Tag: Armistice

Veterans Day and the Armistice

August Henry Genetti (1892-1976)
Served: 1917-1919

Today we pay tribute to those who have served in the Armed Forces. On this Veterans Day, we salute you and thank you for your service to our country!

But did you know that Veterans Day was originally named Armistice Day? It was the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month that marked the end of World War I and the day that the Armistice was signed (November 11, 1918). The name of this federal holiday was officially changed in 1954 to Veterans Day by President Dwight D. Eisenhower. November 11th is commemorated throughout the world as the end of World War I and is celebrated as “Remembrance Day” by the Commonwealth of Nations. Only the United States refers to this date as Veterans Day.

Today marks the 101st anniversary of the Armistice. It is also the time when our ancestors living in the Val di Non became citizens of Italy. Prior to 1918, their valley was under Austrian rule.

In tribute to our Genetti descendants who served in past wars and conflicts, I have listed many of them below. Unfortunately, it is difficult to access military records for any living descendants or for those whose records were destroyed in the fire of 1973 at the National Personnel Records Center in St. Louis, Missouri. Approximately 16 to 18 million service history documents for personnel discharged between 1912 and 1964 were lost in this disaster.

If someone in your family has served in the United States military and is not included in the following list, please send me a message through our Contact page. Include your family member’s name (does not have to be named Genetti as long as they are a descendant of a Genetti), rank, the branch of the military in which they served, their years of service and any war or conflict that was part of their military service.

Eventually I would like to build a page on this website to honor our military veterans.

With respect and gratitude, we say thank you to all who have served our country!

 

Descendants Serving in the United States Military

World War I

August Henry Genetti (19 Jun 1892 – 22 Nov 1976) Enlisted 5 Jun 1917, Released 17 Feb 1919

John B. Genetti (30 Mar 1890 – 4 Jul 1972) Enlisted 28 Feb 1918, Released 7 Aug 1919

 

World War II

Albert Joseph Genetti (5 Aug 1915 – 17 Nov 1980) Enlisted 5 Jul 1938, Released 10 Oct 1969

Bernard Genetti (1926 – living) Enlisted 29 Jan 1944

Charles A. Genetti (15 Aug 1922 – 9 Jun 2007) Enlisted 26 May 1944, Released 5 Apr 1946

Edward Genetti (10 Nov 1913 – 29 Sep 1999) Enlisted 31 Aug 1943, Released 6 Feb 1946

Emil Joseph Genetti (24 May 1914 – 30 March 1977) Enlisted 23 July 1941, Released 2 Nov 1961

Frank George Genetti (19 Apr 1913 – 3 Nov 2010) Enlisted 16 July 1942, Released 2 Nov 1945

Frank L. Genetti (16 Oct 1916 – 7 Jan 2008) Enlisted 19 June 1942, Released 16 June 1945

Frank V. Genetti (20 Dec 1918 – 19 March 1994) Enlisted 1 July 1941, Released 31 Dec 1963

Henry Genetti (12 June 1922 – 16 Jun 1989) Enlisted 29 Nov 1942, Released 16 Nov 1945

John Damian Genetti (1 Nov 1919 – 21 July 1981) Enlisted 26 Oct 1942, Released 31 March 1947

John M. Genetti (20 Apr 1920 – 10 Apr 1986) Enlisted 17 Oct 1941, Released 2 May 1945

Leonard J. Genetti (8 Mar 1924 – 4 Oct 1973) Enlisted 15 Dec 1942, Released 23 Feb 1946

Nicholas Genetti (5 Dec 1914 – 6 Jun 1985) Enlisted 7 Jun 1941, Released 25 Nov 1945

Regina L. Genetti (3 Jan 1927 – 28 Jan 1996) Service Date 25 Sep 1944 to 3 March 1947 – Cadet Nurses

Richard S. Genetti (10 Oct 1919 – 11 Sep 2009) Enlisted 3 Apr 1941, Released 24 Jun 1944

