White Guard (Slovenia)

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The White Guard (Slovene: Bela garda) was a name given colloquially and collectively by the Partisans to an ensemble of Slovene anti-communist political and paramilitary groups during World War II. The name White Guard was used exclusively by the Partisans and their local organization the Liberation Front of the Slovenian People, and not by the anti-communist organizations themselves.[1]

After the invasion of Yugoslavia by Axis forces, part of Slovenia's territory was reorganized as the Province of Ljubljana. Followers of the Slovene People's Party met up with other non-communist political groups and set up the underground Slovenian Alliance in order to fight against the Communist Party of Yugoslavia's local Partisans.

Slovenian Alliance[edit]

The dominant figures in the Slovenian Alliance were Marko Natlačen, Bishop Gregorij Rožman, and General Leon Rupnik. The Slovenian Alliance secretly swore allegiance to the government-in-exile of King Peter II and nominally recognized the authority of Chetnik leader Draža Mihailović, but actually hampered the efforts of Karel Novak, Mihailović's representative in Slovenia, to set up a local Chetnik organization.[2]

With Italy's capitulation in September 1943, the Slovenian Alliance attempted to make contact with the Anglo-Americans in the hope of an Allied landing, but were soon under attack by the Partisans, who had taken possession of Italian arms. Without a unified command structure, the anti-communist forces were dispersed by the attack.[3]

Slovene troops, including about 2000 former members of the Slovene MVAC, subsequently formed the Slovene Home Guard, led by Leon Rupnik under German patronage.

The name White Guard has been used to refer collectively to the Village Guards, the Slovenian Alliance, the slovene MVAC, and occasionnally the Slovene Home Guard.

Postwar[edit]

The majority of the White Guard (as well as the Home Guard units) after the war were executed by the Yugoslav Army.[4] According to the European Public Hearing on “Crimes Committed by Totalitarian Regimes" they were executed without a trial. The Slovenian Government created the Commission on Concealed Mass Graves in Slovenia and documented the mass grave sites of the POWs. They were investigated between November 2005 and October 2009. The POWs units that were not executed were placed in Yugoslav concentration camps.[5]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Matjaz Klemencic and Mitja Zagar, The former Yugoslavia's diverse peoples: a reference sourcebook, ABC-CLIO, 2003 page 193
  2. ^ Stevan K. Pavlowitch, Hitler's new disorder: The Second World War in Yugoslavia, Columbia University Press, 2008, pp. 143-144
  3. ^ Stevan K. Pavlowitch, Hitler's new disorder: The Second World War in Yugoslavia, Columbia University Press, 2008, pp. 206-207
  4. ^ Encyclopaedia Britannica: Slovenia (World War Two)
    • After the armistice the British repatriated more than 10,000 Slovene collaborators who had attempted to retreat with the Germans, and Tito had most of them massacred at the infamous “Pits of Kočevje.”
  5. ^ European Public Hearing on "Crimes Committed by Totalitarian Regimes” Slovenian Presidency of the Council of the European Union (January–June 2008) and the European Commission. Chapter: Mass killings without court trials. Pages 163-165.
    • Chapter section: " When the British military forces returned in the second half of May 1945, the captured Slovenian home guards and members of military formations from other parts of Yugoslavia and civilian refugees to Slovenia, the Slovenian authorities interned them in concentration camps in Teharje, St. Vid nad Ljubljano, Skofja Loka and Kranj ".