the Burial Ground below Kren
During the final battles for liberation of Slovenia in 1945 many armed units that fought on the German side and against the Yugoslavian National Liberation Army were making their retreat to the Austrian Carinthia.
The number of people in the Carinthian refugee camps was rapidly increasing, which caused problems with settlement and food. Therefore, in May 1945 the command of the allied forces decided that all military and civil persons coming from Yugoslavia and the Soviet Union to Carinthia are returned to their home authorities and that at the same time no new refugees are accepted.
The extradited military and civil persons were brought to Slovenia by heavily guarded transports. The transports from Podgorje were directed through the entrance camps Radovljica and Kranj
towards the Škofja Loka castle and the central camp at the Bishop’s seminary in Šentvid, Ljubljana. The refugees from Bleiberg were taken back to Slovenj Gradec and then to Teharje near Celje.
The camps for admitting and processing returned refugees were under the command of the Department of National Security (OZNA) for Slovenia. After the questioning the prisoners were sorted into three groups – A, B and C (the last one meant execution). Those that were sentenced to death were taken to the place of execution at night – from Teharje by car to the abandoned mine shafts near Hrastnik, and from Šentvid by train to Kočevje and from there by trucks to the karst abysses in Kočevski Rog. Among them the most known is the one below Kern.
The prisoners from groups A and B were tried by military courts. They were mostly sentenced to temporal punishment with confiscation of property. However, according to the decree of the Antifascist Council of the National Liberation of Yugoslavia from 3 August 1945 most of the convicted persons were released.
Most of the mass executions in Slovenia took place from May 1945 until January 1946.