franc Malalan was shot in the leg because he did not allow them to confiscate the ballot box.

Fascists became increasingly militant. On October 28, 1922, they organized the "March on Rome", after which they started pressing on the River. It was annexed on March 16, 1924. Gabriele D'Annunzio, who is revered in Italy as a great poet, even though he was first a fascist or a real Nazi, was one of the main bearers of this new ideology, because we Slavs or, specifically, the Croats, even before the fascists came to power, he referred to as disgusting monkeys. Already on May 4, 1919, in a public appearance in Rome, he called us the offspring of slaves, shepherds of dirty herds of pigs ("... la schiaveria bastarda e le sue lordure e le sue mandre di porci!" ).

On October 24, 1923, Law No. 2185 (Gazzetta ufficiale no. 250) or the Gentile school reform, with which Italy abolished Slovenian education in Primorska. Gentile's reform strongly affected Slovenian coastal teachers; almost 1,200 of them had to give up teaching in just over three hundred schools. Some of them were transferred to the interior of Italy, but most of them emigrated to Yugoslavia, about two hundred of whom were particularly persecuted.

On December 24, 1925, Italy adopted law no. 2300, on the basis of which it was possible to deport or dismiss all "suspicious" state officials and employees, and it immediately began to be used on a large scale against all Slovenes in the state service (officials, teachers, road workers, railway workers, postmen, etc.).

In 1926, several laws were passed that further limited or completely eliminated the possibilities of Slovenian societies operating. In Čezsoča, for example, twenty-three Slovenian boys were imprisoned this year for singing Slovenian songs. The associations were finally abolished by the circular of the Ministry of the Interior no. 383 of July 19, 1927, which ordered the dissolution of the remaining Slovenian associations by October 1, 1928 at the latest.

A similar thing happened with Slovenian newspapers. Delo, which was the newsletter of the communists, went underground already in 1920, and in 1926 it finally stopped being published. The magazine Mladika already existed in 1922, Mali list and the humorous Čuk na paliki lasted until 1926, while the newspaper Edinost, published in Trieste from 1876, lasted until 1928.

In 1926, a special secret fascist police for vigilance and suppression of anti-fascism, OVRA or Opera vigilanza repressione antifascista, was established. This was primarily aimed at protecting the fascist regime or neutralizing leftists, but here in Primorska and Istria it was also aimed at Slovenian nationalists, especially the Tigroves.

November 2, 1926 was a dark day for Gorica. On that day, the Italians destroyed the Slovene cultural center, where many Slovene societies and associations were headquartered, they destroyed the Catholic printing house and the editorial office of the Goriška straža, and to top it all off, Trgovski dom, the most beautiful building in Gorica. The fascists threw all the chairs, books, sheet music, musical instruments out of the building and burned them all on the road, while dancing wildly. Later, the Italian authorities confiscated the home and never returned it to the Slovenians.

Of course, Slovenians did not only lose their cultural homes. We had to close our businesses because of the harassment, the special policy of debts, litigation, the damage caused to them by the thuggish gangs of squadristi and, in general, the planned policy of demolishing everything that was not Italian. But then they still didn't get a job if they didn't join the fascist trade union, especially after the adoption of law no. 563 in 1926. At that time, they also adopted a special law, on the basis of which all seamen of Slovenian and Croatian nationality had to be fired on Italian ships. This was also consistently carried out for dock workers and Idrija miners, of course those who did not define themselves as Italians. Most of them, of course, accepted this for the sake of survival, and many of them also became Italianized.

On January 10, 1926, a royal decree was issued on the Italianization of family names, that is, surnames, on April 7, 1927, a law was issued on the forced Italianization of Slovenian surnames. This has been in practice since 1918 with the introduction of the Italian transcription, which did not recognize our notation of noisemakers. In 1928, it was forbidden to enter Slovene names and surnames in the registers. This ban was in place until 1967, and even today they do not fully support the use of silencers.

From September 1 to 5, 1930, the infamous trial of the Special Court for the Protection of the State took place in Trieste, where four members of the Slovenian revolutionary organization Borba, which was part of Tiger, were sentenced to death for an attack on the Italian inciting newspaper Il Popolo di Trieste. They were Ferdo Bidovec, Fran Marušič, Zvonimir Miloš and Alojz Valenčič, who were shot in Gmajna pri Bazovica the very next day, September 6, 1930, and their bodies were taken far away. The other twelve defendants were sentenced to prison terms.

The following year, priest Bohumil Nemec, the Czech-born dean of Comenius, who persistently spread the Slovenian language in the church, died as a result of fascist torture during an interrogation at the Goriška quaestura. He was supposed to be taken away by a squadron whose commander was the fascist and sub-statist Massimo Fabiani, who, rather than a convinced Austrian, made plans for the Slovenian National Home in Trieste.

On February 23, 1933, a special court in Rome sentenced 13 Slovenians to a total of 320 years in prison in a staged trial. They did this on the basis of false accusations that they were involved in the murder of the financial watchdog Cesare Rastrelli, which was most likely committed by his fellow financial watchdog.

On February 16, 1937, Lojze Bratuž, the composer and General Intendant of the Archdiocese of Goriška for church music, died after almost two months of severe suffering. The fascists grabbed him after midnight in the Goriška cathedral and gave him gasoline and motor oil to drink. The doctor wrote that he died of pneumonia.

It is little known that the young communist leader Pinko Tomažič started gathering volunteers for the first armed rebellion against fascism in the Milje hills already in 1940. The Tigers also took part in this, having already provided a lot of weapons, but OVRA tracked them down and imprisoned them. After many months of interrogations and investigations, an indictment was drawn up, listing 60 names. On December 14, 1941, the court handed down 9 death sentences (4 convicts were pardoned) for a total of 960 years and 6 months in prison. On December 15, 1941, Viktor Bobek, Simon Kos, Ivan Ivančič, Pinko Tomažič and Ivan Vadnal were shot at the open shooting range.

Everywhere in schools, public institutions and taverns, and even lawyers' offices, there were signs: "We speak only Italian here." In some places, there were even inscriptions of fascist threats.

 

 Three examples of flyers that prohibit the use of the Slovenian or Croatian language (Source: Koper Regional Museum).

 

These are just a few snippets of the pre-war fascist evil that was for thick books. The worst came during the war, and even after the so-called fall of fascist Italy in 1943, when they even set up a special police inspectorate in Trieste with several hundred of the most die-hard fascists in civilian clothes and special torture devices, and for pay and for their own pleasure helped the Nazis in the operation of the Rižarna, Koronej, Koper and other prisons and torture chambers.

With the pompous fascist pressure on the Slovenes and Croats in the Julian Territory, the fascists concealed the terror they carried out on the free-thinking, left-leaning Italians, but not enough to trigger anti-fascism among them as well. This, especially under the influence of communist internationalism, which emphasizes class exploitation and stratification, united all those affected in the fight against fascism, regardless of nationality. Thus, right here in this former land of the former Austrian littoral or the Italian Julian region, we have several joint anti-fascist rebellions and partisan units. These units were more or less connected to their national politicians, depending on the degree of national affiliation, which explains some of their actions, including those related to the Phoebes.

Genocide and ethnocide

What happened to the Slovenian nation in the Kingdom of Italy cannot be called anything other than ethnocide and genocide.

The word genocide is a more well-known historical reality, when an army, state, or nation killed all members of a race, people or nation, while ethnocide is a slightly more cultural form for Western European culture, since people are not killed, but only their culture, especially belonging to a nation or religion. If necessary, of course, these two methods are combined and, if necessary, one or the other is used more. Remember cowboy movies, the famous American General Custer, Indian reservations and drunken Indians. This is not an Italian form of genocide and ethnocide, but an American one based on the English one. This one performed even better in Australia on the aborigines.

The Italians carried out genocide with planned exterminations, especially those hidden and slow in the camps, and ethnocide with laws and terror from slaps to fists.

The Italian experience with ethnocide and genocide has inappropriately older roots, not only with the Etruscans and Histri, but also elsewhere in Europe and Africa. Before they started doing this on us after the First World War, they tested both again with particular success in their colonies in Africa. In Libya or Tripolitania, which they wanted to annex to Italy in memory of the Roman Empire, they destroyed half of the indigenous Bedouin population through starvation and disease. Since the oil reserves there were not known at the time, the democratic council at that time remained silent. (Except for a few Englishmen who thought this world should be theirs.)

The beginning of the Italian genocide and ethnocide against the Slovenes was already mentioned under the previous title. It began with the occupation of this common territory of ours by three nations, given to them by the new allies  in the secret London agreement for the betrayal of their allies . They started carrying out the ethnocide with expulsions and resettlement. Even worse followed after Mussolini's speech in Pula. The Duce said that it was necessary to kill, but he also knew very well that he needed soldiers, the kind who would storm, and also the kind who would just be cannon fodder. In Rome, they even prepared consultations or symposia on what to do with such a large number of Slavs in the territories to be conquered, how many to Italianize and how many to kill, and how many to turn into inferior servants or modern-day slaves.

Soldiers without guns

The Slavs, who faced the Turks well, know that our children, with a few years of education, can also become janissaries, that is, real killing machines. The fascists were in a hurry, because they wanted to become masters of the world during their lifetime, so they developed the fanaticism of their army with nationalism, racism, sadism, and even machismo, and above all, the divine right to life and death. Of course, all Slovenes and Croats who accepted Italianism and fascism did not become ministers like the Cobols, but they got a black shirt, white gloves, a knife and a rifle and, of course, a job or work, money, girls, power... Those who refused this, they entered special battalions, where they learned to march with wooden guns or without them at all. Some of them were taken with them to Africa as manual laborers, and some were used as cannon fodder by the enemy. After the attack on Yugoslavia, when some of them started to join the partisans, they recruited or caught all the boys over 14 at night and took them to various parts of Italy, and then all the other men. My cousin Marjot was taken to a special battalion, even though he was already 54 years old.

According to incomplete data, there were around 12,000 underage boys in these special battalions. All the Slovenes and Croats who were taken to quasi-military camps and emergency barracks in the south and various parts of Italy, including the elderly, numbered more than 30,000. These "soldiers" without guns were able to sing Slovene songs again for the first time right in the middle of Italy, where they did not know hatred towards Slovenes. They also didn't know that at home in the Julian countryside they were not only allowed to sing, but also to speak Slovene.

The Italians first abolished the use of the Slovenian language in the courts, already in 1922, when the fascists had not yet come to power. The following year, they reorganized the country into provinces and also used this to abolish the use of indigenous languages. Then a royal decree on toponymy was adopted, which abolished all Slovenian and Croatian names of places and other toponyms and replaced them with Italian ones, most of them invented.

What else is the demolition and burning of Slovenian cultural centers than ethnocide. In the years 1919-1921, the Italians demolished 134 Slovenian social buildings. Among them were 100 Slovenian educational societies, 21 labor chambers and 3 cooperatives. On February 10, 1921, the printing house 'Dela' was destroyed in Trieste. During these years, the Edinost printing house was vandalized seven times, its machines, premises and equipment were broken. From December to June 1921, it was ravaged seven times.

Laws on corporations or companies, societies, newspapers and municipalities followed. With this, they suppressed all Slovenian and Croatian social activity, small businesses, loan companies were abolished, municipalities got fascist sub-states, i.e. appointed mayors, etc.

In 1925, a new law prescribed high penalties and the dissolution of the association if all formalities were not in order (translation of the social rules, submitted detailed list of members), and dismissal from public services for all those who are members of unrecognized or already dissolved associations. A year later, the prefect of Trieste proposed to the higher authorities the abolition of all Slovenian societies because of their anti-state activities. In 1927, however, the prefects of Trieste, Pula, Gorica, Reka and Vidma received a circular from the Ministry of the Interior ordering the final termination of Slovenian social activities. In the summer of 1927, additional measures were taken that greatly affected the indigenous population. There was a final dissolution of all Slovenian cultural societies, Slovenian and Croatian newspapers stopped giving approvals for publication and books.

As a very distinct and effective means of ethnocide, we must additionally explain the Italianization of all names and surnames, even those on cemetery stones.

Of course, this was not called re-Italianization, but a return to the original Italian form. For example, our surname Ivančič, which consists of the name Ivan and the suffix of the common name for the inhabitants of Čičaria, i.e. Čič, was Italianized in Giovannina, and for my mother's surname Slavec, they did not even know that this bird is called usignolo in Italian, so they found a similar-sounding Italian surname Salvi. This regulation was followed by a real violent or forced Italianization of personal names and surnames. More similar ones followed, prohibiting the use of non-Italian names at baptism. Thus, they changed the surnames of 70,000 Slovenian famiFoibe in the occupied territory. According to rough estimates, around 500,000 names of people, places, waters... all toponyms, even those on cemetery crosses, were Italianized in that period. All Slovenian monuments and gravestones were to disappear, all Slovenian rivers and mountains were to be renamed. Post offices did not deliver letters marked with Slovenian addresses.

One of the most effective long-term methods of ethnocide, which had consequences decades after the liberation, was the so-called Gentile education reform, which, according to the proposal of the Minister of Education Givanni Gentile, banned Slovenian in schools and introduced only Italian. Before the First World War, there were 321 Slovenian and 167 Croatian primary schools in the Julian Region, as well as some secondary schools in Gorica, Idrija and Pazin. When the reform was adopted, there were still around 400 Slovenian and Croatian schools with approximately 840 classes and 52,000 students in the Julian Region.

This apparently innocent law, entitled "Ordinamento dei gradi scolastici e dei programmi didattici dell'Istruzione popolare" (Ordinance on school grades and didactic programs for folk-school instruction) was published on November 1, 1923. It introduced the Italianization of the 1st grade elementary schools with the school year 1923/1924. Finally also in secondary schools with the year 1928. Every year one class was abolished, starting with the first class. Thus, in the 1923/24 school year, all Slovenian first-graders sat on Italian benches and listened to an Italian teacher. For the new fascist teachers, who were not professionals at all, it was not only about learning Italian, but also about mistreating children, beating them, humiliating them, imprisoning them...

 An example of a decision on the Italianization of names according to the 1926 decree with a threatened penalty that was comparable to a month's salary (Source: http://tiroleses.com.br/).

 

The children of those parents who did not want to accept Italianness, and this was connected with joining a fascist party or at least a fascist trade union, could not participate in further education. The wealthier and more resourceful sent their children to Yugoslavia or to the interior of Italy, where this was not so important.

Slovene teachers, those who did not flee to Yugoslavia, like other intellectuals and priests, were massively transferred (confined) to the south of Italy. Before that, immediately after the occupation, all railroad workers, civil servants and policemen who had not fled to Yugoslavia were relocated.

They also forced Gori's Bishop Frančišek Borgio Sedej to resign, who insisted on Slovene religious education in his diocese. In 1928, religious education in the Slovenian language was abolished by school circular. For several years, the Congregation in Rome also decreed the exclusive use of Latin in church ceremonies.

In 1928, the administrative and supervisory boards of the Slovenian Cooperative Union in Gorica and Trieste were dissolved, and in 1941 the last Slovenian loan company was liquidated. the Tržaška Savings and Loan Bank.

The Slovene word was secretly preserved only at home, at secret meetings in the woods or in the church. They also secretly sang Slovenian devotional songs here. But soon the fascists started sending their black shirts to Slovenian churches as well, and after mass they persuaded the choirmasters with sticks and drinking castor oil. This oil has a very strong laxative effect, then these poor people were tied up and driven on ropes, just like bears, around the villages and mockingly shown to people - to teach them, of course. In 1937, the well-known singer Lojzet Bratuž from Goriške Brde was forcibly given to drink even motor oil, as a result of which he died after terrible and long agony.

Of course, many did not want to accept Italianized names and surnames or to stop singing in their mother tongue. Those who were not helped by either the rod or the castor oil, as well as the increasingly numerous prisons and torture chambers, were also thrown into the foiba, as Coboli suggested. It was in these places in the interior of Istria, where there was the greatest misery, that the worst executioners were to be found, who were ready to do anything for Mussolini.

The fastest effect in Italianization or ethnocide was intimidation, not only with fights and castor oil, but with special courts and executions.

The first of the Tigers to be executed was the Croat Vladimir Gortan from Beram near Pula. During the fascist plebiscite on March 24, on the road Brestovica - Pazin, he fired shots into the air to disperse the voters who had been forcibly taken to the polling station in Pazin. On March 28, 1929, he was caught while fleeing to Yugoslavia. The fascist court sentenced him to death, and his four comrades to long prison terms. He was shot in the morning on October 17, 1929 near Pula.

Even more famous than the execution of Gortan is the shooting of four Slovenian national heroes, members of Borba, Ferdo Bidovac, Franjo Marušič, Zvonimir Miloš and Alojz Valenčič. They were accused of setting fire to the Italian kindergartens, which the fascists opened after they closed the Slovenian ones, and of planting a bomb in the Il Popolo di Trieste printing house and at the Victory Lighthouse in Trieste. Because of them, a special court was established in Trieste, the like of which was previously only in Rome, and they were sentenced to death by being shot in the back. They did that. On September 6, 1930, at dawn, the four condemned to death were brought under strict security to the Karst farm near the village of Bazovica. They were accompanied by 600 black shirts of the 58th battalion under the command of the fascist consul Filippo Diamanti. The execution department of 56 fascists was arranged in front of the convicts. At forty-three minutes past five, deadly shots rang out, under which the heroes of Bazovica staggered to their deaths. They were buried in the cemetery at St. Ani in Trieste.

Other convicts received the following prison sentences: Slavko Bevk, student, 5 years; Vekoslav Španger, carpenter, death sentence commuted to 30 years in prison; Ciril Kosmač, student, acquitted; Andrej Manfreda, student, 10 years; Zofija Korze, housewife, 2 years and 6 months; Vladimir Štoka, sales assistant, 20 years; Drago Rupel, florist, 15 years old; Ivan Obad, farmer, 10 years; Miroslav Pertot, sales assistant, 5 years; Leopold Širca, farmer, acquitted; Mario Zahar, carpenter, 5 years; Lovrenc Čač, worker, 15 years old; Josip Kosmač, farmer, 5 years; Nikolaj Kosmač, worker, 25 years old.

 Royal decree on a special court to try Vladimir Gortan and other Croatian patriots. Source: Italian crimes in Yugoslavia

 

If we want to understand why this Foiba di Basovizza, we need to know the meaning of Bazovice in Slovenian consciousness. The execution itself resonated a lot in Yugoslavia and the world press.

The newsletter of Istrian emigrants in Yugoslavia "Istra" wrote, among other things, in the article "More about the Trieste process":

that he arose with great pain? He had to hold on to the iron fence with his hands to keep from falling. His legs were a single bloody wound, a terrible blister itself... To hear his voluntary confessions when he was thrust into a cauldron of boiling water at the interrogation up to his ribs! These things are terrible, terrible! One is out of his mind when he thinks that this is happening today, in the heart of Europe, in the until recently freedom-loving Italy... When we remember the feelings of our martyrs in the full sense of the word, we cannot help but admire the mental strength with which they were imbued. This already exceeds the limits of human heroism." One is out of his mind when he thinks that this is happening today, in the heart of Europe, in the until recently freedom-loving Italy... When we remember the feelings of our martyrs in the full sense of the word, we cannot help but admire the mental strength with which they were imbued. This already exceeds the limits of human heroism." One is out of his mind when he thinks that this is happening today, in the heart of Europe, in the until recently freedom-loving Italy... When we remember the feelings of our martyrs in the full sense of the word, we cannot help but admire the mental strength with which they were imbued. This already exceeds the limits of human heroism."

The first monument to the heroes of Bazovica was erected in Kranj

The international democratic public strongly condemned the fascist action. The Zagreb newspaper Novosti reported on spontaneous anti-fascist demonstrations in Prague, America and elsewhere. Too many political coastal and Istrian emigrants in Yugoslavia, as well as local members of the illegal labor movement, were outraged and moved by this event. They showed this in various manifestations both during the course of the process and after the death of the Bazovic victims, but right-wing Yugoslav politics prohibited these protests and even commenting on fascist events in Italy. At the same time, the Central Committee of the Communist Party of Italy issued a combat proclamation in Paris, in which it began to celebrate the heroes of Bazovica, who are not part of a terrorist episode, but a real civil war in the Julian countryside.

The special prosecutions against Slovenes and Croats did not end there: on December 5, 1931, an even larger group of Slovene patriots were tried before the Special Court in Rome, but probably because of the echoes of the previous executions, only longer prison sentences were given this time. The saddest thing for our nation is that young Slovenian refugees who were returned to Italy by the fascist authorities of the Drava Banovina were also convicted at this trial in Rome.

The pressure of the international democratic public against the convictions at the first trial in Trieste has certainly subsided. A significant number of acquittals must probably be attributed to this. Out of the total number of defendants, 19 defendants were dropped in the area of ​​the valley municipality.

Later, on the initiative of a member of the Trieste Struggle Drago Žerjal from Boršt pri Trieste, who escaped arrest by fleeing to Yugoslavia or elsewhere, the first monument to fascist victims in Europe was erected in Kranj. In Ljubljana, however, they managed to erect a commemorative plaque.

It was not only ethnocide and genocide, but also, or first of all, the economic exhaustion of Slovenes and Croats. Their economies collapsed one after the other, not only because of the looting and arson attacks of the fascists, and not only because of the general economic crisis, but mainly because of the planned economic policy, in which the Italian banks and insurance companies played a special role. In the newspapers we can find articles that talk about hundreds of failed farms. The fact that a farm that produces essential food collapses during an economic crisis is a different story than a law firm or a mechanic workshop.

After the fascist burning of cultural houses, many farmers realized that the only solution for their indebted farm was to burn down a residential house or an outbuilding.

 Two clippings from newspapers about the collapse of agricultural herds: in the first, 400 only in Goriška Brdy, and in the second, 690 in the entire Julian countryside in 1934 (Source: Koper Regional Museum).

 

Exodus of Slovenes and Croats

All this terror drove Slovenes and Croats from occupied Istria and the Slovenian coast around the world. The first two people from Gabrovo from our family had to flee to Yugoslavia, together with their teacher, as pupils of the elementary school in Ospo, because they were wanted on suspicion of taking down the Italian flag and throwing it on the ground when the Italian authorities came to their village..

They knew what awaited them, as they would not be the first.

Lebič: stories of the forgotten exodus

The exodus of Slovenes and Croats from the July landscape took place in several stages. The first was the emigration of the civilian population from the Soča front, when both the Italians and the Austrians emigrated the civilian population. Of the nearly 30,000, quite a few thousand never returned. During the Italian occupation of Trieste or territories granted to it by the Entente allies , around 20,000 so-called Austrian citizens were expelled from Trieste alone, among whom were not only local officials of the previous government, officers' famiFoibe, such as Globočnikov's, and the police, but also teachers, railway workers, postmen... The next wave was the rebellious workers, socialists and communists who preferred to run away rather than go to prisons or confinement. This was followed by a wave of local Slovenian policemen and railway workers who preferred to flee rather than be transferred to the south of Italy.

At the same time, attention should also be drawn to Mussolini's plan for the planned settlement of Italians in Slovenian territories. This was called "bonification". Tens of thousands immigrated to Trieste alone. Thousands of them were also moved to Istria, where they wanted to grow more wheat for their army. This is how the settlement of Vanganel was created near Koper, because Slovenes from the surrounding villages then said that "vanga works" there. Vanga is a shovel in Friulian. Among these were also many forcibly relocated socialists and communists, who were withdrawn from certain factories or places in the interior of Italy.

Most of the immigrants were involved in temporary work, such as building roads, especially towards Yugoslavia, and even planting trees along these roads, which were intended more than for shade to cover the army that was supposed to move along these roads to the east. They built water stations and water mains, drained swamps and sowed wheat on them. In Istria, even the vines were ordered to be cut down and wheat planted instead. This is also not researched, but it is known that quite a lot of our farmers emigrated and that we had large colonies of coastal farmers in Prekmurje and even in the Strumica valley in Macedonia.

Already in 1936, Lavo Čermelj, a physicist and publicist born in Trieste, wrote that 70,000 Slovenes had fled to Yugoslavia from Julian Territory. For many years, this number was considered the official estimate, but after 1936 tens of thousands more people moved to Yugoslavia due to the growing fascist terror. This figure does not include those who retreated to France, Belgium, Argentina, Australia and other cross-border countries. Some more summary data was published in Italian by Aleksej Kalc in Annales 8/'96. According to the joint estimates of Slovenian and Italian historians, or official estimates, 70,000 fled to Yugoslavia during fascism, 30,000 to Latin America, and 5,000 to other countries.

The numbers are probably much higher. Indeed, many political refugees fled secretly and did not register in the new countries, since socialists and communists in particular were not wanted anywhere, not in Yugoslavia and not even in America. To the refugees we should add thousands of exiles who were forcibly relocated and confined to southern Italy, further 30 or even 40 thousand boys and men who were conscripted into special battalions, tens of thousands who were imprisoned in prisons and concentration camps, unknown the number of people who fled from the horrors of war, for which fascism itself was to blame, and finally all those who left their homes and had to join the partisans. If it weren't for fascism, they wouldn't have to. To the numbers of coastal refugees, exiles and various emigrants, those who

Can we add other Slovenes to all these Primorsans: Notranjci, Ljubljanci and Dolenjci, who ended up in Italian camps and confinements? What about all the Slovenians who were killed by the Italian occupiers and, of course, their collaborators? How many people suffered, had to leave their homes, how many had their homes burned down, how many were covered in rubble? What number do we get then? 300,000, 400,000 or 500,000 affected Slovenians? Certainly higher than the one the Italians quote for their ezules, who are actually optants. Wasn't the entire Slovenian nation affected by this fascism and war? Probably, without the participation of Italy, the Germans would not have attacked Yugoslavia and would have focused on Moscow earlier. Maybe for some people it is not important what happened before and what happened after, what was the cause and what was the consequence?

Primorski were exiles and refugees, not optants

These coastal refugees were not optants. Optants were those who, after the Second World War, on the basis of the peace treaty with Italy and the establishment of the Free Territory of Trieste, decided whether they would stay in their home and live in Italy or Yugoslavia, or move to another country. So they didn't run away because of prisons, deportations, beatings, castor oil, torture, killing... not even because of the banning of the Italian word, the use of surnames and not to mention more. Those who were afraid of the Phoebes knew very well what they themselves had done to their neighbors during fascism and the war. Opting was therefore regulated by law between the two countries and internationally confirmed. But it happened during the Cold War, when, due to the interests of capital, it was necessary to stop the expansion of free-thinking political ideas and above all the increased power of the actual winner of the Second World War, i.e. the Soviet Union, as well as new communist attempts, as was the case in Yugoslavia. The flight of Italians from Yugoslavia to Italy was first and foremost in the political interest of the West and also of Italy. The West was given an alibi for its Cold War towards the East, as well as for military interventions or wars, such as in Korea, and Italy as an alibi for changing the status from a war criminal and reclassification to a war victim. Of course, financial aid for each "exile separately" was also very tempting, especially the money from the Marshall Plan. The flight of Italians from Yugoslavia to Italy was first and foremost in the political interest of the West and also of Italy. The West was given an alibi for its Cold War towards the East, as well as for military interventions or wars, such as in Korea, and Italy as an alibi for changing the status from a war criminal and reclassification to a war victim. Of course, financial aid for each "exile separately" was also very tempting, especially the money from the Marshall Plan. The flight of Italians from Yugoslavia to Italy was first and foremost in the political interest of the West and also of Italy. The West was given an alibi for its Cold War towards the East, as well as for military interventions or wars, such as in Korea, and Italy as an alibi for changing the status from a war criminal and reclassification to a war victim. Of course, financial aid for each "exile separately" was also very tempting, especially the money from the Marshall Plan.

With the support of the Italian right, but also the left and anyone else, the Italian refugees, mostly optants, but not ezuli, as they are called, pushed their way into all the decisive pores of Italian society and the country, and built a monolithic wall in Trieste. But it is not only about Italian nationalism and forgotten historical memory, which was not washed away with post-war catharsis due to the high interests of the Western bloc, but about something else - also about the constant need to find an external enemy.

We Slovenians remain sworn to Zdravljica by our greatest poet France Prešeren, from which we took as our anthem the very stanza in which he sings "Long live all the nations..." Our littoral anthem already became Bazoviška during the time of fascism, which according to the text of Albert Sirka was set to music by Fran Venturini, partly based on the devotional song Ti o Marija, so that it could be sung in Slovene in guarded churches with ignorant Italian carabinieri. After the end of the war, our cultural and political men said that now there is peace and we will no longer demand the revenge of Bazovice, as a symbol of the terror that the Italians inflicted on us, but we will only sing of our famous united rebellion. Therefore, Lev Svetek Zorin wrote a new text, which was set to music by Rado Simoniti, so that he preserved the most important melody from Bazoviška.

 

BAZOVIŠKA

 

We are fugitives, we are exiles

the road is our sister, our brother is hungry.

Mothers in slavery, and acquaintances in prisons,

but we believe in our spring.

A cry of woe can be heard across the Primorje,

Istria awaits us, Goriška and the Karst.

Brethren, there is a light on the horizon,

close the ranks, the time is coming.

Trieste and Gorica will soon call us,

a cry will resound wildly in the middle of the night

and Bazovica will be avenged,

at dawn the bloody sky glows.

 

TIGR

With all that Italian nationalism, fascism and their country did to subjugate or wipe out this rebellious nation, it is completely understandable that there was a spontaneous and then an organized rebellion. Especially young people felt the need for organized resistance after they were banned from working in youth organizations, their cultural and educational societies. Among these, it is worth highlighting the sokol movement, which was more than just a sport, but a true Slovenian patriotic movement.

The most famous of this organized rebellion is TIGR, about which something has already been said in this text, but due to its importance, a few more paragraphs should be added.

This secret organization was a logical continuation of all the former Slovenian societies, which had to stop functioning due to fascism, and to a large extent it stems from the activities of youth societies. TIGR was also a symbol of all rebellious anti-fascist organizations, which was pushed into oblivion for many years, at least in the interior of Slovenia, and in Croatian Istria at all. Its name consisted of abbreviations for Trieste, Istria, Gorica and Rijeka, and it did not include only Slovenes.

Although the organization called itself revolutionary, it was not ideologically or politically defined, it was mainly a national defense and anti-fascist movement, albeit secret, but very well known among the people. Tigr also did not have a single, organized supreme leadership, as, for example, it operated in Trieste and Istria under the name Borba.

People who became Tigers

The spontaneous rebellion became more and more organized over time. Thus, in mid-September 1927, an important meeting took place at Nanos, at which Zorko Jelinčič, Dorče Sardoč, Jože Dekleva, Albert Rejec, Andrej Šavli and Jože Vadnjal laid the foundations of the TIGR organization.

This still remained very heterogeneous or adapted to the environment. The Battle of Trieste placed more emphasis on the combat actions for which the heroes of Bazovi are known. In the beginning, the Goriška branch of the TIGR organization mainly devoted itself to preserving the Slovenian word among the people. Thus, despite the official abolition of the educational societies in Goriška Tigrovci, under the leadership of Zork Jelinčič, they organized youth meetings where they preserved the Slovene word and familiarized themselves with the work of the organization. The people of Tigrov ensured that the children could learn to read and write in Slovenian at home. For this purpose, a reading book entitled Pod doměčim krovom, written by Ciril Drekonja, was compiled.

They also took care of the printing and reproduction of illegal literature, which was mostly printed in Ljubljana and financed by coastal emigrants in Yugoslavia. The activity of the rebellious youth of Trieste, which published the illegal newsletter Plamen, was also resounding. With illegal literature, they ensured a massive boycott of the plebiscite for the formal annexation of the Julian Territory to Italy in March 1929. It broke only in Istria, where the material was lost.

