January 2021


Stanko (Stanislav) Oražem was born on 21 June 1887 in Ribnica in Dolenjska. During the First World War, as a reserve lieutenant and first lieutenant of Austro-Hungarian army and commander of the motorised unit Nr. 96, he experienced the Galician and Austro-Italian battlefield and hinterland. First lieutenant Oražem was a member of the military commission in Odessa by the Black Sea that negotiated the conditions of capitulation of military units there. He always had a camera with him on the battlefields and he left an extensive fund of extremely high quality photographs, both formally and in terms of content. On the occasion of the centenary of WWI his grandson Vito Oražem donated the photos as well as other preserved wartime objects to the National Museum of Contemporary History. Among them there was a well-preserved teapot that the reserve officer and photographer brought back home from the Russian hinterland and proved the existance of a widely-spread tradition of drinking tea. He continued with the habit in his own homeland. According to the words of his son Dušan Oražem, he became familiar with the Russian habit of drinking large quantities of tea and after the war he influenced his entire family to mainly replace the normal everyday »Turkish« coffee or more usually made coffee from simple roasted barley and chicory, with black »Russian tea«.

For those who want to read more:

-          We never imagined such a war, Ljubljana: National Museum of Contemporary History, 2014.
-          Stanko Oražem, komandant avtokolone 96, Ribnica: JZ Rokodelski center – zavod za rokodelstvo, muzejsko in galerijsko dejavnost, 2018. (SLO / ENG)