European Capital of Culture and Forgotten Heritage

European Capital of Culture and Forgotten Heritage

Perhaps, perhaps the choice of Nova Gorica as the European Capital of Culture in 2025 also means a new beginning for the proper evaluation of the cultural heritage in the Goriška region.

There are too many completely or partially missed opportunities (Bourbons in Kostanjevica, Laščak's Villa Rafut, the remains of the Isonzo Front, the castle's architectural heritage), which, however, remains more or less left to the ingenuity and perseverance of individuals.

A unique Jewish heritage

One such example is the Jewish cemetery in Rožna Dolina near (Nova) Gorica, which remains a unique monument of Jewish cultural heritage in Slovenia. In addition, it is the largest Jewish cemetery in our country. Today, the Jewish community in Gorizia no longer exists. Due to its small size, it merged with the Trieste Jewish community in 1969. A small number of Jews who after 1945 or. 1948 remained in the border area of ​​the former Julian region, is one of the main reasons that they were pushed to the edge of historical memory and later slowly pushed out of it almost completely. The Jewish cemetery in Rožna Dolina, where members of the Jewish community from Gorizia buried their dead until the demarcation between the former Yugoslavia and Italy in September 1947, is reminiscent of a once important and influential community. After that, a small number of Gorizia Jews used the Jewish cemetery in Gradišče ob Soči (Gradisca d'Isonzo) to bury the dead. The Jewish cemetery in Rožna Dolina, together with the synagogue (and Jewish museum) in Gorizia, is the only remnant of immovable cultural heritage that once belonged to the rounded Gorizia Jewish community and is now divided between Italy and Slovenia by the state border.

In Europe, in fact, we know only one similar case, when once a unified Jewish community with its facilities (synagogue, cemetery) was divided between two countries with a new state border after the Second World War. The city of Frankfurt on the Odra, where the synagogue (destroyed by the Nazis) remained in the then German Democratic Republic after the Second World War, and the cemetery of the Jewish community there is now located on the Polish side of the Odra River in Słubice, once a Frankfurt on the Oder.

Level of civilization

For several years now, discussions have been going on as to whether the Jewish cemetery in Rožna Dolina and the former mortuary next to it should be protected again, and in what way !? For the time being, it remains only with promises, even by those who at least declaratively stand for various minorities, persecuted, different, etc. There is far too much talk about laws and protection arrangements, and he forgets common sense. Today we do not have one multilingual guide or. brochures that would present this to visitors, for Gorizia's unique historical heritage! It should not be forgotten that individuals who mean something in a global sense are also buried in Rožna Dolina!

It is not just a Jewish cemetery and a former mortuary in the Rose Valley. No, it is a civilized attitude towards the burial place and a simple respect for the dead. With this, we always have big problems in Slovenia.

Years ago, we pointed out the issue several times, also in the magazine Razpotja:

As they say, "Dogs bark, and the caravan goes on."

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Renato Podbersič

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