More Fiume News

These are all from Finnish newspapers 1919-1921 - the conservative, Swedish-language Hufvudstadsbladet, and the social-democrat, Finnish-language Suomen Sosiali-Demokraatti. As witnesses of their time, they are as much mirrors of opinion and ideology as reports of actual events...

Hufvudstadsbladet (1919.05.03)
The Fiume Conflict.
Reflections on Compromise.
London, May 3rd. (Reuter to STT)
To the Reuter telegraphs from Paris: In well informed circles in Paris this morning, it is proposed that the Fiume Question will be solved in a way that will satisfy Italy, accordingly: The port will become a free commercial port with complete freedom of trade for all nations. The city itself will be transferred to Italy. It is reported that Italy would be willing to offer Yugoslavia certain territorial concessions in the Dalmatian hinterland, including the city of Knin at the railway line from Sebenico.

Suomen Sosialidemokraatti (1920.12.29 p.4)
Fiume conquered.
(See previous post for full text)

Suomen Sosiali-Demokraatti (1921.01.10 p.3)
D'Annunzio still in Fiume.
Paris, Jan. 10th. (STT)
The latest reports from Fiume confirm that d'Annunzio does not intend to leave the city until the elections of the foundational council of the Free State. Certain sources judge it likely that the council will elect d'Annunzio as regent.

Suomen Sosiali-Demokraatti (1921.02.23 p.5)
Reaction in Trieste.
[first paragraph is illegible in my copy]
The Rome correspondent of the Kristiania ”Social-Democrat” has sent his paper a special telegram, wherein he describes the actions of the reactionary forces in Trieste, actions that are aimed against the working class. He mentions, among other things, that the history of the city in question has never before known such activity of forces of darkness as can be observed currently. The official Italy has not given liberty to the workers of Trieste, it has oppressed them and continues the oppression most shamelessly. The militias of Italy systematically and daily persecute the leaders of the working class and rob them of their property. House searches have become daily phenomena, and armed police rummage and sniff through every corner of workers' apartments. Mass arrests, too, are now everyday occurrences. The workers' halls of Trieste, Pola, Fiume and other cities in Italy have been leveled to the ground. Communist and socialist newspapers are being persecuted not only by legal means, but also with illegal methods, such as destroying and burning their offices. The consequence of this reactionary policy has been that Italy within one year has become more hated than Austria after 60 years. After the Italian annexation, the local population has not been able to voice its opinion in elections. Several political and administrative elections have been prescribed, but the Italian government does not dare to organize them. And meanwhile Italy sustains an oppressive regime, that any country of the slightest level of civilization would be ashamed of.

Notes: In the original article, the "militias" are referred to as "suojeluskuntalaiset" - the Finnish term for the white Civil Guard that functioned as a paramilitary force in Finland from 1917 to 1944, in support of the bourgeois government and often in conflict with the various socialist movements. No doubt, the social democrat newspapers wanted to reinforce the idea that the forces of reaction were similar in every state.
Italy is compared to Austria as a reminder of the fact that Italy's territorial claims around the Adriatic sea were not founded on primeval right, but historical circumstances. The "irredenta" had belonged to the Austro-Hungarian empire before the war, and Italy's late alliance with the Entente was triggered by hopes that the areas with sizable Italian populations could be won. However, they had never been part of a political entity called "Italy" before. One could see the claims on Istria and Dalmatia as the final steps on the road of Italian national unification.
The mention of destruction of workers' halls is interesting. The Wikipedia article on Trieste mentions a Slovene community hall (Narodni Dom) burnt down by Italian nationalists in 1920. This could be interpreted as a conflict between nationalities (around 25% of the Trieste population were Slovenes). I wonder if other factors played a role, for example, were Slovenes more often of working-class background, and were socialist ideas more widespread among them? Which was more important, ethnic, ideological or social solidarity?

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