By: Sara Bertoncelj / Nova24tv
“To date, I have not heard of anyone publicly accusing Mr Kavčič of lying or even giving an incomplete testimony,” historian Dr Renato Podbersič said regarding the testimony about Dražgoše, adding that whenever someone, whether he or she is a historian, journalist, or witness, presents a different view from the “officially commanded truth,” which (too) often only serves the goal of falsifying the knowledge of the past and legitimising the “acquisition of the red nobility,” this is then followed by silence or discrediting of the person in question, which usually has nothing to do with what was actually confessed or written. “With all this persecution, led by the Social Democrats party and its president, I have not heard anything concrete yet, no concrete citing of any untruths from the show,” said the President of the Association of Journalists and Publicists, Dr Matevž Tomšič, who is convinced that Možina is a thorn in the side of the critics simply because he has been exposing such constructs for years now.
This past weekend, the national media outlet RTV Slovenia played an episode of the TV show Utrip (Pulse), which this time, after fifteen years, was once again prepared by Dr Jože Možina. He mainly spoke about the recent celebration of the 80th anniversary of the tragic events in Dražgoše and emphasised, among other things, that Dražgoše never happened in the way that the event is often described and even celebrated. The leader of the Social Democrats party (SD), Tanja Fajon, was quite outraged by the show, saying that it was shameful and that there is no excuse for this editorial policy, which is no longer working in the interest of the public. Many comments from the left-wing political pole were similarly critical to hers, although Možina did not make a single statement that was not in line with the facts and the truth. However, the transitional left, and the proud successor of the Communist Party in particular, have their own version of the truth – and they are clearly willing and prepared to defend it in all possible ways. “What is happening? Because of the episode of the show Utrip that I hosted, I have just received an invitation to an emergency meeting of the management team of TV Slovenia – as did the editor-in-chief of the news programme. Certain RTV journalists are demanding a suspension for me and the editor-in-chief after pressures from the Social Democrats party. Journalistic and editorial autonomy are no longer being mentioned,” Možina wrote on Twitter. Will at least the journalists’ group of TV Slovenia condemn Tanja Fajon’s pressuring?
Historian and professor Dr Renato Podbersič also pointed out that on the second Saturday in January for many years now, we have been witnessing the traditional “pilgrimage” to Dražgoše, to the assembly of the so-called Slovenian political “old left.” Unfortunately, the “guardians of the revolutionary tradition” also appropriated this sad place of the nation’s memory, where the German occupiers killed 41 locals during the war. As we were taught, and as it is still mostly taught in schools, Cankar’s battalion was very active in the fight against the occupier in the Upper Carniola (Gorenjska) region at the end of December 1941. At the beginning of January 1942, the partisans settled in Dražgoše, a village above the Selška Valley. The historian explained that the incomparably stronger German units attacked the village for three days, namely, from the 9th of January to the 11th of January 1942. After the partisans retreated to Jelovica, the Germans marched into Dražgoše, killed the men, drove women and children to camps, and shot up the village. “A lot of ink has already been spillt on the (non)necessity of the events in Dražgoše, but what does not belong on the spectrum of ‘preserving the gains of the revolution’ is obviously doomed in Slovenia to be silenced or pushed to the margins and into oblivion,” Podbersič said.
The myth of the brave partisans defending Dražgoše and its people is fictional and untrue
Podbersič also said that, last but not least, an extensive memorial of those sad times was already published more than a decade ago (in 2010) in the weekly Družina, and it was written by a local – Franc Kavčič. The sentences at the end of his testimony are very telling: “The myth of the brave partisans who defended Dražgoše and its people is fictional and untrue. The truth is that the village of Dražgoše was chosen deliberately, as the partisans wanted to provoke the Germans. However, when the Germans occupied the village, the partisans fled, with their ‘tails between their legs,’ to Jelovica, leaving the villagers at the mercy of the Germans. If there had not been a meter and a half of snow during that winter of 1941/1942, this infamous battle would have ended in a half an hour, or at most in one hour.”
“To date, I have not heard of anyone publicly accusing Mr Kavčič of lying or even giving an incomplete testimony. No, his words were followed by silence… and punches from the background – without any arguments, of course! And in the last two days, we have witnessed a real pogrom against the historian and journalist Jože Možina, who (once again) published Kavčič’s words on television. How typical for Slovenian conditions! Whenever someone, whether he or she is a historian, journalist, or witness, presents a different view from the “officially commanded truth,” which (too) often only serves the goal of falsifying the knowledge of the past and legitimising the “acquisition of the red nobility,” he is sentenced to silencing or personal discrediting, which usually has nothing to do with what was confessed or written,” said the historian, who also studies totalitarianisms in the 20th century in Slovenia.
