Beyond the borders
Displaced persons in the Italian linguistic space during the First World War
in Europe on the move
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During the First World War in Italy the question of refugees was vexed and ambiguous, even from a semantic viewpoint. Italian lacks a useful portmanteau expression like 'displaced persons'. The issue of refugees ceased to be a spatially limited problem of public order and became a permanent aspect of coping with the war. After the outbreak of the First World War, the southern border area of Trentino (at that time part of the Hapsburg Empire) became a battlefield. The rural population of Trentino in fact shared a multi-layered identity before the war. The refugees from Trentino were legally supported and subsidised as compatriots in Italy. Although the civilian authorities of Austria and Italy considered the Italian speaking inhabitants of Trentino as loyal Austrian citizens, the same people were considered traitors by the Austrian military authorities.

Europe on the move

Refugees in the era of the Great War

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