# 22010

KOS, Vladimir (1924- )

[DP CAMP PRINTING] Strti cvetovi

[=Broken flowers]. Lienz, Austria : Slovenska begunska tiskarna [=Slovenian Refugee Press], [c.1946]. Large octavo (200 x 150 mm), original wrappers with printed title (tiny loss at bottom corners), mimeographed text, pp 17 (excluding text on inside upper wrapper), plus [2] leaves each mimeographed on one side only in violet on lighter paper bound at front and rear, the first with an allegorical illustration of Death (depicted as a skeleton) picking flowers and the legend Strti cvetovi (some colouring in red pencil), the second with a 5-line poem; insignificant damp stain at top corners of the lighter coloured leaves, otherwise contents in very good condition. Text in Slovenian and English.

A rare Displaced Persons Camp publication printed shortly after WWII in the infamous British-run Lienz-Peggetz DP camp in the Austrian Tyrol, which housed refugees from Central and Eastern Europe who had fled from the advancing Soviet army during 1945. The booklet was issued to honour the thousands of Slovenian refugees – many of them members of the anti-communist militia known as the “White Guard”, or Slovene Home Guard – who, having surrendered themselves to British protection at the Vetrinje (Viktring) DP camp near Klagenfurt (Austria), were in May 1945 allowed by the British to be forcibly repatriated to Soviet-occupied Styria, where they were executed en masse by the Yugoslav army on the pretext that they had collaborated with the Nazis. They had been awaiting passage to South America and other destinations which were to have been arranged by the Catholic Church.

The introduction, in English, reproduces an extract from an article by The Bishop of Gibraltar that had been published in The Times Weekly, May 15, 1945, deploring this act of betrayal on the part of the British (a single incident in what is often referred to as The Great Betrayal). This is followed by numerous short prose pieces and poems in Slovenian, all concerned with this tragic event. The author of these texts was the prominent Slovenian Jesuit priest, poet and philosopher, Vladimir Kos (nom de plume: Re O), who himself was a refugee in the Lienz DP Camp. In early June, 1945, the British at Lienz would also hand over to the Soviets many thousands of Cossacks, ethnic Ukrainians and Russians; the higher ranking officers were executed, and the remainder sent to the gulags.

OCLC locates only three examples of this booklet in libraries worldwide (National and University Library, Ljubljana; University of Bern; Bayerische Staatsbibliothek, München).