The article addresses the issue of memory and oblivion in socialist Yugoslavia after the Second World War, with a special focus on the case study of the Borovnica camp in Slovenia. The prisoners in the camp were arrested during the liberation of Trieste and the Julian March (they were the so-called deportees from the Julian March). After the camp was shut down it was gradually destroyed and a settlement was built on its foundations. Local people who lived in the immediate vicinity have memories of this time, but have never spoken publicly about what happened there. This paper analyses the memory and oblivion of the Borovnica camp over a long period of time, from the end of the war to the present day. The memory of the camp is placed into the broader, Yugoslav and European context of the culture of remembering and the "amnesia of national experiences", as defined by Tony Judt. During our research, we found that already during the camp's operation, a regime of fear was established over the locals, through which the guards tried to prevent any assistance to the prisoners, while at the same time silencing rumours. This fear persisted even after, since in the years and decades that followed, the camp and what took place there were not, or only rarely, spoken about. The silence was partly due to the general desire that prevailed throughout Europe to forget what had happened, but mainly due to political pressures and fear of the regime, as well as the fear of disrupting relations within the local community. As a result, despite the change of socio-political circumstances after 1991 that favoured narratives that contradicted the previous official narrative of pure partisan struggle, the camp remained largely unspoken about even then. The article thus shows that breaking collective amnesia is not a unilateral process. In addition to the favourable socio-political circumstances, the desire and need to break the silence must also arise within the community that has had oblivion imposed upon it. In 2021, the remaining foundations of one of the barracks were cleared and they are now evidence of a camp that now has a story and a history. Although some people are still reluctant to talk about this time, it can be said that the memory of the Borovnica camp has become an integral part of the local collective memory. The question remains how many similar situations and cases of post-war amnesia still exist in Slovenia and elsewhere in Europe.

Spomin in pozaba v Jugoslaviji po drugi svetovni vojni: primer taborišča Borovnica v Sloveniji MEMORY AND OBLIVION IN POST-SECOND WORLD WAR YUGOSLAVIA: THE CASE OF THE BOROVNICA CAMP IN SLOVENIA

Lampe, U
2021

Abstract

The article addresses the issue of memory and oblivion in socialist Yugoslavia after the Second World War, with a special focus on the case study of the Borovnica camp in Slovenia. The prisoners in the camp were arrested during the liberation of Trieste and the Julian March (they were the so-called deportees from the Julian March). After the camp was shut down it was gradually destroyed and a settlement was built on its foundations. Local people who lived in the immediate vicinity have memories of this time, but have never spoken publicly about what happened there. This paper analyses the memory and oblivion of the Borovnica camp over a long period of time, from the end of the war to the present day. The memory of the camp is placed into the broader, Yugoslav and European context of the culture of remembering and the "amnesia of national experiences", as defined by Tony Judt. During our research, we found that already during the camp's operation, a regime of fear was established over the locals, through which the guards tried to prevent any assistance to the prisoners, while at the same time silencing rumours. This fear persisted even after, since in the years and decades that followed, the camp and what took place there were not, or only rarely, spoken about. The silence was partly due to the general desire that prevailed throughout Europe to forget what had happened, but mainly due to political pressures and fear of the regime, as well as the fear of disrupting relations within the local community. As a result, despite the change of socio-political circumstances after 1991 that favoured narratives that contradicted the previous official narrative of pure partisan struggle, the camp remained largely unspoken about even then. The article thus shows that breaking collective amnesia is not a unilateral process. In addition to the favourable socio-political circumstances, the desire and need to break the silence must also arise within the community that has had oblivion imposed upon it. In 2021, the remaining foundations of one of the barracks were cleared and they are now evidence of a camp that now has a story and a history. Although some people are still reluctant to talk about this time, it can be said that the memory of the Borovnica camp has become an integral part of the local collective memory. The question remains how many similar situations and cases of post-war amnesia still exist in Slovenia and elsewhere in Europe.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/10278/5001591
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