Zamask – Zamasco: “Old border village between Austria and Venice”
Zamask like many other Istrian town and villages have been a prehistoric hill fort settlement. It was also a Roman and later on Byzantine settlement. It is known that in the 12th century Zamask was donated by German Emperors to Bishops of Porec. It is not clear how and when the village passed under the administration of County of Pazin.
From the written documents it is known that in 1498 Zamask was named Samaskh in German. In 15th century some Noble families from Motovun that was under Venetian rule used to dispute with County of Pazin over rights to rule over Zamask. It is also known that at that time the village was part of Kascerga.
At the end of the wars between Austria and Venice at the beginning of the 16th century, in 1523, it was decided to place the border between Austria and Venice in the middle of the village. From that period Zamask was divided in Zumesco and Zamasco.
The family Polesini from Motovun had the feudal rights over Zamask since 14th century and this was confirmed in 1788 when Polesini family received Marquis title.
After the fall of Venice the division of the village continued during the Napoleon rule. After the fall of Napoleon, during the Austrian and later on the Austro-Hungarian Monarchy administration the division was eliminated although it is known that even in 1869 Polesini family was receiving the feudal rights for Zamask.
After the fall of the Austro-Hungarian Monarchy, Zamsk followed the destiny of other Istrian towns and villages. It was part of Italy between the two World Wars and became part of Yugoslavia (Croatia) after the Second World War.
During the Italian Fascist period in Istria many Istrian families suffered from the regime or had to leave Istria. Fascism in Istria applied various repressive measures mostly towards Slav populations and this created the Antifascist Movement. The Second World War was a very painful experience for the Istrian population and many innocent Istrians, both Slav and Latin, died during that war.
After the second World War Zamask became part of Yugoslavia (Croatia). There were three agreements between Yugoslavia and Italy which established that Istria would become a part of Yugoslavia: Paris Agreement of 1947, London Memorandum of 1954 and the Osimo Agreement reached in 1975. In the first decade after the Second World War many Istrians, especially those living in towns and villages that for centuries were part of the Venice Republic, decided to leave Istria.
In 1991 with the fall of Yugoslavia and the founding of the Republic of Croatia, the internal republic boundaries were recognised as the state boundaries and Zamask is today part of Croatia.
In 2013 Zamask became part of the European Union. You can not change the past but you can try to learn from it. The main aim of the European Union founders was to build a system that could avoid future wars and future refugees in Europe as I explain in COSMOPOLITE.