Secret Hospital In Slovenia lead by a young woman who defied the Nazis.

Franja Hospital
Franja Hospital

The hospital the Nazis could never find. The secret hospital lead by a young woman who defied the Nazis.

Every year, people used to gather at Franja Hospital. That’s when it became obvious how popular she was. Victims claim that they remember people screaming “hurray” for Franja at least three times.

Although the victims didn’t understand why they shouted “hurray” for her and not for the soldiers. Simply because both Franja and the soldiers were partisans. Victims claim that Franja truly knew how to spread warmth around her.

The hospital the Nazis couldn’t find.

The barely accessible Pasice gorge in the Slovenian Hills hides a unique hospital. It was run by a young partisan named Franja. She was one of the 20 brave women doctors in the resistance. It is claimed that in the beginning, Franja worked underground. Where she provided medical material as much as she could, and Franja also secretly treated the wounded.

Dr.Franja Bojc Bidovec, doctor in charge at the Franja Partisan Hospital
Dr.Franja Bojc Bidovec, doctor in charge at the Franja Partisan Hospital

After sometime Franja went with Dr. Pavla to the primorska region where she became active as a partisan. Victims treated at the Franja hospital claim that both Franja and Dr. Pavla took over the management of their own hospital.

Franja hospital is a secret partisan hospital that helped wounded partisans of different nationalities during World War Two. The hospital was built gradually. At the end of the war, there were altogether 14 wooden facilities.

Barracks for the wounded and the staff. The Franja hospital was more than a secret hospital hidden in the Slovenian Hills. Because it had a fully equipped operating room, isolation and X-ray rooms, a kitchen, a multi-functional shack with a warehouse and workshop, bathrooms, a laundrette, a house for people with disabilities, and even a power plant.

One might consider the Franja hospital a place that brought nationalities together during the midst of the war. The hospital treated around 600 patients of different nationalities.

The wounded were blindfolded.

The wounded were taken to the hospital mainly at night and blindfolded. Before entering the gorge, they even rotated the stretcher to confuse them, so that they would lose their sense of orientation.

Victims claim that they didn’t treat only the American pilots that were shot down and taken to the Franja hospital, but also Italian soldiers and German soldiers. The Franja hospital basically helped everybody. The youngest patient was a 17-month-old boy from a village nearby.

The Nazis traced the hospital.

The enemy soldiers came close to the hospital twice. They never found it. They took care of their safety with different measures. The most important one was accessed to water. They transported the wounded and the material by water.

Transporting good through water at Franja Hospital
Transporting good through water at Franja Hospital

If there were any visible traces left, they cleaned them up. They even planted trees. They had guards and reconnaissance points throughout the hills. Victims claim that the rocky mountains had caves. Therefore, these caves served as machine gun nests.

From there they defended the entrance to the Gorge. Infact when an offensive was approaching, they transported the wounded to these caves. When it was over, they would take them back to the barracks.

A staged fire.

It is said that Franja and her crew staged a fire to protect the hospital. Which was basically an idea to spread the news that it was true. So that the Nazis would stop tracing the hospital. The rumour was that there was a hospital but the Germans had traced it and burnt it down.

They made a fire so it smoked heavily from the gorge, which meant that the hospital was gone, that it was all over.

A hospital like no other.

No other nation in Europe built hospitals like this during the war. Victims and historians claim that the secret hospital wouldn’t have been possible without the support of the locals. People basically went with their own carriages to pick up the wounded.

Historians claim that the locals also took care of their safety and informed them about the proximity of enemy soldiers. Franja was arrested and sent to prison several times. First, she was arrested by the Germans because she helped the partisans.

Franja Hospital
Franja Hospital

However, she was also arrested by her own, by the partisans. This affected her the most. One of the commissioners came to the hospital because he was wounded. He demanded special treatment, which caused conflict between him and Franja.

He accused her of arrogant behaviour and said that she neglected the wounded. Which meant that she was suspended for a period of time and kept her at the headquarters for about a month and a half.

After the witnesses interrogations, Franja was rehabilitated and sent back to the hospital.

After the war.

Franja specialised in gynaecology. Franja was very successful. She helped many women have babies, she helped women who couldn’t carry out a pregnancy or even conceive. Victims claims that they remember how once a farmer came to her house with a piglet on the stick as a gift for Franja.

Health care was very important to her. Despite her struggle, Franja stood up for every patient. Hence her story will continue to inspire millions around the world.

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