Journey to the East, to discover the border that no longer exists
by Ilaria Jovine
“Nova Gorica. The Italian ambulances “face” the bursts of machine guns, passing with the sirens across the border, or what is left of them, given that on the Casarossa side there is no one to check the documents. There are already five dead and twenty wounded. A tank exploded. Scenes of panic, from here and beyond the border. Blood everywhere. Fifty soldiers of the Yugoslav federal army have just surrendered. They laid down their arms. They raise their arms, surrender themselves to the men of the Slovenian territorial militia. The Yugoslavian flag is lowered again. Someone reported the Slovenian flag that the feds had pulled down even a fortnight ago. The militia’s attack serves to regain control of the Gorizia borders: border posts are the responsibility of the territorial militias. It’s twenty-fifteen: many wounded are under the Italians, in the civil hospital of Gorizia, in Via Vittorio Veneto. A dramatic night is announced: because in the nearby Tarnova forest, above Nova Gorica, there are most of Belgrade’s troops. When will they fight back? The wind that blows strongly from the east brings the echo of other explosions. The five tanks, two T-54s and three T-55s, which the Yugoslav Federal Army had placed in front of Casarossa’s border post, now look like the ghosts that have not yet been defeated by a monstrous nightmare: civil war. At the gates of Italy. Italy in Friuli, border Italy, with lots of Slovenian blood in its veins.” This is the chronicle of Leonardo Coen on La Republica.it, about the events of 29 June 1991.