BLOODY FOSTER MOTHERS
Foster placement abuse cases in the first half of the 19th century
Fearing the shame of illegitimate pregnancy and birth, Carniolan women often preferred to give birth in the remote city of Trieste rather than in nearby Ljubljana. They often left their newborn child there. Foundling homes placed these children with families in the countryside in exchange for remuneration. Foster families usually gladly accepted these children because they provided a stable annual source of income. However, the institution of remuneration was often abused when the foster child died and its foster parents kept receiving foster care payment. The records of the Provincial Court in Ljubljana contain case files from 1817–1823 that deal with such scapegraces. An extensive investigation focused on many cases of murder because foster children often died not long after they were placed in the family, after which their foster mothers showed other children to the foster care committee and kept receiving remuneration. However, such parents were sentenced and penalized only for fraud. Married parents sometimes performed a particularly dirty kind of profit-making because they first left their own children in a foundling home and then signed a contract to become their foster parents. It is interesting that the provincial court saw this not as fraud but as a matter of civil law.
THE IMAGE OF THE JEW IN “MOHORJANA” IN THE SECOND HALF OF THE 19TH CENTURY
Although Jews had been driven out of the main Slovene provinces – Carinthia, Carniola and Styria – in the 15th and at the beginning of the 16th century, anti-Semitism spread rapidly among Slovenes in the second half of the 19th century. Anti-Semitic sentiment in Slovenia developed under the strong influence of Viennese anti-Semitism. Anti-Semitic ideas were spread by the daily press and other publications. These included publications by the Družba sv. Mohorja (St. Mohor Society) publishing house, whose portrayal of the Jews in Slovenia in the second half of the 19th century was mostly negative.
EGIDIJ FUX, A MISANTHROPE FROM METLIKA AND A CANDIDATE FOR EXECUTIONER
In 1922, a 57-year-old former mail clerk, Egidij Fux, applied for the post of public executioner in the Kingdom of Serbs, Croats and Slovenes, stating that he wished to thus exact revenge on the human race with impunity. Such applications were not uncommon in late-nineteenth and earlytwentieth century Europe, as executioners were public figures, followed by the media. The official position of executioner in the newly created Kingdom is briefly analyzed. A long-time assistant to the retired executioner was appointed to the post, while the outsider Fux was turned down because of his age. It is suggested that the authorities failed to recognize the subversive character of the application filed by Fux.
THE PREKMURJE UPPER CLASSES AT THE BEGINNING OF THE 20TH CENTURY
The article deals with the economic and social situation in Prekmurje at the beginning of the 20th century with a focus on Murska Sobota and its inhabitants. It singles out the social stratum that had the biggest influence on the life of the people of Prekmurje at the beginning of the 20th century. The Prekmurje elites under scrutiny include priests, merchants, craftsmen and Prekmurje Jews.
“DER HUDIČ IST HIER ZU HAUSE” – BETWEEN POVERTY, MUSIC, PORTRAITS OF UNKNOWN PREDECESSORS, SCHIZOPHRENIA AND EUTHANASIA
The destinies of Valvasor’s last descendants in Slovenia in the first half of the 20th century and their cultural art heritage
The article deals with four different destinies among families of the last four descendants of the Carniolan polymath J. V. Valvasor (1641–1693). These families lived on the territory of Slovenia (his descendants live abroad even today) until 1941. Their common feature was that none had any descendants, none spoke Slovene as their mother tongue and that probably none was aware they were related to Valvasor. Their stories are quite decadent at first sight. They feature destinies of people from the most turbulent century in recent human history, who also happened to live in one of the bloodiest parts of Central Europe. It would be difficult to find a more assorted group of people, who, with the exception of geographical origin, had only one common denominator: the same predecessor, Von Dienersperg, who was Valvasor’s only grandson out of 13 who had legitimate descendants. More attention is dedicated to two individuals in particular among the eight last “Slovene Valvasorians”: the composer Rudolf Weis-Ostborn, the only one to make regional history, and the unfortunate victim of Nazi euthanasia, Karl Mayer, who left behind the highest number of personal accounts. Other people’s life stories are also of interest, from the point of view of both their characteristics and the way they aroused scholarly interest. Finally, the story features a unique trove of manuscripts and a collection of ancestral portraits that were a mystery even to their owners, the Kofler family from Kog pri Ormožu, who knew not whom they represented nor how important they could become one day in shedding light on Valvasor’s “unknown” posterity.
WOMAN ON THE MEDICAL MAP
The position and activities of women in medicine with a special focus on the Slovene woman doctor
Until the Late Middle Ages women worked autonomously as healers and were the only medical support for women (as midwives) and the poorer social strata. However, they completely lost this position in the Early Modern Period. It was only in the second half of the 19th century that women began to enter medical faculties. Gradually, they entered all fields of medicine, so that today there are hardly any medical subspecialties not co-created by women. The main part of the article presents the main characteristics and particularities of the position of women in Slovene medicine over the past 100 years.