Majda in Alojz Starman


Mrs. Majda was born at Podgora near Dol pri Ljubljani in 1937. When she was a year and a half old, her grandfather got sick in her birth house, therefore, she was temporarily given to her grandparents at Moravče. As they had no small children in the house, even after the death of her grandfather she stayed with them. The war did not spare them. Three mother’s brothers were mobilized, one to the German army, the other two to the Partisans. The brother Miha soon ran away from the Partisans to the Domžale Home Guard.

On 8 May 1945, Majda went to Carinthia together with her grandparents and two aunts as a refugee. They loaded only the bare minimum on the waggon and left. On the second day, on their way to Tržič, his father caught them by bicycle. Majda’s mother stayed at home, alone with four children and a sick mother in law.

The mother’s brother Miha was in Vetrinj with the members of the Home Guard. He also went with them when they were returned to Yugoslavia. From the Teharje camp, where he was transported, every trace about him was lost. At that time, likewise Majda’s father thought to leave, but the grandfather said to him: “I brought you the child to here, now you have it.” And he did not go away and saved his life.

When Majda came to Vetrinj, she was eight years old. She started attending school there. At the end of June 1945, her family was sent to another, namely Peggetz camp near Lienz, and then to Spittal.

Alojz Starman was born at Srednje Bitnje in 1933. He was the only child because his three brothers died as infants. During the war, his father was with the members of the Home Guard at night, and worked at home during the day. In May 1945, his family along with other refugees went to Carinthia, Austria. Along with Alojz his father, mother and aunt also went. At Vetrinj, they prepared a temporary shelter under the waggon, where they spent six weeks. At Vetrinj, Alojz completed twelve years and he attended the fourth grade. After six weeks of staying at Vetrinj, refugees were transferred to various camps in Carinthia. Their family decided to go to the Spittal camp.

Majda and Alojz met in the Spittal camp, married, and created a family. They are one of the few who still live in Spittal, exactly at the location where once a Slovenian refugee camp was located. They are regularly returning home to Slovenia and in many places they boldly and frankly talk about the experience they have spent. Their life story testifies on the power of overcoming evil and hatred.

Recorded on: 11/03/2011 at the Study Centre for National Reconciliation, Ljubljana, Slovenia
Conversation led by: Marta Keršič, Camera: Mirjam Dujo Jurjevčič