For the new location of the political leadership, a deep Karstic
hollow was selected just below the altitude of 708 metres not
far from Červan road. The decision was influenced by the configuration
of the terrain, thick vegetation, accessibility, possibility
of bringing in supplies and, above all, security. During the
Rog Offensive, the Jurče partisan troop set up camp in the hollow
for several days, without being discovered by Italians.
The first building in BAZA 20 was constructed when the leadership
was still stationed in Polhograjski Dolomiti. The leadership
moved to BAZA 20 on 17 April 1943. The number of inhabitants
grew steadily and new buildings were added. The first buildings
were constructed with timber from the Italian Emona company,
whereas for later buildings, material was secured in villages
at the foot of Rog. Wooden boards were hewn at the Spreitzer
sawmill in Stare Žage and at a sawmill in Soteska. Doors and
already glazed windows were taken from the abandoned Götscher
houses, but tools and other necessary material were procured
in shops in the valley.
BAZA 20 provided home and working environment members of the
Executive Committee of the Liberation Front, Supreme Council
of the Liberation Front, Central Committee of the Communist
Party of Slovenia, Anti-Fascist Council of the National Liberation
of Yugoslavia (AVNOJ) and Agitation and Propaganda Commission,
for editors of periodicals and others.
By the Italian capitulation on 9 September 1943, thirteen buildings
had been erected. In addition to those accommodating the members
of the leadership, a radio and telegraph building, a radio station,
a kitchen and two dormitories for the kitchen staff and the
guards were constructed. In 1944 a kitchen warehouse was built
along with a separate kitchen and warehouse for the guard battalion,
an electric power plant, two dormitories for the guards and
propaganda activists and additional buildings for the Liberation
Front and Communist Party of Slovenia.
The number of inhabitants of BAZA 20 kept expanding. In the
summer of 1944 it accommodated some 140 individuals, while according
to some estimates, by autumn the population had risen to as
many as 180 people. Thanks to exceptional security and camouflage
measures, BAZA 20 was never discovered.
BAZA 20 is the only such headquarters of a European resistance
movement which is still preserved. It has become an important
monument of the Slovene state. Together with the preserved hospitals
of Jelendol and Zgornji Hrastnik it was declared a cultural
monument in 1952. All 26 buildings still stand. They are maintained
by the Novo Mesto department of the Institute for the Protection
of Cultural Heritage of the Republic of Slovenia, and the museum
display has been provided since 1994 by the Dolenjska Museum
of Novo Mesto and its Kočevski Rog branch at Lukov Dom near
BAZA 20. With the financial assistance of the Ministry of Culture,
two to four buildings are restored annually, depending on the
condition of each building. The two hospitals are entirely restored;
in BAZA 20 priority was given to buildings in the poorest condition.
The biggest problem is humidity and the frequent damage caused
by winter conditions. The most exposed parts are roofs and rafters.
Most of the timber is still original and it is our intention
to preserve it as much as possible in the future. Small repairs
and maintenance work are carried out when they are required.
Another restored facility is Bunker 44 in the immediate vicinity
of BAZA 20.
The role and significance of BAZA 20 are presented in a permanent
display in building 16. Building 22 houses a display on the
scope and variety of partisan activity in the Rog area. Particular
attention is paid to Rog hospitals and workshops. Their beginnings
date back to June 1942 when the first hospital was founded on
Daleč Hrib and the first workshops were set up in the village
of Podstenice. Both locations were destroyed during the Rog
Offensive. For this reason, later hospitals were well camouflaged
and workshops were moved to watermills and sawmills in Stare
Žage. The display also features the activities of the Scientific
Institute, Monetary Institute and the education and culture
department of the Presidency of the Slovene National Liberation
At Lukov Dom, visitors can see a short film about Kočevski
Rog and hire a guide.