On the occasion of the National Memorial Day of the Exiles and Foibe, Italian Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation Antonio Tajani paid a moving tribute to the memory of the victims of the foibe massacres and to all the people from Istria, Fiume and Dalmatia who had to leave the lands where they had lived for countless generations.
“Between 1943 and 1945, blind violence struck so many innocent people for the mere fact of being Italian”, Tajani remarked. “Among the victims were many members of Italian law enforcement agencies – dozens from the Carabinieri, 391 from the Polizia di Stato and 700 from the Guardia di Finanza – who were slaughtered in a barbaric manner. For too long, knowledge of these events remained only among historians, relatives of the victims and exiles. It is thanks to the essential contribution of all of them that the memory of those terrible tragedies has been preserved and disseminated, culminating in the institution of the National Memorial Day of the Exiles and Foibe”.
According to the Deputy Prime Minister, “the memory of what happened in those tragic years on the eastern border is an integral part of Italian history and the institutions of the Republic have a duty to remember the suffering of so many families overwhelmed by one of the tragedies that marked Italy the most”.
Europe has made great progress since those years, freeing itself from totalitarianism and nationalism, and achieving many of the goals to which the generation that came out of the war aspired, starting with the affirmation of the values of peace, democracy and the rule of law. In this respect, relations between Italy, Croatia and Slovenia provide an example of deep friendship and cooperation.
Yet, recent history, with the conflict that has broken out in the heart of Europe, has shown how necessary it is to keep our guard up against those who deny our values, including by keeping alive the memory of the tragedies that have marked Italian and European history.