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LETTERS OF CONCERN
(with permission by the authors)

PISMA
z izrazi zaskrbljenosti
(objavljena z dovoljenjem avtorjev).

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Subject: To Mrs. Ernesta Drole,
Re: Milanja Ridge Power Project

Dear Mrs Drole,

I am writing to you from Wellington, New Zealand, (Deep in the South Pacific).

I have recently learned that the development of wind "power stations" on Milanja Ridge is likely to result in the destruction of a number of historic Military fortifications that exist in the area.

I readily acknowledge that the internal decisions of the Goverrnment of Slovenia are absoloutely "none of my business", - but none the less, I would ask you to consider very carefully the implications of allowing such destruction to go ahead.

In Wellington, New Zealand, - we learned a very sorry lesson in the early 1970's - from allowing such demolition to take place.

We allowed a very substantial part of our Military history to be destroyed, - and it can never be replaced.

I have absoloutely no wish to stand in the way of the development of Slovenia's Power Industry, - but surely there must be a way for the need for development to co-exist with history - without one necessitating the destruction of the other?

I'd just hate to see the same "mistakes" that we made duplicated on the other side of the World!

Once historic sites are gone, - they're gone for ever, and with the best will in the World, you can't get them back.

New Zealand is a very "young" country, and I guess we have that perception that if you don't ALLOW something to grow "old" in the first place, - then you wind up with no demonstrable history for future generations anyway.

Your comments on this would be greatly appreciated.

Kindest regards,
Alistair Scadden

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Photo Gallery of Mt. Milanja
by Vladimir Tonic.

Data about Milanija Forts

Plan of Milanija Forts

Back

More about the fortifications in the area:

Ars-Cartae -Forts
and
Regional SiteO

December 10, 2003

From:
Joseph .E. Kaufmann, MA
Adjunct Faculty, History Dept.
Palo Alto College

Wanda H. Kaufmann, Ph.D
Professor, Foriegn Languages Dept.
San Antonio College

To:
Mrs. Ernesta Drole, prof. zg. in soc.
Zavod za varstvo kulturne dedi1čine Slovenije
OE Nova Gorica

Dear Mrs Drole,

We are military historians and authors of FORTRESS EUROPE, FORTRESS THIRD REICH and MEDIEVAL FORTRESS, all of which include material on Slovenia's fortifications. We also are the founders of the international fortifications group known as SITEO which includes several world wide regional branches including one being operated in Slovenia.

We are writing about the fortifications in the Milanja vicinity. We were informed that the local government of the town of Ilirska Bistrica was considering the destruction of these sites. As the representatives of one of the largest international groups devoted to fortifications we would like to make a few comments.

For most people enthusiastic about military history the only way they can see anything related to wars, battles or campaigns is usually in a museum, especially when it comes to 20th century warfare. This is because the battlefields are now too large and heavily changed by time and man so that the historian and enthusiast can only visit museums to see the relics such as tanks, weapons, etc. For modern warfare one element that will never be found in museums and is less often seen - that is the fortifications. These have to be seen where they were built and become a permanent part of the history of a region.

Slovenia has been crossroads of history for centuries and today ancient fortifications from Roman through modern can be found there. Surely nobody in your country would consider destroying the old Roman fortifications, altough the post-Roman populations did that themselves because they did not forsee the cultural value of them and certainly had no interest in tourism. So why destroy the modern fortifications which offer even greater potential for encouraging tourism among military enthusiasts.

Your country includes not only the Yugsolsavian fortifications of the Rupnik Line, but large sections of the Italian Vallo Alpino (including at Milanja) and even German and Italian blockhouses used against the Partisans. I have already seen examples of all the types that have been destroyed in your country, but to what advantage is their destruction? They occupy relatively little space and the need for their removal is not imperative although some may consider them unsightly, many tourists consider them objects of interest.

Slovenia is a realtively small country in size compared to France, Germany or Poland and all of the fortifications in your country, unlike those larger nations, are within a reasonable distance that a person can stay in one location and visit many of these sites over a short period of time. The nine Italian forts that made up a second position in Milanja had a rather interesting history. The Italians occupied them up until 1943 and then the Germans took over. The Germans abandoned and partially destroyed them because of Partisan activity in 1944 and then returned to these positions in the next year to defend them.

We have visited the area and these forts are clustered in a relatively open hilly and attractive region which can be easily visited. Many positions of the Vallo Alpino in Italy are located high up in the Alps, and although the Italian government has not destroyed them, they are difficult for the average tourist to visit. Those Italian positions at Milanja are much more easily visited and that is another reason the area should be left the way it is open for tourism, recreation and part of the national heritage. It would be a pity not to maintain and develope this area for tourism.

For that matter the remainder of the fortifications in Slovenia should be protected so that your government can use them to make your country a major area for visits and research by military enthusiasts and historians.

Regards

J.E. Kaufmann,>br> H.W. Kaufmann

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