Slovene Deportees 1941-1945


23. October 2014


After the closing of the penal correction facility at Grad Rajhenburg, in 1966, the Assembly of the Municipality of Krško relegated the administration of the castle to the Brestanica Tourist Society.

Along with the Alliance of Associations of Combatants (AAC) of the National Liberation Army (NLA) Krško and the AAC NLA Brestanica local organisation it began setting up a museum exhibition about Slovene deportees at the castle. They retained the help of Dr. Tone Ferenc, who headed the establishing of a permanent museum exhibition on Slovene deportees, which opened at the castle on 30 June 1968. The content was supplied by Dr Tone Ferenc, while architectural engineer Franc Filipčič was in charge of the designs. The exhibition was first augmented on 4 July 1971 and again in 1975. It was a complex presentation of the three basic elements of German policy aimed at destroying the Slovene nation as an ethnic unit: the suppression of nationality, deportation, and German colonisation.

After the axis powers attacked Yugoslavia on 6 April 1941, the Slovenian territory was occupied and divided among three countries. The German occupier took the largest share being that the new boundaries were drawn by Adolf Hitler personally.

The German occupier began taking measures to suppress national identity immediately after the occupation. All Slovenian signposts were covered and germanised as were the names and surnames of the inhabitants, Slovenian books were destroyed, cultural material was amassed and destroyed, and all Slovenian societies were dissolved.

Apart from germanisation, the basic national suppression measures also included deportation and German colonisation. The German plan was to deport around 220,000 – 260,000 Slovenes, which translated to the expulsion of every third Slovene living in German-occupied territory.

The German occupier established a number of collection camps in the regions of Lower Štajerska/Styria and Gorenjska for the deportation of Slovenes. They called them »transit« camps. The collection camps were located in Maribor, Ljubljana, and in the Trappist monastery at Rajhenburg.


The exhibition is divided into four sections and comprises thousands of photos, 93 personal stories, and suitcases and other personal items donated by deportees.

Special emphasis is placed on the metal tags with identification numbers that were given to deportees in Rajhenburg as a representation of their symbolic depersonification.


Irena Fürst, Curator

Author of the Exhibition

National Museum of Contemporary History, the Brestanica Branch


Company data

Grad Rajhenburg

KD Krško


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