Venerdì, 19 Ottobre 2018

Italy opens first 'House of Memory' to honour Foibe victims

English
© ANSA

(ANSA) – Rome, June 6 – Italy on Thursday inaugurated its
first museum to honour thousands of Italians slaughtered by
Yugoslav strongman Marshal Josef Tito's partisans by being
thrown alive or dead into gorges called Foibe in northwestern
Yugoslavia at the end of WWII.
"Troubled is the nation that loses pieces of its memory",
said Rome Mayor Gianni Alemanno after inaugurating the museum in
the Italian capital's S. Teodoro street.
Antonio Ballarin, president of the Venezia Giulia and
Dalmatia national association thanked the mayor for "having kept
his promise, as this House of Memory is the first of its kind in
Italy".
The museum also commemorates the mass forced emigration of
Italians from Istria and Dalmatia after the war.
As many as 15,000 Italians were tortured or killed by
Yugoslav communists who occupied the Istrian peninsula during
the last two years of the war.
Many of the victims were thrown into the narrow mountain
gorges during anti-Fascist uprisings in the area.
The exact number of victims of these atrocities is
unknown, in part because Tito's forces destroyed local
population records to cover up their crimes.
The Foibe atrocities were for decades a divisive issue in
Italian politics, with right-wing politicians accusing the Left
of trying to airbrush the massacres out of history and focusing
exclusively on the crimes committed by Benito Mussolini's
Fascist regime.
But in recent years several centre-left politicians agreed
that the Foibe massacres constituted a brutal and neglected
episode in Italian history.
Some, however, still insist most of the victims were
Fascists and other supporters of Mussolini. They also argue
that the massacres were the direct result of the violent
anti-Italian sentiment created by Fascism's crimes in the
region, which had been brutally ''Italianised'' by Mussolini.
In 2005 Italy instituted a Day of Memory on February 10
to commemorate the Foibe atrocities and the tens of thousands
of Italians forced out of Istria and Dalmatia when these
lands were given over to Yugoslavia after World War II.

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