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Historical Introduction

Slovenia is the only European country that suffered from three totalitarian regimes of the XX century: Fascism, Nazism and Communism. All three had similar policies towards Slovenia and inflicted heavy losses on its population. The Communists exploited Italian and German occupation to present themselves as true freedom fighters, while attempting to destroy any political competition. Communist terror incited a popular anti-Communist movement. In all, at least 4000 civilians were murdered by the Communists after WWII. After liberating Slovenia from Nazis and establishing the new state of Yugoslavia, Communists went after the anti-Communist Slovene Home Guard militia who had retreated to Austria and surrendered to British troops. Britain, however, turned them over to Yugoslav authorities who murdered up to 14.000 militiamen and refugees. Terror continued after the Communists had secured power and some 25.000 people, or 2% of Slovenia’s pre-war population, suffered from repressions. Although repressions later subdued, Slovenia had at least 6500 political prisoners during 1948–88. Slovenia is still searching for the graves of many victims of Communism.