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We're in Innsbruck, looking north across the Inn at the Calcareous Alps in the distance. However, the item of interest is the graffiti on Inn's floodwall, and specifically the graffito that says "Freiheit für Süd Tirol", or "Freedom for South Tirol".  Historically, Tirol was an Alpine realm that extended from the Calcareous Alps in the north to the Dolomites and Bozen (Bolzano) in modern Italy.  Since the Middle Ages, it had been part of Austria.  However, in the rearrangement of national boundaries after World War I, Tirol from the crest of Alps southward was granted to Italy.  In the 1920s and 1930s, the Italian government encouraged ethnic Italians to move north into South Tirol, it forbade the teaching of the German language in public schools, and it barred displays of Tirolean patriotism.  This led to a long and occasionally bloody resistance to Italian control of South Tirol.  The picture above, taken in 1997, illustrates that South Tirol is not forgotten by the Tiroleans of the modern Austrian land (state) of Tirol, through which the Inn flows and of which Innsbruck is the capital.

       The image above is from a slide taken in 1997 by Professor Malcolm Comeaux, then a visiting Professor of Geography in the University of New Orleans-Innsbruck International Summer School and now Professor Emeritus of Geography at Arizona State University.  Many thanks to Dr. Comeaux for sharing his slide with us!

 

 

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