In the First World War the Italian army fought against Austro-Hungarian empire mostly on two fronts: the first on the Alps, between Tyrol and Veneto; the second on the eastern border of those times, on the Isonzo/Soča and Karst. Battles on the Isonzofront were the bloodiest and those that struck most of all Italian public opinion. In this occasion Italians discovered the names of some territories which previously did not know. The level of the massacre was very high and the majority of public opinion didn’t consider that they fought in a region populated by Italians and Slovenians, subjects of the Habsburgs. At the same time they also tried not to think that thousands of soldiers died in a small portion of land, less than ten kilometers at its widest point. This space was filled with dozens of military cemeteries, built by both armies. Italian cemeteries became after the war places visited by thousands of relatives of dead soldiers, from all over the country. The visits grew still further after those territories became part of Italy, after the treaties of 1919 and 1920. The need to give a rational arrangement to the graves became an opportunity to organize the former war zone and to transform the pilgrimage of the survivors in a path of memory. The memory of the war and its disasters was thus transformed into a celebration of victory. The construction of a dark tourism became the occasion of nationalist statement and the denial of local identities. On the territory they inserted important “signs”, that characterized (and characterize) the landscape. It was a winning political choice that became an example of the political management of the territory. It lasted throughout the twentieth century and overtook the beginning of the new millennium.

The first world war and the use of memory in the landscape of the Isonzo/Soca front

ZILLI, SERGIO
2015

Abstract

In the First World War the Italian army fought against Austro-Hungarian empire mostly on two fronts: the first on the Alps, between Tyrol and Veneto; the second on the eastern border of those times, on the Isonzo/Soča and Karst. Battles on the Isonzofront were the bloodiest and those that struck most of all Italian public opinion. In this occasion Italians discovered the names of some territories which previously did not know. The level of the massacre was very high and the majority of public opinion didn’t consider that they fought in a region populated by Italians and Slovenians, subjects of the Habsburgs. At the same time they also tried not to think that thousands of soldiers died in a small portion of land, less than ten kilometers at its widest point. This space was filled with dozens of military cemeteries, built by both armies. Italian cemeteries became after the war places visited by thousands of relatives of dead soldiers, from all over the country. The visits grew still further after those territories became part of Italy, after the treaties of 1919 and 1920. The need to give a rational arrangement to the graves became an opportunity to organize the former war zone and to transform the pilgrimage of the survivors in a path of memory. The memory of the war and its disasters was thus transformed into a celebration of victory. The construction of a dark tourism became the occasion of nationalist statement and the denial of local identities. On the territory they inserted important “signs”, that characterized (and characterize) the landscape. It was a winning political choice that became an example of the political management of the territory. It lasted throughout the twentieth century and overtook the beginning of the new millennium.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11368/2849278
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