Basovizza Heroes remembered with calls against hatred, exclusion

Basovizza – A ceremony for four victims of Fascism executed in September 1930, known among Slovenians as the Basovizza Heroes, was held at the memorial site on Sunday, with Minister for Slovenians Abroad Helena Jaklitsch saying that it was a reminder of how much misery and pain humans and authorities could cause if they let hatred and exclusion win.

Jaklitsch was the keynote speaker at the ceremony remembered four victims of Fascism at the site where they were executed 91 years ago following a short trial before a Fascist court in Trieste.

Slovenian patriots Ferdo Bidovec, Fran Marušič and Alojz Valenčič as well as Zvonimir Miloš, a Croat with close links to the Slovenian community in Trieste, were executed on 6 September 1930 in Basovizza common.

They were sentenced to death in what is known as the First Trieste Trial for an attack on the newspaper Il Popolo di Trieste, with the other 12 defendants being sent to prison.

The Slovenian ethnic minority in Italy cherishes the memory of Basovizza Heroes with annual commemorations, which are also often attended by Slovenian officials.

“This place witnesses that it pays to give everything we have, our lives for what we really love. This place teaches us forgiveness and reconciliation, as well as mutual acceptance and respect,” Jaklitsch said at today’s ceremony.

She added that the Basovizza memorial also taught that “something like this must never happen again in the name of any ideology” and that the message that it sent was so strong that it should be declared a monument of European importance.

Milan Pahor of the organising committee told the STA that procedures were under way to get the monument the status of a monument of regional or national importance.

The committee and both umbrella organisations of the Slovenian minority in Italy are making attempts at posthumous rehabilitation of the four, who are still officially labelled as terrorist in the country.

Today’s ceremony was the main event in a series of events commemorating the Basovizza Heroes, which were also held in Koper, Ljubljana and Kranj.