Josip Broz Tito
1892 – 1980
Yugoslavian dictator who succeeded with communismby Rit Nosotro First Published:: 2003
Communism is a form of government that has failed time and time again. As leaders like Stalin and Mao tried to rule their separate countries and failed, there was one man who did not fail but brought peace and stability to several regions that were thought to be beyond unity. Marshall Tito led the nation of Yugoslavia through forty years of peace and relative prosperity with Bosnia-Herzegovina, Croatia, Macedonia, Montenegro, Serbia, and Slovenia under his reign. Tito created a successful communist country through an iron fist that in some ways could compare with Saddam Hussein. Although his dictatorship temporarily held the religious and ethnic factions together, his reliance upon projecting himself as bigger than life gave rise to a cult like following (simular to Maoism) that proved to be an empty shell as, unfortunately, Yugoslavia fell apart into its history of Balkin Wars soon after Tito died, ending its time of relative prosperity.
As a child, one would not have thought that Broz would to become a world leader. Born on May 7, 1892, Josip Broz came into this world in Kumrovec, Croatia. His father a Croatian and his mother a Slovene, Josip was the seventh child in his family of fifteen children. Even though he failed the first grade and only attended school until the age of twelve, he eventually received his education through his work with communist parties and went on to develop his own ideology of government.
During World War I, Broz fought in the Austrian army from 1914-1918. After being captured by the Russians, he served six years in prison. In prison he became fluent in Russian. Afterwards, he became known as “Tito”, his new alias. Through his work with the Communist Party of Yugoslavia, his position and work gained the attention of Moscow and the communist group there. Moscow then called him over and he became a member of the Communist International. Once Tito had gained enough experience with the various communist parties he had worked with, he began to develop his own ideas for how to make a more sufficient communism. He supported Lenin in fighting against the Russian government and was put in prison for a few years until released by the Communists when they took power. Tito then joined the Red Guard to fight in the Russian Civil War.
After working for a couple years, Communist International sent him to become Secretary General for the Yugoslavian Communist Party. As Secretary General, he was gaining the people’s favor by resisting the Nazi occupation during World War II. He then won the position of Secretary of Defense by a majority vote in 1945, which made him the new leader of the Yugoslavian government. With his reputation already established, the Yugoslavian people listened to him and his way of government. He continued to be reelected until he was given an unlimited term until his death.
Titoism, a form of government that Tito created, has two different elements to it, the political and religious. On the political side there is a base of policies and ethics that do not copy that of other communist countries without losing sight of the ultimate goal of communism. Tito wanted a communism that would work well because he saw that in other countries communism was failing and the countries were falling apart. There was also a religious side to his newfound way of communism. It consisted of a strong loyalty, admiration, and an incredible devotion and commitment to Tito. He was actually believed to be a part of some higher world, or as a sort of god to the people. When the people thought he was some sort of a deity, they obeyed the political side of his Titoism. With this stability, Tito brought about a solid wall to the Nazi oppression with the help of the USSR. After he had accomplished the goal of resisting the Nazi invasions, he broke away from the USSR determined to not become their “puppet”. As Stalin saw Tito’s great success, Stalin viewed him as a rival and expelled him from the Communist International in 1948.
His first wife Hertha Haas gave birth to their first son, Miso Broz, born in 1941. Tito proceeded to re-marry several times throughout his lifetime. Tito's propoganda promoted the public’s belief that he held near deity status. Even after his death (1980) the populace overlooked his personal failures of multiple divorces and his public failures and kept their faith in Titoism. As late as 1984, when this author visited Yugoslavia, Tito's image was commonly seen in homes and businesses, displayed with a shrine like quality.
On the positive side of Tito’s ideology, he received the trust and full support of his people. They fought for him in wars and believed that whatever Tito decided would be the best thing for the country. Tito proved this by giving free trade with the West, allowing free travel for vacation or work purposes to the Western nations, and protecting them with a union which included six other nearby countries. After his death, this union fell apart, which shows how much the nation relied on Tito to maintain stability. Yugoslavia went into ethnic based civil war ten years after his death.
Marshall Tito was a man who accomplished many things. He led the resistance against the Nazi occupation throughout World War II, established independence from the USSR in 1948, and formed a way of communism that actually succeeded in keeping Yugoslavia its own country. Communism is viewed as a form of government that does not work and leads to failure. Even though a few of the ethics of Communism are commendable, it does not consider mans’ evil nature. Every man desires power and the idea that everyone can share and be equal is a good one, but not really possible. Where Stalin and Mao failed, Marshall Tito succeeded and made history. He will always be remembered as theYugoslavian dictator who succeeded with communism.
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