Večen bo na vas spomin - Manica Koman, 1915
Source: Map and Pictorial Collections, National and University Library

Remembering World War I and learning from it

The First World War was supposedly ‘the war to end all wars’, but proved immensely ruthless. It not only affected the soldiers on the front lines, but also took an enormous toll on the lives of civilians, as it turned out to be a total war, deeply affecting civilians, their habits and everyday life. 

One hundred years on, looking at the great events of the Great War offers new challenges, particularly a chance to re-evaluate responses to the war, and to fully present events and phenomena connected to it. More...

Boštjan Lajovic, Director of the Government Communication Office, Photo: UKOM archives

Slovenians and the First World War

It was in these spring days, exactly a hundred years ago, that a young student was preparing for a fatal act, which in a decisive and irreversible way marked his life as well as Europe and indeed the whole world. This was the 19-year-old Serbian student Gavrilo Princip, who on 28 June 1914 assassinated Franz Ferdinand, Austrian heir to the throne, and thereby triggered the First World War.

The Great War, as it is properly called by historians, devastated and changed Europe, its countries, political systems and people. It also had terrible implications for the Slovenians, who lived within the borders of the then Austro-Hungarian Empire. Demographers estimate that the Slovenian population of 1.3 million people at that time lost between 40,000 and 50,000 human lives in WW1. Yet another blow came after the war: the Paris Peace Conference assigned to Italy the coastal part of the Slovenian ethnic territory, and together with it a population of 300,000 Slovenians. In this way our nation was divided among Yugoslavia, Italy, Austria and Hungary.