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Old June 6th, 2013, 11:40 PM   #1

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Josip Broz Tito and Yugoslavia


I want to learn a bit more about post war Yugoslavia and why it fell apart, so I'd like to throw out some questions and hear some opinions and facts. Especially interested of people of that area.

- how does history look at him? Is there a different view on him in the West and the East?
- how did the Yugoslavian population see him during his time? Average people, intelligencia, opposition.
- how do people in the former Yugoslavian states see him today?
- was he more a "good" dictator or an "evil" one?
- what were his biggest achievements in your opinion?
- what were his biggest crimes in your opinion?
- what were the reasons for Yugoslavia to break apart?
- how was Yugoslavia seen by the world?
- Can the cultures of former Yugoslavia be seen as actually one culture? If not what are the differences?
- Are Serbian, Croatian, Slovenian and so on dialects of the same language?


Hope I get some good answers and a lively, insult-free and peaceful discussion.
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Old June 7th, 2013, 03:37 AM   #2

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Tito strikes me as a noble demon insofar as while still a Communist and still totalitarian with all that implied, he did manage to keep Yugoslavia out of direct involvement in the Cold War. His success in giving Stalin the finger and securing Western guarantees means that his actual, practical nature as a dictator can be somewhat overlooked in Western histories. His accomplishments included being the only Communist in Eastern Europe to arise primarily on his own steam, and being the man who kept Yugoslavia together for decades, and did so more efficiently than the Kingdom that preceded him.

However his accomplishment in terms of keeping Yugoslavia together can form a kind of narrative of a semi-conservative resurgence after the Nazi-motivated partition of Yugoslavia in 1941. Semi-conservative insofar as his state was a consciously anti-nationalistic state like the Royal Yugoslavia that preceded it, and insofar as his state contained a chaos that kept popping up if the containment slipped even slightly, but originating in Marxist revolutionary ideals insofar as the nature of this containment.
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Old June 7th, 2013, 04:02 AM   #3

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Underlankers said most of it. He was an extremely tough man, and he defied both Hitler and Stalin, the latter of whom sent many assassins to kill him, all of them failed, inducing Tito to send a polite response back to Stalin.
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Old June 7th, 2013, 05:10 PM   #4
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One of Tito's most consistent and ardent admirers was the Scottish and British Conservative M.P Sir Fitzroy McLean whose admiration of Tito was not only reciprocated
(Sir Fittzroy was the only British Conservative M.P. to be granted a holiday home by a Communist dictator during the Cold War-Ttito ''donated a villa in modern Croatia wheee at the heigt of the Cold War Tory M.P. and Communist leader Tito would meet during McLean's frequent vacation in Jugoslavia post-war.
Ther they would exchange memories f the common dangers and hardships they shared when Sir Fitzroy acted at Winston Churchill's behest as British liaison officer to Tito and his Partisans.
Churchill had McLean parachuted into Jugoslavia to suss ut who was killing most Germans-Milahovitch's Serbian Royalist geurillas or Tito and his Communist Partisans ?Sir Fitzroy came down heavily in favour of Tito and he was subsequently supplied with weapons and British and American O.S.S. advisers in Jugoslavia.
Sir Fitzroy's book ''Eastern Aprroaches'' where he deals wth his time with Tito from the pair's first ever meeting after McLean landed via parachute in Tito territory to their common fight aganst the Nazis and beyond is a fascinating must read if you want an insight on Tito the man from someone -a Scottish/British Eton educated toff and Conservative who should have been a deadly enemy of Tito given the latter's Marixst beliefs but who became in fact a close, much admired friend both during and. post war.
Sir Fitzroy appeared several times on BBC documeantaries in the 1950'/60's 70's on Tito and always sang his praises-andd nt just becasue of that Croatian holliday home provided by Marshal Tito post war.
Sir Fitzroy had no illusions about Stalin having served in the 1930's as a diplomat in the British embassy in Moscow where he travelled extensively in Stalin's pre-war Soviet Union.
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Old June 11th, 2013, 12:33 AM   #5

