Istrian Croatian Clergy and the Diplomatic-Political Struggle for the Union of Istria with Croatia (1945–1954)

Stipan Trogrlić


This research paper, based on the archival materials, press and literature, analyzes the role of the Istrian Croatian clergy in the diplomatic-political struggle for the union of Istria with its homeland Croatia, in the first decade of that struggle after World War II. In the first phase (1945–1947) the Croatian clergy, led by charismatic Božo Milanović, on the invitation of the new ''national government'' joins actively in that struggle: enters the negotiating teams, writes development plans for politicians, delivers the Memorial to the Allied Commission in Pazin, holds speeches on political meetings. In the second, longer phase (1947–1954) the Croatian clergy is (self)marginalised in the diplomatic-political events concerning the solution for the disputable area between Yugoslavia and Italy, known as the Free Territory of Trieste. On the one hand, it was the consequence of the conviction of the government that it no longer needed the help of the clergy, and on the other, the clergy itself considered it had played its historical role in the previous phase and that the established state can manage the new challenges of the diplomatic-political struggle for ''the rest'' of Istria by itself. The work of the clergy was now reduced to writing memorials and statements in which it rises against the Italian irredentistic demands for Istria and providing support to Yugoslav government in the defence of the western borders.


Istria; diplomatic struggle; union; Croatian clergy; Božo Milanović

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Print ISSN 1330-0288 | Online ISSN 1848-6096