Slovenia Remembers Victims of Totalitarian Regimes

By , 23 Aug 2019, 09:08 AM Politics
President Borut Pahor laying a wreath President Borut Pahor laying a wreath Facebook

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STA, 22 August 2019 - Slovenia will join the observance of European Day of Remembrance for Victims of Totalitarian Regimes with several events on Thursday with President Borut Pahor honouring victims in Lendava in the north-east.

The European Parliament designated 23 August as a day to remember victims of totalitarian regimes ten years ago to coincide with the date of the signing of the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact in 1939.

The non-aggression pact between the Soviet Union and Nazi Germany contained a protocol dividing Romania, Poland, Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia, and Finland into designated German and Soviet spheres of influence.

The remembrance day has been officially observed in Slovenia since 2012, in accordance with the decision by the then centre-right government, although it has caused some friction along the ideological divide.

The ZZB World War II Veterans' Association complained that equating all totalitarian regimes amounted to historical revisionism with the goal of concealing collaboration with Nazism and Fascism.

Meanwhile, the Slovenian Democratic Party (SDS) has been unsuccessful in its attempts to have the National Assembly adopt the European Parliament's 2009 resolution on European conscience and totalitarianism.

Data on the number of victims of Fascism, Nazism and Communism in Slovenia vary. The latest from the Slovenian history portal Sistory put the number of victims of war and post-war atrocities between April 1941 and January 1946 at 99,865.

The victims will be remembered with several events on the eve of the pan-European day, including with a commemoration in Lendava which will be joined by President Borut Pahor.

Pahor will lay a wreath at a memorial to victims of WWII and victims of post-war racial, nationalist and ideological fanaticism in Lendava and its surroundings.

To Boris Hajdinjak, the head of the Centre of Jewish Cultural Heritage Synagogue Maribor, Pahor will present a charter of his honorary sponsorship over the Stolpersteine project in Slovenia.

Learn more about the Stolpersteine project in Slovenia here

Concrete cubes with brass plates bearing the names of Holocaust victims will be placed in front of the houses of their former Jewish owners in Lendava on 17 September.

In a global project initiated by German artist Gunter Demnig in 1992, these "stumbling blocks" had already been installed in Maribor in 2012 and in Ljubljana last year.

Also today, mass for the victims will be celebrated at Ljubljana's cathedral by Auxiliary Bishop Franc Šuštar, followed by an event addressed by Andreja Valič Zver, the head of the Study Centre for National Reconciliation.

Before the mass flowers will be laid at a memorial plaque in front of the US Embassy in Ljubljana and the monument commemorating victims of all wars in Congress Square.

On Sunday, the anti-Communist association New Slovenian Testament is holding a commemoration and mass in Rovte near Logatec in memory of the victims of post-war reprisals by Communists.

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