The reactions of Maribor’s citizens to Hitler’s visit and the subsequent Nazi occupation were diverse, reflecting the city’s heterogeneous population and the multifaceted, often conflicting attitudes towards the Nazis.

Some individuals initially welcomed the Nazis and Hitler’s visit. For a portion of Slovene nationalists, the German annexation appeared preferable compared to the previous rule by the Kingdom of Yugoslavia. They may have welcomed Hitler, hoping for increased autonomy or acknowledgement of their cultural identity. Moreover, the ethnic Germans residing in Maribor might have enthusiastically supported the annexation.

On the other hand, many people staunchly opposed the Nazis. Slovenia had a robust resistance movement during World War II, which was notably active in Maribor and its surrounding area. These individuals likely viewed Hitler’s visit and the subsequent occupation with apprehension, indignation, or defiance.

The Jewish community, which was significant prior to the war, was particularly vulnerable. As the Nazis began enforcing their policies of persecution and extermination, numerous Jews from Maribor were deported to concentration camps, where the majority were killed.

Furthermore, the occupation precipitated economic difficulties, escalated political oppression, and disturbed everyday life for many citizens, leading to widespread discontent.

It is crucial to recognize the diversity of experiences and responses during this time. While some individuals welcomed the Nazis, many others either resisted, endured adversity, or fell victim to Nazi policies. The legacy of this period is a complex and significant part of Maribor’s history.

Hitler in Maribor city. License: CC BY-SA 3.0 DE, author: Unknown