Materiality and Embodiment in Second World War Italy
Author: Sarah De Nardi
Publisher: Taylor & Francis
Seventy years after the end of the Second World War we still do not fully appreciate the intensity of the lived experience of people and communities involved in resistance movements and subjected to German occupation. Yet the enduring conjunction between individuals, things and place cannot be understated: from plaques on the wall to the beloved yellowing relics of private museums, materiality is paramount to any understanding of conflict experience and its poetics. This book reasserts the role of the senses, the imagination and emotion in the Italian war experience and its remembrance practices by tracing a cultural geography of the everyday material worlds of the conflict, and by digging deep into the multifaceted interweaving of place, person and conflict dynamics. Loneliness, displacement and paranoia were all emotional states shared by resistance activists and their civilian supporters. But what about the Fascists? And the Germans? In a civil war and occupation where shifting allegiances and betrayal were frequent, traditional binary codes of friend-foe cannot exist uncritically. This book incorporates these different actors’ perceptions, their competing and discordant materialities, and their shared – yet different – sense of loss and placelessness through witness accounts, storytelling and memoirs.
The Strategy of Tension and the Politics of Nonreconciliation
Author: Anna Cento Bull
Publisher: Berghahn Books
During the Cold War Italy witnessed the existence of an anomalous version of a civil conflict, defined as a 'creeping' or a 'low-intensity' civil war. Political violence escalated, including bomb attacks against civilians, starting with a massacre in Milan, on 12 December 1969, and culminating with the massacre in Bologna, on 2 August 1980. Making use of the literature on national reconciliation and narrative psychology theory, this book examines the fight over the 'judicial' and the 'historical' truth in Italy today, through a contrasting analysis of judicial findings and the 'narratives of victimhood' prevalent among representatives of both the post- and the neo-fascist right.
From the invasion of Ethiopia in 1935 through to the waning months of the World War II in 1945, Fascist Italy was at war. This Fascist decade of war comprised an uninterrupted stretch of military and political engagements in which Italian military forces were involved in Abyssinia, Spain, Albania, France, Greece, the Soviet Union, North Africa and the Middle East. As a junior partner to Nazi Germany, only entering the war in June 1940, Italy is often seen as a relatively minor player in World War II. However, this book challenges much of the existing scholarship by arguing that Fascist Italy played a significant and distinct role in shaping international relations between 1935 and 1945, creating a Fascist decade of war.
The US invasion of Iraq in 2003 was done mainly, if one is to believe US policy at the time, to liberate the people of Iraq from an oppressive dictator. However, the many protests in London, New York, and other cities imply that the policy of "making the world safe for democracy" was not shared by millions of people in many Western countries. Thinking about this controversy inspired the present volume, which takes a closer look at how society responded to the outbreaks and conclusions of the First and Second World Wars. In order to examine this relationship between the conduct of wars and public opinion, leading scholars trace the moods and attitudes of the people of four Western countries (Great Britain, France, Germany and Italy) before, during and after the crucial moments of the two major conflicts of the twentieth century. Focusing less on politics and more on how people experienced the wars, this volume shows how the distinction between enthusiasm for war and concern about its consequences is rarely clear-cut.
Foreword by Michael LambekThe death and destruction of war leave behind scars and fears that can last for generations. This book considers the connections between memory and violence in the wake of World War II.Covering the range of European experiences from East to West, Memory and World War II takes a long-term approach to the study of trauma at the local level. It challenges the notion of collective memory and calls for an understanding of memory as a fine line between the individual and society, the private and the public. International contributors from a range of disciplines seek new ways to incorporate local memory within national history and consider whether memories of extreme violence can be socially transformed. Personal testimony reveals the myriad ways in which communities react to and reconstruct the horrors of war. What we learn is that terrifying experiences reside not only in memories of the past but remain embedded in present-day lives.
Developing a knowledge of the Spanish-Italian connection between right-wing extremist groups is crucial to any detailed understanding of the history of fascism. Transnational Fascism in the Twentieth Century allows us to consider the global fascist network that built up over the course of the 20th century by exploring one of the significant links that existed within that network. It distinguishes and analyses the relationship between the fascists of Spain and Italy at three interrelated levels - that of the individual, political organisations and the state - whilst examining the world relations and contacts of both fascist factions, from Buenos Aires to Washington and Berlin to Montevideo, in what is a genuinely transnational history of the fascist movement. Incorporating research carried out in archives around the world, this book delivers key insights to further the historical study of right-wing political violence in modern Europe.
The Second World War wreaked unprecedented devastation throughout Europe, necessitating monumental reconstruction efforts that burdened not only governments, but the lives of ordinary citizens. War, Massacre, and Recovery in Central Italy, 1943-1948 examines this transitional period in the province of Arezzo by detailing the daily experiences of civilians through the traumas of war and the difficulties of recovery. Studying the aftermath of war in a new and insightful way, Victoria C. Belco shifts the perspective from the national to the local level. With this localized focus, she provides valuable insight into the ways in which civilians coped with an overwhelming range of problems - from adjusting to Allied occupation and widespread displacement to rampant unemployment and the restructuring of local administrations and institutions after fascism. Recreating the post-war atmosphere of disorder, need, and political upheaval, Belco shows how the competing community interests caused social fragmentations that impeded change, while the unity of a shared past prevented civil war.
This book argues that contemporary Italian history has been marked by a tendency towards divided memory. Events have been interpreted in contrasting ways, and the facts themselves often contested. Moreover, with so little agreement over what happened, and why it happened, it has been extremely difficult to create any consensus around memory. These divisions have been seen at all levels, but take on particular importance when linked to the great traumatic and life-changing events of the Twentieth century - war, terrorism, disaster - but can also be applied to more cultural fields such as sport and everyday life. Social change also has an impact on memory. This book will take the form of a voyage through Italy (and into Italy's past), looking at stories of divided memory over various periods in the twentieth century. These stories will be interwoven with analysis and discussion.
Bringing together leading scholars from a range of nations, Rethinking Antifascism provides a fascinating exploration of one of the most vibrant sub-disciplines within recent historiography. Through case studies that exemplify the field’s breadth and sophistication, it examines antifascism in two distinct realms: after surveying the movement’s remarkable diversity across nations and political cultures up to 1945, the volume assesses its postwar political and ideological salience, from its incorporation into Soviet state doctrine to its radical questioning by historians and politicians. Avoiding both heroic narratives and reflexive revisionism, these contributions offer nuanced perspectives on a movement that helped to shape the postwar world.
From Revolution to Republic, 1700 to the Present, Fourth Edition
Author: Spencer M. DiScala
This essential book fills a serious gap in the field by synthesizing modern Italian history and placing it in a fully European context. Emphasizing globalization, Italy traces the country's transformation from a land of emigration to one of immigration and its growing cultural importance. Including coverage of the April 2008 elections, this updated edition offers expanded examinations of contemporary Italy's economic, social, and cultural development, a deepened discussion on immigration, and four new biographical sketches. Author Spencer M. Di Scala discusses the role of women, gives ample attention to the Italian South, and provides a picture of how ordinary Italians live. Cast in a clear and lively style that will appeal to readers, this comprehensive account is an indispensable addition to the field.