Soci e partner

Provincia di Ravenna

Comune di Ravenna

Fondazione del Monte

Cassa di Risparmio di Ravenna

Regione Emilia-Romagna

Ministero della Cultura

Memoria e Ricerca

Restoring the wounded body of the Nation. The assistance for disabled war veterans in Germany in the First World War

di Pierluigi Pironti
in Memoria e Ricerca n.s. 38 (2011), p. 71

The disabled and mutilated veterans of the World War I in Germany have different meanings: they are symbols of patriotic propaganda, instruments of experimentation for orthopaedics, a social problem for labour and social policy experts. They are at the same time both “heroes” because of their of their sacrifice and a possible threat for the social and economic order of Germany. The State reintegrates them in the community and to do so requires a complex bureaucratic apparatus, which not only assists them, but also determines a new quality of public intervention in social policy. Therefore if disabled veterans become the object of a paternalistic and at times strongly authoritarian “Work Therapy” on the one hand, on the other hand their presence helps the development in the country of a new debate on the rights that their disability earned them. The debate brings about the idea of a debt of the Nation towards war disabled that the Weimar Republic will be asked to liquidate. Key words: Veterans, Disabled, Orthopaedic, Propaganda, Social policy; Germany