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Josip Broz, nicknamed Tito, was a Yugoslav revolutionary and statesman, serving in various roles from 1943 until his death in 1980.[5] During World War II he was the leader of the Partisans]. He gained international attention as the chief leader of the Non-Aligned Movement, working with Jawaharlal Nehru of India, Gamal Abdel Nasser of Egypt and Sukarno of Indonesia.[14]

After being seriously wounded and captured by the Imperial Russians during World War I, Broz was sent to a work camp in the Ural Mountains. He participated in the October Revolution, and later joined a Red Guard unit in Omsk. Later he was NKVD agent and member in communist party of the Soviet Union under Stalin's command. He was General Secretary (later Chairman of the Presidium) of the League of Communists of Yugoslavia (1939–80), and went on to lead the World War II Yugoslav guerrilla movement, the Partisans (1941–45).[15] After the war, Broz Tito and his titoist followers consolidated their power through a series of laws that transformed the nation into a one-party dictatorship: he was the Prime Minister (1944–63), President (later President for Life) (1953–80) of the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia (SFRY). From 1943 to his death in 1980, he held the rank of Marshal of Yugoslavia, serving as the supreme commander of the Yugoslav military, the Yugoslav People's Army (JNA).

Tito was the chief architect of the second Yugoslavia, a socialist federation that lasted from 1943 to 1991–92. Despite being one of the founders of Cominform, he was also the first (and the only successful) Cominform member to defy Soviet hegemony. A backer of independent roads to socialism (sometimes referred to as "national communism"), he was one of the main forces behind the Non-Aligned Movement, and its first Secretary-General. He supported the policy of nonalignment between the two hostile blocs in the Cold War. In 1951 he implemented a self-management system that differentiated Yugoslavia from other socialist countries. He remains a very controversial figure in the Balkans.

Historical debate[edit]



Broz is accused of democide by important historians. [1] [2]

His presidency was been criticized as dictatorship which made dramatical bloody repression, supported by OZNA and UDBA, and several massacres of POW and civilians after second world war, such as Bleiburg, Tezno, Yazovka, Kocevski Rog, Macelj, Backa, Foibe massacres, etc.[1] [2][3][4][5]

In the years following the dissolution of Yugoslavia, a number of historians have stated that human rights were suppressed in Yugoslavia under Tito,[2][4] particularly in the first decade up until the Tito-Stalin split. Broz Tito's autocracy organized huge system of concentration camps and prisons such as Borovnica concentration camp, Goli Otok, Sveti Grgur, etc. On 4 October 2011, the Slovenian Constitutional Court found a 2009 naming of a street in Ljubljana after Tito to be unconstitutional.[6] While several public areas in Slovenia (named during the Yugoslav period) do already bear Tito's name, on the issue of renaming an additional street the court ruled that:

The name "Tito" does not only symbolise the liberation of the territory of present-day Slovenia from fascist occupation in World War II, as claimed by the other party in the case, but also grave violations of human rights and basic freedoms, especially in the decade following World War II.[7]

Ethnic cleansing[edit]

Tito has also been named as responsible for ethnic cleansing.

He is accused for systematic eradication of the ethnic German (Danube Swabian) population in Vojvodina by expulsions and mass executions following the collapse of the German occupation of Yugoslavia at the end of World War II.[8] [3]

During his tenure as Prime Minister of Yugoslavia, the Foibe massacres happened: the killings took place mainly in Istria during and shortly after World War II from 1943 to 1949, perpetrated mainly by Yugoslav Partisans.[9].

The estimated number of people killed is disputed and varies from hundreds to thousands.[10]

The report by the mixed Italian-Slovenian commission describes the circumstances of the 1945 killings as[11]:

14. These events were triggered by the atmosphere of settling accounts with the fascist violence; but, as it seems, they mostly proceeded from a preliminary plan which included several tendencies: endeavours to remove persons and structures who were in one way or another (regardless of their personal responsibility) linked with Fascism, with Nazi supremacy, with collaboration and with the Italian state, and endeavours to carry out preventive cleansing of real, potential or only alleged opponents of the communist regime, and the annexation of the Julian March to the new Yugoslavia. The initial impulse was instigated by the revolutionary movement which was changed into a political regime, and transformed the charge of national and ideological intolerance between the partisans into violence at national level.

It has been alleged that the killings were part of a purge aimed at eliminating potential enemies of communist Yugoslav rule, while others see the main motive for the killings as retribution for the years of Italian oppression and others point out Tito's political aim of adding the Istrian territories as far as Trieste and the city itself to the new Federal People's Republic of Yugoslavia[12] [13]. In fact the ethnic map of the area could potentially be a decisive factor in a treaty of peace with Italy.

Nowadays, a large part of the Italian Left acknowledges the nature of the foibe killings, as attested by some declarations of Luigi Malabarba, Senator for the Communist Refoundation Party, during the parliamentary debate on the institution of the National Memorial Day: "In 1945 there was a ruthless policy of exterminating opponents. Here, one must again recall Stalinism to understand what Tito's well-organized troops did. (...) Yugoslav Communism had deeply assimilated a return to nationalism that was inherent to the idea of 'Socialism in One Country'. (...) The war, which had begun as anti-fascist, became anti-German and anti-Italian."[14]

Undue enrichment[edit]

Broz is accused of undue personal enrichment by fraudulent gains, which impoverished Yugoslav State's public property; [4]criticism heaped on Broz Tito's lustful lifestyle: from 1974 he had 32 official residences, one of the ten richest men in the Balkans, a communist who lived like a king. [5] Broz Tito constructed huge personality cult around him.