Members of the organization began to associate with Italian anti-fascists, that is, with the Communist Party of Italy. Under the influence of the Slovenian communists, a pact was signed between the KPI and Tiger in Paris in July 1936, which guaranteed that in the event of the Italian communists taking over power in Italy, the Slovenian and Croatian national minorities would be guaranteed all their national rights, i.e. the use of the language, the establishment of their own societies and organizations and establishing your own business.

When Benito Mussolini, the Italian fascist leader, visited Kobarid in 1938, some members planned to assassinate him, but they did not carry it out, as it would have also caused civilian casualties among Slovenians.

Between 1938 and 1939, TIGR began to smuggle weapons from Yugoslav military warehouses through the Illyrian Bystrica and Pivka region, so that in the event of an Italian attack on Yugoslavia, they might be able to temporarily stop the penetration of the Italian army. They were collecting weapons for a guerilla group, not yet a partisan one, which was gathered by the leader of the young Communists from Trieste, Pinko Tomažič, on the hills of Milje. However, their attacks did not take place, as OVRA discovered them and they were sentenced to death at the second trial in Trieste.

The revolutionary Tigers who survived persecution in Italy joined the partisan ranks after the capitulation of the Kingdom of Yugoslavia, many others who escaped death or imprisonment by fleeing to Yugoslavia, such as Albert Rejc, the informal leader of the organization, refused to participate in the communist-led resistance movement. Refugees were also among the first to join the partisans and join the party, only a few continued to cooperate with the intelligence services of the Western allies.

 The head of the newsletter of the revolutionary organization of the Julian region TIGR, where they already noted that in 1930 Italy was the first country in Europe to start fascist ethnic oppression (Source: tigr-drustvo.si).

 

I personally look at TIGR also through the stories of my parents and grandparents, especially none Emilija, who was the president of the youth organization in Osp and where all the leaders from Borba and the Trieste Communist Party gathered. It was not a revolutionary, much less a military organization, but rather the movement or soul of a rebellious nation. It is also difficult to say how many Tigers there really were. There were only about a thousand of these "real" organized into troikas, but Tigrovec was also every patriotic Primorje, everyone who worked or fought in this fight against fascism for the preservation of Sloveneness, from the venerable Congregation of Priests of St. Paul to communist members of the Italian Party, and then the Slovenian ones.

However, it must be recognized that the communists, together with the Liberation Front and the striking Skojevics, were the most important and decisive factor in the war of national liberation. In Primorska, the first field committees of the OF began to operate a few months after the founding meeting in Ljubljana, in Trieste on August 10, 1941, and then further on in the villages, and this was followed by the massive inclusion of young people among the activists of the OF and in Skoj, and then partisan units.

WAR AND ITS HORRORS.

Excluding Italy's colonial wars, participation in the Spanish Civil War, and the invasion of Albania, Italy officially entered World War II on June 10, 1940, and officially entered the Triple Pact with Germany and Japan on September 27, 1940. This drove as many as 60,000 Slovenian and Croatian boys and men from home, some as soldiers of the conquering armies to Albania, Greece, Africa, the Soviet Union, and tens of thousands without rifles to special battalions. The civilian population found themselves in a war economy, or specifically, an ever-increasing shortage and police and fascist terror, especially here along the border with Yugoslavia.

It was not Yugoslavia that attacked Italy, but Italy attacked Yugoslavia, not as honorable knights of Christ's army, but as scavengers without a declaration of war, only after the German attack.

On April 6, 1941, Germany unexpectedly attacked Yugoslavia and thereby postponed the attack on the Soviet Union. Unannounced, Italy also joined this a few days later. The latter crossed the border with its army on April 11 and, together with the Hungarian army, set out to conquer first Slovenian territory. The V. Army Corps of the Italian Army attacked from the inner part of Primorska and marched into Ljubljana on April 11, XI. and the army corps invaded from Goriška. The Italians penetrated to Kočevje and then continued through Croatia towards Bosnia.

They did not carry out this attack simply because they wanted to join the Germans, but they had been planning it for a long time and especially associated with the Croatian fascists, i.e. the Ustaše. In preparation for the attack and the establishment of a vassal state, Ustasha paramilitary units were even trained in Italy to become the most bloodthirsty slaughterers.

This marks the beginning of a new era of Italian persecution, killing, imprisoning, and torture of Slovenes, Croats, and now additionally Bosnians and especially Montenegrins.

This period of war was most marked by various major massacres of people, which were carried out not only by the Italian fascists, but also by their ordinary soldiers, who called themselves Italiani brava gente.

Not only the Croatian Ustaša authorities, but also the Slovenian ones from the Drava Banovina accepted the Italian army as the redemptive "army of Christ". This is sadly witnessed by the reception of this army in Ljubljana, the writing of the Ljubljana newspaper, the sermons of the church authorities and the welcoming mass, as well as the letter of thanks from Ban Marko Natlačen and his "leaders of the nation", which they sent to Mussolini. The creation of the Voluntary Anti-Communist Militia MVAC (Milizia volontaria anticomunista), known as the White Guard, had even more tragic consequences.

 Italy trained the Ustasha before it was attacked (Source: "Italian Crimes in Yugoslavia", published by: Yugoslav Information Office London, 1945).

 

The majority of the nation, despite the influential church, understood this as collaboration and betrayal, as evidenced by numerous resistances and the establishment of the Liberation Front, which, under the leadership of the communists, called for armed resistance and very effectively carried it out to the end.

»You kill too little«

Since they could not confine all the people who were against them to the south of Italy and place them in individual prisons, they started to build concentration camps just like the Germans. Otherwise, they had this experience before with camps for our Austro-Hungarian soldiers and Libyans. But now the needs were even greater. The most famous is the one on the island of Rab, which operated near the island town of Kampor from July 1942 until the capitulation of Italy in September 1943. From 15 to 25 thousand people passed through it, mostly Slovenes and Croats, as well as many Jews., who founded their first partisan unit after liberation.

The second largest was the Gonars concentration camp, which was established in February 1942. A camp had been set up at this location before, where Russian prisoners of war were to be taken. The Italian fascist regime locked up internees of Slovenian and Croatian nationality in the camp in particular. First, they brought 5,343 people over the course of two days, mainly Slovenes from Ljubljana and prisoners from a slightly smaller camp in Monigo near Treviso. The camp in Gonars was abandoned on September 8, 1943 with the capitulation of Italy. The authorities later sought to cover up evidence of the camp's existence and demolished it. The material was used to build a nearby kindergarten, and the area was turned into a meadow. A road runs through part of the cemetery. The former Visco camp also remains hidden, which operated in 1942 and 1943 and in which there were 3,000 prisoners of Slovenian and Montenegrin nationality. All that remains are some concrete foundations along the road. And we could go on and on.

You can get lists of all 1,098 Italian prisons and concentration camps at http://campifascisti.it. According to the estimates of even some Italian historians, there were around 500 different camps and prisons in Italy and its occupied territories, in which mainly Yugoslavs were imprisoned. However, they did not even include the largest, our capital city of Ljubljana, which, in order to isolate the entire population, was surrounded by wire, machine gun nests and guardhouses. It also had a shooting range for hostages in Gramozna jama, in which more than 100 people were killed. So they turned the entire city into a concentration camp, which they could only control by giving special privileges to their collaborators.

As mentioned, the Italians loved to burn down our national and cultural homes, as well as our villages, from the 1920s onwards. During the war, not only fascists did this, but also ordinary soldiers. Let's mention only some of the major killings and arson:

On June 4, 1942, Italian military units carried out a bloody massacre of the civilian population of some villages in Brkini for their alleged cooperation with the partisans. On the order of Rijeka prefect Themistocles Testa, Italian armed units invaded the villages of Kilovče, Ratečevo Brdo, Gornja Bitnja, Dolnja Bitnja, Podstenje, Podstenjšek and Mereče, burned 117 houses, killed 32 hostages and sent 462 inhabitants to internment.

 Burnt houses in the village of Merče (Source: Koper provincial museum).

 

In the village of Podhum, on July 12, 1942, after the murder of an Italian teacher, Italian soldiers carried out a bloody reprisal against the civilian population. All men between the ages of 16 and 64 were shot. Today, a monumental monument stands at the site of the massacre, on which the names of 91 victims of the massacre are listed; the remaining population of the settlement was taken by Italian soldiers to concentration camps, and the village was burned.

On August 8, 1942, in the village of Ustje near Ajdovščina, Italian soldiers of the "Julia" division tortured and killed 8 inhabitants and then burned the village, and many were taken to prisons.

Similar to Slovenia, they also did this in Croatia, Montenegro and other occupied areas. In June 1943, the military governor in the Kingdom of Montenegro, Alessandro Pirzio Biroli, ordered the shooting of 180 hostages as retaliation for the killing of 9 Italian soldiers of the 383rd Infantry Regiment (20 hostages for each Italian soldier).

In their hatred of our people, as an inferior race of slaves, they continued to inflict even worse experiences during the war, even on our children. This is best demonstrated by photographs of dying children in their concentration camp on Rab and pictures drawn by children interned in Gonars.

They proved themselves even more after the fall of fascism, when their units competed with the Nazis in exterminating our people and, of course, children. Also in my grandfather's village, Gabrovica, together with the Germans and the Home Guards, they killed little four-year-old Nerina and burned her together with my grandfather's aunt. And not only them, seven others. They did even worse together with the Germans in another Istrian village of Lipa, where they killed and then burned as many as 269 people, mainly women, children and old people, in their houses.

So we could go on and on. To all these burnings and slaughters from the beginning of fascism until the capitulation of fascist Italy, we should also add those after its fall. These were not only the crimes of the German Nazis, but the most terrible of all were the fascists of Mussolini's new Social Republic of Salo. Besides the Ustaše, they were the worst fighters of the Second World War, as evidenced by the special inspectorate in Trieste, the "Collotti gang", the XMAS frenzy, etc. According to the data presented at the Paris Peace Treaty in 1947, the Italians together with the Germans killed 42,800 people, maimed 7,000, imprisoned, interned or deported 95,460 persons, completely destroyed 19,357 buildings during the war from 1941-1945 and in the Julian Territory alone., and partially 16,837. Even more eloquent is this fact, which is acknowledged even by the editorial staff of the KPI online newsletterilpartitocomunistaitaliano.it, that Italian soldiers killed as many as 200,000 people in the occupied areas of Yugoslavia from Triglav to Boka Kotorska and that 11,606 Slovenes and Croats died in their camps, 4,000 people died in Rab alone. Of course, this is not all, one must also add the killings and crimes of all their collaborating units, especially the White Guards, Ustaše, Chetniks and Ballistas.

It was not a war, not at all a war of the army against the army, but a war of the army against the civilian population. This is also proven by the order of their commander-in-chief of the occupied area, General Mario Robotti:

»COMMAND XI ARMY CORPS

PM 46 h 4 September 1941 - Year XIX

Operations office N 027734

SUBJECT: Action of rebel elements in Slovenian territory.

IN COMMAND OF THE 2nd ARMY / MILITARY POST

- to deal with the exceptional situation that has arisen in this Province,... exceptional measures are indispensable:

- estimates: hostages, extension of responsibility for criminal acts to local authorities and inhabitants of the area;

- repressive: capital punishment, immediate, on the very scene of the crime and without following long legal procedures.

THE COMMANDER ARMY CORPS GENERAL

- Mario the Robot«

Briefly summarized: In order to manage the exceptional situation that has arisen in this province, exceptional measures are necessary: ​​preventive: hostages, increasing the powers of those responsible in punishing local authorities and residents; repressive: immediate death penalty at the scene of the crime and without lengthy legal proceedings.

»All males of this accursed race must be exterminated!«

(All men of this accursed tribe must be exterminated!)

Benito Mussolini, Gorica, July 31, 1942

In 1942, however, Robotti made it even clearer when he clearly said, "Si ammazza troppo poco", that there is not enough killing in Slovenia. General Mario Roatta, however, demanded not only a tooth for a tooth, but a head for every tooth "Non dente per dente, ma testa per dente."

Their goal was to destroy the Slovenian nation, not only ethnocide, but also genocide. This is best evidenced by the letter that High Commissioner Emilio Grazioli sent to Rome from occupied Ljubljana in 1942: "The question of the Slovenian nation can be resolved in one of the following ways: 1. To destroy it. 2. To displace him. 3. To assimilate it completely - we just have to decide on the direction we will take."

At the celebration in Dražgoše in 2016, the academician and writer Saša Vuga made it very clear that we Slovenians were condemned to genocide:

"We Jews and Slovenes were a nation destined for complete nothingness - death. So I like to cite two cannibalistically disgusting, eloquent documents over and over again. The first: in the Diary of Count Ciano, Mussolini's son-in-law and foreign minister, the following is written for January 5, 1942, when he received the secretary of the fascists of the Julian Territory: "Vidussoni explained to me the bloody intentions against the Slovenes. He intends to kill everyone. I warned him that there were a million of them. It doesn't matter, he replied flatly. We must work like ours in Africa - finish everything!"

Second document: High Commissioner Emilio Grazioli sent the following plan from White Ljubljana to Rome in 1942: "The issue of the Slovenian nation can be resolved in one of these ways: 1. To destroy it. 2. To displace him. 3. To assimilate it completely - we just have to decide on the direction we will take."

These two documents testify so shamefully clearly to a certain future that has already been mapped out that a third one is unnecessary - and yet. Let me add a personal testimony: in 1942, as a 12-year-old student of the Salesian institute San Luigi in the middle of Gorica, I received a great honor. At twenty-five meters on the square, which has always been called Travnik, and after 1918 Piazza della Vittoria, Victory Square, I looked at nothing but Mussolini, frothing from the actions of Janko Premrl - Vojko. He was jumping on the balcony of the prefecture. Roaring, laughing, under a swan's plumed helmet: "Bisogna sterminare tutti i maschi di questa maledetta razza," which in exact translation means: "All the males (or males) of this cursed tribe (or breed) must be exterminated!" /.../ Just by the way: on the same day at night in Trieste's Slovenian prison Coroneo, my father was also tortured until he was unconscious.

Hitler - for that we also know how triumphantly he marched through Maribor with his generals. And grimly demanded: "Make this country German for me again!" It was because of Dražgoš that Gorenjska was not annexed to the Reich. The Allies, on the other hand - through Dražgoš, they perceived for the first time, when they deciphered the reports that the German headquarters from Bled sent to Berlin, what a strangely big thing was happening in a small nation."

We must not forget that what Hitler said about us was just a continuation of the rhetoric started by Mussolini with the original fascist rhetoric. It is true that there once was a Roman Empire, it is true that this land was also under the Germans for centuries, but for 1,500 years, apart from immigrant masters and colonialists, only Slovenes lived in it.

Let's remember Cankar, who even before the war very clearly warned about our Slovenian servitude. At that time, the official leadership of the nation appeared to be a group of cowards and hypocrites, and the nation to be a frightened herd. A new leadership of the nation was indeed found, which together with the extremely efficient organization of the OF, led it into rebellion. Unfortunately, the whole nation paid a very high price for freedom, especially because of the collaboration of the slaves.

Who rounded up the people, individuals or entire villages, who worked for the partisans, who rounded up the Tigers, the communists, who worked strictly illegally? Italians who had just arrived and did not yet know the Slovenian language? Not only did they arrest people, they themselves arrested people and even shot at them. Even the leader of the Tiger military wing, Danilo Zelen, was betrayed to the Italians by the local policemen, then they competed with them to see who would shoot them first - these Tigers of ours. Boris Pahor was also caught in Trieste by "imported" Home Guards and handed over to the Germans.

"Good Italians" were also killed and burned

Our people were not only killed by foreign and domestic fascists. Even ordinary Italian soldiers, those "ordinary good people" who were very fond of being photographed with their crimes, just like hunters with their trophies. This proves that they had more than a noble attitude towards our people than towards slaves, that they didn't even consider them human. The photograph of a naked dead woman who was first raped, killed, and then photographed in Montenegro says the most about the culture of these people. The Italians liked to rape and take pleasure in women. A well-known professor and the wife of a well-known theater director tearfully told me about how the students of Bajuk's gymnasium beat them and how the Italian guards competed to see who would manage to "rape" these poor women with the biggest metal or wooden tool.

 Graphic representation of the war damage in the land of Juliet: 42,800 dead, 7,000 disabled, 95,460 arrested, imprisoned and interned and 19,357 destroyed buildings (Source: Juliet, special trilingual publication for the Paris Peace Conference, Ljubljana 1947).

 

Italian war crimes before and during World War II are a well-documented but lesser-known face of Italy. According to some data, they killed more than 1,000,000 ( million ) people in their wars in Africa and Europe.

The Second World War formally ended with all the celebrations, proclamations and peace agreements, but it also continued in a covert way with a new form of Cold War, until the fall of the Berlin Wall or, more precisely, "Red Moscow". (Not even then. Read Fascism for Butalci.) At that time and in the post-war situation, when Italy was already on the verge of victory for the left, any warming of the crimes of fascism could tip the political scales. For the Western Allies, the Nuremberg Trials became an apparently satisfactory showdown with former enemies.

Countries attacked by Italy have drawn up a list of more than 1,200 war criminals. The worst of these was Mussolini's Marshal Pietro Badoglio, the disgraced hero of the Abyssinian War, who ordered the use of war gases and even the shelling of International Red Cross hospitals in the fight against a half-armed people. After the capitulation of Mussolini's government, the English and Americans made him the new president of the new Italy at the suggestion of the king. In this new government, he gathered around him only his experienced fascist officers, the most ardent Italian nationalist politicians and financial supporters of Mussolini.

After the war, Yugoslavia established a state commission that collected data on those crimes until 1947. According to its estimates, there were 66,420 war criminals in Yugoslavia, including 17,175 members of the occupying forces. Among them, the Germans occupy the first place with 4,017 criminals, while the Italians take the second place with 3,618. Most of the crimes were committed by local collaborators, but even these must be attributed to their masters or commanders, i.e. the occupier. In Slovenia, the fratricidal war was initiated by the Italians with the establishment of the MVAC, and the worst criminals, the Ustashas, ​​were trained on their territory even before the war.

The UN archives still contain the names of more than 1,200 Italian war criminals who committed crimes elsewhere, not only on the territory of Yugoslavia. Among them are 883 Italian war criminals who operated on the territory of Yugoslavia. Generals Roatta and Birolli were among the most bloodthirsty, but the Western Allies did not go after these Italian war criminals. All they did was advise Badoglio against making Mario Roatta the new defense minister. What's more, it was the British intelligence service that helped this war criminal escape to Spain in 1945. High-ranking officers of the Italian armed forces have never been held accountable for war crimes committed by Italian troops in Albania, Yugoslavia, the Soviet Union and Greece. None were extradited or tried themselves,

After the war, they initiated some trials, but only as a farce. Even the infamous Gastone Gambara, Alessandro Pirzio Biroli, Emilio Grazioli, Mario Robotti and many others were not tried either abroad or in Italy. They were saved from extradition to countries that requested it and legal proceedings by the military-political balance during the Cold War, which froze the issue and, with the decisive support of the Western allies, enabled the Italian government to have a policy by which the top of the Italian military avoided any court penalties. The commission of inquiry led by Luigi Gasparotti was only an instrument to prevent punishment.

These are just a few examples of the many photographs from the Museum of the Revolution of the Nation of Yugoslavia in Belgrade, in which murderers proudly pose next to their slain victims. They even photographed a girl who was raped and then killed. They were taken by the Italians themselves during their criminal acts in Slovenia, Dalmatia and Montenegro in the years 1941-43, and the pictures came to the museum when they were captured.

 

On the following photographs of some Italian war crimes in Yugoslavia (Source: Museum of the Revolution of the Nation of Yugoslavia/ znaci. net/telegraf.rs

 

 

 

(Above) In September 1942, according to the Italian army, 100 villages in Slovenia were destroyed and 7,000 villagers were murdered in retaliation for local guerrilla attacks. (Excerpt of an article from the American newspaper Toledo Blade, 4 September 1942)

 

 

 

 

(Right) Report on Italian crimes against Yugoslavia and its people, State Commission for the Investigation of War Crimes, Belgrade 1946.

 

 

Italian soldiers dance around the body of a shot partisan in Hercenov on January 31, 1943 (from the book: Report on Italian crimes against Yugoslavia and its peoples, State Commission for the Investigation of War Crimes, Belgrade 1946).

After the war, the Western Allies feared the Italian left and its resistance movement more than the surviving fascists. Their interest was for Italy to join their Western bloc and to achieve with the cold war what even fascism had not achieved before with the most terrible war of all time, that is to suppress the ideas of communism.

The United States of America, Great Britain and France refused to try members of the Italian armed forces and supported the Italian government's delaying and evasive policy towards the demands of countries such as the Soviet Union, Yugoslavia and Albania. They even allowed Italy to conclude a secret agreement with Greece as a member of the bloc.

Her crimes were too many to remain completely hidden even during the Cold War. According to the assertions of English investigative journalists, almost all criminals from the wars of conquest came to prominent and influential positions at home in Italy. In accordance with this policy, even in 1953 Gaetano Collotti, one of the worst executioners of the Special Fascist Inspectorate in Trieste, was awarded a posthumous award.

This Italian propaganda offensive clearly benefited, or at least achieved the tacit approval and help of all former fascists, as well as new ones who still harbor old territorial desires, and of course new fascist collaborators from some eastern countries, who saw in the current situation their new opportunities for power, stealing, getting rich... He also suited the European Community, because if the guy you accept into your company of seemingly equals gets another slap in the face, he will know who he has to respect.

Now, for a better understanding of the problem of the exodus and the Phoebes, let's go back to 1943.

The fall of the fascist Kingdom of Italy

After the defeat at Stalingrad and then Kursk in early 1943, the Red Army units shifted towards Berlin, but they also turned south. It is probably because of this that the Allied units, which defeated the Germans and Italians on the African front, decided to attack Italy as the weakest link of the Axis. After landing in Sicily on July 10, 1943, the Allied troops very quickly showed their superiority, and the Italians showed their character and the sophistication of their political game. The Italians quickly found out who would be the winner, so they signed a capitulation on September 3 in Cassibile, Sicily, which was only known five days later, i.e. September 8. King Victor Emmanuel III. fled to the south with the Badoglio government under the protection of the Anglo-Americans, and the deposed Mussolini was imprisoned in Gran Sasso.

This tactical coup is called the fall of fascism, but what a fall of fascism it was, if it was in agreement with the Western allies that the previously mentioned fascist Marshal Peter Badoglio was appointed as the new president.

The Germans also invaded from the north and, with the help of people from the special inspectorate in Trieste, freed the ousted Mussolini from prison and established a Fascist Social Republic for him with its capital in Salo on Lake Garda. They kept our part or Adriatische Kunsterland all to themselves. In the event of their victory, this would be the territory of the Third Reich, which, as was ordered for Maribor, would be made "German again".

 Italian fascism did not fall with the fall of fascist Italy

In addition to the government, the New Social Republic of Saloj also had its own army, which continued the previous war. Its worst units, called XMAS, were made up of the most die-hard fascists, who now, with the beginning of the collapse of fascism, dared themselves much more than before. The special police inspectorate in Trieste also continued its work. He made his attitude towards the anti-fascists and especially the Slovenes even more inappropriately, and it was through the operation of Collotti's special political department that he brought him to the top of the insolence of human crimes. They knew that death awaited them after the war, or as the people said: "Dopo la guerra ogni fascista avra la sua mora."(After the war, every fascist will get his mora.) The word mora has two meanings, either a black-haired girl or a mulberry tree, which were very widespread at the time due to the cultivation of silkworms. Today, this sentence has been forgotten, but I heard it many times in the narration of those who "served" Italy in special battalions and prisons.

Between the breakup of Italy and the arrival of the Germans, many things happened here in Istria, especially the first freedom after three decades. At that time, a free territory was created in Istria, as well as in other places occupied by the Italians. "The end of the war and the collapse of fascism" was celebrated by Slovenes, Croats and Italians alike, regardless of nationality, and everyone, including Italians, especially the masses of workers who felt fascism not only on their own shoulders, were looking for an opportunity to take revenge. but also stomachs. What was happening was not revenge against the Italians, but against the fascists, among whom the worst were those with Italianized surnames.

Italian soldiers threw down their weapons and searched the villages for civilian clothes and headed home, some joining the partisans. There are countless examples of Italian soldiers and entire units joining the partisans all over Yugoslavia and also in Greece. Primorski and Istrians, regardless of nationality, Italians also joined the partisans en masse, not only men, but also women. All who remained in the village, both old and young, worked for their partisans. In contact with the Slovenes, whole Italian or mixed brigades were formed, which operated under the leadership of the new Yugoslav army or directly of the Communist Party of Italy. The most famous Italian brigades, in addition to the Garibaldi brigade, which became famous not only for the battles, but also for the beautiful battle song of the same name, are Alma Vivoda and Fratelli Fontanot,

What about the homegrown die-hard fascists? Most of the fascists and perverts went undercover and even started speaking Slovenian or Croatian. The worst was for those Croats and Slovenes who in the meantime took on Italianism and to confirm this, they also accepted a fascist party card. This could be hidden by taking off the black shirt, tying a red scarf around the neck or even sewing a red star on the cap. The most corrupt, like the uncle of the previously mentioned acquaintance, quickly changed and started shouting "Viva Stalin. Viva Tito," some hid and hid and waited for the Germans, others immediately went to Trieste, where the special police inspectorate of the new Saloese Republic, under the leadership of Giuseppe Gueli and his assistant Gaetano Collotti, almost completely controlled the situation. Maresciallo Gueli, who had previously distinguished himself in the occupation of Albania,

But this freedom with the fall of fascist Italy was only temporary, it lasted only three weeks of joy and, unfortunately, revenge, which is a completely understandable act during or after any war, even if it cannot be justified even with 25 years of nationalist and fascist terror. Since it was known that the war would not be over yet, at that time the committees of the Liberation Front and local partisan units carried out a true general uprising with a general voluntary mobilization. The partisans disarmed the Italian army and confiscated many weapons, freed prisoners from prisons and formed new well-armed brigades, but unfortunately with poorly trained fighters, who put up a defensive wall against the incoming Germans. Even 600 Italian soldiers who had already been captured by the Germans and taken to concentration camps were freed at Pazin. People fed and clothed them and let them go home.

The Germans expected the landing of the Western Allies in Istria as well. Their military mission was already surveying the terrain, so they hurried. Not just in a hurry, but crazy. Hitler was apparently convinced that the bulk of Tito's forces were also in this area. He personally participated in the planning and ordered wanton terror against the civilian population. The operation was called "Säuberung Istriens" or after us "Cleaning of Istria". They gathered 120,000 soldiers, even though they weakened the defense in Italy. On the night of October 1-2, according to the plan of Rommel's headquarters, 50,000 soldiers with one hundred and fifty armored vehicles were sent from the Karst plateau to the Milje-Kozina line. They were commanded by the commander of the 2nd SS Panzer Corps, General Paul Hausser. The first part of the German army penetrated along the coast, while the second was directed at Buzet. Untrained and barely formed partisan units could not stop the German tanks. First, they positioned themselves along the edge at the crossing over the Osapska River near Oreh and then between Rabujez, Plavje, Škofija and Korošci. A battalion of the Trieste Brigade, consisting of Italian and Slovenian workers, under the leadership of Mario Tula from Mackolj, mined a bridge and destroyed a German armored vehicle. After several hours of fighting, 24 fighters of the Trieste Brigade fell, 9 were wounded, and 16 were captured. On October 2 and 3, 1943, the Germans killed more than 200 people and burned 55 settlements in Slovenian Istria alone. under the leadership of Mario Tula from Mackolj, he mined the bridge and destroyed the German armored vehicle. After several hours of fighting, 24 fighters of the Trieste Brigade fell, 9 were wounded, and 16 were captured. On October 2 and 3, 1943, the Germans killed more than 200 people and burned 55 settlements in Slovenian Istria alone. under the leadership of Mario Tula from Mackolj, he mined the bridge and destroyed the German armored vehicle. After several hours of fighting, 24 fighters of the Trieste Brigade fell, 9 were wounded, and 16 were captured. On October 2 and 3, 1943, the Germans killed more than 200 people and burned 55 settlements in Slovenian Istria alone.

I continue this with the words of dr. Jožeta Pirjevac:

"Local fascists also joined the Nazis in this operation, which on the other hand forced the Croatian Partisan authorities, based in Pazin, to quickly get rid of those fascist officials who were arrested in the second half of September. They tried them quickly, and sometimes they shot them without trial and threw them into dungeons."

With the help of their allies, the surviving fascists, the Germans then pulled some of these bodies out of Phoebe. According to Trieste publicist Claudia Cernigoi on the Nuovaalabarda.org website, the IRSMLT archive, no. 346. also the minutes of fire chief Harzarich, who led these investigations and wrote that 204 people were arrested in Istria, and 19 more were shot and thrown into the sea.

Jordan Zahar, who I will write about later, told me that the only real photos or films about the Phoebes are only from this mentioned purge, because he had already seen them all during the war in German propaganda films and newspapers, and everything else can be he quickly realizes it's fake.

dr. In Dekani in 2013, on the 70th anniversary of the German arson offensive in Istria and the establishment of the Istrian detachment, Jože Pirjevec said that this October action, called "Säuberung Istriens" or after us "Cleaning of Istria", was carried out "with unprecedented cruelty, which demanded thousands of victims mainly of the civilian population, while the partisan units were almost annihilated. Local fascists also joined the Nazis in this operation, which on the other hand forced the Croatian Partisan authorities, based in Pazin, to quickly get rid of those fascist dignitaries who were arrested in the second half of September. They were tried quickly, and sometimes they were shot without trial and thrown into "foybes". In total, around 400 people lost their lives in this wave of violence."

My friend, the well-known Istrian poet and cosmopolitan Bert Pribac, who was in high school there at the time, told me very vividly what it was like in Pazin at that time. His older brother fell as an Italian soldier, so his family had some privileges, even though they were labeled as conscientious Slovenes, and the father used this for the education of his younger son. He told me how the principal of the local school, who was a staunch fascist, turned the woodshed into a prison for those students who spoke a Croatian or Slovenian word during class. After September 8, when temporary freedom came, he saw him on the street, how a group of partisans was taking him out of the city, probably towards Foyba. He told me that the street was full of people and that the residents of Pazin made a real wall and greeted this action of the partisans with a standing ovation.

It should be emphasized here that the partisans in Istria were not foreigners, but locals, who, in order to escape the fascist terror, preferred to take up rifles and flee to the forests, where the first combat units gathered under the organization of the communists groups. These communists were members of the Yugoslav or more precisely the Slovenian or Croatian Communist Party or the Italian Communist Party. We must not forget the Rapala border, which was internationally agreed upon and recognized by Yugoslavia, that is, that Istria and the Slovenian coast were part of Italy, but not of the former Yugoslavia. The goal of their struggle was not crystal clear, this first one was of course against fascism, but when deciding on the border, each side saw its own nation first. The most attractive idea of ​​all was the Seventh Republic, which was supposed to cover the territory between the former Italian-Austrian-Hungarian border and the Rapala border, where roughly equal numbers of members of the Slovene, Croatian and Italian nations were supposed to live together as equals within the framework of the new just and socialist Yugoslavia. But not for everyone, Rome did not like this Seventh Republic at all, maybe even someone in Ljubljana, but not at all those in London and Washington.

