The Museum Collection of the Kastav Region

KASTAVŠTINA BETWEEN WARS

Kastav area before and after demarcation, map from around 1930

Kastav and the Kastav area were part of the Austro-Hungarian Monarchy. Together with Istria and the islands of Kvarner Bay (Krk, Cres, Lošinj, Unije, and Susak), they formed part of the Austrian Littoral and belonged to Cisleithania. The nearby town of Rijeka belonged to Transleithania, i.e., it was under direct Hungarian rule. The Austro-Hungarian Monarchy had an administrative border that divided the Austrian and Hungarian parts of the empire, also dividing the Kastav area from the town of Rijeka and its environs. The boundary crossed over today’s 3. Maj shipyard, Zamet, Host, Drenova, and Klana all the way to Snježnik. The situation remained the same until November 1918, when, after the close of World War I, the Austro-Hungarian Monarchy capitulated. Just before the Monarchy’s dissolution, the State of Slovenes, Croats and Serbs was established, which attempted to establish authority over the area without success. The 1915 Treaty of London, signed by the Kingdom of Italy and the Triple Entente (Great Britain, France and Russia), set forth the conditions for Italy’s occupation of Istria, the Kvarner Bay islands and Rijeka, along with Trieste, Gorizia, and parts of Carniola and Dalmatia. The Italian occupation of these areas began with the fall of the Austro-Hungarian Monarchy. As soon as they arrived, Italian military commanders abolished the national councils of Slovenes, Croats and Serbs in Istria and the Croatian Littoral. The seat of the provincial authorities for Istria was set up in Poreč, while the centre of the governorate of the Julian March (Venezia-Giulia), which included Istria, was in Trieste. Istria was then divided into six districts (mandamento politico): Pula, Poreč, Pazin, Kopar, Volosko-Opatija, and Mali Lošinj, administered by civilian commissaries.

Kastav and the Kastav area shared the same fate in 1918. Following the death of renowned Kastav Mayor Kazimir Jelušić, who was replaced by Dr.FranjoJelušić for a brief period, the Italian commissaries came. The first to arrive in Kastav that year was Captain Camillo Bruno, followed by Generoso Rizzo, while one of the last ones in that period was Sir Petar Clementi. The situation in the town of Kastav was resolved with the signing of the Treaty of Rapallo in 1920, when the territory of Kastav and part of the Kastav area were freed and annexed to the Kingdom of Serbs, Croats and Slovenes.

Treaty of Rapallo, 1920

Regions of Istria 1920–1924, from the book Istra i Rijeka u prvoj pol. 20. stoljeća (1918–1947) by D. Dukovski

Free State of Rijeka 1922–1924, from the book Istra i Rijeka u prvoj pol. 20. stoljeća (1918–1947) by D. Dukovski

The Treaty of Rapallo was named after the small town of Rapallo, near Genoa. The treaty was signed by the Kingdom of Italy and the Kingdom of Serbs, Croats and Slovenes (SCS) on 12 November 1920. Its purpose was to regulate borders and relations between its signatories, whereby the Kingdom of SCS was in a less favourable situation. Already under the 1915 Treaty of London, the Kingdom of Italy was granted the right to occupy areas promised to it by the Entente. Under the Treaty of Rapallo, the Kingdom of Italy resolved the contested matters from the Treaty of London and the Paris Peace Conference (1919-1920) to its advantage. The Free State of Fiume (Stato Libero Fiume) was established, while Trieste, Gorizia, Gradisca, part of Carniola, Istria (except for a part of the Kastav Municipality), Zadar, the islands of Cres, Lošinj, Lastovo, and Palagruža were annexed to the Kingdom of Italy. The Kingdom of SCS guaranteed the Italian minority the right to use their language and practice their religion and opt for Italian citizenship, while the Croatian and Slovenian populations in the areas granted to Italy were not guaranteed the same rights. The main negotiators on the part of the Kingdom of SCS were Prime Minister Milenko Vesnić, Foreign Minister Ante Trumbić and Finance Minister KostaStojanović, while the Italian negotiators were Giovanni Giolitti, Carlo Sforza and Ivanoe Bonomi. Following the signing of the Treaty, Trumbić resigned from his post as foreign minister of the Kingdom of SCS. On the very same day, the Anti-Habsburg Convention was signed, whereby the two countries declared their commitment to prevent any restoration of the Austro-Hungarian Monarchy or the return of the Habsburgs to power.

