Photographic Exhibit on WWI Highlights Italian Soldiers

Many Italian soldiers who were imprisoned during the First World War are now on display at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier in Italy. This exhibit was formed in honor of the centenary of the Great War. The pictures do not just show prisoners but also executions, which is why these photographs have generally been censored in the past. Nonetheless, they provide a peek into the worst of the trials Italian soldiers underwent.

This exhibit is not solely photographic, but has also taken other mediums of information into account. For instance, it also includes the sorts of letters, war journals, and other documentation that has been coming to light ever since the beginning of the centenary year. These are primarily written by Italian soldiers who knew the horrors of fighting in the trenches. There were millions of men who fought in the war, and they helped the nation to establish a sense of camaraderie amongst its people. They spent five years fighting a common enemy, despite their individual differences.

The First World War was a difficult conflict for Italy. They did not join during the first year of the war, choosing neutrality over war, but eventually joined on the side of the British due to a treaty signed in the second year. By war’s end, well over half a million Italian soldiers had died as a result of the conflict. The new exhibit honors their sacrifice, as well as the unity they helped bring the Italy.

The exhibit will only be around until the end of July, so visitors will have to act soon. It is not completely certain what will happen once the exhibit comes down, as the pictures of the Italian soldiers and the dangers they faced is historically significant enough to be made public. Just because no specific plans are currently underway for the continuation of the exhibit does not mean that the pictures will become unavailable, especially considering that digitization of war-related photos and documents has been on the rise in the past few months, the Mail Online reports.

The Italian soldiers captured in photo and video form in the exhibit were men who were willing to give just about anything to help their nation continue a sense of unity. They joined the Allies in the war and as a result many of them were killed for their betrayal of a previous alliance with Austria-Hungary. Many of the photos of these Italian soldiers were previously censored, but now that they have seen the light of day, these men can be more honored than ever.

Ian Harvey

Ian Harvey is one of the authors writing for WAR HISTORY ONLINE