Heros and Victims

Enrico Iurman (1912-1944)

Enrico Iurman (Italianized in the 1930s to Giormani, slavicized after 1947 to Jurman), had served the Italian military in the Battaglione San Marco in China, as did my father and other Istrians. Click to learn more.

Enrico Iurman (Italianized to Giormani by the Fascists) was my mother's second oldest brother, who had served in the Italian navy in China in the late 1920s or ealy 1930s. He was murdered on May 14 (?), 1944 in a hail of bullets that originated from a group of Partisans who came rushing out of the woods at the signal of one of their own zealot townspeople (a known member of the Tito volunteers called UDBA) to gun down a group of of 7-8 Istrian civilians from Sušnjevica, along with the Nazi soldiers who had "recruited" them to repair a local road that had been bombed. These poor civilians were all  family men who died not at hands of any Fascist, Nazi or Communist enemies - as falsely implied on the propagandist memorial plaque - but at the hands of their own relatives and friends who believed that they were in the right. There can be no greater tragedy than this!

1941 - Pierina and Enrico Iurman with their son, Mario.

Among the other men who were killed in this same incident was Antonio Bercarich (Anton Brkaric), grandfather of Laura, Frank and Rita Tercovich, whose father was a close friend of my father growing up (and possibly a distant relative on my paternal grandmother's side).

June 6, 1942 - Enrico Iurman at the Iurman - Ciceran wedding.

The Istrians who were slaughtered in this incident were buried in a single row at the cemetery at Sušnjevica. However, most of the people - on both sides of the bullet - are now virtually faceless and forgotten except for having their names included (in Croatized form, not their original names) on a memorial plaque alongside dozens of other victims of World War II in Sušnjevica during the Nazi period 1943-5.

Countless Istrians who went down with their merchant or military ships during World War II, or who were killed in the field of battle, or as innocent victims of that same war or its its equally brutal aftermath for Fiume and Istria, until now have remained primarily faceless and anonymous - and therefore unheralded. It is our hope, therefore, to restore at least some of their faces and identity, as I do here with "zio Rico". I have done the same for my father's best friend and best man at his wedding,  Giovanni Liubicich, a casualty of communist Tito's OZNA militia and/or UDBA partisans in 1945, who is today listed among the names of people that have been identified as being one of the infoibati of Rijeka (perhaps thanks in part to my father who immediately reported his best friend as missing). And finally, there is also a page for my mother's oldest brother Giuseppe Iurman, went down with his ship that was torpedoed by the British. Not even his children had photographs of their father until a few months ago when I scanned and shared the 2 or 3 photographs that were in our family album.

Pierina and Enrico Iurman had two children: fraternal twins, a boy (Mario) and girl who died only after a few months of life. His son Mario Jurman (1941-2017), had retired to Florida, USA with his wife Catherine, a Scottish immigrant.

Marisa Ciceran

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Created: Friday, July 27, 2001, Last Updated: Friday, January 27, 2017
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