By: Franci Kindlhofer
Publicist Franci Kindlhofer wrote to the editorial board of the german newspaper Merkur and pointed out the completely wrong reporting of their journalist Andreas Schmid on Slovenia. He wrote a letter to the editorial board in German, and we are publishing an English translation.
Let’s remember. Franci Kindlhofer was born in 1943 in Celje as the third child of Zalika and Fritz Kindlhofer. At the end of World War II, his father was missing. The mother was left alone with her three children in her own house in Zgornja Hudinja in Celje. In August 1945, they were arrested by Ozna. The mother was taken to the Stari pisker prison, where every trace of her was lost, and the children were taken to Petriček, where mostly children from anti-communist families were detained. After the dissolution of Petriček, Franci found himself without a brother and sister in the former Skalna klet inn. In March 1946, he was taken to the farm by his mother’s sister Marija and her husband Franci. He attended primary school in Lemberg pri Šmarju, and lower secondary school in Šmarje pri Jelšah. He graduated from the Academy of World Trade in Frankfurt, Germany in 1975… Among other things, he is known for translating a book of documents by Johann Wolfgang Brügel, Stalin and Hitler – Pact against Europe, into Slovene.
Below we publish his full letter:
To the editorial board of MERKUR in Münich
Critical remarks on an article by Andreas Schmid published in your online newspaper
September 9th, 2021: “Prime Minister under the rush of criticism”
Written by: Franci Kindlhofer, Bled, Slovenia
Merkur: He (Janez Janša) is increasingly more inspired by Orban’s Hungary…
This assumption is completely wrong. Slovenia differs from Hungary in many respects. But the fact that the two countries have been together for centuries in the Austrian monarchy, and that in the end they both had a sad experience with communism, offers definite parallels.
Merkur: The 62-year-old (Janez Janša) is increasingly developing into one of the most controversial Prime Ministers in the European Community.
He had to put the government on its feet in a very difficult situation and it is increasingly being confirmed that this was the best solution for Slovenia. In any case, he is first and foremost the Prime Minister of Slovenia and should not be offended that he represents Slovenian interests in the EU and less the interests of the EU in Slovenia.
Merkur: Former heads of Slovenian governments attack Janša – “clear signs of autocracy”
Marjan Šarec is the fruit of the red baron Milan Kučan, the last Party secretary of Slovenia, who set himself the task of continuing to keep political life in Slovenia in red. Thus, before each parliamentary election, Kučan tries to create a new party with a new face from scratch. In this way, he tries to mislead voters that it is a new, central, independent party. In 2018, the red baron brought from the stage the humourist Marjan Šarec, who made fun of stupid broads at simple firefighter’s parties with simple jokes. Although, according to democratic rules, Janez Janša should have formed the government at that time, as his party received the most votes in the elections, the votes of the Marjan Šarec List were enough to form a government with left wing parties, otherwise on very shaky ground. As expected, after two years the folk entertainer Marjan Šarec was at the end with his Latin and threw in the towel. Therefore, his comments are worth as much as if a pre-schooler was talking about relativity theory.
Šarec’s predecessor, Alenka Bratušek, gained little government experience with her one-year term. To save her existence, she nominated herself for the post of EC Commissioner, but her presentation in Brussels was not the most successful. She was thus sentenced to lead a three-member party and perpetual opposition. Of course, like many in the opposition, she is terribly worried about Slovenia’s fate. The better Slovenia is, the greater the opposition’s concerns.
Merkur: Affair with masks and Janez Janša –
Just as the Janša government was taking responsibility, a wave of epidemics swept across Europe. Šarec’s legacy was devastating. Civil protection warehouses were empty. Šarec gave the last masks to his Chinese friends. I stress again: this is not a joke. Thus, the government came under severe pressure – as did German and other European governments. But such manipulations as have taken place in Bavaria are not known to me here.
Merkur: Alarming to European politicians: “This is not just about petty corruption.”
For this chapter, journalist Schmid turned to MEP from Zeleni party Daniel Freund for help. But Daniel Freund, with all due respect to his work in the European Parliament, also showed that the events in Slovenia are all Greek to him. He is not taking into account that the current opposition constantly puts obstacles in the way of the Slovenian government, obstacles that have nothing to do with current political events. This is the opposition that is trying to bribe MPs to incapacitate the government. The whole matter is so demanding that I am not prepared to organise a course for Schmid and Freund without a fee.
Merkur: Is freedom of the press in Slovenia in danger? “Only the trumpets of the government media will remain.”
