A European Perspective
Edited By Gabrielle Hogan-Brun
This collection of especially commissioned articles, written in English by internationally renowned experts, explores these and related questions. It draws together research on the status and role of German and on attitudes towards its use in Austria, Switzerland, Belgium, Luxembourg, Italy (South Tyrol), France (Alsace), Denmark (Nordschleswig) and Hungary.
From Tragedy to Triumph: The German Language in South Tyrol 1922–2000 161
Antony Alcock From Tragedy to Triumph: The German Language in South Tyrol 1922-2000 Soon after Italy obtained South Tyrol from Austria at the end of the First World War the Fascists began a policy of assimilating the German-speaking South Tyrolese minority. The German language was eliminated from almost all aspects of public life, particularly schools and the administration. After the Second World War South Tyrol obtained an autonomy within which the South Tyrolese sought to rehabilitate the language and expand its use but Italy applied this restrictively. Cultural points of dispute with the Italian authorities concerned the status of German, ethnically separate schooling, bilingualism and ethnic proportions in all public employment and parity in broadcasting time. Political and cultural dissatisfaction led to twelve years of violence after which the South Tyrol obtained a much improved autonomy. But the new linguistic arrangements designed to protect the German-speaking minority in South Tyrol have come up against the European Union's principle of freedom of movement, as exemplified by two recent cases before the European Court of Justice. Introduction: South Tyrol and European Politics 1890-1922 Acquisition of 'geographic' Italy south of the Brenner pass and in- cluding the southern part of the German-speaking Austrian Crownland of Tyrol as well as the overwhelmingly Italian Trentino had long been an aim of nineteenth century Italian nationalism. After the 1856 and 1866 wars of the Risorgimento, which saw the Austrian Empire evicted from Lombardy and Venice, the incentive to liberate all other Italians under Habsburg rule increased....
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