In Tezno there is a motorway junction , during the construction of which in 1999 a mass grave from the period immediately after the Second World War was found. The mass grave is an anti-tank ditch several kilometers long, some of which are approximately 930 m long and 1.5 m deep with human skeletons. This was only partially excavated, but according to the Slovenian historian Mitja Ferenc , due to the objects excavated here, 10,000 to 15,000 human skeletons and remains can be expected.
The mass grave
Not unexpectedly, human remains were found during the construction of the motorway in Tezno near Maribor in 1999. The OZNA and the party apparatus had soon after the mass executions in May 1945, a register of mass graves created to take care with the obligation that will not be built at these locations, and transmits this to the Slovenian OZNA in Ljubljana.
As a result, skeletons or bones of 1,179 people were found over a length of around 70 meters. From the objects found in the process, it was concluded that they were mostly captured Croats ( members of the army of the Independent State of Croatia ), but also civilians and, to a lesser extent, Montenegrin and Serbian Chetniks . A witness (partisan) mentioned two trucks with women. They were executed there from May 19 to 24, 1945 by units of the 17th Division of the 3rd Yugoslav Army (including Majevički Battalion) with the help or organization of the OZNA of the 3rd Yugoslav Army (Commander Kosta Nađ).
It is also known from archival investigations that there was a transit camp or assembly point in Maribor for members of the Army of the Independent State of Croatia who were captured and rejected by the British from Austria. Such camps were housed in the “Kadetnica” barracks (cadet school) in Studenci, in the aircraft parts factory in Tezno and in a few other buildings. From these prisoners were taken to shootings by truck, mostly to Tezno.
More victims were found in 2007 during excavations in an anti-tank trench about one kilometer long, five meters wide and four meters deep, in which the bodies formed a layer about one and a half to two meters thick. The then head of the Slovenian government commission for war graves and today's director of the Museum of Modern History in Ljubljana, Jože Dežman , said: “Slovenia is similar to the killing fields in Cambodia”. He estimates the number of victims in Maribor at 15,000 to 20,000. The Commission estimates that probably 80 percent Croatian Home Guard - and Ustasha -Soldaten so that it is the largest Croatian mass grave.
The mass executions in Tezno probably took place in the summer of 1945 after the forced repatriation of prisoners of war from the Croatian and Slovenian Home Guard by the British Army . Tezno is therefore counted among the Bleiburg massacres .
- Slovenia: Another victim of partisan killings. Vorarlberg online, August 9, 2007
- Location maps of the mass graves
- M. Ferenc: Ferenc, Mitja (2012). "Tezno - najveće prikriveno grobište u Sloveniji. O istraživanju grobišta u protutenkovskom rovu u Teznom (Maribor)" [Tezno - The Biggest Hidden Mass Burial Site in Slovenia. On the Research of the Hidden Burial Site in the Antitank Ditch in Tezno (Maribor)]. Journal of Contemporary History (in Croatian). Ljubljana: Oddelek za zgodovino Filozofske facultete Univerze v Ljubljani. 44: 539-569, 540.
- Jutarnji list, September 11, 2007: Tezno je najveća masovna grobnica Hrvata