The Treaty of Rapallo was also unfavourable for the Kastav area, even though the actual town of Kastav and its environs were free from Italian occupation. Namely, the Kastav Municipality encompassed Lisac and Klana on the north, Sveti Matej (present-day Viškovo), Rečina, Drenova, Pehlin, and Zamet; VelikiBrgud and Mali Brgud to the west; and south through Matulji and Preluk to Kantrida, with access to the sea. The Treaty of Rapallo divided the Municipality of Kastav between three states. The Kingdom of SCS was given the areas of Kastav, Pehlin, Sveti Matej (now Viškovo), Saršon and Rečina. The Kingdom of Italy received Matulji, Jurdani, Brešca, Zvoneća, Brgud, Breza and Klana, while the Free State of Fiume was granted Zamet, Kantrida all the way to Preluk and a part of Rubeš. Italy retained the forests in the vicinity of Studena within its borders, along with freshwater springs along the Obruč-Ravno-Loza-Rubeši boundary and the quarries in Trinajstići and those near SvetiMihovil. Finally, on 14 May 1921 a protocol was signed between the Yugoslav and Italian military commanders and preparations began to liberate Kastav and parts of the Kastav Municipality, which occurred on 26 May. The last Italian commissary in Kastav, Lieutenant Mario Perna, removed all furniture and documents from his Kastav headquarters, and even wanted to remove the windows. Kastav and the Kastav area were liberated, even though they suffered immense territorial and substantive losses of a larger part of the former municipality.

Treaty of Rome, 1924

La questione di Fiume 1919–1924, Drenova Heritage Museum

Demarcation committee in front of the church on Zamet in 1924, from the book Kastav i Kastavština u prošlosti i sadašnjosti

Zamet – the 1924 border, Drenova Heritage Museum

The Treaty of Rome encompasses the Accord on cooperation and cordial friendship between the Kingdom of Italy and the Kingdom of SCS, and the Agreement on Rijeka. They were signed in Rome on 27 January 1924. The parties were by accord obliged to maintain a truce and the order created following World War I, and to render mutual aid in case of a threat to either. The Agreement on Rijeka abolished the Free State of Rijeka (Fiume) established under the Treaty of Rapallo, and the Rapallo border was altered. The Kingdom of SCS had its sovereignty over the ports of Delta and Baroš recognized, and the Thaon di Revel port basin was leased to it for a symbolic annual sum of 1 lira. The border was also altered in the Kastav area, so the road between Rijeka and Kastav belonged to the Kingdom of SCS, by which the villages of Zamet and Rubeši were liberated, and the new border was set between the road and Rijeka-Pivka rail line, while the Rijeka train station was to be managed jointly by both signatories. With the abolition of the Free State of Fiume, the Kingdom of Italy annexed the city and made it part of its territory. The treaty regulated the rights of the Croatian minority in the Kingdom of Italy, which had not been resolved by the Treaty of Rapallo, along with relations between border areas and customs. The treaty was signed on behalf of the Kingdom of SCS by Prime Minister Nikola Pašić and Foreign Minister MomčiloNinčić, and, representing the Kingdom of Italy, Benito Mussolini.

