By Roman Leljak – Translated into English by Ina Vukic

According to testimonies about 40,000 Croats were liquidated at Kocevski Rog, about 5,000 Slovenian Home Guards, as well as some thousands of members of the Serbian and other nationalities. The liquidation was carried out by volunteers from the 11th Dalmatian brigade of the 26th Dalmatian division of the Yugoslav army, under the command of Commissar Milka Planinc.

In June 1945 the Partisans committed the biggest genocide against the Croatian people at Kocevski Rog (Slovenia). The liquidations were not a necessary evil, a mistake or a liquidation of the collaborators of the occupier; it was a planned genocide against humanity in the name of an ideology, in the name of the communist revolution. The victims were brought there from Bleiburg …

On May 13th Tito (Josip Broz Tito) expressed his regret to the British Ambassador for not having yet received reply regarding the Yugoslav Note dated 2 April 1945 for the establishment of a Yugoslav occupation zone in Austria from any Allies except the Soviet Union. The British government stood by its demand from 12 May 1945 in which it sought from Tito that he gives out the order for the immediate withdrawal of Partisans from the Austrian territory to the Yugoslav side, keepin in mind the 1937 country borders.

Tito and the president of the Slovenian government, Boris Kidric, received a telegram from Klagenfurt on 17 May 1945 – report on the antifascist conference held that elected the Pokrajina national liberation committee for Koruska. 280 delegates participated in the elections, and dr. France Petek was elected its president. The conference publicized its declaration by which it rejected Landesregierung – the government they labeled pro-Nazi coloured (the government of Koruska) and called upon the people to fight against the remains of Nazism and to joining Koruska to Tito’s Yugoslavia.

Tito did nor comment on that declaration, nor did he accept it and on 19 May 1945 made his own decision. That day he replied to the British government Note dated 17 May 1945 that the government of the democratic Federative Yugoslavia had ordered the units of the Yugoslav army to withdraw from Koruska to the pre-war border lines. In his reply Tito further by this he has complied with Allies’ request.

He especially emphasized that the withdrawal of the Yugoslav soldiers depends on the transposing of war pillage. At 8.30 a.m. that day when Tito’s telegram was handed over to the British a military telegram arrived from to 26th Partisan division to the Koruska squad headquarters, which said: “Our government has decided to withdraw our troops to the old borders, under the condition that war materials and prisoners be pulled out.” The English army agreed to the delivery of prisoners and war materials, and with that The Way of the Cross for the Croatian people began.

According to testimonies about 40,000 Croats were liquidated at Kocevski Rog, about 5,000 Slovenian Home Guards, as well as some thousands of members of the Serbian and other nationalities. They brought them there from Bleiburg via Jesenica to the Sentvid camp near Ljubljana. In that camp they were sorted according to their nationality into special A, B and C categories. Being placed into B and C categories meant – death. After the sorting they would be transported by train to Kocevje, according to sources – 8,000 per day. They would be taken from the train station to the Kocevski Rog area. They liquidated them during the night, all until the middle of June 1945. They chose Kocevski Rog because they knew the terrain. During the war the Slovenian national liberation army had its main headquarters in that area, the management of the Liberation front and the head of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of Slovenia. The head office was in Base 20.

The liquidation was carried out by volunteers from the 11th Dalmatian brigade of the 26th Dalmatian division of the Yugoslav army. Commissar Milja (Milka Planinc) arrived into that division in the second half of May 1945 and sought out volunteers for the liquidation of “bandits”. She promised them big rewards, medals of Honour, and then took them to Kocevski Rog. We know today that her right hand was Simo Dubajic. Slovenian Partisans greeted the volunteers from the 11th Dalmatian brigade in Kocevje and drove then to areas that were difficult to access and filled with natural pits. Zoran Bozic wrote a great deal about that in Croatian Word (Hrvatsko slovo). Especially about Milka Planinc as a – devilish commissar: “She was endowed with the imagination of a Satanic expert for torture and killing of people. She turned mass liquidations into cannibalistic killing,” wrote Zoran Bozic. Commissar Milka, wrote Bozic, according to statements by the volunteer of the 11th Dalmatian brigade, Partisan Jure, she drove a nail into the skull of a living victim while saying: “Have I finally driven out of your head the Independent State of Croatia?” The other of her specialties was called “the salty Croatian heart”. After four strong hits with an axe against the chest in the shape of a square she would take out the victim’s heart and drag it across the ground.

Ante Cepic, A Croat from Makarska, held the record for liquidations at Kocevski Rog. He liquidated 3,800 Croats. The second on the list of liquidators with 3,000 victims was Ljubo Perisa from Sibenik while Ado Dragic who liquidated 2,200 unfortunates took up the third place. Nikola Maric from Boka Kotorska and Commissar Milka (Milka Planinc) found themselves at the fourth and fifth place. Otherwise Ljubo Perisa ended his life in Novi Sad – he killed his children, his wife and himself. All liquidating killers from the 11th Dalmatian brigade had spent two weeks in Bled as reward.

The Slovenian Association for the marking of the places of executions, led by Janez Perme, had in 1992 at the Kocevski Rog places of executions raised 14 memorial sculptures in remembrance for the victims at Kocevski Rog. The Association had in 2015 added to its name the name of Huda pit and is registered in Croatia as an independent legal body. The president of Huda Pit Association in Croatia is Roman Leljak.

Photo: The Cave Under the Kren – Dolenjski Museum
English original: https://inavukic.com

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