Unheimliche Heimat: Triest als Erinnerungsraum

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The region around Trieste forms a microcosm of the contradictory impulses that have defined Italian memory culture since 1945. The tension between commemoration and a rehabilitation of fascism is especially visible in two rival sites of memory: the Risiera di San Sabba, a former concentration camp, and the Foiba di Basovizza, which commemorates the victims of Yugoslav partisans. Both sites present an exculpatory version of Italian history that casts Italians as innocent victims of external aggression and glosses over the issues of collaboration and enforced Italianisation as well as the fascist policies of racial hygiene. A counterpoint to this dominant narrative may be found in the literary works of regional authors with Slovenian, Croatian and Jewish backgrounds. They bring repressed aspects of the region’s history and memory to light and recover the biographies of those who have been forgotten or excluded. Trieste is a paradigm case of „the historical uncanny“: a palimpsest of repressed memories that persistently reappear to disrupt and disturb the city and its historical self-image.
Original languageGerman
Pages (from-to)114-127
Number of pages13
JournalShoah: intervention, methods, documentation
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2016


  • Cultural Memory
  • Italy
  • Fascism
  • Memorials
  • Heimat
  • Freud
  • Triest

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