Slovenia Remembering WWI General Maister


Maister (1874-1934) was honoured with a central ceremony in Ljubljana on Saturday at which Defence Minister Janko Veber highlighted his courage and visionary attitude.

Disagreeing with a decision of the Maribor city council towards the end of WWI to make Maribor part of Austria, Maister put together a 4,000 strong army that took control of the city during the night on 23 November 1918.

He then occupied Slovenian ethnic territory in the north-east, establishing the northern border between Austria and Yugoslavia that was later ratified by the Saint Germain Peace Treaty. The border between Slovenia and Austria has not changed since.

The biggest statue dedicated to Maister is located in front of Ljubljana's railway and bus stations, featuring him mounted on a horse. The statue was commissioned by the city of Ljubljana and erected in 1999. It is the work of acclaimed sculptor Jakov Brdar.

Rudolf Maister Day has been observed as a public holiday since 2005, and there are over twenty associations around the country cherishing the memory of this Slovenian hero.