• Short Summary

    JOSIP BROZ TITO HAS BEEN THE LEADER OF YUGOSLAVIA FOR OVER TWENTY YEARS. HE WAS?

  • Description

    JOSIP BROZ TITO HAS BEEN THE LEADER OF YUGOSLAVIA FOR OVER TWENTY YEARS. HE WAS ELECTED PRIME MINISTER IN 1945, TWO YEARS AFTER HE HAD BECOME THE MARSHAL AND PRESIDENT OF A WARTIME PROVISIONAL GOVERNMENT. IN 1953 HE WAS ELECTED PRESIDENT OF THE REPUBLIC OF YUGOSLAVIA, CHAIRMAN OF THE FEDERAL EXECUTIVE COUNCIL AND SUPREME COMMANDER OF THE ARMED FORCES.

    TITO WAS BORN JOSIP BROZ IN 1892 NEAR ZAGREB, CROATIA, THEN PART OF THE AUSTRO-HUNGARIAN EMPIRE. HE WAS THE SEVENTH SON OF FIFTEEN CHILDREN OF A CROATIAN BLACKSMITH. HE LEFT SCHOOL AT TWELVE AND WORKED AS A FARM LABOURER, DISHWASHER AND MECHANIC UNTIL HE JOINED THE AUSTRO-HUNGARIAN ARMY.

    IN 1915, BY THIS TIME A REGIMENTAL SERGEANT-MAJOR, TITO WAS CAPTURED ON THE RUSSIAN FRONT AND SENT TO VARIOUS PRISON CAMPS. HE WAS FREED DURING THE RUSSIAN REVOLUTION, AND THEN FOUGHT FOR THREE YEARS WITH THE REVOLUTIONARIES BEFORE RETURNING TO YUGOSLAVIA.

    EVENTUALLY, TITO BECAME A FULL-TIME POLITICAL ORGANISER. FROM 1927 TO 1928 HE WAS THE DISTRICT SECRETARY OF A METAL-WORKERS' UNION AND WAS ACTIVE IN THE ILLEGAL YUGOSLAV COMMUNIST PARTY. HE THEN SPENT OVER SIX YEARS IN PRISON AS A POLITICAL UNDESIRABLE. ON HIS RELEASE IN 1936 HE LEFT THE COUNTRY AND HELPED TO RECRUIT YUGOSLAVS FOR THE INTERNATIONAL BRIGADE IN THE SPANISH CIVIL WAR.

    AFTER THE INVASION OF YUGOSLAVIA BY GERMANY IN 1941 HE ORGANISED THE NATIONAL LIBERATION FRONT OF PARTISAN FORCES AND PROVED TO THE WESTERN POWERS THAT HIS ARMY WAS THE ONLY EFFECTIVE ANTI-GERMAN MOVEMENT IN YUGOSLAVIA. THE TROOPS OF GENERAL DRAJA MIHAILOVIC, WHICH WERE SUPPORTED BY THE ROYAL YUGOSLAV GOVERNMENT IN LONDON, FOUGHT NO MAJOR BATTLE AFTER THE AUTUMN OF 1941. ALTHOUGH THE LEADERSHIP WAS LARGELY COMMUNIST, THE MAJORITY OF TITO'S PARTISANS HAD OTHER, OR NO, POLITICAL AFFILIATIONS. HE WAS ACCLAIMED AS THE NATIONAL LEADER.

    WHEN HE BECAME MARSHAL OF YUGOSLAVIA AND PRESIDENT OF THE NATIONAL LIBERATION COMMITTEE IN NOVEMBER, 1943, TITO DEMANDED THAT THE ALLIES SHOULD CEASE TO RECOGNISE THE EXILED YUGOSLAV GOVERNMENT.

    IN 1944, AFTER THE LIBERATION OF BELGRADE, HE NEGOTIATED WITH ALLIED BACKING A TEMPORARY AGREEMENT BETWEEN HIS OWN NATIONAL COMMITTEE OF LIBERATION AND THE ROYAL YUGOSLAV GOVERNMENT. BUT THE TRUCE BETWEEN TITO'S COMMUNISTS AND THE ROYALISTS LASTED ONLY A FEW MONTHS. IN THE ELECTIONS FOR A CONSTITUENT ASSEMBLY IN THE AUTUMN OF 1945 HE WON A MAJOR VICTORY AT THE HEAD OF THE NATIONAL LIBERATION FRONT. KING PETER II OF YUGOSLAVIA WAS DEPOSED AND A FEDERAL REPUBLIC WAS PROCLAIMED.

    FROM 1945 UNTIL 1953, AS PRIME MINISTER AND MINISTER OF NATIONAL DEFENCE, HE CARRIED THROUGH A POLICY OF EXTENSIVE NATIONALISATION OF INDUSTRY AND LIVING ACCOMMODATION AND OF INVESTMENT IN HYDRO-ELECTRIC SCHEMES AND RAILROAD CONSTRUCTION. LAND REFORM WAS RESTRICTED TO THE BREAKING UP OF LARGE-HOLDINGS ADN THE REDISTRIBUTION OF PLOTS. TITO REJECTED ALL PERSUASION BY THE SOVIET UNION TO FORCE THROUGH COLLECTIVISATION OF AGRICULTURE AGAINST THE WISHES OF THE PEASANT SMALL HOLDERS WHO REPRESENT MOST OF THE POPULATION AND ON WHOM HE HAD RELIED FOR POLITICAL SUPPORT.

