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New title in the BiG publication series

In No 82 of our publication series Elisabeth Bleuer examines the history and everyday lives of Italian soldiers interned in Switzerland during the Second World War, based on written sources from the Seeland.

02.05.2022 | Library Am Guisanplatz, Mathias Kobel

The picture shows No 82 in the BiG publications series, Bleuer, Italienische Internierte in der Schweiz zur Zeit des Zweiten Weltkriegs mit Blick auf das Seeland und das italienische Kavallerieregiment «Savoia Cavalleria».
No 82, Bleuer, Italienische Internierte in der Schweiz zur Zeit des Zweiten Weltkriegs mit Blick auf das Seeland und das italienische Kavallerieregiment «Savoia Cavalleria».

Around 105,000 military personnel were interned in Switzerland during the Second World War. There are extensive written documents and many testimonies from contemporary witnesses about the internees of the 45th French Army Corps, including around 15,000 Poles who crossed into Switzerland in 1940. Relatively few studies exist on the 30,000 or so Italian internees who came to Switzerland after the armistice of 8 September 1943 between Italy and the Allies.

This work examines the coexistence of the Italian internees with Swiss locals. One chapter deals with the history of the Savoia Cavalleria, which fled to Switzerland as a military unit on 12 September 1943 and was first housed in the five Seeland communities of Kerzers, Fräschels, Kallnach, Brüttelen and Müntschemier.

Most of the written sources used for the work come from this region. These accounts by contemporary witnesses provide an impressive picture of the local population’s relationship to the Italian internees. Everyday life at the time was often a shared struggle. The war years were not easy for either the refugees or the Swiss because of the tense political and economic situation.

This issue of the publication series can be downloaded free of charge from our online library catalogue.

 


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CH-3003 Bern