Istrian–Dalmatian exodus

The Istrian–Dalmatian exodus refers to the post-World War II expulsion and departure of local ethnic Italians (Istrian Italians and Dalmatian Italians) from the Yugoslav territory of Istria, Kvarner, Julian March as well as Dalmatia. Istria, Kvarner, Julian March and Dalmatia were ethnically mixed, with long-established historic Croatian, Italian, and Slovene communities. After World War I, the Kingdom of Italy annexed Istria, Kvarner, Julian March and parts of Dalmatia including the city of Zadar. At the end of World War II, under the Allies' Treaty of peace with Italy, the former Italian territories in Istria, Kvarner, Julian March and Dalmatia were assigned to the nation of Yugoslavia, except for the Province of Trieste. The former territories absorbed into Yugoslavia are part of present-day Croatia and Slovenia.

According to various sources, the exodus is estimated to have amounted to between 230,000 and 350,000 people (the others being ethnic Slovenes, Croats, and Istro-Romanians, choosing to maintain Italian citizenship)[1] leaving the areas in the aftermath of the conflict.[2][3] The exodus started in 1943 and ended completely only in 1960.

The formal responsibility of the Croatian authorities for the exodus is still argued over by historians. Hundreds or perhaps tens of thousands of local ethnic Italians were killed or summarily executed during the first years of the exodus, in what became known as the foibe massacres. After 1947 they were subject to less violent forms of intimidation, such as nationalization, expropriation, and discriminatory taxation,[4] which gave them little option other than emigration.[5][6][7]