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Europe on the MoveRefugees in the Era of the Great War$
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Peter Gatrell and Liubov Zhvanko

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9781784994419

Published to Manchester Scholarship Online: January 2018

DOI: 10.7228/manchester/9781784994419.001.0001

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Beyond the borders: displaced persons in the Italian linguistic space during the First World War

Beyond the borders: displaced persons in the Italian linguistic space during the First World War

Chapter:
(p.177) 8 Beyond the borders: displaced persons in the Italian linguistic space during the First World War
Source:
Europe on the Move
Author(s):

Marco Mondini

Francesco Frizzera

Publisher:
Manchester University Press
DOI:10.7228/manchester/9781784994419.003.0009

According to the most commonly accepted figures, the experience of displacement in Italy between 1915 and 1918 affected about 600,000 civilians, either forced to leave their homes or voluntarily fleeing to the internal regions of the state. The civilians registered as ‘displaced persons’ at the end of war mostly originated from the north-eastern provinces of the Italian peninsula, which since May 1915 had been war zones and which in late 1917 following the Italian defeat at Caporetto were invaded by the Austrian and German armies. The chapter shows how refugees from Trentino were legally supported and subsidised as compatriots in Italy. In terms of everyday life, however, they did not integrate themselves into the host community, with the exception of those places where irredentist groups were active. On the contrary, they demonstrated pro-Italian feelings only in order to gain concrete benefits, to avoid internment, and to gain the respect of the local population. Most of them kept a low profile.

Keywords:   Refugees, Civilians, First World War, Italy, Trentino, Austria-Hungary, Internment

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