Chained corpses
Warfare, politics and religion after the Habsburg Empire in the Julian March, 1930s– 1970s
in Human remains in society

The chapter deals with the role of corpses in public memory during the Age of the World Wars in the North Adriatic borderland, where human remains had a momentous role in the clash among the area’s main collective identities: Italian, Slovenian and Croatian nationals, Habsburg authorities, Communists, Nazis, Fascists and new Fascists, and the Jewish community. In particular, corpses were actors in political-religious representations and a driving force in the period’s war propaganda. After 1945, human remains were contentious among conflicting factions and later became involved in trials against Nazi war criminals – regular public opinion has since underlined their fate. The analysis begins by recalling the public display and long spanning funeral of the mummified corpse of Archduke Franz Ferdinand of Austria and his spouse, on the brink of the Great War in July 1914. The paper then explores other examples in use of corpses in the public discourse and pays careful attention to three case studies: the Redipuglia WW1 shrine, the pictures shot in winter 1943–44 of exhumed partisans’ enemies, and the victims’ ashes of the San Sabba Rice Mill lager.

Human remains in society

Curation and exhibition in the aftermath of genocide and mass-violence


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