By: Davorin Kopše
My call to Asta Vrečko to “get lost” is unique for a veteran of the war for Slovenia. While waiting for the YPA to leave the country on October 25th, 1991, we often told them to get lost, to get out of our country as soon as possible. And they got out. Even in the case of deciding on the Museum of Slovenian Independence, there should be no concessions. Anyone who does not understand this or opposes the preservation of Slovenian identity in a decent way should get lost. Independent Slovenia and the independence processes have no comparison in Slovenian history. As such, they do not belong in any common museum. In particular, they do not belong to some kind of equal treatment of those who were against and those who were in favour of independence.
Many independence fighters, soldiers, policemen and civilians risked their lives during the independence processes and the war, and some lost them. I myself was not directly involved in the military conflicts, but I exposed myself. I spent most of the war with a rifle on my shoulder, and a few times in my hand on Šubič and Prešeren Streets in Ljubljana and around. I took my rifle off when I heard a noise that killed the policeman at the barricade a few blocks away.
A war was fought for the defence of independent Slovenia
When the explosions of the downed helicopter that fell in Rožna dolina hit my ears, I looked around for a place to lie down, because at that moment I did not know what had happened. When a desant on the parliament, where the session was held, was announced, police special forces ran past me in battle formation and laid down. Also, then I took the rifle off my shoulder. As is known, there was no desant.
All this was not dramatic, as it was in Gornja Radgona, Holmec, Rožna dolina, Krakovski gozd, Brnik, and elsewhere. It was also interesting in politics and on the international stage, and that also meant that someone’s life was on the line. If the war had ended differently, many people would have ended up in some kind of foibe massacre. During the war, 17 defenders of the homeland fell on our side for Slovenia, and one was killed by a YPA mine two years later. Officially, the pilot of the aforementioned helicopter, Anton Mrlak, was also added to this, which is a forgery, as it turned out and was confirmed in court that Slovenian troops shot him down as an enemy in accordance with military rules. The aggressor YPA also killed 12 foreign citizens.
Before the war, the later invaders largely disarmed us with the help of a piece of treasonous policy. Throughout the period of independent Slovenia, they more or less tried to weaken the Slovenian army and brought it almost to its knees. To me, that was a time of humiliation. One of the biggest opponents of the establishment of the Slovenian Army, Roman Jakič, was appointed Minister of Defence during the time of the independent state. Since I was a member of the Slovenian Army, it was really not easy to bear emotionally.
Unconstitutional use of the Slovenian Army
All the time after independence, we watch circus performances glorifying Tito and the red star and the revolution. The so-called partisan memorial plaques are attended by delegations that actually glorify the revolution, while using symbols that also represent this revolution. The NOB was abused during the war and is still abused today. Let those dressed as clowns smile, but it is unacceptable that the soldiers of the Slovenian army should stand there in honour of their criminal ideals. Alas, and this is wrong, it is precisely in the ranks of the proud successors of the communists that they combine and equate partisanship and revolution. They want to drag the war of independence into this.
Rebelling against an occupier was an honourable act, but it was misused for revolution. The partisan army was also abused for the revolution, which, together with the communists, forcibly introduced a totalitarian regime and a communist state. This partisan army became the YPA, which attacked the young country immediately after the declaration of the independent Republic of Slovenia. Under the leadership of the then still very active Party, they were defeated militarily and morally. The defeated communist army left, but all that remained was their clutter, which we generously allowed to continue operating.
In Slovenia, the glorification of communist totalitarian symbols is unconstitutional. This was confirmed by the Constitutional Court when, using this reasoning, it prohibited the naming of a road after the dictator Tito. Despite this, we are still looking at the honourable unit of the Slovenian Army, which on various occasions is lined up shoulder to shoulder with the remnants of the past regime. The Slovenian army is used unconstitutionally in this way, as it shows honour to those who are decorated with historically bloody totalitarian red stars. I do not know if anywhere else in the world the victor in war shows honour to the loser in such a way.
Another humiliation and abuse of the Slovenian Army happened a few days ago. Upon the death of the highly qualified violator of human rights and sworn member of Udba, Janez Zemljarič, Golob’s government made the decision to bury him with state honours, thereby confirming its anti-Slovene attitude. The winners of the war, as members of an honourable military unit, had to show honour once again to the representative of the failed and militarily defeated regime. And this at the request of the Slovenian government, which is a first-class shame. At the funeral, we could see a multitude of faces opposing independence.
Asta as a figure of extremists
Asta Vrečko, as a representative of the far-left coalition partner in Golob’s government, the Levica party, is the Minister of Culture. In this role, she closed the Museum of Slovenian Independence, which represents the most magnificent achievement of the Slovenian nation. This anti-Slovenian minister is also trying to push the winners and losers together, just like those at the memorials of the revolution. In this way, they try to achieve the appearance of some kind of continuity, which is not the case. Independence was the intersection and the beginning of something new. The representatives of the former regime have nothing to do with this, except to provoke and use Asta Vrečko as a piece on their chessboard of intrigues. Come on, Asta, get lost, you are not a representative of our culture and our legitimate needs.
The abolition of the Museum of Slovenian Independence, which was established by the previous government, had been in preparation for several months. They say that the veteran organisation Sever and the Association of Veterans of the War for Slovenia have given their nod to this intention. If this is true, they are also traitors, otherwise it is known that presidents Tomaž Čas and Ladislav Lipič are sold souls and are more against an independent state than for it. This is always evident when it is necessary to support left-wing politics, for which Yugoslavia is the only intimate option.
Krko, where is your pride?
I came to the defence of Brigadier Anton Krković when he was attacked after his employment with Golob in Gen-I. At that time, I wrote in a column that I will always appreciate him as an independence fighter who took care of the operation of the army. He even thanked me for it. However, today, when it is necessary to defend the historical memory of also his contribution, he is nowhere to be found. His passivity indicates that he has finally crossed over to the opposite side. So, on the side of the losers, who want to erase and blur the memory of independence. And he sometimes so fervently reminded us of the independence events. When the Slovenian army was being disarmed, he was among the first to resist. Will he be among the last to say anything this time? Or will he fall silent forever? In this case, I withdraw all my words that gave him recognition.
It is our indisputable duty to build a modern and independent Museum of Slovenian Independence. Not together with some recent history, which includes all kinds of events that can be positive or negative. The multitude of all this reduces the importance of the biggest event for Slovenians in history. We also have the task of removing all publicly exposed symbols of the revolution and renaming streets, roads and squares that resemble bloody hands. The excuse that this is part of our history cannot be an excuse. As long as these symbols exist in the public eye, those who lack a clear picture and enough determination will resort to them again and again, where they get confirmation that their error is right.