Maribor underwent significant events during World War II, which had profound consequences for its inhabitants and the city’s evolution in the post-war period. Here are some of the major occurrences:

  1. Annexation by Nazi Germany: Following the Axis Powers’ invasion of Yugoslavia in April 1941, Maribor, along with the entirety of Lower Styria, was annexed by Nazi Germany.
  2. Adolf Hitler’s Visit: Hitler visited Maribor shortly after its annexation in April 1941, delivering a speech in which he announced that Maribor and Lower Styria would become “purely German” in the coming years.
  3. Mass Deportations: German forces initiated widespread deportations of Slovenes to Serbia and Eastern Europe. Maribor’s Jewish community was also almost entirely deported and subsequently perished in the Holocaust.
  4. Germanization: The Nazis initiated a process of Germanization in the city, which involved renaming the city to “Marburg an der Drau”, suppressing the Slovene language, and introducing ethnic Germans to repopulate the region.
  5. Resistance Movements: Resistance movements, such as the Liberation Front of the Slovene Nation, emerged and conducted acts of sabotage and armed resistance against the occupying forces.
  6. Bombing Campaigns: As the end of the war neared, Maribor experienced heavy bombing by the Allies due to its strategic importance as a transportation hub.
  7. Liberation: The city was liberated by the Yugoslav Partisans on May 9, 1945.

These incidents had significant and enduring effects on Maribor, leading to loss of life, extensive damage to the city’s infrastructure, and shifts in its demographic composition. The events of World War II are a crucial part of Maribor’s history and have played a pivotal role in shaping the city as it stands today.

Hitler standing on Old Bridge in Maribor
People being deported
Maribor resistence movement
Maribor rebels burning two german cars
Germans retaliate and shoot rebels
Alies bomb the city
City Liberation by Partisans