The Neue Südtiroler Tageszeitung interviews Kerstin von Lingen
Jan 17, 2017
On January 10, 2017, the Italian newspaper Die Südtiroler Tageszeitung published an interview with Dr. Kerstin von Lingen titled “Standgerichte der Besatzung“. Von Lingen is Independent Research Group Leader at the Cluster “Asia and Europe“.
The interview was given prior to a talk at the Dr. Friedrich Teßmann Library on the NS-Special Courts in Bozen in between 1943-1945. Von Lingen talks about the establishment and roles of the NS-Special Courts in Southern Tirol, where they served as an instrument to leverage the local Italian judiciary and replace it by an exceptionally harder and more radical law. In Bozen, mainly political offences where tried, for example insurgency, propaganda against the occupation, listening to enemy radio stations ore the distribution of generic documents.
Until recently, only twenty judgements from Bozen were public knowledge. This number has been largely extended by the research results of Kerstin von Lingen, who found several personal files and court papers in German prisons archives. Her findings led to the insight that most of the convicts were send to Germany for forced labor in one of the camps close to industrial centers. Besides this fact, the verdicts against people from southern Tirol where exceptionally hard and served as a tool for suppression and nazification of the local population.
The Neue Südtiroler Zeitung published a further article on 27 January 2017 with the title “Besatzungsjustiz gegen Südtiroler, 1943-1945” readdressing and adding to the topic of the previous article.
Kerstin von Lingen is leader of the Junior Research Group “Transcultural Justice: Legal Flows and the Emergence of International Justice within the East Asian War Crimes Trials, 1945-1954” at the Cluster “Asia and Europe”. Her research foci are transnational and global history, war crimes trials in Europe and Asia, and the history of the United Nations War Crimes Commission.