torek, april 05, 2005

60th anniversary of liberated Prekmurje

On Sunday, residents of Slovenia’s northeastern region of Prekmurje marked the 60th anniversary of their liberation from fascism during World War II. Prekmurje was the first region of Slovenia to be liberated after Germany, Hungary and Italy carved up the territory when the Kingdom of Yugoslavia fell early in the war.

The central festivities were held in Murska Sobota, where mayor Anton Stihec and Russia’s ambassador to Slovenia, Mihail Vanin, addressed the crowd on Victory Square (Trg zmage). The ambassadors of Ukraine and Bulgaria also attended, as did representatives of the UK and several Slovene politicians.

Prekmurje was occupied by Nazi Germany initially, but Hungary took over in April 1941. It was not until the winter of 1944 that local residents were able to successfully form a resistance force, the Liberation Front. In January 1945, they also organized a force of paramilitary Partizans. It was these Partizans, together with the Red Army of the Soviet Union, who finally liberated Prekmurje [Delo / 03.04.05 / Prekmurje obeležilo 60. obletnico osvoboditve, SN / 03.04.05 / Prekmurje Celebrates 60th Anniversary of WWII Liberation].