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  • ITALIANSKIJ

    From the mid of XIX century, important migration fluxes departed from Italy directed to different areas of the world in order to find possibilities and a better situation. One of the areas where Italian people went for most was Crimea, part of the Russian Empire.  It is estimated that at the end of XIX century Italians consisted of 5% of the population of the Crimean Peninsula. They were merchants, architects, ship owners, commanders and peasantries. With the collapse of the Russian Empire and the seizure of power by the Bolsheviks, Italians as well as other minorities started to be mistreated. Initially their land were confiscated in order to create collective farms. Thus, a part of them came back to Italy, dropping the total down to 2%. However, the tragedy came with the advent of Stalin as leader of USSR. Italians were forced to abandon their houses, permitted only to take few things among their goods. Accused to be spies at service of fascism, they were all deported from Crimea to Siberian and Kazakhstan labor camps. With the death of Stalin, some of Italian deportees came back to Crimea while others kept their position in the wastelands of Kazakhstan. Terrified by the possibility of new persecutions, most of them hide their heritage, stopped speaking italian and eventually changed their documents. They became Russian. Nowadays, in the area of the narrow of Kerch live about 150 families with Italian origins. Some of them are still in hungry with Italian institutions due to the lack of protection during the deportation and the recognition after the fall of USSR, while others claim with force their heritage, struggling to obtain Italian citizenship.

    This work has been realized together with Karl Mancini.