Tag Archives: war

Port of no return

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Michelle Saftich will present her historical novel, Port of No Return (Odyssey Books, 2015), at the Museo Italiano  199 Faraday Street, Carlton, at 6.30pm on 10 February 2016, to coincide with Italy’s Giorno del Ricordo (free event; booking here). The day remembers those Italians killed or forced to leave their homes when Yugoslavia claimed their territories in north-east Italy at the end of World War II. Saftich’s story based is on the experiences of her father and his family fleeing Fiume in 1945 and their years as displaced people in the aftermath of war in Europe. Continue reading

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Researching Italians in Australia: war and internment

123063Among the sources of funds which postgraduate researchers can apply for are scholarships offered by the National Archives of Australia/Australian Historical Association to cover the costs of copying records held in the Archives. A recent winner is Mia Spizzica, a PhD candidate at Monash University, whose research is concerned with the experience of Italians interned in Australia during the Second World War. The loss of the breadwinners –  some 5000 men were interned after Italy declared war on Britain and France in June 1940 – had a serious impact on their families so that the consequences of wartime security measures extended directly or indirectly to some 30,000 Italians. Continue reading

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Digger statues: the Italian connection

image004Digger statues: the Italian connection‘ is the title of a talk to be given by Donald Richardson at the Museo Italiano (Carlton) on Wednesday, 16 September, 6.30pm (free: book here).  There are sculptures of ‘diggers’ on the war memorials in many Australian towns and suburbs. Although they are hardly ever noticed, they have been icons of Australian culture since the Boer War. But few know that many of them were actually designed and carved in Italy – in the marble workshops of Carrara – and bought by Australian monumental masons who simply erected them on their pedestals. They are part of a long Italian tradition that goes back to Ancient Rome (and includes Michelangelo) onto which Australian iconography has been grafted. Because the tradition was that only the names of those who served and/or died should appear on our war memorials, few artists signed their works, so their valuable contribution to our culture was in danger of being lost forever.  Continue reading

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Sicilia 1943

thumbs‘Sicilia 1943’ è il titolo dell’ultimo fascicolo di Meridiana (2015, n.82), a cura di Salvatore Lupo e Rosario Mangiameli. Come osservano i curatori, il 1943 è l’anno terribile nella storia dell’Italia contemporanea quando il paese vede due invasioni contrapposte: i tedeschi al Nord e gli anglo-americani al Sud, ciascuno con un proprio governo ma con un controllo limitato e incerto sul territorio. Il tema dell’amministrazione anglo-americana della Sicilia e delle sue conseguenze è stato affrontato di recente da Manoela Patti (La Sicilia e gli Alleati: Tra occupazione e liberazione, Donzelli, 2013) e Isobel Williams (Allies and Italians under Occupation. Sicily and Southern Italy, 1943-45, Macmillan 2013). Qui quel tema viene approfondito con saggi sulle trasmissioni pre-sbarco di Radio Londra, le conseguenze dei bombardimenti sul Meridione tra il 1940 e il 1944, la natura del governo militare instaurato dagli anglo-americani, i ricordi dei testimoni della sbarco e la storiografia di quell’anno cruciale.

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Al di là di Trieste: una letteratura di confine ancora poco nota

Gregoria Manzin   University of Melbourne

9781780885711La questione del confine orientale italiano pare ai più una disputa ormai conclusa e lontana nel tempo. In realtà la situazione di questi territori e delle genti istro-dalmate qui risiedenti rimase in sospeso fino al 1975, anno in cui vennero ratificati i confini tra l’Italia e la Iugoslavia con il Trattato di Osimo. Le discussioni sul confine tra le due nazioni si erano aperte alla conferenza di pace di Parigi del 1946. Al fine di risolvere le discrepanze tra la proposta americana e quella sovietica si optò per un compromesso territoriale. Rimaneva all’Italia la parte più occidentale della Venezia Giulia con le cittadine di Gorizia e Monfalcone, mentre per Trieste, città “perla” della regione, si propose la creazione del Territorio Libero di Trieste (TLT) sotto l’amministrazione delle Nazioni Unite.

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Blogs we like #9

icona_PitigrilliIn a recent post on the NYRB blog (Sept 16) Alexander Stille rescues the novelist Dino Segre (alias Pittigrilli) from oblivion. His Cocaine (1921) charts the life and downfall of a dandy in the world of Italy’s not-so-bright young things of the years between the wars. Segre’s own life as a professional cynic, successful journalist and OVRA spy on his Jewish cousin and friends, is a snapshot of that Italy.

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