    IN 1948, TITO WAS FACED WITH AN ULTIMATUM FROM MARSHAL STALIN OF THE SOVIET UNION -- TO YIELD OR TO STAND ALONE AGAINST THE PRESSURE OF THE SOVIET BLOC. TITO WON THE IMMEDIATE SUPPORT OF HIS CLOSEST ASSOCIATES AND THE YUGOSLAV COMMUNIST PARTY ANSWERED THE ULTIMATUM BY APPEALING FOR UNDERSTANDING, URGING THE SETTLEMENT OF DIFFERENCES BUT REFUSING TO GIVE IN ON THE POINT OF TITO'S INDEPENDENCE.

    THE DRAMA, UNTIL THEN PLAYED IN SECRET, BECAME KNOWN TO THE WORLD IN JUNE, 1948, WHEN THE COMINFORM (COMMUNIST INFORMATION BUREAU) EXPELLED YUGOSLAVIA FORM ITS RANKS, ACCUSING TITO OF "NATIONALISM" AND "TROTSKYISM", OF TREACHERY AND OF CONNIVANCE WITH THE IMPERIALISTS.

    FACED WITH A SOVIET ECONOMIC BLOCKADE, TITO TURNED INCREASINGLY TOWARDS THE NON-COMMUNIST WORLD. HE RECEIVED AID FROM THE UNITED STATES AND SIGNED A MILITARY ALLIANCE WITH GREECE AND TURKEY. AS HE CONTINUED TO MEET THE KREMLIN'S CHALLENGE, TITO'S PRESTIGE GREW AT HOME AND ABROAD. IT BROUGHT HIS PEOPLE MORE SOLIDLY BEHIND HIM THAN EVER BEFORE. HE ABANDONED MOST OF THE POLICIES OF THE EARLY POSTWAR YEARS FOR A SPECIFICALLY YUGOSLAV FORM OF COMMUNISM. THIS IN TIME BECAME KNOWN THROUGHOUT THE WORLD AS TITOISM.

    AFTER STALIN DIED IN 1953, A PROCESS OF NORMALISATION OF RELATIONS WITH THE SOVIET UNION BEGAN. AT THE SAME TIME TITO TRIED TO TIGHTEN LINKS WITH THE WEST AND MAKE NEW CONTACTS WITH ASIAN AND AFRICAN COUNTRIES. WITH THIS AIM HE UNDERTOOK A NUMBER OF STATE VISITS, BEGINNING WITH BRITAIN IN MARCH, 1953.

    IN 1955, MR. KHRUSHCHEV AND MR. BULGANIN, THE NEW SOVIET LEADERS, FLEW TO BELGRADE TO SECURE A BETTER RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN THEIR TWO COUNTRIES. AND, IN 1956, PRESIDENT TITO WAS WARMLY WELCOMED WHEN HE MADE A RETURN VISIT TO MOSCOW. BUT IN NOVEMBER, 1957, AFTER AN INCONCLUSIVE MEETING WITH MR. KHRUSHCHEV, THERE WAS A NEW DISAGREEMENT. THE SOVIET LEADER CALLED FOR YUGOSLAVIA'S FORMAL RETURN TO THE SOVIET BLOC AND AN END TO THE YUGOSLAV THEORISING.

    TITO REFUSED TO DO THIS AND DECLINED AN INVITATION TO MOSCOW TO SIGN A NEW SOVIET BLOC JOINT DECLARATION. THEN, IN 1958, HE PUBLISHED A PROVOCATIVE PARTY PROGRAMME WHICH STRUCK AT MANY OF MOSCOW'S BASIC IDEOLOGICAL CONCEPTIONS. HE WAS IMMEDIATELY CRITICISED FOR THIS BY PRAVDA, THE SOVIET OFFICIAL NEWSPAPER, AND A NEW ANTI-YUGOSLAV CAMPAIGN BEGAN. TITO REPLIED TO SOVIET CHARGES OF REVISIONISM WITH A NEW ASSURANCE. "WE ARE REVISIONISTS," HE SAID, "IF THAT IS HOW PEOPLE ARE DESCRIBED WHO HAVE REVISED WHAT THEY FELT WAS WRONG IN PRACTICE."
    THE YUGOSLAVIAN COMMUNIST PARTY RECENTLY ANNOUNCED PLANS FOR SWEEPING ECONOMIC REFORMS DESIGNED TO RAISE LIVING STANDARDS, INCREASE COMPETITION IN INDUSTRY, SUPPRESS BUREAUCRACY AND CURBS ON INDIVIDUAL INITIATIVE AND BOOST TRADE WITH THE WEST. AND ITS LEADER, PRESIDENT TITO, HAS DEMANDED A "TOP-TO-BOTTOM" RE-ORGANISATION OF THE PARTY ITSELF.

  • Tags

  • Data

    Film ID:
    VLVAC6TWP86VOK86NHN50HCOR58Q8
    Media URN:
    VLVAC6TWP86VOK86NHN50HCOR58Q8
    Group:
    Reuters - Source to be Verified
    Archive:
    Reuters
    Issue Date:
    30/09/1966
    Sound:
    Unknown
    HD Format:
    Available on request
    Stock:
    Black & White
    Duration:
    00:07:16:00
    Time in/Out:
    /
    Canister:
    N/A

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