860S.00/2–1248: Telegram

Mr. Robert P. Joyce, U.S. Political Adviser to the Commander, British-United States Zone, Free Territory of Trieste (Airey), to the Secretary of State


67. Re Belgrade’s 173 February 10, repeated Trieste,1 relative incident in Yugoslav Zone FTT. Following is summary of information obtained by allied military authorities through interrogation of eye witnesses reaching Trieste.

Giuseppe Varin found murdered by blows from heavy stone at Cittanova d’Istria morning February 2. He was member pro-Italian action party and had been sometime previously released from arrest for “political reasons” as having been implicated in alleged spying activities of Istrian priests. He attended dance at Cittanova night [Page 509] of February 1 and was last seen in company of member of “peoples guard.”

Upon removal of body to mortuary by authorities local residents became agitated and demanded its release to his family in demonstration numbering 1500 persons. Body later released and after funeral February 3 more than 2000 persons representing greater part population Cittanova participated in angry demonstrations against unknown murderers and “peoples guard” for failure apprehend assailants. Harangue by president Italo-Slovene anti-Fascist union from Isola howled down and police reinforcements sent from Buie.

During night of February 3 peoples guards entered dwellings of persons who had participated prominently in demonstrations and forcibly took them away by truck to unknown destination. According statements number persons so abducted vary from 35 to 50. A number of those abducted returned Cittanova February 5, having been held in nearby villages, but about twelve believed still missing.

Sent Department 67, repeated Rome 27, copy to Belgrade via courier.

  1. In this telegram, not printed, Ambassador Cannon reported that the Italian Legation had been instructed to investigate reports which were being given wide publicity in Rome regarding the arrest and “deportation to unknown destination” of 30 persons from Zone B of the FTT (860S.00/2–1048).