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A Land on the Threshold

South Tyrolean Transformations, 1915–2015

Edited By Georg Grote and Hannes Obermair

Among the many commemorations of World War I, little was made of the 100th anniversary of the secret Treaty of London between Italy and the Western War Allies in April 1915, which sealed the fate of South Tyrol for the duration of the twentieth century by passing it from Austria to Italy. In May 2015, a symposium was held in the medieval Prösels Castle in the Italian Dolomites to mark this historical moment. Contributors set out to explore the political, social and cultural impact of South Tyrol’s existence «on the threshold» during the twentieth century.

Individually and collectively, the essays in this volume challenge the simplistic reading of South Tyrol as merely a geographic region torn between Germanic and Italian cultures; instead, they explore the dynamic effects of its geographical, political and cultural history since 1915. South Tyrol, as a modern regional state in Europe, faces many of the same problems as other European regions, be they individual states or sub-state regions. Most of the contributions in this volume are from academics and intellectuals within the Province of Bolzano/Bozen who negotiate and discuss these issues through their native languages: German, Italian and Ladin. By making their research accessible through English translations and abstracts, this volume seeks to bring their work on historical and contemporary developments in South Tyrol to a wider European and global audience.


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List of Figures ix Acknowledgements xiii Georg Grote and Hannes Obermair Introduction: South Tyrol: Land on a Threshold. Really? xv part i History 1 Rolf Steininger 1 1918/1919. Die Teilung Tirols 3 Carlo Moos 2 Südtirol im St. Germain-Kontext 27 Nina F. Caprez 3 Economic Hurdles after the Great War: How the South Tyrol-based Swiss Monastery Muri-Gries Overcame an Existential Crisis 41 Sabine Mayr 4 The Annihilation of the Jewish Community of Meran 53 vi part ii Historiography 77 Markus Wurzer 5 Genesis of the South Tyrolean Iconic Figure Sepp Innerkofler: Actors, Narrative, Functions 79 Georg Grote 6 Challenging the Zero-Hour Concept: Letters across Borders 101 Eva Pfanzelter 7 The (Un)digested Memory of the South Tyrolean Resettlement in 1939 119 part iii Society Today 145 Sarah Oberbichler 8 “Calcutta lies … near the Rombrücke”: Migration Discourse in Alto Adige and Dolomiten and their Coverage of the Bozen “Immigrant Barracks Camps” of the Early 1990s 147 Julia Tapfer 9 Ankommen, verbinden, vernetzen: Vereine und Vereinigungen von Migrant_innen in Südtirol. Eine Gegenüberstellung der Donne Nissà, der Associazione Panalbanese Arbëria und der Rumänischen Gemeinde 173 Friederike Haupt 10 Beobachtungen aus musiksoziologischer Sicht 197 vii Bettina Schlorhaufer 11 Historicism and the Rise of Regionalism as “Style”: South Tyrol’s Successful Special Path 217 Gareth Kennedy 12 Die Unbequeme Wissenschaft (The Uncomfortable Science) 239 part iv Border Stories 257 Johanna Mitterhofer 13 Border Stories: Negotiating Life on the Austrian– Italian border 259 Paolo Bill Valente 14 Sulla soglia. Leggende...

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