Anna Olip-Jug

„Bilo je tezˇko slovo vsi smo jokali …
(It was a difficult goodbye, we all cried...)

Anna Olip was born in 1922 as the youngest child of a Slovenian farmer from Sele/Zell (Carinthia). At school, classes were held exclusively in German from the second grade onwards. In the spring of 1940, Anna Olip’s three brothers fled from conscription in the "Wehrmacht" (German army) to Yugoslavia. This led to the family being spied upon and kept under surveillance for six weeks. Two of Anna’s sisters were arrested. After Nazi Germany attacked Yugoslavia, her brothers had to return to Sele/Zell and were hidden and cared for by the family. On April 14th, 1942, the National Socialists took Anna's mother, father and daughters away to "resettlement camps", first to Northern Germany, then later to Bavaria. In November 1942, the family was arrested for supporting deserters. After six months’ imprisonment in Klagenfurt, Anna Olip was deported to Ravensbrück with ten other women from Sele/Zell. Five of them were murdered there.

And then came April 6th [1941], Hitler's attack on Yugoslavia (…) We started to sense with harsh bitterness what was awaiting us. Suddenly, we were not allowed to speak Slovenian at school, in the village, on the street. In church, sermons, prayers and songs were all German. They took our cultural hall from us, and destroyed the library. What do you know how many books there were! They destroyed everything, they burnt it. [We] lost our economic independence, and our loans and savings bank.

Prosecution and resistance of the Carinthian Slovenes

In 1920, a plebiscite in Southern Carinthia resulted in a 59% vote for remaining with Austria. The Slovenian-speaking Carinthians were expected to completely assimilate. The differentiation between "German friendly" and "nationally conscious" Slovenes was particularly pushed by the (German nationalist) Carinthian "Heimatbund" in order to be able to discriminate against the "conscious" Slovenes. In 1938, public use of the Slovenian language and the organisation of Slovenes in associations and cooperatives were prohibited. Many Slovenian men evaded conscription to the German army or deserted. The forced resettlement of 917 Slovenes in 1942 was one of the high points of anti-Slovene politics. From the end of 1942 onwards, many Slovenes joined the Tito partisans and became members of the resistance in Southern Carinthia.

Anna Olip
(ca 1937, photo: private).