Slovenia Celebrates the Rudolf Maister’s Day
Since 2005, the national holiday in honour of the Slovenian general, who played an important role in the history of the country, is celebrated annually on 23 November. Despite the fact that it is a working day in Slovenia, the Rudolf Maister’s Day is appreciated in the country.
On this day in 1918, the general of the Austro-Hungarian army, a native of a Slovenian family, Rudolf Maister together with his army disarmed and disbanded the German guards. Thanks to his decisive measures, he retained much of the Slovenian national territory of Carinthia and Styria, which at that time belonged to Yugoslavia.
Maribor is the economic and cultural centre of the northern part of Slovenia. The second most important city after the capital used to be a part of Austria-Hungary. The population of the city consisted of 80% Germans and 20% Slovenians, and the majority of rural population were Slovenians.
The Germans ruled in the social and public life as well as in the municipal authorities. The Slovenes of Styria and Carinthia were declared enemies of the Austrian state and deprived of access to state affairs.
At the end of October 1918, the members of the municipal council of Maribor declared that the city and its surroundings were part of German Austria. Rudolf Maister took over the military command. In November, with 200 officers and 4 thousand soldiers, he seized power in Maribor and liberated the city from the invaders.
The liberation of Maribor was of strategic importance in the formation of the territory of modern Slovenia. The military actions strengthened the borders in the North. Thereby, it became possible to further conquer the Slovenian cities (Ptuj, Celje, and Ljutomer).
Maister was born on 29 March 1874 in Kamnik. In 1894, he finished his studies at the Vienna Military School, where he was immediately appointed the Head of the Campaign. He was one of the most outstanding Slovenian figures of the 20th century, an extraordinary military mind, a strategist and a true patriot, as well as an excellent poet.