Marshal has done his job, Marshal may leave
On May 4, 1980, Josip Broz Tito died in the surgical clinic of Ljubljana, the capital of socialist Slovenia. Among the world leaders, he was one of the oldest, in the same May he was to turn 88 years old. Marshal Tito was the founder and permanent head of federal Yugoslavia, which replaced the so-called kingdom of the CXS, Serbs, Croats and Slovenes, where, besides them, there were Bosnians, Macedonians, and Montenegrins.
First, the republic was called the Federal Socialist Republic of Federal Republic of Yugoslavia - federal and popular, then the SFRY - also federal, but above all - socialist. As many politicians and experts subsequently noted, the collapse of socialist Yugoslavia accelerated more than a year before — in fact, from the moment when the Yugoslav media briefly reported on Tito’s poor health and that he was placed in a clinic.
Marshal died for a long time, but fell ill as early as mid-December 1979, and, as some Yugoslav diplomats recalled, Tito's doctors and closest colleagues insisted that he be treated in Slovenia. There, they say, high-class medicine, but Ljubljana is so far not only from Belgrade, but also from Croatia, which is home to a sick person ... But in a Ljubljana clinic, he lay in a coma for more than 100 days.
It is known that immediately after the death of the Yugoslav leader история illnesses and documents on Tito’s treatment were kept secret for 75 years - they will be open only in 2055! Does all this mean that certain circles, aimed at the accelerated disintegration of Yugoslavia, decided to "get rid" of Tito?
In any case, until the fall of 1979, the central and local mass media of the SFRY only occasionally reported on nationalist sentiments and attacks in Bosnia-Herzegovina, Croatia, Kosovo, Macedonia, Slovenia. But since the end of December 1979 such messages have become more “voluminous” and more frequent. But as before, only with rare references to the involvement of Western special services in such excesses. Yugoslavs as if prepared for the inevitability of the collapse of the country ...
The Titan Yugoslavia (like Stalin's Albania, and Romania under Ceausescu) needed the West not only as geopolitical barriers for the “red plague”, but also a kind of ideological “laying”. And the FPRY / SFRY also acted as a socio-economic showcase against the USSR and the Warsaw Pact. With the beginning of the notorious “perestroika”, which in itself accelerated the collapse of the USSR and the social community, such barriers were no longer needed.
Therefore, already in the mid-80s, the West promptly curtailed the program of concessional lending to the SFRY, increasingly demanding that Belgrade pay off accumulating debts. By the end of the 80s, they exceeded $ 28 billion. Among other things, it was a question of paying fines for non-payments and for short deliveries of Yugoslav goods. Moreover, no one in the leadership of the SFRY even remotely could compare with the erudition, authority, and political abilities of Tito. This all the more facilitated the policy of the West to stimulate the destruction of Yugoslavia.
In short, the characteristic of the Titov period by the Russian Balkanist Evgeny Matonin is quite objective:
“Of the 88 years lived, Josip Broz ruled Yugoslavia for 35 years. He skillfully maneuvered between the USSR and the USA, taking large loans from them alternately on favorable terms (as a result, by the beginning of the 80s, the country was close to bankruptcy ... - Approx. Auth.). But after the death of Tito, Yugoslavia hardly lasted another decade and bloodyly collapsed, while at the same time bringing terror to the whole world. ”
In this regard, Tito’s recognition in a conversation with Kim Il Sung is characteristic during an unprecedented visit of the Marshal to the DPRK in August 1977:
“Our socialism is based on the principles of socialist democracy, which excludes the directive role of party organs. Such socialism shows its effectiveness. But it depends primarily on the political unity of the peoples of our country. I am concerned that such unity will be shaken if I do not exist. ”
Similar assessments, or rather, fears, were expressed by Tito in negotiations with the head of the PRC, Hua Guofeng, during an equally unprecedented visit to the PRC in August 1977. Before this, Tito was invariably called the “revisionist”, “hypocrite” and even “agent of imperialism in the world”. the communist movement. " Interestingly, in the same way, under the carbon copy, the Marshal and his policies were called in Moscow and in the countries of people's democracy. But the Non-Aligned Movement, which Tito initiated, was considered almost an ally in the USSR, but in Beijing it was called nothing more than “a special project of the special services of the imperialists in developing countries and the world national liberation movement.”
