Koroška dijaška zveza – KDZ (Carinthian Slovenes)

address: Spengergasse 11

place: 9020 Celovec/Klagenfurt

phone: +43 66 412 86765

e-mail: kdz@gmx.at



The Kärntner Studentenverband was found in 1968, as a platform for political and cultural work – especially for young members of the Carinthian Slovenian minority (students between the age of 14 and 20 years). The KDZ organizes concerts, seminars and lectures and is keen on preserving the Slovenian language. By being a member of KDZ, youngsters should get to know more about the structures of the Carinthian Slovenes.



Settlement area

Mainly south of the river Drau in the vallies Zilja/Gailtal, Rož/Rosental, and Podjuna/Jauntal.


Settlement on the East Alps by the Alpine Slavs about 550. As a result, the independant Slavian dukedom Carinthia was established, which was intigrated into the Franconian Empire in 828, during which the Slavian princes were substituted by the Bavarian- Franconians. In 1335 this territory was taken by the Habsburgs. The first book in Slovenian, the “Catechismus“, was published in 1551 by Primož Trubar. During the nineteenth century, the national self-awareness of the Slovenians was roused, and it came to the foundation of the first associations. The schools up to this time uniquely Slovenian, lead by clericals had been substituted by bilingual schools in 1891. After the collapse of the monarchy in Austria-Hungary, in 1918 the Kingdom of Serbians, Croats and Slovenians (SHS) was founded. Between 1918 and 1919 it came to a border war between the newly founded SHS-kingdom and the Austrian Republic. Finally the border dispute was ended by the plebicite of 10. 10. 1920, in which the majority favoured Austria. After Austria joined Hitler-Germany (1938), the use of the Slovenian language in public became forbidden, Slovenian associations closed down and Slovenian teachers and priests were banished. In 1942, more than 1200 Carinthian Slovenians had been deported. At the same time it came to an armed resistance of Carinthian Slovenians against the NSRegime. In 1955 the Austrian State Convention (Staatsvertrag) was signed, in which article 7 contains the regulations for the protection of minorities which have not been carried out up to now. By reason of the 1959 proclamed minorities-protection-law, chidren must be expressionly enrolled for biligual education (until 1958 bilingual education was obligatory). With the signpost-law (Ortstafelgesetz) 1972 bilingual inscriptions on the topographical signs had been decreed, and partly established, but then in the so-called “Ortstafelsturm“, removed by national German-Carinthians. As a result of the politically strained relations, a restrictive ethnic group law was agreed on in 1976, which is still in power. Since the amendment of the minorities-school-law in 1988, pupils in South Carinthian have been divided into bilingual and German-speaking classes. A comparison between the census in 1980 and today shows an high grade of assimilaton: at that time 85.051 persons in the same area declared themselves as members of the Slovenian ethnic group.

Political Situation

The Carithian Slovenians are politically represented by two organisations, the more liberal “Slowenischen Zentralverband (ZSO)“ – (Slovenian Central-Association), and the more conservative “Rat der Kärntner Slovenen (NSKS)“ – (Council of the Carinthian Slovenians). Together with the pastoral administration of the Catholic Church, and the parties which have seats in the Carinthian State parliament, they form the advisory board at the Federal Chancellery, which has only a consultative function. Aside from a large integration of the Carithian Slovenians in the major parties ( at the Federal level in preference the Green party and at regional level the social democratic party), there is an independent Slovenian party, the Unity List (Einheitsliste – EL) which at community and Federal level stands for election and takes, together with some Slovenian communal lists, 50 seats at time. Part of the Unity List (EL) is the Association of South Carinthian farmers (Gemeinschft Südkärntener Bauern), which holds two seats in the Carinthian Chamber of Agriculture (Lanwirtschaftskammer). In addition, there is a Slovenian economic list which holds a seat in the Carinthian Chamber of Commerce. Further political factors of the ethnic group are the Political Administrative Academy (PUAK) And the students-clubs in Klagenfurt/Celevec, Graz und Wien.


There are two cultural associations: the Slovenian Cultural Association (Slowenischer Kulturverband – SPZ) and the Christian Cultural Association (Christlicher Kulturverband – KKZ) which combine about 60 local cultural organisations, engaged in music (choirsinging) and interpretative arts (amateur theatre, puppet show). The instrumental music is cultivated by the private Slovenian music-school (with about 300 Students). The most important repesentatives of Slovenian literature are Milka Hartmann, Janko Messner, Valentin Polansek, Forian Lipus and Gustav Janus. Further more the Carinthian Slovenians have three publishing houses: St. Hermagoras Bruderschaft, Drava und Verlag Wiesner.


In addition to 5 private nursery schools owned by the Carinthian Slovenians, some municipalities have recently been running bilingual kindergartens. In the primary schools there is the possibility to enroll the children in bilingual classes. In the 82 primary schools in South Carinthia, at present 20 % of the pupils are enrolled. If there is a sufficient interest, the possibility of bilingual education at primary schools is also given outside of the bilingual territory (at the time in Klagenfurt/Celovec). In the sector of middle und higher education there are in Klagenfurt the “Bundesgymnasium“ and “Bundesrealgymnasium“ for Slovenians from which more than 1000 have graduated, and also in Klagenfurt the biligual commercial college. Furthermore, there are two private schools under public law. They are the agricultural college in Völkermarkt/Velikovec und the bilingual business college (Zweisprachige höhere und mittlere Schule für wirtschftliche Berufe) in St Jacob im Rosental/St. Jacob v Rozu. In total nearly 2500 pupils of all kinds of schools in Carinthian get their education in bilingual, respectively Slovenian, classes. The most important centre of adult education for Carinthian Slovenians is the “katholische Bildungsheim SODALITAS“ in Tainach/Tinje.


The weekly Austrian Television Broadcasting (Österreichischer Rundfunk ORF) offers a half hour broadcast in Slovenian weekly and the radio broadcasts about 50 minutes in Slovenian daily. There are three Slovenian weeklys: the church periodical NEDELJA, SLOVENSKI VESTNIK (ZSO), and naš tednik (NSKS). Further Slovenian periodicals are: the students paper PUNT, the school magazine “Mladi rod“ and the culture magazine “Celovški Zvon“. On the regional level, bilingual quarterly journals of the independent Slovenian lists in the municipalities appear.


The bilingual region ist placed in the economical borderland of Austria, and as can be expected, the income and unemployment rate is high, which causes a large exodus. The Carinthian Slovenians have an associaton of Slovenian co-operatives in in Klagenfurt/ Celovec, which coordinates 9 credit banks with 20 branches, 8 stock stores with 7 branches and a cattle-breader-co-operative. In addition, there is a Slovenian economic co-operation, the “Slovenska gospodarska zveza“.


There are some Slovenian respectively biligual sport clubs. Among these are the Slovenian sport association (Slovenischer Sportverband – SSZ) as the parent organization of 21 Sport clubs. The most important of them are in Klagenfurt/Celovec the Slowenische Athletikklub (SAK; a football team), as well as on the regional level the sport clubs Achomitz/Zahomec, Aich/Dob and St. Johann/St. Janž.

Financial situation

All Slovenian institutions and associations are financed mainly by the Austrian Federal Chancellery and the Slovenian Republic in addition to private sponsors. At present the Carinthian Slovenians are sponsored by Austria with a little more than 10 million Schillings, Slovenia supplies about twice as much.