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National holiday marking the Day of Uprising Against Occupation

Thursday was a national holiday, the Day of Uprising Against Occupation. The state celebration took place on the eve of the holiday in Šoštanj, the birthplace of poet and national hero Karel Destovnik-Kajuh, to whom this year is dedicated.

The national ceremony on the eve of Day of Uprising Against Occupation | Author Katja Kodba/STA

Numerous ceremonies were held on the day and immediately before the holiday throughout the country.

The Day of Uprising Against Occupation is a memorial to the events of 26 April 1941. At the house of author Josip Vidmar in Rožna dolina, Ljubljana, representatives of the Communist Party of Slovenia, Christian socialists, the Sokol movement and cultural workers founded the Anti-Imperialist Front. The front was aimed at imperialists, as the war was seen mainly as a battle between imperialist forces, and the Molotov–Ribbentrop Pact from August 1939 on nonaggression between Nazi Germany and the Communist Soviet Union was still in place at that time. After Germany attacked the Soviet Union on 22 June 1941, the group came together as the Liberation Front of the Slovene Nation (OF), calling for Slovenians to take up arms against the occupation.

The 27th of April has become known as the day when the OF was established, as the belief that the meeting at the Vidmar villa took place on that day persisted for at least 20 years after the war. Up until 1991, the 27th of April was the Day of the OF; it was renamed the Day of Uprising Against Occupation after Slovenia gained independence.