Tito And The Yugoslavian Experiment

Tito was perhaps the most benevelent dictator, I’ve heard of so far.   The people seem to really love him.    He was a womanizer and ruled with an iron hand,

Joseph Broz "Tito" Tito was the nickname of Joseph Broz. It is a derivative of the Roman -Latin, Titus

but it seems he had the people’s interest in mind more than his colleagues in neigboring countries.  (Like Romania, who overthrew their dictator in 1989 and executed him a week later.   You can see the trial and execution of Nicolai and Elena Coscesciu on You Tube.)

Tito, on the other hand, lived out his days in luxury and is loved by his people.  Curious.   He was a consumate politician,  standing up against USSR and weaving amongst western heads of state, always with the Slavic cause in mind.

We learned that he absorbed over 100 Billion in aid from the US over the years.   The reason for such a high investment was to provide a buffer between USSR and Western Europe.   Our guide told a story of Tito riding with a driver who came to an intersection and asked if he should turn right or left.   To which Tito responded,  Signal left and turn right.   Chuckles.    But maybe the story is instructive about how Tito and Yugoslavia thrived in the Cold War World.

One of his hallmarks was his baton carrying youth brigade.   Like Olympic torch carriers, the youth would carry lighted torches from town to town … carrying the message of Yugoslav National Identity.

Batons were carried all across Yugoslavia proclaiming unity. It was a masterful rallying campaign and kept disparate parties together throughout Tito's lifetime.

This was to rebuild the identity that had been pieced and parcelled by the Turks and the Hapsburgs over previous centuries.    His funeral was the 3rd largest funeral of a national leader of the entire century.

His efforts to hold together the state of Yugoslavia ultimately failed and the tension of the different people groups became the recent war in Kosovo.   Our guides didn’t really acknowledge a cause or a perpetrator.

The King and Queen have just come back from many years of exile and re-claimed their palace. They are figurehead and diplomatic rulers only, hosting parties and administrating charities, etc. Luelle got their autographs!

Several have been tried and sentenced for war crimes for their parts.  You can google it for various explanations.

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