Rudi Bašelj

Rudi Bašelj on the Bohinj railway in front of Bukovo tunnel near his home

Rudi Bašelj was a Slovenian NLS fighter, combat engineer and saboteur, who was born on April 18th, 1918 in Pušnik – Bukovski vrh, he died on December 6th, 1979 in Koritnica. In November 1943 he joins partisans, when he returned from the Italian army after the their capitulation. He made good use of gained mining experience and until the end of the war, he made 37 more serious mining actions. He participated in the demolition of three out of seven destroyed bridges in Baška grapa and in the attack on an enemy outpost in Koritnica. He mined in the Cerkno region, on Jelovica, on Upper Carniola railway and places in the Littoral region towards Postojna. The reputation of a reliable cold-blooded miner with steel nerves gripped him.


He experienced the most dramatic action in the night from 22nd to 23rd April 1944, when as a miner of a divergent group of 31. division he participated in the destruction of the main warehouse with 700 barrels of motor fuel, which was stored by the German army in Postojna cave. In the mining group were also Tadeusz Sadowsky – Tomo, Srečko Tušar, Milan Lipičar, and Dušan Štrukelj. Rudi had already set the explosive when they predicted that only arson would guarantee success. Rudi takes out a handkerchief from his pocket, folds in it a small rock, burns it and throws it … The cave was caught by a monstrous flame, which set his suit on fire. He fell behind his comrades. They returned three times and search for him, but had to abandon the search because of the smoke and heat. Rudi wandered burnt through the unlit cave for 48 hours, successfully evaded Germans, and with a lot of luck found a way out and then found the connection with partisans. He was sent to hospital of Dolomiti detachment. After twelve days he almost forced his discharge papers and in Otlica surprised the headquarters of 31. division. He got sick by pneumonia and typhoid. During his treatment on Bukovski vrh, he was tracked down by Germans and was taken to Gorica prisons. On April 31st, 1945 his doors to freedom opened. He immediately joined his unit in Dolenja Trebuša. On January 8th, 1946 he was demobilized.

Rudi Bašelj (in the middle) – on shooting of the movie The only way out (si. Edini izhod)
Rudi Bašelj tells about his action to the school youth

At the anniversary of the arson, he was decorated with medal Contribution for the nation, with Order for bravery III. degree and with Partisan star II. degree.

Corporation Zastava film from Beograd, in the year 1959, showed the action in feature color film titled The only way out (en. Edini izhod), which was fairly unlucky directed by Vicko Raspor and Aleksander Petrović. In the year 1960, writer France Štiglič summed up the testimonies of alive participants of their heroic effort, also from Rudi Bašelj, in documentary reportage recording titled V objemu podzemlja (en. In the embrace of the underworld). For director and screenwriter Milan Ljubić, this documentary recording was a basis for his movie with the same title, which he recorded in Yugoslav-Poland co-production in the year 1972 in Warsaw.


travel-slovenia-link-on-othertravel-slovenia-link-on-other2See other historical figures!


Koritnica is a smaller settlement on the right bank of river Bača in municipality Tolmin and one of six settlements, which are located at the bottom of Baška grapa. The settlement was one of the locations of the shooting of movie On our own land. Koritnica is attested in written sources in 1377 as Coritinicha. [_Read more_]

Baška grapa
Baška grapa is 30 kilometers long valley of river Bača, which is trapped between Lower Bohinj mountains (si. Spodnje Bohinjske gore) on the north and Porezen, Kojca and Šentvid mountain and Cerkno hills on the south. Ridges around Baška grapa do not exceed 2000 meters. [_Read more_]

Bohinj railway
Bohinj railway runs between Jesenice – Nova Gorica – Trieste, in times of Austria-Hungary monarchy it was an important part of railway Prague – Trieste. It is 144 kilometers long, from 717 kilometers long railway. Bohinj railway includes 89 kilometers ob Bohinj and 55 kilometers of Karst railway. [_Read more_]

France Štiglič
France Štiglič is Slovenian movie director and screenwriter, who was born on November 12th, 1919 in Kranj, he died on May 4th, 1993 in Ljubljana. He was also NLS partisan and journalist, in Ljubljana, he studied law. After the war, he was among the leading organizers of the movie industry in Slovenia. [_Read more_]

travel-slovenia-na-svoji-zemljiOn our own land
The movie On our own land is the first Slovenian sound full-length feature film, which was for the first time played on November 21st 1948 in Ljubljana. It is a war movie, filmed in year 1947 and 1948 in black-white technique. The story talks about a struggle of Partisans and civil residents on Primorska. [_Read more_]