The Myth of Homogeneity Podcast Series

Conversations about majority-minority relations in interwar Europe

Aiming to disseminate findings from our research project to the widest possible audience, this series of podcasts offers a mix of case-study discussion, updates on our work in progress, curious things we encountered during our research and wanted to dig in deeper and some behind the scene information about the work of historians. Feel free to tell us what you think in the comment section at the bottom of the page.

Episode 2 – German-German Encounters in Belgium: An exploration of identities across national borders

The second episode of our series discusses several questions related to national and cultural identity in the context of the German-speaking community in Belgium. The region of Eupen-Malmedy plays an important role in our research project, in which we are exploring the dynamics between the German minority in that region and the Belgian state, as well its German neighbor. During a research trip to the area, Mona interviewed the director of the local museum (Museum Zwischen Venn und Schneifel: https://www.zvs.be/museum/) to explore more contemporary dimensions of these questions.

The ZVS-Museum in St. Vith
Part of the railway exhibition in the ZVS-Museum
Part of the permanent exhibition in the ZVS-Museum

Episode 1 – The Ambiguities of Assimilation: Minority-Majority Relations in Italy under Fascism

The first episode is based on a talk given by Emmanuel at the Graduate Institute in March 2019. Here, he and Mona discuss the policies of assimilation carried out by Mussolini’s regime against the German and Yugoslav minorities that inhabited the Italian regions of South Tyrol and Venetia Giulia at the time. The episode shows how the fascists’ approach to assimilation was flawed by two structural weaknesses: on the one hand, the regime did not realise that its expectations were too optimistic given the capabilities it had to realise them; on the other, fascist authorities believed that the minorities could not but assimilate and become truly Italian, however, at the same time, they deeply distrusted them.

A picture of the Slovenian Narodni Dom (the National Hall) set on fire by Fascist militants in Trieste in July 1920.

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