Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Update on Tagliavini's Diplomatic Service

In a previous post I speculated the Carlo Tagliavini's mission in Poland for the Italian foreign ministry in March of 1939 might have been a cover story for his involvement in preparations for the Italian invasion of Albania.  This is incorrect. In fact, the Italian foreign minister Galeazzo Ciano did visit Warsaw starting February 25, 1939 and this is presumably the mission which Tagliavini was involved in. Ciano hoped that war between Poland and Germany might still be avoided, but when he got to Warsaw he thought the Poles too resistant to giving in to German demands  (tutto rimane bloccato dall'antigermanismo qui radicato as he reported in a phone call to Mussolini ((Borejsza 1981:33)) and predicted war would not be long in coming. 

On the subject of Tagliavini during the run-up to World War II, I should mention that Tagliavini and, presumably through his influence, Ciano tried to get the German foreign ministry to request that the authorities allow the Austrian Albanologist of Jewish origins Norbert Jokl to flee to Albania where a position had been created for him.  But this intercession was unsuccessful and Jokl was to perish in Nazi hands.

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