At the Study Centre for National Reconciliation, we keep an extensive archive of testimonies, to which we constantly add new material. The testimonies are saved either as video or audio recordings, and some individuals provide us with their memories in written form. The archive includes documentary materials and photographs as well. The collected testimonies refer to the time before, during and after the Second World War, to the life in refugee camps and the everyday life in socialist Yugoslavia as well as the life of Slovenians in neighbouring countries and abroad. Many of our witnesses were political prisoners, exiles, dissidents, those forcibly recruited in the German army, war orphans, other victims of totalitarian regimes and the victims’ families.
Testimonies are an important historical source. Although they bring a subjective view of the past, they oftentimes reveal its unknown sides, complement the chapters for which there is not enough preserved documentary and archival material and offer an insight into the everyday lives of regular people. Thus, they contribute to the knowledge and understanding of contemporary Slovenian history. The personal and family stories also contain a rich message for the younger generations, who find video materials a more familiar and tangible way of learning about history.