Ballot box – elections 1990

April 2020

At the beginning of April 1990, adult citizens of Slovenia cast their votes at ballot boxes bearing the coat-of-arms of the Socialist Republic of Slovenia.

In the first democratic multi-party elections since World War II, representatives were still elected to the old organs of authority. They were elected from among both members of the newly formed parties and members of socio-political organizations - the former holders of power. Slovenia re-discovered multi-party politics, intense electoral campaigns and eagerly awaiting results.

Different types of ballot boxes, especially from the socialist period, are on display in the National Museum of Contemporary History open depots in Pivka, which are unfortunately also closed until further notice:


Februar 2020

Album by the sculptor Marjan Keršič – Belač
(18. 5. 1920–3. 6. 2003) on unveiling his monument to the Slovene poet Karel Destovnik Kajuh (13. 12. 1922–22. 2. 1944) in Celje on May 24, 1965.

»I have created the Kajuh's figure in the pose as was often experienced by his fellow-combatants of the XIVth Division. Also my brother PAVLE, with his partisan name JEŽEK (little hedgehog) participated in the division's march and experienced the fiercest battles and wounds caused by mines. So he could tell me that Kajuh used to clench his fist when marching or having speech in front of the division and that he wore an ordinary English blouse«.

(Marjan Keršič – Belač)

Concentration camp number 72928 with red triangle

January 2020

This concentration camp number was worn by Mrs. Stanislava Furlan in KL Ravensbrück. She was   deported from the prisons in Škofja Loka and Begunje to concentration camp Ravensbrück and then to Dachau.


New Year’s candles


During the winter solstice, green plants had a special significance – even before Christianity – as people decorated their homes with evergreen tree branches hoping to deter evil spirits and diseases. The Christmas tree, in the form we know today, originates from the 16th century Germany, where Christians decorated pine trees with apples, nuts and cookies in their homes. It is also widely believed that Protestant reformer Martin Luther was the first to add candles to tree-decoration. In Slovenia, Christmas tree candles had a special charm and were in use before the electric replacements arrived. The exhibited rest of the New Year’s candles, made at the Iskra branch in Zagreb, was donated to the museum by Ivo Saksida



A miner, photo by Nace Bizilj

Thirty years ago, in November 1989, photojournalist Nace Bizilj took pictures of miners in the mine shafts of Črni revir mines at the time of the fall of the Berlin Wall. In the photo collection we can also find a striking photograph of a miner’s withered gaze whose face is covered with a mask. The hope of existence may be evident from three key elements in the photograph – the light from the miner’s helmet lamp and the chalk inscriptions on the wall of the mine shaft “There are only one million of us still on our land.” And “Olimpija vs. Dinamo”, team rivals of the Yugoslav Federal Football League. Olimpija just caused a huge football euphoria when it returned to the first league. The song “Samo milijon nas je” (There are only a million of us) was introduced by the Slovenian music band Agropop on its record, which was released in 1988 under the title “Za domovino, z Agropopom naprej!” With this song, the group stimulated the youth’s enthusiasm for the nation’s path to independence.

Decorated Vase


Nicholas Saunders in his book Trench Art  wrote that  the First World War was, above all, a war of industrialized technology and material – a physical, psychological, and cultural shock whose intensity and imagery appeared to conjure reality from visions of Hell which had only ever existed in the imagination of previous generations. In our museum we keep some interesting works of trench art that were made by soldiers from the remains of shells or wood in the trenches, prisoners’ camps and in the hinterland in their free time. After the war they became reminders of the life spent on the battlefields, a sales article or they served as a rare souvenir  of a fallen relative. We are displaying a decorated vase from legacy of dr. Ludvik Kramberger as this month’s item. It was manufactured, decorated and given to him by wounded soldiers that he treated  in the hospital during the First World War. Dušan Kramberger donated it to the Museum two years ago.

Vase – a present to Sergej Kraigher


A massive, 37 cm tall  vase made of crystal, with various ornaments, received in 1974 Slovenian politician Sergej Kraigher, who became in that same year the first President of the Presidency of the Socialist Republic of Slovenia. It was a present from the town of Hrastnik, the birthplace of his wife, politician Lidija Šentjurc (1911-2000), to mark his 60th birthday. The engraving ” To Comrade Sergej Kraigher on the occasion of  his 60th anniversary * Hrastnik * 1974 « testify about it.

The figurine of German Navy soldier


In December 2018, Mrs. Alenka Pavlovec donated to our museum a figurine of the soldier of the German Navy (kriegsmarine) on a pedestal in a parade step with a drum, together with the seventeen co-soldiers. Under the figure, with which her father played, we find the inscription Elastolin. Elastolin is a trademark used by the German company O&M Hausser (O&M Haußer) for the toy soldiers and other types of figures it manufactured until 1943, from composite material and later on from plastic.

