Enjoy illustrated talks about Italian life and culture and after meetings socialise with fellow members. No need to speak Italian.
Time: 2nd Friday of each month, 12.00 to 2.00pm (October to April)
Venue: see listings in 3Ls Common Room or on 3Ls website
Annual subscription: £10
Anne Cairns (Secretary)
Italian club meeting Friday 11 October 2019
We welcomed for a second time, historian Dr Wendy Ugolini of the University of Edinburgh. She gave us a fascinating talk on the dilemmas faced by Italians living in the UK during the second world war. The sons of Italians who were called up responded in different ways: some became conscientious objectors, not because they were pacifist but because they feared finding themselves in a situation in which they might be expected to kill their own Italian cousins, and this did indeed occasionally happen; others negotiated their entry to the armed forces by expressing willingness to serve if an interned parent was allowed to come home; yet others simply accepted the situation and served alongside other British servicemen. At least 7000 Italians did serve in the armed forces during the war.
The talk highlighted aspects of the Italian experience, including the experiences of women, that have not usually had much attention in histories of the period
This talk also offered an interesting insight into the painstaking nature of such historical research: finding out the number of Italians in the armed forces involved searching though official records to identify Italian names; personal testimonies from which we were able to hear extracts were the results of many hours of interviews.
Altogether a very interesting talk.