7. RIJEKA ITALIANS IN ROME
winners write down history, important facts are most often
suppressed, ignored or forgotten. When, besides that, there
is a city which inside a single century changes so many directions,
administrators, armies and police posts, as well as the official
languages, one can only imagine a historical chaos in which
an old square keeps standing on the very same spot, but changes
address every twenty years. Such is the case with our very
own city of Rijeka and its history during the expired century.
who - in time to come - would attempt to create 'una vera
storia di Fiume' will at least face the problem of parallel
histories, each of them deficient, which maybe could be brought
together to create one whole objective.
Turning the leaves of the books whose titles indicate that
the content will reveal Rijeka's history, the 'malicious'
reader will observe that virtually all of them contain a black
hole in memory of Rijeka between two great world wars, and
particularly of the period of the total change of the Rijeka
population structure after WWII, which is better known as
the exodus of the Italians, also known as Fiumans (from Italian
to Rijeka, Fiume). Even the more recent 'histories of Rijeka',
despite their stressed brevity, succeed to remain superficial
towards the fact that fifty years ago the whole city on the
right bank of the river Rjecina emptied, and the 'new city
Rijeka 'esuli' or refugees who today live in Rome have a name
for the city that disappeared. They call it the 'City of Memories'.
Changes of the political environs, and the rise of the independent
Croatian state helped them to re-discover their lost Atlantis,
and vice versa, because as late as some ten years ago, 'esuli'
were considered a taboo...