SEVNICA, Slovenia—This is a country full of delicious things, “like a box of chocolates,” people say, poised between Venice and Dubrovnik, between green mountains and the turquoise Adriatic Sea. And this history-rich town dominated by a Medieval castle gave Donald Trump his eye-catching third wife, Melania, now the first lady of the United States.
So people here are proud. Especially in the old Communist times, when Melanija Knavs was born on April 26, 1970, who’d have thought such a thing possible? Her past, her present, and her future generate endless anecdotes and all sorts of speculation. Indeed, there’s almost a cult around Melania, but it’s more about the idea of her than about the woman herself. Townsfolk say she hasn’t been back here in at least a decade.
One of her local biographers, Bojan Pozar, suggests “either her immigration paperwork has some hidden dark sides or something terrifies her in Slovenia.” But he doesn’t offer specifics. Back in 1992 Melania moved from Slovenia to work as a fashion model in Austria, Italy, and France. An ambitious woman, it seems she decided to draw a line between her past and future and never come back to her life in Slovenia.
Melanija Knavs spent more than 20 years of her life in Slovenia most of them in this little town of some 5,000 people where everybody pretty much knows everybody. Some in Sevnica like to talk about the way the Knavs family has prospered thanks to their daughter’s marriage, and wonder, as an old Slovenian saying goes, if she “supports three corners of the house.” And some have hurried to cash in on her fame with businesses linked to her good fortune, or books that feed the developing Melania cult.Read More...
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