No. LII (2021)

The Refractory Community: Yugoslav Anti-Communists in Post-War Italy

Marco Cuzzi
Università degli Studi di Milano, La Statale

Published 01.12.2021


  • Yugoslav collaborationism,
  • anti-communist propaganda,
  • Allied intelligence,
  • Italian secret services,
  • political emigration

How to Cite

Cuzzi, M. (2021). The Refractory Community: Yugoslav Anti-Communists in Post-War Italy. Balcanica - Annual of the Institute for Balkan Studies, (LII), 159–178.


In the months between the Italian armistice (September 1943) and the end of the war (May 1945), Italy became the destination of a large group of Yugoslav exiles who, in various ways, opposed Tito and the Socialist and Federal Republic in the process of being formed. These exiles, divided by nationality and political affiliation (ranging from exponents of the resistance linked to the government in exile in London to the most radical collaborators with the Nazis), were united by their staunch anti-communism. Carefully observed by both the Italian secret services and the Allied military government, with the approach of the Cold War this Yugoslav “refractory community” was increasingly used as a centre of propaganda and in part also of information by the West. After the Tito-Stalin split, this function was reduced, and the community waited for new developments that would only appear forty years later with the dissolution of the disdained Federal and Socialist Republic. This essay is an integral part of research based on the archives of the Italian Military Intelligence Service (SIM) kept at the Historical Office of the Italian Army General Staff in Rome, in the fonds of the Confidential Affairs of the General Directorate of Public Security of the Italian Ministry of the Interior and in the “Affari Politici - Jugoslavia” collections of the Historical-Diplomatic Archive of the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs. The research is still in progress and aims to create a map of the Yugoslav anti-communist community in Italy from the end of the Second World War until the dissolution of the Federal Republic between 1989 and 1992.


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