Italian-Czechoslovak Military Cooperation (1918–1919) in the Official Historical Memory of the Interwar Period


The collapse of Austria-Hungary in 1918 led to a rupture in Central-European geopolitics and in the aftermath, having a hand in the establishment of Czechoslovakia became an important source of political capital, which individual actors utilized to increase their influence and reputation. In this paper, we discuss two dimensions of the memorialisation of Italian-Czechoslovak military cooperation in 1918–1919 that contributed to the creation and stabilisation of Czechoslovakia: one pertaining to ceremonies and the formal aspects of remembrance, and the other centred on the effects of international politics—specifically the often-turbulent Italian-Czechoslovak relations—on commemorative practices. Italy sought to limit these ceremonies to only a military dimension, though both countries emphasized the “glorious” aspects and persons of their military cooperation, leaving out “unsuccessful” symbols of the time. Special attention was paid to executed Czechoslovak soldiers, who were remembered as both heroes and martyrs at the same time.