To the first sentence, I must say clearly: yes. The Slovenian media field is catastrophic. This situation, however, is not the result of the intervention of some democratic government, but is more the legacy of a communist dictatorship. Slovenia found itself in a democratic trap. On the one hand, it is burdened by the difficult legacy of communism, which is reflected in the judiciary, the content of school lessons, the work of the police, public radio and television, and newspapers that still bear names as revolutionary media. If any democratic government takes action against this situation, comparisons with Poland and Hungary immediately emerge. The affair with STA, the Slovenian Press Agency, is very inflated. The government was accused of interfering in its work in terms of content, but in reality it was only a matter of respecting the contract from a legal point of view and with it related funding. It was also found that the STA had probably violated the rules of political neutrality. This allegation is likely to be confirmed if the current director really changes jobs and gets a job at a very left wing media company. These matters are difficult to assess even for a good journalist. Therefore, it is necessary to find the right, competent interlocutors for reliable information. Of course, this must be the will of a journalist.
When the Federal Republic of Germany, when merging with the former GDR, simply adjusted all institutions – from the judiciary onwards – to its standards, no one talked about strangling the system, as former SPD Minister Katharina Barley said about events in Slovenia.
Merkur: Orban’s friend Janez Janša: How Hungary is gaining more and more influence over Slovenia
Matej Vatovec belongs to a party whose members even pose in parliament by being the proud successors of communist butchers. Could some neo-Nazi have been doing this in the German parliament?
It is completely irresponsible for a consistent German journalist to use stories about problems in Slovenia told from people who have nothing in their heads but setting traps and disrupting the work wherever possible as a serious message. However, if we want to talk about who has the greatest influence on Slovenia, then we can start with Germany. The constant negative comparison of the Western press with Hungary is nothing more than an attempt to nail Orban, whom they do not like, to the cross.
Criticism of Janša’s coronavirus policy is completely insane. It was here that the Prime Minister scored points with the population. He took the fight against the pandemic very seriously, as befits a boss (Schefsache). Despite the rigid health care system, he managed to increase the capacity of hospitals, there was a shortage of no materials – not even vaccines, the economy was supported and employees were protected. Despite the great efforts of the opposition under the leadership of professional revolutionaries such as Tea Jarc & Co to make the work of the government completely difficult in this situation, the covid-19 crisis was still going within acceptable limits.
This success is also due to the contribution of two parties, DeSUS and SMC, which the opposition denounces as treacherous, but in reality, in a critical situation where the left no longer knew how to move forward, they proved their responsibility to the state and citizens.
Merkur: Janez Janša: “From avid communist” to a “right wing populist dictator”
Opponents of democracy recall with great pleasure the former members of the Party who became Democrats of their communist past. In doing so, however, they do not take into account that communism was a one-party system for which it was not known how long it would last. Most people who wanted to take part in public life could not avoid the Party – the League of Communists. It was no different than in Nazism or in the former GDR. Therefore, it is not fair to throw all members in the same basket. I myself experienced how important it was that there were also completely normal, reasonable and good people in the Party. Otherwise, life would be even more unbearable. Differences between party members became apparent only after the liberation in 1990. Good, smart, democratically oriented people who had done nothing wrong under the previous regime had no problem giving up their past. Otherwise, of course, it applies to the eternally former, such as Milan Kučan, who, like Georg Gysi in Germany, had the task of preserving the party and securing its money. The fact that Janša and not Kučan was imprisoned speaks for itself. The radical rejection of the old system was also aided by the fact that it was only after its collapse that we learned how criminal the communist system was, which was responsible for the horrific massacres of its own nation.
Merkur: Slovenian Presidency of the Council of the EU: Are “other orientations” and “threats to European values” threatened with?
Daniel Freund is concerned: “What will be discussed and what will not? In fact, Janša now decides on this.”
I have only one question for Freund here: “Is there a catalogue in the EU about what should or should not be discussed? What are you afraid of?” Just at the last meeting of European politicians here in Bled, it became clear how important an open discussion, without taboos, was for all participants. This fact was welcomed by most.
There was no room here for European politicians like Timmermans, who does not find it unusual for a judge to present to the public the emblems of a dictatorship, such as a swastika or a red star. This is certainly something that Europe does not need.
Dear MERKUR editorial staff, as long as your journalists choose people who faithfully worship and pay homage to the greatest Slovenian murderer in Ljubljana, your newspaper will find it very difficult to contribute anything to the Bavarian-Slovenian friendship.
I am also attaching a picture where SD MP Marko Koprivc, former SD president Dejan Židan, and SD president Tanja Fajon (in the background) bow to the communist criminal Boris Kidrič in the center of Ljubljana. Namely, Tanja Fajon is the president of the party that emerged from the League of Communists and took the name Social Democrats. Tanja Fajon is also a member of the European Parliament, where she is something special, as she also opposes the interests of her country due to her party policy.