By: Dr. Jože Dežman
Dear, you were present at the event at St. Urh. Although it was supposed to be a commemoration, a respectful tribute to the victims, Mr. Zoran Jankovič used it to express extreme views hostile to democracy and the sanctity of the dead. He advocated ideological racism – Titoist apartheid (I have made this assessment publicly several times and so far, no one has disputed it).
I have written about Jankovič’s not only uncultured but barbaric outbursts several times, most recently when repeating his genocidal and mnemocidal mantra that “there will be no Home Guard monuments” in Ljubljana and his own thanatological doctrine that only “people of Ljubljana” can be buried in Ljubljana.
Let me point out that Jankovič is not capable of answering, and no one supports him either.
That “there will be no Home Guard monuments” in Ljubljana he also repeated in Urh. And, unfortunately, many other things. In a special posture that places him somewhere between Mussolini (believe, obey, fight…) and Broz (comrades, you should…).
Since you have not been clear about his views, I am asking you for some simple answers to simple questions.
Is 3,200 murdered, excavated from under three thousand cubic meters of blasted rock, news?
On March 3rd, 2009, researchers discovered the mummified remains of those murdered in St. Barbara in Huda jama. That was NEWS. It was published by all the media. The Titophile part of politics went wild then. The President of the Republic of Slovenia, Danilo Türk, assessed the discovery as a second-rate phenomenon, and on April 20th (the anniversary of Hitler’s birth) in Ljubljana, Tito Street was renamed again. Türk’s statement was his political suicide, the worship of Tito was banned by the Constitutional Court.
On October 28th, 2022, we presented to the public an archaeological undertaking in which the remains of around 3,200 murdered people were excavated, which were to be hidden forever by around three thousand cubic meters of rock from the blasted perimeter of the abyss. They are victims of the worst war crime and fratricide in Slovenian history.
But for the media, which otherwise supports Janković and you, this is not NEWS. And the silence speaks of a terrible embarrassment.
Jankovič, however, could not stand it. In Urh, he repeated statements that belong to Türk’s second-class status and are even more rejected than the naming of Tito’s Street.
When Jankovič at St. Urh repeated again that “there will be no Home Guard monuments” in Ljubljana, he denied the worst fratricidal crime in Slovenian history, wants to preserve the Titoist mnemocide, which denied the right to a grave and memory to those who were murdered and tabooed by Titoism.
Dear, I ask you, if you were still a journalist, would you publish the news about the 3,200 murdered, dug out from under three thousand cubic meters of blasted rock? If you become the president of the Republic of Slovenia, what will you do to ensure that their remains are given the right to a grave in Ljubljana in accordance with Slovenian legislation and the sanctity of the dead?
Could the fallen fighters of the 5th overseas brigade be buried in Ljubljana?
I have warned several times that we do not even know who is buried in St. Urh and that the new exhibition that the MOL has set up in St. Urh is a miserable copy of the Titoist propaganda exhibition. Just as messy as St. Urh is the burial ground of fighters and hostages and the military cemetery of the Yugoslav Army in Žale. Not to mention the missing family partisan graves. But Jankovič passes over these facts again and again. He just lives past reality in his imagination.
If Jankovič’s fiction that only “people of Ljubljana” could be buried in Ljubljana also applied to partisan victims, then we would not be able to fulfil Leopold Bergant’s request, which he wrote in a letter to Marjan Šarec, the Prime Minister of the Republic of Slovenia, in 2019, shortly before his death.