Journalist and writer Shapiro asserts: ...All Yugoslavs had educational opportunities, jobs, food, and housing regardless of nationality. Tito, seen by most as a benevolent dictator, brought peaceful co-existence to the Balkan region, a region historically synonymous with factionalism.[15] Some historians report his successful diplomatic policies and reputation as popular public figure both in Yugoslavia and abroad,[16] and he was viewed as a unifying symbol, he was very popular among the Yugoslav citizens. [17]


  1. web encyclopedia, in section -Tito's dictatorship-:During the 1970s the economy began to weaken under the weight of foreign debt, high inflation, and inefficient industry. Also, he was under increasing pressure from nationalist forces within Yugoslavia, especially Croatian secessionists who threatened to break up the federation. Following their repression, Tito tightened control of intellectual life. After his death in 1980, the ethnic tensions resurfaced, helping to bring about the eventual violent breakup of the federation in the early 1990s.
  2. 2.0 2.1 Cohen, Bertram D.; Ettin, Mark F.; Fidler, Jay W. (2002). Group Psychotherapy and Political Reality: A Two-Way Mirror. International Universities Press. p. 193. ISBN 0-8236-2228-2.  Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; name "Cohen" defined multiple times with different content
  3. Andjelic, Neven (2003). Bosnia-Herzegovina: The End of a Legacy. Frank Cass. p. 36. ISBN 0-7146-5485-X. 
  4. 4.0 4.1 Tierney, Stephen (2000). Accommodating National Identity: New Approaches in International and Domestic Law. Martinus Nijhoff Publishers. p. 17. ISBN 90-411-1400-9. 
  5. European Public Hearing on “Crimes Committed by Totalitarian Regimes" page 156 <<Most of the mass killings were carried out from May to July 1945; among the victims were mostly the “returned” (or “home-captured”) Home guards and prisoners from other Yugoslav provinces. In the following months, up to January 1946 when the Constitution of the Federative People’s Republic of Yugoslavia was passed and OZNA had to hand the camps over to the organs of the Ministry of the Interior, those killings were followed by mass killing of Germans, Italians and Slovenes suspected of collaborationism and anti-communism. Individual secret killings were carried out at later dates as well. The decision to “annihilate” opponents must had been adopted in the closest circles of Yugoslav state leadership, and the order was certainly issued by the Supreme Commander of the Yugoslav Army Josip Broz - Tito, although it is not known when or in what form.>>
  6. "Naming Street After Tito Unconstitutional". Slovenia Times. 5 October 2011. 
  7. Text of the decision U-I-109/10 of the Constitutional Court of Slovenia, issued on 3 October 2011, in Slovenian language
  8. John R. Schindler: "Yugoslavia’s First Ethnic Cleansing: The Expulsion of the Danubian Germans, 1944–1946", pp 221–229, Steven Bela Vardy and T. Hunt Tooley, eds. Ethnic Cleansing in Twentieth-Century Europe ISBN 0-88033-995-0.
  9. "Foibe". Retrieved 2009-04-27.  For the use of other actors, at least a case of German use of the foibe is documented, but disputed. Fascist use of the foibe is still disputed
  10. In Trieste, Investigation of Brutal Era Is Blocked NYT April 20, 1997
  11. Slovene-Italian Relations 1880-1956 Report 2000
  12. Paolo Sardos Albertini (2002-05-08). "Terrore" comunista e le foibe - Il Piccolo
  13. Slovene-Italian Relations 1880-1956 Report 2000
  14. Luigi Malabarba (2004-03-11). "Declaration of Vote" (in Italian) (PDF). Transcript of the 561st Session of the Italian Senate. pp. 15. Retrieved 2006-06-05. 
  15. Shapiro, Susan; Shapiro, Ronald (2004). The Curtain Rises: Oral Histories of the Fall of Communism in Eastern Europe, page 180. McFarland. ISBN 0-7864-1672-6. 
    "...All Yugoslavs had educational opportunities, jobs, food, and housing regardless of nationality. Tito, seen by most as a benevolent dictator, brought peaceful co-existence to the Balkan region, a region historically synonymous with factionalism."
  16. Melissa Katherine Bokovoy, Jill A. Irvine, Carol S. Lilly, State-society relations in Yugoslavia, 1945–1992; Palgrave Macmillan, 1997 p36 ISBN 0-312-12690-5
    "...Of course, Tito was a popular figure, both in Yugoslavia and outside it."
  17. Martha L. Cottam, Beth Dietz-Uhler, Elena Mastors, Thomas Preston, Introduction to political psychology, Psychology Press, 2009 p.243 ISBN 1-84872-881-6
    "...Tito himself became a unifying symbol. He was charismatic and very popular among the citizens of Yugoslavia."