Polemics & Exchanges

Macmillan’s Legacy

In “That Special Relationship” (Vital Signs, February), Christopher Sandford compares British Prime Minister Harold Macmillan’s attitudes toward communism with those of President John F. Kennedy.  I hope that Mr. Sandford’s upcoming book on the subject will provide some crucial historical context by discussing Macmillan’s role in the forced repatriation of Slovenian freedom fighters (Domobranci) to communist Yugoslavia.  The Slovenes were assured that they were being sent to Italy to rearm so they could fight the communists in their civil war.  Instead, through Macmillan’s willful deception, the 11,000 Slovenian fighters were sent to their deaths and buried in a mass grave.  My father was nearly among them, but fortunately his father cautioned him to be patient and not to get on the first train.  That was enough time for the Slovenians who stayed behind to receive warning from three stragglers who had avoided a fatal bullet, survived the initial fall into the mass of dead or dying bodies, endured the dynamiting of the pit, and then crawled out and made their way past the communists to warn their comrades what awaited them if they got on the trains the British told them were going to Italy.  John Corsellis’s Slovenia 1945 provides an excellent summary, as does The Minister...

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