Twentieth-Century Europe (Focus on Italian Fascism)
Early Modern Europe; Europe in the Long Nineteenth Century; World History
Mr. Gramith is interested in the cultural, intellectual, and labor history of Europe in the late nineteenth and twentieth centuries. He is particularly interested in the ways in which the population of the Italo-Yugoslav border regions experienced Italian Fascism, the collapse of Fascism, and the early Cold War. His dissertation examines the migration of thousands of anti-Fascist Italian workers from the town of Monfalcone to Tito’s Communist Yugoslavia during the late 1940s. He uses this curious case of West-East Cold War migration to explore how ordinary people experienced and influenced the transition from World War to Cold War. He analyzes how such migrants understood the term “Communism” and how, in this case, the experience of twenty years of Fascist dictatorship had profoundly shaped popular expectations for Communism. The dissertation concludes with reflections on how paranoia in Washington and Rome over this migration -- particularly over its possible connection to an impending Communist coup in Italy -- spurred Italy’s domestic Cold War polarization and led to early efforts by American and Italian security forces to construct the Iron Curtain along the Italo-Yugoslav border.