The transfer of remains of more than 700 victims unearthed from the disused Huda Jama pit in Slovenia to an ossuary at a Maribor cemetery started on Monday, in line with a decision by a Slovenian government commission, however, the decision has been opposed by several civil society associations bringing together the families of soldiers and civilians executed in the wake of the Second World War by Tito-led Partisans.
The transfer of the victims is likely to be completed by the end of this week when Slovenian President Borut Pahor is due to attend a commemoration at the Maribor cemetery.
A religious service was held on Monday at the entrance of the mine shaft where an estimated 3,000 victims of post-WW2 summary executions were found in 2009, to mark the beginning of their reburial at a memorial park near Maribor, the Slovenian STA agency reported.
President Pahor has stated that the reconciliation of the formerly opposed sides and coming to terms with the past is a continuous process, and that the act of reburial could be a historic turning point.
Huda Jama is believed to be one of the largest multiple graves of members of defeated armies and civilians killed towards the end of WWII by Communist authorities and intelligence services whose acronyms were OZNA and KNOJ.
Some of the victims were exhumed several years ago, however, some human rights activists believe the disused mine contains the remains of over 3,000 victims, mainly Slovenians, Croats and Serbs, and that there were women and children among them.
There is evidence that some of the victims were buried alive to die in agony.