With this offensive, the joy and immense hope that flooded our people at the collapse of the Italian fascist state came to an end. The disintegration of Italy was indeed a great victory, a consolation for the suffering of 25 years of martyrdom under fascism, carrying the stick, castor oil, prisons, torture and killing, which those who boasted about their 2000-year-old culture allowed themselves to do. This was not only a great relief for Slovenes and Croats, but also for the simple Italian population, especially many workers in mines, shipyards and ports, as it was the end of domestic fascism, but also for them the beginning of foreign occupation fascism, or more precisely, Nazism. The Germans also considered their first allies, the Italians, to be less worthy. They even mocked and humiliated them.

When the Ščavs became commanders and padrons

Tito's units already had real fame at that time, and not only fame, but also international recognition and awe of the Germans and their collaborators. They were an orderly army, recognized by the allies and even the old Yugoslav government in exile, operating in accordance with the international legislation of the time, with all formal markings, order and discipline. This army had very clear and high moral rules, for theft, rape or murder they were punished even with death. They were an army of free people in an occupied country and had their own popular legislature and executive as well as a partisan judiciary. Admittedly, this worked very quickly, militarily, as the conditions at the time demanded it. It was simply arranged, even contrary to some old written laws, but with a general respect for all moral norms.

With the direct presence of the German and Saloja fascist collaboration units, they had to do this very quietly, without shooting, digging graves and funerals, the easiest way was by throwing them into the abyss. It's not a secret and it's more or less listed. But it is true that people in these conditions took revenge themselves for what these domestic traitors or occupying fascists did to them. It wasn't much, but in some places, regardless of nationality, people got together at night in a village or town and settled old accounts. Unfortunately, in a situation where innocent people were dying around you every day for decades, this was something completely normal, especially to the one who previously enforced these rules.

Most of the fascists from those smaller towns, where they were a minority, fled their homes overnight and mostly traveled by sea, vehicles and even on foot towards Trieste, where the Germans first arrived and where Mussolini's fascists had the most fortified outposts. These fascists had much more security in the coastal cities, since there was a greater concentration of the Italian population and also of the fascists, of course, the Germans, who used the ports for their fleets and fortified these places against a possible Allied landing.

How many of these first ezules were there, who feared the revenge of both former slaves and their humiliated or even hated workers, I did not get the right data, but the numbers are certainly in the thousands. They moved to Trieste also because they liked to be employed there as executioners and guards in Rižarna, prisons, torture chambers, police units and X-MAS.

As always with wars and such changes, many simply went undercover, disguised themselves or even wanted to show themselves as the fiercest fighters against fascism. Collaborators and traitors, however, are always very useful for all rulers, just as it is said of wolves in our country that they change only the fur, and in Italy that the flag is changed.

Reiterated British promises of Trieste

In order to understand what is happening, it should be noted once again that during the German defeats in Russia and the landings in Italy, the question of borders became more and more prominent after the war. Even the new Italian authorities and all their parties, including the communist one, fought to preserve the Rapala border. They were aware that this could be achieved much more easily if the Western Allies had landed in Istria as well, as Churchill also hinted at. As is well known, during the negotiations at the time, the English promised once again that if Italy itself threw Mussolini out of power, they would, among other things, guarantee it the former borders, especially the Rapallo border. The Italians, especially the communists, did not trust the English, as they knew their colonial policy, which was an extension of the Roman Divide et Impera, so they forced them to land in Ista, which is very close to Vienna. The English, especially the Americans,

As already mentioned, units of Italian partisans also participated in the liberation of Istria, and they particularly excelled in clashes with the remnants of Salo's fascist units. I heard from old partisans that they did this in order to clean Istria of their own manure, so that the allies could disembark in Istria more easily. Most of the killings of fascists, as revenge or purges, took place during the two weeks of "temporary freedom" between the collapse of fascist Italy and the arrival of the Germans with a large incendiary offensive. Of course, not all fascists surrendered, like the regular army, but waited for the Germans. Local partisans used methods they had previously learned from the fascists in the purges. In the arson offensive in the first days of October, the Germans together with affiliated units of the fascists shot more than 200 inhabitants in Slovenian Istria alone and burned 55 settlements or 1.

The purges of fascists in Istria were not only about revenge, but also about carrying out the orders of the leadership of the Italian Communist Party, which also controlled some of these predominantly Italian partisan units in Istria, even though they operated as part of the Yugoslav partisan army. This is also confirmed by the recorded memories of Giorgio Jaksetich, commander of the Italian Fontanot Brigade, which operated as part of the Yugoslav partisan army, but, as is known, also received instructions from the leadership of the Italian Communist Party. This also resulted in the catastrophic losses of the predominantly Italian brigade Alma Vivoda, which, according to the order of the Slovenian partisan command, should have withdrawn from Istria, but preferred to follow the instructions from Rome that they must maintain the presence of Italians in Istria at all costs, which is why it experienced near Kučibreg almost complete destruction.

After the meeting between Tito and Churchill, however, the Allied landings in Istria did not take place. Apparently, Tito, with the military power of his partisan army, convinced them that it would be very senseless to lose a few thousand more of their soldiers here for the sake of Italy's interests, and that for such a small piece of territory, which would thereby be torn away from the newly emerging communist block. Otherwise, there were many more communists in Italy than in Yugoslavia, and there was a greater danger that they would establish a Soviet republic there than in Yugoslavia.

Excerpt from Giorgio Jaksetich: La brigata Fratelli Fontanot, page 118.

Translation: Trieste union PCI (Communist Party of Italy) wrote in a message to the command of the Istrian battalion "ZOL" (named after the fallen Italian partisan Giovanni Zolo, one of the first communists and anti-fascists), which attacked the Carabinieri barracks in the Deccani: "(The action) was militarily and politically well executed. We believe that when resistance and political and repressive activity is encountered, it is best to use political repression. In the case of the police in the Deccan, it was done correctly, namely, if they show sympathy, their cooperation should be used (information, help, etc.) for the benefit of our operation, but when you get fascists who are responsible for actions against the civilian population, former leaders and those in charge of the former fascist regime, especially the highly reactionary leaders and those in charge of the current fascist republics,

Trieste is a pit of fascism

After the arrival of the Germans and even more killings, the coastal people strengthened their armed resistance, which probably has no comparison anywhere else in the occupied area. All who were able to carry a rifle went to the partisans. Although the Germans made a list of the occupants of each house, the women and old men said that their sons and husbands had not yet returned after the collapse of the Italian army. There were no betrayals either, as I can claim that the entire Slovenian population in as much as 99% chose the Partisan side. Those who did not join the partisans organized themselves at home, and the houses were real partisan sewing rooms and workshops.

Nevertheless, the Germans, together with the Italian fascists, made Istria a real fortress, and Trieste, together with the collaborationists from Italy and the entire East, turned into a veritable cesspool of fascism. The SS set up their headquarters in Oberdank Square, where they also had their convenient prison cells and torture chamber downstairs. They could not control it themselves, so they relied to a large extent on the Italian fascists and "imported collaborationists", who had to thank their masters with the most bloodthirsty slaughter, torture and rape.

Here they were helped the most by Mussolini's Saloja X-MAS, which consisted of the most inveterate fascists from all over Italy who refused to lay down their arms. About 2,000 home guards were brought to Trieste from the interior of Slovenia, who had the largest barracks right in the most Slovenian part of Trieste near Sv. Ivan, and at Devin Castle, they opened an officer's school for Home Guards, in which there were many students from Ljubljana. A larger unit of Poles also came to Trieste, and during the rounds of our villages, they raped a lot. The Germans then moved them towards Vidmo, but they brought an even greater horror to Trieste, a whole team of criminals from the Treblinka extermination camp, many slaughterers from Ukraine, Russia and all the countries from which they had to retreat before the Red Army.

The Trieste crematorium for Slovenians was run by a Slovenian

This gathering was led by the already mentioned Slovenian renegade Odilo Globocnik, who as a high-ranking SS officer took command of the entire area, called Adriatische Kunsterland, with its center in Trieste.

This Kunsterland, which also included Friuli, Gotica, Ljubljana, Istria and Kvarner, should become German as soon as possible and, as the Italians had already found out, renegades or collaborators are best suited for this job. The foibs were too small for the Germans, so they turned the building of the former Trieste rice mill, where there was also a large oven for the needs of the peeling plant, into a prison with a crematorium. Around 5,000 Slovenes, Croats, Istrians, Italians and Jews ended up there until April 27, 1945. Most of them were Slovenes, and Jews were gathered here mainly for other camps. In addition to the other prisons and torture centers in Trieste, Rižarna was also a collection center for transport to Germany, especially to the Auschwitz camp, but also to Dachau and others.

Even though the oven was upgraded, it did not have the capacity they wanted, so around 25,000 people went to various concentration camps through the doors of Rižarna. Here, especially those who did not endure interrogation and other torture in prisons and torture chambers, which were mainly managed by Italian fascists, were burned. Many were also hanged and shot, and for faster killing, a special closed truck was arranged for mass poisoning with exhaust gas.

Around 5,000 people went through the worst torture chambers and prisons of the special inspectorate in Vila Triste and then in Cologne, more than 2,000 of them were imprisoned by the Jesuits. According to Albin Bubnič, there were more than 20,000 prisoners in the Koroneo prison between 1943 and 1945, and 11,000 of them were labeled political. It is not known how many there were before during the twenty years of fascism. Of course, this was not the only prison in Trieste. Some of them were also taken to Koper prisons, where the heroes of Bazovica were already imprisoned. In the book Koper Prisons, it is written that at least 5,000 political prisoners were imprisoned here during the war.

Thousands of jailers were employed in these prisons, and all of them were Italians, from Trieste and from Istria. They kept their jobs even during the German occupation, and new "verified Istrians" who fled from the partisans were also employed. A special brigade of Italian SS men named after Tulio Cividino also operated in Trieste, and three companies of Italian SS men operated directly under the command of the operational chief of Rižarna Allers. To these must be added other Italian units from the XMAS to the Istrian fascists.

The Italians in particular, together with the Germans, proudly led the columns of prisoners through the city to the railway station. According to the data published on the internet by Milan's ANED, of the 42 trains that took deportees from Italy to the Dachau camp alone, as many as 30 took them from the Trieste railway station (most of the trains from Trieste went to Auschwitz, how many I didn't get the data). Why almost three times more from Trieste than from all of Italy? This is answered by the list of deportees, which mainly contains Slavic names and surnames.

 A stick specially made for killing, with which a man was hit on the head in Rižarna before being thrown into the crematorium. Next to it are the Nazi slogans of the Italian SS that the ideals of fascism cannot be killed and shout heil in memory of all comrades who fell in the fight against communism and Judaism (Source: permanent exhibition in Rižarna, photo by Neva Rolih).

 

In Trieste, however, they claim that they knew nothing about it, that it was only the work of the German Nazis, whose victims were mainly Italians. Most people still refuse to believe that Trieste was one of the most terrible Nazi-fascist hotbeds in the world.

The Germans also organized their "village guards" here, which were "Guardie civice", i.e. urban. They also "recruited" those who were not fascists enough to swear an oath to the Third Reich. Unlike the Home Guards, here the language of command and conversation was only Italian. A few years after independence, a former Home Guard officer boasted in the program Interview on TV Slovenia,that he was only a school inspector who fought to reopen Slovenian schools in Trieste. At that time, Zorka Legiša from Devin told me the story of how a Home Guard officer posing as a school inspector discovered their partisan school, then the next day the Germans came, one teacher was immediately shot, and she and another were taken away in Trieste. Her friend died during the torture, but she luckily survived the hideous torture and then the terrible Dachau.

 

Pictures that show the tradition of two thousand years of Italian culture. Above: Inquisitional torture in the Middle Ages by pouring water over the victim by hand. Below: Collotti's preparation for torturing anti-fascists by pouring water with the help of a pipe on a water tap and a "peg for hanging women", instead of a chain, and under the soles an addition of new technology: an electric cooker (Source: internet and documentation of J. Zaharj).

Bazovski Šoht

You can read the story of the Slovenian refugee, member of the legendary Belgrade trade union Botič, and partisan teacher Zorka in the book Lebič: stories of the forgotten exodus, where I also dedicated a whole chapter to Rižarna. Jordan Zahar from Boršt pri Trieste also told me a lot about this. His story is described in the book Peruti of the Trieste aborigine. These wings were the wings of his hydrofoil PT 150, which is the largest hydrofoil in the world. As a child, this top shipbuilder grazed cows right around their Šoht. His Boršt, which the Italians renamed San Antonio and Bosco (St. Anthony in the Forest), is in Breg, on the slope below the very edge of the Karst, between Dolina and Trieste. Their vines and olive trees are on a steep bank, and the children used to drive cattle to graze up to the karst farm near Bazovica, since the Borština Jusar property also extends over the karst edge, where they once had beautiful pastures and Šoht.

So that there is no doubt as to whose land this is. The names of the places are all Old Slavic. There are as many places with the name Boršt or similar in the Slavic world as you want, because this word means a grove or a pine forest. We also have a lot of Brezovica, Bezovica, Bazovica, and this is a birch forest. Next to it is Gabrovice, where hornbeam grew, and there are also mostly oaks or cerja (Hrastovlje, Hrastnik, Cerje, Cerovlje)...

Here, at the top of Brega, as this part of the karst rim is called, they began to search for coal during the Austro-Hungarian Empire. Between 1901 and 1908, the Czech company Škoda, with Austrian miners and local workers, dug a vertical tunnel about 255 meters deep, as well as some horizontal ones. However, when the ships began to bring to Trieste inappropriately cheaper and better coal from England, they left the coal mine, just like that without a fence or other protection. The Austrians called it Schacht, the locals simplified it to Šoht, and it was only later that the Ezuli renamed it Foiba (Foiba di Basovizza) - in memory of their Foiba from Pazin.

The first victim of this collapsed coal mine was the engineer in charge, who threw himself into it in frustration. Then the mine was closed, what happened to it is not well known, but the locals said that they threw everything they didn't need anymore or what they had cleaned from the nearby pastures, especially small stones, until they heard it hit on the bottom.

In 1936, the coal mining company Arsa commissioned some speleologists from Trieste to explore abandoned coal mines in the Karst. According to the preserved documentation, on September 13, a special group led by prof. Antonia Marussi lowered into Šoht, but only to a depth of 225 meters, as there were already about 30 meters of various wreckage in it (wood from the old mine platform, waste material thrown into the cave by farmers, and stones and soil that crushed from the walls of the excavated shaft). This is also confirmed by wikipedia.it, in which the Italians themselves wrote that "in 1939, the team of the Italian Alpine Clubfound the body of an unfortunate man from Bazovice who fell into the abyss at a depth of 226 meters. In 1941, one climber descended to the girl's body, which was at 226 meters. Finally, on April 2, 1943, a group of seven cavers descended 220 meters deep."

So, before the collapse of fascist Italy, when everything was still under their complete control, according to Italian data, the shaft was only about 220 meters deep, taking into account the possibility of error, of course. If this backfill was at a height of 30 meters, despite the different width of this shaft, there would be around 500 m 2 of material.

After the Second World War, the Italians renamed this Šoht the foibo and turned it into a national monument to Italian patriots, which "contains 500 m2 of corpses". The monument reads "Settore di 500 metri cubi contenenti salmeinfoibati". But let's read a part of Jordan Zaharj's story first:

Shoht, who devoured women and men

"Right before the start of the war, in 1941, I experienced a terrifying event while grazing right here. A young girl was running towards Šoht from a distance, and her father, who could not catch up, was shouting after her. The girl fell into the opening and disappeared. A few days after that, the firemen came here and let a young fireman into the cave, and then pulled out the body of this girl. They had with them a device with which they measured the altitude or the depth of the abyss. This one caught my attention, I came closer to look at her and I heard him say that he had reached the bottom, that it was an abandoned coal shaft at an altitude of 175 meters above sea level and that he had found the girl on a solid and level bottom. The bottom was almost clean, just a few smaller stones that had crumbled from the walls. Children and the elderly also threw pebbles into it and listened to when it would fall and how it would be heard. The altitude of the top of the abyss is 400 meters, the difference and thus the depth of the abandoned mine is 225 meters. /…/

During the holidays, we grazed cattle around Šoht throughout the war and even after it. There were ten to fourteen of us, ages 10 to 15, the girls were older. One summer day in 1944, we saw two soldiers of the "Guardie civice", that is the Italian collaborationist city guard in special uniforms, leading civilians from the direction of Bazovice. They chased him straight towards Šoht, then on the edge they threw him into the cave without a shot and went to get another one.

I did not observe this happening alone, but a whole group of shepherds and shepherdesses, we were about 500 meters away. I covered this distance along the telegraph pole. In the face of this horror, we huddled behind bushes and rocks and silently watched. Of course, we didn't dare to get closer. The second day it happened again. Six men were thus thrown inside. One Sunday they also brought one woman. We boys then got up and started screaming and running towards them. We came to a distance of 50 meters. Although they had guns, but did not know who we were, they quickly threw this woman into the abyss and ran away. But we recognized them very clearly, they were Trieste collaborators from the Guardia Civica. We recognized very well the uniforms of those who were coming towards you, if they were Italian collaborators, you had to run, if they were Chetniks or Home Guards, you had to hide,

One of these shepherds also mentioned that those people in Guardia Civica uniforms were probably disguised inspectors of the special inspectorate, because they saw a vehicle for the transportation of the dead parked nearby, which was often used by the Collotti on their marches.

After the end of the fighting around Trieste, these shepherds saw how the locals threw some decaying corpses of German soldiers into this cave, together with horse carcasses and the remains of wagons that were blown apart by bombs while fleeing.

This is how Jordan Zahar remembers it:

"Despite everything I had experienced and lived through, I was young and I soon went to look around with my friends who survived the war, even as far as Šošt. Here we met four elderly villagers who, as village guards, had to bury the dead and clean the paths around the village. It was here near Šoht that the bombs destroyed a column of four German wagons full of military material. We watched as they dragged the last of the eight horse carcasses towards the abyss with an ox. The work was tedious and time-consuming, although they already had enough practice. The bodies of four German soldiers were also thrown into the abandoned mine, and the remains of military wagons with useless cargo were thrown inside. The fallen partisans were ceremoniously buried at the Bazovič cemetery, where they also have a monument.

We young people wandered around a little more. In the wreckage I found a small manual for building small bridges for military purposes and a glass injection tube. We also discovered the body of one German officer, who was missing an arm. His hand was taken away by a fox that just then scurried past us. Because it already smelled terrible and no one wanted to wear it, the next day they doused it with gasoline and set it on fire. Since it didn't burn, they threw it into the pit along with the hand that the fox had lost while running away.

A little later, I also heard about a trial against collaborators. Among those sentenced to death was Collotti's Fabio or, more precisely, Mario Fabian, who during the torture also raped minor girls in my presence... This slave was sentenced to death by the military court of the Yugoslav army in May 1945, and after the execution of the sentence, his body, which because of his sins, people did not want to bury him in consecrated ground, threw him into a pit."

After the departure of the Yugoslav partisan army, the shepherds watched how the English soldiers cleaned this coal shaft and how they also dragged the bodies out of it.

The young eyewitnesses from Boršt kept silent about this for 35 long years, until one day they met and during the conversations it hit the surface like a wildfire. Not everyone dared to say it publicly, but Jordan was the most courageous. Then Srečko told me all this again, who also boasted that the English, as a curious boy, put him on the bulldozer and that he rode on it even when they were pushing everything that they had dragged from the shack into that hole next to it.

 

A NEW, COLD WAR

For a better understanding, we have to take a step back, because it is known that the post-war cold war started already during the war in the games for the borders after the war, for the new division of the world. For my father and all of us Primorska from Trieste, it began with the liberation of Trieste, not with the Berlin Wall. Some felt it earlier, with the first freedom, the fall of fascism, and all of them later, when they wanted to continue their freedom on their own path... It was, or still is, a continuation of that "hot", bloody one.

Towards the end of the war, around 90,000 members of the German and their collaborationist armies gathered in Trieste, who retreated here from both the western and eastern fronts and defended the Third Reich's last contact with the Mediterranean Sea. This Trieste, one of the biggest strongholds of fascism, like the rest of the border area, was liberated by the partisans, whether the Italians admit it or not: the Titospartisans, fighters IX and VII. Corps and overseas troops who came from Dalmatia with tanks, as well as thousands of workers from Trieste, who were organized into partisan battalions by the Liberation Front and the Command of the City of Trieste.

Dilemmas of Italian anti-fascists

Vlada Bidovec, a woman from Trža from the Šebek family, niece of the well-known partisan priest Piščanac and sister-in-law of Ferd Bidovec, will tell you more about this. During the war, she returned to Trieste and became one of the main organizers of the Liberation Front. Her narrative is very important for understanding the post-war events, especially the spread of rumors about the Phoebes. This is how she narrated:

"I remember that the leadership of the OF in Trieste, at that time I was a member of the District Committee of the OF and later of the Slovenian-Italian Union (SIAMU), tried very hard to establish cooperation between the Executive Committee of the Resistance Movement for Northern Italy (CLNAI or CLNAI, Comitato di Liberazione Nazionale Alta Italia or colloquially Celnai) and the Liberation Front.

All anti-fascist Italian parties were included in Celnai, including the KPI (Communist Party, later the Party of Italy). While the OF for Trieste and the surrounding area had in its ranks the majority of Slovenian anti-fascists, Celnai did not penetrate the wider mass of Italian anti-fascists. The Committee of National Liberation (CLN, Comitato di liberacione nazionale) was also established in Trieste. However, neither the Celnai nor the CLN in Trieste became involved in the fight against Nazism, apart from the KPI.

At first, contacts with Celnai were quite tolerant. Soon, however, disagreements arose between Celnai and OF, especially after II. meeting of Avnoj in Bihać in 1943. At that time, Avnoj adopted a decision on the annexation of Julian Region, Trieste, Gorica, Klagenfurt, Rijeka, Istria and Slovenian Veneto to Yugoslavia. At first Celnai agreed with these conclusions, but then, due to the increasing influence of the Italian parties in it, who were in the majority, he changed his position and advocated a policy of waiting for the struggle with the occupier to end and for keeping the Italian borders intact, which, after the fall of Yugoslavia, even spread to the Ljubljana region. All Italian parties were united in this policy, including the KPI. This had little influence in Celnai, even though it had the most members among the Italian anti-fascists. Thus, KPI also joined Celnai's position,

In the spring of 1944, Dr. Anton Vratuša - Vran, member of the executive board of OF, to coordinate the fight against Nazism. They even agreed to establish a coordination committee in Trieste, in which there would be representatives of OF and Celnai. They issued a proclamation in which Celnai calls on all Italian anti-fascists in the Julian Territory to join the NOB fighters under Tito's leadership in the fight against the enemy. After this meeting, dr. Anton Vratuš also announced in Trieste and even came to our meeting of the district committee of Skoja. He told us how important it is at this moment to unite all anti-fascists, especially the youth, Slovenians and Italians, and especially in the factories. The border issue will be decided after the war. This issue was very important in multinational Trieste.

However, neither Celnai nor CLN in Trieste had the intention to fight against Nazi-fascism. They even removed from their ranks the KPI, which agreed to a joint struggle with the Yugoslav nations.

At that time, the OF again tried to bring about, especially in Trieste, a meeting of all the anti-fascist parties, members of the CLN, where they would agree on how to finally coordinate the last fight against the occupiers. Unfortunately, this meeting did not take place. Only two CLN members in Trieste participated, Dr. Schifrer and Carrarci, however, did not come on behalf of the CLN, but rather as socialists. Even earlier it was said that they were to publish a joint Borba-Lotta newspaper. It was to be edited by Don Marzari, but he sabotaged it and the newspaper was not printed."

"At that time, the Italian nationalists also greatly increased their activity in Trieste?"

"Yes, in Trieste they started a new hunt against the Slovenes and warned the Italians of the Slavic danger. The Italian police under the leadership of the SS arrested almost the entire CLN committee in Trieste. The remaining members of the CLN, as far as they remained, did not agree with the abolition of the Guardia Civica, i.e. the city guard in Trieste, which was in the service of the occupier. They even founded their own company, which was supposed to fight against the partisans. At that time, the OF leadership called on all Slovenian and Italian anti-fascists to establish an Executive Committee of the Slovenian-Italian Anti-Fascist Union (IO SIAU) in Trieste, which would start organizing resistance in the city and especially in the factories. And indeed. SIAU has gained a lot of influence. Workers' Unity Committees functioned in the factories, uniting Slovenes and Italians and encouraging them to fight for their most basic rights and to fight against the Nazis and fascists.

When the end of the war was approaching, the KPI changed its previous position and recognized that every nation on this territory, including Slovenians, has the right to equality. At a decisive moment, the SIAU leadership united all forces in the fight against nationalism and fascism for the liberation of Trieste."

Among those who conquered Trieste with tanks was General Branko Jerkič, then the assistant commander of the brigade that was the first to invade the city. Branko was the son of a seaside family that had to flee from fascist terror during fascism, so he returned to Trieste, the capital of Primorska, as his hometown. This is how he told me:

"On the slopes of Trieste, units of the 188th German Division were deployed. They protected arrivals to the city. In Trieste, Globočnik had his own units, which made up the defense of the inner part of the city. All possible units were found in this part, which were either SS or SS auxiliary units, which included Slovenes, Russians and Italians. In addition, there were anti-aircraft and anti-naval defenses. These units were extremely strong and deployed in such a way that they were able to concentrate on some places that they knew the partisans would not be able to capture. Koroneo, for example, was one such city."

"Just like elsewhere, the City Command operated in Trieste."

"The command of the city of Trieste was uniquely organized, and I think our big mistake is that we didn't talk about this organization enough. The very organization of the battalions and their assistance to our units, that is XXX. the division and our brigade, who did not know Trieste, meant an extremely extremely great deal."

"Rebellions started in Trieste earlier, and the City Command attacked already on the night of April 28. You knew about it…”

"We received the order issued to us by our division headquarters. We got our orders on time and went to Trieste on the night of the 30th. The battalions that fought there were able to withstand one day of fighting, but with the arrival of XXX. division and our unit, received reinforcements. The enemy did not know with what forces, with what powers we went over Trieste."

"Which side did you invade from?"

"We went east first to get to Trieste from the eastern side, but there was heavy fighting there. Then we returned and came to Trieste via Prosek, by first coming to Barkovlje, then to Rojan."

 "Where were the worst fights? Right around the municipalities..."

"Our XXX units had the worst fights. divisions around the municipalities, and we had them when we came to Trieste. This means that in Barkovlje we had virtually no fighting, but the people of Barkovlje were Slovenians and they welcomed us with great joy and then showed us the way, told us where the enemies were. With this, they helped us to advance very quickly towards Rojan."

This is how Morana remembers this liberation:

"At the end of April 1945, an uprising took place in Trieste and its surroundings under the leadership of the Trieste City Command, which had been active since 1944 and had around 20,000 armed fighters in its ranks. The city command was directly linked to the IX command. of the corps, which had already penetrated towards Trieste. On the slopes of the city, the Yugoslav army fought against the occupier. In the fight for the liberation of Trieste, the partisans from Trieste proved themselves in particular. The German army did not leave its positions. Fierce fighting took place from street to street, for each house separately, from which machine guns often came out and killed. Many of our fighters fell. Trieste was liberated on May 1, 1945."

"This must have been the best day of your life for you?"

“Yes, that's true. I cannot tell you how great was the multitude of people that flocked to the center of the city from all parts and places. They even came from the Karst. People were crying with happiness and hugging each other. We, who worked underground as leaders of the resistance movement, met with partisan commanders. At that time, the late Regent, who returned from the Soviet Union, also arrived, and I met with the commander of the IX. Corps, Boris Kraigher, and I don't know exactly who."

"You also addressed the crowd at Unita Square."

"Yes, that's when comrade Boris Kraigher came to me and said: 'Morana, you will speak on behalf of OF.' You can imagine how surprised I was. I was not at all prepared to speak in front of a crowd of 100,000 gathered in the big square, and that was on behalf of the OF. Then people started shouting Moran, Moran.'

Allies' salute with a rifle barrel on a partisan's chest

At that time, my father was also in Trieste, who was forming a brass band for the Ninth Corps to celebrate freedom, and they also played at the ceremonial establishment of the first Slovenian government in Ajdovščina. He was also among those who went to greet the Anglo-American allies who were already coming from Tržič towards Trieste. We didn't talk much about it, and unfortunately I didn't record him for a show either, because I thought it wasn't fair that as a journalist I was interviewing my parents, but he mentioned to me several times that these New Zealanders were allies of the first of his comrades, who stopped them on the road to greet them as allies, put a gun to their chests, and demand that they get out of their way. So they were in a hurry to get to Trieste, or that was their attitude towards the partisans. A local from the vicinity of Devin told me something similar. who was recovering at home as a wounded partisan, but some Germans surrendered to the village girls. They brought them to his home with their guns on their shoulders. When they went to greet the New Zealanders to hand over their prisoners, an allied soldier put a rifle barrel to his chest and demanded that he retreat. Professor Bojan Pavletič told me how an English soldier slapped his cap off his head when he returned to his liberated Trieste.

When the allies came to Trieste, it was almost completely liberated. This is how Branko Jerkič tells:

"When the allies arrived, that was on May 2 around 5 p.m., three more posts remained in Trieste. One was Koroneo prison. IV armored units also tried to capture it. armies that came to Trieste on May 1, but the walls were too strong, so the Germans waited for the English to come and surrendered to them without a fight."

"Well, you also captured a lot of Germans and all kinds of quislings who were with them..."

"Looking at the sea, we saw that soldiers were being transported to some ships by motorboats. These were mainly officers. And then I saw for the first time what an army without leadership meant. When the officers retreated, bad morale suddenly arose among these soldiers without command or organization. At the end of the fighting, our patrols captured 30, 50 Germans each, because they also stopped fighting. They saw that there was no reason to continue the fight, because their commanders were no longer among them."

"Well, today especially the Italian side is talking a lot about foibs, about what the partisan units are supposed to be doing with people, especially with the fascists they got in Trieste..."

“Our unit did not carry out any terror against the civilian population. In particular, we cleaned the city of various remnants of armed units, and this cleaning did not end on May 3, but continued, because the armed formations were also underground, that is, in the sewers of Trieste. These were mainly Italian. I believe that all the rumors about the terrible atrocities committed by the partisans in Trieste are fabricated and that they are - naturally - politically colored. I must say that the honest Italians and Slovenians in Trieste welcomed us very warmly, that the liberation of Trieste was a holiday for all honest people. But we know very well that Trieste represented a point or a city in which everything possible gathered during the war and at the end of the war. Everything that fled from Yugoslavia, everything that fled from Slovenia at that time, everything that was previously in Trieste. So,

"Let's get excited about these 40 days of free Trieste. How was the city?'

"Trieste lived a special life. No shops were operating because the flow of goods was cut off. However, people still had enough suppFoibe at home to survive. The Slovenian hinterland was relatively strong, but I must say that our relations with our allies were deteriorating very quickly. Not so much because of the soldiers, but because of the command. Now after the war, when I read the dispatches and other things, I see that especially the President of England, Mr. Churchill, had a lot of doubts about the previous agreements with Tito and between the two countries - that is, between the Partisan government and the English government."

Revenge and the hunt for domestic criminals

I also asked Morana about foibles, and she answered:

"You won't believe it, but the fact is that we, who were in the city command, at least I, had no idea about what kind of loopholes at that time. We knew that there were irregularities, that the Security Intelligence Service (VOS) arrested some people from Trieste, who took them to the barracks at Sv. Ivan, but to be honest, we didn't know anything about Phoebes at the time."