Stalin’s strange “namesake”
During his visits to the PRC and North Korea, the aging Marshal tried to reconcile with “these Stalinists,” who, however, according to the testimony of Nicolae Ceausescu, Romanian colleague Tito, had “more solid socialism than in the USSR.” It didn’t work out very well, but the Chinese reconciled the marshal with his late namesake. And not only, and Tito admitted this in an interview with Yugoslav journalists:
“I was able to make peace with Stalin and Mao Zedong, having been to Beijing and seen Tiananmen with a huge portrait of Stalin, which is next to the same portraits of Marx, Engels and Lenin. I think the restoration of relations with China for Yugoslavia and for me personally is more important today than anything else. ”
But, as you know, since 1979, the PRC has dramatically changed both its foreign and domestic policies. While maintaining the attributes of adherence to Marx, Engels, Lenin, Stalin and Mao Zedong. Therefore, Beijing did nothing to help either the post-Titan Yugoslavia, the same Ceausescu, the German Democratic Republic with Honecker, or the anti-Gorbachev opposition ...
No less characteristic touch: contemporaries testify that the daughter of the “leader of the peoples” Svetlana Alliluyeva at the turn of the 60s-70s more than once asked Josip Broz Tito for a visa to visit Yugoslavia. It would seem that for Tito, her visit would be an important “justification” of his post-war position with respect to Stalin and the breakdown of “Tito” Yugoslavia with the USSR in 1948-1953.
However, Tito managed to rise above this kind of fuss, showing political and human decency in relation to Stalin who was already defamed and reburied in the USSR. He refused Alliluyeva visas, explaining his position as follows:
“My and generally Yugoslav disagreements with Stalin are by no means a reason for his notorious daughter to use Yugoslavia somehow to settle her accounts with her already dead father.”
The interethnic monarchy, created on the ruins of the First World War, left all its problems and contradictions to the people's federal republic. This predetermined the collapse of the country in the early 90s. The fact is that in any era, more than half of the Yugoslav population was composed of peoples and faiths that secretly or explicitly opposed a single state on the Russian or Soviet model.
Serbian hegemony in governing the country during the interwar, and then in the postwar period did not suit anyone, starting with the Croats and Slovenes, and ending with the Macedonians and even “almost” Serbs - Montenegrins. They constantly recalled that Serbs were no more than a third of all Yugoslavia, both in territory and population, and their decisive contribution to the victories over the invaders in the two world wars simply did not bother anyone.
Recall that the Serbs fought in partisans until the liberation of Yugoslavia, anti-fascist resistance was, according to the number of its participants, almost 90% Orthodox - Serbian or Pro-Serbian. Moreover, just a week after the invasion of German and Italian troops there in April 1941, the Yugoslav kingdom immediately broke up into several puppet "quasi-states." In their territories already in 1941, a monstrous terror was unleashed against the Serbs and, in general, Yugoslav Orthodoxy.
However, the head of the anti-fascist resistance, mainly Serbian, was, oddly enough, the Croat-communist Josip Broz Tito, who since 1945 led the new Yugoslavia. His political authority and talent for maneuvering between national elites in the regions allowed him to restrain negative factors. Tito understood that the formation of Yugoslavia and its development according to a centralized Soviet or Chinese model - already for national and geographical reasons - would quickly lead to the collapse of the country.
Therefore, a federal option was chosen on the verge of confederation. At the same time, the ruling Communist Party also became united - the Union of Communists of Yugoslavia, in which the rights of the constituent parts were much broader than that of the central apparatus. Yes, by and large, he did not exist at all: the Central Committee met only for congresses and conferences and was basically an ideological shell, and not the ruling core of such a country.
Yugoslav socialism immediately became a strategic antipode of Soviet and Chinese, when all the objects in the country, except for the defense industry, were managed by the local councils of local workers and the leaders put forward by them (a system of workers' self-government). They were elected for no more than two years with the right to re-election only once. All this was subjected to fierce criticism from Moscow and Beijing, even when they reached the military confrontation.
Almost never the leadership of the CPSU could come to terms with the Yugoslav principles of governance, reasonably fearing that they might be adopted in other countries of the social camp. The political conflict between Belgrade and Moscow was only deepening, and in the neighboring countries of Yugoslavia, for example, in Hungary, the centers and carriers of the Titovian version of socialism were eliminated in the bud.
Nevertheless, even in Yugoslavia there were dissidents and even a semblance of their own “gulag”. In seven Yugoslav special concentration camps, four of which were in Croatia, in terrible conditions not only communists from among opponents of Titan socialism were isolated, but also tens of thousands of non-partisan supporters of friendship with the USSR and China. The fate of at least a third of the "inhabitants" of those camps is still unknown. Titov’s camps, unlike many Stalin’s, were closed in 1962-1963.
Now one should not be surprised that, for obvious reasons, Yugoslavia, Marshal Tito began to increasingly focus on the West. Even when Stalin was alive, Belgrade managed to sign an indefinite agreement on military-political cooperation with the United States and joined the NATO-sponsored Balkan Pact, which included NATO members - Greece and Turkey. The pact successfully existed until the collapse of Yugoslavia.
