Belica, Dobrova–Polhov Gradec - History


A bronze plaque in the Belca Gorge (Slovene: Belška grapa) above Belica has cultural heritage status. This memorial commemorates the Second World War Partisan First Battalion of the Dolomite Detachment. The bronze plaque was installed to replace an earlier stone plaque, and it reads: "Passersby, pause. In the Belca Gorge on 19 March 1943, 22 men from the First Battalion of the Dolomite Detachment of the National Liberation Army and Partisan Detachments of Slovenia, including the commandant of the battalion, the people's hero Vladimir "Lado" Dolničar, a.k.a. Rudi, fell in a battle with the Italians, Germans, and White Guard." Dolničar committed suicide after being seriously injured in order to evade capture.

In August 1963, the Belca Gorge was the site where the anti-communist revolutionary Janez Toplišek (1930–1965) was ambushed by the Yugoslav secret police and taken into custody. Toplišek had crossed the border from Austria with weapons and propaganda material, unwittingly accompanied by two Yugoslav secret police agents. After his arrest he was initially imprisoned with other enemies of the communist regime at the Goli Otok prison camp, and then moved to the Stara Gradiška prison, where he was killed during an escape attempt on 15 November 1965.

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