The "Ossuary" in St. Barbara shaft, where the mortal remains of 778 victims wait in plastic crates and bags for a decent burial. Foto: Mitja Ferenc

Hundreds of male and female bodies of victims of extrajudicial killings from the period immediately after the Second World War were hidden from the world by eleven barriers. Due to specific conditions in the mine shaft, not only bones but also entire body parts have been preserved, covered by mould. The bodies had been thrown into a deep shaft, and stacked in eight layers. Their number is still unknown, but Jože Dežman, the chairman of the governmental Commission on Concealed Mass Graves in Slovenia, said that most likely there must still be 2,500 victims in the shaft.
Obviously the discovery was too shocking, said the historian Mitja Ferenc, one of the people who on that day, March 3rd, saw the atrocity with his own eyes. It is the atrocity the national authority refuses to face. The bodies have been returned to the cave, and the door bolted. In this way the victims, 70 years later, still remain without a grave of their own, although the governmental commission demands all the mortal remains should be moved from the shaft and buried; a burial place should be selected, and the entire complex should be proclaimed a cultural monument, and the St. Barbara shaft opened to the public.
As Dežman said for STA, a monument for all victims of war in the capital can't be expected soon, therefore the commission will propose that a part of the money intended for the memorial should be used for arrangement of the St. Barbara shaft, and the chapel the Montenegrins plan to erect in Kamniška Bistirca.