I went out to Slovenia in July, earlier than the others coming out to join me for our walk over the mountains. The aim was to do more research. I had some lucky breaks, my cousin found Dad’s diaries written when he was 16 and fighting the Communists, just after he had buried his brother. I’m waiting for them to be translated. It’s very exciting. Then I went into a local photography studio to ask where I might be able to get old photos from that time. The man in the shop was very helpful and pointed me in the direction of the Institute of Contemporary History. It’s there that I met one of the University professors, Dr. Matevž Košir. He has access to all kinds of documents. He told me there were 30 pages of state police files about my father, including his sentence to death. Also files about his brother and one sister. My Dad was surprised it wasn’t more of the family. I’m going back in the Autumn to look at those. The professor gave me a list of all the 405 young men under 18 who were at the Teharje camp, which I showed my father. My father’s name is on the list. My Dad seemed to think that these were just the lists of those they tried, that in fact there were more like 1,000 boys under 18. This was later confirmed by the professor. The name of one friend he talked with a lot wasn’t on the list. My Dad said many of those not named were killed immediately on arrival.
The professor has also said it may still be possible to make a claim for the farmland that was taken away from my family. He says there will be two obstacles, one is proving they owned it and it was taken away, the other is if they are still compensating people for this. He knows ways of trying to get proof, so you never know. The land is now the site of their World Trade Centre, a bank and several blocks of flats. The photo above is of the land in Ljubljana that we will be trying to claim back.