The EUI community is mourning William Klinger who died in tragic circumstances last Saturday in New York, where he was expected to lecture on the history of Yugoslavia, one of his major topics. William was a lively person, full of enthusiasms and interests. Aged 42, he lived with his wife and two children in Gradisca, near the eastern border of Italy. An Italian national out of a German-slavic-italian family, his multinational and multilingual background allowed him to do research in a number of different central-eastern archives and libraries. After graduating at the Central European University, Budapest, he obtained his PhD in History at the EUI, with Prof. Raffaele Romanelli as supervisor. With a theoretical curiosity for the debate of nation-building and multi-national realities, in his thesis (Negotiating the Nation: Fiume – from Autonomism to State-Making, 1861-1924), William scrutinized how interests, social groups and “nationalistic” discourses interplayed in the history of a port town, Rijeka (Fiume), located at the center of a sort of triangular game between the Empire, Croatia, and Hungary. He then focused of the history of the twentieth century with publications on the “questione fiumana” in German diplomacy, and with a book of Tito’s secret police (Il terrore del popolo: storia dell’OZNA, la polizia politica di Tito, 2012).
– Contribution by Professor Raffaele Romanelli