The Süd Tirol is a region in the North of Italy which is mainly inhabited by German speaking people and people of Germanic genetics, the South Tyrolean’s. This region was historically part of the old Austro-Hungarian Empire. The Italian forces occupied the territory in 1918 and in the aftermath of the First World War in 1919 these region was annexed by Italy as it was accorded in the Treaty of Saint Germain that marked the end of the Austro-Hungarian Empire. In 1922, Benito Mussolini, became president of Italy and the migration of Italian people to the Süd Tirol began. The fascist dictator wanted an united Italy, formed only by Italian speaking people and tried to create a new empire in Africa. That mean the Italinization of the Süd Tirol region. The references to the old Tirol region was banned and the region became being known as Venezia Trendentina. The major cities as Bozen and Meran suffered the migration of many Italians but the rural and Alpine areas of the region continued to be largely German speaking and inhabited by South Tyrolean’s. In 1938 Hitler and Mussolini agreed to transfer the German speaking people of the South Tirol to regions of the Third Reich. Some people where indeed transferred to Austria or Germany but with the begin of Second World War the Hitler-Mussolini plan where stopped.
After the Second War World the Agreement Gruber-De Gasperi between the ministers of the foreign relations of Austria and Italy granted that the region with still be part of Italy but with a considerable amount of autonomy. However both the South Tyrolean’s and the Austria government were unhappy with the application of the agreement and brought the case to the United Nations but the negotiations prove unsuccessful in part because of the sabotage campaign led by South Tyrolean’s independentists. Those independentists where organized in an organization named Befreiungsausschuss Süd Tirol abbreviated BAS. The organization founded in the mid-50’s wanted the self-determination of the Süd Tirol and was responsible by some bomb attacks in Italy and attacks on polices. In the begin the organization focus their action in attacking symbols of the old Fascist regime and infrastructures trying to avoid victims but with the infiltration of Neo-Nazis from Austria and Germany the organization became more violent killing some policies and because of that became more inactive. A new treaty in 1971 between Austria and Italy resolved the issue granted more autonomy to Süd Tirol and the respect to their identity which led a decrease in the idependentist tensions.
The Süd Tirol region is still a region of mainly German speakers, 69%, despite the capital of the region, Bozen or Bolzano in Italian, as a large majority of Italian speakers of 73%. The second most important city Meran or Merano in Italian has almost a 50-50 distribution of language. The rural regions especially to more at North have a very large majority of German speakers in many cases 80, 90% or in some cases almost 100% and there are a minority of South Tyrolean’s that speak Ladin, a regional language. The region, Trentin – Süd Tirol is also the one with the highest PIB per capita in Italy and one of the most productive. The main economic activity is the tourism especially in the Alps, with the winter sports being very popular especially alpine skiing but also cross-country skiing, in the summer cycling is very popular as well and the services in the cities are also very important to the economy.
South Tyrolean’s alongside with Catalans, Flemish, Tibetans, Scotts, Basques and of course Boer-Afrikaners are people that deserve to choose their future independently of the will of the people in which country they live. In the case of the South Tyrolean’s this is obvious because they are very different from the Italians. They are a Germanic not a Mediterranean people, the language, German, is much different than the Italian, the history in also very different and their culture is very different than the Italian culture, and their culture has being attacked by Italy in several moments of history specially, but not only, during the dictatorship of Benito Mussolini. So they deserve to choose their future, independent than what they choose, continue to be part of Italy, become an independent state or join to Austria, country in which the rest of the Tirol region is integrated.
South Tyrolean’s of Germanic ancestry should be allowed to choose the future of their people. They have a very different culture from the Italians and that mean they should have the right to be independent or to join Austria where the rest of the Tirol region is integrated. Recently members of the Orania movement visited the South Tyrolean’s and in November a delegation of the South Tyrol visited Orania which is very positive because shows that there are an international support between different people with the same objective, have the right to their homeland and choose their future. We think that the Boer-Afrikaners, South Tyrolean’s, Catalan’s, Flemish, Scotts, French speaking people from Canada and others in the same situation should create a international movement in order to support each other in their common struggle for independence which will be make easier the ultimate objective of all these people to be achieved.