The Slovenia Times

Victims of summary executions remembered in Teharje


Teharje - An annual mass was held at the Teharje Memorial Park on Sunday in memory of some 5,000 victims of war and post-World War II summary executions in the area.

Organized by the New Slovenian Testament and Saint Martin's parish, the ceremony paid tribute to those killed without trial on several locations near Teharje, including the notorious Huda Jama mine shaft near Laško.

Matija Ogrin, the president of the New Slovenian Testament, an organisation working to rehabilitate members of the militias, recalled the horrors the prisoners went through. He said it is them who have to be remembered as individuals.

"They were struck by a fate so cruel that we have to remember them. They had an immortal soul when they were alive, and they have an immortal soul now that they are dead, buried between layers of soil and waste," he said.

He said it was particularly notable that those slain there died as Catholics and the closer that death was, the more they prayed.

Beyond these personal tragedies, it is important that the Teharje victims had been part of the essence of the Slovenian nation. "They personified the aspect of the Slovenian nation that never accepted the break with the domestic tradition, the break brought about by the [communist] revolution."

According to him, the Teharje crime has not been overcome and Slovenians as a nation have so far been unable to do that collectively.

Teharje was the site of Nazi Germany military barracks that were later used as a concentration camp for members of the Home Guard militia that collaborated with the Nazis, as well as soldiers, civilians, and refugees from Croatia and Serbia apprehended by the Allies in May 1945 and turned over to the Partisans.

A memorial park was inaugurated at the site of the former barracks in 2004 but it still not fully finished due to a lack of political interest to do so, representatives of the Teharje parish noted.


More from Politics