Mini journal logo  Home Issue Contents All Issues

Another Case of Making Choices: Alpine terrain, large-scale sites and mass finds of the 20th century

Eva Steigberger

Cite this as: Steigberger, E. 2024 Another Case of Making Choices: Alpine terrain, large-scale sites and mass finds of the 20th century, Internet Archaeology 66.


As in many other European countries, Austria's archaeologists have been dealing with the remains from two World Wars as part of excavations for years. Over the last 20 years, three topics have become very important in Austrian Heritage Management and the following contribution attempts to give an overview. The three big issues are:

  1. There are still an unknown number of camps from both World War II and World War I
  2. Alpine terrain holds the remains of two World Wars on slopes and ridges of up to 3000m above sea level. These sites present challenges in terms of climate change, tourism and public interest in an area of conflict.
  3. Industrially produced mass finds of the 20th century from excavations can be connected with atrocities from the two wars and are therefore worthy of protection. Who decides, and on what basis?
Rattendorfer Alm Barracks from the air
Rattendorfer Alm, Barracks detail © Bundesdenkmalamt, Crazy Eye

Corresponding author: Eva Steigberger
Bundesdenkmalamt, Abteilung für Archäologie

Full text

Figure 1: NS-camps in Austria © Bundesdenkmalamt

Figure 2: Carnic Crest_Kartitsch Hohe Kinigart © Bundesdenkmalamt E. Steigberger

Figure 3: Rattendorfer Alm, Barracks detail © Bundesdenkmalamt, Crazy Eye

Figure 4: NS Papers, Graz © Graz Museum

Dornik, W. and Steigberger, E. 2017 'Dem Verschwinden entreißen! Die Unterschutzstellung des ehemaligen Lagerkomplexes Feldbach aus dem Ersten Weltkrieg' in Hausmann, R.F. (ed) Mitteilungen der Korrespondentinnen und Korrespondenten der Historischen Landeskommission für Steiermark 12. 84 - 91.

Mitchell, P. and Steigberger, E. 2020 'Lagerlandschaften. Die Kartierung von Orten belasteter Geschichte',  Fundberichte aus Österreich 59, 37 - 47.

Pöll. J., and Steigberger, E. in press 'Kriegslandschaft Karnischer Kamm' in C. Theune, B. Hausmair and C. Schmid (eds) Das 19. und 20. Jahrhundert im Fokus der Historischen Archäologie/The Historical Archaeology of the 19th and 20th centuries, BMÖ Beiheft 15.

Theune, C. and Steigberger, E. 2023 'Öffentliches Erinnern und Verwaltung - die behördlichen Strukturen in Österreich' in Davydov, D. (eds) Erinnerungskultur in der Verwaltungspraxis. Geschichte und Ethik der Polizei und öffentlichen Verwaltung, Springer VS, Wiesbaden. 397-415.

Internet Archaeology is an open access journal based in the Department of Archaeology, University of York. Except where otherwise noted, content from this work may be used under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 (CC BY) Unported licence, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided that attribution to the author(s), the title of the work, the Internet Archaeology journal and the relevant URL/DOI are given.

Terms and Conditions | Legal Statements | Privacy Policy | Cookies Policy | Citing Internet Archaeology

Internet Archaeology content is preserved for the long term with the Archaeology Data Service. Help sustain and support open access publication by donating to our Open Access Archaeology Fund.