The Treaty of Rome provided for the liberation of a part of the Kastav area. The former Rapallo border was moved south from the Kastav-Rubeši-Zamet road to the Rijeka-Matulji-Pivka rail line, by which the villages of Zamet and Rubeši, along with the road, went to the Kingdom of SCS. The Kastav area encompassed several villages from the former territory of the town of Rijeka, Plasesveti Nikola, Pehlinsveti Ivan, Drenova-Podbreg, Lopača and Grohovo. The exact borderline was to be determined by a joint committee. Thus, the border committee began determining the border at the very outskirts of the village of Rubeši, by the tri-border landmark (cippoprincipale) of the Kingdom of SCS, Italy and the Free State of Fiume on the Rubeši-Kastav road. The chairman of the Italian delegation would not move the border around SvetiMihovil Hill, insisting that it had to remain under Italy. Thus, a part of the estates and vineyards of the villages of Rubeši and Zamet, and the village of Dolčić, were partitioned. The border was set in Drenova in such a way that the church, cemetery and school remained in Italy, while Zamet was to face the same fate. Upon the arrival of the committee to Zamet, the women of Zamet gathered in front of the church on 26 February 1924. The bells tolled and the unified people shouted at the committee (under carabinieri protection), “We won’t give up what’s ours!” The committee complied with these demands and set the border south of the church. When setting the border in Pehlin, Italy took the military firing range. It was not easy for the people from all border towns in the Kastav area to keep track of the committee’s activities, even as they feared the loss of their lands.

Once the committee completed its activities, the date for liberating Rubeš, Zamet, Drenova-Podbreg was set on 28 February 1924. Furthermore, Croatian was reinstated as the language of instruction at Zamet’s school.

The Kastav area in the interwar years

The Treaties of Rapallo and Rome not only divided the Kastav area, but also harmed it economically. The Kastav Municipality lost its right to manage forests in the vicinity of Klana, which the committee assigned to Italy. Italy also received the area from Kantrida to Preluk, where many Kastav residents had their pastures, vineyards and gardens, while after the 1924 Treaty of Rome and the 1925 Treaty of Nettuno, all lands belonging to the Kastav Municipality that were divided by the border became Italian property. The Kingdom of Italy had an advantage there over the Kingdom of SCS as it was given the Kastav Municipality’s land unconditionally, while it charged a lease for a part of Drenova which was annexed to the Kastav area. Problems also arose in public administration and the judiciary under the jurisdiction of the Italian-controlled Volosko-Opatija district court. Following the liberation of Kastav in 1921, the District Court of Kastav was established for this part of the Kastav area in the Kingdom of SCS. After 1924, the District Court of Kastav was joined by the areas of Rubeš and Zamet, while the Drenova-Podbreg, Grohovo, Lopač, Pehlin and Plas areas were under the District Court of Sušak. Only the registers for those tax municipalities that were not divided by the border were turned over the Kastav District Court, while it took time to exchange data with Italy regarding the remaining municipalities.

Education and the work of schools in the parts of Kastav not under Italian occupation were conducted in the mother tongue. Throughout history, Kastav was renowned for its schools, so between the wars the primary school in Kastav was operational along with those in the nearby villages of Drenova-Podbreg, Studena, Marčelji, Sveti Matej, Zamet, Saršoni, Trnovica, and Kukuljani. The teachers and trade schools were in Kastav itself, while one class of the trade school was held in Zamet.

Following the establishment of the border, traffic conditions became a major issue for the Kastav area. Most maintained roads were cut by the border, so that the Kastav area was not well connected to its hinterland. The Kastav-Rijeka, Kastav-Matulji and Rijeka-Trst (passing below Kastav) roads were intersected by the border. The residents of the Kastav area could reach Sušak only by an old, narrow and steep road along the Sveti Matej-Saršoni-Trnovice route that led to the Rječina channel. Often carts would overturn on the Saršoni-Trnovica section before the road was widened in 1929. The poor road connections also affected the arrival of mail, which had to be delivered via the old road from Sušak to Kastav, as the nearby post office in Matulji was now in Italy.

