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SLAVIC REFUGEE CAMP NEWSPAPER: Lepsa bodocnost [Better Future]. Zoom

SLAVIC REFUGEE CAMP NEWSPAPER: Lepsa bodocnost [Better Future].


A series of very rare illustrated mimeographed magazines was published by a school for refugee Slovenian pupils after WWII in Austria, while waiting to be transferred to North or South America.

Author: Various authors.
Place and Year: Peggetz-Lienz & Spittal a. d. Drau, Austria: Gojenci kmetijske sole v Spittalu ob Dravi [Pupils of the Farming School at Spittal a. d. Drau], 1945-1947.
Code: 65488

Volume 1: Year 2. October 10, 1946, and April, 1947. Peggetz-Lienz & Spittal a. d. Drau, Austria.

4°, [1] mimeographed illustrated title page, numbers 1-7, numbered 1-146, mimeographed text with illustrations within text, contemporary half-linen blank and grey binding  (Very good, slightly age-toned, edges of binding slightly scuffed)


Volume 2: Year 2. May – September 1947. Spittal a. d. Drau, Austria.

4°, [1] mimeographed illustrated title page, numbers 8-12, numbered 148-251 mimeographed text with illustrations within text, [2] mimeographed index, contemporary half-linen blank and grey binding  (Very good, slightly age-toned, edges of binding slightly scuffed).


The articles were made by young male pupils, schooled in a school for farmers in the refugee camp. As the magazine mentions, the main subjects were God, Mother, and Homeland (p. 251). Articles included Slovenian poetry, often accompanied with illustration, articles about homeland and regional customs, short stories about the war and refugees, religious articles, riddles, as well as interesting short news from the world, mostly concentrated on Canada and the United States, which were besides Argentine the final destinations of these refugees.

The numbers until the end of 1946 were printed in the refugee centre at Peggetz at Lienz in Tyrol, and from February 1947 on in the refugee centre on Spittal and der Drau. The first magazines were printed illegally, because the refugee centre regulations have not permitted printed magazines.

The magazines were bound at the time, together with the mimeographed illustrated title page and index. As mentioned on p. 250 the complete set of 12 magazines of the 2nd year of this publication (also the present one), could be purchased together.

Text on the page 251 mentions the first number was published in February, 1946, was multiplied “on skin” (probably reproduced with a leather imprint) and had 4 small pages. Until the second year (this one) the magazine has made a large progress. The publication of the magazine ended with nr. 12 of the second year. We can assume the first numbers are almost unobtainable. The Slovenian National Library in Ljubljana, which has the only other known almost complete set, has the first 81 numbers of the magazine missing. There is an unknown number of magazines at the School museum in Ljubljana. We could not trace any other institutional examples.

DP Camp in Peggetz/Lienz and Spittal a. d. Drau

The Lienz/Peggetz DP camp was a British run camp for refugees, the so called White Guard, who escaped Yugoslavia in the days after WWII, and were waiting to be transported to other locations, mostly to South America, by the Catholic church. The Lienz/Peggetz DP camp received bad reputation already at the May 1945, when the British army handed over Cossacks and ethnic Russians and Ukrainians, who had collaborated with Nazi Germany, to the USSR, where they were assassinated.
The DP camp near the Carinthian town Spittal was founded by the British in the summer of 1945. The barracks, built by the German POWs, were meant to house the refugees and exiles from Yugoslavia, mostly from Slovenia. Most of the refugees were Vatican-protected members of the Roman Catholic church, which were in the next years moved overseas, mainly to Argentina, and also to Canada and United States.

There were about 5000 persons living in the camp, among them approximately 800 school children. The camp school was first organised in German language only. After about a year the learning language changed to Slovenian and Hungarian. German was taught only in a class in a normal school in the city Spittal, outside the camp.
These magazines are valuable documents for the history of immigration to Canada, the United States and South America after WWII.

References: Rozina Svent, Publicisticna dejavnost slovenskih emigrantov po drugi svetovni vojni. Magistrsko delo, Ljubljana 1992, pp. 14, 32-33; Rozina Svent. Tiski slovenskih beguncev v teboriscih v Avstriji in Italiji, Dve Domovini. Two Homelands, 2-3, 1992, pp. 82-83. OCLC 442825305