Article (Scientific journals)
Transnational soldiering, burial and commemoration across borders. The case of Luxembourgers in the French Foreign Legion
Kolnberger, Thomas; Kmec, Sonja
2022In Francia: Forschungen zur Westeuropäischen Geschichte. 3, 19./20. Jahrhundert, 49, p. 299-327
Peer reviewed
 

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Abstract :
[en] To whom do the dead belong? The French Foreign Legion exemplifies a modern military conundrum: how to reconcile loyal and patriotic duty with mercenary service or, in neutral terms, military labour. This article investigates soldierly funeral culture in the long nineteenth century, with a focus on the entangled histories of Luxembourg and France. The Foreign Legion’s transnational recruitment makes this armed force a unique case study to explore military commemoration across state borders, honouring the dead and the living alike. Since its establishment to fight outside mainland France, rooted in the conquest of Algeria (1830–1857), the Legion has been the only branch of the French military whose members swear allegiance not to France, but to the corps itself: its motto is Legio Patria Nostra (»The Legion is our Homeland«). As a military parallel society and temporary »ersatz nation«, the Legion has elaborated a specific death cult, which has both a corporeal (body-centred, individual) and a sur-real (transcendent, communal) dimension. The two dimensions cannot be rigidly delimited: they clearly overlap and can be shared with other nations, as the case of Luxembourg demonstrates.
Disciplines :
History
Human geography & demography
Author, co-author :
Kolnberger, Thomas ;  University of Luxembourg > Faculty of Humanities, Education and Social Sciences (FHSE) > Department of Geography and Spatial Planning (DGEO)
Kmec, Sonja  ;  University of Luxembourg > Faculty of Humanities, Education and Social Sciences (FHSE) > Department of Humanities (DHUM)
External co-authors :
no
Language :
English
Title :
Transnational soldiering, burial and commemoration across borders. The case of Luxembourgers in the French Foreign Legion
Publication date :
2022
Journal title :
Francia: Forschungen zur Westeuropäischen Geschichte. 3, 19./20. Jahrhundert
ISSN :
0937-7751
Publisher :
J. Thorbecke, Sigmaringen, Germany
Volume :
49
Pages :
299-327
Peer reviewed :
Peer reviewed
Focus Area :
Migration and Inclusive Societies
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