After the war, many things happened in Trieste, which were mainly the result of what happened before under fascism and especially during the war. Now those who were humiliated in every way, who were victims of the cruelest fascism and the bloodiest war in the history of mankind came to power. People were looking for their own executioners. Those who did not manage to escape to Italy before the partisan units cut off their path or by boat, hid in basements, sewers and attics. From here, rapid attacks on units of the Yugoslav army, which maintained security, tried to escape from Trieste.

As General Jerkič told me, there were more dead in Trieste itself in these incidents than in the actual liberation of the city. Danilo Ivančič, who was a partisan in Trieste in those days after the war, told me that they were being shot at from the windows of the houses. There was still a lot of shooting, as the worst war criminals are known to kill until they are killed themselves. I did not get any information on how many were killed in the fighting or captured. Nevertheless, the vast majority of criminals survived, as it is known that most of the inspectors of the special inspectorate got a job with the allied police, called Čerini (That was the name of the very small waxed paper matches that, when you lit them, almost always burned you ).

At the same time, the Trieste anti-fascists and their local partisans, who were organized by the OF or CLN, individually hunted down and arrested those whom they themselves knew very well, what they were doing during the war. We must not forget that Coroneo was in the hands of the Italian fascists even after the German occupation of Trieste, that Rižarna was mainly staffed by Italian guards, their collaborating army Guardio civico, i.e. Italian home guards, Slovenian home guards who were brought from the interior of the Slovenes, in order to deal with the rebellious Primorje themselves, with groups and small groups of fascists, especially from Istria, who marched around Trieste with goat flags... And it is not only about them, but also all those who spat on Ščavi, who after drinking castor oil, they were dragged in processions around the city, tied with ropes. Not to mention betrayals,

There are plenty of opportunities for revenge after the war, but the young government was very successful in establishing order, commissions and quick military courts in establishing a fair order. Captured fascists first went before the commissions, which were composed of citizens of Trieste and JA officers. Stojan Udovič from Sveti Ivan, first a partisan of the Trieste labor battalions, and then became an assistant to the district commander Stane Kavčič, who headed such a commission, also told me about this. This commission did not make decisions on liquidations, it was not a court, but only selected suspicious persons from captured fascists, who were then taken further to Slovenia. For Stojan and his comrades, Stane Kavčič was a very good man and very lenient towards these captured fascists, "too good". He asserted

Some very well-known and wanted war criminals, such as Collotti, were dealt with immediately. He was caught by the Italian partisans on the run and liquidated on the spot, together with his concubine (the one with whom he lived above the torture chamber and with whom he went to mass in the Jesuit church every morning), as they themselves knew them well. Only their personal documents were saved. His assistant, a specialist in the treatment of women, Mario Fabiani, was caught by Slovenian partisans and he went before a fast-track court. According to some stories, this should have condemned him to death in Bazovica, even though it was based and operated in Kozina. He was then also shot in Bazovica, but because the people saw his way of torture, some even tasted it, they did not want to bury him in the cemetery among their own people, so they preferred to throw him in Šoht.

At that time, Tito's partisans were already a well-organized allied army with a strict command that respected international legislation and agreements and also had its own judiciary. Unlike the Italian partisans, captured war criminals were first brought before special commissions, and then by fast-track courts. Those who did not immediately prove their crimes were then sent to concentration camps in Primorska, from where they were taken to the main camp in Borovnica near Ljubljana.

The joint report of Yugoslav and Italian historians also talks about this in one of the paragraphs: "The majority of Slovenians and the Italians in favor of the Yugoslav solution enthusiastically welcomed the extension of Yugoslav military control from the already liberated partisan areas over the entire Julian Territory. Slovenians experienced a double liberation: from the German occupation and from the Italian state. At the same time, the pro-Italian inhabitants of the Julian Territory experienced the Yugoslav occupation as the darkest moment in their history, also because it was accompanied by a wave of violence in the Trieste, Gorizia and Koper regions, which was expressed in the arrests of thousands, mostly Italians, but also Slovenes. who opposed the Yugoslav communist political plan - some of those arrested were released at intervals; in hundreds of hastily executed sentences - the victims were mostly thrown into karst abysses, called foibes; and in the deportation of a large number of soldiers and civilians, some of whom wandered or were killed during the deportation, to prisons and prisoner-of-war camps in various parts of Yugoslavia (Borovnica should be mentioned among them)."

According to the information of American and British intelligence officers who cooperated mainly with CLNAI and Italian sources of information, around 1,500 people were allegedly arrested during the presence of the partisan army in Trieste, including home guards and students of their officers' school who were also brought to Trieste. The same report also states how many people the partisans allegedly killed, namely 150 ex-fascists, policemen, soldiers of the X MAS, Guardia Civica and other collaborating units or groups, and hundreds of them were allegedly thrown into the cave at Bazovica and other karst caves. The report also mentions Italian newspaper propaganda and accusations that 600 Italians and 10 New Zealand soldiers were to be thrown into the Bazovica abyss.

From the first days of August, you can also find documents in the British archives that prove how much importance the British attached to Italian writing about the alleged massacres, as Marshal Harold Alexander and Prime Minister Wilson Churchill were also informed about it.

 

Documents on the following:

- General report of the British intelligence services on Yugoslav arrests and executions from May to June 1945 in Trieste (Source: Raporti quasi segreti del GMA, Trieste agosto 1945).

- A copy of a letter from the English army headquarters in Rome to those responsible for civil affairs at the headquarters for the Julian Territory, in which they recommend that as much attention as possible be given to the newspaper writing about the 400 to 600 bodies in the mine near Trieste, also in order not to accuse them of covering up Yugoslav terrorism and a copy of the answer (Source: The national archives, London, folder Yugoslavia - Pit of Bazovizza).

- A document from the same folder that very clearly denies all writing in Italianprints and acknowledges the pressures of Rome (Source: Isti).

 

 

 

The interview I had with the well-known Dolin resident Drago Slavec also helped me a lot to understand the propaganda of the time. As a suspicious Slovene, he was conscripted into the Italian army during preparations for the Second World War and then sent to Greece. There he joined the Greek partisans, then he went to Yugoslavia to join Tito's fighters, where he gained quite a bit of experience. The whirlwind of war then brought him to the Italian partisans, in fact he personally organized them in Bormio, Tirana and the localities, which is why they called him "Commander Tito". Already in the first days of May, his Italian comrades began to accuse him that his Tito partisans were killing Italians all over Trieste. The headlines in the Salo newspapers were "Barbarians celebrate ammazano, per le vie del Trieste scorre sangue italiano"(Slavic barbarians slaughter, Italian blood runs through the streets of Trieste).

"I turned from a hero into a barbarian in an instant," he told me, "so I immediately returned home, where I was convinced by the end of May that it was just false propaganda."

He also wondered with me about this story, how it was that this information spread so quickly in Italy, almost before it was supposed to happen. And this from the anti-fascist CLNAI

The Primorski dnevnik published an editorial on August 5, 1945 with the title Karst caves: in it, it is written that "Reuter's correspondent Cecile Sprigge began to investigate the claims from the writings of the Roman Libera stampa about 600 bodies in caves among the rock formations above Trieste, which were allegedly killed in cold blood Yugoslavs around May 14. Sprigge investigated the cave and "mine" near Bazovice and declared "that the conscience does not correspond to the truth."

The writing of the Italian newspapers about the foibles naturally attracted a lot of attention, especially in the West, where every hair in the egg was sought to be used for propaganda against communism, and not only against it, but against the rebellious Slavs who refused to accept their dictatorship of capital. So the New Zealand Evening Post newspaper sent its special PA reporter, who even personally descended into this "abyss of death" with the New Zealanders. Then, on August 6, 1945, he published an article in which he completely denied the rumors that there were 400 bodies of Italian patriots in it, along with some New Zealand soldiers. He saw only the dead bodies of German soldiers, the carcasses of horses and the wreckage of wagons.

The article ends with the conclusion that there are no 400 corpses in the cave that the partisans allegedly threw in, that it is just a completely planned lie.

Excerpt from the article Report from the "caves of death" / False story from Trieste, (Source Evening post 6 August 1945).

Political struggle for Trieste

Of course, Trieste was fought not only by the Slovenian nation and Yugoslavia with it, but also by Italy, followed by England and the United States, which had here at the northernmost end of the Mediterranean, at the junction of Slavic and Romance Europe, political East and West or capitalist system and socialist, just special interests that manifested themselves in all shades and events of the Cold War. At the beginning, Yugoslavia also had the firm support of the Soviet Union, but according to Informbiro, Stalin completely turned his back on us, and the Italian communists organized such low-level attacks against Slovenians and Slovenes in general, which are a real shame for the self-proclaimed "proletarian intellectuals".

The English and Americans sided with Italy

Apparently, already in the interwar talks with the Americans, Tito agreed to the fact that they would use Trieste and the railway line along the Soča River for their naval base and transport link in the final battles against the Third Reich. At the same time, we must not forget the English and American promises of Trieste to Italy during the talks with Badoglio. In order for this to be carried out, the Anglo-American command drew the so-called Morgan line, which was supposed to separate the territory that would be under Anglo-American control and that to the east under the Yugoslav army. In the meantime, zones were established, Zone A under the control of the Anglo-American army and Zone B under the control of the new Yugoslav army. In Zone A, a partisan detachment of 2,000 men with light and heavy weapons was also under American control. The Paris Peace Treaty is the northern or established the greater part of this boundary with some minor corrections as final, in the southern part, or near Trieste, established a new parastate, the Free Trieste Territory (STO), which was also divided into Zone A and B. In fact, each zone had its own characteristics, which is why, unlike the previous ones, I write them with a capital letter. They had their own governor, their own council, legislative and executive bodies, judiciary, own money and police. Zone A of the WTO was under the absolute control of the Anglo-Americans and their governor, and Zone B of Yugoslavia. Of course, it was about two completely incompatible, not only national, but also political systems and a veritable training ground for the propaganda of an even worse Cold War. that's why, unlike the previous ones, I write them with a capital letter. They had their own governor, their own council, legislative and executive bodies, judiciary, own money and police. Zone A of the WTO was under the absolute control of the Anglo-Americans and their governor, and Zone B of Yugoslavia. Of course, it was about two completely incompatible, not only national, but also political systems and a veritable training ground for the propaganda of an even worse Cold War. that's why, unlike the previous ones, I write them with a capital letter. They had their own governor, their own council, legislative and executive bodies, judiciary, own money and police. Zone A of the WTO was under the absolute control of the Anglo-Americans and their governor, and Zone B of Yugoslavia. Of course, it was about two completely incompatible, not only national, but also political systems and a veritable training ground for the propaganda of an even worse Cold War.

The Anglo-American authorities were very clearly on the side of the Italian right, as this provided the best barricade against Eastern Slavic communism. This is best proven by the fact that all ex-fascists, even the worst war criminals from Gueli's inspectorate, including himself, according to some accounts, were recruited into the city police. When Jordan Zahar went to get new documents at this allied administration, he recognized them there and they recognized him. That fascist teacher from Osp, whom the children called Cagaincart, was even made an officer. He made a prison out of the woodshed and used it every morning to read the newspaper, and then imprisoned in this prison those children who remembered and said a Slovene word during the lesson, after the punishment they had to wrap those excrements of his in paper and take to your dunghill. The Anglo-American administration first began to employ Slovenian Home Guard refugees from Slovenia as teachers in schools, as well as journalists from Radio Trieste. However, because the Primorski dnevnik did not give in, they even banned it, but they had to let 180,000 workers live after the strike.

They feared the workers the most, not only of Slovene nationality, but also of Italian nationality, as they too were in favor of changing the political system and many were even in favor of joining socialist Yugoslavia. Therefore, it is not surprising that special armored vehicles with huge plows were brought to Trieste to fight the demonstrators. On March 10, 1946, when the International Demarcation Commission arrived in Škedenj, their police even shot at the demonstrators, killing two and injuring twenty-two. In protest, the Slovenian-Italian Union organized a two-day strike, which was joined by all the democratic forces in Zone A of the Free Trieste Territory (More in Primorske dnevnik editions from those days).

This Anglo-American administration even reintroduced fascist ethnocide laws into the legal order. Even for me personally, who was born on 17/03/1948 in Trieste, they did not want to enter my Slovenian name and surname, but the nun who took care of the registry book made up another Italian name herself, as well as my father's and mother's surname she spoke Italian again. Only our priest entered my real Slovenian name and surname at my baptism.

And let me not write about the unit of Ustaše, disguised in American uniforms and equipped with the most modern weapons, who broke across the border and killed people on the way to Ljubljana, about the overflights of American planes, of which ours supposedly shot down two, one near Tolmin, the other in front of Ljubljana, etc.

The Italian communists became the worst Stalinists

In 1949, however, the political relationship in the Balkans changed significantly. Stalin demanded complete authority and complete control over the Yugoslav Communist Party, which, with Tito's partisan army and politics, showed a strong desire for independence and its own path to communism. For this reason, on June 28, 1948, in a special resolution, Stalin accused the Communist Party of Yugoslavia of a revisionist and hostile attitude towards the Soviet Unionand expelled her from this organization. Tito answered Stalin very clearly that they had every right to go to socialism in their own way, depending on the situation in the country. At the same time, it should be remembered that the leadership of the Comintern, which was implementing Stalin's policy at the time, was taken over by the Italian Communist Party, which also used this to rid itself of fascism and for its struggle for the eastern border. We already paid for this at the Paris Peace Conference, when Molotov did not advocate for at least Gorica to belong to Yugoslavia.

The worst attacks on Tito and his independent path to socialism began to take place in Zone A under the leadership of the Anglo-American administration. The so-called Vidalians, who were the staunchest Stalinists, physically attacked Titoists or Babičans (Branko Babič, the leader of the Trieste communists who rejected Stalinism and remained loyal to Tito) on the streets. Their terror was so violent that once again, just like during fascism, it caused severe splits and even a new flight of Slovenes to Yugoslavia. About this, you can read a longer interview with Vida Babič, Branko Babič's wife, which is published in my book Lebič: stories of the forgotten exodus, but here is only a short excerpt from the conversation:

"... First we were called Titoists, and then Babičani. It was about Tito, about Yugoslavia. Those of us who were conscious and solid Slovenes before, all of us remained for Tito. Immigrants and those who did not really know what they were by nationality all became internationalists and 'Communist Italians' internationalists. At that time, nationalism broke out again, which had not previously existed in left-wing workers' circles. A few Italians also stayed with us, namely for Tito, Laurenti, Petronio, Sorta, who were more knowledgeable. Propaganda claimed that Tito went against Stalin, that he was a traitor, that he went to the American side, that only Stalin is honest, and so is Lenin, and that we and Tito are traitors. And they sang Bandiera rossa trionferà. The fact that the entire nation fought together for four years was not worth anything. But for those who had suffered so much under the Italian yoke and then during the four years of war, it was so insulting, so terrible. Until yesterday we were 'compagni' (comrades) with the Italians, but since then less than nothing... This was all agreed upon."

"Allegedly, there were also fights, physical confrontations."

"Yes, but how! Everyone shouted after us: 'Dove te ga messo l'oro del partito.' (Where did you put the party gold?) They were looking for the party's hidden treasure and gold... They were very insulting. At that time, no one had this money, it was nowhere to be found. Then they attacked Lavrenti, Petronius, my husband. I was attacked by two men. Fortunately, I had (with me) a little girl, which I held (in my arms), but they dragged me, insulted me. They were really low blows. It was very bad... Not even four years of struggle were as bad as the time of the Cominform."

"Where was the reason for the attack on you, on those who rejected Stalin and followed Tito's path?"

"I don't know what was behind it, whether it was the Soviet Union, America or just Italian interests... It was about Trieste, about the Julian Territory, about getting as little as possible from Yugoslavia."

In this spirit, propaganda or persuasion of Italians to opt for Italy, as well as the post-war arrests of the most obvious fascists and foibles, took place in Trieste. All in all, even the worship of Stalin was with the same goal of joining the WTO or at least Zone A to Italy. This is what the Anglo-American administration began to do, as it left more and more to Rome, first of all the media.

But it was not just about Trieste, but about the continuation of Italian fascism towards the Slovenes. This is also proven by other actions of their extremists and even the authorities, such as: on April 3, 1946, these Tricolorists attacked and beat Anton Zanut from the village of Ošnije near Sv. Lenart in Venecia. On the same day, Margherita Bledich and a group of Venetian Slovenes were attacked and beaten on their way from Kozica to Sovodnje, or the burning of the headquarters of the Democratic Front of Slovenes in Čedad on the night of March 23, 1950, and even the digging up of Gujon's church on Matajur on November 13 1995. This is how the local Slovenian pastor Paskval Gujon told Ognjišče in Koper: "Actually, it was even worse after the Second World War. During the time of fascism, at least we knew what it was like and that it was bad. After the war, the organization Gladio (Sword) appeared. It was a secret a paramilitary organization. In the background was America, which financially supported them in order to prevent the spread of Russian communism. They were afraid that communism would also come to Italy, since it was in power across the border, which is only a few kilometers from here. In our regions, however, the organization has taken on a completely different role. It changed into an organization for controlling Slovenes and fighting against them. Thus, anyone who spoke Slovenian was a communist. Again, we were attacked by priests. They wrote against us on the walls, followed us and spied on us." It changed into an organization for controlling Slovenes and fighting against them. Thus, anyone who spoke Slovenian was a communist. Again, we were attacked by priests. They wrote against us on the walls, followed us and spied on us." It changed into an organization for controlling Slovenes and fighting against them. Thus, anyone who spoke Slovenian was a communist. Again, we were attacked by priests. They wrote against us on the walls, followed us and spied on us."

Although we talked about the most open border after the Videm Agreement, it was actually just a new hidden "cold Soča front".

Exodus of Italians

In Trieste's collaborationist Civic Guard, whose actions the Borštans told me about, there were mostly fascists from Istria who, after fleeing, got this paid job as a reward for their actions. Since most of the events related to the foibs are related to these refugees, ésuli or optants, let's say before "opening this foib" some more information about the exodus of Italians, which, depending on the events of the war and then the cold war, took place in several waves.

First of all, it is necessary to say why the word exodus is so bad or ugly for Italians. Because in the previous two centuries, as much as half of Italians had to leave their homes and move to overseas countries. Not because of us Slavs, but because of their politics, which in this way hid poverty, economic problems and their own incompetence. According to information from Wikipedia, more than 29 million people emigrated from Italy between 1861 and 1985. The biggest wave of emigration was before the First World War and then between 1920 and 1929. They continued the emigration policy even after the Second World War, as they continued to plan an accelerated emigration of at least 300,000 people every five years. This is also why they sing Verdi's Va, pensiero as their anthem.

The exodus of the Italians was not the exodus of oppressed slaves, but of offended exalted masters.

Now we would like to forget this disgrace of their rulers or their politics and culture, or give the word exodus a new meaning, which is tied to the few thousand who had to flee due to the justified fear of retaliation, and the few hundred thousand who, after the new demarcations themselves decided to opt for Italy. Let's look at this or these exodus that took place in several waves.

The first exodus, or more precisely the flight of Italians from Istria and Dalmatia, began in 1943, i.e. only 25 years or a quarter of a century after the beginning of the mass emigration of Slovenes and Croats, i.e. after all the horrors they themselves did to the Slavs, and after the fall of their fascist Italy. As already said, those who had blood on their hands and were afraid of the population's revenge, which I have already described, were the first to flee after the collapse of Italy, others followed after the war. Although this flight is called an exodus, it cannot in any way be compared to the historical exodus of the Jews from ancient Egypt.

The second wave of Italian emigration was triggered by the final liberation. At that time, even the bloodiest collaborators understood that their little sold authoritarianism was over and that there was a serious danger that they would go before a quick military court or that someone would take revenge on them.

At the same time, it should be remembered that at the end of the war, many of the fleeing remnants of German units and their collaborators passed through Istria and Primorska, from the Home Guard to the Circassians, who were well aware of what they were doing to their people and their eastern allies at home., but that at least they personally did nothing bad to the Western allies. They were also well informed that some Western politicians and generals would like to continue the war killing against their first or old enemies, i.e. the Bolsheviks, as far as the Black Sea and the Caucasus, so that they too would use their slaughtering experience and pay them well for it..

These two waves were followed by the Paris Peace Treaty and the subsequent London Memorandum. They did not run away, but moved according to their own decision, that based on international agreements and legislation, they can move out of the demarcation area to Italy or Yugoslavia, the country in which they want to live after the new demarcation. In this decision they were helped by constant threats of a new war, extreme political propaganda, famine in the devastated Yugoslavia and the new prosperity on the other side of the border, the old market for their produce in Trieste and the old working towns cut off by the new borders and offered new jobs, housing... To flee because of the desire for freedom or democracy was a big farce for our coastal people, except for the collaborators, because they knew very well and personally experienced this Anglo-American democracy in Trieste,

For the Italians, however, the decisive realization was that in Yugoslavia they would no longer be superhumans with various privileges, masters, but equals, that from now on they would be commanded by the Ščavas. If we add to these true Italians all those Slavs who accepted Italianization, or because of their privileges, worked for it themselves, even as consumers of their own nation, then it is completely understandable. And they were rewarded for it.

The Cold War did not start in Berlin, but in Trieste

The main cause of mass emigration was the beginning of the Cold War, which aimed to finish what they had started by supporting Mussolini and Hitler. There were political tensions with atomic bomb threats and crazy media propaganda, the likes of which the world has never remembered, the incursions of armed units into Yugoslavia both from the Italian side and from the eastern side, later also from Austria, attacks on ambassadors (first in Trieste), terrorist actions, etc..

Italy only benefited from this. First, it needed the electoral votes to defeat the domestic communists and socialists who seriously encroached on power after the war. Ezuli, however, were not only voices, but also propaganda. On this account, she also received special financial aid or rewards from the US for each refugee she lured across the border. This organized exodus was, of course, primarily a great political capital for the entire Western Front of the Cold War, and especially for the Italian right, which was gaining the most die-hard party members and voters.

The Italians also significantly improved the ethnic structure of the population in their border areas by immigrating Ezules. Entire settlements were built for them exactly where there were the most Slovenes. Thus, with immigrants, they carried out a new "bonification" of the Slovenian territory.

Refugees were also very good political or religious capital for the Roman Catholic Church, as it is known that it helped Slavic fascists, such as the Ustaše and Home Guards, in various ways to escape across the border and settle them in Argentina, which was owned at the time the Pope's and Hitler's friend Prescott Bush, whose son and grandson became president of the United States.

The worst was the mixture of lofty arrogance of many Italian nationalists and their resentment, which was mixed with fear among the renegade Slavs. Can you imagine those countless Croats, Slovenes and as yet undefined Istrians who, in order to become something more, adopted an Italian name and an Italianized surname, began to imagine themselves as more worthy Italians, as fascists and even as new masters, and now they are, whom they despised, took pity on them, became equals or even bosses. Even worse, they were considered national traitors.

It is true that some other innocent or politically undefined people also fled with all of them, especially young people who did not have jobs and did not see a good future because of the misguided agrarian policy. There was poverty in Yugoslavia at the time, and the jobs of our people here along the border with Trieste and Gorica remained beyond the increasingly iron border. Also markets for agricultural produce. A lot of damage was also caused by the policy of immigration of people from the interior of Slovenia, from where the people who thought to dominate us here came, let alone to understand this ethnic mixture of population and cultures. Emigration was also influenced by threats of war against the new Yugoslavia and two years of hard and dangerous military service, often at the border, where you could stay with your throat cut. I saw that too

Most of them were extremely influenced by media propaganda. As a child, I also remembered the one about Soviet cooperatives and communal pots. Radio played a major role in this, for Italians Italian stations, and for Slovenians Radio Trieste A and Slovenian broadcasts on Radio Vatican, Voice of America and other propaganda stations. I well remember our priest Rudolf Žgur, who preached to us that we should not listen to Trieste or Vatican radio, but to Koper radio, so that we should not fall for their Foibe and invitations to go abroad. He even went to homes and warned them not to fall for this propaganda.

However, the exact opposite happened in Koper and probably elsewhere, where, according to the story of the mayor of Koper at the time, Dušan Novak, priests went to homes in the evening and convinced them to flee to Italy. In doing so, they were also shown a list of food distributions that they received from Unra after the war or America and said that this list also got into the hands of the Udba, who will now surely imprison or beat them because of it. It is true that some Udba members beat up some people at that time, but this Udba boss was then also beaten by Dušan and tore off his shirt, so that others also saw that he had a swastika tattooed under his armpit as a secret collaborator of the German intelligence service. One of the following mayors and directors of Radio Koper, Miro Kocjan, told me on the radio show that they even went to Tito for this reason.

The propaganda loophole

In order to understand the story of Bazovsko Šoht, something else needs to be said or emphasized.

A little higher than Šoht, in Gmajna near Bazovica, the Italians killed four Slovenian national heroes, the first fighters against fascism, in 1930 after the infamous Trieste trial: Bidovec, Marušič, Miloš and Valenčič. Marija Ražem Pečar from Bazovice once told me that on that morning, September 6th, shortly after five o'clock, there was such a loud explosion as if thirty guns had been fired at the same time, and everyone in the village woke up, including the children. Otherwise, many people woke up earlier, because in the morning, before the trucks arrived, uniformed and armed fascists practically overran Bazovica. At first, people did not dare to step out of the house, but those on the side of the road saw very distinctly all four convicts who revealed themselves on the truck. Later, after the shooting, some villagers still wanted to go to the seashore to see what happened, but they were not allowed near it.

Children of that time not only listened to ugly stories, but even experienced them themselves. Even the bravest witness to the events of their Shoht, Jordan Zahar, watched people being thrown into caves as a child. And even worse. He even got to know all the art of bringing Italian executioners to life on his own skin.

At the age of fifteen, Jordan joined the young field colleagues and was given the partisan name Tonček. He laughs a little when he says this, because the name is not so masculine and fighting, he was still almost a child. He held on heroically when he personally met the infamous "doctor" Gaetano Collotti and his inspectors. Some call them Banda Collotti, but it is not any group of thugs acting on their own, it was not just a group of fascist fanatics, but a political section of the Special Inspectorate for Public Security of the Julian Region based in Trieste, i.e. an official police unit that was financed from the national budget, from taxes paid by Italian citizens and which operated at the behest of superiors. According to Trieste historian Sam Pahor, more than five thousand people were arrested, tortured, interned or killed, mostly Slovenians. It should be emphasized that they did not only persecute and kill Slovenes and other Slavs, but also Italian anti-fascists and Jews.

Tonček was just one of the multitude of these unfortunates who were tortured by the Collotti with an electric machine, first in the village inn, then at their headquarters in Cologne. Collotti wanted to know where the bunkers were, in which the partisans were hiding. When he failed to get the boy out of it even with the help of electricity, they stripped him and threatened to burn his root, but he pulled himself back. In order to do this, his assistant Mario Fabian (Italian: Fabiani) went out to get one of Jordan's peers and undressed her. But when that didn't help either, Fabian started raping her, but to no avail. In fact, he was saved by the shots of the partisans, who at the time were trying to escape from the surrounded bunker. Jordan kept his root and became a real hero himself. Some others have also seen this and confirmed it for me.

He didn't watch the horrors that were happening around their Šoht, how people were being thrown into their cave, but together with other children, boys and girls from Boršt, who grazed cows there every day. They very clearly saw and distinguished who threw whom into that Shoht. The ones who threw people alive into Šoht were special Italian policemen in special uniforms or the Guardia Civica (city guard), and those who brought them and pushed them inside were beaten and tortured men and women in civilian clothes. One was even very similar to his brother, but Jordan did not believe his eyes at the time, he did not want to believe, because his brother was in the partisans, far away in Dolenjski...

Even the cleaning of the terrain after the war, the remains of weapons and vehicles, and especially the corpses, is remembered not only by Jordan and his shepherd friends, but by all grown men from all the villages where the fighting took place. The bodies of those German soldiers, corpses and wrecked wagons were thrown into Šoht by a large group of organized farmers, mainly the owners of this Srenje land.

 Accusations of post-war massacres were spread not only by Italian fascists, but even more so by anti-fascists

According to some narratives and also documents, another very interesting story developed in the first days of May 1945, after the liberation of Trieste. The Trieste publicist Claudia Cernigoi, who exposed many manipulations of the Italian fascists, states in her publication Foiba di Basovizza that this comes from a letter of the Trieste CLN, i.e. their liberation committee, dated June 14, 1945. In it they wrote that the Titos partisans killed partisans and threw them into Šoht in Baz. It is supposed to be signed by all the members, but some of them are clearly fake. Then, on the orders of the Anglo-American army, a message came from Rome to Trieste that a group of allied soldiers from New Zealand had disappeared. English and American officers, who preferred to socialize with the Italian right-wingers than with the partisans, quickly succumbed to their persuasion, that these soldiers were captured by Tito's partisans, killed and thrown into an abandoned coal mine tunnel together with hundreds of Italian patriots, which is why, after the departure of the Yugoslav army from Trieste, they cleaned this abyss so quickly and with such zeal. This would be an excellent motive for tightening relations with the new Yugoslavia, it could also be a reason for an attack.

They were in such a hurry to do this work that after looking at the material they had pulled out of the cave, they were unable to separate the human corpses from the horse carcasses, but threw them all together into a hole nearby. Srečko, a year younger than me, also told me about this, also a distinguished retired engineer from Boršt, whom the English soldiers even put on the bulldozer they used for this work.

This is how Jordan Zahar remembers it:

"Already before the end of the summer, the area of ​​Šoht in Baz became very lively. The Allies piled huge amounts of various ammunition around it, surrounded everything with high wire and built a tall tower with a searchlight that illuminated the wire fence at night. It was rumored that some Allied New Zealand soldiers were suspected of being thrown into the abyss by the Partisans.

Suddenly, a steel structure with a lift, a winch and a long cable, on which a medium-sized scoop hung, was placed above the opening of the sump. One day, out of pure curiosity, we approached the device. Four operators in white coats, masks and long rubber gloves stood by the long table. The receiver brought a small amount of material from inside, they put it on a huge table and the men in white thoroughly rummaged through this mass. It seemed to us that they were looking for buttons with special attention, because they were choosing them, and the rest of the mass was pushed by a large excavator into a nearby shaft, which was about ten meters from the Šohta opening, and covered with earth.

This shaft was still from the times when they were digging shoht. It was about as wide as Šoht, but only two meters deep. I myself once fell in and I measured it with my height, because it was difficult to get out. My friend Srečko, who is younger than me, as well as other children, even rode the bulldozer during the cleaning.

But we were surprised that everything that was taken out of the cave, the remains of human corpses, horse carcasses, carts and various other objects, was thrown into this cave with an excavator. The Allies obviously searched long and thoroughly for something with great zeal. However, they apparently did not find what they were looking for, and what they found, they thoroughly recorded. Later I found out that they were looking for a group of New Zealand soldiers who were reported from Rome on May 5, 1945, that Tito's partisans threw them into this Šoht. Since they did not find what they were looking for, they quickly covered this new shaft with everything they had poured into it, dismantled all the devices and left as quietly as they had come. Even the huge storage of ammunition ran out, and Gmajna lived freely in nature again."

They didn't pull out hundreds of people from Šoht, but only a few corpses of civilians, some in German uniforms, horse carcasses and the remains of wagons. The New Zealand soldiers, however, were not found.

Let's at least wrap up the story of the missing New Zealand soldiers. Of course, they found themselves or, more precisely, returned to their unit.

This is confirmed by an article from Novo Matajur, in which our Slovenian compatriot from Venice, Valentin Brecelj, who, like hundreds of thousands of others around the world, wanted to investigate this and wrote to the New Zealand Ministry of Defence, and in response they wrote to him that that is not true at all.

