Miren near Nova Gorica (Slovenia)

12 November 1920 The signing of the Treaty of Rapallo between the Kingdom of Italy and the Kingdom of Serbs, Croats and Slovenes. The multi-ethnic area of the former Austrian Littoral was obtained by Italy.

6 April 1941 Yugoslavia was attacked by Germany, later followed by the Italian, Hungarian, Romanian and Bulgarian army; its territory was partitioned between Germany, Italy, Hungary, Romania and Bulgaria

3 May 1941 Italy formally annexed the Central and southeastern part of Slovenia – naming it Province of Ljubljana and thus extended its eastern borders.

2–14 December 1941 The Second Trieste Trial was being held against 60 Slovenian antifascist fighters. The Special Tribunal for the Defense of the State convicted five death sentences.

8 September 1943 Capitulation of Italy.

10 September 1943 The Wermacht established the Operational Zone of the Adriatic Littoral (Operationszone Adriatisches Küstenland) and the Operational Zone of the Alpine Foothills (Operationszone Alpenvorland).

12 September 1943 The German army occupies Gorizia.

25 September 1943 The first Miren arson. The German units burned down some of the houses in the upper part of Miren and killed four locals.

2 February 1944 The second arson of Miren; the houses were burned mostly in the lower part of the village.

9 May 1945 Official end of World War II in Europe.

9 June 1945 The introduction of the so-called Morgan Line as a temporary border between Italy and Yugoslavia; The Allied Military Government took over Miren administration, which initiated the renovation, however, The Regional People’s Committee introduced a strong propaganda against this action.

15 September 1947 “After the new border between Italy and Yugoslavia Miren was almost entirely annexed to the Yugoslavia. The renovation of the destroyed building took place. The border between Yugoslavia and Italy still remained across some of the graves at the Miren cemetery.

10 October 1975 the signing of the Osimo Treaty between Italy and Yugoslavia, which among other issues remove the unfitting situation and draw a new border between the countries, which does not involve the graves.

Miren in World War II and burning of the village

After the capitulation of Italy on 8 September 1943 the German army occupied Gorizia. The partisans remained in position at the outskirts of the city until 15 September, when they were forced to remove by the German tanks. In this operation the Germans occupied the upper part of Miren.

They were unable to access the lower part of Miren, because the partisans burned down the bridge over Vipava river and they were defending the front in Karst by pounding the enemy from the Miren castle and the lower part of the settlement. The following days of September saw battles between the German and partisan units.

The first burning of Miren occurred during the German offensive, i.e. after the penetration of the Gorizia front on 25 September 1943. They burned down the houses in upper part of Miren – from ‘Grabec’ to the school building. The German units killed 4 villagers and took 11 villagers to the internment camps, who were released after a month.

In the month of November 1943 the party armed formation of the Security and Intelligence Service (VOS) performed extrajudicial executions of the opponents of the communist revolution, who were suspected of collaborating with the White Guard (Bela garda). During this operation they executed some of the prominent representatives of the social, political and cultural area, e.g. professor Ciril Šinigoj.

On 1 February 1944 two German soldiers arrived in Miren to inspect the Scalettari tannery. The partisans captured the two soldiers and took them away. The following day the German units surrounded the village and began the house inspection in the lower part of Miren in search of the soldiers.

Simultaneously they captured the locals in their homes and transported them across the Vipava river into the upper part of the settlement. They threatened to shoot every tenth man if the missing soldiers are not returned to them by 4 p.m. Two locals were dispatched towards Vrtoče to look for the missing soldiers.

Women and children were sent home at 11 a.m. to gather their belongings, because the village will be burned down. The parish priest, Oskar Pahor, spoke German very well and managed to come to an agreement with the Germans to refrain from shooting any hostages. The locals, who were sent to retrieve the soldiers, returned without them. At 4 p.m. the houses in the lower part of Miren began burning, i.e. those, which remained unharmed during the incident on 25 September 1943. A few of the houses were spared or put down in time.

Miren was even more damaged in the bombing by the Allied Air Force on 18 March 1944. The German units in the fields surrounding the airport built hangars to hide their planes. The allies intended to completely destroy the Roje airport and the German bases surrounding Gorizia, but the shrapnel bombs affected the wider area of the airport, namely the villages of Gabrje, Sovodnje, Peč, Rupa, Miren, Orehovlje, Bilje, Vrtojba and Štandrež.

The bombing destroyed mostly the upper part of Miren and the neighbouring fields, where most of the farmers planted potatoes. Thirty locals from Miren, five people form Orehovlje, two from Peč and one person from Ločnik were killed in the bombing. Many more were wounded. Most of these were brought to the parish church and some were taken to the Gorizia hospital by the Germans.

The war was still raging. In May 1944 at Potok by the house of France Mozetič the partisans heavily wounded the commander of the German unit, which guarded the warehouse of gas and ammunition in the Shoemakers’ Cooperative building. He was transported to the Gorizia hospital and stated prior to his death he was not wounded by the Miren locals, which saved them from internment. Despite his confession they were forced to abandon their homes and move to their relatives and acquaintances in neighbouring villages and the Friuli region.

After the World War II the village of Miren was located next to the so-called Morgan Line, which was founded on 9 June 1945 and acted as a border between two military administrations in the region – the Yugoslavian military administration (VUJA) in the east, and that of the Allied Military Government (AMG) on the west. The Line represented a temporary border between the Yugoslavia and Italy.

Part of the Line was set up across the Miren cemetery and even across some of the graves. After the war the Allied Military Government took over the control of the city, which set up its spaces in the municipality building. The city’s Regional People’s Committee (KLO) was also active, yet it held no part in local administration.

Some of the KLO members organised a strong propaganda against the activities of AMG to renovate the burned houses after the war. In this sense some of the homes were renovated during the administration of ZVU, and some later, when Miren was annexed to Yugoslavia on 15 September 1947. Even in 1947 the border between Yugoslavia and Italy ran across some of the graves at a cemetery. This unfitting situation was settled after the signing of the Treaty of Osimo between Yugoslavia and Italy on 10 November 1975.

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