Memory of Slovenian anti-fascist fighters honoured in Basovizza
Basovizza – Addressing a ceremony marking 95 years since the shooting of four Slovenian anti-fascist fighters in Basovizza, Minister for Slovenians Abroad Matej Arčon said that righting of wrongs and harmony was something that was worth fighting for. He said that if united Europe will overcome the unusual challenges it was faced with.
The ceremony remembers the day when Slovenian patriots Ferdo Bidovec, Fran Marušič and Alojz Valenčič as well as Zvonimir Miloš, a Croat with close links to the Slovenian community in Trieste, were executed on 6 September 1930 in Basovizza following a short trial before a Fascist court in Trieste.
“In this place we have to be humble, because the memory of the Basovizza victims tells us how fragile peace is and how weak is humaneness when the winds of hatred blow,” Arčon said in his address.
But he also called for boldness and courage. “Whoever does not look away when another person is in distress and pain is courageous. The one who is ready to give up their own comfort for the common good, for fairer society, for a healthy environment, for the kind of world that we want for our children.
“But the one who screams the loudest is not brave. And there is a lot of creaming around these days,” the minister said.
He said that in many European countries the looming economic crisis was pushing extremes to the surface of political life. “The Slovenian society is facing the destructing hate speech and only slowly has in the last three months tolerance and mutual respect returned to the public discourse.”
The minister believes that righting of current and historic wrongs was something that was worth fighting for. “But harmony is also worth fighting for: not just tolerant co-existence but creative cooperation among nations,” he stressed.
Since the Basovizza four are still officially labelled as terrorist in Italy, the committee organising the annual memorial ceremony and both umbrella organisations of the Slovenian minority in Italy are making attempts at their posthumous rehabilitation.
An important symbolic gesture was made by Slovenian and Italian presidents Borut Pahor and Sergio Mattarella in July 2020, when they both paid tribute to the four at the Basovizza monument.
Fabio Vallon, head of the National Association of Italian Partisans – Provincial Committee of Trieste, said in his speech that the Basovizza Heroes were not terrorists. According to Primorski Dnevnik, he said they should stand side by side with Giacomo Matteotti, Antonio Gramsci, the Rosselli brothers, and all the great Italian and European anti-fascists.
Today’s ceremony is a culmination of events commemorating the Basovizza Heroes. In Ljubljana, a ceremony was held on Friday featuring state secretary at the Government Office for Slovenians Abroad Vesna Humar. The final event will be held in Nova Gorica on 27 September, also marking the 95th anniversary of the anti-Fascist movement TIGR.
According to Primorski Dnevnik, today’s ceremony was attended by Trieste Mayor Roberto Dipiazza, the mayors of other surrounding municipalities, Senator Tatjana Rojc, who is also a member of the Slovenian minority in Italy, and Prefect of Trieste Annunziato Varde.
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