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WWI: Bohemia remembers 'brothers' from Trentino

Deported from Italian valley,they received warm hospitality

15 May, 14:55

(ANSA) - PRAGUE - Pushed out of their homes and their valley, forced by soldiers to gather a few belongings in a suitcase and deported to far countries. This happened a hundred years ago, a few hours after the Kingdom of Italy declared war on the Austro-Hungarian Empire and a few hours before the beginning of the conflict, on May 24, 1915. Thousands of inhabitants of the Valle di Ledro (Trentino), at that time under the Emperor Franz Joseph II, were pushed out of their countries, mainly because Vienna did not trust its Italian subjects. The Habsburg government had planned to relocate them in the Czech Republic, recruiting, however, the young males and sending them to fight on the eastern front, in Galicja.

The memory of the exodus entered the language of the inhabitants of the Valley, for example in the sentence 'Fare la Boemia', meaning a 'biblical experience'. Anyway, many of those who were deported to Bohemia found a place of warmth and hospitality, building strong ties survived until today. In 2008, on the 20th anniversary of the end of World War I, the towns of Molina, Pieve, Bezzecca, Concei, Tiarno di Sotto and Tiarno di Sopra (Italy), and Bustehrad, Novy Knin, Mesto Pribram, Milin, Obec Ptice, Chynava, Doksy, signed an ''everlasting'' twinning. A pact which is based on brotherhood and cooperation in all fields, and fruitful to strengthen friendships and create new relationships. Now, on the centenary of Italy's entry into the war, three days will be dedicated in the Czech Republic to the memory of those events. Friday, May 22, at 5 pm, in the headquarters of the Italian Cultural Institute in Prague a photo exhibition entitled ''My Bohemia'' will be inaugurated, followed by a concert of the Boehmische Judicarien and of the Quintet of Prague Castle Guard and Police Orchestra. Saturday, May 23, ceremonies will be held at the cemeteries in the villages of Doksy, Panoi Ujezd, Bustehrad, Chynava, where those who never returned home are buried. Sunday, May 24, Holy Mass and ceremony at Svata Hora Shrine, in memory of Trentino's dead in Bohemia during the exodus. The exiles hosted in those villages were 3,335, while another 624 were brought to Austria; 405 of them died in exile, but there were 107 births. The soldiers who never returned home were 103: they were Italians wearing the Austrian uniform. (ANSA).

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