Assistance and education of mutilated soldiers of World War I. The Italian case

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During the Great World and in the post war years, the Pious Institute for rickets sufferers of Milan, directed by the famous orthopaedist Riccardo Galeazzi, was a leading hospital which also had an educational vocation towards crippled children. The Industrial School for mutilated soldiers, which opened in 1915, became a national model, too. Besides, Galeazzi set up a National Prosthesis Workshop for soldier amputees. He had already developed a theory about cripples’ education that stressed the importance of labour. Galeazzi thought private and public charity was not the solution, but labour was. Galeazzi knew French and English orthopaedists, such as Robert Jones, but was especially influenced by Konrad Biesalski’s work and Hans Würtz’s Krüppelpädagogik. For him, though, working did not simply coincide with earning a living, it was the sheer fact of working, and the effort that it implied, that gave back human dignity. Galeazzi clearly said it was not a question of the economic value of men, but a moral question that a civilized State could not refuse to face. Hence assistance and welfare to mutilated soldiers were a duty (and he was deeply involved in these areas), but they were not enough. Every invalid had to be able to work again, even if with a little salary. Having a pension should not prevent them working. Rehabilitation meant both physical and vocational training. The paper highlights Galeazzi’s work in the framework of the Italian case (welfare, education and propaganda for mutilated soldiers).
Lingua originaleEnglish
pagine (da-a)227-246
Numero di pagine20
VolumeVol. XI
Stato di pubblicazionePubblicato - 2016


  • Disabled veterans care
  • First World War
  • Italy
  • Mutilated soldiers
  • Special education
  • War propaganda
  • XXth Century


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