Use this URL to cite or link to this record in EThOS: https://ethos.bl.uk/OrderDetails.do?uin=uk.bl.ethos.790488
Title: West Germany and Italy in the 1970s : mutual perceptions during a decade of crisis
Author: Riegler, A.
ISNI:       0000 0004 8498 2565
Awarding Body: UCL (University College London)
Current Institution: University College London (University of London)
Date of Award: 2016
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Abstract:
This thesis examines how West Germans and Italians looked at each other in the 1970s using a variety of sources such as newspapers, magazines, official documents, travel guides, memoirs and material from far left, extra-parliamentary circles. It explores how mutual perceptions evolved in a decade characterised by global economic decline and social upheaval. In the 1970s, the two young democracies that had emerged less than thirty years previously from fascist dictatorships faced similar challenges and both were key supporters of the European project. Yet, at the same time, economic and political differences led to several moments of tension between them. This thesis explores three different areas in which heated arguments between West Germany and Italy erupted and analyses their impact on mutual perceptions. The case studies concern, in order, a dispute over the fate of a convicted Nazi criminal, leftist terrorism and the discussion on different responses to the same terrorist threat and, thirdly, tourism and travel, a context in which, during the 1970s, millions of West Germans and Italians met face to face. This thesis reveals the existence of deep-rooted Italian concerns over German supremacy in Europe, for which the specific term of "germanisation" [germanizzazione] was coined. These concerns were met with irritation in West Germany, a country persistently anxious about its reputation abroad, in which criticism from the former ally that had "betrayed" Germany during World War II, but now increasingly relied on it for financial aid, was particularly unpopular. This thesis shows how war-related and climatic stereotypes were key factors in determining how the two populations looked at each other in the 1970s. It also illustrates how leftists of the so-called generation of 1968 developed a significantly more favourable mutual perception, which led young West German militants to idealise Italy as their "revolutionary dreamland".
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID: uk.bl.ethos.790488  DOI: Not available
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