Trieste and Istria 1920–54

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Map Code: Ax01154

Austria-Hungary collapsed into numerous separate states after its defeat in World War I. Much of the area formerly known as the Austrian Littoral was annexed to Italy in 1920 following negotiations under the Treaty of Rapallo, and renamed the Julian March. As a result, many Slavs, Germans and Hungarians who had lived within Austria-Hungary were left under Italian rule. As Italy underwent a transition to fascism in the years following the Treaty of Rapallo, Istria’s Slavic population was subjected to increasing persecution as Slavic languages were banned, and Slavic institutions were shut down. This led to mass emigration of the Slavic population from the area and also the creation of anti-fascist groups. After World War II, Istria’s borders were redrawn once more, this time mostly becoming part of Communist Yugoslavia, whilst the area around Trieste became part of a temporarily administrated zone, known as the Free Territory of Trieste, until 1954.

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