Image from Reconciliation ’04 – a computer game* by Mladina weekly (source)

A joke from the socialist times, naturally.

Two brothers fought the war on opposing sides. The older joined the Partisans, the younger joined the Home Guard. When the war was over, the older, although he was a decorated hero, couldn’t get a decent job. He kept being pushed around as a janitor, doorman and the likes. The younger brother, however, went on to become general manager of a successful company. How was that possible?


The older brother had a problem, because his brother was a member of the Home Guard, whereas the younger had great credentials since his brother was a decorated war hero.


*The game is a tetris parody of the partisan/home guard rift. It is marvelously politically incorrect, as you can pick which side will you be throwing in the pit. Or you can throw them both. 😀

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Agent provocateur and an occasional scribe.

12 thoughts on “Reconciliation”

  1. While the joke is relevant and illustrative, the Mladina game (which I must admit having played with pleasure – some 10 years ago if memory serves me right?) is in poor taste and doesn’t really help much. It is impossible to truly desensitize matters that involve death of family members.


  2. I guess it’s not really about taste… (haven’t played the game). There are atrocities that simply need black humor. Seems similar to burials: at first we cry, afterwards, we get to eat and the mood swings from sad to “happy”, there’s often some laughter that sounds like pure relief – at being alive…

    I think we should introduce a new saying into Slovene: There’s a cave that’s got my name on it.

  3. @dr. fil: Thanks for that. I’m kind of happy we don’t agree 😀

    The game and its concept (playing tetris by throwing partisans and home guard in a pit) are very tongue-in-cheek. I’ll grant you that. But I think the game tells more of Slovenes’ attitude towards the inter-and-post-war massacres than anything else.

    Yes, it could very well be branded poor taste. But then again, so is the Sperm Song by Monthy Python. I think some subjects are just too serious not to be taken lightly.

    Besides, the subject became so explosive and sensitive, that it needs a bit of a reality check. In my opinion at least.

  4. alcessa, I see your point, but I sincerely doubt that I would had one of my parents for example been buried in an unmarked mass grave.

  5. @Mr. P: Right back at ya. Always fun to disagree with a guy who can hold his own in a debate. As for the topic, see my reply to alcessa. Same applies.

  6. Dr. Fil, could be, yes. The only thing I am sure about is that the survivors tend to feel happy for having survived in face of atrocities and also that this is not a perverse reflex but probably a useful biochemical reaction and nothing to be ashamed about.

    This does not mean one is feelingless or shallow. In my experience, the dead are always present in our lives.

  7. alcessa, understood. I just don’t think they would enjoy playing games like this either.

    Re your final point: unfortunately, I understand what you are saying. Fortunately, I feel the same way.

  8. @alcessa: Black humour. That’s it! 😀

    @dr. filomena: Point. Provided that it were really just about the victims and their families. As things stand this has become a national trauma, a hot political topic and a source of continuous and oft-renewed divisions along familiar lines.

    Unless we want to be drawn in that same spiral of impossible arguments, cynicism and black humour are the only answer. Because otherwise it will never end.

  9. I knew a German lady once who said: it’s terrible. Scrap the surface and everywhere, you’ll find skeletons, some very old.

    It would seem this is the most important archeological artefact the humanity has to offer.

    Dr. Fil: actually, I don’t want to explain away other people’s suffering as a general principle… As you probably noticed, it’s me who needs this kind of relief and I just assumed there are many more. As Pengovsky says: sometimes black humour and cynicism cannot be avoided.

  10. Ko se bodo sorodniki žrtev (nikoli!) začeli igrati to igrico, bo človeštvo postalo boljše.
    Zadnjič sem prašal Jiksa kako je s tem:” Dragi Jezus, povej mi kako naj razumem in občutim to?”
    In je rekel:” Dragi Arbi, sin moj, če ti bodo ubili očeta, potem mu bodo samo skrajšali dneve. Bodi vesel, da niso ubili tebe.”
    Potem pa je izginil v eteričnem oblačku.

    LP, Arbi

  11. Mogoče bi se bilo pametno vprašati: Ali lahko jaz ubijam ljudi in kaj vse je potrebno, da kaj takega naredim?
    Si lahko kaj takega predstavljate?
    Ni potrebno analizirati preteklost do onemoglosti in nazaj. Danes, tukaj in zdaj se vprašajte kaj lahko in kaj ne in zakaj ne in potem si predstavljajte, da se držite svojih načel, ne glede na izhod sprave.
    Spravijo naj se skregani. Vi pa premislite zakaj se je dobro skregati in zakaj ne in zakaj je dobro koga ubiti?

    Vam pomagam?
    Večina ljudi ubija zato, ker je tako najbolj varno, ko je čas ubijanja. En malček jih celo uživa pri tem in en malček jih odkloni ubijanje za ceno svojega življenja.
    Kje pa ste vi?

    Še vedno pri partizanih in nemcih, hihi?

    LP, Arbi

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