STA, 26 April - President Borut Pahor and German Ambassador to Slovenia Natalie Kauther have unveiled a memorial plaque marking the 80th anniversary of the Liberation Front and the resistance of Slovenians against Fascism. The plaque was unveiled on Monday, the eve of Resistance Day at the house where the resistance organisation was founded.
Kauther took the opportunity to apologise on behalf of Germany for the horrors committed during WWII, while Pahor stressed the significance of the gesture for the future.
The Liberation Front was founded on 26 April 1941 at Vidmar's Villa, which is named after its former owner Josip Vidmar (1895-1992), a co-founder of the Liberation Front. Germany bought it in 2016 and turned it into a residence of the German ambassador.
Kauther said the German Embassy felt "great responsibility to treat the house and its history with due care and preserve the memory of what happened here 80 years ago".
Danes, na predvečer dneva upora proti okupatorju, se je predsednik Republike Slovenije Borut Pahor udeležil spominske slovesnosti v Vidmarjevi vili v Rožni dolini, v kateri je bila na današnji dan pred natanko 80 leti ustanovljena Osvobodilna fronta slovenskega naroda. pic.twitter.com/eHORj7y2VS— Borut Pahor (@BorutPahor) April 26, 2021
She expressed "my gratitude that we Germans were again accepted into the community of nations after all the suffering and atrocities our country caused to many people".
"To be able to cultivate deep friendship with those who used to be our worst enemies and to work together for a better, more just world, is for us a really big gift," the ambassador said in her speech in the Slovenian language.
Pahor thanked the ambassador for the gesture of setting up the memorial plaque together with the Slovenian Museum of Contemporary History.
He said this was "a symbolic act" by Germany that also bore great significance for the future. "It's about the spirit on which our common European homeland is based. Not on forgetting, but on remembering yet sometimes also forgiving to the benefit of coexistence."
Pahor would like Slovenian citizens "to be proud of the resistance" during WWII and understand this too enabled the survival of the Slovenian nation and the foundation of Slovenia.
He urged Slovenians to celebrate Resistance Day "with joy and pride and to remember the roots of the Partisan resistance, without which there would be no national liberation".