The Dodecanese islands had been under Italian occupation since 1912, following the Italian invasion in the course of the Italian-Turkish war (1911). After the Treaty of Lausanne (1923), the islands were annexed politically and militarily to Fascist Italy and the administration became harsher towards its Greek population. The new overlords promoted systematic attempts at national changes, cultural alienation and economic drainage at the expense of the Greek element. This gradual escalation of the imposition of extremist colonial measures was founded on a series of institutional changes, and intensified towards the late 1930s.
During the Italian occupation a strong interest was expresed among European countries in the status of the Dodecanese islands and their transfer to Greece. The developments of the Second World War definitely decided the fate of this island complex, since a few years after its end they were conceded to Greece (1948). This was the last territorial annexation in the long process of establishing the modern Greek state.
The Venetogleio secondary school of Rhodes in a contemporary photograph. In 1922, 120 Greek schools with 432 teachers of primary and secondary education and15,925 male and female students were functioning at the Dodecanese islands. Istoria tou Ellinikou Ethnous, 15, Ekdotike Athenon, Athens 1978, p. 468.