May22

Land of mine: an Ethical Example of Wisdom and Empathic Rationality

Categories // POWs, Meeting the other, Justice and punishment

By Patrizia Piredda

Land of mine: an Ethical Example of Wisdom and Empathic Rationality

Any violent act begets revenge when the agent believes that only by means of punishment grounded on the principle of an eye for an eye it is possible to act by justice and to restore peace. These ethical reflections are once more expressed in Land of Mine, a historical movie from 2015, directed by Martin Zandvliet and nominated for the Best Foreign Language Film at the Academy Awards in 2017.

Dec07

Claudio Pavone: 30 November 1920 – 29 November 2016

Written by // Simona Tobia

Claudio Pavone: 30 November 1920 – 29 November 2016

In 1991 Italian publisher Bollati Boringhieri issued a monograph titled Una Guerra civile. Saggio storico sulla moralità nella Resistenza. It would change points of view on history and stimulate debates for years to come. Its author, Claudio Pavone, one of the finest Italian historians, died last week, aged 95. 

Aug31

Encountering violence and crimes in autobiographical narratives of Operation “Barbarossa”

Categories // War crimes

Gianluca Cinelli

Encountering violence and crimes in autobiographical narratives of Operation “Barbarossa”

On 22nd June 1941, the German armies overcame the Russian resistance on the river Bug and started to penetrate in depth in Russia in a drunken state of exaltation. The encounter with war was, according to published memoirs that account for those events, first of all an exploration of an unknown, hostile land. Passing from a victory to another, German soldiers advanced in a state of exaltation and self-confidence. Soon enough, though, the war became brutal: the campaign was not like the former ones in Poland and France: the loss were high and a general crisis of the Wehrmacht was avoided only by pouring more and more replacements in the decimated ranks. The first impact with such a brutal war of annihilation consisted in encountering the huge mass of Soviet POWs, in a horrific scene that recurs in many a narrative. It is rare to come across allegations directly written in diaries or memoirs. In general, the soldiers found it disturbing to show themselves in the garb of brutal and insensible killers, especially because they were fighting in a war largely justified by ideological hatred and contempt for the enemy, as well as by racial prejudice.

Jan14

The War as Moral Experience in Wittgenstein’s Secret Diary

Categories // Human rights, War and culture, War and conflict

by Patrizia Piredda

When he stopped his studies of engineering in Manchester, Wittgenstein moved to Cambridge to study logic under the guidance of Bertrand Russell because he believed that by comprehending the fundamentals of language, and therefore the limits of language, he would understand its essence,   as well as that of human beings, in primis, himself. 

For Wittgenstein, knowing oneself was indispensable because only the man who knows himself can improve himself and become morally decent. When World War I broke out, Wittgenstein volunteered in the Austrian Army because he trusted “the fact that the experience of war would permit him to understand, beyond any fiction and illusion, who – which kind of man, so to say, – he really was. Thus, it was clarity and truth about himself that Wittgenstein expected from the war” (Perissinotto 13).

Jul08

What does ‘proximity’ mean for local interpreters working in zones of conflict?

María Manuela Fernández Sánchez

What does ‘proximity’ mean for local interpreters working in zones of conflict?

In this article María Manuela Fernández Sánchez gives us insights from her conversation with Spanish photographer and journalist Gervasio Sánchez, talking about his relationship with his interpreter in Iraq, Flayed Al Mayali, who was arrested by Spanish authorities for an attack on the Spanish military which occurred in November 2003:

Few professions have such discriminatory stereotypes as translators and interpreters. Very sadly, the Italian cliché traduttore, traditore is still thought to be true by many people. Nevertheless, both translators and interpreters have also contributed to the persistence of these stereotypes. 

The image was published in this article by abc.es in 2013.

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Normandy landings

Troups marching in France

General Bernard Montgomery

Pilots in World War II