Italy

Italy's Divided Memory (Italian and Italian American by J. Foot

By J. Foot

This booklet argues that modern Italian historical past has been marked by way of a bent in the direction of divided reminiscence. occasions were interpreted in contrasting methods, and the evidence themselves frequently contested. in addition, with so little contract over what occurred, and why it occurred, it's been tremendous tricky to create any consensus round reminiscence. those divisions were obvious in any respect degrees, yet tackle specific value while associated with the good stressful and life-changing occasions of the 20th century - battle, terrorism, catastrophe - yet can be utilized to extra cultural fields resembling activity and daily life. Social swap additionally has an influence on reminiscence. This booklet will take the shape of a voyage via Italy (and into Italy's past), taking a look at tales of divided reminiscence over a number of classes within the 20th century. those tales can be interwoven with research and dialogue.

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Sample text

He was accused by many of actively collaborating in the massacre. In short, he became a local scapegoat. Anthropologists and historians have explained these narratives through the search for an “internal enemy” within the community as part of a way of understanding tragic events. The German army, after all, was no longer around. It had no human face. Giubbi was the leading religious figure in San Miniato—highly visible and an easy target. In other places, the partisans often became the scapegoats, especially where massacres were interpreted as reprisals after partisan actions, as at Civitella and in Rome (with the Fosse Ardeatine).

Thus, all sides collaborated in reinforcing the powerful myth of the “good Italian,” a myth that only began to come under serious criticism some sixty years after the end of the war. A political decision had been made to close all legal procedures against Nazi war criminals for their activities in Italy, with a few exceptions. The files were closed, and only reopened in the 1990s. Yet, as in Spain, these various pacts of silence did not resolve questions regarding divided memories and feelings of injustice.

Official lists, however, were not drawn up until 1920, when medals were awarded to the mothers of the victims. These lists were important for the construction of monuments, which usually contained names and images. Many local councils (if they were not already in socialist hands) saw the election of radical socialist administrations in 1920, which often set about putting up their own war monuments, and sometimes dismantled 38 ITALY’S DIVIDED MEMORY those from the past. 23 Socialist plaques were marked by differences in language, in the dates used, in the symbols and in their tone.

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