Slovenia Partisan Printing Shop

During the national liberation struggle, the partisan press played an important connecting role. It propagated armed resistance against the occupying forces and represented a counterweight to widespread enemy propaganda. The need for the Slovene written language was all the greater due to many years of fascist pressures in the Primorska (coastal) region.

The largest and technically best equipped partisan printing shop in the Primorska region was the Slovenia Printing Shop. Following the advice of a local inhabitant, a secret location was selected for the printing shop below the edge of the 1000-metre-high Vojsko plateau above the Kanomljica River valley. In the summer of 1944, the cabins were assembled at the sawmill in Gačnik, and then the numbered beams and boards were transported to the selected location at night. The facilities included an engine room, kitchen and dining room, composing room, bookbindery and an electric plant for supplying power to the printing press with an electric motor. The colleagues of partisan pressmen bought a large, modern electric fast-printing press in Milano and, despite many dangers, illegally transported it to Gorica and then to Vojščica. Here the press was disassembled and carried part by part and with great difficulty to the engine room of the printing shop. A smaller, TIGL printing press was also purchased.

The Slovenia Printing Shop began to operate on 17 September 1944, and the next morning 4000 copies of the Partisan Daily were already dispatched via the courier relay station at Hum. The Partisan Daily was the only daily newspaper to be printed by a resistance movement in occupied Europe. It was issued regularly until the end of the war in a daily edition of 4000 to 7000 copies. The printing shop operated until 1st May 1945 with a staff of 40 to 50 persons. During its operation, a total of 313 different issues were printed on 1274 pages and in 1,394,000 copies. The engraver made a large number of linocuts, and cut as many as 56 different stamps into linoleum or lead with more than 450 specimens.

The printing shop was never discovered by the Germans, not even during their last offensive in the spring of 1945, when fierce battles raged in the direct vicinity of the printing shop and as many as 305 partisan soldiers fell under enemy fire at the above-lying Vojščica. Today, the Slovenia Printing Shop is preserved in its entirety as a cultural and historical monument, and has been open to visitors since 1947. Its printing presses are still operational.

Tigl printing press
Composing room where typesetters prepared texts for printing
Forme for the Partisan Daily

Kitchen in the Slovenia Printing Shop
One of many printing plates made in the printing shop
Letters in type case