STA, 11 July 2020 - Cavers exploring the karst caves in the Kočevski Rog woods in south-eastern Slovenia have found what appears to be another mass grave in what is an area containing the remains of several thousand people killed in summary executions after the end of World War II.
The chair of the government commission for mass graves Jože Dežman wrote on Saturday that the chasm contains the remains of at least 35 people, while dozens more are expected to be exhumed.
All but possibly one of the remains examined so far appear to be male remains, Dežman added, explaining the operation only started on Friday.
The karst chasms in Kočevski Rog contain the remains of thousands of bodies, especially those of members of the nearby Novo Mesto group of the Domobranci anti-communist home-guard who did not manage to escape abroad. They were hunted for months after the war and most were murdered, Dežman said.
He spoke of several more locations in the area, including the Rugarski klanci site that contains the remains of what appear to have been 22 members of the armed forces of the Ustasha-governed Croatian NDH state.
The latest research in Kočevski Rog meanwhile confirmed that the Macesnova Gorica chasm "is probably the biggest Slovenian slaughter site and mass grave". The commission hopes the exhumation of the victims will be able to begin next year.
Related: Post-War Massacres in Slovenia
As for the Kren site, which had been perceived as the largest mass grave of the Domobranci, it seems that it was mostly members of the Serb and Montenegrin Chetnik royalist and nationalist units who ended up there.
Meanwhile, Dežman added that it was today that the commemoration was held for the Muslims killed in Srebrenica in 1995. "If we condemn the crimes against POWs and civilians in Srebernica then we also condemn the crimes against POWs and civilians being discovered in Kočevski Rog and elsewhere around Slovenia," he wrote.