Korcula and Italian Wikipedia

Town of Korcula

Korcula Town

Curzola [1][2] (in Croatian Korčula) [3] is the largest town of the island of Korčula in Croatia. [4][5]

Location (Località)

The town of Korčula [6] is made ​​up of five settlements (naselje):

  • Korčula (Curzola)
  • Žrnovo (Bùgnore)
  • Pupnat (Poponatta)
  • Račišće ( Porto Barbieri )
  • Čara (Villa Chiarra)

History (Storia)

Korčula was a Bishopric [7] from 1300 to 1828.

Italian (Italiani)

A Korcula postcard from 1902 in Italian. The last Italian government school was abolished in Korcula on the 13th of September 1876.

Up until the 1900s the Italians (Venetians) [8][9] constituted over half the population of the town of Korčula (and the nearby village of Petrara-Vrnik). [10] Following the island's annexation by the Kingdom of Serbia, Croatia & Slovenia (latter renamed the Kingdom of Yugoslavia in 1929) their number decreased. The massacres of Croatians by the communists [11][12] after World War II caused the flight of the last remaining native Italians in the town.

Italians from Korcula in the nineteenth and twentieth century

(Gli italiani a Curzola nel XIX e nel XX secolo)

At the census of 1910 Italians were 25% of the population of the centre of Korčula and 15% of the nearby village of Vrnik (Petrara). In the rest of the town, as well as in the rest of the island, there were Italians. The majority of Italians were small artisans, especially stone cutters, masons and carpenters.

In the towns of Korčula and Vrnik (Petrara) were people employed in trades such as teaching who were known and appreciated beyond the borders of Dalmatia. A minority, however, was made up of landowners, merchants and retailers. In 1861 political representatives of the Italian language in Korčula were Auditors of the Smerchinich family [13] (Smerkinić, of Slavic origin). [14][15] In 1867 an Italian of the Smerchinich family was elected to parliament in Vienna. However, Austrian authorities had begun the work of slavitization of the town. [16][17] The Austrians considered the Croats were more loyal subjects than the Italians.

In 1893, there were protests by the local population. The imperial authorities closed the local Italian school and education was provided solely in Korčula in Croatia however the town of Korčula continued to vote for the Smerchinich family. In 1895, in response to the growing slavitization of the town of Korčula one of the first sites of the National League was founded. The League strove for the preservation of Italian language and culture.

In 1909, however, despite the slavitization, all the acts of local authorities in the district of Korčula still had bilingual character. With the collapse of Austria-Hungary following the end of World War I, fierce disputes between Italians and Croatians occurred in Korčula.

On November 4, 1918, the Italian navy occupied the city. However, in 1921, Italy gave up and retreated from the island, throwing it into turmoil and causing depression in the local Italian population (then about 900 people). The situation was aggravated by the fact that between 1918 and 1920, the Italian occupying authorities had incited and caused part of the Italian anti-Yugoslav conflict. This created animosity between Italians and Croats, [18] who were afraid of the risk of reprisals at the time of the advent of the sovereignty of Yugoslavia and the exodus of the Italian population.

In March 1921 the exodus of Italians from Korčula began. This was accelerated by events and rallies hostile to Italy that were repeated daily fuelled in particular by the brothers Arneri (of Italian origin), [19][20] former Austrian officials.

In May 1921 more than half of local Italians had left the island. At the end of that year only 180 Italians who had stayed on the island gathered around the local school, then closed. In 1923, the number of Italians had been reduced to 46. Many of these remaining Italians, however, had preferred to have Yugoslav citizenship in exchange for not losing their economic activities. Indeed, in 1933 the mixed elementary school had 40 Italian pupils. Korčula also continued to operate the Italian Union, an association chaired by Michele Smerchinich, with 41 members. These people were remaining members of the main Italian families (Benussi, Damianovich, Depolo, Perucich, Radizza, Smerchinich, Vinz, Zanetti).[21]

However at the end of World War II, there were no Italians left on Korčula.

