Slovenia Marks WW2 Resistance Against Fascist Occupation with National Holiday

By , 27 Apr 2021, 10:31 AM Politics
Partisans on snow patrol Partisans on snow patrol Photo: Edi Šelhaus, via Wikipedia

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STA, 27 April 2021 - Slovenia observes Resistance Day (Dan upora proti okupatorju) on Tuesday, remembering the day 80 years ago when the Liberation Front, an organisation that spearheaded armed resistance against the occupying forces in WWII, was established. Several events will be held, including a national ceremony with Economy Minister Zdravko Počivalšek delivering the key-note.

The ceremony will be held on Mala Gora, a hill near Ribnica in the south where the first armed clash on Slovenian soil took place after the occupation of the Kingdom of Yugoslavia. The event will be attended by senior officials, including President Borut Pahor and Prime Minister Janez Janša.

Pahor will also address Slovenian citizens together with Marijan Križman, the head of the WWII Veterans' Association.

He will open the Presidential Palace to the public as was the case before the pandemic, yet in a limited scope, only for the association's representatives.

Pahor and Križman will also lay a wreath at the memorial to the Liberation Front in front of Vidmar's Villa, the house under Rožnik hill where the organisation was founded.

On the eve of the holiday, the German Embassy unveiled a memorial plaque in the villa, which Germany bought in 2016 and turned it into a residence of its ambassador.

Pahor said this symbolic gesture bore great significance for the future because it is based on the spirit of reconciliation ingrained into "our common European homeland".

The holiday was also marked by the WWII Veterans Association last evening, with Križman saying 80 years after the Liberation Front had been established, the times called for "liberating the Slovenian nation once again" as he criticised the government for curtailing fundamental rights under the pretext of containing the epidemic.

For Slovenians, World War II started on 6 April 1941, when Germany attacked Yugoslavia. The Anti-Imperialist Front, as the Liberation Front was initially known, was formed 20 days later, on 26 April 1941. The fact that its establishment is marked on 27 April is due to a minor historical error.

The Liberation Front was founded at the home of the intellectual Josip Vidmar (1895-1992) by representatives of the Communist Party of Slovenia, the Sokoli gymnastic society, the Christian Socialists and a group of intellectuals.

Photos of Slovenia near the end of WW2

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