Heritage Trails through Dolenjska and Bela krajina




The construction of Jelendol hospital began in spring 1943 in the valley of Adjunktova Dolina, at a location where the wounded from the first partisan hospital in Rog, the nearby Daleč Hrib, survived the great Italian offensive of the summer of 1942.

First, two shelters that were already there were repaired and a dormitory was added for the wounded, as well as a kitchen and dormitory for personnel. As construction material, timber from the Italian Emona company was used, but because of shortage of nails, wooden wedges were used. The gaps between logs were sealed with moss and the best available insulation material was paper. Stoves for heating were made of petrol barrels or they were constructed from bricks or taken from the deserted Götscher hosues. Wooden boards were procured later in the valley. Roofs were covered with spruce branches, leaves and moss. In this way, the hospital was invisible even from a short distance. Lamps were fuelled with animal fat and carbide or else candles were used. The water supply was secured with a hole drilled in the bottom of a nearby hollow which accumulated water from the surrounding slopes. Access to the hospital was possible only by walking on the trunks of felled trees, whereas in winter, access was allowed only in the most urgent circumstances since even a single footprint in the snow could betray the "snowed-in" hospital. Stocked with food supplies, Jelendol hospital lay quietly under a layer of snow from November 1943 and admitted new wounded in mid-April 1944.

The oldest building in the complex is the dormitory for the wounded. It measures 10 x 6.5 metres and is constructed from rough-hewn logs. Later, it was expanded with two annexes. The building has no windows; daylight penetrated into the interior only through loopholes in the roof. The ground was covered with wooden boards. The bunk beds were raised off the floor and arranged along the long walls of the building.

Directly next to it, a kitchen with a wood shack was built out of wooden boards. The smoke from the kitchen was conducted along a pipe to a smokehouse, a small shack where the smoke cooled down and disappeared into the forest through narrow openings in the walls.

The surgery was erected in autumn 1944. It is made of wooden boards. It has a large corner window with an additional opening in the roof above the window to secure enough light for operations.

Above the surgery, the personnel dormitory stands. The personnel usually consisted of a manager who was also a doctor, a political commissar, superintendent, nurses, carriers of the wounded, a cook, a barber, a laundry woman, a carpenter and a tailor. A staff of about eighteen performed almost all of the necessary work.

The administration building of the Slovene Central War Partisan Hospital was built of rough logs. Every fortnight until mid November 1943, it served as a meeting place for doctors and political commissars of almost all Rog stations.

Jelendol hospital received the first wounded on 6 May 1943and operated until the end of the war. During this time it treated the total of 330 wounded. Twenty-one patients died and are buried in the nearby graveyard.