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*bump*
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Old September 30th, 2013, 05:23 PM   #6

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I giggled at underlankers "noble demon" comment xD

He was beloved by the people of Yugoslavia. In fact, an interesting fact, ask any person that was at least a teenager in 1980. where was he at the moment when they announced that Tito has passed away, and he will tell you exactly where was he, what was he doing, who he with, etc.
People cried in the street, and a year of mourning was proclaimed.
His funeral was the biggest funeral in the history. Never were there so many crowned heards, world leaders and influental person at the single funeral before (or after).
He had some opposition, but nowhere near the scope of those in other communist countries. He had a few crackdowns on opposition. Best known were those against "stalinists" after 1948. and against "liberals" in early 1970's.
I personally see cultures of Yugoslavia as one... one with different flavours. Somewhere you can see stronger Ottoman influence, somewhere else stronger Hungarian, and again, somewhere else - Austrian.
As for the language... Serbian, Montenegrin, Bosnian and Croatian ARE the same language. Only the political and nationalistic egos of their respective countries won't all for a unified name once again. Slovenian and Macedonian are slightly different, but still similar.

As for how he is seen today... It's polarized. Half of people still love him, and the other half despises him. You got to remember that a lot of families in Yugoslavia come from families that had collaboratos in WW2 (Ustaše, Četnici, etc) and those just can't love him. But I think that all can agree, or at least majority, that life was better under his leadership.
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Old September 30th, 2013, 10:54 PM   #7

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Tito was mainly respected for "keeping the Russians out."

That's what nearly everyone said when I was there.
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Old October 1st, 2013, 05:18 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by beetle View Post
Tito was mainly respected for "keeping the Russians out."

That's what nearly everyone said when I was there.
Yes, and retrospectively, for keeping an ethno-religious volatile situation clam for so many years thanks to strong leadership, charisma, and genuine beneovlent dictatroship. Tito was a patriot, never a nationalist, and with his Non-Aligned Movement created the most consistent anti-imperialist agenda during the Cold War.

His economic system was rather originial, and probably not what I'd call Marxist though.
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Old October 1st, 2013, 06:30 AM   #9
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Tito is probably the only one in Europe, who almost succeeded to create a new nation - Macedonia. Almost. For this he did not spent the ppl of Macedonia not a single tool of the Communist dictatorship arsenal.
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Old October 1st, 2013, 07:17 AM   #10
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Quote:
how did the Yugoslavian population see him during his time? Average people, intelligencia, opposition.
Most people liked Tito, but you must remember that there was a huge propaganda machine behind him. Kids in kindergarden war were taught about heroic deeds of Tito and it continued trough school, work, tv, movies...

Quote:
how do people in the former Yugoslavian states see him today?
It depends on which half of the political spectre are you. It's a part of the yugonostalgia where especially lower classes feel that previus sistem was better.

Quote:
was he more a "good" dictator or an "evil" one?
He was a dictator . But if I need to pick one to govern me I would pick him...

Quote:
what were his biggest achievements in your opinion?
Successful fight against the axis, independance from the russians, keepeng nationalistic disputes under check

Quote:
what were his biggest crimes in your opinion?
Goli otok (yugoslavina gulag), killing of oponents after the war (cca. 12.000 only in Slovenia)

Quote:
what were the reasons for Yugoslavia to break apart?
Economic crisis, politicians began to promote nationalism, not supressing it, cultural diferences between nations...

Quote:
Can the cultures of former Yugoslavia be seen as actually one culture? If not what are the differences?
No. We came closer in last 100 years but we are not the same. The biggest divede is border between former Otoman empire and Austria/Hungary. There are religious diferences, language diferences, diferent alfabeth...

Quote:
Are Serbian, Croatian, Slovenian and so on dialects of the same language?
For us Slovenians Serbian and Croatian are the same language. But Croatians say that it is diferent . It is more a political issue than linguistical. Macedonian and Slovenian on the other hand are diferent. We who grow up in Yugoslavia understand Serbo-croat (yugoslav name for that language) but it is not necessary so for the younger ones.
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