Borderlands of Memory. Croatia (Istria-Kvarner) – Slovenia (Primorska) – Italy (Friuli-Venezia Giulia)

The Memory of War and Violence in the 20th-century northeastern Adriatic

Route and destinations of the study trip:
Lipa (Croatia) Gonars (Italy)
Basovizza (Italy) Risiera di San Sabba (Italy)
Kobarid (Slovenia) Pula (Croatia)
Log pod Mangartom (Slovenia) Rijeka (Croatia)
Redipuglia (Italy)  
Map Study Trip Route and Destinations

Essays – Overview


Lipa - A small place with a powerful story / Interview with Danica Maljavac, Memorial Museum of Lipa

The location I remember the most from the study tour of Italian, Slovenian and Croatian places of memory is Lipa. It seems like a small, neglected village at the Croatian-Slovenian border that gives comfort to a small group of habitants, but it actually holds a frightening and very important story.

Martina Draščić | Read more



BasovizzaThe insurgent organization Revolucionarna organizacija Julijske krajine of Trieste, Istria, Gorica and Rijeka (known as T.I.G.R.) was established in September 1927 by a group of Slovene liberal nationalist activists. A few months after its birth, at a meeting in Trieste, another group connected to the T.I.G.R. established another organization, Borba which also included Croat activists from Istria.

Nino Mavrinac | Read more


T.I.G.R. and the heroes of Basovizza - Between event-history and Slovenian mythologizing

About two kilometres east of Trieste is located the small town of Basovizza.  After about ten minutes driving time, romantic streets lead to an isolated plateau with the sea on its left and Mediterranean forests on its right. Mountain bikers, hikers and nature lovers arrive here to enjoy the beauty of the city`s hinterland.

Pavle Sachenbacher |Read more


Culture of remembrance and Italian politics of memory concerning the Istrian foibe

BasovizzaThere is an essential thing about history, that many people are not aware of, but which should always be included in historical research. A historical truth does not exist. What exists are approximations of what happened, which can be, more or less accurate and are often constructed by communities of memory.

Vera Spanner | Read more


The history of events of the „Infoibamenti“

Before World War 2,  the term „Foibe“ was just a geological term, describing the dipping karst-gulfs in Istria, which run in their multitude from the back-country of the Bay of Trieste to the Dinaric Alps. These karst-gulfs are characteristic for the landscape of the Istrian peninsula.

Eva Meidinger | Read more


The Forty Days of Trieste

Basovizza“History, on the other hand, is the reconstruction, always problematic and incomplete, of what is no longer. Memory is a perpetually actual phenomenon, a bond tying us to the eternal present; history is a representation of the past. Memory, insofar as it is affective and magical, only accommodates those facts that suit it; it nourishes recollections that may be out of focus or telescopic, global or detached, particular or symbolic-responsive to each avenue of conveyance or phenomenal screen, to every censorship or projection.

Ana Begovac | Read more


The Soča Front and the Battles of the Isonzo – A Perspective of Cultural Memory

KobaridMy topic of interest in the following essay is the Soča Front, especially the Kobarid valley, where the twelfth and final battle of the Isonzo took place in October of 1917. The entire Soča area is so rich with memories because of the historical happenings of World War I.

Ricarda Klein | Read more


Divided towns of Gorizia and Nova Gorica: Communicative memory vs. cultural memory

The aim of this small investigation is to show the discrepancy between communicative and cultural memories and their impact on the building and maintaining of social identities in the Italo-Yugoslav border region, particularly with respect to its special case of the towns Gorizia and Nova Gorica.

Alexander Kuperdyaev | Read more

Log pod Mangartom

Remembering the Bosnian Infantry

Bosnian regiments and battalions were incorporated in the joint Austro-Hungarian army since before the annexation crisis. Although stationed in other parts of the dual monarchy, their members were drafted from the region of the Bosnian towns of Tuzla, Sarajevo, Mostar and Banja Luka.

Fabian Bonertz | Read more


Italian Sacrari Monuments - (Caporetto/Kobarid, Redipuglia, Oslavia and San Michele)

In 1938, Italy's fascist government built a huge sacrario on the site of its famous defeat in the Battle of Caporetto (Kobarid in Slovenian). Situated on St. Anthony's hill, the monument was built in an octagonal shape and contains the remains of 7,014 fallen soldiers (2,748 of whom are unidentified) who were brought there from military graveyards situated along the upper Soča river region.