Statement by the Association of Journalists and Publicists on the interference with media freedom
“The Association of Journalists and Publicists condemns the gross political attack and humiliation of the RTVS journalist Jože Možina, who hosted the show Utrip on Saturday, the 15th of January 2022, where he commented on the current socio-political topics in 15 minutes, in accordance with journalistic standards and ethics,” they wrote and further explained that due to his journalistic work, Možina was rudely attacked by the President of the SD party, Tanja Fajon, who is also a Member of the European Parliament. In a Twitter post, the latter described the journalist’s work as shameful and unjustifiable and discredited him and his team for not acting in the interest of the public but instead as a government service.
Možina is not only a journalist but also holds a doctorate in history
The Association of Journalists and Publicists also stated that Možina holds a doctorate in history, and he specialised in the Second World War. Therefore, this is not only an opinion of a journalist but also of an expert. “In the flood of protests from various people, there was no sign of any professional objections anywhere. Everyone is simply bothered by his opinion. They are bothered by freedom of speech,” they said, stressing that such political pressuring is unacceptable. As a former journalist of RTV Slovenia, Fajon should definitely defend the plurality of the public RTVS instead of helping the political left maintain a monopoly in the media at home and abroad, which also helps it control important levers of power from the background and thus distorts the Slovenian democracy. Especially since Fajon likes to declare herself a fighter for media freedom and plurality at home and abroad, and she even regularly reports to and informs the European institutions of any and all open issues. “We expect that in this case, too, she will apply the same criteria and cancel the inciting statements, as well as publicly apologise to journalist Možina. It would also be inadmissible for the RTVS leadership to give in to political pressure and call on the journalist to defend himself in any way, which has unofficially also been announced. The Association of Journalists and Publicists will closely monitor the development of the events and respond to them accordingly,” the association also added.
The story of Dražgoše is nothing but a construct, and Jože Možina has been exposing such constructs for years now
The sociologist, university lecturer and publicist, professor Dr Matevž Tomšič, also called on critics to state what exactly they thought was wrong with the latest episode of the show Utrip. “With all this persecution, led by the Social Democrats party and its president, I have not heard anything concrete yet, no concrete citing of any untruths from the show,” he pointed out, adding that he did not notice any allegations in the show that did not match with historical facts. Namely, it was witnesses who talked about the events in Dražgoše on the show – that is, people who witnessed these events and who have no reason to tell lies. However, it is pretty clear what the thing is that bothered the critics of the episode in question – they are bothered by the exposing of their myths, their stories, which, according to Tomšič, could also be called “fake news.” “ The story of Dražgoše is nothing but a construct, and Jože Možina has been exposing such constructs for years now,” he explained why the journalist is such a thorn in the side of all those who take care of the communist and liberation movement of Slovenia’s mythology. “But Tanja Fajon and the like have clearly shown their Bolshevik nature here,” added the President of the Association of Journalists and Publicists.
“The latest episode of the show Utrip was amazing, and it also received countless positive responses and praise,” commented RTVS journalist Igor Pirkovič, who is currently in Strasbourg. According to him, the pogrom was expected because the show deviated from the usual line. “And RTV belongs to all of us. Even to the very last farmer in Goričko,” Pirkovič emphasised the fact that all viewers deserve an objective transmission of truth, although a certain political option is obviously more in favour of deliberately falsifying history and misleading the public.
Is history no longer being explained by historians?
In the meantime, the SD party finally also came up with “concrete” criticism of the article, noting that it was a “malicious reinterpretation of historical facts” and stated that Možina mentioned in the show that at the central memorial ceremony on the 80th anniversary of the Battle of Dražgoše, Fajon was absent – but he did not explain that at the time, the President of the Social Democrats was in isolation due to a coronavirus infection. “Unfortunately, it has become a constant in our area that history is no longer being explained by historians,” Koprivc wrote about the episode, prepared by a historian who also holds a doctorate. Unfortunately, Marko Koprivc was unable to state exactly which historical facts Možina supposedly maliciously reinterpreted.