Edited by Sandro Gherro: Not just the foibe - Notes on the barbaric criminality of Tito's communism

Edited by Sandro Gherro
Ed. Alberto Cavalletto, Padua 2023
pages 79.

“I collect, in this notebook, the articles published in Opinioni Nuove Notizie on the crimes of Titino communism. This is just some episodic evidence of a barbarity of enormous dimensions which has not yet had adequate recognition. For decades the convenience of politics, subtly disguised as Reason of State, preferred silence to denouncing it, conveying the falsification of History by those who denied it or presented it as a just punitive revenge of the fascists." Thus, Sandro Gherro, editorial director of the Opinioni Nuove Notizie magazine, introduces us to this essay, made up of nine articles by different authors, where some aspects relating to the drama of the foibe are discussed, a drama that has been silent or denied for too long and which starts from afar . In fact, the first ethnic cleansing operation by Slavic nationalists against Italians took place in the period 1866-1918 in Venezia Giulia and Dalmatia; the second, in Dalmatia, in the period 1918-1943; the third is that which occurred in the years 1943-1954, where only a small part of the victims of the foibe were fascists“Indeed, not only were the majority of the Yugoslav victims not fascists, but among them were the main Italian exponents of anti-fascism”.

Togliatti, with a letter dated 19 October 1944, conformed to what was authorized by Stalin, relating to the annexation of the territories of Italy by Yugoslavia, writing “in every way we must encourage the occupation of the Julian region by Tito's troops”. And the communists who were against the project were also physically eliminated. “The arrests and killings of members of the CLN of Trieste and of the PCI of Trieste itself, which come alongside the Porzus massacre of the white partisans of Osoppo, sufficiently demonstrate that the Yugoslavs were pursuing a project of ethnic cleansing against Italians as such”.

The list of Italians to be arrested and eliminated was prepared by the OZNA (Department for People's Security) founded on 3 May 1944, “with the task of eliminating any source of opposition that could have threatened Tito and his ruling group once the war was over”. The one carried out by the Tito communists and denied, due to ideological subjection, by large sectors of the Italian left was a real “work of premeditated and without trial annihilation of opponents of the Yugoslav communist regime or more simply of human beings who did not want to share the experience of the Balkan Paradise of the working class”. This fact, which caused the biblical exodus of over 300.000 Italians, a "tragedy that first struck Zadar, the Venetian pearl on the Dalmatian coast" and that “Tito openly asked to sweep away.”

Many people from Zadar, declared enemies of the people, were executed, some by shooting, some drowned with a stone around their neck. Among these there were many religious and “the Italian component of teachers, guilty of teaching our language and our culture”.

In August 1946 Pola was still Italian and the population was almost entirely Italian. “On Sunday 18 August of that year, on the Vergarolla beach, at the Pietas Julia Club, the Scarioni Cup swimming competitions were taking place and the event attracted the presence of many people, including numerous families with children. Suddenly, around one o'clock, a very loud bang made the earth tremble and immediately afterwards a column of intense black smoke rose towards the sky. They were the mines that exploded in the Vergarolla sea. One hundred and sixteen were killed, including many children; over a hundred were injured. […] The massacre was caused by the explosion of nine tons of TNT. […] It was the first massacre in the history of republican Italy”. This action forced the Italians of Pola to abandon the city and board the Nave Toscana. “In June 2014 the State recognized that it had been an attack. […] Before then Vergarolla was considered a misfortune, that is, an explosion that occurred due to unknown causes, such as spontaneous combustion of the TNT and negligence of the Anglo-American administration. Except that TNT doesn't explode by self-combustion.

In 2017, the Minister of Health Lorenzin promised the Gold Medal to the Italian doctor Geppino Micheletti, the symbolic hero of that massacre who operated on the bodies tortured by the explosion, saving countless people, despite having learned that his two children had just lost their life. But the medal has not yet been awarded."

On 2 October 1969, President Saragat awarded Marshal Tito, on the occasion of his first state visit to Italy, the highest state honor, that of Knight of the Grand Cross decorated with the Grand Cordon.

It is recent news that the Coordination Committee for the celebrations of the Day of Remembrance is also working to schedule the bill for the revocation of the title of Knight Grand Cross of the Order of Merit of the Italian Republic from anyone, even if deceased, is stained with cruel crimes and crimes against humanity, like Marshal Tito.

"If it is right to remember the crimes of fascism and Nazism, it is equally right to stigmatize the ferocity of communist totalitarianism."

Gianlorenzo Capano