From car repair to the production of combs


Partisan workshops established during the Second World War supplied their products to both Partisan Military Units and the civilian population. Among the items in the Museum collection are also some products of the Partisan Mechanical Workshop “Murn”. It was founded in autumn 1943, as part of the workshops in Stare Žage, and was situated on the Teljan mill and sawmill along Divji potok. It employed up to 30 people and workers came from all over Europe. Among Slovenes, there were also Croats, Poles, Czechs, Russians, Italians and even a Frenchmen. The workshop has repaired a wide range of bicycles, motorcycles, cars and even sewing machines and typewriters. Among the workshop products, with various spare parts for vehicles, etc. we also find kitchen utensils and about 5000 combs.

One of them, marked “PART MEH DEL” MURN “”, is presented as our object of the month. The material for the combs literally flew to Slovenia as they were made of aluminium sheets of a crashed allied aircraft.

The scale model of the Mauthausen camp


On May 5, 1945, the KL Mauthausen was liberated. Out of more than 200,000 inmates in the main camp and the satellite camps, only one half of them survived. Of 4,100 Slovenes, only a few more than 2,500 came home.

The scale model of the Mauthausen camp was made by the young Russian Serjoža. He handed it over to the then president of the international camp committee and former inmate Dušan Stefančič at the 65th anniversary of the liberation of the camp. Dušan Stefančič donated it to the museum.

Girl’s outfit


Girl’s outfit of Jutranjka factory, Sevnica

In 1962, more precisely on January 1, Jutranjka Craft Company was founded in Sevnica, which specializes and has grown into a leading company for the production of children’s clothing in Yugoslavia. The production began in small rooms of the former inn at the Main Square in Sevnica with seven tailors, and in the next year, the number of employees increased to 40. In the following years, the company grew rapidly in both production and by the number of employees, which also dictated the need for larger premises. Already in 1966, it was renamed the Jutranjka Children’s Confectionery Factory, and their products became known all over Yugoslavia. From the very beginning, they followed the taste of the youngest and current fashion trends, as well as the quality materials and workmanship with their products.

Despite the rapid rise and success in the common Yugoslav market, after the independence of Slovenia, the company was in serious trouble and, with bankruptcy at the end of 2003, experienced similar fate as many other companies in Slovenia. Here we present their size 2 girls’ dress from the beginning of 70’s.

Ivan Janko Šelhaus’s passport


Austro-Hungarian passport owned by Ivan (Janko) Šelhaus, father of Edi Šelhaus, one of the renowned photo journalists. Janko lived and worked in Hamburg for several years before WW1. Here he became acquainted with photography and later, in the 20’s of the 20th century, after loosing his job with a railway company, he earned his living as a travelling photographer operating in the vicinity of Trieste, ins the Karst and Primorska (Litoral) regions. He photographed various events and performances, especially First Communion and Confirmation. He also introduced his wife Julijana into photography. In 1929, due to fascism,  he moved from Trieste to Yugoslavia with his wife (in 1924, they had sent their two children, Edi and Janko, to Slovene school in Šentvid above Ljubljana) and, in line with family tradition, also their son Edi was trained as a photographer – first with his mother Julijana in Škofja Loka in a photo studio Šelhaus, and later with his father Janko who lived in Zagreb and worked in a photo studio Photo Jadran.

Euro coins starter kit


On 1 January 2007 Slovenia introduced euro currency. Already on 15 December 2006 Slovenian banks started to sell euro coins starter kits  in total value 12,52 € (3000 SIT), which where issued for circulation on 1 January 2007. Author of eight motifs for the Slovenian euro coins national side  was Miljenko Licul with associates Maja Licul and Janez Boljka.

We keep in our museum a sample of euro coin starter kit, which also represents the farewell of  the  Slovenian national currency – tolar.

The Typewriter


105 years old internationally most recognized Slovene writer Boris Pahor, with consent of Vera Sardoč, donated a typewriter Triumph from the 1930s, which has been located in his house in Trieste for decades. The owner of the typewriter was Poldka Gruden, mother of Vera Sardoč. The typewriter was used by Poldka Gruden (partner of Dorče Sardoč, one of the famous members of antifascist organisation TIGR), Radoslava Premrl (wife of Boris Pahor) and Nada Pertot. During the Fascist period this typewriter served Slovene patriotists for matrix of secret articles, reproduced on cyclostyle. After second world war this typewriter served for rewriting the literature of Slovene writers and poets for the Slovene high schools in Trieste.