The Treaties of Rapallo and Rome not only divided the Kastav area, but also harmed it economically. The Kastav Municipality lost its right to manage forests in the vicinity of Klana, which the committee assigned to Italy. Italy also received the area from Kantrida to Preluk, where many Kastav residents had their pastures, vineyards and gardens, while after the 1924 Treaty of Rome and the 1925 Treaty of Nettuno, all lands belonging to the Kastav Municipality that were divided by the border became Italian property. The Kingdom of Italy had an advantage there over the Kingdom of SCS as it was given the Kastav Municipality’s land unconditionally, while it charged a lease for a part of Drenova which was annexed to the Kastav area. Problems also arose in public administration and the judiciary under the jurisdiction of the Italian-controlled Volosko-Opatija district court. Following the liberation of Kastav in 1921, the District Court of Kastav was established for this part of the Kastav area in the Kingdom of SCS. After 1924, the District Court of Kastav was joined by the areas of Rubeš and Zamet, while the Drenova-Podbreg, Grohovo, Lopač, Pehlin and Plas areas were under the District Court of Sušak. Only the registers for those tax municipalities that were not divided by the border were turned over the Kastav District Court, while it took time to exchange data with Italy regarding the remaining municipalities.

Education and the work of schools in the parts of Kastav not under Italian occupation were conducted in the mother tongue. Throughout history, Kastav was renowned for its schools, so between the wars the primary school in Kastav was operational along with those in the nearby villages of Drenova-Podbreg, Studena, Marčelji, Sveti Matej, Zamet, Saršoni, Trnovica, and Kukuljani. The teachers and trade schools were in Kastav itself, while one class of the trade school was held in Zamet.

Following the establishment of the border, traffic conditions became a major issue for the Kastav area. Most maintained roads were cut by the border, so that the Kastav area was not well connected to its hinterland. The Kastav-Rijeka, Kastav-Matulji and Rijeka-Trst (passing below Kastav) roads were intersected by the border. The residents of the Kastav area could reach Sušak only by an old, narrow and steep road along the Sveti Matej-Saršoni-Trnovice route that led to the Rječina channel. Often carts would overturn on the Saršoni-Trnovica section before the road was widened in 1929. The poor road connections also affected the arrival of mail, which had to be delivered via the old road from Sušak to Kastav, as the nearby post office in Matulji was now in Italy.

Setting borders

The Italian-Yugoslav border was divided into nine sectors from the Kastav area to Rječina. The Kastav area alone stretched from sector 1 to sector 7. The first border markers, made from cast concrete, were set according to the 1920 Rapallo border. One side of the pole, facing the Kingdom of Italy, was marked with the letter “I”, while the other side, facing the Kingdom of Serbs, Croats and Slovenes, was marked with the letters “SHS”. With the change in the name of the Kingdom of SCS to the Kingdom of Yugoslavia in 1929, the letters “SHS” were replaced with the letter “J”, and the width of the square containing the letters testifies to this. A Roman numeral indicated the sector on one side of the border pole, while an Arabic numeral indicated the ordinal number of the border marker. The border line was marked on the top of the pole along with the next border marker. The principal pole (cippoprincipale) marked the end and beginning of individual sectors. There was a tri-border mark (cippotricontinale) along the Rubeši-Kastav road which marked the border of the Free State of Fiume, the Kingdom of Italy and the Kingdom of SCS until 1924. Following the establishment of the border under the 1924 Treaty of Rome, stone border markers were installed along the Kastav-Zamet road with the same features, only with the designation 1924. Border crossings were set along the border along with military barracks and customs stations (Guardia di Finanza). Zamet, Frlanija, Matulji-Tometići, Spinčići-Jušići, Breza, and Drenova were among the larger crossings in the Kastav area. There were also border crossings on Pehlin, Škurinje, Rečina etc.