Rinaldo W. Genetti (16 Oct 1911 – 17 Jan 1962) Enlisted 17 Mar 1942

Robert Herman Genetti  (18 Nov 1916 – 24 June 2011) 1943-1948

Rudolph J. Genetti (12 Jan 1910 – 30 Jun 1994) Enlisted 22 Sep 1942, Released 6 Nov 1945

Vernon C. Genetti (5 Apr 1918 – 15 May 1999) Enlisted 29 Dec 1942, Released 19 Nov 1945

Leo Alex Zambotti (11 Oct 1913 – 30 June 1993) Enlisted 21 Dec 1942, Released 23 Feb 1946

 

Korean War

Albert Genetti (5 Aug 1915 – 17 Nov 1980) Career Army

Emil Joseph Genetti (24 May 1914 – 30 March 1977) Career Army

Joseph Genetti (23 Mar 1931 – 17 May 1986) Enlisted 8 Oct 1952, Released 7 Oct 1954

Richard Genetti (3 Nov 1933 – 3 April 1983) Enlisted 28 Sep 1951, Released 27 Sep 1955

 

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For more info about the history of the Armistice:

World War I Armistice Signed: November 11, 1918 – 100th Anniversary

Treaty of Saint-Germain-en-Laye (1919)

 

100th Anniversary of Armistice and How It Changed Our Heritage

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Map prior to 1803 of Tyrol with Bishopric of Trent and Bishopric of Brixen

One hundred years ago on November 11, 1918, the ethnicity and homeland of the Tyrolean people changed. For on that day the Armistice of World War I was signed, breaking apart the Austro-Hungarian Empire. Shortly afterwards, on September 10, 1919, the Treaty of Saint Germain was signed, formerly annexing German-speaking South Tyrol and Italian-speaking Trentino to Italy. For centuries this entire area was inclusively known as “Tyrol”. With signing of the 1919 treaty, the region of Tyrol located south of the Alps was transferred from Austria and now became the northern Italian provinces of Trentino-Alto Adige.

According to Lou Brunelli, publisher of “Filò: A Journal for Tyrolean Americans”, Tyrol had a long cultural history stretching back 915 years under Austrian sovereignty:

  • 800 years under the Bishopric of Trento
  • 115 years under the Austrian Empire

In comparison, Italy was a young country, having only become a unified Kingdom (a monarchy) in 1861. By 1922 it fell into a Fascist dictatorship under Mussolini. After World War II, Italy became a democratic republic on June 2, 1946.

View of the Dolomites from Bolzano/Bozen, Alto Adige (South Tyrol)

For most of the past millennia our ancestral lands were influenced and controlled by Austria. Although our ancestors spoke Italian and regional dialect, their nationality and passports prior to 1919 stated that they were citizens of Austria, as they had been for centuries. Now with the stroke of a pen (and much political maneuvering by Italy), the region became Italian. (The events that lead up to Tyrol becoming part of Italy and the subsequent suppression of Tyrolean culture is a complicated and involved story. If you would like to read more about the history of this region, I have provided informational links at the end of this blog post.)

View of Val di Non from Castelfondo, Trentino

Since most Tyroleans emigrated to the United States prior to the 1918/1919 annexation, they came to America as Austrian citizens, and were never really considered Italians. However our relatives who remained in Trentino, now officially became Italian citizens. Mr. Brunelli told me that 97% of USA-bound immigrants arrived before the annexation and were not subjected to the subsequent Nationalism fueled by Fascism that occurred particularly in the Province of Alto Adige/Sud Tirol. 

