Agents of Memory in the Making: The Greek war-disabled of WWII
Title: Agents of Memory in the Making: The Greek war-disabled of WWII
Author: ROVITHI, Chara
Series/Report no.: EUI PhD theses; Department of History and Civilization
This dissertation examines the making of the WWII disabled as agents of memory focusing on the experience of mutilation of the specific group of war veterans. A large part of the research is based on oral testimonies, various ego-documents, legal documentation, newsletters and material from disabled associations. Starting from a presentation of the declaration of the war and its process it seeks to find the main constitutive elements of the Greek-Italian war legend in the period of its consolidation. The way in which invalids conceptualize this legend in their memories and the interaction between those memories and the legend’s thematic structure is put forward in a concise unit. What follows is an attempt to track the invalids’ trajectory from the front to the hospitals and further on to their life in the post liberation years, the period of their rehabilitation. Importance is given in the process of hospitalization. Hospitals, far from being a space of confinement, acquire new meanings through the social interaction developed among patients, visitors and the medical staff forming thus a locus of their constitution as war-disabled. It is in this exact place, the hospital, that the disabled form their associations, get involved into the resistance and finally suffer the repression of the occupational government. In the first decade of the post-war years, disabled rehabilitation is examined within a political, social and legal framework. There is an analysis of the war veterans’ survival strategies, the political discourse, the structure of the associations and the economic and social positioning of the disabled subjects. The final chapter offers an historical perspective and functions as an introduction to the prehistory of the subject, dealing mostly with policies, legal regulations and institutions of the war-disabled in the interwar years.
Defence date: 12 December 2011; Examining Board: Prof. Peter Becker (EUI) - Supervisor Prof. Heinz-Gerhard Haupt (EUI) Prof. Georgios Margaritis (Thessaloniki University) Prof. Gustavo Corni (Università di Trento)
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