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Permanent exhibition

Slovene Deportees 1941-1945

Slovene Deportees 1941-1945

After the axis powers attacked Yugoslavia on 6 April 1941, the Slovenian territory was occupied and divided among three countries. The German occupier took the largest share being that the new boundaries were drawn by Adolf Hitler personally.

The German occupier began taking measures to suppress national identity immediately after the occupation. All Slovenian signposts were covered and germanised as were the names and surnames of the inhabitants, Slovenian books were destroyed, cultural material was amassed and destroyed, and all Slovenian societies were dissolved.

Apart from germanisation, the basic national suppression measures also included deportation and German colonisation. The German plan was to deport around 220,000 – 260,000 Slovenes, which translated to the expulsion of every third Slovene living in German-occupied territory.

The German occupier established a number of collection camps in the regions of Lower Štajerska/Styria and Gorenjska for the deportation of Slovenes. They called them »transit« camps. The collection camps were located in Maribor, Ljubljana, and in the Trappist monastery at Rajhenburg.

The exhibition is divided into four sections and comprises thousands of photos, 93 personal stories, and suitcases and other personal items donated by deportees.

Special emphasis is placed on the metal tags with identification numbers that were given to deportees in Rajhenburg as a representation of their symbolic depersonification.

Authors of the exhibition: dr. Monika Kokalj Kočevar and Irena Fürst

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