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Statement of Platform of European Memory and Conscience on Slovenia’s decision to abolish the Day of Remembrance for the Victims of Communism

The Platform of European Memory and Conscience is deeply saddened by the decision to abolish the Day of Remembrance for the Victims of Communism in Slovenia. This decision dishonours the memory of all the innocent victims of communist injustice and does not contribute to the building of a united and resilient Europe founded after the Second World War on the principles of law, democracy, human rights and dignity.

This memorial day was established on the basis of the facts that led to the massacre of innocent civilians (women and children) by communist partisans on May 12, 1942. The international expert community is in favour of a meaningful discussion, to evaluate the cases and identify the victims and the responsible persons. The historical experiment with a multi-ethnic Yugoslavia has failed, and coming to terms with the past is proceeding very slowly. The consequences of this approach led to the civil war several decades ago and are now being repeated in Eastern Europe.

The free decision of the Slovenes to join the family of European nations meant signing up to democratic principles, pluralism of opinion and respect for individual rights. The European Union has adopted a number of official declarations in which it has clearly condemned the undemocratic regimes of the past (fascism, Nazism and communism) and called for the commemoration of victims and the righting of wrongs, etc.

There are approximately 700 mass graves and sites of communist crimes in Slovenia. Many of the crimes occurred immediately after WWII when more than 100.000 people of various nationalities were killed by the communist authorities on the Slovenian ground. Abolishing the right to remember and pay tribute to all these victims, who have not even been officially buried yet, is a reprehensible act.

The Platform of European Memory and Conscience call the Slovenian Government to reconsider its position.

S. K.

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