Bergant was a fighter of the 5th Overseas Brigade. He was terribly hurt when Anton Čretnik, a fighter of his unit, drowned in the battle near Gospić. Especially because during the last Croatian-Serbian war, the grave of the fighters of the 5th Overseas Brigade in Gospić was desecrated. Bergant wrote about 200 fallen fighters of the 5th Overseas Brigade, in the inventory of the Institute for Recent History there are around 180. Since the Slovenian side did not get satisfactory answers from the Croatian side to Bergant’s initiatives, Bergant proposed exhuming the remains in Gospić in two letters to Šarec’s government. In the last one, on September 28th, 2019, he asked “to arrange for the government authorities to transfer the skeletons of the fallen fighters of the 5th Overseas Brigade to Ljubljana’s Žale as soon as possible and for a monument with the names of all the fallen fighters to be erected there.”
If this initiative were to come to fruition, we would naturally run into Jankovič’s fabrication that only “people of Ljubljana” are buried in Ljubljana. Since the fighters of the 5th Overseas Brigade were formerly forcibly mobilised into the German army, i.e., men from Gorenjska, Koroška, and Štejerska regions, according to this crazy idea, they should not be buried in Ljubljana.
Dear, in St. Urh Jankovič announced you as his candidate. If you become the president of the Republic of Slovenia, in exchange for his support, will you also defend policies that lead us straight into the disgracefully discarded civil religion of Titoism?
The Home Guard cemetery on Orlov vrh?
Jankovič’s statement that “there will be no Home Guard monuments” in Ljubljana is a plain lie.
In Ljubljana, there are parish memorial plaques in Žale, there is a burial site for more than 800 murdered people in Kucja dolina, there is a cemetery behind the cemetery wall in Šentvid, there are graves of village guards in Žale, etc. And in Ljubljana there is a monument to all the victims of wars and war-related victims – and such victims are also home guards (and of course also other victims of the anti-communist side, whom Jankovič, in his ignorance, probably counts as “home guards”).
Regarding the Home Guard cemetery on Orlov vrh, I should repeat that in the Ordinance on Spatial Planning Conditions for the C9 Grad area, which was adopted by the MOL Council, Article 40 for Orlov vrh states: “Prior to planning the area, protective excavations (prehistory, burial area from World War II) must be carried out. The area should be arranged as a park with the possibility of erecting a memorial on the basis of a public competition.”
Jankovič prefers to lie.
But despite such attempts to defend the crimes and taboos of Titoism, during his presidency, Borut Pahor persistently defended a policy at home and internationally in relation to the burdens of history, which can rightly be called the preaching of coexistence and forgiveness. Even in Ljubljana, when he reached the erection of monuments to all victims of wars and war-related victims.
Dear, if you succeed Borut Pahor as the President of the Republic of Slovenia, will you take over Borut Pahor’s great conciliatory tradition?
Jankovič shames Slovenian independence?
25 years ago, I led the project United in Victory, in which there is the Museum of Recent History of Slovenia, together with the Museums of the Slovenian Army and the Museum of the Slovenian Police. We set up an exhibition in the Hribar Hall at the Ljubljana Castle. We agreed that it would be temporarily, but then it would stand on two floors of part of the Ljubljana Castle.
The opening of the exhibition took place on June 24th, 2007. Immediately afterwards, at the request of Mayor Jankovič, it had to be closed and removed. We were told by several sources that the exhibition angered Milan Kučan.
Today we are witnessing a similar attack on the Museum of Slovenian Independence. It should be merged with the Museum of Recent History of Slovenia into a new public institution. We do not even know what the new institution will be called.
I ask you, are these symbolic demolitions of Slovenian democratisation, liberation, independence, and the Republic of Slovenia not just unnecessary provocations by forces that look back on the times of the Titoist Stalinist revolution, one-party dictatorship, and totalitarian rule? Is the destruction of the greatness of democratisation, liberation, and independence of the Republic of Slovenia not also the goal of the speeches that Jankovič repeats and repeats?
I ask you, is the victory in the war for the defence of the Republic of Slovenia in 1991 not the greatest Slovenian military victory? Are all the successes made possible by Republic of Slovenia not a treasure trove of memory and the foundation of self-confidence?
I am looking forward to your answers, I greet you warmly.
Dr Jože Dežman