SCNR

Research & Development Department

Introduction

The Research and Development Department (RDD) is an internal organizational unit of the Study Centre which was formed in the beginning of May 2008. To be more precise, it was formed on the grounds of the Decision on founding of public institute the Study Centre for National Reconciliation and on the grounds of the institute charter. The purpose and objectives for establishment of the RDD are listed below:

  • examining violations of the fundamental human rights and freedoms which were caused by the totalitarian systems in the 20th century in Slovenia, plus obtaining new knowledge and experiences and passing them on for public interest;
  • creating possibilities for a harmonious development of society and culture in Slovenia;
  • integrating researchers and experts from the area of research, who with their research work, in particular, contribute to the possibility for a harmonious development of society and culture and national reconciliation in Slovenia;
  • enabling working conditions for researchers and experts, who are employed at the institute, as well as for external expert and scientific co-workers;
  • passing on knowledge and results obtained by the researchers to the interested public;
  • developing human resources and creativity in research.

The research area of the RDD is, first of all, the area of violation of fundamental human rights and freedoms caused by the three totalitarian systems in the 20th century in Slovenia, namely, fascism, Nazism and communism. In this framework, the RDD mainly carries out the following tasks:

  • organising and carrying out research and development activity;
  • acquiring and organising research projects on a national and international level;
  • co-operating with domestic and foreign organisations, institutions and other institutes in the research area;
  • co-operating in education of research staff;
  • ensuring development of research discipline by passing on new knowledge and results of research;
  • promoting student co-operation in research work, and co-operating in postgraduate studies;
  • ensuring that scientific and research results are used in practice;
  • ensuring publication of knowledge gained in research;
  • organising scientific and expert consultations from the respective area of activity.

Research Activity

From 1st January 2009, the Study Centre has been carrying out the research programme entitled Violence of the Communist Totalitarianism in Slovenia from 1941–1990, which is co-financed by the Slovenian Research Agency. The head of the research programme is Mateja Čoh, PhD. Other members of the programme group are Milko Mikola, PhD, Damjan Hančič, PhD, Renato Podbersič, MA, Marta Keršič and Neža Strajnar.

As indicated in the title of the programme, special attention is dedicated to researching various forms of violence by the communist system in Slovenia in the time of World War II and after it. Here most attention will be dedicated to the period right after the end of the war, during which occurred systematic and most harsh forms of violation of fundamental human rights and freedoms (e.g. mass and individual extrajudicial killings, concentration and forced labour camps, mass political and politically motivated processes making accusations of disloyalty, subversion, or treason without proper regard for evidence, expulsion of populations from their homes, persecution of non-catholic religious communities).  Thus we want to help in uncovering new historical facts and knowledge in this area, making it easier to identify characteristics and basic differences between the totalitarian systems and democracy. We are certain of the important impact the findings will have on the awareness of the respect for fundamental human rights and freedoms as well as boosting general awareness and the need for national reconciliation.

Research of the violence of the communist totalitarianism together with violations of the fundamental human rights and freedoms is being carried out on the grounds of various archival resources that are located in Slovenia and abroad. Testimonies are besides archives very important. That is why we collect oral and written testimonies of political prisoners, deportees, dissidents and other victims of totalitarian communist system, as well as their relatives.

The project entitled Revolutionary Violence in Slovenia 1941–1945 is another important research area. It is a very extensive research project with all members of the RDD working on it. The work will take several years. The goal of the project is to show in a comprehensive way various forms of revolutionary violence occurring during World War II in Slovenia. That is, we represent them across individual regions (the Štajerska region, the Dolenjska region, the Notranjska region, the Gorenjska region and the Primorska region). Research will be conducted with the help of archival resources, mostly on the grounds of material on organisation and functioning of individual partisan units, the Communist Party, the Liberation Front (Osvobodilna fronta), and the Department for National Protection (Oddelek za zaščito naroda – OZNA). In addition, we collect testimonies of victims of interwar revolutionary violence.

The gathered documents and testimonies will be published in a series entitled Documents and Testimonies. After the concluded research, we plan on issuing a journal including articles of all who worked in the research.

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