CWRU Links
Encyclopedia of Cleveland History

SLOVENIAN AMERICAN NATIONAL COUNCIL

SLOVENIAN AMERICAN NATIONAL COUNCIL

The SLOVENIAN AMERICAN NATIONAL COUNCIL (Slovenski Ameriski Narodni Svet) attempted to unite Americans of Slovenian heritage to assist the occupied homeland during World War II. Leaders from Slovenian-American fraternal societies organized under the Yugoslav Relief Committee to collect funds for shipments of food, clothing, and medicine, but many felt that a stronger effort was necessary. On 5 Dec. 1942, the Slovenian Natl. Congress convened in the SLOVENIAN NATL. HOME, with 528 representatives from organizations across the nation. Members, urged to put their differences aside and work together, formed the Slovenian American Natl. Council to work for the liberation of Slovenian territories and their union as a state within a free, federated Yugoslavia. Author Louis Adamic was made honorary president. Telegrams were sent to Pres. Roosevelt, Cleveland mayor FRANK J. LAUSCHE, and Washington and European officials.

SANC tried to remain politically neutral, but eventually had to decide which liberation faction to support. Adamic backed Titoist partisan forces, causing many conservative and Catholic members to withdraw from the council. SANC worked with Croatian and Serbian groups. Over 100 SANC branches were established in the U.S. and Canada. Periodic conventions passed resolutions on issues such as civil rights for Slovenian minorities in Italy and Austria. In the postwar years, SANC was criticized for its direct dealings with a Communist government; in 1948 it was cited by the House Committee on Un-American Activities. In Slovenia, SANC's distributed over $1 million in cash, food, clothing, and medical supplies and equipment, especially to Ljubljana Children's Hospital. Funds were disbursed by 1951, and the council formally disbanded in 1953.