To show the political and inter-nation circumstances in which »the rally of
truth« in Ljubljana was prevented; the article is based on research on the break-up
of Yugoslavia conducted by the author.
The historiographical methodology was used, which is based on the research
of primary sources (the mentioned archives), newspaper sources, interviews, and
At the end of the 1980s, Yugoslavia turned into an anarchic state. The federal
authorities were powerless and lacked authority, the Yugoslavia National Army
started to threaten with coups d'état. In Serbia, Slobodan Milošević came to power,
and initially tried to subject Yugoslavia to his rule by means of a re-centralization.
By means of “street democracy”, i.e. organized rallies in Yugoslavian cities, to
which Serbs from Kosovo and Serbia came, he replaced the regional and republican
administrations (in Kosovo, Vojvodina, and Montenegro), and thus strengthened
his power. Due to the Slovenian leadership resisting the centralization directed by
Milosević, his supporters tried to organize a rally also in Ljubljana, on 1 December
1989 (the day of the formation of the Kingdom of Serbs, Croats, and Slovenes in
1918). Slovenian authorities – the Ministry of the Internal Affairs, led by Tomaž
Ertl, the Slovenian police, the State Security Service, and other services – resisted
this by means of an excellently organized operation. Operation »Sever« [i.e.
Operation North], prevented this attempt to replace the Slovenian administration
with incited masses from other republics. The Slovenian police force proved that in
Slovenia order was based on the law, and that democratisation was taking place in
an organized and responsible manner, by gradually changing the legislation and
showing respect for it and for the legal institutions. At the same time, Operation
»Sever« showed that Slovenia was also able to protect its then still republican
sovereignty and the level of the democracy achieved. Regretfully, this message could
be comprehended by neither the Yugoslav authorities, the Serbian authorities, nor
even by the leaders of the Yugoslavia National Army, which is why a year and half
later, the armed intervention by the YNA also occurred, which was successfully
resisted by the Slovenian armed forces (the territorial defence and police forces).
A synthesized presentation of a historical research study on the circumstances
in Slovenia and Yugoslavia in which »the rally of truth« was prevented.
A clearly-written study, intended for the expert and broader public.