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Wednesday, June 19, 2024

It was a time of war…

By: Franci Kindlhofer

I still remember well the words of Milan Kučan at the mass for the murdered communist victims, in Kočevje’s Rog: “It was a time of war, now is a time of peace”. What did the president of the then liberated, independent Slovenia, who until recently was the secretary of the League of Communists that actually committed these crimes, want to say? Probably the fact that all the infamous, dirty history of the Communist Party is wrapped in impermeable waxed paper, which will prevent the infiltration of blood from the past and prevent the smell of rotten corpses. Because now peace has come by chance, which means that we will not try to unsettle this peace with anything. Especially not with questions about what is wrapped in a waxed paper. For in this envelope all our interwar and post-war truth is doomed to dormancy and oblivion. However, if anyone wants to peek into this package, they will have to pass the guardian of the eternal truth – the Association of the National Liberation Movement (ZZB). This association has become an important filter for dealing with our past.

It is characteristic of all dictatorships that they pay the greatest attention to the education of the youth. Therefore, it is no wonder that ZZB is still watching over this segment after the liberation in 1990. In primary school libraries, there are departments for pre-schoolers and pioneers, and history teachers must use textbooks that instil in children a sense of guilt that they are white Europeans and culprits for the development of imperialism and that the communist revolution was something completely self-evident in our country, for otherwise, Nazism and Fascism would still rule today. I notice this educational deficit in many responses on FB and Twitter when younger people advertise. They are especially employed by collaboration and betrayal. That this was happening in conjunction with the Civil War, in response to communist crimes, is not a topic for young people, because communist historiography has skilfully separated partisan crimes from the emergence of resistance to them. Thus, ignorant youth is becoming an advocate of serious crimes, which cannot go unnoticed in the development of young people. It is precisely the ZZB that bears a lot of the blame for these spiritual deformations, turning to young people with false history and even inviting them into its ranks. It is not uncommon to see children dressed in slaughter uniforms at association’s public provocations.

Here you can see how vapid Kučan’s words were: “…now is the time for peace”. This peace was meant only in case the Communists kept the essential elements of power in their hands. But, even for all the intrigues accustomed to communists, this is no longer so easy. Throughout communist history, communism has always needed a catalyst for its success to enable a successful revolution. The most suitable for this were wars. The Slovene communists had triple luck. First, the German occupation of Yugoslavia shattered the Kingdom of Yugoslavia, pushing the country into a legally empty space. Second, Hitler’s attack on the Soviet Union allowed their main benefactor, Stalin, to join the anti-Nazi coalition. This was later a legitimation, for the favour of the Western democratic forces, which in the last phase of the war also massively supported Tito’s partisans. Thirdly, the communist terror against their own population had a positive effect on them, triggering counter-resistance by the endangered Slovene population, which was seeking support from the occupier in this difficult situation. This was rudely exploited by the Communists after the end of the war to make it easier to consolidate their communist dictatorship by massacring their ideological opponents.

It is therefore not surprising that the current opposition is trying to achieve its success according to the recipes of its famous ancestors during and after the war. For the English, who in 1944 recognised the partisans much prematurely, of course out of their own interests alone, they found compensation in the left wing, non-communist part of the European press. The war crisis was replaced by the covid 19 epidemic, as the government faced the almost unsolvable task of protecting the lives and health of citizens on the one hand and preventing economic collapse on the other. The left wing opposition was convinced that now was the right time to carry out its plan, to take power without democratic rules. When they realised that they would not succeed, also due to the lack of suitable politicians who would not only be willing but also able to take government responsibility, they resorted to a third option – the threat of civil war.

On April 24th, 2021, a loyal supporter of the left wing opposition RTVS published a teletext calling on the ZZB NOB to revolt. The president of the association, Marijan Križman, announced that the time of the liberation front of the Slovene nation had come again. He openly calls for a revolt against those in power, that is, against a government that has been democratically elected according to the constitution and democratic principles. It was a concrete call for the overthrow of the constitutional order.

At the Assembly for the Republic, I initiated a debate on this and a request to file a lawsuit against the ZZB. Since there was no clear consensus on whether, in any case, the provocative call of the ZZB is sufficient for criminal prosecution, I decided to file a criminal offense of violating the constitutional order, personally. I filed a complaint with the Police Administration on April 26th, but apart from a confirmation return, I have not received any other reaction.

I did a test on twitter a few days ago. I published a tweet with almost the same content as Križman’s call for rebellion, only that I addressed the village guards instead of the NOB fighters. There were immediate attacks on me that such a call should be punished by imprisonment.

However, I believe in the maturity of Slovenes, so that they will not fall prey to the provocations of those who see only violence as a way to gain power. Although they see us, the Democrats, as their enemies, we see them completely differently. A pitiful but serious opponent who longs for power to share feuds and taxpayers’ money uncontrollably. That this is no longer possible will be realised in the next election. To many who are protesting hotly on the streets of Ljubljana, I recommend that they use this time for seminars on how to write a successful job application.

Franci Kindlhofer is vice-president of the Association of Political Prisoners and Other Victims of Communist Violence.

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