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President of the Republic Receives the Chairman and Vice-Chairman of the Slovene Gottscheer Association Peter Kosler

Ljubljana, 01/09/2007  |  press release

Click to enlargeThe President of the Republic of Slovenia, Dr Janez Drnovšek, today received representatives of the Slovene Gottscheer Association Peter Kosler, the Chairman Mr Erik-Jurij Kirsch and the Vice-Chairman Mr Hubert Kosler. On this occasion the representatives of the Association handed to the President a compact disc of the Gottscheer melodies sung by a vocal group Cantate Domino of Kočevje, which has been released recently by the Association with financial support from the Ministry of Culture. During the discussion the guests presented to the President of the Republic, Dr Janez Drnovšek, the work of the Association done over the past twelve years in the preservation of the Gottscheer cultural heritage mainly in the form of restoration of more than 20 monumental and sacral buildings and other memorials. A matter of particular concern have been the activities to preserve the dialect of the Gottscheer Germans and the Gottscheer cultural and artistic tradition as well as to promote publication and publishing, which makes an important contribution to the Slovene history of many centuries. With state support and donations of individuals and of the Embassies of Austria and of the Federal Republic of Germany, the Association in 2002 released a compact disc and a songbook of the Gottscheer traditional songs in Slovene and in the Gottscheer dialect. In 2004, the Association published a book by Zdravko Troha entitled "Gottscheer Germans Partisans". They have further called attention to the importance of cooperation of the Association with the descendants of the Gottscheer Germans who now live in the North American territory and who use their best efforts to raise the profile of Slovenia internationally.

Click to enlargeBoth Chairmen share the belief that the Association's work done to date has been successful thanks to the support of the relevant ministries and particularly to the appreciative attitude of local people, cooperation of municipal officials responsible for the then linguistic and ethnic island of Gottscheer Germans, and the assistance of the Embassies of Austria and Germany.

In 2007, the Association is planning to open a travelling exhibition "The Lost Cultural Heritage of the Gottscheer Germans" in Vienna and Munich. The exhibition is being prepared in cooperation with renowned Slovenian historians. It was supported by the Republic of Austria; assistance was also requested from our Government. In co-operation with municipalities and local communities, the Association will continue its work on renovation of buildings and memorials marking the life and work of Gottscheer Germans.

The President of the Republic, Dr Janez Drnovšek, thanked his guests for the compact disc and a comprehensive presentation of the Association's past work; he acknowledged the dedication, efforts and joint endeavours of Gottscheer Germans in Slovenia and other Gottscheer Associations to safeguard the memory and cultural heritage of their ancestors whose work and life was not always favoured fairly in the past. Democratic openness and the system in Slovenia as well as its membership in the European Union demand more attention and understanding to be devoted to safeguard a diverse and colourful Slovenian cultural and national heritage and to promote and care for future cultural diversity and visibility of Slovenia. Thus, the Association will be able to remain successful in the future and further the mission of its great role model Peter Kosler with even more appreciation. Kosler was not just a Gottscheer German, lawyer, physicist, notary, politician, one of the pioneers of industrialisation in Slovenia and a member of Slovenska Matica and the first Slovenian statistician and internationally recognised geographer; ha was also an extraordinary and dedicated patriot who petitioned for a United Slovenia; one hundred and fifty-five years ago he bestowed the first map of Slovenian Lands on Slovenian people and together with Globokar chose the colours of Slovenia's flag.

The President of the Republic, Dr Janez Drnovšek, wished his guests every success and understanding in 2007.

The reception with the President of the Republic was also attended by the Ambassador of the Republic of Austria to Slovenia, Dr Valentin Inzko.
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