Land of the Red Soil: War Ruins and Industrial Landscapes in Luxembourg

  • Sandra Camarda


The rapid industrialisation that transformed the small and rural Grand Duchy of Luxembourg into one of the world’s first industrial centres is deeply intertwined with a process of nation building. Alongside a literary production that praised modernity and saw in the steel mills the epitome of progress, dynamism and prosperity, a thriving photographic market produced and circulated illustrated postcards of the industrial centres. Despite Luxembourg’s neutrality during the First World War, these sites became a main target for Allied aerial attacks, and the images of the devastation were instrumental in Luxembourg’s national self-portrayal as well as in German counter-propaganda. Through an analysis of illustrated postcards of Luxembourgish industrial sites produced during the war, this chapter explores how the process of ruination of the industrial landscape transformed a symbol of modernity into a memento of the past, sustaining shifting narratives around identity and nationhood.

Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Sandra Camarda
    • 1
  1. 1.University of LuxembourgEsch/BelvalLuxembourg

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