Origini e fallimento dell’idea di città libere dopo la prima guerra mondiale. I casi di Memel e Danzica
Origins and failure of the idea of free cities after WWI. The cases of Memel and Danzig
After WWI, free ports, autonomous statutes, wealthy towns granted by the League of Na-tions might seem the best solution to solve inextricable national claims. It was not just a matter of putting out fires of growing nationalism in the successor states, but it was also the need to deal with the vacuum left by the crush of huge empires. The collapse of Russia, indeed, was threatening to spread bolshevism in Europe. The cluster of new successors states in East Europe could achieve a double purpose, the containment of bolshevik Russia in the East and of German empowerment in the West. Free access to the sea meant economical and political strengthening which was supposed to stabilize the new (or reborn) national creations. In such circumstances, it is scarcely surprising that the solution of the free cities was going to be the way to get out of the ethnical complexity in Memelland, in Danzig and also in Fiume. However, if economical growth would have been the only way to grant the survival of autonomies, the lack of mutual confidence and economical cooperation at international level and the huge national expectations would have undermined every attempt to set up a “wilsonian order” in Europe.
EUT Edizioni Università di Trieste
Giuliana Caccamo, "Origini e fallimento dell’idea di città libere dopo la prima guerra mondiale. I casi di Memel e Danzica" in: "QUALESTORIA. Rivista di storia contemporanea. XLVIII, N.ro 2, Dicembre 2020", EUT Edizioni Università di Trieste, Trieste, 2020, pp. 137-157