Yugoslavia under Italian rule, 1941-1943 : civil and military aspects of the Italian occupation / by Frank Philip Verna.
This study depicts the various aspects of the governing systems that Italy employed in Yugoslavia during 1941-1943. With the Province of Ljubljana and the Governorship of Dalmatia the Italians instituted both a civil and military form of rule. In Montenegro and the territories annexed to Albania these functions were vested in the military authority. A similar system prevailed in the Croatian territories which the Italians reoccupied during September 1941. The Italian civil and military authorities often clashed over occupation policies. Moreover, certain practices engendered an hostile ambience between the Germans, the German-backed Ustashi regime of Croatia and the Italians. Contributing to this reciprocal antagonism were Germany's covert actions in undermining Italy's influence in Croatia; the Italian's use of Chetniks and other indigenous elements as military auxiliaries against the Partisans (Communists); and the Italian's benevolent support of the Serbs, Jews, Gypsies and other minorities, brutally persecuted by the Ustashi. Generally, the Italians permitted the existing Yugoslav administrative institutions to continue their traditional functions. They, however, also introduced the Tribunal system to adjudicate expeditiously crimes against the State or occupational personnel. Immediately after the occupation Italy initiated a massive program of Italianization and Fascistization. The Italians utilized both the educational system and the economy as vehicles for implementing their policies. Comprehensive work programs were developed to ameliorate the widespread unemployment and numerous social measures were inaugurated to improve the general welfare of the indigenous population. Despite the vast sums expended by Italy on these undertakings, many Yugoslavs, particularly the Partisans, perpetrated inimical acts and atrocities against the Italian occupant. As the Partisans intensified their belligerency, the Italian authorities responded with increased repressive measures. With Italy's capitulation during September 1943, Rome abruptly ceased providing timely and definitive direction to the Military Forces in the Balkans, thereby contributing to their demoralization, disorganization and rapid disintegration. The Italian military catastrophe, however, proved a fortuitous turning point for the Partisans in their continuing struggle against the German occupant. This dissertation is based on materials researched in various government archives and libraries in Rome, on published official monographs and on secondary works of Italian and other ethnic origins.
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