Warfare, politics and religion after the Habsburg Empire in the Julian March, 1930s– 1970s
momentous historical events. Institutions and political
movements, in these examples, intervened heavily in the treatment
of the corpses and ascribed various symbolic meanings to them.
However, the foibe victims of 1943 could not escape collaborationist propaganda, in a climate where not only the enemy, but also the
victims were generally dehumanised.
The remains of the victims of the Risiera di San Sabba concentration camp were caught in the nationalconflict between Italians and
Slovenians over the fate of the region. As the crossroads of diverse
consideration for Jewish achievements there’. 54 The result was that a small nationalconflict in the
Middle East, which bore a disturbing resemblance to that of small nations in
Europe in the interwar period, was magnified and distorted in terms of
‘sinister behind-the-scenes conspiracy’. Arabs saw themselves
confronted by the forces of imperialism, Jews saw themselves confronted by two
thousand years of antisemitic history; both treated their
artefacts, the more difficult is swift change or new construction. Cockades and shirts can be changed – statues, monuments, and buildings are rather less malleable; destruction is easier and swifter as an assertion of dominance by conquerors, colonists, or new regimes. Just as buildings can convey messages, so can their demolition and the depiction of their destruction be a means of destroying one identity and asserting another. Robert Bevan's account of the demolition of buildings in sectarian and nationalconflicts is appropriately named The Destruction of Memory. The