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During the Second World War the territory of today's Slovenia was divided among the then German Reich, Italy and Hungary. The occupational forces deported the Jewish population in the years 1942-1944. The most important communities from the Prekmurje region, Murska Sobota and Lendava, were entirely destroyed. These communities were established in the late 18th century; early medieval communities were expelled from the Slovenian lands in the 16th century. Dispersed Jewish families and individuals lived throughout the territory of today's Slovenia.

The Slovenian national "revival" was accompanied until the mid-19th century by antisemitic propaganda. Only when the state law guaranteeing formal equality to all was adopted in the Dual monarchy, did the local authorities reluctantly allow settlement of Jews. Some twenty years after the adoption of the equality law, in 1890, 76 Jews lived in Ljubljana and by the end of the century their number rose to 95. Despite their modest numerical presence, Jews and Jewish families were influential in business and liberal professions until 1941.

The key project hypotheses are: (1) the memory of Jews in Prekmurje and other persons and families deported from the Slovenian territory was suppressed and / or eradicated in the Slovenian public after 1945; and (2) the cryptic presence of Jews characterizes the Slovenian type of antisemitism, described in the relevant literature as 'antisemitism without Jews', at least since the 19th century on. Fifteen years after independence of Slovenia the knowledge of Jews and the Holocaust has still not attracted any significant public attention or raised public consciousness regarding these issues. The story of the Holocaust in this area has still not been reconstructed. Although the size of the Slovenian territory as well as that of its Jewish population is small, the Slovenian history of the Holocaust can be described as a microcosm of the Holocaust histories in Central Europe.

The project results will allow a reconstruction of Jewish history in the territory of today's Slovenia and will serve as fundamental research for Holocaust education programs. The final result of the project will be a detailed, documented history of Jewish in Slovenia and a Holocaust education curriculum which will be proposed to the Ministry of education and sports of the Republic of Slovenia.

Irena Šumi


- Caterina Angi, linguist (>>)
- Martina Bofulin, geographer (>>)
- Damjan Franz, political scientist (>>)
- Dr. Matevž Košir, historian (>>)
- Dr. Attila Kovacz, historian (>>)
- Dr. Hannah Starman, political scientist (>>)
- Dr. Irena Šumi, anthropologist (>>)
- Marjan Toš, historian (>>)
- Dr. Marta Verginella, historian (>>)
- Bojan Zadravec, biologist/theologist (>>)