The confusion of ethnicity for Tyrolean immigrants is reflected in the United States Federal Census. My immediate family is identified in three different censuses as: Austrian, Swiss and Italian! I have seen other Tyroleans listed in census as Bavarians and Czechoslovakians. But when you research our shared genealogy, you realize that all of these families are from the same region of the Val di Non, often from the same village! For those unaware of historical events, the 1900, 1910 and 1920 US Censuses can seem bewildering when it refers to ethnicity. Are we Austrian, German or Italian? Is Tyrolean an ethnicity if it doesn’t exist as a country?

San Genesio/Jenesien with view of Dolomites, Alto Adige (South Tyrol)

In the latest issue of Filò (Volume 19), publisher Lou Brunnelli (a 1st generation Tyrolean American) offers an insightful answer to the cultural and ethnic questions that plague American descendants of Tyrolean ancestors. He has given me permission to reprint this issue’s Introduction here:

Dear Tyrolean American …

Father Bolognani, the historian, sociologist, and apostle of our Tyrolean American community asserted the following … “A strange situation hindered the immigrants from the Trentino, making life more difficult for them then for other ethnic groups that arrived as the same time. Though they spoke no German and were Italian by language, they belonged to the Austrian empire and held Austrian passports. Considering themselves Austrian, or Tyrolean, they did not settle in cities as did most Italians. A search for their identity was difficult.” In other words, our people sought their definition, their differentiation from other groups. As their homeland, the ancient Tyrol was annexed by President Wilson and the Allies without a plebiscite [direct vote by eligible voters to decide an important public question] to Italy, they literally became ethnic orphans as Italy adopted a process of Italianization, becoming Fascist and then our [America’s] political adversary as they declared war on us in their affiliation with the Axis Powers. Defeated in the war and recovered with our American help, Italy became culturally adverse by no longer differentiating our history [Tyrolean] and our identity and imposing on us an identity that they had evolved while forgetting ours. What happened after the annexation, happened there and not here [America] … to them and not to us.

The Filò does not engage in a political polemic but legitimately and justifiably seeks to differentiate, to enhance the literacy and legitimacy of our historic existence and experience. Article by article it asserts with pride and joy: that who we are is who we were! ~ Lou Brunnelli

Image result for italian map trentino alto adige

Modern map of the northern Italian provinces of Trentino (dark pink) and Alto Adige (light pink)

I find it fascinating that our immigrant ancestors brought to America a culture that they kept alive in small communities, but that 100 years later many might say no longer exists in their ancestral homeland. Even today there is a conflict brewing between Austria and Italy concerning the proposed dual-citizenship for German-speaking South Tyroleans (see articles noted below).

Many of us were told as children that we were Tyrolean, not Italian. This concept might seem confusing to our cousins in Italy. But our grandparents and great-grandparents arrived in America as Austrians, became United States citizens and never accepted the label of “Italian”. From the scribbling and crossing out of country origins I have viewed in the US Census, our ancestors were just as confused about their ethnicity after the annexation as we are today attempting to describe our own background as Tyrolean Americans.

In conclusion, I take no sides and make no opinions concerning the ethnicity of Trentino-Alto Adige. I present this information only as a means to bring understanding to our shared Tyrolean American experience, place our ancestry in context to the 1918 Armistice and grasp how the events of the past century have changed Tyrol and its people.

My thanks to Lou Brunelli for sharing his knowledge and insights of Tyrolean culture. I highly recommend subscribing to Lou’s publication Filò: A Journal for Tyrolean Americans. It is a quarterly magazine provided free of charge to the descendants of Tyrolean immigrants.

Click here to register for a subscription to Filò

 

For more information see:

Filò: A Journal for Tyrolean Americans (where you can scroll through current and past issues of Filò)

World War I Armistice Signed: November 11, 1918 – 100th Anniversary

History of South Tyrol

Treaty of Saint-Germain-en-Laye (1919)

South Tyrol: A Minority Conflict of the Twentieth Century (Studies in Austrian and Central European History and Culture)

Italy and Austria at odds over South Tyrol dual-citizenship

Italy’s South Tyrol: where an identity crisis lingers