Building Yugoslavia in the sand? Dalmatian refugees in Egypt, 1944-1946

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During the last years of the Second World War, some 30,000 Yugoslav refugees found shelter in the Egyptian desert from the German occupation of Dalmatia. In the camp El Shatt, the Partisan movement, the nascent UN, western aid groups, and the British Army worked together to take care of the refugees and also to negotiate future relations. The Communist Party, with victory in Yugoslavia in sight, sought to showcase its ability to organize and motivate its future citizens. Thus, the camps in Egypt became a testing ground for statebuilding back home. The article will explore the tensions that emerged between the self-confident Partisans, the suspicious British and UN officials, and the refugees, who experienced the end of the war in the Egyptian desert.




Bieber, F. (2020, June 1). Building Yugoslavia in the sand? Dalmatian refugees in Egypt, 1944-1946. Slavic Review. Cambridge University Press.

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