Men fighting in northern borders.

Trentino’s Bloody Past – Part 1

This post is part of a two-part series, Trentino’s Bloody Past – Part 1 and Part 2.

Who out there doesn’t like blood, guts and gore?

If you’re at all familiar with European history, you’ll know it’s no stranger to violence and mayhem of the political-religious-clashing sort. Today, though, you see little of that. Which is why it was so surprising to learn that the part of Italy Jason and I called home for two years had once been a major battlefront.

The insistent pounding of the world wars left their mark. And it wasn’t pretty…

Bloody hell, there’s more…

Entrance to Nazi labor camp, 'Struthof' (Alsace, France)

Labor Camps With Germans

It was a strange set of circumstances: a weekend in France, a bonafide German, and a Nazi labor camp. Add in two unwitting Americans and it made for a perfectly awkward—if not memorable—encounter.

The story begins with Jason’s German friend, Volker Haas (first name pronounced like a mix of ‘Valka’ and ‘Falka’), had been an exchange student at the University of Washington (Seattle), back in the 90s. For a year, Volker and Jason were roommates in the same house.

Fast forward to 2012, where I spent a month in Strasbourg, France, obtaining my ESOL Teaching Certificate (CELTA), and right before Jason and I came to Italy. And that’s where the Nazi labor camp comes in. Oooh, la la…il y en a plus! (there’s more)