The Italian-Yugoslav border was divided into nine sectors from the Kastav area to Rječina. The Kastav area alone stretched from sector 1 to sector 7. The first border markers, made from cast concrete, were set according to the 1920 Rapallo border. One side of the pole, facing the Kingdom of Italy, was marked with the letter “I”, while the other side, facing the Kingdom of Serbs, Croats and Slovenes, was marked with the letters “SHS”. With the change in the name of the Kingdom of SCS to the Kingdom of Yugoslavia in 1929, the letters “SHS” were replaced with the letter “J”, and the width of the square containing the letters testifies to this. A Roman numeral indicated the sector on one side of the border pole, while an Arabic numeral indicated the ordinal number of the border marker. The border line was marked on the top of the pole along with the next border marker. The principal pole (cippoprincipale) marked the end and beginning of individual sectors. There was a tri-border mark (cippotricontinale) along the Rubeši-Kastav road which marked the border of the Free State of Fiume, the Kingdom of Italy and the Kingdom of SCS until 1924. Following the establishment of the border under the 1924 Treaty of Rome, stone border markers were installed along the Kastav-Zamet road with the same features, only with the designation 1924. Border crossings were set along the border along with military barracks and customs stations (Guardia di Finanza). Zamet, Frlanija, Matulji-Tometići, Spinčići-Jušići, Breza, and Drenova were among the larger crossings in the Kastav area. There were also border crossings on Pehlin, Škurinje, Rečina etc.

Stories about border

Borderstone and wire, Kastav – Rubeši, 20th century. From the book Kastav i Kastavština u prošlosti i sadašnjosti

The border between Italy and Yugoslavia, established in 1924, divided the wider Kastav environs (Kastavština). At the beginning of the 1930s, barbed wire fencing was installed along the border.

Rudolf Juretić from Perasovo, an artist, shared his memories of this time in the newspaper Feral published by the Kastav Primary School for the 225th anniversary of primary education there.

From Italy to school in Kastav

I was born in Perasovo in 1927. This village was under Italy at the time. The border passed behind the wall next to our house. When I was six I went to a medical exam for school. Dr.Dabović wouldn’t let me go to school, saying I was still too frail. He said I should spend another year herding goats. I could have gone to school in Matulji. But Matulji was also under Italian control, and it was the patriotic duty of my mother, father and me to go to a Croatian school. So I walked from Italy to school in Kastav.

I could cross the border next to our house, or in Dolčić. The customs office and Carabinieri were near our house. This was the state crossing. The village crossing for people who crossed to work and who lived near the border was in Dolčić. The Carabinieri were all kinds from everywhere. When I went to school, they kicked me in the rear, and not just once. Many times they did not let me cross and chased me away. Then I had to cross at Dolčić, and a few times I had to pass next to Plovanići at the Rubeši crossing, and always alone, because nobody else from here went to school across the border. I repeated the third grade, because I was sick for a long time.

I walked to school in Kastav for almost six years. I remember my teachers Buzdon and Papež the best. Once Papež hit me really hard. She didn’t slap me, because I was already bigger, but she whacked me on the palms with a ruler. I moved my hand, so she hit herself, and I ran off. I didn’t go away, though, because my bag was still in the classroom. I came back, and then she went to get Buzdon. He took me to the bathroom and put me over his knee to spank me.

I began to shout that I had cut myself with the razor I had in my pocket. I didn’t have a razor, I fooled him. He let me go and I fled. I would have gotten whipped with a switch. We often had to bring the switch to school ourselves. After that day I didn’t go to school for 20 days due to fear. After 15 days, a notice came from school that I was not attending. Then my mother took me by hand to school. When we arrived, I knocked on the door of the bathroom, the same one in which teacher Buzdon wanted to whip me. I shouted “good day” into the bathroom and said I was a little late. My mother, thinking I had reported to a teacher, was satisfied and left. Then I ran off and didn’t go to school for another 7-8 days. I would leave home as though I was going to school, but instead I hid behind a wall, sat down, and read. Another notice came from school that I was absent, so then I returned.

School was mandatory. I had to complete four grades. Some continued to the sixth. After fourth grade it was possible to go to Italy, Matulji, and learn a trade. I trained to become an auto-mechanic. During the World War II they sent me to Russia where I trained to be a combat pilot. After the war I worked as an electrician and roadman. I’ve been painting for many years and so far I’ve done hundreds of paintings and I’ve made many wooden statues. I’ve participated in many exhibitions, and I’m particularly fond of exhibitions in the Vincent Gallery in Kastav. Maybe I’ll tell you more about that some other time.

