Slovenia’s Day of Uprising: Traditions, Customs and Activities
The Day of Uprising or Resistance Day (Slovenia, dan upora proti okupatorju) is a holiday in Slovenia to commemorate the establishment of Slovenia’s Liberation Front, which spearheaded the home-grown resistance against Nazi Germany and Fascist Italy.
The Slovenian monument features three beams pointing to the heavens, painted in the colours of the Slovenian flag. They angle as a reminder of an old proverb that states: “We bend but never break.” The three pyramids represent Mount Triglav, the tallest mountain in Slovenia. Triglav is also the name of the monument itself, designed by Mr. Miro Korsik of Toronto.
During the holiday, events such as public speeches from surviving Slovenian guerillas and political groups gather at the Monument of Freedom, created by Jakob Savinek (1922-1961) to commemorate this momentous event which liberated the country from foreign rule during World War II.
In Slovenia, The Liberation Front was established in Ljubljana on 26 April 1941 in the house of writer and literary critic Josip Vidmar, only two weeks after Slovenia was occupied by Nazi Germany and ten days after the Yugoslav authorities surrendered in Belgrade.
The National Resistance Day is a celebration of the fundamental values of freedom, courage, ingenuity and culture.The Second World War forced the Slovenian nation to take many important decisions. The decision to resist the occupation required a clearly defined position on the existence of the nation and a complete break with the past.
On 27 April 1941 an anti-imperialist front was founded in Ljubljana. Immediately upon its founding, the Liberation Front launched a campaign to attract followers, and urged all Slovenians to rise against the enemy when the Soviet Union was attacked by the Third Reich on 22 June 1941. The front soon became popular among Slovenians and represented a solid basis for a partisan resistance movement named the National Liberation Struggle.
The founding meeting of the Liberation Front was attended by a number of people on behalf of four main founding groups, namely the Communist Party of Slovenia, the Sokoli - a gymnastic society with patriotic aspirations based on a similar Czech movement, the Christian Socialists and a group of Slovenian intellectuals. The front was active in the entire territory populated by Slovenians, including where the Slovenian ethnic minority lives in Italy, Austria and Hungary.
Its platform set down that a movement against the occupying forces had to begin at once. One of the front's aims was also to bring about unity of all five nations in the then Yugoslavia. Moreover, the platform said that after the country was liberated, the front would take power in Slovenia and introduce people's democracy. Soon after being set up, the front became dominated by the Communist Party, which also "took over" the leadership of the partisan national liberation movement. All class or political opponents were denied participation in it and were labelled "enemies of the people".
Following pressure exerted by the Communist Party, three founding groups of the front - the party, the Sokoli and the Christian Socialists - adopted a joint statement in February 1943 reiterating the unity of the Liberation Front. The statement - which has become known as the Dolomiti Declaration - in fact gave the Communist Party the leading role, while the other groups renounced their independent political activity.