Franc Rozman - Stane

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Franc Rozman, nicknamed Stane (Slovene convention: Franc Rozman – Stane, 27 March 1911–7 November 1944), was a Slovenian Yugoslav partisan commander in World War II.


Early life

Franc Rozman was born in the Carniolan village of Spodnje Pirniče near Ljubljana, in what was then the Austro-Hungarian Monarchy (now in Slovenia) in a Slovene working class father. His father Franc Rozman was a railway track-worker, while his mother Marjana (née Stare) was a housewife. He was the third of four children, with two elder sisters, Marjeta and Terezija, and a younger brother, Martin.

At the age of three, Rozman's father died on the Eastern Front, where he fought as a soldier in the Austro-Hungarian Army. Rozman had a poor and hard childhood. His sisters Marjeta and Terezija were sent to an orphanage, while Franc and his brother Martin remained in Pirniče. At the age of 15, he worked in a tavern and then trained as an apprentice baker. As a young boy he had great enthusiasm for a military career, but his application to the military school was rejected. In spring 1932, he did his military service in the Yugoslav army.

Military experience prior to WWII

In 1935, after the Italian invasion of Ethiopia, Rozman tried unsuccessfully to join the Ethiopian forces fighting the Italian invaders. Soon after the outbreak Spanish Civil War, he decided to travel to Spain. Rozman was among the first Yugoslav volunteers in Spain, where he, on 1 October 1936 joined the International Brigades. In Jarama he completed non commissioned officers' school, became a lieutenant and a commander of a company, then captain and commander of a battalion. His comrades in arms remembered him as an energetic and earnest person.

After the Spanish Civil War Rozman spent some time in French camps. In April 1941 he went to Meissen, Germany and in July the same year he finally returned home through Germany.

World War two

For a while, Rozman lived with an activist of the Liberation Front of the Slovenian People. In early December 1941, he visited his youngest brother Martin, after which he joined the Slovene partisan resistance. Soon he became a military instructor with the High Command of the Slovene partisan forces. He was given the task of setting up the Styrian Battalion (Štajerski bataljon), which would consist of the partisan troops, the Revirje and the Savinja companies (Revirske in Savinjske čete), which were active in Styria in the autumn of 1941. He participated in the attack on Šoštanj and later in the Battle of Čreta. The Germans repeatedly tried to liquidate Rozman, setting many ambushes.

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