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Mejni prehod Rožna Dolina


In 1947, following the peace treaties of Paris and two years after the Allied Military Government was established, the new border line between Italy and the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia (Socijalistička Federativna Republika Jugoslavija, SFRY) was defined.

The Pass of Casa Rossa - Rožna Dolina (Red House) became the first and most important international crossing between the two countries, and until 1955 (Udine Agreement), the border appeared almost impassable: crossing was allowed almost exclusively for farmers who had properties on the "other side" and were in possession of a farming permit. The "no man's land", the space between the two custom houses, was soon to became a place of contact between those who chose to live in Yugoslavia and those who decided to stay in Italy: Casa Rossa became the symbolic place of division par excellence, but also of contact.

The establishment of the new border made life particularly difficult for those who had decided to remain in Yugoslavia, as they suddenly found themselves without an urban centre to serve as a reference point for the purchase and sale of all kinds of goods. The exasperation of the population to such a situation arose suddenly and unexpectedly on the 13th of August 1950, when a crowd of Yugoslav citizens crossed the Pass of the Casa Rossa without showing the valid documents. It seems that people began to assemble following the false announcement that the border was to be reopened on that day, an event which in reality did not occur. However, this prompted a largely peaceful demonstration of strength without major repercussions for public order, and the day was called the "Sunday of Brooms": a high number of those who broke through the roadblock were motivated by the need to stock-up on some basic necessities, which had become almost impossible to find, such as sorghum brooms. For the population of the district Gorizia this was also a way to reclaim symbolically, for a day, the old city centre which had always been their reference point.

In the mid-fifties, after the introduction of the propusnica (a sort of permit), a slow and gradual détente began, making the border more and more permeable.

On the 25th of June 1991, Slovenia declared its independence from Yugoslavia. A brief conflict followed: this is the first time since the end of World War II that a war is raging in Europe and brings the fight to the Passes of Casa Rossa in Gorizia and Fernetti in Trieste. For a few days the local population heard the bombings, and the operation leading Slovenian soldiers to conquer the Gorizian pass left 5 dead, 36 wounded and 3 exploded tanks.