Aleksandar-Ivan Tatić | Read more


The forgotten Italian concentration camp of WW II

The history of concentration camps during the Second World War is mostly concentrated on the study of concentration camps in Germany and Poland. The history of concentration camps in other countries is not researched in the same way. In particular, there is not so much information about the system of concentration camps in Italy, the main ally of Nazi Germany.

Magomed Anasov | Read more


Decay of Memories and Fostering Remembrance of Yugoslavian Monuments: Gonars and Petrova gora

GonarsFollowing World War II, the new socialist regime raised monuments with the aim of marking historic sites and spreading a unified national consciousness. These sites honoured the anti-fascist struggle and the military progress that led to the constitution of the Socialist Federation of Yugoslavia.

Maja Mustač | Read more

Risiera di San Sabba

History of Triest - Timeline

1382 – 1918: Trieste is under the Austro-Hungarian authority. 18th century: During this period of time, a lot of people are coming to Trieste: immigrants, investors, refugees, etc. Trieste is gaining its "cosmopolitan city" title, thanks to its becoming the most important port in the Austro-Hungarian Empire. Trieste becomes the fourth largest city in the Empire.

Dajana Pemac | Read more


A Concentration Camp as a Museum

Risiera di San SabbaOne can hear footsteps in the museum's yard. These are the steps of tourists in Risiera di San Sabba, via Giovanni Palatucci 5, Trieste, Italy. 100,000 tourists a year visit this former concentration camp. Majda Pupena heard footsteps, too when she was in the camp as a prisoner.

Alexandra Mikheeva | Read more


Discourses of silence: the Risiera and the foibe

Discourses of silence that surround the Trieste concentration camp known as the Risiera di San Sabba and the foibe, mass killings by partisans all over the Julian Region in the Upper Adriatic, are of a twofold nature: that of eloquent silence and imposed collective amnesia.

Tea Marković | Read more


(Re)Writing history: textbooks in Croatia

This work concerns history and culture of memory as subjects of educational curriculum. Particular attention is paid to elementary education, which represents an educational experience common to most people in Europe. While meditating on this topic one should remember that school is not merely an educational tool, but a pedagogic one as well.

Jelena Batista | Read more


The Naval Cemetery in Pula

PulaThe Naval cemetery in Pula is a memorial cemetery located in the part of the city called Borgo San Polikarpo. When it was built it covered about four thousand square meters; today it comprises more than twenty-two thousand square meters of land, making it one of the largest military cemeteries in Europe.

Martina Draščić |Read more


Brijuni Islands

PulaThe Brijuni (or Brioni) Islands are a small archipelago off the coast of Pula in south-western Istria. The archipelago consists of 14 small islands which cover an area of around 8 km2 (1). Brijuni’s first signs of habitation date from around 3000 B.C. They were later inhabited by the Histrians, from whom Istria got its name.

Vedran Alić | Read more


Liberation Monument in Rijeka

RijekaThe Liberation monument in Rijeka is one of the biggest and most distinct monuments in this area of Primorsko-Goranska County, but also in the whole of Croatia. It is especially important for the residents of Rijeka because it was built in honor of the city's Liberation Day, May 3, 1945.

Dajana Pemac | Read more


Remembering the Istrian “Exodus”: Competing memories on each side of the border

‘Istria? Where exactly is that? In Italy, right? No, wait... in Croatia, isn’t it?’ This or a question quite similar to it is often the response when you tell people today that you will be visiting Istria. It is legitimate to ask this question, considering that the recent history of the region has witnessed many partitions and broader disputes.

Martina Friedsmann | Read more


The division of Rijeka in the interwar period

Today Rijeka is the third biggest city in Croatia, with some 130.000 inhabitants living in  the city itself and approximately 70,000 more in the surrounding metropolitan area. Furthermore, it is the administrative center of a touristic region and the main port of the country. Approximately 2.700 declared Italians live in the city according to the 2001 census.

Romy Ebert | Read more


Old Town of Rijeka

RijekaWhere Is the Old Part of Town Nowadays? When you are walking through the Old Town it is hard to avoid the impression that life on its streets was once very different. Even if its past is hardly visible nowadays, among the modern department stores and shops, its presence still lingers.

Lea Kumić | Read more


Lipa Basovizza Kobarid Log pod Mangartom Redipuglia Gonars Risiera di San Sabba Pula Rijeka