STA, 8 June 2021 - The National Assembly Speaker Igor Zorčič and National Council Speaker Alojz Kovšca have condemned a t-shirt displaying an image of the late collaborationist general Leon Rupnik in the parliament building. The person holding the t-shirt took a picture in the National Council chamber, news portal 24ur.com reported.
The picture shows Aleš Ernecl, editor-in-chief of the National Press Agency (NTA). The NTA had plans earlier in the year to become one of the major media outlets in Slovenia, but things went wrong when Ernecl described the agency as a 'fascist media' outlet. He later said the statement was just him being sarcastic.
Ernecl posted the photo on Twitter with a caption reading "Leon's home again" in another move that has raised dust in the public. The picture was taken during Ernecl's visit to Zmago Jelinčič, the leader of the National Party (SNS), according to 24ur.com.
Leon spet doma. pic.twitter.com/BzGPmRdvfB— ALEŠ ERNECL (@alesernecl) June 7, 2021
Leon Rupnik being a Nazi in Ljubljana. Photo: Wikipedia, public domain
Representatives of the National Council, the upper chamber of Slovenia's parliament, told the portal that Ernecl had not been invited to the parliament building by the National Council.
Kovšca said it was unacceptable "to provoke the public with an abuse of the National Council institution", noting that the upper chamber of the parliament was the home of civil society, democracy and pluralism.
He also advised Ernecl and everybody else to wear or display Slovenian national symbols, and distanced himself from any display of collaborationist or totalitarian symbols.
Also commenting on the provocation, Zorčič said that in line with the parliament rules and customs, everyone who enters the building should be dressed appropriately.
"If you ask me, such a t-shirt was inappropriate," he said, adding that he did not know who let Ernecl in the parliament dressed like that.
Jelinčič, who hosted Ernecl on Monday, described the move as a "stupid provocation and attention seeking". "Some with Che Guevara and the red star, others with Rupnik. Both is stupid," he said.
An army general during the First World War, Rupnik (1880-1946) headed the Provisional Government of the Nazi-occupied Province of Ljubljana and served as chief inspector of the Domobranci (Slovene Home Guard), a collaborationist militia, during WWII.
He led the Home Guard in an oath of allegiance on Adolf Hitler's birthday on April 20 in 1944.
In May 1945, he fled to Austria where he was arrested by the British and returned to Yugoslavia in early 1946. He was court-martialed along with several other people and sentenced to death for treason and collaboration, and executed by a firing squad in September 1946.
In 2019, the Supreme Court quashed Rupnik's guilty sentence on an appeal on a point of law lodged by his relative, and sent the case to the Ljubljana District Court for retrial.
The proceedings were then stopped as the Ljubljana District Court argued that a dead person could not be put on trial.