Welcome to “Memories of World War II: The Study of the Personal Narrative of Trauma in World War II.” This site was created by Alexandra Siega, Middlebury College Class of 2012.5, for an International Studies senior seminar titled “Memory Matters: National Identity in Contemporary Germany and Italy.” The course was team-taught in the Spring of 2011 by Professor of Italian Natasha Chang and Assistant Professor of German Natalie Eppelsheimer.
The purpose of the website is to provide a place for viewers to read personal accounts of trauma during World War II from Germany and Italy. The course brought to light the important connections between German Nazism and Italian Fascism, and this site is meant to explore these connections through the narrative of trauma. “Memories of World War II: The Study of the Personal Narrative of Trauma in World War II” contains a selection of carefully chosen memoirs, dialogues, letters, and poems from both countries and both sides of the conflict, while reevaluating the meaning of “victim” to extend to soldiers as well as civilians. In addition, the author has commented on each narrative with relevant comparisons to other texts as well as portrayal of the various concepts and overarching themes from the seminar. There is also a Further Reading page, containing sources with supplementary accounts of trauma from World War II.
Alexandra Siega — ’12.5, is a student at Middlebury College. She majors in Russian and East European Studies (REES) with a focus in Russian language and literature, and minors in Italian. She began studying Italian during a semester abroad in Genova, Italy, and attended the Middlebury College Italian Language School at the third level the following summer. In her third semester she did in an independent study with Professor of Italian Natasha Chang on the subject of fascism in Italy—her first exposure to the study of fascism. The course culminated in a final paper about the role and portrayal of women during the period, written in Italian, titled “La politica femminile fascista: un contraddittorio di due ideali.” (The Female Fascist: A Contradiction of Two Ideals) Other relevant coursework within the Italian department includes classes on both medieval and contemporary Italian literature. She enrolled in the trilingual International Studies seminar, “Memory Matters: National Identity in Contemporary Germany and Italy,” in the Spring of 2011, for which this project is her final work.
The blog format is meant to encourage visitor participation; feel free to leave a comment on any of the pages with your thoughts, opinions, and concerns. Please keep in mind, however, to be sensitive to others within your posts. All comments must be approved by the author to appear on the site.