Peter Božič

Peter Božič

1932-2009 (location 23A/2/13)

He attended the primary school in Novo mesto and Maribor. During the World War II, he and his family were exiled to Wroclaw, where he continued schooling, and then to Freiburg near Dresden, where in 1945 he experienced firebombing of the city. He spent many days in German shelters and bunkers. These events had a traumatic effect on him. After the liberation he attended the classic grammar school in Maribor, where he participated in a drama group and socialized with authors of the illegal newsletter Iskanja (including Polde Bibič, Jože Pučnik, Marjan Belina),for which he was convicted of anti-state activity in 1951, obtaining a five-year prohibition of teaching, but a year later the punishment was cancelled.

He studied forestry in Ljubljana, then he studied Slavic studies at the Faculty of Arts. He lived off writing, and after serving in the military, he worked as a laboratory assistant in Polje, a librarian in Jesenice and a teacher in Krvava Peč in Dolenjska. He lived a very bohemian life at the time, so he never finished his studies. Later he was an independent author, journalist, editor and employee at the then Association of Cultural Organisations of Slovenia (ZKOS) and the Ministry of Culture. He was the editor of magazines Mentor and Maske (Masks) and he was also actively involved in the magazines of the so-called critical generation Beseda (Word), Revija 57 (Magazine 57) and Perspektive (Perspectives), with the experimental theatre group Pekarna (Bakery). He was a mentor to youth writers, because he was convinced that literary writing is hard work. Until the cancellation of the alternative theatre group Oder 57 he was the most radical playwright of his generation.

He became politically active during the process of Slovenian independence. He was a member of political parties DEMOS and LDS. He was a Ljubljana city council for a number of years, the Head of the Cultural and Research Activities Department at the City Council of the City of Ljubljana, the Head of the Commission for Naming Streets and Settlements, a member of the Council of the Ljubljana City Theatre, member of the Management Board of the NK Olimpija Ljubljana football club, etc. In 2004 he co-founded the movement Forum 21. He was also known as the member of the round table Rolanje po sceni (Rolling on the Scene), a satire column of the magazine Mladina, where he was dubbed as Voščenka (Crayon), and a permanent guest of the Ljubljana PEN. He was an engaged public intellectual, recognized by his tiny physique, vivaciousness and hot temper.

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