Hvar in History: Evacuation to Egypt
The tale of evacuation from Hvar to Egypt
Hvar is full of surprises, and the longer I live here, the more I realise there is to find out.
I was speaking to a local guy the other day and someone pointed out he had been born in Egypt. Egypt? How in the world would anyone from a Dalmatian island, whose heritage was firmly rooted here end up being born in a tented community in the Egyptian desert?
And then I learned the astonishing story of El Shatt.
It is a story of war, evacuation, suffering, ingenuity and triumph over adversity. A story which saw some 26,872 civilians evacuated from the heavy fighting in Dalamtia by the Partisans and the British, and relocated to a camp in the Sinai desert, where a Dalmatian community evolved and thrived from 1944 to 1946.
During the camp's short life, there were 161 registered marriages, 481 births and 629 deaths. We begin the story next week and would love to hear from anyone who has more knowledge of the Croatian community in El Shatt, especially from anyone who is willing to be interviewed.
Part One is now available.