By: Sara Kovač (Nova24tv.si)
At a correspondence session, the government abolished the National Day of Remembrance of the Victims of Communist Violence, which would otherwise be observed on Wednesday, the 17th of May. Former Prime Minister Janez Janša, who led the government which adopted this Remembrance Day, says it is “one of the most despicable and shameful decisions in the history of independent Slovenia. An insult to anyone who has a shred of compassion for his fellow man.”
Last May, the former government of Janez Janša declared the 17th of May the National Day of Remembrance of the Victims of Communist Violence. It justified this decision on the basis of the civilisational norms, which stipulate that we measure the perpetrators of violence and evil by the same criteria and follow efforts to prevent a repetition of the most tragic events in our history.
Indeed, from the summer of 1941 to January 1946, communist violence on the territory of the present-day Republic of Slovenia caused the violent deaths of tens of thousands of civilians and prisoners of war. Communist violence also affected hundreds of thousands of Slovenians during the decades of communist rule, with all forms of violations of human rights and freedoms happening at the time.
Without a shred of compassion for the victims
Just one day before the important date, the proud successors of the communists made sure that the decision of the Janša government was repealed and replaced by a new one, prepared by the Ministry of Culture under the leadership of Asta Vrečko, and launched last week by the Social Democrats party (Socialni demokrati – SD).
If only we could make it so that there would be no victims, either.
Janez Janša rightly described the move as an insult to all those who have even a modicum of compassion for their fellow human beings. In his opinion, this is one of the most despicable and shameful decisions in Slovenia’s history.
Truth and the acknowledgement of wrongs is the basis of any reconciliation
On Tuesday at 9:00 p.m., a commemorative ceremony began at Republic Square in Ljubljana, with which the victims of communist violence were honoured by members of several organisations, namely, the Civic Initiative Awaken Slovenia (Prebudimo Slovenijo), Vseposvojitev, The New Slovenian Association (Nova Slovenska zaveza) and United at the Lime of Reconciliation (Združeni ob lipi sprave). They lit candles and dedicated a song and prayer to them.
Vlasta Doležal Rus, President of the Civic Initiative “Awaken Slovenia,” said that only after the truth is acknowledged can we take the next step boldly. Similarly, missionary Pedro Opeka noted: “Truth and the acknowledgement of wrongs is the basis of any reconciliation.”
Matija Ogrin of the New Slovenian Association pointed out that the thousands of people who were killed are not in any official records of the Republic of Slovenia. On Wednesday, the organisers of the ceremony will hand over an appeal to the Chairwoman of the Commission for Petitions, Human Rights and Equal Opportunities, calling on the state to ensure that the deceased are entered in a public register listing the 14,901 victims of communist violence.