Slovenia commemorating WWII resistance movement

Ljubljana, 27 April - Slovenia is celebrating the Day of Uprising Against Occupation on Saturday, a holiday honouring the resistance against Nazi and Fascist occupation during WWII. A number of ceremonies took place around the country last evening, including the main state ceremony in Črnomelj, and a number of events are planned for today as well.

The Liberation Front was established in the Vidmar Villa in Ljubljana in April 1941. The house is now the residence of the German ambassador to Slovenia.
Photo: Boštjan Podlogar/STA
File photo

The bank holiday commemorates the establishment of the Liberation Front, an organisation that spearheaded WWII resistance against occupying forces. It was founded in Ljubljana on 26 April 1941, 20 days after the then Kingdom of Yugoslavia was attacked by the Axis Powers.

However, for about two decades after the war it was believed that the meeting at which the Liberation Front was established took place on 27 April and what was celebrated as the Day of the Liberation Front before Slovenia's breaking away from the former Yugoslavia, was observed a day after the actual date of establishment.

When Slovenia gained independence in 1991, the holiday was renamed to the Day of Uprising Against Occupation, but the date remained unchanged.

After the attack on 6 April, led by the Nazi Germany, Slovenian territory was divided among Germany, Italy and Hungary, while five villages near Brežice were occupied by the self-declared Fascist Independent State of Croatia.

The Kingdom of Yugoslavia surrendered, but Slovenians decided to fight back. Nearly three weeks after the attack, representatives of the Slovenian Communist Party, the Christian Socialists, the Sokol physical education movement and cultural workers founded what they called the Anti-Imperialist Front, which was later renamed the Liberation Front.

A number of wreath-laying ceremonies will take place today, including at the Vidmar Villa in the Rožna Dolina borough in Ljubljana, where the founding meeting took place, hosted by the author and politician Josip Vidmar (1895-1992).

Many communities around the country will honour the resistance movement today with a variety of events, from ceremonies, to hikes and commemoration events.

Like every year, the main ceremony was held on the eve of the holiday, this time hosted by the town of Črnomelj in the south, with National Council President Marko Lotrič delivering the keynote address.

© STA, 2024