© Manca Juvan
When Marjana Pahor called on the phone I was strongly impacted by the intense narration. She tried to summarize and convey the destiny of her grandfather Angel Pahor.
Most of all she was proposing a social act of remembrance: "We keep the identification number of his internment. Is there a possibility to write his name on the memorial in Gonars? The history forgot him." I didn't have the answer to Ms. Pahor's request but I was experiencing pain and suffering contained in the memory about her grandfather.
I remember our phone conversation beginning with: "My grandmother never got back the body of my grandfather." With this words a grandchild Marjana Pahor set the content and the flow of a conversation.

"He dug Teleskop with his hands. Pirnat (Niko) and Magajna (Bogomir) told it," Ms. Pahor began a string of second- or firsthand collected memories mentioning two representatives of Slovene cultural elite at the time. According to what she was told her grandfather was connected with a group of internees who dug an underground tunnel and escaped the camp. The escape was named Teleskop. "I am not asking for his name to be written down because he is my grandfather. I am talking about a person who was a friend of Srečko Kosovel, a person who supported the culture." She enforced the statement by revealing that Riko Debenjak, a Slovene painter and printmaker was her grandfather's friend. He became his son's Sergej Pahor godfather. When the family lost a father, Debenjak supported the education of Angel's sons. One became a journalist, the other a scientist and a professor of quantum physics.

In Pahor family Italian fascist camps were not a topic of a conversation. Internment was a later stage in Ms. Pahor's family experience of fascism.
Her ancestral past was changed by a Treaty of Rapallo. Italy, by signing the treaty, recognized the Kingdom of Serbs, Croats and Slovenes. In exchange a portion of territory inhabited by Slovene ethnic group, known as Primorska (Littoral) Region, came under the Kingdom of Italy. From year 1922, Angel Pahor and his family became subject to forced cultural and ethnic assimilation of the native minority populations living in the former Austro-Hungarian territories. "The family fled fascism and escaped to Ljubjana," Ms. Pahor told. 
Later in the day of our phone call I visited Ms. Pahor. She shown me documents and objects preserved after his grandfather. She preserved a drawing, a caricature, of her grandfather made in the concentration camp Gonars. Angel Pahor was in internment as an activist and anti-fascist. "My grandmother told me how she run after a transport train living the station in Ljubljana for Gonars," Ms. Pahor shared transmitted memories.
"My grandfather is a tabu in our family," Ms. Pahor said before verbalizing testimonials about him. 
In search of her grandfather Angel Pahor (1897) past Ms. Pahor learned that he was extremely honest. In internment he gave the last piece of bread to children. It is of immense importance to her hearing from one of the witnesses that her grandfather left the concentration camp in Gonars among the last. "He went in the camp and checked if someone was left behind," she repeated what she was told. 
"He came to Ljubljana from Gonars after the capitulation of Italy. Than he was killed and left somewhere …. This was such a pain," Ms. Pahor shared a family's loss and unfinished grieving. 
The past of Angel Pahor as known by his descendants is fragmented. He died after the internment in situation unknown to his family. He has no grave, he is not remembered among fascist camp internees, he is not remembered as anti-fascist. 

What is provoking a constant pain in his granddaughter who is making attempts to create his legacy?
 "As a young girl I could't understand that he has no grave, that he has no place to lit a candle," she told.
To establish his internment and have his name written on the Gonars concentration camp victims memorial Marjana Pahor should contact the Concentration camp Rab-Gonars commeette (Taboriščni odbor Rab-Gonars). Reconstructing Angel Pahor's past the Archive of Republic of Slovenia is a right place to search. A large collection of documents (kilometers of documents) created in the administration headquarters of the occupied Province of Ljubljana, among them documents of arrests in the Province of Ljubljana and name lists of internees in the fascist concentration camps, is preserved. A novel Teleskop (1954), written by  Ivan Bratko, one of the organizers of the escape from the concentration camp Gonars, is a valuable document of past events too.  

Hopefully last suggestions will help the Pahor family in the process of a rightful and truthful remembrance of Angel Pahor. 

© Manca Juvan

When Magda Lovec Trtnik (1932) attended school in occupied Ljubljana she wasn't allowed to tell her father was shot as a hostage and her mother killed at Urh, a location known for torture and killings of partizans and supporters of the resistance. "Tell them they died before the war," were the instructions Ms. Lovec Trtnik, a World War II orphan, received.

