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Will The Freedom Movement Abolish Reconciliation Ceremonies, Too?

Following the abolition of the Museum of Slovenian Independence and the Day of Remembrance for the Victims of Communist Violence, the Freedom Movement party’s moves now also threaten the reconciliation ceremonies in Kočevski rog, Šentjošt, Rovte … “These activities of the Freedom Movement are a disgrace in themselves. These are people without compassion and feeling for others,” commented Uroš Urbanija.

The Freedom Movement party (Gibanje Svoboda) wants to implement a new law to ban the glorification of Nazism and fascism, as well as the Home Guard, with fines of up to 2,500 euros for offenders. Although the Criminal Code already provides for penalties for incitement to hatred and denial of crimes, some historians point out that similar human rights abuses were not limited to Nazism and fascism, Planet TV reported.

Marijan Križman, President of the Union of the Associations for the Values of the National Liberation Movement of Slovenia (ZZB NOB Slovenije), said that this law should be adopted. But when it comes to serious violations of human rights, it was not only fascism and Nazism that had problems, but also communism. Historian Matej Kavčič said that while we are able to clearly condemn fascism and Nazism, we have a problem as a Slovenian society in clearly condemning communism.

The Freedom Movement party promotes ideological struggle

Damjan Hančič of the Study Centre for National Reconciliation told Planet TV that he believes that 90 percent of the law is not controversial. “There is not a single Slovenian who is not against the use of Nazi and fascist symbols, however, the proposal does not include the use of communist symbols. It is part of an ideological struggle that will divide the nation again,” he said, adding that people should rather deal with the tax increases and the housing shortage.

The Home Guard as a consequence of communist violence

It is important to note that MP Dr Martin Premk recently presented a proposal for an amendment to the Law on the Protection of Public Order, with which the Freedom Movement party responded to numerous initiatives to ban the wearing or other use of Nazi, fascist, Home Guard, Ustashe and other symbols of the occupiers of the Second World War. The law thus also includes the Home Guard. “The Home Guard, to be frank, arose as a consequence of communist violence, when the communists started killing certain members of the civilian population in mid-1941 and then further intensified this in 1942. This led to the formation of the village guards and, consequently, the Home Guard,” Hančič said.

Communism will not be condemned

However, historian Kavčič said that as long as we have Boris Kidrič and Edvard Kardelj statues in the very centre of Ljubljana, that is a very strong symbol that says we recognise their role as a good thing. We should instead give priority to those symbols that connect us. “We are all proud of our independence, but it must be based on the truth – only the truth unites us, lies divide us,” the historian added.

Sara Kovač

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