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KOČEVSKI ROG – Victims of post-WWII summary executions were honoured with a ceremony in Kočevski Rog, an area in south Slovenia where multiple mass graves have been discovered.

Novo Mesto Bishop Andrej Saje and President Borut Pahor called for efforts towards reconciliation.

As a democratic country, Slovenia must “establish foundations that will right the wrongs,” said Saje, who thinks this extends beyond just condemning these crimes.

Slovenia Reconciliation

Pahor quoted a section from a statement on reconciliation adopted last year that says both sides share responsibility for the internecine conflict and that many crimes were committed by both.

Sage, chairman of the Slovenian Episcopal Conference, recalls how thousands of prisoners, injured and other innocent victims were killed by totalitarian authorities in Kochevsky Log and elsewhere in the country. rice field.

Execution was “a decision made by a revolutionary leader who silenced and exiled potential and real enemies who used violence in the form of the death penalty, expulsion, or silence.”

This action “destroyed the spiritual, cultural and civilized heritage of 12th century Christianity in the land of Slovenia,” he said.

As a democracy, Slovenia now needs to “establish a foundation for correcting mistakes,” Sage said, not just blaming these crimes.

“It is our duty to give them peace and tranquility in the soil of their hometown … we must give them proper awareness and rehabilitation through all the institutions of society,” he said. Said.

But more than that, all citizens have a duty to “prevent injustice, eliminate violence against others, and respect the inviolability of humans and their property.”

He called on people to “encourage each other to achieve reconciliation and cooperation.”

Pahall quoted part of a statement on the reconciliation adopted by the Slovenian Academy of Sciences and Arts last year.

It states that both sides shared responsibility for the civil war and that many crimes were committed by both sides, and the killings of thousands of people after the war were a particularly brutal chapter.

“There is no apology for the crime. Only then can we regret and provide the victim’s memory to remind everyone that a similar tragedy may never happen again,” the statement said. increase.

The ceremony was held in Clen, perhaps the most famous mass grave in the karst area where the bodies of the victims were thrown after being shot by the Communist Party office.

Hundreds of people gathered to join prominent politicians, including Democratic Party (SDS) leader Janez Janša and New Slovenia (NSi) leader Matitonin, and some conservative MPs.

Pahall dedicated a wreath to the place. Before going to Kočevski Rog, he also dedicated a wreath to a monument near Turjak dedicated to the victims of the partisan national liberation struggle.

The president has made a national reconciliation over post-war executions one of his central priorities.

By Odoh Dominic Chukwuemeka

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