Towns and municipalities in the region of Dubrovnik - Neretva ( Župa dubrovačka)

Città (City): Curzola (Korčula) · Metcovich (Metković) · Fort'Opus (Opuzen) · Porto Tolero (Ploče) · Ragusa (Dubrovnik) Comuni: Blatta (Blato) · Dubrovačko primorje · Iagnina (Janjina) · Valle dei Canali (Konavle) · Torre di Norino (Kula Norinska) · Lagosta (Lastovo) · Lombarda (Lumbarda) · Meleda (Mljet) · Pojezerje · Sabbioncello (Orebić) · Slivno · Smoquizza (Smokvica) · Stagno (Ston) · Trappano (Trpanj) · Vallegrande (Vela Luka) · Zažablje ·

Notes and References

Croatia with the island of Korcula marked red (Dalmatia is the dark purple).
  1. ^ Curzola und Lagosta (1901) - K.u.K. Militärgeographisches Institut - 1:75 000 - ZONE 34 – KOL XVI
  2. ^ Curzola in: Blatt 35-43 der Generalkarte von Mitteleuropa 1:200.000 der Franzisco-Josephinischen Landesaufnahme, Österreich-Ungarn, ab 1887
  3. ^ Editors note: In Croatian the c in Korcula is pronounced ch and is written "č".
  4. ^ "Korcula." Encyclopædia Britannica. Encyclopædia Britannica Online. Encyclopædia Britannica, 2011. Sat. 04 June. 2011.
  5. ^ Wikipedia: Korčula-Geography, 2011. Sat. 04 June. 2011.
  6. ^ Wikipedia: Korčula Town, 2011. Sat. 04 June. 2011.
  7. ^ Editors note: Bishopric or Diocese is an ecclesiastical region run by a bishop in the Roman Catholic, Orthodox Christian, Anglican and some Lutheran churches.
  8. ^ Editors note: Concerning the Number of Italians/Pro-Italians in Dalmatia in the XIXth Century by Šime Peričić
    • "It is true, then a small colony of Italians where in Sibenik, on the island of Korcula, Hvar and Vis, and other places of the province."
  9. ^ Editors note:The Early Beginnings of Formal Education - Vela Luka (beginnings of literacy and Lower Primary School 1857 – 1870):
    • "Italian language was not only the official language in all public Dalmatian establishments, but also was the spoken language in a significant number of white-collar, civil service and merchant families in the cities and major markets within towns" (p.8 written in Croatian)
  10. ^ Editors note: Skoji Islands - Korcula Archipelago: "Petrara or Vrnik is the second largest island in Skoji Archipelago. This is populated island, with the village of the same name. Vrnik is the site of the oldest and most famous Korčula quarry. There are only couple of families that presently live in this picturesque village, and some of them let rooms and apartments to tourists."
  11. ^ Editors note: Encyclopedia of Genocide and Crimes Against Humanity, Volume 3 by Dinah Shelton Macmillan Reference, 2005 - Political Science (p.1170)
  12. ^ Editors note: www.enotes.com "Yugoslavia." Genocide and Crimes Against Humanity. Ed. Dinah L. Shelton. Gale Cengage, 2005. eNotes.com. 2006. 26 Jun, 2010 Yugoslavia: Genocide & Crimes Against Humanity-Mark Thompson.
    • "The killing continued after the war, as Tito's victorious forces took revenge on their real and perceived enemies. British forces in Austria turned back tens of thousands of fleeing Yugoslavs. Estimates range from 30,000 to 55,000 killed between spring and autumn 1945."
    • "Native German and Hungarian communities, seen as complicit with wartime occupation, were brutally treated; tantamount in some cases to ethnic cleansing. The Volksdeutsch settlements of Vojvodina and Slavonia largely disappeared. Perhaps 100,000 people—half the ethnic German population in Yugoslavia—fled in 1945, and many who remained were compelled to do forced Labour, murdered, or later ransomed by West Germany. Some 20,000 Hungarians of Vojvodina were killed in reprisals. Albanian rebellions in Kosovo were suppressed, with prisoners sent on death marches towards the coast. An estimated 170,000 ethnic Italians fled to Italy in the late 1940s and 1950s. (All of these figures are highly approximate.)"
  13. ^ Editors note: The Italians of Dalmatia: From Italian Unification to World War I by Luciano Monzali:"...Stefano Smerchinich from Curzula ..." on page 192.
  14. ^ Editors note: Smerkinić is mentioned in Povijest Splita, Volume 3 (History of Split) by Grga Novak (p 177)
    • "Čim je za to čuo korčulanski načelnik, dr Smerkinić, pisao je splitskom ... "
  15. ^ Editors note: Smerkinić is similar to Smrkinić , referenced from "Shipbuilding in Korcula" by Dusan Kalogjera. Taken from www.korcula.net
    • "Thus Anton Bonguardo, shipbuilder and constructor, received the silver cross in 1864; Jakov Smrkinić, a shipbuilder, was awarded the golden cross with the crown in 1868."
  16. ^ The Italians of Dalmatia by Luciano Monzali (p83)
