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HomelandsShifting Borders and Territorial Disputes$
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Nadav G. Shelef

Print publication date: 2020

Print ISBN-13: 9780801453489

Published to Cornell Scholarship Online: January 2021

DOI: 10.7591/cornell/9780801453489.001.0001

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Italy’s Forgotten Partition

Italy’s Forgotten Partition

(p.80) 3 Italy’s Forgotten Partition

Nadav G. Shelef

Cornell University Press

This chapter analyzes the division of Venezia Giulia, a paradigmatic case in which the partition of homeland territory in the aftermath of war came to be accepted as appropriate by those on both sides of the border. At the end of World War II, American intelligence services identified the border between Italy and Yugoslavia as particularly problematic and as a likely location for violent confrontations between East and West. Alongside the raging international conflict of the Second World War, this border zone was the site of an ethnic civil war between Slavs and Italians that was as bloody and bitter as any other. Yet, by the 1970s, this region became a model for regional cooperation. While individual claims for compensation for lost property remain, mainstream Italian nationalists no longer claim the areas they once fought for so passionately as appropriately part of their homeland. The chapter argues that this acceptance was not automatic or inevitable. Rather, the efforts of the governing Christian Democracy Party (DC) to stem additional territorial losses after the war and to overcome the short-term political challenges it faced in the new republic shaped the timing and process of the withdrawal of homeland territoriality from once-sacred land.

Keywords:   Venezia Giulia, homeland territory, Italy, Yugoslavia, international conflict, regional cooperation, Italian nationalists, Christian Democracy Party, territorial losses, homeland territoriality

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