Murdered Josip Broz Tito Joseph Stalin

April 7, 1963 Tito - the Yugoslav president for life

Josip Broz was many things: guest worker at Benz, liberation fighter and recognized foreign politician. For 35 years he led the Yugoslav people first as Prime Minister - later as President. When he began a policy independent of the Soviet Union in 1948, his supporters celebrated him: the fact that he stood up to Josef Stalin is still considered one of his greatest political successes to this day. Tito never wanted to break away from communism. His goal was to build a "red Yugoslavia" without violence and thus to differentiate himself from the rule of Stalinism. Yet this goal paradoxically cost the lives of hundreds of thousands of people. His unscrupulousness in eliminating political opponents earned him the reputation of a "bloody dictator".

Born the son of a small farmer

Josip Broz was born in May 1892 in Kumrovec in northern Croatia. There are different information about his date of birth in the literature: There is May 25th, but also May 7th. Josip Broz was the seventh of the fifteen children of a small farmer. His goals in life were still modest at the time: after school he became a locksmith, although his real dream job was a tailor. But his teacher said he was too restless for a job that required a lot of sitting. In fact, Josip was drawn to the world and so after his apprenticeship he went on a journey. He worked as a guest worker at Daimler in Vienna, Munich and Mannheim. In 1914 he was called to the front in Galicia, where he was taken prisoner by the Russians. Only five years later did he return to Croatia, which had since been merged with Serbia and Slovenia to form Yugoslavia.

War of Liberation through "Fraternity and Unity"

Upon his return, Broz joined the Communist Party of Yugoslavia (CPJ). Here he gave himself the pseudonym "Tito" in 1934 when he was elected to the Central Committee of the Politburo of the CPJ. Six years later he was appointed Secretary General. Nonetheless, Tito's real political career began as a liberation fighter. When the German and Italian troops invaded Yugoslavia in 1941, Tito led the partisan movement. Under the motto "Bratstvo i Jedinstvo" (brotherhood and unity), the movement took up the armed struggle against fascism. In 1945 he was elected Prime Minister of Yugoslavia.

Yugoslav special way: The break with Stalin

The perseverance and leadership quality in the resistance had made Tito popular with the people. As Prime Minister, Tito brought a new wind to the communist leadership style dictated by Moscow. He took a new path and established socialism - more humane communism, as he said - in Yugoslavia. His political model of "Titoism" brought repression with it, but also freedom of travel, self-administered businesses and social security. The harsh regime of Stalin did not suit him. And Stalin did not like Tito's liberal-socialist leadership style. Stalin openly threatened murder. Tito was not impressed. The rebellion against Stalin is described as Tito's greatest historic achievement. Its economic policy transformed the country from an agricultural to an industrialized country within 20 years.

If I give you democracy, you'll smash your heads in.

Josip Broz alias Tito on the Yugoslav people at the end of the 1970s

Dictator in sheep's clothing

While Tito provoked Moscow with a liberal policy, he continued to maintain an authoritarian style of government domestically. Those who continued openly to Stalinism after the break with Stalin were interned on the island of Goli Otok. The prisoners were used for forced labor in the quarries and workshops, tortured and killed. The prison camp on the island was not closed until eight years after Tito's death.

Tito: easy-going, impulsive, passionate

In addition to his role as head of state, Tito loved to play the bon vivant. He is said to have three great passions. Passion for politics, food and women. He was married four times. His last wife - Jovanka - once said of him: "He loves women more than Suleyman the Magnificent." Tito was sociable and liked to invite people to dinner, to film screenings or to receptions. Tito liked to drink whiskey - sometimes during the day. He said Churchill taught him how to drink it properly. Tito's companions said that he had a lot of humor, liked to laugh and did not always take himself seriously. Especially when he sometimes had impulsive outbursts, he was able to lift the mood with his charm afterwards.

Tito was a communist Napoleon whose Waterloo was the marital bedroom.

Dobrica Cosic writer and President of Yugoslavia 1992/93

"Non-Alignment" and a brilliant foreign policy

After Stalin died in 1953, Yugoslavia and the Soviet Union grew closer again. In terms of foreign policy, Tito began to do profitable business with both the Eastern Bloc and the Western states. He established important contacts such as Egypt's head of state Gamal Abdel Nasser, India's Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru and the Indonesian chief Sukarno. Tito also had a good relationship with Germany, England and the USA. At the beginning of the 1960s, the Titoist foreign policy managed to convince representatives of 25 states to come together in Belgrade and to found the "non-aligned states", under which Yugoslavia assumed the leading role.

If this man is a mechanic, I am not the Queen of England.

Queen Elizabeth II after meeting Tito on Brioni in 1972

After his death

Tito died on May 4, 1980. In Yugoslavia there was great sadness that "Druze Tito" (Comrade Tito) was no longer at the head of the people. Four kings, 31 presidents, 22 prime ministers, 47 foreign ministers and delegations from over 120 countries All over the world had traveled. In 35 years of office he had managed through his politics to make Yugoslavia a state respected in East and West. To this day, a Serbo-Croatian song is sung in his honor:

Comrade Tito, we promise you, we promise you
That we will not deviate from your path
Will not deviate from your path.

artour - Tito: The GDR and Yugoslavia | 06/30/2016 | 10:50 p.m.