Border on the bridge

Border on the bridge

  • Author: Tolminski muzej
  • Author: C. Riaz
  • Author: Foto: J. Skvarna
  • Author: Tolminski muzej
  • Author: Foto: Tolminski muzej
  • Author: SAND archive, Pretoria

You are an eight-year-old boy born in 1937 in Modrejce pri Sveti Luciji (today’s Most na Soči). You remembered the end of World War II after the bomb raid over St. Lucy's which the American army carried out to destroy the last German unit still there. The raid did not end well, as it missed the German base, and five locals lost their lives.  

Following territorial negotiations after World War II, this area known as the Giulia region was divided into Zone A which was supervised by the allied military government, and Zone B, which was supervised by the military government of the Yugoslav army. The division was in place for two years.

Issues with the Police
As your home was in Zone A, and your school was in Zone B, you had to cross the border every day and deal with unpleasant questions from the Police, too difficult for a child. They once found a pack of coffee in your bag, which you were delivering to a relative on the other side of the border, but the Yugoslav police even imprisoned you for that. You were not released until the evening, leaving you in tears, which caused quite a stir in the middle of the bridge.

American border soldiers protect you as their citizen and try to comfort you with chocolate bars and other treats from a Red Cross package. Despite this, you avoid further border inspections by throwing your bag into the Soča River as a sign of protest.

Owl challenge

Military governments of which armies supervised Zone A and Zone B?


After World War II, the Americans and English were serving their interests in the Giulia region.

People recall American soldiers as nice, generous and always ready to help, while they remember English soldiers as stingy and less popular. 

Did you know?  
In 1904, the locals were excited about the construction of the railway along the Bača valley and the Soča valley towards Gorica being started. In the lower part of the village the Vienna construction company Redlich & Berger set up wooden portacabins (this is where today’s name “Wooden village” comes from) for their workers. They created a 500-metre-long tunnel under Laze. Locals who had their fields there were afraid they would fall into the tunnel while ploughing.

They delivered milk, meat and other goodies to the workers and made some good money. Work progressed well; the pubs were full. Workers came from all over the empire, with Lahi from the Tyrol also among them. Locals supplied wood, stone and sand to the construction site. They were pleased with the construction of the railway as this would enable them to be at Bled or Trieste in two hours.

According to different stories, arguments could not be avoided, with the police having to intervene on several occasions to deal with the workers’ reports of thefts, and quarrels that broke out. 

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