Valentin Mohar

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Valentin Mohar was born at Retje at Loški Potok in 1925. As early as in November 1941, the Italians broke into their house and drove him away, but he escaped to save him. He was again imprisoned in the spring of next year. Until the capitulation of Italy, he worked on the Italian Emona estate. He was then mobilized by the Partisans and included in the Prešeren Brigade. In September 1943, he participated in the attack on Turjak. After the surrender of village guards and civilians, he tied hands to prisoners and led them to Velike Lašče. But when he saw what they were doing with the prisoners, he realised that he could no longer stay with the Partisans.

From Velike Lašče, he was sent to Kočevje where he was assigned to the guard post. Only later he learned that the guard was the so called famous Kočevje Assembly of Delegates, which took place in the Sokolski Dom from 1 to 3 October 1943. After a few days, the commander of the town of Kočevje ordered them to withdraw. The men decided to go everyone to his home.

At home, Valentin was hiding, then came the Germans and demanded that all who hide and have arms should surrender. Together with other men and boys, Valentin decided to surrender. They were taken to Ribnica, in court prisons. Two Home Guard officers promised them that they would be saved if they joined them. Most of them did it. From Kočevje they were taken to Ljubljana. In Ljubljana, until March 1944, Valentin worked on the railway, then the members of the Primorje Home Guard arrived and together with other men they took him to Trieste, where he was joined to the Primorje Safety Guard. After four weeks of training, his unit was sent to Postojna, and from there to Pivka and Razdrto. They were told to guard this territory from the re-occupation of the Italians.

In the spring of 1945, some 8,000 Chetniks, Serbian volunteers and members of the Primorje Safety Guard moved towards Gorizia. On 29 April 1945, they marched into Gorizia, where there were no Partisans, they came only later. The Chetniks attacked and chased away a fascist post in the Gorizia castle. Then they went to Palmanova, where they were disarmed by New Zealand soldiers and transported them to Čezena. From there, Mohar’s route led through a number of refugee camps (from Treviso to Senegalia and Rome). In Rome, Dr. Krek pleaded for him and others, and who advised them to report that they were prisoners of war, and that he would mediate with the British command to be transported to Germany. That also happened. From the Münsterlager camp, Mr. Mohar arrived to England, where he created his family.

Recorded on: 13/04/2011 in London, Great Britain
Conversation led and recorded by: Renato Podbersič