Cited from:

https://kastavzavicaj.wordpress.com/sjecanja/

From Italy to school in Kastav

I was born in Perasovo in 1927. This village was under Italy at the time. The border passed behind the wall next to our house. When I was six I went to a medical exam for school. Dr.Dabović wouldn’t let me go to school, saying I was still too frail. He said I should spend another year herding goats. I could have gone to school in Matulji. But Matulji was also under Italian control, and it was the patriotic duty of my mother, father and me to go to a Croatian school. So I walked from Italy to school in Kastav.

I could cross the border next to our house, or in Dolčić. The customs office and Carabinieri were near our house. This was the state crossing. The village crossing for people who crossed to work and who lived near the border was in Dolčić. The Carabinieri were all kinds from everywhere. When I went to school, they kicked me in the rear, and not just once. Many times they did not let me cross and chased me away. Then I had to cross at Dolčić, and a few times I had to pass next to Plovanići at the Rubeši crossing, and always alone, because nobody else from here went to school across the border. I repeated the third grade, because I was sick for a long time.

I walked to school in Kastav for almost six years. I remember my teachers Buzdon and Papež the best. Once Papež hit me really hard. She didn’t slap me, because I was already bigger, but she whacked me on the palms with a ruler. I moved my hand, so she hit herself, and I ran off. I didn’t go away, though, because my bag was still in the classroom. I came back, and then she went to get Buzdon. He took me to the bathroom and put me over his knee to spank me.

I began to shout that I had cut myself with the razor I had in my pocket. I didn’t have a razor, I fooled him. He let me go and I fled. I would have gotten whipped with a switch. We often had to bring the switch to school ourselves. After that day I didn’t go to school for 20 days due to fear. After 15 days, a notice came from school that I was not attending. Then my mother took me by hand to school. When we arrived, I knocked on the door of the bathroom, the same one in which teacher Buzdon wanted to whip me. I shouted “good day” into the bathroom and said I was a little late. My mother, thinking I had reported to a teacher, was satisfied and left. Then I ran off and didn’t go to school for another 7-8 days. I would leave home as though I was going to school, but instead I hid behind a wall, sat down, and read. Another notice came from school that I was absent, so then I returned.

School was mandatory. I had to complete four grades. Some continued to the sixth. After fourth grade it was possible to go to Italy, Matulji, and learn a trade. I trained to become an auto-mechanic. During the World War II they sent me to Russia where I trained to be a combat pilot. After the war I worked as an electrician and roadman. I’ve been painting for many years and so far I’ve done hundreds of paintings and I’ve made many wooden statues. I’ve participated in many exhibitions, and I’m particularly fond of exhibitions in the Vincent Gallery in Kastav. Maybe I’ll tell you more about that some other time.

Cited from:

https://kastavzavicaj.wordpress.com/sjecanja/

Treaty of Rome, 1941

Italian annexation of the Kastav area

Regions of Istria and Kvarner 1924–1941, from the book Istra i Rijeka u prvoj pol. 20. stoljeća (1918–1947) by D. Dukovski

Fascio, Klana – Gumance, Branko Jani Kukurin

Kastav and the Kastav area, divided by a wire and border between two countries, remained under the administration of the Kingdom of Yugoslavia until World War II. The attack by Italian Fascist and Nazi forces against Yugoslavia began on 6 April 1941, which led to its capitulation. The Independent State of Croatia (NDH) was established in Zagreb as a puppet state that existed until the end of World War II. Soon after capitulation, the Treaties of Rome were signed on 18 May 1941 between Italy and the NDH by Benito Mussolini and Ante Pavelić. These are a set of three documents regulating relations between the signatories. Italy obtained the so-called Zone One, which encompassed parts of the Croatian Littoral and Gorski Kotar (the former districts of Sušak, Kastav, Čabar, and a part of the district of Delnice, along with the town of Bakar and the islands of Krk and Rab), as well as parts of Dalmatia (the Zadar archipelago and the coastline from the Novigrad Sea to the area east of Split, with the hinterland up to the Zrmanja River and Drniš, including all central Dalmatian islands except Brač and Hvar and, further south, the islands of Korčula and Mljet as well as BokaKotorska). The so-called Zone Two, between Zone One and the line running from Vinica, through the Plitvice Lakes, Plješivica, Čabar, Prenj to Troglav, was demilitarized and the NDH was not allowed to build fortifications and military outposts nor maintain naval forces. Even though the Treaties guaranteed certain rights to the NDH as its signatory, Italy, just as in all previous treaties, had a huge advantage in the occupation and Italianisation of the annexed areas.