Photocopy of a letter published by "Novi Matajur" from Čedad on April 25, 1996. Summary in translation: "Dear Mr. Brecelj, Thank you for your letter of February 2, 1996 regarding the story of the bodies of a large group of New Zealand soldiers discovered in an abandoned mine tunnel in Bazovica near Trieste immediately after the end of the Second World War. We have investigated similar reports in the past and found them to be unfounded. Sincerely.” Followed by the handwritten signature of the competent person.

Corpses, cadavers, wagons

Let's continue with the story of Jordan Zahar, which was also confirmed by some other eyewitnesses. Jordan, however, was so enraged by the whole thing, mainly because he had survived torture and humiliation himself, that he continued to collect evidence so that people would believe his memory. He personally saw that those people at Šoht recorded everything they pulled out, and he knew that these records must exist somewhere. With the help of a friend, however, he found a copy of that hidden record in the Roman archives, in the Confine orientale section. This record also contained what he later copied down and also read in one of the broadcasts:

"The work began on August 7, 1945, and the preparations lasted until September 21, 1945. They used a new caterpillar excavator, a suitable scoop and steel ropes for the work. The bodies lay 220 meters deep. By October 9, 1945, 52 attempts were made with the scoop, but only 36 were successful. They brought to the surface:

September 22: One tunic and a human arm,

September 23: nothing important,

September 24: two horse carcasses, part of an automatic weapon and a scabbard for a sword,

September 25: remains of a horse and three human corpses, one was in a German uniform, another was said to be German, the third corpse was a female,

September 26: four human corpses, remains of a horse and clothing,

September 27: human and horse parts, hooves,

September 28: One human corpse and some remains,

September 29: maintenance work was carried out,

October 4: human remains, horse remains of clothing and one boot,

October 5: human remains: two legs, horse remains - hair,

October 6: human remains, rubble and wood,

October 8: Grusch, Two Feet One Boot, England Cap,

October 9: one body, two legs, one arm, rubble."

The original report is kept in London's Public Record Office, now The National Archives. On May 10, 1995, some selected parts from this report were also published by Il Piccolo from Trieste. But not a single whole sheet, just a corner.

In Piccolo, they very clearly expressed doubt that the English would really clear this chasm to the end, "since they stopped at a depth of 225 meters". This is also mentioned by the English engineers in their reports, in which they complain a lot about the poor equipment.

In further writing about the foibes, the editors also shared conversations with the "Esuli" and their "experts", who claimed that the English did not clean the coal pit to the bottom, but that there were still many cubic meters of earth and corpses left.

On the diagram of the foibe, which is carved into the stone next to the monument near Bazovica, it is very clearly written that there are 500 cubic meters of a cave with corpses. And if this is true, then these corpses are from the time before the German soldiers and horse carcasses were thrown into the cave, which the English pulled out of the cave, not to mention those that were thrown into the Shoht by the collaborators of the Guardia Civica. For this reason, Il Piccolo asked a well-known Italian military expert, the Istrian ezule Ruggeto Calligaris, who expressed great doubt that the English engineers would have reached the bottom, and that those 600 bodies were still below, below these 200 meters of depth.

They really didn't make it to the end, but what's underneath, well, later.

Pit of Basovizza secret folder

As I write this, I myself have never been able to understand how a local newspaper from Trieste can find authentic copies of the minutes in the PIT OF BASOVIZZA folder, written by the English during the cleaning of this Šoht, and why our investigative journalists, graduated historians, doctors do not look into it and publish. I personally saw a few sheets of this record around 1987 in the hands of the publicist and politician dr. Julija Beltram, when he participated in one of our radio shows and talked about it,

When I came across this folder a few years ago, I understood why the Italians publish only a corner of one document, but not the contents. They had the same information written on them as Jordan Zahar said, but my photo memory tells me that on one of Beltram's sheets it was written that in the last attempts they reached a harder layer and extracted material that no longer indicated the presence of human remains. The sheets were also full of large stamps and signatures that confirmed their authenticity, apparently they had been lying in some drawer or archive after his imminent death, even if many people knew about them.

While writing this book, I met Jordan Zahar again, and he told me that he saw what the English engineers pulled out of Šoht on the last day, it was just broken earth and full of stones and pebbles, which they and also everyone else threw years into the abyss to hear how long it takes them to fall to the bottom. That there were a lot of these stones at the bottom was also confirmed by a caver who went down into the cave before the war, so that they could pull out that unfortunate girl who was running away from her father.

The English also informed the Italians about what they found in the Bazovica coal mine, which is also proven by the fact that Jordan's friend found one copy in Rome. At the beginning of the cleanup, they sent daily reports, but then, probably because the first samples showed that they were German corpses, the daily reports were stopped or these reports were "lost".

By digitizing the archives, I managed to discover some originals in the mentioned London archive, and a friend then brought me a copy of the entire folder. It contains several records of some media reports and also 25 that mention the Bazovič shaft.

Above: The first sheet of the folder Yugoslavia - Pit of Basovizza (Source: The national archives, London, folder Yugoslavia - Pit of Bazovizza)

Pictures on the following: A copy of the minutes on two pages at the end of the cleaning of the Bazovice shaft (same source)

 

 

I carefully examined even the digitized folder with the inscription YUGOSLAVIA - PIT OF BASOVIZZ, but I did not find the previously mentioned sheet that they reached a layer where there are no more remains, and that, according to my memory, they should have dropped the scoop several times into the empty space. In this folder, however, there were several papers about a symposium on refugees and several records of radio messages recorded by English eavesdroppers, but of completely different content. So someone in the London archives should search those folders for the missing daily reports, especially the last day of excavation. The unit also had to send daily reports every day, but there are only a few of these in the folder, and instead of them, sheets from apparently other folders.

Rubble: small stones

Nevertheless, it is already clear from the final minutes that they found those pebbles that people had been throwing into Šoht for many years before the war. It is written about this at the end of the list on the first page that during the last descents of the scoops on October 6, 8 and 9, "rubble", that is, small stones or gravel, that is, those pebbles and stones that people thrown into the abyss, as well as those who, like the heaviest particles of the Šohta walls, crumbled to the bottom for years. This gravel, but also "timber", i.e. building wood from the old mine scaffolding and formwork, which once prevented the colliery walls from collapsing, are not mentioned in all upper or upper catchments. (This wood was already mentioned by the speleological group led by Prof. Marussi in 1936.)

But what if there are bodies down there under those stones and wood from the stage? Still there. But how could hundreds or thousands of corpses, tens of thousands of Italians, that Tito's partisans were supposed to have thrown into Šoht, or in a few days or a month, seep like water through all that was thrown before, i.e. below, through the corpses of Germans, corpses and wagons, the remains of the scaffolding of the former colliery and through the small stones that had accumulated in a certain layer for many years, through all that the English engineers pulled to the surface? After all, if they really threw them in, they could only do it after they had arrived in Trieste, after the battles were over, after the funerals of their own fighters, after the raids had been completed, and it would be on top, over the corpses of the Germans, horse carcasses and wagons...

Despite all the doubts, a very clear conclusion follows, the bodies of 6 unknown men and 1 young woman were found in Šoht, which the Italian fascist and collaborationist Guardia civica threw into this open shaft in 1944, 4 bodies of fallen German soldiers, the remains of the body of one German officer, 8 horse carcasses and the wreckage of military wagons that were thrown into the cave by locals on May 6, 1945, as well as the body of Collotti's well-known assistant Mario Fabiano, who was shot by order of the military court of the Yugoslav army as a member of Collotti's gang. So, they found only the remains of twelve human corpses and nothing more.

Of course, these documents are also known to the Italians, but Il Piccolo, when discussing the Phoebes, showed only one corner of one sheet and nothing else:

Copy of the picture from the Trieste daily Il Picolo from 10. 1.1995.

What was before and what was after

What about the 600 that Tito's partisans allegedly threw into Šoht during the forty-day "occupation" after the war. If this were true, their bodies should be above the Germans and their horses. Apparently, at the end of the war, only the body of one Italian was thrown into Šoht, since we can conclude with the greatest probability that those who were previously thrown by the Guardia civica were Slovenians.

Although the Italian side was clearly informed of what the Allied engineers had found in this abandoned coal mine, their newspapers continued to publish propaganda Foibe. When Primorski dnevnik recorded this propaganda in those days, the Italian newspapers wrote that 600 bodies were found in the cave, or 400 Italian and 200 German. It is known why, because of Trieste and also the intimidation against communism. Therefore, it was necessary to use it in every way for political propaganda against Tito as a symbol of the communist hero and against his partisans as fighters for freedom, equality, justice, brotherhood. This is also proven by the letter at the previous station, which was sent to the competent Allied command for Venezia Giulio. From the second paragraph we can conclude that the Italian side even put pressure on them to make excuses,

Pressures from the Italian side, as well as some others, to find or publish some more incriminating information for the Yugoslav Army continued, but without any real effect. There are other documents in other archives. They are hard to find in the Roman ones, because as some researchers told me, that section about the "eastern border" is permanently closed for some renovation or maintenance work.

In 2020, during the protests against the tribute to our president Borut Pahor, copies of the document DECLASIFILD Authority 77076 By AI NARA dated February 10, 1946, which was said to be in the archives in Washington, and a copy even in the Koper Provincial Archives, were spread on social networks. From these, it follows that the cleaning of the skunk did not produce the results expected by CLNAI or Italian side. English diplomacy, however, is felt in the record, which does not want to hold a grudge against the Italians, because by emphasizing the problems with the devices, it excuses itself that it cannot prove their mistakes, but warns that, given the results so far, even with other techniques, it will not be able to prove the accused Yugoslavs atrocities. But all this was already written down with the same sentences in the documents about the cleaning of Šoht in Bazovica, which are in the London archive.

 

 

 

 The first sheet from JG Sweetman's letter dated 21 October 1945 (Source: (Source: The national archives, London, folder Yugoslavia - Pit of Bazovizza)

 

 

Cleaning of karst caves

After the cleaning of Šoht in Bazovica, the search for the missing did not slow down. A special group was established in Trieste to inspect and clean all karst caves and chasms. It was led by GMA civil police inspector Umberto De Giorgi, who was a "maresciallo", an officer of Gueli's Special Inspectorate, during Fascism. The Anglo-American military administration even made him head of the Trieste "Polizia scientifice". He was therefore a real expert who knew where to look for informants, as he was also a close associate of the infamous Gaetano Collotti. In an interview, he confirmed that they also found the bodies that Collotti and his inspectors from the "political department" left behind.

When criminals look for corpses to use to frame their victims

According to documents revealed by Claudia Cernigoi, De Giorgi's group explored 71 karst caves between 1945 and 1948, in which a total of 464 bodies were discovered in almost fifty years; 23 were empty. They were supposed to explore all the caves in Trieste, especially around Opčin, where the fiercest fighting was between partisan and German units and their collaborators, especially Italians and Home Guards. They also investigated around Tržič and further in the part of Friuli to Travesia near Pordenone, where one of the busiest routes of the fleeing collaborationist armies and everything that accompanied them in their "retreat" from the Balkans led. They hoped to be able to join the Western Allies in a joint and decisive attack on Tito and Stalin.

The well-known Trieste speleologist and right-wing militant Ugo Fabbri also explored these karst caves and abysses with his cavers. He, like De Giorgi, was not interested in whose bodies these were, because it was important that they were and could be called theirs or their friends'. In the newspaper "Il Borghese" on April 25, 1976 (about two weeks before the death of De Giorgi), he wrote that there were 50 corpses of German soldiers in the cave near Repno, who fell during the battle at Opčina, and in the Jelenka cave near Komno 156. Here, among the corpses of German soldiers, there were also 70 soldiers in the uniforms of other nations. What these two obvious fascists have published clearly proves that the rumors and claims about the killed Italian soldiers and patriots are not true, as they are obviously victims of the last battles of the aggressor and collaborationist army.

Part of inspector De Giorgi's report on the findings from the cleaning of the cave "N. 8 VG", in which they found the bodies of two Italian soldiers with the insignia of the collaborationist army of the Saloese Republic, the bodies of five German soldiers and some still unidentified, as the cave was said to have been set on fire after being informed, which people also did after clearing the battlefields to prevent the spread infections and the stench of decaying corpses (Source: www.diecifebbraio.info).

 

During this exploration of the karst chasms, many photographs were taken, the most widespread are those showing people pulling something out of the chasm, but it is not clear what. Nevertheless, these photos are still used for propaganda.

Italians are known here for doing their work very superficially, and so are their journalists. At the time when they cleared the abyss near Opčina, some newspapers from Rome and other distant places wrote that these bodies were found in Šoht in Bazovica. According to them, it was also summarized by others, and it has also been preserved as a public truth to a greater extent.

The original of the entire report of inspector De Giorgi is said to be in the Speleological Society in Postojna, and parts of it have already been published in the newspaper "Borghese".

In 1949, Ugo Fabbri and his group also examined Šoht in Baz, where he found absolutely nothing at the bottom. This is also evident from his documentation, which probably still exists in the Trieste municipal archive. Apparently, everything was still clean since the last search by the English engineers.

Brsljanovac

All those who searched for corpses in the caves until now found most of them in the vicinity of Opčin, where, as already mentioned, the last fiercest battles took place between the partisans and the Germans and their collaborationist units. The allied units did not engage in these bloodiest battles, but advanced peacefully without force and fighting only along the main road past Tržič towards Trieste, so that none of their soldiers fell here. In an interview, Openka Stanka Hrvatin, who for many years was also the president of the Trieste nationwide association of partisans of Italy, told me more about the victims of the battles near Opčina:

"As we know, Trieste was already liberated on May 1, but the municipalities were free only on May 3. In Trieste, the war ended on May 3, when the last German units surrendered to the partisans. From April 29 to May 3, very fierce fighting took place here. We know that in addition to the partisans, around 800 Germans fell and died in battle here. Earlier, it rained and even snowed, it was so cold, and on May 3rd, unbearable heat set in, so the committee decided to bury the bodies of these soldiers in the Bršljanovici cave; we took the partisan fighters to Sežana to the hospital. My friends and I switched tasks. Every Open citizen could see that the number was first taken from the dead German soldiers and given to the Red Cross. Therefore, the Red Cross should have all the information about them. We don't know where the data ended up."

"The Italians now claim that Bršljanovica is full of their people, that the partisans filled Bršljanovica with Istrians..."

"This is now being abused by the Italian right, especially in Trieste. 35 years after the end of the war, they remembered that Istrians were there. Which is not true. There they erected a monument to their Istrian and Dalmatian victims. This is the abuse of these victims to achieve the goal of the right. If they were so sure that there were Italians in the cave, why didn't they immediately erect a monument to them? They waited until 1986. As partisans, as a village community, we protested on all sides at that time, but no one supported us. And not only that. On the 50th anniversary of liberation, we prepared a march to all our monuments. There were also many children with us and we told them the truth at Bršljanovica, who was inside and how it was.

The Italians use the corpses of German soldiers and partisans

We also know that Germany turned to the Trieste authorities to empty Bršljanovica themselves and take the bodies to Germany. But they failed, or so we were told. The Italian authorities are still abusing even these dead for their own benefit. We are sure that the cave is not empty, that there are still corpses of Germans in it. It was indeed opened once, but only the upper part, in which there were two more bodies. On the other hand, all of us from Open are convinced that the bodies of German soldiers and no one else are still below - the cave was then concreted over.

All too little is said - no one writes about it - that there are also partisans in the Bazovica stone mine. After the war, people from the Postojna district and its surroundings came here and brought flowers. They obviously knew that the partisans were there, why would they wear it otherwise. As we know, the Germans also threw the partisans into that loophole. But it is not talked about. It's our fault too. Why didn't we continue to bring flowers there? Then it wouldn't be possible to abuse it, but now they claim that this is also a loophole."

"Whose fault is it, the minority village or Slovenia, Yugoslavia, Slovenia?"

"All together." //

"But you are the victims, here, the Slovenes from Zamej, the fighters are the biggest victims of this propaganda, saying that you are barbarians."

"Of course. In this connection, last year I was invited to Napolitano, on Quirinal Hill, for March 8. I was invited because I am a member of the National Union of Partisans of Italy, ANPI; every year they also invite a few women, comrades, to the Quirinal. That's when the opportunity presented itself to tell him what I thought about his words, that we are a bloodthirsty nation, that we should be cleansed... (???) I honestly told him that he cannot think and speak like that and that I am asking him, that when he comes to Trieste, he should visit the headquarters of the ANPI, that we will tell him everything and that he should not repeat something like this again. At that time, he promised me that he would come to Trieste and listen to our Association. He really came, but he didn't listen to either our Union or others..."

"Wouldn't it be best to open these holes to look inside and tell the public what's inside? Why is this not achieved here, in Italy, even though Italy also has legislation according to which these dead should be buried? Why doesn't he bury them? Why doesn't the pit open?'

"We have been asking for this from the very beginning. Let them open it and have a look. Of course, it makes a difference whether the victim is one or there are a hundred or ten thousand; the number is important, but not the most important. Tragedy happened, no one is saying it didn't; but first there was fascism, then Nazism with collaboration, with the Italian fascists or with another collaboration, and then came the foibes. They weren't foibles in the first place. In fact they were: if you remember, in September 1920, if I am not mistaken, Mussolini said in Pula that the Adriatic Sea and this bay must become Italian. This was the beginning of racism and ethnic cleansing. In 1927, Cobolli Gigli wrote that they had a foibo in which everyone who did not feel Italian should be buried. What does that mean? We didn't invent the fib, the fascists did.

/…/ Wars are not roses. There are also personal vendettas in war, all you want. There must be some innocent person in the fibes. No one has ever denied that."

We also talked about the still fresh law of the Day of Remembrance of the Foibes and the Exodus, about the film, TV shows, the Bazovič monument to the Foibes and all the hatred towards us Slovenians and Croats, which is becoming more and more intense.

Shame on Slovenia

"Even more than this monument is hostile to us Slovenes and Croats, especially to us coastal Slovenes, the Act on the Day of Remembrance... and the attitude of the official Republic of Slovenia, the then Minister of Foreign Affairs, the Minister for Slovenes around the World, the Prime Minister and the President of the State, that these allowed. It's not sad, it's funny that this small country of ours established a ministry for Slovenians around the world, but obviously not for these minorities of ours, who defend the national borders of our nation against ever-aggressive neighbors, but so that the homeland would be ruled by collaborationists who, according to betrayed the nation in the Second World War, they fled to Argentina, Australia, the USA and some other countries, but now they want the continuation of the civil war and, of course, victory."

"How is this possible, why?"

"Here at the Bazoviška Foyba, various interests have come together, from those who would like to wash away their dirty fascist history and come back to power, to those who would like to consolidate today's power with fascism adapted to the new times and conditions, those who want to rehabilitate fascism due to personal, family or other interests, of which there are not a few, especially on the Italian side, and those who do not care about anything and prefer to bury their heads in the sand like ostriches."

"Unfortunately, to a large extent also because of our never-cleared Slovenian fascism."

"The Slovenian national consciousness is inappropriately smaller than the Italian one. We Slovenians had our own movement, Zedinjena Slovenija, but we couldn't even dream of something like what the Italians did under the leadership of Garibaldi. What we were able to do during the revival of nations was only the camp movement, the establishment of reading and singing societies and the like. The Slovenian gentleman served the even richer Austrian oligarchy and clearly knew that it was much better for her than if she had gone her own way. The new intellectual stratum and the growing middle class, unlike some culturalists, also saw more benefit from their servitude to Austrian capital than from standing on their own two feet. We did not have a working class, except in Tržaško, where there were more of them than in the rest of Slovenia. /…/ In addition, the Slovenian clergy was especially from the Diocese of Ljubljana, more papal than the Pope. Of course, all this was also very familiar in the partisan struggle, which was primarily a struggle for the preservation of the Slovenian nation. Even then, both the diocese of Ljubljana and the upper and larger part of the middle class decided to cooperate with the occupier. This is the sad fate of the Slovenian nation, which in the fall of 1942 Italian General Vittorio Ruggero warned Bishop Rožman about what collaboration is "I will tell you frankly what I think about MVAC. I'm not Slovenian, but this is how I look at Slovenians and their struggle: MVAC helps us Italians a lot... but it creates such hatred among you Slovenians that you won't be able to eliminate it for fifty years." Even then, both the diocese of Ljubljana and the upper and larger part of the middle class decided to cooperate with the occupier. This is the sad fate of the Slovenian nation, which in the fall of 1942 Italian General Vittorio Ruggero warned Bishop Rožman about what collaboration is "I will tell you frankly what I think about MVAC. I'm not Slovenian, but this is how I look at Slovenians and their struggle: MVAC helps us Italians a lot... but it creates such hatred among you Slovenians that you won't be able to eliminate it for fifty years." Even then, both the diocese of Ljubljana and the upper and larger part of the middle class decided to cooperate with the occupier. This is the sad fate of the Slovenian nation, which in the fall of 1942 Italian General Vittorio Ruggero warned Bishop Rožman about what collaboration is "I will tell you frankly what I think about MVAC. I'm not Slovenian, but this is how I look at Slovenians and their struggle: MVAC helps us Italians a lot... but it creates such hatred among you Slovenians that you won't be able to eliminate it for fifty years." what I think about MVAC. I'm not Slovenian, but this is how I look at Slovenians and their struggle: MVAC helps us Italians a lot... but it creates such hatred among you Slovenians that you won't be able to eliminate it for fifty years." what I think about MVAC. I'm not Slovenian, but this is how I look at Slovenians and their struggle: MVAC helps us Italians a lot... but it creates such hatred among you Slovenians that you won't be able to eliminate it for fifty years."

Waste bin

Dušan Fortič, who was also a correspondent from Trieste, told me that after the English cleaning of Šohta, the municipality of Trieste decided to dedicate this abyss to city waste. The longtime mayor of Trieste, Gianni Bartoli, an Istrian by birth, personally told him this, who, despite having moved to Trieste before the war, would certainly not allow the alleged "grave of the Istrians" to be filled with city garbage. Claudia Cernigoi states in her texts that at the end of 1945, i.e. after the English cleansing of Šohta, some remnants of weapons were also thrown into this cave, mainly German, but also Allied, as well as many bullets and English grenades, even a few dozen American trucks and similarly.

Patriots in the dump

In April 1949, the council of the Trieste municipality dedicated Šoht in Baz to the Allies for their waste material. Newspapers also wrote about it. At that time, American and English soldiers began to slowly withdraw from Trieste, leaving it more and more to Italy. Many of them also had their famiFoibe with them, and they were full of equipment and also heavy household machinery, which they could not take back to America or England, and in Trieste they were not allowed to sell or leave them due to customs protection, as they were not Italian and not formally imported either, but only brought in, and therefore, with the knowledge of all and the tacit consent of the authorities, they were thrown into this abyss, which thus became the foible of American technology.

Would you do this if you still suspected that there were bodies of New Zealand soldiers in the abyss? The Italians would allow this if they were (as they are today) convinced that the bodies of their patriots lay below.

After the departure of the allied army from the WTO, some people began to realize that what the Americans threw into it could be a real treasure. Thus, already in 1954, they granted the request of entrepreneur Eugenio Cavazzoni to collect this waste material from Šoht.

At the same time, some locals renamed this Šoht Škavacon (dump).

 

 The first page of the "lease agreement" for the Bazovič coal shaft. (Source: Dolina municipality archive)

I was Ščaveto even after the war

The world had never heard so much propaganda for opting in or migrating to a free democracy as was broadcast especially on Italian radio stations at that time. There was so much poison against us Slavs that you were no longer allowed to speak Slovenian in Trieste. Children who spoke Slovene in the streets were slapped by passers-by, also in the city bus. Even in Koper, an Italian woman spat at my feet on the steps when my grandmother asked her something in Istrian. That old nationalist and fascist arrogance and arrogance over the inferior Ščavas still clung to themand the barbarians who now became conquerors and masters. When my mother took me to the Slovenian doctor in Trieste, the nurse, when I did not want to answer her in Italian, nicely taught her that even if she is Slovenian, she must teach the child Italian, otherwise he would never become anything, he would remain "Spicy". In the end, however, they saw salvation, the Yugoslavs in Trieste did not discover democracy, but the jeans shop, then coffee, various kitsch and many other things.

Trieste started to get rich, so there was no talk of foibles until Slovenia was accepted into the European Community. This act meant the recognition of the Slovenian nation as equal to other Western Europeans and, of course, to the noble Italians, so we had to be reminded again that we are barbarians and scoundrels.

At that time, the greatest shame for the new Slovenian politics, led by Prime Minister Lojze Peterle and Foreign Minister Dimitrij Rupel, began to take place in the background. Apparently, with the Spanish compromise and then with the Ogle agreements, we did not agree to pay compensation to the Istrian refugees, but to something else. Slovenian refugees from the time of fascism, all internees, victims of massacres perpetrated by Italy, were sacrificed for consent to join the EU. The Slovenian Tržaška kreditna banka and Banka Koper were also victims of this shameful policy. Whose policy it was is already very clear from the pursuit of some Slovenian journalists, who at the time were preparing the ground for the demolition of the entire Slovenian economy in Italy in the area where the Slovenian minority lives. At that time, even our Italian politicians fell for the Italians quite ridiculously, when, apparently for the sale of the bank of Koper, they were given the management of the 7th pier of the port of Trieste, they had to leave it even before they earned a single lira from it. In this group, I also include the sale of radio and television transmitters and converters of the Koper RTV Center, which were among the most listened to and also commercially successful stations in Italy, but also a thorn in the side of right-wingers and the Vatican... I won't go on and on.

Thus, a meeting between the representative of the Italian left, Violante, and the right, Fini, took place in Trieste, who, with the joint burial of post-war massacres in Italy, once again began to fortify the eastern border and defend their Trieste, and more on that later. At that time, Berlusconi also began to dream of his attack on the East, but it was he who put Italy at the bottom of the South. The situation in the world and especially in the Balkans has changed. After the breakup of Yugoslavia, the war in Bosnia and Kosovo, the USA and big capital got their new base, inappropriately closer to Serbia, Russia and the Middle East than Italy.

Fifty years after the war, when most had forgotten about the cleaning of Šoht, excavators reappeared next to it. This time, the ezuli, as the Italian refugees and optants call themselves, started using state money to build a huge monument to their "info-obeyed patriots".

"At the same time, with an excavator, they also plowed through that cave into which the English had pushed all the bodies, cadavers and other things they had pulled out of Šoht. What kind of civilization is this, what kind of culture, which can manage all this together and not bury it. I saw bones praying from the ground, but they didn't stop," Jordan Zahar told me when he came to me on the radio, all stunned. Then his voice stopped, as if he was about to cry, and he forced out what hurt him:

 "What if the bones and remains from Šoht include the brothers? Someone told me in 1972 that in the spring of 1944 he saw my brother in Dutovlje, who was returning home from Dolenjska for a short recovery after being treated in a partisan hospital. And one of those tortured and beaten people who pushed him over the edge looked so much like him..."

REVISING HISTORY AND RENEWING FASCISM

The Cold War exploited the exodus in Italy to the extreme, but it too has stalled. The first effect of the Marshall Plan was slowly wearing off, so the realization that the Soviet Union was surpassing them in raw materials and increasingly modern heavy industry took hold. They diverted their energy into consolidating the coal and iron community, which, upon realizing the necessity for the coexistence of European nations, fortunately grew into the realization of those beautiful positive ideas about peace and cooperation in the new European Community. This idea prevailed among the majority, but not among all, especially among Italian nationalists, old and new irredentists and fascists, who exploited the tragic fate of the Ezules for their greed for neighboring territories beyond the Soča and the Adriatic Sea. This convergence of Europe into a community of equal nations was not taken into account by them, let alone thinking, that even neighboring Yugoslavia would be accepted into Europe before it collapsed. They were also found here together with our fascists.

The planned collapse of Eastern socialist Europe also contained in its strategies and tactics the collapse of the values ​​and unity of the nations, using all possible manipulative means, from changing history to reviving fascism. With new generations growing up and forgetting the merits of the old ones, with them leaving positions of influence and power, with history being forgotten, it was easiest to mislead the masses again with that part of the Cold War propaganda that aimed not only to equalize Communism with fascism, but even returning to power the surviving building blocks of fascism, such as nationalism, populism, hatred of immigrants and Slavs. In Slovenia, according to our tradition, this was best manifested in the demolition of everything that was previously a symbol of communist progress and in the sale of the nation's wealth to foreigners or the new collaborationism.

During the war there were 60 million dead, after the war 6

When you forget the reasons why there was a war that claimed more than 60 million victims, the post-war reconstruction, the cold war and its wars such as Korea and Vietnam, when you also forget all the victims of the awakening colonial world, you can cling only on those 6 million dead after the war, which were the result of accounts worldwide for the 60 million dead during the war. Of course, not all 6 million, but selectively as it suits: the Italians certainly not the ten thousand that they themselves killed, but only the hundreds that were killed by others in revenge for their crimes.

With the first part of the unification of Europe, only the western part of Europe, the distancing from the Second World War, the ever-increasing oblivion of the horrors of war, with all that was happening with the disintegration of Eastern Europe, some people in Italy also thought it right that from their also pulled out their skeletons from well-locked safes. Thus, a few articles appeared that only in the country of Emiglia Romagna, around 20 - 22,000 fascists and collaborators with the Nazis were killed after the war. These, of course, were not killed by Tito's partisans, but by Tito's partisans, or very often by revenge-seeking people who were cleaning the manure from their houses themselves. The left was afraid of this, and the right began to inflate these numbers, but only for a short time.

However, with this celebration of Remembrance Day, the Italians have forgotten, or are deliberately forgetting, the terrible victims they themselves had in the wars they started, how many soldiers and civilians were killed by their Western allies in Africa and also during the attack on Italy. They even forget what the Germans did to them between 1943 and 1945. In Rome, just for one partisan action, as many as 335 Italians were killed, in Marzabotto over 770 people, in S. Anna di Stazzema more than 500 people, including children, in Around 9,000 captured Italian soldiers were killed in Kefalonia in Greece, almost a hundred thousand Italian soldiers died in Russia, and hundreds of thousands of Italians were interned. The only sinner and enemy remains us.

Post-war massacres

Let's say it again: After the First World War, the killing did not end. In Italy, in cooperation with the police and the courts, the squadristi, i.e. the fascists, continued with him. They killed their labor and communist leaders, but here along the border they killed Slovenian and Croatian patriots as well as priests. The prisons were full, so they invented confinement and forced emigration, and then concentration camps. The Italians did the first thing for our conscripts right after the end of the First World War. In World War II, according to many estimates, more than 80% of all dead were on the side of the winner, and the loser was less than 20%. The vast majority of the dead were civilians, including women and children, as many as 58% on the winning side, but only 4% on the side of the perpetrators of the war. The victors were therefore not the executioners of the civilian population.

Of course, not all of these people were killed by bombs alone, but mainly by bullets fired by individuals, bayonets and knives, many also by flames in crematoria or burning houses, into which "people" personally threw other people. This was indeed done under the influence or orders of Mussolini, Hitler, Hirohito and their crony rulers, but the number of dead was so high because those "Itlaliani brava gente" also did it. Those who survived this massacre saw for themselves who was killing their comrades and relatives, and now they had weapons in their hands.

The post-war massacres were only a consequence of the war. If there were no war killings, there would be no post-war killings either, especially if during the war there were not so many victims among the civilian population on the winning side. Let's remember the former wars, when the winner was usually the one who had fewer dead, but in this Second World War, the winner had four times as many dead, especially mothers, wives, children...

Talking about the post-war massacres from today's point of view is definitely something different from the post-war one at the time, and it is necessary to talk about them in order to prevent them from happening again in the future, because they are a disgrace to human culture, and they are even more so if you try to use them for new hatreds and conversion of the truth.

