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

Author/s Pierluigi Pironti
Publishing Year 2011 Issue 2011/38 Language Italian
Pages 14 P. 71-84 File size 544 KB
DOI 10.3280/MER2011-038006
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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.

Keywords: Veterans, Disabled, Orthopaedic, Propaganda, Social policy; Germany

Pierluigi Pironti, Restaurare il corpo ferito della nazione. L’assistenza agli invalidi e mutilati della Prima guerra mondiale in Germania in "MEMORIA E RICERCA " 38/2011, pp 71-84, DOI: 10.3280/MER2011-038006