    • Editors note:The last Italian school was abolished in Korčula (Curzola) on the 13th of September 1876.
  17. ^ Editor's Note: In the neighbouring Kingdom of Croatia-Slavonia a Croatian nationalistic movement was established and alongside that, within the Balkan region a Pan-Slavic movement was growing (the beginnings of the ill fated Yugoslavia). These political on goings started to be felt in the Kingdom of Dalmatia. The Austrians in the 1860s started to introduce (a process of Croatisation) within the Kingdom of Dalmatia a standardised Croatian language sometimes referred to as Illirski. It then replaced Italian altogether. In effect the government undertook culture genocide. For centuries the Italian language was the official language of the Dalmatian establishment. It was also the spoken language in white-collar, civil service and merchant families.
  18. ^ Editors note: Recent DNA studies have stated that more than three quarters of today's Croatian men are the descendants of Europeans who inhabited Europe 13 000-20 000 years ago. The first primary source (factual-that its authenticity isn't disputed) to mention the Croatian-Hrvat identity in the Balkans was Duke Branimir (Latin: "Branimiro comite dux cruatorum cogitavit" c. 880 AD). Branimir was a Slav from Dalmatia.
  19. ^ Editors note: Arneri were originally Slavs, their surname was Perussich or Piruzović. Referenced from: Researches on the Danube and the Adriatic: by Andrew Archibald Paton. Chapter 4. The Dalmatian Archipelago. (p164)
    • "These three pears you see on the wall," said he, "are the arms of my family. Perussich was the name, when, in the earlier part of the fifteenth century, my ancestors built this palace; so that, you see, I am Dalmatian. All the family, fathers, sons, and brothers, used to serve in the fleets of the Republic (Editors notes: Republic of Venice); but the hero of our race was Arneri Perussich, whose statue you see there, who fought, bled, and died at the Siege of Candia, whose memory was honoured by the Republic, and whose surviving family was liberally pensioned; so his name of our race. We became Arneri, and ceased to be Perussich"
  20. ^ Editors note: Otok Korčula (2nd edition) by Marinko Gjivoje, Zagreb 1969.
    • Here is a perfect example of a Slavic family surname becoming later Venetian in character. According to Marinko Gjivoje, Perussich in modern Croatian is Piruzović. The book outlines A-Z about the island of Korcula, from traditions, history, culture to wildlife, politics & geography. (p46, p47)
  21. ^ Editors note: Damianovich, Perucich & Smerchinich are surnames of Slavic origin. The term Slav was first used by the Byzantines (i.e. Procopius-Byzantine scholar, Jordanes- 6th century Roman bureaucrat) and was recorded in the 6th century (cia. 550) in Greek (Σκλαβῖνοι-Sklabenoi). Later in Latin it was written Sclaveni. Slavic tribes invaded the region of Roman Dalmatia in the early Middle Ages. Prior to the arrival of the Slavs, Roman Dalmatia was mainly inhabited by a Roman Latin-Illyrian population.

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  • Taken from it.wikipedia.org Link
  • Additional editing done by Peter Z. 11:26, 8 April 2011 (UTC)
  • For the original from Goole Translate link here

Note: Clearly Google Translate is not 100% accurate.

A 19th century engraving of a Venetian galley fighting a Genoese fleet at the Battle of Curzola (Korcula) in 1298. The Granger Collection-England

See also (not from the original article)

External links (not from the original article)


Located on the eastern coast of the Adriatic Sea, the area known as Dalmatia, part of modern-day Croatia and Montenegro, was part of the Austrian Empire during the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. Dalmatia was a multicultural region that had traditionally been politically and economically dominated by its Italian minority. In "The Italians" of Dalmatia , Luciano Monzali argues that the vast majority of local Italians were loyal to and supportive of Habsburg rule, desiring only a larger degree of local autonomy.

An Italian national consciousness developed only in response to pressure from Slavic national movements and was facilitated by the emergence of a large, unified, and independent Italian state. Using little-known Italian, Austrian, and Dalmatian sources, Monzali explores the political history of Dalmatia between 1848 and 1915, with a focus on the Italian minority, on Austrian-Italian relations and on the foreign policy of the Italian state towards the region and its peoples.


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