A Blood Border: Trieste between Mussolini and Tito

Luisa Morettin
NCI University London, United Kingdom

Series: Political Science and History
BISAC: POL058000



Volume 10

Issue 1

Volume 2

Volume 3

Special issue: Resilience in breaking the cycle of children’s environmental health disparities
Edited by I Leslie Rubin, Robert J Geller, Abby Mutic, Benjamin A Gitterman, Nathan Mutic, Wayne Garfinkel, Claire D Coles, Kurt Martinuzzi, and Joav Merrick


Digitally watermarked, DRM-free.
Immediate eBook download after purchase.

Product price
Additional options total:
Order total:



In May 1945 Trieste was the last battleground of WWII and the first of the Cold War. Some of the most terrifying episodes of that battle are linked to the Karst landscape of the region which is studded with foibe, deep cone-shaped pits excavated by water erosion. During Yugoslav partisan rule in the area, thousands of Italians were thrown inside the pits: some were killed beforehand, others were dumped alive and left to die slowly. Marshal Tito challenged these events and Left-wing sympathisers still do to this day, sparking intense debate over the truth. Were the atrocities simply revenge for the 1941 Fascist invasion of Yugoslavia?

By drawing on Anglo-American documents, A Blood Border leads the reader through the process by which the foibe killings became possible and tells the story of a modern territorial contest: two nations, one land. This powerful study is a nuanced and detailed account of Mussolini’s and Tito’s manoeuvres to redraw borders in blood. The result is a vivid and often disturbing account, in which Luisa Morettin convincingly portrays a border region in a moment of historical transformation.
(Imprint: Nova)

List of Illustrations

List of Maps



Guide to Pronunciation of Slavic Terms

Chapter 1. Contended Spaces

Chapter 2. The Interwar Years

Chapter 3. Yugoslavia: War and Occupation

Chapter 4. A Journey into Darkness

Chapter 5. The Boundary Issue

Chapter 6. Anatomy of a Reticence

Chapter 7. Conclusion


"Massacres deserve to be commemorated, even if they were carried out as a measure of revenge. Yet when commemorating the civilians brutally murdered in the context of larger wars, accusations have often been made that such commemorations serve the exculpation of similar acts by one’s own side. Of course two wrongs don’t make a right, and yet both during and after the Second World War in particular, the argument et tu has often been used as though it did. Historians thus walk a tightrope when they seek to commemorate the dead, as they need to avoid the impression that theirs is a unilateral account. Luisa Morettin does a magnificent job here: her research not only brings back into our conscience the many (mostly civilian) victims of the foibe killings in Yugoslav-occupied frontier areas of Italy at the end of World War II, but also contextualises them honestly in a much larger picture. This is not only one of preceding Italian atrocities committed in Yugoslavia during the war itself, but also a story of the brutalisation throughout the “Bloodlands” of Europe (Timothy Snyder). As this very detailed study demonstrates, these Bloodlands were not just confined to the East, but also spread to the Mediterranean, all the way to Venezia Giulia, Istria and Dalmatia." - Professor Beatrice Heuser, Chair of International Relations, University of Glasgow, UK, and author of Western Containment Policies in the Cold War. The Yugoslav Case, 1948-1953

You have not viewed any product yet.