Democracy in the Liberation Front

  • Eva Mally Inštitut za novejšo zgodovino, Kongresni trg 1, SI-1000 Ljubljana
Keywords: Slovenia, World War II, Liberation Front of the Slovenian Nation, Communist Party of Slovenia, Dolomites Declaration, people's power, anti–revolutionary camp


Due to its (initial) coalition character, the Liberation Front of the Slovenian Nation represented a unique example of a politically–organised World War II resistance movement. However, from the very beginning the Communist Party of Slovenia (KPS) as the most important co– organiser of the resistance dominated in the military, political and repression bodies, which enabled it to establish the control over the decision–making during the war. Namely, besides fighting for the liberation of the homeland, the Communist Party of Slovenia also strived to carry out the socialist revolution, and with its revolutionary character it introduced non–democratic elements in the resistance movement. Its aspirations to not only deprive the pre–war political leadership of its previous positions, but also maintain control within the movement and prepare the grounds for the revolutionary takeover of power already during the war, were crowned with the Dolomites Declaration. With this Declaration the leading role of the Communist Party of Slovenia was also formally acknowledged in March 1943 and the coalition nature of the Liberation Front was abolished, since the other founding groups within the Liberation Front (Christian Socialists and the so–called Sokoli – a patriotic gymnastic society) had to give up their own organisation, activist staff and the intention of ever forming their own political parties. That allowed the Communist Party of Slovenia to later introduce a single–party system and absolute Party hegemony, or introduce the Soviet form of a non–democratic system and start retaliating against its political opponents and the so–called enemies of the people.