The post-war massacres began to be discussed more extensively only after the main witnesses of the interwar massacres had died or grown old, and when the children of war criminals and collaborators had the opportunity to wash away the memory of their bloody parents. This happened when the world that grew out of the Second World War began to crumble, but also when it forgot why it happened and when the forces that started it saw new possibilities for the conquest of total power over this new world.

The demolition of the Berlin Wall was primarily the demolition of a symbol, but behind it was the real desire to appropriate everything that was on the other side. That is why they also developed new forms of fascism, or used individual building blocks, so that they could use it to cover the good sides and even the many advantages of the socialist system, which also brought a new social and fairer state to the West.

The Germans are silent about their killed

After the war, when the Western Allies had a huge number of their soldiers in the divided Germany, as well as their capital, there was no talk of what was happening in Germany either. When the Americans began to leave, some began to remember very regretfully that the Allies starved hundreds of thousands of captured German soldiers in camps along the Rhine, that is, right next to the water, who did not even let them drink water. Not only Russian soldiers, but also American ones, often shot the captured Germans when the camps were liberated.

It is common knowledge, as some internees of German camps told me, that the liberators, both Americans and Russians, gave the surviving internees 24 hours to do whatever they wanted with the Germans. The weapons that were thrown away by the German guards upon surrender were, of course, first grabbed by the surviving internees. In France, their partisans and the people themselves killed tens of thousands of local fascists and collaborators, in the Soviet Union probably even more, and there are no uniform figures for mass killings in the Far East either.

Even the partisans, if not the prisoners, would probably kill all the Ustasha in Jesenovac if they got them there. They escaped in time by forming a triple column. In the middle row were the internees, mainly women and children, and even wounded partisans on the wagons who could not escape. They used them as a shield until the crossing of the Drava, where they cut their necks and threw them into the river. Among the few who managed to escape at that time was little Slavko Weis, whose testimony you can read in my book Lebič. This book also contains the story of Franc Širclje, how the fleeing German executioners from Rižarna tied him on top of the aerial bombs and grenades that they were taking with them to Germany. Both the partisans and the pilots of allied planes noticed the people tied to the bombs. The worst criminals thus managed to escape, but the English pilots hit a few Germans without prisoners, among others at Gmajna in Baz near Šoht.

According to records and narratives, the partisans, who attacked Koper prisons twice during the war to free political prisoners for whom the fascists were preparing a mass murder, did not shoot the fascists, who were also guards during the German occupation, but only imprisoned them into the cells and left the city where the new armored units of the Germans were arriving.

The author of the well-known book Divjana celina Keith Lowe, who described the situation after the war and also the massacres in a very graphic way, says that in Italy after the war they killed from 12 to 20,000 fascists and collaborators. But people say that an inappropriately high number of people were killed. This was done by the people themselves, their first partisan units, which were created following the example of the Yugoslav ones. People, because even the partisans were first and foremost people, sons and daughters of killed or interned parents, fathers of murdered children and husbands of dishonored wives, grandfathers who were left alone in this world... They really killed for revenge, but also or mainly because they did not trust the authorities and the courts.

The general chaos left by the war must also be considered. Love says that in 1946 there were 180,000 children from Klata in Rome, Naples and Milan alone, in Yugoslavia the partisans often encountered groups of starving children living in caves, forests and ruins, in Poland there were more than a million war orphans, 40 million people were displaced...

Although in Italy there is official silence about the post-war massacres, today we can hear very different numbers about the post-war massacres in Italy. The right, even more so the neo-fascists, inflate these numbers to the point of impossibility, because they can use them to accuse the left or, more specifically, the communists, who led the resistance of the population everywhere, while the left reduces these numbers. And make no mistake, I summarized the information about six million post-war victims from the English Wikipedia, which was the closest possible to the truth based on the cited literature and arguments.

Post-war massacres are one of the most effective weapons of the propaganda war

To talk about the interwar massacres, the dead and all the horrors, is to talk about the horrors committed by the fascists, that is, the extreme right. Rumors and inflated figures about post-war massacres benefit this right, because they turn themselves into victims of the very leading rebels and fighters against fascism, i.e. the communists. And let's not forget the pre-war arming and concessions to Italy, Germany and Japan started because of the fear of communism. And it was the communists who were the first victims of the Italian squadristi since 1919 and the German mass death camps, which were set up as early as 1933 and on which Marx's slogan "Arbeit macht frei" was written in mockery. The next inmates of these camps were the Spanish Republicans who were given to them by Franco as slave labor that would not have to be returned after use.

This forgetting and changing of the truth began already during the Cold War, which was actually a continuation of the Second World War against the Soviet Union and its communist camp, but at that time only with very limited success, because there were still too many witnesses alive and, above all, many had already been arranged archives on fascist crimes. With the fall of the Berlin Wall, the archives also fell, new fears were created and new dogs were unleashed to destroy the remnants of communism. The new mass media took care of brainwashing the masses, using the old Geobbeles methods, with all kinds of Foibe and repetition of Foibe. But people were no longer intimidated by the Jews as the murderers of Christ and godless communists, but by bird flu, the new coronavirus and the like, by economic crises, famine, wars, masses of refugees and various fascisms,

A lie is not only "fake news", it is also the silencing of the most important historical facts for understanding history, silencing the truth, emphasizing only one, etc. We only talk about the consequences, but not about the causes, about fascism, its guilt for this world massacre, for the entire massacre of innocents. When talking about the consequences, only individual cases of injustice are highlighted, which completely obscure the whole truth, all the terrible crimes of those who were punished for them.

He forgets everything that happened in our country before the war. Above all, he forgets the original Italian fascism as the first Nazism towards us Slavs, who considered us inferior people, barbarians or slaves.

He forgets, hides or deliberately erases from his memory the arson, internment, torture and killing of an innocent citizen. The memory of the Holocaust is exceptionally preserved, and we have only proud Jews to thank for that.

He forgets that the motherland, the Drava banovina, let us down, sacrificed us for its shameful privileges as consumers of its own nation.

All the horrors that took place in Italian torture centers and camps, what happened in Jesenovac, Jastrebasti, in various villages and even churches, such as Sveti Urh, are hidden in our country. It hides the worst slaughters and horrors, such as the killing of entire classes of school children, cutting fetuses from the belFoibe of partisans' wives, throwing babies against the wall, rubbing their heads with boots, making necklaces out of eyes, competitions in butchering people with special knives...

It is silent that the fascists used the excuse that they were doing it in the name of Christ, among them there were even some priests and monks. He hides and deletes photos from the reception with Pope Pius XII, when he welcomed as many as 100 of the most deserving Ustasha slaughtermen to the award audience.

It is forgotten that at that time all countries, including the old Yugoslavia, legally defined collaboration with the occupier as treason against the nation, which was punishable by death, and that military or fast-track courts do this in war. That partisans and other armies that killed criminals also had their own courts.

Who else knows that at that time people in the Balkans and elsewhere still respected the old right to "blood revenge" and that therefore it was not possible to prevent the mass of dehumanized people from retaliatory killing after the war.

He forgets about all the announced amnesties, about the leaflets that were scattered by the allied planes, with which they were called to lay down their arms and join their partisans. Even the Tito Šubašič agreement, the recognition of Tito's army by the old refugee government and the king, by all the allies, that it became part of the allied forces, is being forgotten.

Why does he forget to emphasize on May 9, the day of victory, that it was only a victory over the German army, that only its commanders ordered the surrender of arms, and their collaborators and hardened fascist criminals did not. They continued fighting even against their own nation and on their way to the new promised allies they also killed, raped and burned the innocent population.

But he also forgets about those who persuaded or invited them to join the new joint Anglo-American and German army, with which they will finally penetrate Moscow and overthrow communism.

Desecration of raped and killed girls and women

Even worse, the remains of collaborators, war criminals and traitors are buried and honored with state honors, monuments to collaborators and traitors of the nation are erected.

It is not only about changing history, but also about desecrating the most innocent victims of fascism. This is not only happening in Italy. For example, our revisionists have used the pictures of female whales found in Huda Cave for their manipulations of history, that the communists are supposed to brutally kill even women and cut their hair beforehand. The images appeared on posters at the burial of the remains of the war dead, on internet social networks and even to promote a book by a Bosnian author linking these post-war massacres to those in Srebrenica. Ustasha executioners cut these whales to their female prisoners in Jesenovac before they raped and then killed them. On the run to Austria, they hid them, like money or gold, by tying them around their waists, as this was for old bald ladies from the Western world, with the devaluation of their money at the time, real dry gold. When these executioners were then stoned alive, they had to take off their clothes and throw off these ropes as well. When the real interpretations of these photos appeared, they soon disappeared from the Internet.

Fina Violante deal

Italian politics is not from yesterday, and certainly not servile. Not only politicians, but also journalists for the most part think and act in a very state-building way. So some people asked me, as a colleague, how it is that some of our journalists are destroying even the unity and economy of the Slovenian minority in Italy. They could not possibly understand those articles and broadcasts of our venerated "investigative" journalists, they told me that these journalists of ours are a real shame for the journalist's guild.

This destruction, of course, continued in the erasure of people, denationalization, the looting of forests, factories, companies and castles of the Vatican, Austria and Germany... The Italians even felt neglected, saying that they do not get as much from this cake as the Germans. Only the antennas and transmitters of Radio Koper - Capodistria were not enough for them, and they demanded something more from the bank of Koper.

Thus, in March 1998, right in Trieste, where the First and Second World Wars ended for Italy and the cold began, a very interesting and important meeting even took place between the leading politicians of the Italian left and right, the reformed communist Luciano Violate and the neo-fascist Gianfranco Fini. Here, simply put, they agreed that they would lock their closets or graves with skeletons again, close the graves and also the fobes, seal them and cover them with thick layers of reinforced concrete, and write on them that the victims of Tito's communists lie inside. They were convinced of this for a long time by ezuli and extreme right-wingers from Trieste, the most vocal of whom was Roberto Menia, who even publicly dared to raise his hand in a fascist salute.

 Italian politicians are concerned with uniting the nation, not dividing it.

It was about reviving the old Italian nationalism, irredentism and fascism, their fight for Trieste, Gorica, Istria and Dalmatia, but only that from the times after the fall of fascist Italy, when the Western Allies somehow took them as their own after the German attack. So similar to ours, except that here the date of oblivion or a new count begins only after the capitulation of Germany, but not its Quisling quasi-states and the army of national fascisms. But with a big difference. Fini and Violante did not do this to divide their nation, but to unite it in a new fight, and if there is no fight, at least in a common mourning. Ours, however, clearly did this with the aim of dividing the nation, to denigrate the former fighters against fascism and to rehabilitate their previous fascist collaborators, and at the same time to close the ranks of the new capitalists and warriors.

This was the Italian form of reconciliation between the left and the right at the expense of the neighbors, which was supposed to bring both politicians new electoral votes and a new unity of Italy.

Corriere della sera, report from the meeting with which Italian politics put a stone to the post-war massacres and prevented the division of its own nation, replacing it with a shameful napa dom on its neighbors. The title says that both agree with the claim that the foibles were deliberately forgotten, and the page says that this article was among the most read.

 

Some, but unfortunately rare, Italian intellectuals, among them even rarer journalists, immediately suspected what this meeting was about and that something more would follow. This is the comment of the journalist and writer Girgio Bocca in one of the most objective newspapers in Italy, La Repubblica, unfortunately the comments are not as widely read as the news:

 Commentary by Gioria Bocca in the newspaper La republica (Source: online newspaper archives).

 

This comment by Georgia Bocce would be translated as the title: Violante and Fini fail the history exam. However, since the commentator explains and also hides many things in his words, I will summarize it in the translation rather than translate it:

"The joint statement of the Secretary Gianfranco Fini and the President of the Chamber, Luciano Violante, who has done more damage to the left than Craxi, shows that they should be sent back to the professors of history, but this advice has no real sense, because they are not interested in creating history, but in redirecting pre-election political waters at one's own mill. In the conversation, they revealed their worst demagogic and propagandist views on a complex history that deserves greater respect. Fini in his revisionism (fascism) could not deny his origins, nor could Violante in his Togliatti communism. Fini even dared to praise the prince of X-MAS Borghes, who at the end of the war tried to get a safe haven with the Anglo-American allies by defending Trieste against Tito with his black shirt militia. Secretary Fini said, that they wanted to defend the honor of their homeland, because here in Trieste they were caught between the Germans and the "resistance", which was anti-Italian. So they worked with the SS and the Reich to save honor. The Germans did not like them, so they were sent out of the city to the not-so-honorable burnings of villages and the hanging of partisans. The former communist Violante criticized the anti-fascists and their historians, who did not condemn the post-war massacres and foibles, in which the "Titoists" threw not only the fascists, but also those from the Italian resistance, who fought for the annexation of the Giulia region and part of Friuli to Italy. Maybe in those years Luciano Violante wore too short pants to realize the tragedy of the occupation of the lands of Bosnia, Dalmatia and Slovenia, the killing of partisans, the burning of villages and attacks on the civilian population. This, of course, is no excuse for the horrors of the Phoebes, but at least it should shroud our national consciousness with a veil of piety. In those years, Tito could demand the extradition and trial of our generals and their staffs. Violante accuses the anti-fascists of keeping quiet about the Phoebes just for the sake of convenience. You really have to have a pretty face made of bronze to make a political career for the party of Palmiro Togliatti, who carried out Stalin's instructions as vice-president of the Comintern during the Trieste question and went to negotiate with Tito on Brione. How can we understand these two politicians who, for their own political reasons, snatch history from the hands of historians. And how can these two gentlemen declare such nonsense that the nation will have a true national consciousness only when their policies also achieve it. According to this claim, history should be rewritten in accordance with the policy from the former Savoy insurgents, to the fascist Duce, and from the Soviet and Nazi rulers, and to Violat's communist party. History as a general agreement? We should forget everything that was going on, put everyone including aristocrats and republicans in the same basket. Our history is what was, not what would have suited us in order to come to power or the top of the party. It's really sad that a former fascist turned out to be even better at this than a communist."

Fascism for Italian fools

If I add to this comment my view from our more distant angle: it was not only about the pre-election interests of the two parties, which in the Italian partitocracy share the cake of power in connections with the disintegrating Christian environment and liberalism, but for something more, for what I explain in the book Fascism for Butalce, i.e. about the revival of fascism, its hiding in Foibe, manipulations and mutations, even in patriotism. In this story, even Fini, as a repeatedly called neo-fascist, very clearly showed an inappropriately higher political or state level than those of our Demos neo-fascists or self-proclaimed independence fighters and fighters for democracy, who were actually primarily concerned with revanchism.

It doesn't matter who got more votes in those elections, what Violante got was the hatchet buried, the graves closed and appeasement or even reconciliation achieved. Today, however, it is clear that Fina and his fascists, who transferred their sins to their victims and made heroes out of their corrupt fathers and grandfathers, took the most out of it. Menio and his followers got the most, who convinced Italy and the world that they did not flee because they were afraid of revenge, because to talk about revenge means to admit that it is the result of something worse. With this, even the optants, who fell for them and left their homes only because of the political games of the big ones, were given the false consolation that they had to go, otherwise Tito's communists would have thrown them all into the foibo.

We must not forget that the 1990s were a time of great changes in the world, including the disintegration of multinational states, that Italy is not as nationally united as it seems, that even Italians are aware that they are a collection of different nations that were united by the time of nationalism, but these bonds can still break. In fact, they had already begun to crack with the founding of the Northern League, the desire to establish Padania, the independence of Sicily, Venice, and the growing awareness of the Friuli people that they were a nation.

Even in Trieste, which lost its Yugoslav customers, people began to dream about the former days of the Austro-Hungarian free port and the Free Territory of Trieste. Even worse, with the disintegration of Yugoslavia, there were even ideas that Italy would then together with NATO or Gladio go across the Osimian border to Rapalska again, but they did not catch on. Probably, with his "day before", General Chad made it clear to these impatient people that there will be no bread from this flour.

The military situation in the world was not good either, because at that time Russia was a wounded beast. Italy was aware that her former artificial ties had already cracked dangerously. Even at that time, there were more and more reasons to look for a new nationalism that would unite them. But if there are not enough foreigners, the most effective way is to hate your neighbors. They did not dare to do this to the Austrians or the French, also old mortal enemies, if nothing else, because they were together in the EU, and the disintegrated Yugoslavians were very suitable for this.

It should be added that Italy began to decline economically, and Trieste was no longer the Mecca of Yugoslav buyers, Churchill's Iron Curtain no longer brought the benefits of an "open door", and Marshall's malaise had long since subsided. Trieste has become the appendix of Italy, in which acute anti-Italian inflammation can appear very suddenly, such as the desire for renewed freedom of the city and port or the WTO, so it must be constantly prepared with nationalism and fascism. Not only Trieste, but also nearby Friuli, Venice and distant Sicily. The reinforced concrete slab above the abyss of Bazovsko Šoht is like a weight on a pile of paper, so that a real gale from the Karst does not blow them out to sea.

It is also about creating a false impression that only Italy and its nationalism can defend them from Slavic barbaric conquest.

I also noticed a lot of envy among some of the ezule towards those who did not leave their home, as well as anger that they fell for the propaganda, left home and went abroad, that they were so naive to believe that under communism everyone would have to eat in the village from one boiler. Even that they and their wives will have to sleep with everyone else from the village... But that didn't happen, they didn't die of hunger and disease either. Those who remained could not go to work in Trieste or Gorica, but they built new factories, apartment blocks and then even their own villas, bought personal cars, educated their children in their own language, had free healthcare, went to the sea every year or skiing, all over the world... compared to the optants, they have become real gentlemen. After gaining independence, they also became equal citizens of the European Union.

Memorial Day preparations

Neither the fascists nor the communists won in Italy, but Silvio Berlusconi and his informational political capital, which was not only in banks, but especially in televisions. Berlusconi is a neo-liberal neo-pragmatist who knows very well that Mussolini's old weeds and his new hybrids thrive in Italy even more than wheat.

Information and discussions began to appear in political debates in Ezulu clubs, the media, and the parliament about how many patriotic Italians Tito's partisans were supposed to throw into fobes and how many were driven across the border. Of course, there was not a single word about what they did before, just like in our country about the Home Guards and Ustashas and Chetniks. There was also no talk of being wiped out, but rather of the Italian patriots fleeing from Tito's partisans, who, if they had not fled, would have been thrown into the pits, as shown in the film Heart in the Abyss. Of course, they were talking about huge numbers, hundreds of thousands and even a million.

Yes, hundreds of thousands and millions. Even in the parliament it was heard that 300,000 Italians were killed (immobilized), someone even said a million.

I remember very well the first internet site about the so-called Bazovian Phobia. It was clearly written on this page that it contained at least 30,000 bodies of Italian patriots who were thrown into this cave by Tito's partisans and that this bloodthirsty slaughter was carried out by the partisans during those 40 days of the "occupation" of Trieste. In two paragraphs it was also written that this is confirmed by Slovenian publicists and historians, such as Vinko Levstik, later Jožet Dežman was added. Then the numbers started to drop and those two names disappeared from the page. However, they began to manipulate the processed statements of two of the biggest littoral priests and anti-fascists, namely Fran Malalan and Virgili Šček.

Thanks to the coastal historians

Here in Slovenia, there were no repercussions for this, they were very rare in journalism, because when I was recording my radio shows, I had the feeling that I was the only one, and they bullied me and threatened me with beatings and even shooting, our Slovenians, of course. Politics was still dealing with the new country and the infighting, the right won and of course it didn't give any real answer, let alone a decisive counterattack that would scare even the new fascists. Otherwise, what could we expect from Prime Ministers such as Lojze Peterle and Janez Drnovšek, who publicly hid the fact that he was formerly a member of the Union of Communists. Jože Pučnik and Janez Janša could not hide it. Or from the then Foreign Minister Dimitrije Rupel? Some of our historians, however, came to the defense of the truth, especially those from abroad. I must mention those which I noticed myself as a journalist, they were dr. Jože Pirjevec and his circle of young researchers, then Dr. Marta Verginelli, Ph.D. dr. Milica Kacin Wohinz, Claudia Cernigoj, Alessandra Kersevan, Samo Pahor, Sandi Vovk, I could list anyone else, but I would like to point out the first ones from across the border who dared to raise their voices for the truth in that hostile environment.

With the uproar of our public, the support of the left and partly also the center political option, and even those who defined themselves as patriots by worshiping traitors, under the auspices of the two foreign ministries there was even the appointment of a joint commission of Slovenian and Italian historians, which was supposed to arrive at of a joint coordinated expert report. This was decided and published.

The commission, which consisted of six members from each side, was led by dr. Milica Kacin Wohinz and prof. Giorgio Conetti. It met for the first time in the plenum on November 19, 1993 in Venice, and the final message, entitled S lovensko-italijanski odnosi 1880-1956 - Relazioni italo-slovene 1880-1956 (foibe, esodo), was unanimously adopted by the commission at a meeting in Vidmo 27.in June 2000. The report was supposed to be officially announced and published in the official gazettes and public media of both countries, but this only happened in Slovenia. The Italian side is still hiding it and spreading Foibe, just as it suits their century-old strategy and also their daily politics.

What is written in this report is the fruit of an expert consensus that was reached through the strength of the arguments that the members of the mixed commission acknowledged to each other. It recognizes Italian nationalism and irredentism, as well as the injustice of Rapal's territorial division. They are described: the unjust border, important events or happenings and also the most important fascist crimes against our nation:

"The new border on the northern Adriatic, which was already determined by the London Pact in 1915 and which was mainly confirmed by the Treaty of Rapallo (1920) and which ran along the watershed between the Black and Adriatic seas, tore a quarter of the national body from its motherland (327,230 people according to Austrian census in 1910, 271,305 according to the Italian census in 1921, 290,000 according to Carl Schiffrer's estimates), but the larger number of Slovenes in Italy did not affect the position of the Venetian Slovenes (approx. 34 thousand according to the census of 1921), who had already lived under Italy until then, however, the authorities treated them as definitively Italianized and therefore did not recognize them as having any national rights."

The exodus of Slovenes and Croats from fascist Italy is also briefly and concisely described:

"According to Yugoslav estimates, a total of 105,000 Slovenes and Croats left. If it is difficult to distinguish between economic and political reasons when emigrating across the ocean, the direct connection with fascist political and national persecution is obvious when especially young people and educated people flee to Yugoslavia.

The right to self-determination of nations is also mentioned and the consensus that the Slovenians reached on this, but unfortunately only with the Italian Communist Party.

From the time of the war:

"The political, cultural and economic attraction of Italy is supposed to gradually fascistize and Italianize the local population. At first, the fascist occupier relied on the fact that he would be able to subjugate the Slovenians with the supposed multi-value of the Italian omics, which is why the Italian occupation policy was initially milder/... / The occupation regime was based on violence, which was expressed in all kinds of prohibitions, confinements, deportations and internments to numerous camps in Italy (among them Rab, Gonars and Renicci), trials before military courts, confiscation and destruction of property, burning of homes and villages. There were thousands of dead: fallen in battle, condemned to death, hostages shot, civilians killed. Around 30,000 people, mostly civilians, women and children, were sent to the camps. Many died of suffering. There were plans for the mass deportation of Slovenes from the Ljubljana province. The violence peaked during the four-month Italian military offensive launched by the Italian occupation authorities in the summer of 1942 to regain control of the entire province.

In the spirit of the "divide and rule" policy, the Italian authorities supported Slovenian anti-communist, especially Catholic-oriented political forces, which at the time, out of fear of a communist revolution, regarded the partisan movement as a greater danger and therefore agreed to cooperate. Therefore, they established self-protection village guards, and the Italian command, although they did not fully trust them, organized them into a voluntary anti-communist militia and successfully used them in the anti-partisan struggle."

A special chapter is dedicated to the resistance in Primorska, Rižarna and the end of the war and the fight for Trieste, in which Italian and Slovenian anti-fascism split very badly. Dealing with Cold War tensions, the Information Bureau, etc.

It also says very clearly that:

"There is no evidence of a planned expulsion of Italians."

In:

"Total, in the post-war period, more than 27,000 people left the territory of Istria, which came under Slovenian sovereignty, or in other words the entire Italian population there, as well as several thousand Slovenians, who joined the multitude of refugees, the vast majority Italians (more recent estimates vary between 200,000 and 300,000 people), from Croatian Istria and Dalmatia, i.e. from areas under Croatian sovereignty. Among the Italians who did not emigrate (8 percent of the total population), the majority were older workers and farmers, intellectuals from the left ranks and post-war political immigrants."

In hundreds of hastily executed sentences, not thousands

We find this text about the foibes, that Italians were already discouraged from cooperating with the partisans:

"... news about the massacres of Italians in the fall of 1943 in the area of ​​Istria, where the Croatian liberation movement (the so-called "Istrian foibes") was active. The massacres were committed not only for ethnic and social motives, but also to hurt the local ruling class; therefore, the majority of Italians in these areas were worried about whether they would survive as a nation and whether their personal safety was not also at risk."

After the end of the war:

"At the same time, the pro-Italian inhabitants of the Julian Territory experienced the Yugoslav occupation as the darkest moment in their history, also because it was accompanied by a wave of violence in Trieste, Goriška and Koper, which was expressed in the arrests of several thousand, according to most Italians, but also Slovenes who opposed the Yugoslav communist political plan - some of those arrested were released at intervals; in hundreds of hastily executed sentences - the victims were mostly thrown into karst abysses, called foibes; and in the deportation of a large number of soldiers and civilians, some of whom wandered or were killed during the deportation, to prisons and prisoner-of-war camps in various parts of Yugoslavia (Borovnica should be mentioned among them)."

So he also talks about quick trials and hundreds of executions, but not about thousands or tens of thousands. We could not talk about thousands, even if, like the Italians, who throw everything in the same basket, among these "infobeys", we also count those who were killed due to the revenge of the people themselves, sentenced to death in summary courts or died of disease in prisons, such as in Borovnica. According to dr. Nevenke Troha, the number of those who died in the area of ​​the Slovenian border and Slovenia does not exceed 1,500 people. We mustn't forget that for a long time in Trieste, shooting was still going on, not only secretly at partisans and people on the streets, but that fascist hideouts disguised themselves as partisans and thus tried to break out of the city, and they preferred to shoot right at people to sow panic. Similarly, the ragtag people in the vicinity of Ljubljana did this, that people and politicians would blame the real partisans for it. Many fascist criminals survived those 40 days and waited for the Anglo-Americans, who then employed them as wives, political refugees, even war criminals in schools and on the radio, but the worst managed to escape to Argentina via Spain with the help of the Vatican.

The joint report of historians is, of course, not favorable to the Italian nation of "good people", even less to the descendants of the Roman imperialist culture, and not at all acceptable to the old and new fascists. However, with this consensus, with the data that there were thousands of war criminals among the Italians (not only the 800 on the list), but only a few hundred who were banned, and with the facts that the "victor and judge" had already suffered inappropriately greater torture for decades before, humiliation and killing, any reasonable person should understand this as an imminent form of the end of war.

If anyone thinks that those numbers in the tens or hundreds of thousands of people who have been informed refer to the Croatian part of Istria and Dalmatia, they must consider that these are known Foibe. Before and during the war, there were many more fascist and war crimes committed by the Italians there, but almost all the criminals were able to flee from the partisans towards Trieste, where the partisans trapped them with an extremely bloody breakthrough near Opčina. What was happening in Trieste was not only the result of what happened earlier in Slovenia, but in the whole of Yugoslavia, which had more than a million and a half dead in the war.

Memorial Day

In 2004, Italy passed a law on Remembrance Day. In the first article, it is written that February 10 is the day of commemoration of the tragedy of the Phoebes and the exodus of Istrians, Rhečans and Dalmatians from their territory after the Second World War. In the second article, it states that all schools, regardless of level, together with institutions, must mark this day with special studies, conversations, debates and the like. In doing so, he particularly emphasizes the Italian culture in the north and east of the Adriatic...

The date, February 10, was chosen as a reminder of the unjust peace treaty of the Paris Peace Conference in 1947, which was adopted on this very day. The treaty was concluded between the winners of World War II, which are the Soviet Union, the United States of America, the United Kingdom, France, Poland, Yugoslavia, Czechoslovakia, and Greece, and on the other hand, the losers, which were: Italy, Romania, Hungary, Bulgaria, and Finland. The contract entered into force on October 15 of the same year.

However, by choosing this date, the Italians did not admit their defeat and did not want to repent for their crimes, but they fanned the memory of the beginning of the exodus, their sorrow, not to say the demand for revanchism. On February 10, 2007, a monumental monument near Bazovica was ceremonially unveiled. It is in this place where Slovenians have our memorial to the victims of the first trial in Trieste from 1930, here next to this cave and in these places where the worst atrocities were committed during the war!

Even in Italy, just like here, there were people who started browsing the archives. And since iron must be forged while it's hot, they made up various information about crimes allegedly committed by Tito's partisans. Among the most zealous "research" writers was Marco Pirina. His most incriminating book is Genocidio, which, of course, is not about the genocide that the Italians committed against Slovenes, Croats and Montenegrins during Fascism, but about the genocide allegedly carried out by the 9th Corps against the Italians. In it, he highlights 86 names, especially the partisan Bor (Franca Preglja from Renče). Among these names are also those who have already been brought to court by the Italian authorities for alleged crimes, but it was proven in the trials that the indictments were false. At that time, the Yugoslav government hired 5 eminent lawyers.

Pirina launched new lawsuits in Pordenone after thirty years with real media fanfare, such as we know here in the books of Roman Leljak and Dežman. He drew up the indictments with the public prosecutor Pittito from Rome, but they lost the lawsuits. They appealed to the higher court in Trieste and also lost. When those two lawsuits lost, they initiated new lawsuits, but lost those as well.

Then Franc Pregelj filed a lawsuit against him due to false accusations. With his lawyers, he proved that among those who even have their names engraved on the Gorizia lapidary, and who are on trial, that he and his comrades killed them, four are still alive, while some of the dead are on the list of missing on the Russian front or and died in German concentration camps.

Among those retried was Nerino Gobbo. The first trial against him was initiated at the end of 1947 and at the end of the trial in 1948 he was sentenced to 26 years in prison. As the Vecera journalist Nada Ravter wrote in her conversation with him, they accused him "of being the commander of the unit that covered up the crime and threw the killed into the trap, and secondly, that they acted arbitrarily until May 12, 1945, because they were not supposed to had no official powers until then. "This is not true, as the Command of the City of Trieste officially existed from the beginning of the second half of 1944," he replied defensively. "We were an armed formation that participated in the liberation of Trieste. From the first day, we had authorizations and were given tasks accordingly. May 12 is the date when we officially set up national protection."

Criminals as plaintiffs

He was tried and convicted for the fascist gang that he exposed and arrested, and in the end, in the Trieste court farce, the members of this gang appeared as witnesses against him, instead of sitting on the dock.

"Before the liberation of Trieste, there were also some speculators in the ranks of the liberators," explains the event. "There was also a gang among us, posing as partisans who took part in the uprising, and occupied the Jesuit prison. In order to check them and keep them under control, I invited them to our units and soon found out that they were working very much in their own way, even stealing. When we collected all the information about them, on my initiative, we immediately exposed them, arrested them and handed them over to the army, which was supposed to try them. They were taken over by the old Trieste activist Tine Lipovšek, but on the way to Ljubljana some escaped, and some were shot on the run. Those who escaped appeared at the trial against me as witnesses" /…./

"In 1966, however, Saragat's amnesty came, in which there is a special article for all actions committed in the fight against Nazism. Dr. Murko, whom I called on the state to do something, then advised me that because Italy does not know how to cancel the process, but just a pardon, let me hire a lawyer from Trieste and take advantage of the amnesty. The lawyer did open a case with the president of the senate authorized for amnesty and got all the signatures without any problems. I was pardoned with the widest amnesty because I was a fighter, the things that were given to me blamed, but the result of the terrible war against Nazism."

