28.03.

1923: Forced Italianization of Croats in Istria

1923: Forced Italianization of Croats in Istria
Photo Credit To Wikipedia Commons / The Istrian peninsula

Story Highlights

  • Historical event
  • 28 March 1923
  • Even the names of the inhabitants of Istria were Italianized (for example, the surname Antolčić had to be changed into Antonelli). Croatian variants of place names were withdrawn from use.

On this day in 1923 Fascist Italy forbade the use of Croatian as the administrative language in Istria. Namely, the areas of Istria and Trieste were annexed to Italy after the end of World War I.

The Italian government almost immediately initiated attempts to Italianize the local Croats and Slovenes.

Violent methods became more common after the Fascists seized power in Italy in 1922. In time, even the names of the inhabitants of Istria were Italianized (for example, the surname Antolčić had to be changed into Antonelli).

Croatian place and street names were also Italianized (Croatian variants were withdrawn from use). The Croatian population was revolted by such policies.

Even the children had to use the so-called Roman Salute (saluto romano) under the Fascist regime. This salute was later adopted by Hitler’s Germany.

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