Details

Keywords Change this

Monument, Yugoslav Modernism, Foma, Forgotten Masterpieces

Project timeline

1975 – 1976

Type

Monument & Memorial

Location Change this

Dražgoše
Slovenia

Architect Change this

Monument to the Battle of Dražgoše Change this

Dražgoše, Slovenia
by Boris Kobe Change this
1 of 7

Description Change this

This monument commemorates the Battle of Dražgoše, where Partisans fought a snowy winter against Germans, while also protecting local peasants from deportation. It was built in 1976, after prolonged plans by TIto to create a memorial to honor the soldiers who fought here and the villagers who were slain by German soldiers. The monument consists of a two-level structure, with the lower level acting as a sanctum and the upper-level acting as a viewing platform and promenade. At the sanctum level there are two sets of bronze statues (created by sculptor Stojan Batič) pointing their guns and hands into the distance, while back towards the road under the parking area, a large mosaic is set into the hillside depicting the horrors of the battle itself (created by artist Ive Šubic).

All aspects of this spomenik complex are in very good condition, as it is well maintained and has very well kept grounds. The complex is regularly visited and honored by many locals and tourists alike. In addition, many commemorative and memorial events continue to held at this site annually.

History

In the high Julian Alps of NW Slovenia during early January of 1942, over 2,000 German soldiers were approaching Dražgoše in order to deport the local population. A small band of 200 Partisan soldiers of the Cankarjev Batallion fought the Battle of Dražgoše for 3 days on the slopes of Mošenjski Mountain in deep snow and below freezing temperatures, fending off attack after attack by Germans in order to protect local villagers. Not only were the Partisans vastly out-manned, the Germans also had vastly superior firepower, which they used here extensively from surrounding ridge tops. After suffering dozens of casualties, the Partisan soldiers were not able to subdue the German onslaught (only killing 26 of their soldiers) and the Cankarjev Battalion retreated to safety further into the mountains, with many being later tracked down and killed. After the Partisans had fled, German soldiers retaliated against this uprising by executing nearly 50 villagers and burning their towns to the ground. Villagers who survived were sent to concentration camps. This battle was not only the first confrontation between Slovenes and Germans in World War II, it was also the largest and fiercest resistance battle the Germans had faced anywhere in Europe up until this point. It is necessary to note that the villagers of Dražgoše did not ask Partisans to fight for them in this way. In fact, it was just the opposite... villagers had asked the Partisans to leave (as many Catholic villagers were suspicious of Partisan intentions), but instead, Partisans stayed and fought the Germans against severely overwhelming odds and lost.

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