Insights and Perspectives
War museums at the former frontline between Austria-Hungary and Italy during World War I
1. On the significance of World War I 100 years after the beginning of the fights
In view of Jan and Aleida Assmann’s definition of a communicative or social memory, which indicates a life span of about 80 to 100 years1, a 100-year-anniversary is a particularly interesting point in time for taking a look at a historical event. Contemporary historians are currently discussing the boundaries of their own subject, which for a long time had been defined, in Rothfels’ words, as an “epoch of contemporaries”2 and thus based on the communicative memory. The enormous attention paid to World War I in 2014, however, raises the question of whether it might be more appropriate to speak of an “epoch of empathy”3.
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