Trieste 1914-1915. Wounded and dead soldiers and discovery of the modern war Between July and August 1914 began one of the most tragic wars in contemporary history. The first mass conflict was quickly perceived as an epochal massacre, first of all by the fighting soldiers and the civilians who lived near the front, while in a few months news of bloody battles, wounded and dead soldiers reached different and distant places. This study deals with Trieste, a town that was kept out of war until May 1915 as well as other towns under the Augsburg monarchy, and shows how information on what the war and the life at the front were like were delivered in peripheral towns. The ways through which information (despite the censorship) spread were the letters from the front, the newspapers, the wounded soldiers, sent back home to be restored to health, or the dead ones. These «channels», which made people aware of the human costs of the war, are thoroughly scrutinized in this essay and mainly analysed through new archives’ resources.
«The first volunteer»: the myth of Guglielmo Oberdan and the Great War. This essay aims to trace Guglielmo Oberdan’s mythopoetic role during the First World War. Specifically, it focuses on the influence this man – a hero of the Italian Risorgimento, charged with plotting to kill the Austrian Emperor Franz Joseph and consequently sentenced to death by hanging on December 20, 1882 – had on the young people who fought at the Italian front to conquer the “unredeemed lands”. The reevaluation of this character, who was to be transformed from a Resorgimental hero into the first volunteer of the Italian army that fought against the Austrian enemy, clearly comes out by analyzing the celebrations and pamphlets that were published during the war.
The emigration issue and the compulsory military service in Austria on the eve of World War I. The article presents the police measures taken in Austria in March 1914 in order to prevent illegal emigration of conscripts. The measures consisted of a control system, spread along the state boundaries as well as over the main areas of origin of the emigration flows and along their routes heading abroad. The task of the system was the monitoring of the emigration traffic and the checking of the military position of the male travellers to intercept those among them without appropriate permits for leaving the state territory. The surveillance involved besides the police force also customs officers and railway staff. The measures did not change the normatives regulating the rights of persons under military service to emigrate, it only made the check procedures and those of passports issue stricter. Despite this, they came across opposition inside the government and brought about strong political protests because they put under question the freedom of emigration as a constitutional principal and the government’s careless attitude towards the population economic needs. The contribution rests on the dossier concerning the introduction and implementation of the special surveillance over emigration in the archive of the provincial authorities in Trieste.
Psychiatry and people between war and borders, the psychiatric hospital of Pergine Valsugana between 1909 and 1924, the first results of an current research. After the end of the Great War, the psychiatric hospital of Pergine Valsugana received numerous soldiers and prisoners traumatized by war. In addition to these men, many civilians, particularly women, were hospitalized as a result of difficult experiences during the conflict. For decades, traumatic pathologies resulting from the war were considered prerogative of the soldiers, this research aims to shift the focus of this fundamental category to bring it to those people who, despite not having had experience in the trenches, suffer violence and shock such to compromise their mental sanity. The desire to investigate the effects of war on civilians is also the reason behind the decision to study the case of the asylum of Pergine Valsugana. The diaspora of the population of Trentino made this land one of the most tormented of the entire conflict, and the natural place for a research like this. After an introduction about the history of the psychiatric hospital of Pergine Valsugana, the article focuses on the mental health of civilians and the cause that psychiatrists attribute to these conditions.