From heyday to decay
Since the beginning of the 60s, in terms of actual per capita income of Yugoslavia, whose citizens were also allowed to work abroad, it began to significantly outperform the USSR and other social countries. Often in the media of ex-Yugoslav countries it is still nostalgically, but quite objectively noted in this regard, that their citizens have never been able to work so little and earn so much as under Marshal Tito.
But the maturities of most foreign accounts did not coincide so clearly in time with the growing crises in Yugoslavia immediately after the death of Tito. The crisis of the most prosperous of the socialist countries was comprehensive - socio-economic, political, but most importantly, ethnic. The republic literally went bankrupt overnight. And in comparison with what later all the former republics of Yugoslavia survived, with the exception, perhaps, only of Slovenia, not only the collapse of some kind of Austria-Hungary, but also the collapse of the Soviet Union clearly faded.
All the old ethnic, political, and related economic problems have passed into Titan Yugoslavia. While the marshal was in power, they appeared only "pointwise", but from the mid-70s, as the personal power of the aging Tito weakened, they began to affect too literally. Moreover, and publicly. Not just because the authorities of Yugoslavia since 1972 have greatly expanded the legal guarantees for rallies and strikes allowed in the country since 1955.
In the mid-50s, the divorce of the USSR and Yugoslavia was simply forgotten, although Yugoslavia did not become a party to either the Warsaw Pact or the Council for Mutual Economic Assistance. And this is in spite of all the efforts and concrete measures of the Soviet leadership, starting with soft, and even non-repayable loans and borrowings, and ending with an imbalance in prices in favor of imports from Yugoslavia in relation to Soviet exports. Now, few will remember that with the financial and technical assistance of the USSR in Yugoslavia, more than 300 enterprises of various sectoral profiles, about 100 energy and transport facilities were created.
But factors undermining the country continued to grow. The collapse of Yugoslavia could have occurred on April 28, 1971 at a meeting of heads of national committees of the UCC and republican administrations. After Tito’s speech at this forum, representatives of Croatia announced a possible withdrawal from the SFRY. They were supported by representatives of Slovenia, but the delegations of Serbia, Montenegro and Macedonia opposed, the rest of the regional delegations (Kosovo, Vojvodina, Bosnia and Herzegovina) preferred to refrain from discussion.
Tito did not participate in it either, but on the morning of the third day of the meeting he left the hall. An hour and a half later he returned and announced his conversation with Leonid Brezhnev. “Comrades, I'm sorry that I was late, but Comrade Brezhnev called me. He heard that we had problems, and asked if I needed help for Yugoslavia, ”he said loudly.
Everything calmed down right away: the local people understood that it was better to forget about nationalism. And soon, at this forum, agreed decisions were made on the socio-economic development of the regions of the SFRY and the strict observance of international proportions in the selection and placement of personnel in Bosnia-Herzegovina, Croatia and Kosovo.
However, this was not Brezhnev, but Tito called Moscow, reporting the situation, and received assurances of military assistance to the SFRY. Nevertheless, Tito, boldly declaring that the Soviet leader was calling him, made it clear that Moscow was carefully monitoring everything that was happening in Yugoslavia. And soon, in the same 1971, Brezhnev almost triumphantly visited the SFRY; with no less pathos was arranged and the visit of the Secretary General of the CPSU Central Committee, which took place five years later.
In several of his speeches, Brezhnev did not hesitate to directly state that the USSR was ready to provide comprehensive assistance to Yugoslavia, including in protecting its integrity. So the secretary general instantly reacted to the fact that in numerous conversations with him, Tito worried that the deterioration of his health was accompanied by increased separatism in Yugoslavia, which involved the intelligence services of the West and several Islamic countries. Marshall also spoke out in the sense that he did not see a worthy successor, and the scattering of the leadership of the republic and the Union of Communists “along national angles” would certainly lead to their collapse.
Brezhnev, in turn, proposed strengthening the role of the “center” in the SFRY and transforming the Union of Communists into a capable leading party, which Tito did not agree with. He, on the contrary, proposed introducing into the USSR a system of Yugoslav workers' self-government, when enterprises and institutions are run by the workers themselves, and not by officials.
Marshal, unlike Brezhnev, admitted that even under socialism strikes of workers are acceptable: “this is the main signal about the mistakes of the ruling structures” (from an interview with Tito by the Yugoslav media, April 1972). In response, the Soviet leader complained about the dangers of decentralization and protest “easing” under socialism. The positions of Moscow and Belgrade have always diverged too significantly, despite the traditional sympathies of the peoples for each other.