For years she was holding for herself events that marked her life since she was nine years old. For her as for many others the Word War II and the italian occupation of the slovene territory turned into a life sentence.
The truth is that her father, a political activist and member of resistance, was shot by italian soldiers as hostage in Ljubljana at Gramonza jama on June 11, 1942. 
Tone Trtnik, later a national hero, was one of seven hostages killed that day. Shot hostages were buried in two graves. "At the time my aunt visited the graves and lit the candles. One candle died out. She decided that my father is buried in the grave with the lit candle," Ms. Trtnik explained how this simple belief influenced the location of her father's grave. It stayed unquestioned until today. It is of immense importance and consolation to Ms. Lovec Trtnik to have a known place she can visit and pay respects to her father.

Her mother, Justina Trtnik, was an activist and member of resistance too. "One morning when she left for work - she was working at the paper factory Papirnica Vevče - italian soldiers arrested her," Ms. Lovec Trtnik remembered the September 18, 1942 events. Her mother was arrested and sent in internment on the island of Rab. "The soldiers searched for me too. My grandmother sent me on time to known people in a neighboring village," Ms. Lovec Trtnik beleives that day she escaped the internment.
Letters and postcards her mother wrote in interment where messages of encouragement, care and love. Ms. Lovec Trtnik preserved all of them. She read them many times and she shown them to her children and grandchildren. "When I read her letters and postcards I cry," she told.
Letters are full of mother's care for the daughters survival and future. She was allowed to write to her doughtier on Thursday, we learned form Ms. Lovec Trtnik. Through letters Justina Trtnik encouraged her doughter to learn at school, get healthy and never turn down anything important. In a child story stile she described the internment. She wrote about animals in internment. She wrote about lice.
In April 1943 her mother was released from italian fascist internment. 
Once back home Ms. Lovec Trtnik remembers her mother being weak. But nothing was in a way for Justina trtnik to go back to work. "It's from work that she once came home and announced the capitulation of Italy," Mr. Lovec Trtnik remembered.

The capitulation of Italy was just a short period that turned to be a period of exchange of occupiers, soldiers and troops in Ljubljana and its suburbs. Soon German soldiers took over the territory. With Germans their local allies the so called White Guard and Slovene Home Guard - domobranci got power. They arrested Justina Trtnik at the end of November 1943, seven month after her release from the internment. "She never came back," Ms. Lovec Trnik said. Her mother is one of non-identified victims at Urh.
Ms. Lovec Trtnik assisted to the exhumations of the mass grave at Urh. She was a 13-years old war orphan and she was standing and staring at corpses in an attempt to recognize her mother's outfit. 
The exhumations stopped before all the victims were unburied. Justina Trtnik was never found and she doesn't have a grave. "It is difficult to explain the importance of a memorial place where you can visit your dear ones," Ms. Lovec Trtnik told.

She shown us all the material heritage she is preserving from her childhood: letters, few photos, articles cut from newspapers … Among them was a little orange notebook. She opened it on a page where she wrote dates of her father's birth, arrest and death and of her mother's arrest. It was heart braking to step in shoes of a ten or thirteen years old girl who is writing down in her notebook dates of loss of her parents and not dates of falling in love with a boy from the same class.

We prolonged our time sitting in a car parked in front of the functioning military area of Caserma Luigi Cadorin in Monigo, a subburb three kilometers north-west from the historic downtown of Treviso. It served us to calm down our hesitation. We were about to walk to the guard. He was fully equipped and looked like a soldier, who just came back from mission in Iraq, Bosnia, Kosovo or Afghanistan. Both, the photographer and I, were perplex at the look of a young soldier dressed in camouflage military uniform and wearing a bulletproof vest. He was listening to our inquiry from behind the glass of the facility that was separating soldiers from us, the civilian population.
The armed guard listened to our inquiry and turned his back to speak to someone we couldn't see. Turning back to us, standing on the other side of the glass division, he confirmed that he area of the caserma - an area of military barracks and training course - was once an area of detention. "Inside there is nothing marking the past," he said. 
Mainly Slovene and Croatian civilians were in internment in Monigo from July 1942 until the capitulation of Italy in September 1943. It is estimated that over the operation period 10.000 civilians were in detention.
As in other italian fascist concentration camps so in Monigo internees suffered hunger. Among estimated 200 victims hunger was the main cause of death, followed by tuberculosis, illnesses caused by cold and overcrowding.  
Leaving the military area parking lot we headed to Treviso, the capital of the italian region of Veneto. In preparation of our search of fascist concentration camp locations we learned that in January 2013 a memorial to victims of fascist camps was inaugurated in Treviso. The media reporting the event didn't report its location. We seek help from locals. Finally a taxi drivers joint search with their smart phones got as back on track. Our findings are captured in a video.

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