Cover of a CD with Slovene Partisan songs
Listen to “Naša Vojska” (Our Army)
As we are about to start a week-long celebration of resistance against the occupator (April 27), followed by May Day (May 1) and finally by Liberation Day (May 9), I thought I’d post some fact on the issue:
We’ll skip May Day and start with
April 27 – Day of the Resistance against the ocupator
This date was previously known as Day of the Liberation Front, but the drive to rewrite history after the dissolution of socialism scraped this little piece of history as well and the holiday way renamed to what it is now. On this date we remember the formation of Liberation Front (of Slovene Nation), at first a rather heterogenus group which in 1941 realised that active resitance is the only possible answer to German and Italian occupation. A post dealing specifically with this issue will be posted soon 😀
May 9 – Liberation day
Historical wit would have it that Ljubljana was liberated on the very day in 1945 when Nazi Germany (what was left of it) surrendered unconditionally to Allied Powers. Slovene Partisan Forces (elements of 29th division and 7th Corps) were advancing on the city for several days and have entered it only after taking out an artilliery lair on Castle hill.
Saddly, May 9 is not a national holiday (much less a work-free day). I fail to see why we do not celebrate the victorious end of a struggle that was meant to erradicate Slovenes. Shouldn’t we be proud of that? And if that’s not good enough for us, we might at least celebrate – peace. I mean, this country is full of observances of every fucking gun going off in every war that was fought in this area, but we are unable to pay tribute to guns falling silent. And this is not my idea… It occured to my late grandfather, who was taken to contentration camp during the war. He saw the horrors and didn’t want them repeated ever again.
But to end on a lighter note: You’ve probably already listened to the above audio file. It is (in my humble opinon) one of the most beautiful, upbeat Partisan songs, which were used to boost morale among the people and the Partisans themselves. And although these songs emerged late into the war, when Slovene Partisans were a force to be reckoned with, they remain faithful testaments of the spirit and brotherhood of people who fought for a free and better future.