The 75th Anniversary of the Resistance to Occupants: “We Would Not Have Had Primorje without Conducting the National Liberation Struggle”

Today we celebrate the 75th anniversary of the resistance to occupants. The holiday commemorates the memory of the Liberation Front Foundation (Osvobodilne fronte (OF)) — the core movement of the Slovenian resistance during the World War II.

The hegemony of the Communists after signing the Dolomite Agreement

The Anti-imperialist Front changed its name to the Slovene’s Liberation Front (LF) after the German invasion into the USSR on 22 June 1941, and called for the armed resistance. A complete domination of the Communists over the LF occurred after signing the Dolomite Agreement on 1 March 1943, by which the Sokoli organization and the Christian Socialists refused to establish their own parties.

Although the date of 27 April, according to a historian Janko Prunka, has been chosen somewhat incorrectly, since at that time no agreement was reached about the resistance movement, it still seems right that the Slovenes remember of the struggle against the occupants. “This struggle was crucial in the Slovenian history. That was the time when we, the Slovenes, for the first time stood up for ourselves,” Prunk notes.

Історик Янко Пранк

“The national liberation struggle was essentially important in the Slovenian history. That was the time when we, the Slovenes, for the first time stood up for ourselves,” a historian Janko Prunk says.

“There were even comic strips published in the American magazines talking about the shares of the Slovenian guerrilla army.”

 In the military sector, according to a historian Bozho Repe, the LF organized a guerrilla army in the woods and the National Guard units in the cities (urban guerrilla). According to him, there were even comic strips published in the American magazines talking about the shares of the Slovenian guerrilla army.

“Despite the extremely difficult conditions, the Slovenian resistance movement, including its leadership, never left the territory of Slovenia. The LF raised consciousness of the Slovenes at a high level: from a nation of slaves, they transformed into a nation of heroes, which was one of the slogans of that era.

Respecting and promoting cultural tradition of the Slovenian people, the guerrilla groups had their own cultural communities. The guerrilla art was extremely strong and guiding. One of the LF specific features was that most of the guerrilla detachments were called in honour of Slovenian poets and writers,” Bozho Repe notes.

Due to the national liberation struggle, we regained the Primorje

According to Prunka, the starting point of the national liberation struggle was the idea of ​​reunification of the Slovenian nation and its independence. Both Prunk and Repe note that due to a self-sacrificing struggle against the invaders, the Slovenes gained a high reputation in the international anti-fascist coalition and were rewarded therefor with the return of Primorje.

However, as stressed by Janko Prunk, the Communist Party took advantage of this great act of the national liberation struggle of the Slovenes and carried out the communist revolution. Meanwhile, Janko refers to Boris Pahor, a writer from Trieste, who once said, “The party parasitized on the magnificent tree of the liberation struggle like an ivy.”

Bozho Repe: there would have been no Slovenian State without the national liberation struggle

Repe emphasizes that the LF was able to achieve most of its political goals and to release the Slovenian nation, although it failed to achieve the unification of all Slovenes in a single country. Both historians also agree that without the national liberation struggle there would have been no Slovenian State. “We, the Slovenes, received the status of a Republic within the Yugoslav State with our own Constitution, Parliament and Government, and the right to self-determination, including the right to secede from the federation, which we had never happened to achieve in the past,” Bozho Repe adds.

“With the change of social system (introduction of socialism), certain modernization processes, which the old bourgeois elites were unwilling or unable to implement (the right to vote for women and total emancipation, separation of church and state, industrialization of the society, a greater degree of social equality) were also carried out in a radical and specific manner,” says a professor of the Faculty of Philosophy of the University of Ljubljana.

Borut Pahor: Without resisting occupants, we would not have been on the right side of the history

Yesterday afternoon at the presidential palace, the country’s President Borut Pahor took a speech before the members of the expanded Bureau of the Central Committee of the Union of Associations of Fighters for the Values ​​of National Liberation Struggle of Slovenia (Zveze združenj borcev za vrednote NOB Slovenije). In his speech, he stressed that without resisting occupants, the Slovenes would not had been on the right side of the history. The Head of the State also noted that exactly the Slovenes on their own initiative had protected themselves from the occupants and personally contributed to a crushing defeat of the German, Italian and other occupying forces.

In honour of the national holiday, the Secretariat of the President arranges an Open Day. Visitors will be able to see the building of the presidential palace accompanied by a guide today at 10:00, 12:30 and 15:00. In honour of this event, the guard of honour of the Guard Armed Forces of Slovenia will line up in front of the presidential palace.

Yesterday in Križanke, the central state ceremony took place, at which the Speaker of the Parliament Milan Brglez took a speech in front of the audience.

In memory of the beginning of the organized struggle against the occupants, today a series of commemorative ceremonies is held across the country.

The streets, squares and roads are named in honour of the LF.

A road, street or square with the phrase “Liberation Front” or just its abbreviation can be found in various regions across Slovenia. According to the data of the statistics management, the LF Streets are in Logatec, Radeče, Trebinje and Trzin; the LF Road is in Cerkno, and the LF Square is in Ljubljana and Ivančna Gorica. An LF Road can be found in Cerkno, Logu at Brezovica, in Maribor and Trbovlje. An LF Street is in Črenšovci, Izola, Koper, and Ruše.

Профессор Божо Репе

“In Ljubljana, the LF acted as a state within a state. On the liberated territories, it began to generate its own people’s power as opposed to the occupation administration and the old Yugoslav government,” a Professor Bozho Repe explains.