Rewriting History

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Members of Home Guard swear allegiance to Hitler in Ljubljana stadium, 1944 (left, source), Aleksandar Todorović during a protest of the Erased in front ot the Parliament, 2006 (right. source)

As of 2004 historians estimate that some 14,000 Slovenes were killed post-war summary executions. Around 11.000 of those were members of the Home Guard, a collaborationist army formation. Being held as “enemy combatants” (no, Bush&Cheney didn’t make that up, the Allies did), they were stripped of any legal status, denied due process and as such fell victim to post-war revenge. Fact of the matter is that although they were collaborators, their act of treason should have been proven in a court of law.

As of 2009 it is clear that some 25,000 people were erased from records of the ministry of interior. Of these some 450 were in some way connected to the enemy Yugoslav Army. Suddenly stripped of their residence, their documents were invalidated and they found themselves without any legal status and virtually defenceless fell prey to continuous outpouring of nationalism, revenge and violation of human rights.

Certain political elements now flock en masse to the latest scene of the post-war revenge, where they call for nothing less than rewriting of history, presumably hoping that acts of treason and collaboration would somehow be redefined as profoundly patriotic. At the same time these very elements simultaneously deny that the erasure ever took place and claim that collaborators are being rewarded for their treason.

No wonder reconciliation is not possible. If siding with the occupator is patriotism and failing to get your papers in order is treason, we have a long way to go.

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pengovsky

Agent provocateur and an occasional scribe.

11 thoughts on “Rewriting History”

  1. So what do you think has happened during all these years? I don’t remember black vs. red having any importance for my life or for the people I knew/know. I do know under Tito many things were supposed to be kept quiet, but even after ’91, this divide was a non-topic to me (and we all had to do with ex-Yugoslav wars)… I am aware that there are many people whose lives are inseparably connected with WWII and its constellations, but… Could it be it was all re-introduced for political reasons and people decided firmly for one side (in whichever form) and haven’t stopped quarrelling and calling the other side evil ever since? Of course we should pull the skeletons out of our closets, no doubt, but I wonder whether all these hatred-filled discussions (also about the Erased) haven’t got a life and a purpose of their own and are slowly but certainly creeping away from the victims…

  2. Definitely…. I think yours is about as succinct a summary of the situation as they come. The power of hate is enormous. Far greater than the power of justice. But once you cross over to the Dark Side, there’s no way back.

  3. alcessa, people fall for tearjerker films like Seven Pounds and people fall for cheap emotion-stirring propaganda.

    I just received a message from Mlada Slovenija (the youth section of the (Christian) People’s Party stating that Mayor Janković is withdrawing the subsidy for the students’ monthly passes to the Ljubljana City bus lines.
    1/ they forgot to mention that this would only apply to non-residents of the City of Ljubljana and that this is an attempt to get the others’ subsidies covered by the State rather than the City they or their parents do not pay taxes to;
    2/ they posted this news illustrated with a photo of Mayor Janković with the grand mufti of the Slovenian Islamic community in the background.

    Mr. P: I strongly disagree with the final point of your last comment.

  4. I’m disappointed in you, dr, they were obviously making a point that subsidized public transportation is banned under Sharia law. 🙂

  5. @nemanja: Thanks for pointing out my ignorance. As long as the only issue that gets students agitated are food price increases and they see no reason to become politically active in issues involving human rights, I absolutely support that particular bit of the Sharia law 😉

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