1 2 3


Kočevski rog covers an area of over 5oo square kilometres of dynamic Karstic terrain between Kočevsko-Ribniško Polje, Suha Krajina, Novo Mesto valley and Bela Krajina. The highest peak is Veliki Rog, rising 1099 metres above sea level. Until recently the relatively cold and damp climate prevented most human interventions in the local natural environment. As a result, in the vast fir and beech forests, all predators have survived, including birds of prey, owls and other wildlife. Three original forests have been preserved in Rog. Because of the impassability of the terrain, thick forests and unfriendly climate, the first proper settlements were not established until the 14th century with the arrival of German colonists known as the Götscher. They were predominantly farmers, craftsmen, carpenters and peddlers. When, in 1941, Yugoslavia was invaded, the area was annexed to Italy, which in the winter of 1941/42 caused the Götscher to move to the lower Posavje region, from where over 36,000 s had previously been expatriated. With the departure of the Gotscher, over forty villages and hamlets were abandoned. Today, they are overgrown with forest.
The first partisan groups formed in Rog as early as August 1941. In May 1942, when a large liberated territory was established in Dolenjska. Notranjska and Bela Krajina, Rog became a the heart of resistance and revolution. The leadership of the national liberation struggle had been based until late August 1942 in Kraljev Kamen. After a major Italian offensive in the summer of 1942 (the Rog Offensive) the leadership moved to Polhograjski Dolomiti and decided that Rog should shelter partisan hospitals, workshops, schools, printing presses and warehouses.
The partisan leadership returned to Rog in April 1943. The new political headquarters was called BAZA 20. With the exception of a few weeks after the capitulation of Italy, the leadership was based there until December 1944, when it moved to Črnomelj.

Almost at the same time, BAZA 21 at the foot of Kragulji Vrh became he headquarters of the military leadership -the Main Headquarters of the National Liberation Army and Partisan Detachments of Slovenia. Near Cink, BAZA 15 and BAZA 15a were built, accommodating schools of higher education of the Communist Party and SKOJ (Communist Youth Ass. of Yugoslavia).
After six weeks of freedom fotlowing the capitulation of Italy, a German offensive raged in Rog in late October 1943. The Germans discovered and destroyed several warehouses and three empty hospitals. They also found and assassinated the patients at Pugled hospital. Near the village of Rampoha and in Srednja Vas, BAZA 80 and BAZA 80a operated respectively. They were locations of institutions founded in February 1944 at the session of the National Liberation Council in Črnomelj. The session laid the foundations of the Scientific Institute, Monetary Institute, Religion Commission, Commission for Management of Dispossessed Property and various bodies for the formation of the people's government, for internal affairs, education, economy, finances, renovation, healthcare, food, forestry, etc.
In mid-April, 1945, Germans launched another attack on Rog, but they were forced to retreat, failing completely in their mission. After the end of the war, the Yugoslav Army executed, in several of Rog's gorges, several thousand members of the Home Guard, their sympathisers and representatives of other Yugoslav nations who were returned from Viktring. The circumstances of these assassinations have still not been clarified and the number of victims remains unknown. Nevertheless, four gorges containing the remains of the victims are known. The largest is the gorge at the foot of Kren. Others are the gorge in Macesnova Gorica, the gorge in Rugarski Klanec and the gorge of Dvojno Brezno near Cinkov Križ.
Today, most of the Rog area is covered with forests and is sparsely populated. The main activities in the area are forestry, hunting, agriculture and tourism. Together with the broader Kočevje region, it represents a rare island of pristine nature in Slovenia and Central Europe.

Baraka propagandistov
Prva baraka članov Vrhovnega plenuma OF
Nova baraka AGITPROP-a
Partisan hospital Zgornji Hrastnik
Virtual guide - from the year 2000
BAZA 20. For the new Location of the political leadership, a deep Karstic hollow was selected just below the altitude of 708 metres not far from Červan road. The decision was influenced by the configuration of the terrain, thick vegetation, accessibility, possibility of bringing in supplies and, above all, security.
During the Rog Offensive, the Jurče partisan troop set up camp in the hollow for several days, without being discovered by Italians.
The first building in BAZA 20 was constructed when the leadership was still stationed in Polhograjski Dolomiti. The leadership moved to BAZA 20 on 17 April 1943. The number of inhabitants grew steadily and new buildings
were added. The first buildings were constructed with timber from the Italian Emona company, whereas for later buildings, material was secured in villages at the foot of Rog. Wooden boards were hewn at the Spreitzer sawmill in
Stare Žage and at a sawmill in Soteska. Doors and already glazed windows were taken from the abandoned Götscher houses, but tools and other necessary material were procured in shops in the valley.
BAZA 20 provided home and working environment members of the Executive Committee of the Liberation Front, Supreme Council of the Liberation Front, Central Committee of the Communist Party of Slovenia, Anti-Fascist Council of the National Liberation of Yugoslavia (AVNOJ) and Agitation and Propaganda Commission, for editors of periodicals and others. By the Italian capitulation on 9 September 1943, thirteen buildings had been erected. In addition to those accommodating the members of the leadership, a radio and telegraph building, a radio station, a kitchen and two dormitories for the kitchen staff and the guards were constructed. In 1944 a kitchen warehouse was built along with a separate kitchen and warehouse for the guard battalion, an electric power plant, two dormitories for the guards and propaganda activists and additional buildings for the Liberation Front and Communist Party of Slovenia.

The number of inhabitants of BAZA 20 kept expanding. In the summer of 1944 it accommodated some 140 individuals, while by autumn the population had risen to as many as 180 people. Thanks to exceptional security and camouflage measures, BAZA 20 was never discovered.

BAZA 20 is the only such headquarters of a European resistance movement which is still preserved. It has become an important monument of the state. Together with the preserved hospitals of Jelendol and Zgornji Hrastnik it was declared a cultural monument in 1952. All 26 buildings still stand. They are maintained by the Novo Mesto department of the Institute for the Protection of Cultural Heritage of the Republic of Slovenia, and the museum display has been provided since 1994 by the Dolenjska Museum of Novo Mesto and its Kočevski Rog branch at Lukov Dom near BAZA 20.
Most of the timber is still original and it is our intention to preserve it as much as possible in the future. Small repairs and maintenance work are carried out when they are required. Another restored facility is Bunker 44 in the immediate vicinity of BAZA 20.
The role and significance of BAZA 20 are presented in a permanent display in building 16. Building 22 houses a display on the scope and variety of partisan activity in the Rog area. Particular attention is paid to Rog hospitals and workshops. Their beginnings date back to June 1942 when the first hospital was founded on Daleč Hrib and the first workshops were set up in the village of Podstenice. Both locations were destroyed during the Rog Offensive.
For this reason, later hospitals were well camouflaged and workshops were moved to watermills and sawmills in Stare Žage. The display also features the activities of the Scientific Institute, Monetary Institute and the education and culture department of the Presidency of the National Liberation Struggle.
At Lukov Dom, visitors can see a short film about Kočevski Rog and hire a guide.

BAZA 20 ,
All rights of this site are reserved. Avtor: Boštjan Burger, September 2005, tekst: Jože Saje (Dolenjski muzej)