That was 30 years ago. Accounts with Italy were therefore settled for all eternity. That's what he thought until he saw his name on Pittit's list.

"The lawyer from Trieste, Bogdan Berdon, provided me with the documentation from the trial. When I review it fifty years later, I am disgusted when I see how cleverly things were set up. One woman even testified that she saw how I tortured people in prison. In I have never been in any prison in my life, I have never arrested, let alone tortured, but I did help some people out of prison, because among those arrested there were those who had no stain except the black shirt and were too insignificant to be arrested meaningful."

Franc Pregelj Boro, however, continued to fight with his own resources, which, of course, cost him a lot of money, €24,000 for the law firm alone. When he couldn't do it anymore and almost gave up, he went to ask for help from the Slovenian government, which, as he himself said, behaved very uncivilly. The president at the time, Tone Rop, after the intervention of the president of the country, Milan Kučan, promised him one hundred thousand tolars (not euros) in writing, but when he sent this letter to the minister of finance, he told him that he was not entitled to the funds because there were none in the budget for this purpose. But then, with the support of Kučan and Janez Stanovnik, the fighting organizations helped him, and they collected 17,000 euros.

In the end, Pirina appealed to the Court of Cassation, which is the highest level in Italy, just like here constitutionally, but he lost the case here as well. With this judgment of the Court of Cassation, all those other judgments against the other Slovenian and Croatian partisans, who were accused of massacres and genocide, were finally annulled.

The particular absurdity of these trials is also that they are inconsistent with the peace treaty, according to which Italy, as the aggressor, has no right to trials against the allied army.

As a journalist, I was most surprised by the fact that this final judgment of the Court of Cassation completely escaped the media. When the general accusations against Pirina and the court proceedings began, all Italian and most Slovenian media reported on it. Pregelj told me that photojournalists were constantly lurking around his house and taking pictures of him at every turn. After the final verdict of the court, which I happened to learn about from Dušan Fortič, and went to him for an interview. Pregelj told me that I was the first and only journalist who came to him after this verdict. After the publication of an almost hour-long shocking radio interview in which I also said this, a journalist said to me: "Oh, too bad, you beat me to it. I, however, plan to do an interview with him."

Slovenian answer

On the Italian holiday of Remembrance Day, Primorska demanded a decisive answer, which will not only be an answer, but also a clear reminder that similar reversals of history will not be repeated. She also demanded her own day of remembrance for what she had to endure under fascism. In particular, fighters' organizations and compatriots from abroad, as well as some journalists, suggested important dates and events that would remind us of the beginning of fascism, its brutality, and the victory over fascism. When this search had already begun to crystallize into three or four of the most symbolic dates for all of Primorska, i.e. the burning of the National House in Trieste, the execution of the four Bazovica heroes, the fall of fascist Italy and the decision of the OF plenum on the annexation of Primorska to Yugoslavia, the then Janševa overtook us the government, on the right, of course.

The Primorska holiday has the wrong date

In 2006, the Slovenian Parliament passed a law on a seaside holiday to commemorate the annexation of Primorska to the motherland, that is, September 15, when the Paris Peace Treaty came into force in 1947, those who divided Primorska and cut off Trieste and Gorica from us. People have accepted this holiday, because we finally have a holiday in memory of our struggle and we celebrate it with pride, of course, we always emphasize the suffering of Primorska under fascism and our famous partisan struggle. However, this date also hides the division of the nation, as this unjust Paris agreement divided us into Primorje, who achieved this unification, and those who remained in Italy.

With the effective date of the Paris Peace Agreement, only less than half of Primorska was returned, without the two main cities, Trieste and Gorica, whose abbreviations TIGR already used for its name. According to the principle of balance, 140,000 Yugoslavs remained in Italy, but all of them were Slovenians, mainly at the expense of the Italians who remained in Croatia, but not in Slovenia. What's more, a parastate Free Trieste Territory was established as a buffer by our sea, which was more the core of the dispute and festering wound of the Cold War. For the people of Tolmin, the people of Vipa, the people of Brk and others, this day is indeed a holiday of unification, but not for all the people of Kras, Istra, Trža, Gori, Veneto, Rezi - it is not and cannot be for them. It continued to subject them to further violent assimilation (names, inscriptions, official language, preservation of fascist laws, impunity for war criminals, etc.).

Even with this act, our policy at the time placed itself on the same common denominator as Italy's, i.e. the Paris Peace Treaty. They remember February 10, 1947 as a tragic day when they lost Istria and Dalmatia with the signing of the treaty, but we remember September 15, the day the treaty entered into force, but as a happy day of the annexation of Primorska, albeit without Trieste, part of Gorizia and the Slovenian territory of Venice.

However, our parliament can correct this commemorative date by only one day, namely September 16, which recalls the promise of the freedom-loving part of the nation that it will fight for the annexation of all of Primorska to the motherland and at least fulfill this with its struggle. On September 16, 1943, the OF plenum issued a historic proclamation on the annexation of Primorska, which was also confirmed by Avnoj as one of the most important goals of the new Yugoslav state and army.

For what then happened at the Paris Peace Conference, when our entire partisan choir cried Srečko Kosovel at this decision, which we celebrate today with sadness and anger, we must thank our allies, especially the English, who would re-gifted almost all the territory they had already given to it before the First World War. The Americans offered them something less, and the Russians withdrew from this diplomatic struggle at the end of the negotiations due to Stalin's dissatisfaction with Tito's independent policy. Informbiro followed.

Presidential manipulations

Italian President Giorgio Napolitano, a former Italian partisan, was first remembered by Slovenians as the president of the Italian Republic who, on the day of commemoration of the victims of the Phoebes and the expulsion of Italians from Istria and Dalmatia in 2007, most decisively and rudely pointed his finger towards the northeast. He spoke about Slavic expansionists, about blind, extreme violence in those places, about greed for Italian land.

At a grand reception celebrating Memorial Day in 2007, Napolitano concluded this period of "discovery of history" by speaking of "ethnic cleansing," "Slavic expansionism," "barbarism," and similar accusations against us. It was at this time that the young Slovenian state gathered enough courage to discover its post-war burial grounds and bury the remains of those who were on the side of the occupier.

At this, as a journalist, I immediately had a question: I suppose we wouldn't like our neighbors to sweep their bones from under their carpets into our graves? I responded with a special radio show and some interviews. Other Slovenian media or the journalists were more slow in reacting to this, because the Slovenian revisionists of history had already led them into a dead end of doubts and discord.

After the war, the people killed the Italians did not care

dr. When asked why Italy is doing this, Jože Pirjevec said:

"Slovenia naively fell for the Italians, saying that they are concerned with establishing the truth, but that is not what they are concerned with. Because, this truth could have been found out a long time ago, the lists have been prepared a long time ago, and if there was really a desire for the truth, it could have been arranged a long time ago and for each victim, where they came from, where and how they ended up, by name. But basically, no one cares about that."

Isn't this a constant source of conflict with the neighbors? Is this a continuation of nationalist or even fascist politics? Why do our compatriots abroad have to pay for it? In spite of Ljubljana's old lackey attachment to Italy, Slovenia is an independent country that mainly deals with its own problems, while others pass by. Slovenes in Italy are there, they remain exposed to daily politics, media propaganda and the reaction of the street, they are, if necessary, the "informants" of daily politics, those barbarians or the descendants of those who threw people into fobes. This is also why many people do not dare to speak Slovenian on the streets and in the offices of Trieste.

The problem of unsolved historical questions and their distortion was most succinctly summarized in a conversation by prof. Milan Pahor:

"First of all, it's about two levels. The first is that the Italians are an aggressor nation that first carried out aggression against their citizens of other nationalities (Slovenes and Croats who remained behind the Rapala border, author's note), and then aggression against Yugoslavia, i.e. Slovenia, Croatia and Montenegro, if we are talking about the current countries. This is what they want to hide and they are now beginning to distort it because of one episode that happened after the war, this unfortunate event, the Phoebes. We must, of course, condemn this, but the foibes cannot become Italy's salvation, they cannot shift the guilt of genocide and ethnocide onto a neighbor that did not carry it out at all. However, we cannot even accept the claim that some people ended up in the Feube just because they were Italian, while forgetting about everything else.

The second level is the distortion of other historical injustices, and these are even worse: the burning of the National House and other cultural centers, the victims of Bazovica. At the same time, it must be said that for them the victims from the NOB era are no problem, because they themselves had "resistance". If they recognize the pre-war ones, as well as Rab and Gonars, they would thereby admit that the Italian state carried out violence against Slovenes and Croats.

The third level is how it is written about. Here we do not stay only with the propaganda of the right, there is a broader consensus that extends to the left. This is where the right, burdened with fascism, and a part of the left, burdened with communism, get together and think they will sweep the graves to wash themselves. The scapegoats, however, remain those who are in between, and we are the minorities, especially our minority, which has the peculiarity of having resolutely placed itself in the camp of anti-fascists."

And we could go on: about the primal fear of Slavs that still lives in Trieste, about the closedness of some circles that refuse to open up to other cultures, and about various other prejudices left over from the times of irredentism, fascism, the Second World War and cold war.

The Italian public is influenced by its media, which in turn is controlled by its politics. The other side no longer hears the bell. Once upon a time, almost all of Italy listened to and watched Koper radio and television. Since the new Slovene politics at the time of independence, served the Italian right and closed or sold off the broadcasting system in Italy, we have lost all opportunities to tell and explain our side of the story. How naively our new political elite believed that they would be able to explain everything, all disputed questions and disagreements about the past, with a joint report of Slovenian-Italian historians. But who in Italy, with the exception of our minority and part of the professional public, cares about explaining the common truth? At the same time, the question arises whether they need the truth as a counterweight to Foibe. But isn't this still in the interest of Western right-wing propaganda,

Our compatriots in Italy feel all this the worst. When I recorded shows at their place at the time, some could not even believe how Slovenian politics had let them down, sold them out. I heard a lot of bad things about Foreign Minister Rupel, a descendant of Trieste, who showed very clearly that he would not wet a finger to defend his countrymen.

In response to a journalist's question about Slovenia's position on this issue, Prime Minister Janez Janša said that no revision of the interstate agreement was formally proposed, so he thinks there is no point in dealing with it. President dr. Janez Drnovšek replied to the journalists that he will already write a letter to Napolitano, but it will not be intended for public consideration.

At the same time, I got the impression that these politicians of ours, this incitement of the Italian nation with Foibe, even suits some Slovenians and Croats. The only very clear answer from Slovenian official politics, apart from the Union of Fighters, came from the European Member of Parliament Mojca Drčar Murko, who also connected this with the mass granting of Italian citizenship in places that were previously under their occupation. However, Croatian President Stipe Mesič answered Napolitano and Italian politicians very clearly from the right level that in these statements "it is impossible to overlook the traces of open racism, historical revisionism and political revanchism".

Of course, in Italy, the local media came after Mesič, even Brussels was attracted to it, but Croatian journalists, media and politicians are much more state-building than Slovenian ones, so Napolitano also put a different emphasis in his speech in the following years, saying that: "It is also important to remember in order to reflect on fatal mistakes and never repeat them again."

Three years later, it was Giorgio Napolitano who invited Slovenian President Danilo Türk and Croatian colleague Ivo Josipović to Trieste and had the catchphrase about the "spirit of Trieste" written down in history as a spirit of reconciliation and cooperation. But he never apologized for what his country or even nation did to ours.

State decorations for criminals

More. On the basis of the law from 2004, they also started issuing some posthumous acknowledgments to the victims of the Phoebes and the exodus, which were signed by the presidents of the country, including Napolitano. Among those who were given posthumously were several war criminals. Milovan Pisari collected and published some examples of decorated persons who have their files in the Archive of Yugoslavia in Belgrade together with the other 3,693 Italian war criminals on the website http://www.diecifebbraio.info and published in 2012, namely:

Romeo Stefanutti, who was awarded in 2006 and again in 2007, participated in the killing of nine civilians and the burning of fourteen houses in the Buzet area, as well as numerous arrests of people who then ended up in concentration camps.

Vincenzo Serrentino, awarded in 2007, as a fascist judge of the speedy court in Šibenik, sentenced many anti-fascists to death without evidence or the possibility of a defense. His file lists 16 death sentences by firing squad for 1941 alone.

Bruno Luciani, awarded in 2007, was one of the most inveterate war criminals from the so-called Collotti Gang of the Trieste Special Police Inspectorate. Around 5,000 people, mostly Slovenes, as well as Jews and Italian anti-fascists from the Julian region, were tortured, killed, and sent to Rižarna or concentration camps here.

Iginio Privileggi, awarded in 2007, who, among other things, tortured Ivan Jelovac for 8 days and then killed him in the forest near Poreč together with his squad leader.

Giacomo Bergognini, awarded in 2009, was one of the carabinieri who led the aforementioned crime in the village of Ustje in Vipava. He was captured while fleeing to Italy and then sentenced to death.

 Image of part of file no. 24978 from cover 234 of the Archive of Yugoslavia on the war criminal Gicomo Bergognini (Source: ibid.).

Luigi Cucè, who was honored in 2011, participated in the torture and massacre of people on Dugi otok on the island of Pašman in July 1943.

Even worse: in 2018, before Memorial Day, the infamous Trieste prison was named Koroneo after Ernest Mari, who ran this prison during the worst collaborationist fascism, when Trieste was under German occupation.

But even this has already been drowned out by the public in an endless mass of irrelevant and sensational news, especially in Italy, where journalism has always been state-building or even loyal to the ruling politics. Together with the politicians, they continue and increasingly turn the lie into the truth that Italians are just "brava gente", patriots and victims. Right-wingers say that they are victims of Tito's bloodthirsty communists, and left-wingers of German Nazis and Slavic barbarians, and that only because they were Italians. Some have even come close to Slovenian, so that they now write about the victims under the red star. At the fall of Fascist Italy in 1943, there were, according to some estimates, as many as 90,000 Italian soldiers, carabinieri, customs officers and various other employees of the Italian state in Yugoslavia, as well as people who had lived since the war, but the Yugoslav partisan army let them all go home. people dressed them in civilian clothes and also gave them food. But not everyone put on the red star and joined the partisans. Why weren't they shot? Those who refused to lay down their weapons and surrendered to the Germans were shot, as they remained enemy soldiers.

The reaction of the Slovenian media was even sadder. Even then, they were much more concerned with post-war massacres and changing history than with these Italian Foibe and spitting on our compatriots. Any kind of defense would mean at the same time a denial of the post-war events in our country, or at least a different view of them. Despite all the punishments, bullying and mobbing of those who tried to show this post-war event as a consequence of fascist and war horrors ten times greater, most journalists did not want to resent the right, which explains that our fascists were also patriots and only fighters against communism. but not collaborators and traitors to the nation.

Long live Italian Istria, long live Italian Dalmatia!

Since Slovenia did not respond to the previous distortions of history and the harboring of hatred towards us, let alone the cultivation of old fascism, especially with the rise and worship of fascist collaborationism here and in Croatia, the Italians dare to exploit this more and more. Thus, during the celebration of Remembrance Day in 2019, we could hear again from their president, Giorgio Mattarella, that it was not a matter of revenge against the fascists, but of killing out of political-ideological, ethnic and social hatred of Italians ( "frutto di un odio che era insieme ideologico, etnico and social" )

Even worse Foibe and even demands were heard at the ceremony at the monument to the fake Foyba in Bazovica. In addition to almost the entire local and national political summit, this national pomp was attended by Antonio Tajani as the President of the European Parliament, who in his speech almost shouted in a Mussolini style: "...viva l'Istria italiana, viva la Dalmazia italiana, viva gli esuli italiani, viva gli eredi degli esuli italiani. Evviva coloro che difendono i valori della nostra Patria" ("... long live Italian Istria, long live Italian Dalmatia, long live the descendants of the Italian ezules. Long live all who defend the values ​​of our Motherland."

After the protest of our European parliamentarians, he began to apologize evasively, saying that he was thinking only of the ezules.

Even worse in terms of content was the equating of the victims of Auschwitz with these indoctrinated executioners, which Italian Interior Minister Matteo Salvini indulged in. From our side, Janez Janša and Branko Grims and their media were soon attracted to this. The mayor of the city of Trieste demanded an apology from us for the crimes we allegedly committed against their nation.

In Italy, the cradle of fascism, it apparently survived. Why else would they try so hard to forget the horrors of their fascism, to attribute them to us Slavs, the biggest victims of their fascism, why do they claim that these people were killed by Tito's partisans with a red star on their caps and only because they were Italians?

Why do they emphasize so much the fact that they were killed after the war just because they were Italians, why do they hide their inappropriately larger and worse post-war massacres. It is not only about current internal reasons, not even about the economic crisis and the elections, as explained by some RTV correspondent from Rome or our doctor of political science, but about the strengthening of their nationalism and even fascism, in which economic crises are also exploited, and migrants are populist, who are fleeing to us because of the spread of American democracy in the Middle East and North Africa.

It is repeating what already happened before the two great world wars, when Italian irredentism and fascism, with the very obvious support of the world rulers, began to spread their hands across our territory. That's why Tajani shouted like their new CasaPound squaddies "Viva l'Istria italiana, viva la Dalmazia italiana!"

At the same time, we must emphasize that the Ezuli in Italy even have a kind of municipal administration in exile, which they claim will one day return to their cities. Can you imagine that the descendants of Slovenian refugees from fascist Italy would have their own municipalities of Trieste, Gorica... with their own mayors in Ljubljana and Maribor? I've heard that their Roman authorities even have license plate abbreviations reserved for the occasion, and sure enough, you still get lists of "Italian municipalities" in their documents, and in Ezul organizations they regularly hold elections for the mayors of those municipalities.

The image of the recording of the speech of the President of the European Parliament, Antonio Tajani, is still challenging Slovenians and Croats online (YouTube source).

 

To this must be added the rather aggressive policy of Italy towards these places and the people who remained on our land. The most obvious was the offering of Italian citizenship to all those born in Primorska and Istria during the time of fascist Italy, as well as their descendants, then the extremely generous awarding of their pensions or compensation for serving in their army, monetary compensation for new monuments or restoration of old ones in our cemeteries, etc.

FOIBA of the FAKE

The Bazovica Šoht as a foible of Italian patriots started to be talked about again in 1980, but the real meaning was only given to it by the president Francesco Cossiga in 1991, i.e. when it was clear that Yugoslavia would no longer exist. His successor, Oscar Luigi Scalfaro, declared it a national monument by decree of September 11, 1992. This was followed by a propaganda manipulative tsunami, in which, according to Violante Fini's agreement, all parties, all politicians, their institutions and, of course, all the mass media, with the state radio and television (RAI) at the head, became involved.

The discussion in Trieste about what kind of monument will be built at the BazovicaGmajna, what kind of additional building will be built or a real mausoleum with exhibition spaces, and additionally a museum about the Phoebes and the exodus in Trieste, etc., was very heated. At the same time, the monument to our Slovenian heroes from Bazovica was often desecrated.

Rižarni's counterweight altar

The abandoned coal mine is on the land of Boršta in Jusara, which belongs to the municipality of Dolina, and it borders the village of Gmajna in Bazovica, where the heroes of Bazovica were shot, which is already under the municipality of Trieste. Edvin Švab was the mayor of Dolina at that time. He, as well as some other municipal councilors, told me how they opposed it in every way for a long time. Šoht was already covered with a concrete slab at that time, and next to it was a small, modest stone monument to the infojbirani (the one with 500 m 3 corpses). This is how Švab continued the conversation:

"Now they wanted to make a kind of counterbalancing altar to Rižarni, where they killed our people and anti-fascists, or collected them for German camps. We said that they already have such a monument in Rome. In general, we were against the mausoleum, which would be directed against Slovenes in Italy, Slovenes across the border, Yugoslavia and other Slavs. We warned them that we do not see the perspective of the world if we continue to cultivate hatred and that there may be fights again."

"Wouldn't it be time to open this cave?" I asked him.

"The goal of this hoax is to manipulate the consequences brought about by the war. I have been to Rome and Ljubljana several times to sort out this problem, to open the mine and see what is in it. Italy needs this foible to inflame passion and to develop Foibe, such as the movie Heart in the Abyss."

"With this, they hurt you, the Slovenians in Italy, the worst?"

"We already have a hardened skin, actually a noble skin, open to friendship and cooperation between people. Not only here, but also in the world. We have to live like this, as Milan Kučan said during his last visit, not next to each other, but with each other. There will be no progress with hatred."

The construction of the mausoleum did not take place, but a large "Foib museum" and a huge monument with a memorial building were erected in Trieste in Gmajna pod Bazovico. The municipality and the owners of the land relented on the promise that they would also organize a monument to Slovenian heroes in Gmajna and its surroundings, a shooting range near Opčine, where the heroes of the second Trieste trial, many hostages, captured couriers and partisans, and some other monuments were executed. Rome and Trieste forgot about it for many years. The contract with the municipal fighting organization VZPI - ANPI on the transfer of management of the shooting range as a memorial park was signed only by the mayor of Trieste, R. Dipiazza, at the end of 2019 (half a year after the publication of this book). A real surprise was the installation of a commemorative plaque in autumn 2010 at the barracks building in Cologna Street, where the Special Inspectorate had its second torture chamber and prison.

"This is just a patch on the wound, but the fear that was put into my head there still hurts me," Jordan Zahar told me after returning from the unveiling of the plaque.

Some fighters from Trieste and Slovenian intellectuals tried to convince the Italian public and the authorities that before the construction of this great monument on the BazovicaGmajna, they should get to the bottom of the truth about Šoht. The doubt remained that the English military engineers, who were cleaning this cave in 1945, did not reach its bottom.

However, in Italy, politicians change, but strategic national policy does not. They stuck to the answer given to such a request by the Italian parliamentarians as early as 4 February 1959 by the former well-known Italian politician and then Interior Minister Giulio Andreotti, that large quantities of explosives and oil were also thrown into the coal mine on these bodies, which would have been represented a great danger in parts. According to their claims, the bodies of the slain Italian patriots were under this explosive, which was thrown into the caves by the partisans before their departure from Trieste. (It's strange that nothing exploded when the English engineers threw a heavy steel ladle into it, with which they cleaned everything that had been thrown inside during the war? Or after Trieste cavers searched its bottom?).

On February 10, 2007, a magnificent monument was ceremoniously and officially opened at the Gmajna in Baz near Šoht, which also includes a memorial building or mausoleum with a permanent exhibition. On this occasion, of course, war veterans with "bersaglieri" hats and pens and journalists from all journalistic houses from Italy and even Slovenia also gathered here. As for the content of the speeches and interviews, I'd better not lose my words.

500 cubic meters of corpses

In addition to the main monument with a cross and the reception building, there are also several stones and plaques with various inscriptions dedicated to individual groups and units, even the police, i.e. the special inspectorate and the "Collotti gang".

On one of the plaques it is written: "Oh you who ignorantly walk on this Karst, hard but good, stop. Stand by this huge grave…

Here, in the spring of 1945, an unimaginable post-war horror took place. Hundreds of us were thrown into the abyss, riddled with bullets and hard rocks. No one will be able to count us. Conquering gluttony, enmity, and cruel vengeance raged against us. Being Italian, it was our fault…

We were plunged into the abyss by the hordes of conquerors who rushed to our earth under the influence of the red star...

Ignorant, remember our sacrifice and spread the word about our tragedy"

Of the memorials, the most photographed and published is the rock in the background of the central monument, which shows a cross-section of the fobe and what is supposed to be in it, of which the information about those mysterious 500 cubic meters of corpses, otherwise written as " 500 cubic meters of material containing corpses'. There are many who turn these cubes into corpses, some claiming that each cube contains three corpses, others seven and so on.

These 500 cubic meters of corpses are supposed to be in a layer under a thick layer of ammunition from the time of the war from 1940 to 1945. Who is supposed to throw this ammunition inside: the partisans? Yes, those partisans who collected each cartridge separately and each rifle and repaired it if necessary, because the partisans did not have their own mines or factories for the production of ammunition and weapons. Neither did the Germans, because due to a lack of raw materials, every unexploded shell had to be sent to Germany for reprocessing. Is this the weapon discarded by Italian soldiers when Fascist Italy collapsed in 1943? Then it should be under the corpses.

  The most photographed stone in Bazovica, showing what is supposed to be in this abyss called Foiba di Basovizza. (Photo by M. Ivančič)

 

Detail of the stone with a diagram of the coal pit and markings and measurements of what should be inside. From top to bottom: -135 m, depth measured in 1957, then below them to the right: various waste. 198 m, measured in 1945, under them on the right side is written ammunition from the time of the 1940-1945 war. Below that it says that the sector is 500 cubic meters containing the corpses of the infojbers. This is supposed to end at a depth of 228 m, which was in 1918, and below that there are waste and Austrian cannons from the First World War. The true bottom is marked at 256 meters, from where a 700-meter-long horizontal tunnel turns to the right (Photo: Miloš Ivančič).

"Special Cemetery"

So who filled this coal shaft with corpses? If there are corpses below, then the Italians threw them there before, after the First World War. This is also what some of the older locals I talked to claim. They didn't throw the corpses of their slain enemies inside, but of their comrades-in-arms, then threw on them the useless, but dangerous, that was still available on the old front line. Then, with explosions, they covered all this with earth and stones, which crumbled from the walls of the shaft. This was supposed to be done by the Italian military sanitary unit from Trieste at the end of the First World War.

Right in the old port of Trieste, there was a huge collection center for all those returning from Austro-Hungarian captivity. These were starving and sick people, many also wounded, but for the Italian generals they were no longer honorable people, but cowards, deserters and traitors, because those who retreated at the front were shot themselves. At that time, the Spanish flu also began to spread, which claimed an almost greater blood toll than the war. And this mass of Italian soldiers was dying right in Trieste.

Primož Sancin also found this information very easily in the Trieste archives, namely by looking at the lists of those who died at the time, their dates and comparing them with the previous ones.

Primož Sancin also wrote a letter to the editors of Piccola about this and they also published it, but it was like throwing a drop of red paint into the sea. He also showed me the evidence he had collected and while pointing his finger at the copies he narrated as follows:

"There are more than two hundred bodies of Italian soldiers in Šoht.

When the Austrians and Germans broke through the ranks of the Italian front at Kobarid and the majority of the Italian army quickly fled towards Piavia, many surrounded Italian soldiers remained at the front, who were captured or simply surrendered themselves, as they had no more ammunition or food. It was the Italians who then accused them of being responsible for the defeat. The Austrians did not drive these soldiers into the interior, but left them here along the former front, mainly because there were too many of them to keep or even guard in those war conditions, and because they were in a hurry to catch up with the main body of the retreating or more precisely fleeing armies.

It was said that there were a lot of them, around 300,000. Of these, 160,000 were returning to Italy via the port of Trieste. These Italian soldiers were returning or fleeing home in a very disorganized manner, as people often met them even in the middle of Istria, asking them where the nearest route to Naples or Sicily was. And from there they were also directed to the port of Trieste, since all the railway lines were destroyed. From Trieste, those destined for central Italy were taken by ship to Venice, and those in the south to Bari. Of these 160,000 who came to Trieste, 12,000 fell ill due to malnutrition and mainly Spanish flu and typhus. Of these, 3,300 died in Trieste."

With that he began to leaf through a pile of copies of the lists of the dead and spoke:

"Let's look at this death certificate: on November 26, 111 died, the following days 155, 135, 129... 606 soldiers died in five days. This was written down by Cesare Panini, who later became the fascist substate of Trieste, and at that time he was a municipal official in charge of the census of these very dead soldiers. And also where they are buried, he wrote, so that relatives could come to the grave. In this list, which is written in alphabetical order, there is also a number... and it says here that those from this number to this number are buried in the cemetery at St. Ani, from one to the other, at the former Austro-Hungarian cemetery near Žavlje.

It was no longer talked about. Angelo Visintin wrote about this in his book, but he did not research where these bodies were. Those soldiers who managed to get home told what was happening in Trieste and accused the Trieste authorities of not giving them food or clothes. In Silos, where they lived, because of the cold, they burned everything that was burning. Petitti, however, threatened to shoot them with machine guns because they considered them traitors. Only the Americans, the English and the Red Cross took care of these soldiers... It also says how much food they gave them. At the time of the occupation of Trieste, the Italians were responsible for more than 3,000 dead, three times more than the Yugoslav army, about which they talk so much.

In 1926, all the soldiers had to be dug up and transferred to the collection center in Vilež, from where they were then taken to the Redipulja memorial cemetery. Those who arranged it came to the cemetery and... well, here is this information: there are 230 of them, who are in Šoht, Bazovica. Well, look here: Giorgino Formica died on 27.11. soldier Bersalier 13th from Avellino, buried the next day 28th, place of burial space 2nd, without coffin. Here, however, it is attributed that in 1927 it was dug up and honorably transported to the military cemetery in Vileš. But look at what's written down here: “Non trovato.” So they didn't find him! If they didn't find it, they didn't transport it either. Where is? Where they threw him. And that's how it's credited with all of these, look... Excuse me, but if it says here that on November 28, 1918, he was buried right here, and then nine years later they dig up this very marked grave and find it empty, then he rose from the dead and left. Since we know that this is not possible, the only explanation is that he was not buried where it says, but somewhere else.

 Copies of the census sheets of the dead and buried. All but one of these two have the annotation "Non Trovato" (Not found) highlighted in yellow. See excerpt (Source: Biblioteca Civica Attilio Hortis, Trieste/ Primož Sancin).

 

Why? Back then, too many people were dying and there weren't enough people to bury them. This cemetery, however, is a single stone. And then it was necessary to bathe only with the hands. They dug in the cemetery 24 hours a day, but they were no longer successful, as 180 people were dying a day. However, since the Spanish flu was spreading at the time, these corpses represented a great threat of infection... Those who performed this work complained bitterly, and there is also a telegram from a senior officer in which it is written that there must always be enough space in the special cemetery for the dead. In other words, this means that in this case they can be thrown into an abandoned mine shaft near Bazovica, because there is a mine shaft along their path and it is not a karst cave, but an excavated shaft that can also be used for burial. That is why they wrote on the list of "buried" that 1.

Colonel Grassi's letter that there is always enough space in the special military cemetery (Source: Biblioteca Civica Attilio Hortis, Trieste/ Primož Sancin).

So it's not the Austrian cannons in this fib, but the Italian soldiers. There are no cannons inside, but if there were, people would have pulled them out and sold them well in that economic crisis. And the opening is too small, too narrow to throw a cannon through.

I myself am sure that all those who have this note "Non trovato" are right here in the Bazovian phobia. That's why this very abyss has remained the only one at least partially unexplored."

Those cubic meters of corpses, which are supposed to remain in the abyss below the level to which the English engineers cleaned, are not victims of Titoism or communism, but of Italian unculture or extreme nationalism, proto-fascism, which was already turning into a new fascism.

Sancino's story is complemented by numerous documents about the Spanish flu at the time. According to data from the book Dagli Asburgo a Mussolini Almeriga Apollonia of Trieste, otherwise known as esula, 13 officers and 1,222 Italian soldiers died in the old port of Trieste between November 8 and 25, 1918 alone. The dead were even lying half-naked along the road to the railway station and in Silos, as the wagons did not manage to take them to the cemeteries in time.

List of dead soldiers in Trieste with the annotation that numbers 632 to 2460 are buried in the Žavlje Military Cemetery, which does not exist at all (Source: Biblioteca Civica Attilio Hortis, Trieste / Primož Sancin).

