Trieste, Mattarella and President Pahor hand in hand at the Basovizza foiba. The historical message of the joint visit


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The President of the Italian Republic Sergio Mattarella and the Slovenian counterpart Borut Pahor they laid a wreath of flowers at the foiba di Basovizza and holding hands, they observed a minute’s silence. Here it is estimated that the Yugoslav partisans have thrown two thousand Italians between military and civilians. A historical visit, but above all a gesture of peace which marks a very important stage in relations between the two countries: Pahor is the first president of one of the countries born from the disintegration of ex Yugoslavia to commemorate the Italian victims of the sinkholes.

But there was not only the commemoration ceremony: today after 100 years the People’s House, the people’s house set on fire by the fascists a hundred years ago (it was July 13, 1920) has returned to the Slovenian community in Italy. In fact, the two presidents attended the signing of a memorandum of understanding that transfers ownership of the building to a foundation consisting of the two associations representing the Slovenian minority, theSlovenian Economic Cultural Union (Skgz), and the Confederation of Slovenian Organizations (Sso). “History cannot be erased and pain will not be forgotten,” said Mattarella, speaking shortly after signing. “Either the grudge is cultivated or it is made common heritage in the memory and respect, cultivating a common friendship. Slovenians and Italians are definitely on the second path towards the future “.

The ceremony at the Foiba di Basovizza – During the tribute to the victims of the sinkholes, the two presidents shook hands, after approaching the wreath of flowers that two cuirassiers had laid a few moments before. Mattarella and Pahor then touched the crown each and stood in front of the foiba entrance in silence for about a minute.

They then stopped in front of the memorial stone four members of the Tigr (Trieste Istria Gorica Rijeka) shot on September 6, 1930 in execution of a death sentence issued by the Special Court for the Defense of the State. Ferdo Bidovec, Fran Marusic, Zvonimir Milos and Alojz Valencic they were between 22 and 34 years old and were part of an underground group linked to the Tigr; they had also been found guilty of an attack on the local fascist newspaper “Il Popolo di Trieste”, in which an editor, Guido Neri, had died. The four executed over time have become a symbol of the resistance of Slavic minorities to fascism.

Recognition to the writer Boris Pahor – At the end of the ceremonies, the two heads of state also handed over the honors of their respective countries to the Slovenian writer with Italian citizenship Boris Pahor. The Italian Head of State awarded Pahor the cavalier of the Grand Cross of the Order to the merit of the Italian Republic. President Pahor instead conferred on the writer the honor of “the order for exceptional merits”. Boris Pahor, which will turn 107 in August, on 13 July 1920 witnessed, at the age of seven, the fire of the Narodni dom, a tragedy that he will never forget and of which today he is the only living witness. Pahor is the living symbol of the troubled relationship between the two peoples: he suffered the fascist persecution, the deportation to the Nazi concentration camps and the ban on Tito from Yugoslavia.

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