Teacher | Student
Originally produced in: Österreich
Also available in: en

Curricular level

General educational objectives of People and Society:

Development of tolerance towards others (e.g minorities). Österreich

4th year (8th grade) – particularly in the subjects of history, social studies and political education:

  • “Students will be able to understand political and historical courses of action in the context of a particular period in time.”
  • “Students should be encouraged to deal with historical sources independently.”
  • “The learning of history should lead to a better understanding of contemporary phenomena.”
  • “Political education should enable students to decipher political manifestations.”

From the subject Geography and Economics: 4th year (8th grade)

  • The Diversity of Europe – Understanding landscape, culture, population and economy


These sections of this module are to show South Tyrol as an example of how internal borders have shifted in Europe as a result of the First World War, and which impacts the annexation of South Tyrol to Italy had.

Following the collapse of the Austro-Hungarian Monarchy at the end of the First World War, South Tyrol was separated from Austria and incorporated into Italy. In the following years the Italianisation of South Tyrol was begun by the fascist-dominated Italian government.

Under Hitler’s Nazi regime, both Hitler and Mussolini decided to give the German-speaking population in South Tyrol a choice of resettlement to the Third Reich (South Tyrol Option Agreement). In total, 75,000 people resettled and most settled in North Tyrol (present-day Austria).

After 1945 the majority of people who had emigrated by choice returned to South Tyrol. The South Tyroleans were granted autonomy, although the implementation of this agreement took a very long time. In 1992 the level of self-government as envisaged in the agreement was implemented into Italian legislation in the form of an autonomy agreement.

Conceptual Objectives

  • Students know the causes and consequences of the separation of Tyrol.
  • Students can reconstruct history using a source image and two contrasting source texts.
  • They are able to summarise arguments that were advertised for leaving and staying in South Tyrol in 1939.
  • They consult their dictionaries.
  • They understand what is meant by the expression “Dirty Campaigning”.
  • They take on the arguments and various positions of different political groups.
  • They are able to interpret the graph on population trends and the current demographic situation and give reasons for this development.
  • They recognise that at the end of the 20th century, South Tyrol achieved self-governance and autonomy.