President honours Nazi victims in Bistrica

Naklo – President Borut Pahor attended a commemorative ceremony on Saturday evening marking 80 years since nearly 60 people were killed by the Nazis in village Bistrica near Naklo in northern Slovenia.

“We must let our children and grandchildren know that there are ways to avoid hatred that ultimately leads to war,” the president said.

“Since the war in Ukraine started to rage, I have been seeing commemorations like this one differently in our homeland and abroad. The question of the inevitability of war, of war and peace, is being posed anew,” Pahor said in his keynote speech as quoted in a press release by his office.

The European hope of a lasting peace is once again uncertain because of the war in Ukraine, he added. “For the sake of our children and their children, let us hope that the European idea, based on reconciliation, respect, tolerance and historical truth, will prevail,” he said, reiterating that only a just peace could lead to a lasting peace.

He also laid a wreath at a memorial dedicated to the 59 victims.

The executions were Nazi reprisals against civilians. On 25 July 1942, the partisans attacked a German car in Bistrica, killing two German officers. That same evening, the Nazis burnt down the village and shot nine locals. Two days later 50 more men were executed.

To commemorate this tragedy, a stone obelisk was erected, and in 1984 a memorial park was built.