By: Petra Janša
The Association for Values of Slovenian Independence (VSO) opened a museum collection dedicated to Slovenian independence in the centre of Ljubljana on 21 December 2016.
The president of the Association VSO, Aleš Hojs, stated at that time that the long-time wish for the independent state of Slovenia to have its own museum collection dedicated to the times of gaining independence has been fulfilled. But today, Hojs and others believe that that important historical era of the Slovenian nation should also be presented in a special museum, which is something that the current government plans to realise next year.
“Considering its importance, the museum collection is quite small. In the Museum of the Slovenian Independence, there should also be a presentation that visitors could follow through interactive modern systems. Since most of the archives from that era are kept by RTV Slovenia, the government decided that, during the days of the celebration of the 30 years of Slovenian independence, people should have free access to it.” These are the words of the president of the Association, Aleš Hojs.
The museum collection includes copies of documents and articles that depict the period from the May Declaration, the first democratic elections, the plebiscite, to the process of the Slovenian independence itself – from the disarmament of the Slovenian Territorial defence, the establishment of the Maneuvering structure of national defence, up to the war for Slovenia, and the international recognitions. It also includes authentic statements from those who opposed independence.
A particularly interesting part of the collection are the original objects that were donated by the emancipators. So, the copy of the sabre of the brigadier general Anton Krkovič can be observed through the glass, with which he commanded the first line-up of the Slovenian forces in 1991 (the original sabre is in the Military museum in Pivka), and the gun, which, as Hojs emphasized, was the property of Dr. Jože Pučnik. “It is an intimate memory. His son Gorazd Pučnik decided, that rather as keeping it for himself, he would give it to the entire Slovenian public,” said Hojs. He emphasized that the original maps were from the YPA archives, “…where the directions of the attack on Slovenia are drawn.”
Monuments of time
“The original sign which hung on the building in which the Slovenian spring began is also important,” said Hojs. It is the old sign of the then military court on Roška road, where the political trial against Janez Janša, Ivan Borštner and David Tasić was held. The collection also includes the original issue of the 57th issue of the Nova revija journal, the military awards of all of the emancipators, a collection of military and police uniforms, the uniform of the MORiS Special Brigade and of the civil protection, and samples of weapons from the days of the war for Slovenia. “Here, for instance, we can see something that was in those times allowed by the YPA, but was forbidden by the international and military laws, and that is the remains of cassette bombs. They were deadly.” The museum also has occasional themed exhibitions, such as the exhibition titled “The Slovenian independence in the foreign press”, which was also exhibited in the National Assembly of the Republic of Slovenia.