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Tuesday, May 28, 2024

Read the appalled reactions to the government’s cancellation of the Day of Remembrance for the Victims of Communism

By: Sara Kovač (Nova24tv.si)

Just before May 17th, which the previous government decided to mark as the national day of remembrance for the victims of communist violence, Golob’s government went into yet another ideologically coloured campaign, as it adopted a decision at a correspondence session to annul the validity of the decision on the declaration of a national day of remembrance for the victims of communist violence. “It is actually such a perfidious action, they want to act like some democrats on the outside, but on the inside things are tightening and leading to a new totalitarianism. So, in the denial of all political crimes. Just as they never found the criminals, now they want to deny the crimes”, historian Dr Stane Granda commented on the decision. A lot of critical responses can also be found on Twitter.

Although it is known that communist violence on the territory of Slovenia from the summer of 1941 to January 1946 claimed tens of thousands of violent deaths of civilians and prisoners of war, communist violence during the decades of communist rule with all forms of violation of human rights and freedoms affected hundreds of thousands more of the inhabitants of Slovenia, the government decided not to commemorate the victims of communist crimes on this day. Although the authorities have so far shown that they do not care much about the profession, they blame their predecessors for the fact that the decision was made without public and professional discussion.

It is one big falsification of history, which they have been systematically working on for quite some time

We asked historian Dr Stane Granda how he views the government’s recent move. Granda believes that continuity goes towards the democratic side of independence, because one of the prerequisites of Slovenian independence was democracy. “They are systematically destroying this democracy, and they are destroying it because they want to save the revolution.” According to him, they want to cover up and bury all the crimes of the revolution and show that the communists from Čebin onward stood up for Slovenian independence, which is, of course, a pure lie. “Because as Pleterski himself stated, no communist ever advocated for an independent Slovenia, but for Yugoslavia and communism. Kučan’s monument is also in this context”, he pointed out and added that it is about the fact that they want the revolution of the party and to include the revolution as such in the merit of independence.

“It is interesting that they no longer want to use the term partisans but want to use the term resisters. So, to deny the revolution”, Granda pointed out, adding that this is very dangerous, because they are not only denying the crimes against political opponents and post-war massacres, but they are actually also denying the staged trials, the Dachau trials, Goli otok. “They deny all the criminality of this regime. It is actually one big falsification of history, which they have been systematically working on for quite some time”, Granda believes. Regarding Kučan’s idea for a monument to independence, he said that they want to show a new image of independence, namely that it is an organised and very dangerous attempt to falsify recent Slovenian history and to cover up crimes and criminality.

“What is even more absurd is that an international meeting is taking place in Ljubljana right now, where crimes against fellow citizens, against democracy, are supposed to be internationally sanctioned. Just yesterday there was a Council of Europe where they also discussed totalitarianism and where the president of the country made a statement that contradicts what the government has done”, he pointed out and added that this is actually such a perfidious action, on the outside they want to act like some democrats, but on the inside things are tightening and leading to a new totalitarianism. “So, in the denial of all political crimes. Just as they never found the criminals, now they want to deny the crimes.” According to him, this is also about persecution and reckoning with Pučnik, the father of Slovenian independence.

There is no shortage of violent reactions

The government’s decision predictably triggered a wave of reactions on Twitter. “The National Day of Remembrance for the Victims of Communist Violence was “cancelled” at a correspondence meeting of the government, just a few hours before the national holiday. Boom! Head against the wall. Neither the coalition nor the government can count to 3. Are we still a democratic Europe? All to our own detriment. Where is that liberal Slovenia?” commented defence expert Jelko Kacin in this regard. Political analyst Dr Matevž Tomšič pointed out that justifying communist totalitarianism is one of the main priorities of Golob’s government. “At a correspondence session, at night?! This is really creepy cynicism, especially towards the victims of violence. In other words, instead of the ability to rule civilly and the effective introduction of urgent reforms, politics systematically offers us a total escalation of ideological conflicts and the destruction of the rule of law…”, commented investigative journalist Bojan Požar. The leader of the largest opposition party, Janez Janša, described this government decision as one of the most repulsive and shameful decisions in the history of independent Slovenia.

“An insult to anyone who has at least an iota of compassion for a fellow human being”, he emphasised. “This is a really shameful act, completely uncivilised. Where are you Antigone? However, the day will remain, and it is clear that the first democratic government will also officially bring it back. Just as Christmas returned after almost 50 years”, commented acting director of Television Slovenia, Uroš Urbanija. In this regard, international law expert Dr Miha Pogačnik pointed out: “When one MP explains that they are proud successors… it is relatively meaningless. But when the government officially opens the door, in my opinion, to some kind of rehabilitation of communist international crimes, the matter is in a whole new gear. What exactly this entails remains to be thought through.”

There were also critical reactions in the sense of: “How perverted, last week the ministers talked about non-violence and tolerance en masse, and even announced a day of culture of non-violence and tolerance to schools. But speak of the devil, yesterday the government cancelled the day of remembrance for the victims of communist violence.”; “May 17th will remain as a day of remembrance for the victims of communist violence, and if you set the world ablaze! You, the proud successors of the criminal regime, are to blame for the discomfort with this…”; “Victims of communist violence are the only truly erased in Slovenia. Even today, in 2023, they have no public memory and no public voice. Who, in their right mind and human heart, would do something as callous as you?”; “Instead of the centre-left welcoming the national day of remembrance for the victims of communist violence and thereby helping the truth at least a little, it nonchalantly cancels it and thereby actually denies all atrocities, saying that such a day divides the nation. It is sick, perverse, and perverted at the same time”; “The repetition of history is the self-denial of communist violence!!! Which is quite absurd with 700 mass communist murders.”, “Dear government, you can cancel the national day of remembrance for the victims of communist violence a hundred times. All victims of communist violence will remain. And we will remember them every day. Even thanks to you”; “The government abolished the holiday of remembrance for the victims of communist violence – the mirror showed a little too bad a picture, did it not? But the truth cannot be avoided; as in the song about Snow White, when the queen crushes an unpleasant mirror, “but now a thousand reapers call to her: Snow White is more beautiful than you…”.

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