Rahul Sharma (Editor)

Mass graves in Slovenia

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Mass graves in Slovenia

Mass graves in Slovenia were created in Slovenia as the result of extrajudicial killings during and after the Second World War. They are known as "concealed mass graves" (Slovene: prikrita grobišča) or "silenced mass graves" (zamolčana grobišča) because their existence was concealed under the communist regime from 1945 to 1990.


Some of the sites, such as the mass graves in Maribor, include some of the largest mass graves in Europe. Nearly 600 such sites have been registered by the Commission on Concealed Mass Graves in Slovenia, containing the remains of up to 100,000 victims. They have been compared by the Slovenian historian Jože Dežman to the Killing Fields in Cambodia.


Many of the mass graves were created during the war, but the larger sites date from after the war. The wartime graves vary from those of soldiers killed in battle to groups that were targeted by the Partisans because of their ethnicity (e.g., Romani) or other civilians that were murdered for political reasons.

The postwar graves contain the remains of suspected collaborators, soldiers, and civilians that fled towards Austria in May and June 1945, as well as groups that were targeted because of their ethnicity (e.g., Gottschee Germans, Hungarians, and Italians) and civilians that were the victims of political purges or marked as "class enemies" in order to eliminate potential opponents to the new regime.

After the war, the communist authorities denied that the executions had taken place. Attempts to reveal the events were suppressed, evidence was destroyed, and no exhumations took place. People were forbidden from visiting the graves, and many were hidden under waste.

After the fall of communism and collapse of Yugoslavia, researchers in Slovenia started writing about the killings and exhumations were undertaken. However, some left-wing parties, in particular the Social Democrats, have been accused of stalling such investigations.

List of graves

This table includes mass graves and individual graves registered by the Commission on Concealed Mass Graves in Slovenia. Some names are synonyms. The label "soldiers" includes prisoners of war.


Mass graves in Slovenia Wikipedia

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