According to the Treaties of Rome, Kastav and the remaining part of the Kastav area, previously a part of Yugoslavia, came under the control of Italy and the government of the Kvarner provinces together with the following areas: Blažići, Brnasi, Brnčići, Drenova, Hosti, Jurčići, Marčelji, Rečina, Rubeši, Saršoni, Spinčići, Srdoči, Sroki, Studena, Trinajstići and Zamet, a part of Pehlin, and Drenova-Podbreg. During Italian rule, a civilian commissariat was installed in Kastav under the Rijeka prefecture, i.e., its special office Intendenzacivile per iterritoriannessi del Fiumano e dellaKupa. The Kastav area was once again occupied by Italian authorities; however, this time Fascist repression was much stronger in terms of Italianisation, with the banning of fraternities and educational societies in Kastav and the surrounding area. The Italian language was forced into the everyday life of Kastav’s populace.

Adriatic Littoral Operational Zone

Adriatic coast operational zone, from the book Istra i Rijeka u prvoj pol. 20. stoljeća (1918–1947) by D. Dukovski

The Fascist administration of the Kastav area and the Kvarner Littoral lasted until Italy’s capitulation in September 1943. The new situation compelled Adolf Hitler to restructure the German armed forces in northern Italy. Two operational zones were formed at the time – Alpenvorland (Alpine Foreland) and the AdriatischesKustenland (Adriatic Littoral), where the Third Reich took assumed military and civilian authority. The Adriatic Littoral operational zone encompassed the provinces of Friuli, Gorizia, Trieste, Istria, Rijeka, and Ljubljana. Even though it was a part of Italian state territory (Repubblica SocialeItaliana), it was subject to German rule. The formal establishment of the Adriatic Littoral Operational Zone took place in October 1943. The declaration regarding the execise of public authority by a German commissary mentioned the areas of Friuli, Trieste, Gorizia, Ljubljana, and Kvarner, including Sušak, Bakar, Čabar, Kastav and Krk. Following the establishment of the Adriatic Littoral Operational Zone, the repressive application of racial laws was instituted along with punishment of collaborators and members of the people’s liberation movement, who were deported to concentration camps upon arrest.

Kastav and the Kastav area endured another change in occupying authorities that ended with the liberation of Kastav and the Kastav area on 3 May 1945 by Partisan forces.

After the war…

Zones A and B 1945–1946, From the book Istra i Rijeka u prvoj pol. 20. stoljeća (1918–1947) by D. Dukovski

After the end of World War II, the issues of the then already former border persisted. The Yugoslav government in Belgrade accepted the suggestion of the Allies (the UK and USA), according to which the territory of Venezia Giulia was divided into zones A (the area surrounding Trieste and, as a separate part, Pula with its environs) and B (east of the Morgan Line). Zone A was under Allied military administration, while Zone B was under Yugoslav military administration. The problem of the division was resolved by the 1947 Paris Peace Treaties, when the zones were abolished and Yugoslavia received the majority of Istria. During the conference, the Free Territory of Trieste was formed due to unresolved issues regarding Trieste’s hinterland, which resulted in the Trieste crisis in 1953. It was resolved by the 1954 London Memorandum, which confirmed that the former Zone A belonged to Italy and Zone B to Yugoslavia. The border issues between Italy and Yugoslavia were only conclusively resolved by the Osimo Accords of 1975. For a long time following the war, the problem of fallen borders preoccupied European diplomacy, which strived to find a solution favourable to both parties. With the completion of all conferences and negotiations, the border remained became a thing of the past and reminiscences.

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