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Children With Uniforms And Guns Are A Tragic Everyday Reality In Slovenia

When a photo of children in partisan military uniforms with the caption “Kindergarten Ledina is walking the Route along the wire today” went viral, the public went wild. The kindergarten’s headmistress informed the parents that this was a fake photo and that she had reported the posting. The photo was taken in Russia in 2019 on the day before the annual Victory Parade. But the picture did not go viral for nothing. Children in partisan uniforms who are holding weapons are not uncommon in our country. These scenes are preserved by collective memory and, above all, by the internet, which is actually teeming with proof of such abuses for propaganda purposes.

Despite this basic fact, some online influencers have not been able to contain their indignation. “You lying f**ks, you may rush to retract the fake post now, but quite probably in vain. Get your sh*t ready,” said Novica Mihajlović, a journalist from the Delo media outlet. Meanwhile, the N1 media outlet wrote a full article on the online publication, which did not problematise this widespread phenomenon in Slovenia, but only that the photo in question was fake. Many other photographs of children in uniforms of one kind or another, however, are not fake. What is more, even schools have dressed children in the uniforms of the totalitarian regime before, as proven by the photograph of a theatrical manifestation published by the Kras school Škrbina.

The cure for such casual outrage can only be the truth. And while scouring the internet, one can easily find photos of children dressed as partisan soldiers posing next to Franc Sever – “Franta,” who was criminally charged for his war crimes. Or photos of our former President of the Republic and the last President of the Communist Party of Slovenia, Milan Kučan, with children dressed as pioneers.
And for the moralists of the day, one can even find much more recent photographs, such as the ones taken in Dražgoše in recent weeks, at a commemoration of the founding of the Communist Party of Slovenia, where the Left party (Levica) MP Miha Kordiš and Minister of Culture Asta Vrečko were present.

The use of weapons had to be banned by the Leadership of the Associations for the National Liberation Movement

And speaking of the culture of death and the indoctrination of children, we must also mention the uncritical use of weapons by memorial troops, which are made up of adults who, to this day, have failed to create the necessary critical distance from the events of the Second World War. On the contrary, only a few years ago, they were parading weapons in public at commemorations. The National Liberation Movement Camp’s own leadership admitted that things had really gone too far as early as 2018: “At commemorations, ceremonies and other celebrations organised by the Associations of the National Liberation Movement of Slovenia (Zveza združenj borcev za vrednote NOB Slovenije), any use of weapons (whether museum-quality, replicas or any other type of weapon) is forbidden. The commemorative troops are to participate in the ceremonies without weapons,” reads the decision, which was forwarded to the members of the Associations by Tit Turnšek. Until then, we regularly saw the Association’s members pose in partisan uniforms, holding weapons – and even posing with prominent left-wing politicians.

Gal Kovač

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