MOSCOW, September 10. /TASS/. Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev and Slovenian Prime Minister Marjan Sarec took part in the unveiling ceremony for the monument to the Slovenes who were killed on Russian soil in the years of the two world wars.
The monument was unveiled in the Victory Park on Poklonnaya Hill in Moscow. The memorial is to become a symbol of the historical unity of the peoples of the two countries and a place of veneration of the fallen.
The Monument to the Sons of Russia and the Soviet Union who perished on Slovenian soil in the years of World War I and World War II was unveiled on July 30, 2016, in central Ljubljana in the presence of the presidents of Russia and Slovenia.
Later the Slovenian side suggested mounting a monument to the Slovenes who were killed in this period in Moscow. The Russian side supported this initiative. Famous Slovenian architect Rok Klanjscek was the project's designer.
The monument was made of Slovenian granite in the form of the Triglav mountain — Slovenia’s national symbol — and reflects the Slovenian tradition of putting up monuments of a similar appearance in memory of the fighters of the anti-fascist movement in the years of World War II. There is an inscription on the monument which reads, "To the sons and daughters of Slovenia from the mourning Motherland."
In Russia, there are burials of Slovenian prisoners of war — soldiers and officers of the Austro-Hungarian Army of World War I — which mostly have not preserved to this day. One of the camps in which there was a great number of Slovenian nationals was located in Perm. Considerably small groups of prisoners of war were distributed across Russia — from the western regions to Siberia and the Far East. The total number of Slovenes who died in captivity in World War I is 4,000 people.
During World War II, many Slovenes of military age were forcibly conscribed to the Wehrmacht, the Italian army and the "labor battalions" of Horthy’s Hungary.
Regarding the wide partisan movement in Slovenia, the Slovenes were considered a "problematic contingent" in the Wehrmacht. A growing number of Slovenes voluntarily joined the Soviet Army and Soviet partisans. In 1943, brigades of the People’s Liberating Army of Yugoslavia were formed in Kolomna out of prisoners from former Yugoslavia. Many Slovenes joined these units.
The father of the first Slovenian president Milan Kucan, Koloman Kucan, who died in 1944 in Serbia, is one of the most famous soldiers of these brigades.