Exhumations Start at Mass Grave in Mostec, Near Brežice

By , 10 Sep 2020, 19:31 PM Politics

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STA, 10 September 2020 - The government commission for concealed mass graves has begun work on a site of summary execution at Mostec near Brežice in eastern Slovenia, so far discovering the remains of at least 139 victims believed to have been executed between May and October 1945.

The Mostec anti-tank trench, one of what are believed to be over 600 locations of post-WWII summary killings in Slovenia, will be exhumed because the pending construction of a new hydro power plant will flood of a part of the area.

The head of the exhumation works Uroš Košir told the press on Thursday that the remains of at least 139 people have been discovered since 25 August.

The final figure will only be known after the exhumation and studies are completed, but the work on the up to 200 metre-long trench so far has shown three layers of victims.

The remains of soldiers have mostly been found in the first and third layers, while civilian casualties, including women, are predominant in the second layer, where the remains of at least 27 victims were found. Large numbers of cartridges suggest the victims were executed on-site.

Pavel Jamnik, the head of the police campaign dubbed Reconciliation, said the Mostec site was one of the first to grab the attention of the Slovenian public and police after independence. The State Prosecution in Krško was first informed about it in 1995.

The executions there are believed to have taken place from May to October 1945 and were organised by the People's Defence Corps of Yugoslavia or KNOJ, with Slovenians also taking part.

It was established that people were transported there from the Teharje barracks, used as a concentration camp for members of the Home Guard militia that collaborated with the Nazis, as well as soldiers, civilians and refugees from Croatia and Serbia apprehended by the Allies in May 1945 and turned over to the Partisans.

At least one bus full of women was brought from the Huda Jama execution site, which was already full by then, victims were also brought in from Šentvid prison, while some of the victims are believed to have been a group of apprehended German soldiers and Croatian Ustaše, Jamnik said.

The chair of the government commission for concealed mass graves Jože Dežman announced that the remains would be transported to the Maribor ossuary.

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