Goga Publishing’s Miha Mazzini in Germany
Miha Mazzini, one of Goga Publishing’s and, in fact, Slovenia’s most eminent writers, has recently returned from a short book tour in Germany. Mazzini was promoting Du existierst nicht, the German translation of Izbrisana (Erased), published by Converso and translated by Ann Catrin Bolton.
photo: Lisa Unger-Fischer
“After all these years, this is still the elephant in the room. People don’t want to talk about it.”
– Miha Mazzini
rights sold: Germany, Italy, Hungary, Serbia, North Macedonia, Poland
first published in 2014
full translation in English available upon request
The novel – tagged “true crime” in German – tells the story of a young woman who was suddenly “erased” from official records. Though she’s lived in Slovenia all her life, she’s suddenly become a foreigner, a non-person, which technically made her newborn an orphan.
As unbelievable as it sounds, this fictitious story is based on true events. “The Erased” were people in Slovenia who had legal rights to reside in the country but were unlawfully deprived of their legal status after 1991, the year of Slovenia’s independence. In 1992, an administrative procedure “erased” around 25000 people from official registers, robbing them not only of their passparts, but medical insurance and social security as well, forcing some to cross the border into the war zone and others to live in hiding. The Slovenian Peace Institute has gatheres several testimonies.
When a country begins its independence with erasing 2% of its citizens, then the remaining 98% better be prepared for anything.
– Miha Mazzini in an interview for Süddeutsche Zeitung
As Mazzini points out, this political scandal is by no means the only one to retroactively strip some people of their citizenshipand make them stateless persons. Similar events took place in India, the Dominican Republic, Myanmar, and the UK (“Windrush Scandal”).
Miha Mazzini also wrote and directed an award-winning feature film with the same title.