Of course, the Italians also have a law that requires a mandatory respectable burial of people, their corpses or just remains. It also specifically requires the separation of human parts from animal parts. Many, especially Slovenian fighters and anti-fascists, demanded this from the Italian government. The most resounding request was the lawyer Berdon, but all to no avail, it stopped again with Andreotti's reasoning that it was too dangerous because of the discarded ammunition and weapons. Well, they didn't throw it away until after the English engineers had cleaned everything they could from Šoht with a heavy scoop, and there is no word about explosives or weapons in their minutes.

Many of the citizens of Primorsky who had a taste of Italian fascism, as well as the younger ones we met from stories, and especially those who lived or drove past the construction site of the monument to Foibe, could not believe their eyes that what they were doing was really possible. They tossed those bones around with an excavator, because the English did not separate them from the horse carcasses. Many protested, but no one who could take action listened to them. Having said that, I heard that later, after the departure of the English engineers, the authorities from the municipality of Trieste collected some bones from that new cave and buried them at Sveti Ana in six or ten coffins, but...

 

 Foiba di Basovizza (Photo by M. Ivančič).

 

Remains of the former "škovacon" (dump), as Šohtu is called by Sancin, who points to where he found the most (Photo by Miloš Ivančič).

The cross-section of Šohta, according to the story of Sancin, has a marked place at the bottom right at the bottom, where the bodies of the Italian soldiers who died after the First World War or the so-called i Cimitero speciale militare (Source: Jordan Zahar).

 

Primož Sancin, who was also pained by this, decided to go with a pick and shovel to dig and rummage through what was left outside the new wall of this memorial park to see what was in their land. He worked there for days and days, and everything he found, he then sorted into vases and boxes at home in the evening. He says he has "quintals of these goods". While he was collecting this, he was very often visited by the carabinieri, but they could not do anything to him, since he was doing it outside the walls and on his own land. It was not his fault that the excavators pushed a lot of things outside the boundaries of the plot.

Of course, I asked him if he had found any bones, and he showed me some smaller, or rather pieces of bones, which he had kept in special boxes. As a non-expert I could not conclude whose they were, at first glance some of them looked like animals, the kind left over after lunch, but some pieces were very suspicious. When he was opening these boxes for me, it was absolutely clear to me that there used to be a Trieste dump and also the waste of American industry. There were a lot of metal mechanical parts and bakelite remnants of the electronics of that time, parts of batteries, various wires, nails, buttons and other remnants of clothing, as well as an incredible amount of bullets and casings, cartridges especially for a small-caliber rifle. It was interesting to me that the bullets were not known to hit anything after being fired, at least something harder.

Pictures (above and on the next page) of objects found in the immediate vicinity of the monument in Bazovsko Šoht (Photo: Miloš Ivančič).

 

 

The propaganda industry

First of all, it is necessary to remember the old fascist attitude towards us as Ščavas, then the Cold War, the right to lie about communism as much as you want and about what you want, including or especially at the expense of the nations that adopted it as their political system. Then you have to remember the history of Italy, its former states, the nationalism with which they were united, and fascism, which, at least temporarily, very well glued them together into a monolithic state. After the fall of fascism, this glue began to loosen, and the cracks began to be glued with ezuli. They were well organized from the beginning and received a lot of help from the state, which is not comparable to what happened before the war in Yugoslavia, especially in Drava Banovina, with Slovenes and Croats who fled from the actual fascist terror in Yugoslavia. Not to mention what they got as compensation...

Italian nationalism and ours (not to mention fascism) are fundamentally different. Slovenian nationalism developed from patriotism with a desire similar to that of Italy, i.e. the desire to unite the nation. They achieved this goal in the "right time", but ours only in the special conditions of the Second World War. Even before the First World War, in the new and great united Italy, Italian nationalism could grow into imperialism, colonialism and irredentism, and after the war into nationalist and imperialist fascism. In Slovenia, nationalism only developed during the Kingdom of Yugoslavia, as a response to Serbian and partly based on Croatian. Of course, under these conditions, it could not develop into an Italian or German type of fascism, but closer to Austrian, Croatian and Spanish klerofascism, which was primarily a defense of religion against godless communism.

In Italy, this division began only after the fall of the fascist regime and the German occupation. In the north, most of the fascists joined Mussolini's new army of the Saloese Republic, the most famous of which is the X MAS, and the left-leaning part of the nation, following the example of the rebel movement in France, Greece and especially Yugoslavia, began to organize into partisan units. Italian nationalists did not all define themselves as fascism, many kept their original desire for a free Italy and joined the resistance movement, which was led by the KPI. However, some smaller independent completely right-wing resistance units also appeared, and clashes between the left and the right are also known (the example of Osoppo). The Italian resistance movement was modeled after the Yugoslav one, but with few exceptions it was led by their communists.

This situation was also known in the post-war period, which was shaped not only by the influence of the West or pro-American capital, politics and media, but also by the Soviet information bureau, since the Italian communists and socialists were a constant threat to win the elections. Why information bureau? Because, as I already mentioned, in the dispute with Yugoslavia, their Communist Party sided with the Soviet Union and recognized Stalin as the undisputed leader of all Communists in the world. This was, of course, a reflection of the post-war conditions at the time, but also, at least partially, of the Italian strategy of expansion or unsatisfied territorial appetites, the unexplained genesis of their fascism and the unexperienced cleansing catharsis of a nation that, before this catastrophe of humanity, more than majority believed in fascism and also voted for fascists.

If we remember again the Cold War, the Korean, Vietnam and other wars, terrorism around the world, the Red and Black Brigades in Italy, the demolition of the Berlin Wall, the disintegration of Yugoslavia and the disintegration of the entire Eastern Bloc and we connect this to Italy, then it is clear that every patriotic, and even more so, nationalist politics tends to the unity of the nation (except ours). Given its hypocritical policy, Italy went one step further. It did not build on its own shoulders, but with a new hatred towards its neighbors, as well as a fascism adapted to the new times and conditions, which also developed in the disintegrated Yugoslavia. In our country, he started riding the horse of post-war massacres. Thus, Italian neo-fascists once again found themselves on a common front with Slovenian, Croatian, Serbian, Bosnian...

This new fascism comes from the dictatorship of capital, the partitocracy. His strategy is populism, fear and hatred of immigrants, and the most important method of operation is media manipulation of the masses, and in manipulation, the destruction of truths and the transformation of history. Their holiday should also be understood in this context and it should be emphasized that this is not only a law on the day of remembrance, it is not only a law on a holiday like ours on the annexation of Primorska or Prekmurje, but the law on the duties of state institutions, local communities, the media, all schools requires not just commemoration, but active restoration of memory.

It must be said once again that their Ezulu organizations are not only well supported by the state, but also by local politics. With this, they confirm their belonging to the country and are the main pillar of their nationalism or the rope that binds Italians together.

With the new law and financial support, it was not difficult for these organizations to organize a veritable tsunami of political manipulations that were supposed to erase the old memories of the ugly side of Italian history. Not only did they shoot films and documentary programs for television, but they also organized lectures and ceremonies for those who died in the Feubes in every town and in every school. But at the same time, they lacked documentary material. There were some photos about the resettlement, also some pictures and a short German film about the cleaning of Fojba near Pazin, which was already filmed by the Germans as propaganda material during the war.

But they needed evidence of violence. They found them among old photographs of their fathers, which were taken right in Yugoslavia. "Heroes" loved to take pictures of themselves with victims and burnt houses, so that they could brag about how brave soldiers they were or real fascists.

Partisans in helmets of the Italian army

Among the first, a photo showing how a military firing squad shoots civilians became very popular. The soldiers were said to be Tito's partisans, and the civilians were Istrian Italians. It didn't even bother them that these "Tito's partisans" or "bandits" were all dressed in the uniforms of the regular Italian army and all wore Italian helmets without the red star.

This motif became so popular that even their artists began to depict it. Our foreign historians, who had already seen the material in the Ljubljana Museum of Modern History, quickly recognized that it was a photograph from the Loška Valley, in which Italian soldiers shoot Slovenian civilians from the village of Dane on July 31, 1942. Even the names are known, the shooters are not, but they are soldiers who were carrying out the orders of General Mario Roatta. The victims are Franc Žnidaršič, Janez Kranjc, Franc Škerbec, Feliks Žnidaršič and Edvard Škerbec.

 Original photo of the shooting of the hostages in Denmark (Source: nuovaalabarda.com / MNZS)

 

 

One of the first posters commemorating the memory of the Italians who were killed with the motif of Italian soldiers shooting Slovenian civilians from Dan. On the next page.

Examples of four posters abusing the same photo (Source:.diecifebbraio.info)

 

Screenshot of the RAI Porta a porta show with Bruno Vespa (Source: diecifebbraio.info).

 

The photo of the shooting of the hostages became even more famous after the broadcast of the first national program of Italian radio and television, Porta a porta, on February 10, 2012, hosted by one of Italy's most popular journalists, Bruno Vespa. During a long polemical conversation or accusing the Slavs, he had this very picture as his full-screen background. The Italian historian of Slovenian descent, Alessandra Kersevan, who was supposed to give the appearance of objectivity to the show, wanted to point out that this photo proves the exact opposite, but Vespa took her word for it. When Kersevanova called a press conference in Rome the next day, the Italian police also showed up. Of course, our Slovenian television was not there, because it preferred to report on the celebration at the fake pub in Bazovica the next day.

An unprecedented desecration of the dead

Combatant organizations reacted to the extremely immoral misuse of this photo and the desecration of the memory of its victims. In February 2012, the president of the Association of Fighters for the Values ​​of the National Liberation Struggle Cerknica, Miro Mlinar, sent a letter to the President of the Italian State, in which he politely reminded him of the content of the photographs and the historical facts. Among other things, he wrote:

"After the Italian-German attack, without a declaration of war, on April 6, 1941, we were annexed to the Kingdom of Italy by royal decree no. 291 of May 3, 1941, which established the Province of Ljubljana. Our area was part of the district of Logatec (Longatico, 564.78 km 2and 24,710 inhabitants) and was entrusted to the Border Guards XI. army corps, whose commander was entrusted with the internment of the civilian population. The document dated May 25, 1942 provided for the deportation of the civilian population of "southern Kočevski and the Lož-Stari trg basin", a total of 10-12,000 persons "almost exclusively women, children and the elderly". But on May 31, 1941, the XI was formed from the border guard units of this area. a tactical group under the command of Colonel Alberto Seraglia, who was then assigned to the 8th "M" Black Shirt Battalion. Already on June 29 and 30, 255 persons were arrested for deportation.

The situation worsened after July 16, 1942 during the XI offensive. of the Army Corps, which lasted until November 4, 1942 and should be known by the Italian people as part of the "more complicated events on the eastern border". What happened in our area is described in the reports of Umberto Rosino, civil commissioner for the district of Logatec (Longatico). We have a touching account of what happened in the eastern part of our area, combed by the "Granatieri di Sardegna" division under the command of divisional general Taddeo Orlando, in the diary of Pietro Brignoli, military curate of the 2nd grenadier regiment, which he commanded at the time Colonel Umberto Perna, published in 1973 under the title "Masha for my shot". The reflections published on pages 124-127 are extremely important.

As a detail that shows the events of that time and narrower area where the photo in question was taken, we list the crimes that were committed in just four days:

A. On July 29, 1942, 8 persons were killed in Dana: three women and five men;

B. On July 29, 1942, 1 man was killed in Grajševka;

C. On July 29, 1942, 9 men were killed in Jermendol;

D. On July 29, 1942, 5 men were killed in the Podcerkva;

E. On July 30, 1942, 2 men were killed in Podgora;

F. On July 30, 1942, 40 men were killed in Babne polje;

G. On July 30, 1942, 7 men were killed in Lož;

H. On July 31, 1942, 5 men were killed on Križna gora;

On August 1, 1942, 27 men were killed at Ulaka.

Among these 104 (among the 271 killed in the months of July and August by the units under the command of Colonel Seraglia), under the letter H, there are five shot dead from the photo in question, who were forced to dig their own graves before being shot. That the Italian soldiers caused the suffering of the Slovenian civilian population in this way is proven by five photographs, which were probably taken on July 25, 1942, during the intervention of the black shirt unit in Zavrh, north of Lož.

The Italian State undertook, by Article 29 of the Capitulation Regulations of September 29, 1943, to immediately arrest and hand over to the United Nations forces persons listed as war criminals. This obligation was confirmed by Article 45 of the Peace Treaty with Italy of February 10, 1947, but the Italian Republic is not known to have honored this obligation. The commander of the "Granatieri di Sardegna" division Taddeo Orlando (appointed on March 26, 1943 as a Knight of the Military Order of Savoy for the activity he carried out in Slovenia from May 1941 to September 1942) was the commander-in-chief of the Carabinieri when General Mario Roatta, his time commander of the 2nd Army (High Command of the Armed Forces in Slovenia and Dalmatia) from March 18, 1942 to February 4, 1943 in prison on other charges. On March 4, 1945, Roatta was able to escape with the connivance of Orlando. We know nothing about the fate of Colonel Umberto Perna and Colonel Alberto Seraglia, nor do we know the name of the commander of the 8th Battalion of the Black Shirts "M". Disrespecting the accepted obligations to punish war criminals is certainly not in the honor of Italy, just as it is not in its honor to disrespect articles 185-189 of the Military Criminal Code. And after this shame, there was also the indecent appropriation of our fallen."

He also reminded him of the attitude of our partisan army towards the Italian nation and its army. Despite these crimes, they were twice invited to join them in the fight against the Germans, but they did not respond, except for a few:

"After September 8, 1943, Italian units were invited to join the Slovenian army to fight against the German armed forces. Even then, the Italian soldiers did not respond, but nevertheless our army helped them to go home. The 73rd Infantry Regiment, which left Metlika with other units, passed through our area on September 13 and reached Trieste without losses."

After all this, especially with the countless internet postings about the abuse, this photo no longer appears. Italian anti-fascists and their organizations also helped expose similar manipulations, but neo-fascists wouldn't be fascists if they didn't immediately find other photos for manipulations in their arrogance. Therefore, they used lesser-known photos of their own and foreign fascist crimes from Dalmatia, Montenegro, even from Italy, France, German extermination camps and Srebrenica.

Let's look at some of the most shameful examples of the desecration of the memory of the victims of fascism, with which the world wide web was also flooded, but after the Foibe were exposed, they began to delete them and replace them with new photos and drawings.

The victims of the Italian massacres have to dig their own graves (picture above), and then the Italian national television Rai 3 (picture below), which is under the leadership of the left, portrays them as Italians (Source: bresciaanticapitalista.com).

The above picture is entitled Yugoslav soldier kicks an Italian, and the article below is Abyss for those who resisted Tito, but as we can see in the photo, it is not Tito who beats the hostage while they are leading him to be shot, but an ordinary Italian soldier (Source : brescia-anticapitalista.com.).

 

This photo and also the first one on the next page are from the same series of the Italian hostage shooting in Dalmatia and are in the collection of the Museum of Yugoslavia in Belgrade.

Shot Montenegrin hostages from the same series of photographs of the Archive of Yugoslavia in Belgrade (Source: criminidiguerra.it).

A seized photograph of an unknown massacre of Jews, allegedly near the Baltic, is also used to prove the massacre of Polish officers in the Katyn forest, although the victims are apparently in civilian clothes (The photograph is located in the JLA Museum in Belgrade.)

Examples of forgery of documents at RAI:

Image on the left: The announcement of the TG2 special show Dosier in 2019, in which it is written that it is about 10,000 people who were killed by the Yugoslav communists just because they were Italian (Source: Facebook, Slovenes in Italy).

 

 

Image on the left: Announcement of the special broadcast of the third national program on Remembrance Day 2018. (Source: meteoweb.eu and FB).

 


In this desire to condemn the Slavs and Tito's communists, the Italian nationalists are able to defile their own victims as well. This is a photo of the hanged 27 Friulian partisans from Premarjek in Friuli on May 29, 1944 (among them one from Gorica and one from Novi Mesto) (Source: bresciaanticapitalista.com).

 

 

 

Abuse of a photo of a Chetnik slaughtering a partisan by changing the background and mirroring (Source: Archive of Yugoslavia, Belgrade/ bresciaanticapitalista.com).

Examples of misuse of photos of the German Holocaust (Source: bresciaanticapitalista.com).

 

An example of the desecration of photos of victims from Srebrenica. Left: A color picture published in Trieste's Il Piccolo, under which it is written that this is part of the corpses that were dug up from some foibe. Right: The respected Corrie della sera publishes the same photo under the title Srebrenica after 15 years. (Foto ODD ANDERSEN / AFP)

 

The higher these manipulators are, the more demanding literature they use to argue their Foibe. Below right is a photo from the book by Dr. Jožeta Pirjevac: Foibe. Una storia d'Italia, which shows the post-war burial of victims of fascist and Nazi violence in Ajdovščina. Below are the photos of invitations to commemoration on Remembrance Day of the Chamber of Deputies of the Italian Parliament and the Montecitorio, or Chamber of Deputies.

 

 

(For: diecifebbraio.info)

 

 

To inflate their Foibe, they also borrowed photos from their French neighbors.

The original photograph (and source) showing the flight of the French from the German army, and below it has been reworked to commemorate the Italian martyrs of the Phoebes and the Exodus.

Below: invitation to the central celebration of Puglia (Source: www.lavocedimarug-gio.it.

 

 

The same image as the invitation of the Italian Democratic Party, which is the successor to the KPI (Source: diecifebbraio.info).

 

These French children were even used for a propaganda leaflet for a new film, which, after the success of Heart in the Abyss, was also made with taxpayers' money for the state broadcaster RAI. The film had the working title Rosso Istria, and it shows exactly what their fascists and also ordinary soldiers liked to do to Yugoslav women, but the other way around, we are supposed to do to their nation.

Italians apparently cannot decide what Tito's partisans should look like. At first they were shown in nice uniforms and with helmets on their heads, but when the bloggers convinced them that those who were shooting civilians were Italian soldiers, they made a second film, following the example and success of Src v Brežno in 2018, which they named Red land (Red Istria). In this case, the partisans are all bandits of a disorganized gang dressed differently, most of them even without tights and red stars. So they returned to the old fascist depiction of partisans as bandits, i.e. bandits (Source: Primorski dnevnik / lospecialista.tv).

The heart in the well.

Below: the promotional poster at the start of the filming of the film Rosso Istria and on the left: the final poster, when the origin of the first one was discovered by our Slovenian foreign bloggers (Source: Primorski dnevnik: "Fleeing from the Germans and not from the Partisans").

 

 

 

 

 

 

 Photo source: nuvaalabarda.org, diecifebbraio.info, bresciaanticapitalista.com, criminidigu-erra.it, Facebook/crimes by Italians against Slovenians and others already mentioned.

 

Because their falsifications and desecrations are sooner or later discovered by our compatriots abroad and exposed on social networks, manipulators must always look for new photos to desecrate historical memories. In 2019, they used a photo by Mario Magajna showing children from Padriča, a Slovenian karst village above Trieste.

 Photo of Slovenian children from Padrič, published by RAI as a photo of Istrian refugees (Source: Primorski dnevnik).

 

Fascism is alive

After all this exposure of their fakes and Foibe, in 2020 the propaganda machine was dominated by a photo of a girl with a suitcase with the inscription ESULE GIULIANA on it. This girl is the well-known Mrs. Egea Haffner of Trento today. When the newspapers wrote about her, we could read that they fled from the communists from Pula in 1946, that her mother was the daughter of a Croat and an Italian from Istria, and her father was Kurt Haffner, who came from Hungary. The picture was taken in Pula, when he and his mother were preparing to leave. They went because after the end of the war, in which he was a translator for the Germans, the father never returned, and the mother saw his shoes around the neck of a partisan. According to her mother, he should have ended up in Fojba, Pažina. Thus Il Giornale.it.

Clipping of thumbnails of posters with Egee Haffner's photo from an online search engine

The fascist machines of inventing Foibe and manipulations continue to work. With the development of digital photography and tools for their processing, today it is no longer necessary to steal old photos and process them, but a new one can be taken and made old, along with a false statement and sold as the truth with the document. Much of this can be found today in modern mass media, especially on the Internet.

As late as 2019, at a meeting of the Istranian Association in Trieste, Berlusconi's statement that the Italian camps were only resorts was further developed. As we read in the Primorske dnevnik on February 27, they said that "Rab was not a camp, the Italian fascist army was not criminal, and half of the internees in Gonars went to the camp voluntarily to escape the Germans and communists. Journalists should know this when they write about history, they emphasized at today's consultation, which was organized by the Unione degli Istrani (Union of Istrians) at the seat of the regional government in Trieste.

It is therefore a well-known lie of false history, with which even our right, and especially the European right, equates Nazism and communism by obscuring the causes and reversing history, so that as many surviving building blocks of fascism can be incorporated into the new liberalism.

However, these Istrian and Dalmatian refugees could at least know the photographs of children from the Italian concentration camp on Rab. As it is down here, you have to remember it.

 Children in the "outpatient clinic" of the Italian concentration camp near Kampor on the island of Rab. (Source: revije.si/ ​​Borec/2014).

 

Tourism at the expense of Foibe

Not only that! They even used the "Bazoviško Fojba" as a tourist destination. According to data from 2019, it has already been visited by more than 122,000 people, mainly schoolchildren, who are lectured about their criminal neighbors. Even more is the fact that, compared to the previous year, this visit has increased by more than 16 percent and will apparently soon be the most visited place in Trieste. Those who explain the "historical event" are primarily volunteers from Ezule and far-right organizations.

The Slovenian state is a slave state

So that I don't go back to what has already been said, let's finally just try to analyze what happened during the resounding celebration of Remembrance Day in 2019 and next year on the centenary of the burning of the National House in Trieste.

In our media, we have heard many times about what happened during the 2019 celebration, that our politics finally reacted uniformly to these accusations and falsification of history. Maybe this is at least partly true for what Tajani was saying, partly also for Mattarella, but not at all for what their interior minister Matteo Salvini was saying. The answers show that our politics is badly divided, that it does not know the history well, especially of Primorska, and especially that our right wing is more burdened with hatred towards the communists than towards the former masters or bosses of the White Guard and other domestic traitors.

Although our national television emphasized the statements of our European parliamentarians from the Slovenian right more than from the left, it soon became clear that the right-wingers were very quickly satisfied with the apology of their president Tajani, while the left was not. However, this was clearly stated by the users of social networks and the signatories of the petition, who demanded the resignation of Tajani. But this does not depend on the minority European left, nor on the outraged Slovenian public, but only on the European parliamentary majority, which is more or less in the hands of the European right, which also includes our SDS, NSI and SLS.

We really cannot say that we are united with what the excerpts below show, but everything is confirmed by the tweets of the leader of our right-wing opposition, Janez Janša and his colleagues, who also used this opportunity to manipulate.

A few months later, we could see a published map of great Italy with the Rapala border, all of Istria, Kvarner and Dalmatia published online and in newspapers by the Trieste municipal councilor Lorenzo Giorgi, and a few days after that a map of great Hungary, which belongs to our Prekmurje.

Excerpt from an online publication on the portal www.nova24TV.si., where the first sentence says it all, that SDS deputies respect the recent tribute of Italian politics to the victims of revolutionary communist violence (Source: same).

Pictures on the next page: Excerpts of posts on the social network: At the summit of Salvini, who, in response to the protest of the Slovenian Prime Minister regarding the equating of the victims of Auschwitz and the Holocaust, manipulatively expanded his claim by asserting that there is no difference between whether a child is killed by a Nazi or a Communist. Below: a snippet of Branko Grims and Janez Janša's tweets, which of course support him (Source: Facebook).

 

The best answer to Salvini was the ordinary citizen Andrej Bolčina from Dolenje Brdo in a letter to the Italian ambassador, in which he wrote, among other things:

“They were shot and thrown into caves only because they were Italians. This is a lie. They were invaders, occupiers and bearers of the new fascist order in Europe. If there is any innocent among them, I apologize, but only when the Italian state officially apologizes to us Slovenians for all the woes committed between 1918 and 1943. The comparison about the murder of children in German camps and in karst caves is also untenable. There are no children in the halls. However, it is known that in the concentration camps Rab, Gonars, etc. more than 150 children died of hunger and disease. These camps were built and filled by the Italian occupier in the years 1941-1943. I am not aware, Mr. SALVINI, that there were any children "fucilato da 'la mano dal uomo con la stella rosa" in the karst caves. But I know that the unborn child from the mother's body finished "su la bayoneta di soldato Italiano". On February 23, 1943, a unit of the Italian Royal Army killed the entire Bizjak family on Gora nad Ajdovščina. A family of five was brutally murdered and thrown into the fire of a burning house. Among the dead were two children, one unborn. They ended up on the bayonets of these frenzied criminals. And they didn't even allow a decent funeral. Baptisms were banned, the local pastor was forced. Even the dead were humiliated because their remains were only allowed to be collected in an ordinary "kišta". Rebels - bandits deserve nothing else, they said. The deed was done only because a strict blackout (copri fuoco) was ordered, and the housewife-mother lit a candle to cook chamomile for the sick child.' In 1943, a unit of the Italian Royal Army killed the entire Bizjak family on Gora nad Ajdovščina. A family of five was brutally murdered and thrown into the fire of a burning house. Among the dead were two children, one unborn. They ended up on the bayonets of these frenzied criminals. And they didn't even allow a decent funeral. Baptisms were banned, the local pastor was forced. Even the dead were humiliated because their remains were only allowed to be collected in an ordinary "kišta". Rebels - bandits deserve nothing else, they said. The deed was done only because a strict blackout (copri fuoco) was ordered, and the housewife-mother lit a candle to cook chamomile for the sick child.' In 1943, a unit of the Italian Royal Army killed the entire Bizjak family on Gora nad Ajdovščina. A family of five was brutally murdered and thrown into the fire of a burning house. Among the dead were two children, one unborn. They ended up on the bayonets of these frenzied criminals. And they didn't even allow a decent funeral. Baptisms were banned, the local pastor was forced. Even the dead were humiliated because their remains were only allowed to be collected in an ordinary "kišta". Rebels - bandits deserve nothing else, they said. The deed was done only because a strict blackout (copri fuoco) was ordered, and the housewife-mother lit a candle to cook chamomile for the sick child.' They ended up on the bayonets of these frenzied criminals. And they didn't even allow a decent funeral. Baptisms were banned, the local pastor was forced. Even the dead were humiliated because their remains were only allowed to be collected in an ordinary "kišta". Rebels - bandits deserve nothing else, they said. The deed was done only because a strict blackout (copri fuoco) was ordered, and the housewife-mother lit a candle to cook chamomile for the sick child.' They ended up on the bayonets of these frenzied criminals. And they didn't even allow a decent funeral. Baptisms were banned, the local pastor was forced. Even the dead were humiliated because their remains were only allowed to be collected in an ordinary "kišta". Rebels - bandits deserve nothing else, they said. The deed was done only because a strict blackout (copri fuoco) was ordered, and the housewife-mother lit a candle to cook chamomile for the sick child.'

Italians know very well that the signatory of this letter is not the president of the country, nor of any party.

Even our Association of anti-fascists, fighters for NOB values ​​and Koper veterans started a new "fight" for the truth. In doing so, we received a lot of support from our local public, local historians and, to our pleasant surprise, also from anti-fascist and militant organizations across the border, not only the ANPI - VZDI association, in which many of our compatriots are members. They also supported other Italian anti-fascist movements, not only border ones, but also deep in Italy. Anti-fascism is also alive.

 Ceremonial signing of the document on the friendship of anti-fascists and fighter associations from Koper, Milj and Trieste in Koper on May 15, 2019. Photo: M. Ivančič

 

Our media paid almost no attention to this event, let alone that our national television or someone else, with state support, would ever make a film about, for example, the event on Gora? Or how the interned children on Rab counted 83 corpses of fellow sufferers who died of complete exhaustion, malnutrition and disease after Christmas night?

... and the lie became the truth

However, what is the use of the sense of the veterans of two nations, who, in an act of reconciliation between the two nations, sign a document of friendship, but when they want the glory of reconciliation, however false, with a fig in their pocket, picked politicians, new rulers who need electoral votes. This was an opportunity both for the third government of Janez Janša and for the President of the country, Borut Pahor, who even bowed to the murdered war criminals for historical reconciliation and erected a monolithic wall of reconciliation in the middle of Ljubljana, which divided the nation more than it calmed it down.

In Slovenian politics, there is no such statecraft that Luciano Violate and Gianfranco Fini were able to show, in order to achieve the appeasement of the nation through an agreement, even at the expense of our neighbors, who really wanted to destroy us. We Slovenians remain slavish, our fascism did not come from our nationalism, but from slavish collaborationism.

Thus, the diplomacy of the two countries, in the face of the new situation of fear of refugees and the viral pandemic, began to negotiate and agreed that each would use the centenary of the burning of the National House in Trieste for their own interests, which should have been returned to the Slovenes a long time ago.

Many compatriots from abroad organized themselves into the public group #NEVNAŠEMIMENU and clearly warned the Italian side that it is not about the return of the National House, but the recognition of the lie about the Phoebes, and that bowing down at Šoht is a betrayal of the nation. They organized a visit to President Boruta Pahor, demonstrations in Ljubljana and several protests, including in Bazovica. But without hope.

 A group of protesters from Tržaški protesting in Ljubljana against the worship of Pahor at "Foiba di Basovizza" (Source: FB David Daneu/Severin Kovačevič).

 

On July 13, the two presidents held hands and paid their respects, first at Šoht, and then at the monument to our heroes in Gmajna, but their status as terrorists was not erased. Then in Trieste they staged a big theatrical farce of signing a letter of intent to return home, which will actually be returned only in ten years, or maybe never. Our president had to bow down to the Foibe of Šoht just for that.

The Slovenian umbrella organizations welcomed these symbolic actions, as they were once again assured that the National House will indeed be returned, and hope that relations in Trieste will become more tolerant.

The Italian fascists and Ezule organizations did not like the "return" at home and bowing in Gmajna, but they accepted it with great approval precisely because of the homage of the president of the Slovenian state on their altar of Foibe. Already on the same day, online Piccolo published an article with the meaningful title Applause for Mattarelli and Pahor from Salvini to Zingaretti(Secretary of SD). The agreement between Fini and Violante, the right and the left, on the reconciliation of the Italian nation at the expense of us Slovenes or Slavs is making excellent progress. In the highlighted text, the editors then emphasize the words of the president of the region, Massimiliano Fedriga, that with this action of Mattarella and Pahor, everything that happened was finally recognized, and the mayor of Trieste, Dipiazza, that this action is the crowning act of the three presidents' concert. At the same time, we must remember that after Muti's reconciliation concert in Trieste in 2010, Foibe, manipulations, attacks on Slovenians and fascist manifestations and their demands only intensified. Before this "peaceful" meeting between the two presidents, Trieste and Gorica hurried to use the opportunity for one more commemorative day of changing history and not spreading hatred, i.e. July 12.

With this, the Slovenians got a beautifully staged and touching television show in which the two presidents hold hands despite the Covid-19 pandemic and a new promise to return the national home, while the Italians got the recognition of the President of Slovenia that all their Foibe about foibles are also the truth. Our President Pahor got an even brighter aura of a historical reconciler, who did not only shoulder the slaughter of Ustasha and Chetnik war criminals, but also of Italians, on our Slovenian shoulders. Our right wing and Italian fascism thereby strengthened and spread the lie even more than the truth, and the next day in the round table of the Rete Veneta television, the Jews made it clear that they can now address all their claims for compensation directly to Slovenia, because Slovenia is recognition, also took over all responsibilities from the former Yugoslavia.