SYMBOLS Stories of cultural life.

dr. Vestovšek Karel, professor, politician and patriot

The image of the city of Maribor, engraved in the tombstone is fatally connected with life destiny of here buried. Dr. Karel Vestovšek, professor at the Maribor Classical Gymnasium, state and provincial deputy, has played an important role in dramatic events, which shook Maribor in the months after the end of World War I. In September 1918 he presided over the establishment of the National Council for Styria. A month later, he made a decision that affected the destiny of the city. Before that, as a deputy of Austro-Hungarian monarchy he reached the appointment of Slovenian county governors, which at the beginning of fighting for the northern border took over the administration of Slovenian Styria and submit to the National Government in Ljubljana.

1. November 1918 in the morning, city commander Colonel Anton Holik convened a meeting of commanders of military units in Maribor, both Germans and Slovenians. For Holik it was without question that the city will stay in Austria, at the meeting he proposed the adoption of Memorandum in 12 points. From the latter, it was evident that Maribor is actually still in the German area of influence, that is why Slovenian major Maister protested and left the meeting. A few hours later, he met with president Vestovšek and other members of National Council for Styria. Later that day, major Maister was appointed as general and because of that, Vestovšek was called on defence by the National Government.

With the appointment Maister became legal commander of Slovenian military units in Maribor and on the same day announced military command over the city, also over the city's White-green Guards. This act was strongly opposed by the city council. City councilors were particularly upset by a statement of Dr. Vestovšek at one of previous informal meetings. He claimed that Slovenian units are capable in a relatively short period of time to take control over the city. City council concluded that the public order and peace will be in care of city guard, and units of General Maister must submit to it. In the days of uncertainty that followed, two armies of citizens stood in opposite sides waiting. But luckily, tense situation was resolved in a relatively peaceful manner, thanks to strategy and determination of General Maister. He skillfully carried out the coup on 23. November 1918 in the morning, disarmed Germans city guard and set up Slovenian government of Maribor.

The last attempted violent upheaval by the Maribor Germans took place on 27 January 1919, when the city was visited by international delegations, which determined new European borders. A minute-long shooting incident, known as the "Maribor's bloody Monday", claimed five deaths.

In the same year vigorous negotiations at the peace conference in Paris followed, after which the city belonged to the new state of Serbs, Croats and Slovenes. The city then changed its name, and so Marburg became Maribor.

girl with wreath
weeping willow

Other points at Destiny symbols at Pobrežje cemetery

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