The history of post-war trauma is intertwined with the history of war violence. Their nature cannot be fully understood without taking into account the forms and practices of violence that gave rise to them. War clashes with shelling, executions, killings, rapes affect not only the military but also the civilian population, of which women usually constitute the majority. While violence in the form of shelling, internment and forced displacement during the First World War was mainly confined to the front lines and their rear areas, it increased dramatically in the Second World War. The civilian population was subjected to mass executions, deportations, internment and forced displacement. Both total wars massively affected the civilian population in the North-Eastern Adriatic. Similarly, the wars in the former Yugoslavia in the 1990s brutally affected the civilian population. Alongside the execution of civilians, their deportation and forced displacement, the rape of women also took place on a massive scale, and was more systematic and racist than in the First and Second World Wars. The paper will address the similarities and differences of violence and the difficulty of researching post-war trauma, and will show the importance of a traumatic but only in a transnational approach to their study.


Marta Verginella