November 4 – National Unity and Armed Forces Day in Italy

Posted on November 4, 2018

This is the anniversary of the signing of a truce agreement, named the Armistice of Villa Giusti, that ended warfare between Italy and the Austria-Hungary near the end of World War I. 

Ending a war is a good thing.

Of course, it is an especially good thing to be on the winning side - and in this case, Italy was one of the winners, and what used to be the Austro-Hungarian Empire was done for.

In red, South Tyrol
I never knew that the Kingdom of Italy got to annex some important parts of what had been Austria as the result of being on the winning side! South Tyrol (also called Trentino-South Tyrol), the important seaport Trieste, and the rest of the "Austrian Littoral" or "Austrian Riviera" became a part of the Italy. 

However, the beginnings of World War II were already stirring; Italy had been taken over by a fascist government led by Benito Mussolini, and Hitler was taking control of Germany and eventually Austria. Mussolini outlawed instruction in the German language and tried to move German-speaking people living in South Tyrol out of their ancestral land, fascists destroyed the Jewish community in Trieste and took most of the Jewish people to concentration camps, and war tore through much of Europe. 

After World War II ended, most of the Austrian Littoral was given to Yugoslavia - and now part belongs to Slovenia and part to Croatia. The city of Trieste and South Tyrol both remained a part of Italy. However, some people in the South Tyrol region wanted to separate from Italy, and some of the political disagreements spilled over into bombings and other violence.

Finally, with the help of the United Nations, peace was restored. Italy agreed that Trentino-South Tyrol would have much more autonomy within Italy, and Austria agreed that it would not interfere with South Tyrol. Even the separatists liked this compromise. Soon Italy was a part of the European Union, and Austria eventually joined the E.U. as well - so now there are no struggles with border crossings or different monetary systems.

Trentino-South Tyrol is a lovely, mountainous land.

Yiiiikes! Notice the tall ladder that young people are climbing to attend
a teeny music festival!

Trieste has been a prosperous and cosmopolitan city for many years and under many rulers.

Also on this date:

Anniversary of Punkin Chunking

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