Trieste with the Feld-Grau

With the outbreak of the conflict, Trieste is depopulated and militarized. On roofs and esplanades they prepare anti-aircraft positions; schools and public buildings are transformed into hospitals, young “sailors” and scouts help elderly soldiers with surveillance and public safety.

Posters and ordinances from the authorities appear on the walls, various classes are called to arms to handle the diverse war-related necessities: sanitation ordinances against cholera and infections; the requisition of metals, paper, linens; rationing of bread and food staples. Still there are the colourful posters for war loans, year after year increasingly demanding, often illustrated by talented artists, posters promoting entertainment events to raise money for the soldiers at the front and the war widows and orphans. Unusual posters relating to the requisition of dogs suitable for health or draft services, or collecting shoes for poor children, for funerals, such as that announcing the death of Franz Joseph, or compassionate insurance policies for soldiers or those that appeal for citizens to attend the “War Graves Day”.

The A. Hortis Public Library in Trieste has a significant collection of this type of documentation; an important historical source that helps to define the spirit and condition of the population of Trieste during the conflict.

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