An Honorable Membership

Stane lived in Velenje, Slovenia, and hitchhiked in Europe since he was 17 years old. Due to his extensive travel experience he was asked to become a group leader for a Yugoslavian youth exchange organisation. Velenje had been a town twinning member of a circle of towns since 1970.

Whenever I wanted some sources like getting buses or getting money for lunches and things like that, I always had to go to the committee chief. He wanted to know details and he was trying to persuade me that we should do more political. Yes, I did it once. When the group from Schiedam was in Velenje in ’77. They were invited to the town hall. And I said to this politkomisar, I said, “Let’s do a special thing. Give these kids an Honorable Membership Cards for the Socialist Youth Union. He was proud that, and later on, he was speaking about that, that we have now new members of the Yugoslav Socialist Union from outside the country. It was fun for me. It was the biggest fun for the Dutchmen. Otherwise, no, as I said, I never accepted that politics would interfere with this kind of exchange, exchanges.