Yugoslavia: Tito

Started by <k>, January 01, 2013, 01:19:44 AM

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<k>


Josip Broz (known as "Tito") was born in Croatia, part of Austria-Hungary, in 1892. After leaving school he became a machinist's apprentice in 1907, and by 1910 he had joined a trade union, as well as the Social Democratic Party of Croatia and Slavonia. In 1913 he was conscripted into the Austro-Hungarian army, and during the 1st World War he became the youngest sergeant major in the Empire. After being wounded and taken prisoner by the Russians, he ended up in the Urals. He eventually joined the Bolsheviks and became a member of the Yugoslav section of the Communist Party. While in Omsk he married a Russian woman, and they left Russia for Yugoslavia in 1920, where he joined the Communist Party, which was however made illegal in 1921.

Broz spent the 1920s in various industrial jobs. He became a trade union leader in a shipyard in 1925 but was sacked for leading a strike. After moving to Zagreb, he was appointed secretary of Metal Workers' Union of Croatia, becoming Zagreb Branch Secretary of the Communist Party of Yugoslavia in 1928. He was arrested as a Communist in the same year, spending 5 years in prison, and on his release he took refuge in Vienna with his fellow Yugoslav communists, and was voted onto the Central Committee.

In 1935 Tito travelled to the Soviet Union, working for a year in the Balkans section of Comintern. He was a member of the Soviet Communist Party and the Soviet secret police (NKVD). Tito was also involved in recruiting for the Dimitrov Battalion, a group of volunteers serving in the Spanish Civil War. In 1936 the Comintern sent Tito back to Yugoslavia to purge the Communist Party there. In 1937 Stalin had the Secretary-General of the CPY, Milan Gorkić, murdered in Moscow. Subsequently Tito was appointed Secretary-General of the still-outlawed CPY.

Tito continued his illegal activities in Yugoslavia, but in April 1941 the country was invaded and dismembered by Hitler. King Michael and his government fled to England, but the Yugoslav Communist Party appointed Tito Commander in Chief of its liberation forces, known as the Partisans. Tito had to fight not only the Nazis, but also their allies, the Croatian Ustashas, as well as the Chetniks, the royalist Serbs. Initially the US and Britain favoured the Chetniks, but these spent a lot of time fighting the Partisans rather than the Nazis, so the Allies decided to back the Partisans as the more effective force. The Partisans gained only grudging help from the Soviets, who urged them to cooperate with King Michael. Stalin at that time had no interest in Yugoslavia and had decided to leave it, along with Greece, in the Allied sphere after the war, being more eager to dominate the countries that bordered him, Poland in particular.

After the defeat of the Nazis, Tito became provisional Yugoslav Prime Minister in March 1945, going on to win the general elections with huge public support, after which he deposed the King of Yugoslavia and proclaimed the Federal People's Republic of Yugoslavia. In the mid to late 1940s Tito tried to create a Balkan Federation between Yugoslavia and Bulgaria, while also exerting a friendly influence on neighbouring communist Albania. These factors, and his occasional shooting down of US planes that overflew Yugoslav territory, as well as his support for the communists in Greece, which the Soviets had agreed should be left to the West, enraged Stalin, since they were all done without Tito asking his permission, and he eventually expelled Yugoslavia from the Comintern in June 1948. Purges, trials and executions of so called "Titoist agents" were carried out in Soviet satellite countries in the next few years, and in 1949 Hungarian and Soviet forces briefly massed on the borders of northern Yugoslavia. Thereafter Tito accepted US aid and tacked a middle course between the East and the West, championing the so called non-aligned countries of the Third World.

Communism in Yugoslavia was generally more relaxed than elsewhere, as were economic controls, which allowed Croatia and Slovenia to become relatively rich by communist standards, and in the mid-1960s Yugoslavia began to develop the coastal areas as a popular tourist destination, which added considerably to their wealth. He was always careful to keep control of the nationalities question, clamping down on nationalist activity from time to time. A popular 1970s joke went that Yugoslavia had 7 frontiers, 6 republics, 5 nations, 4 languages, 3 religions, 2 alphabets, and one boss.

Tito died in May 1980, and his funeral was attended by statesmen from all over the world. After a few years his carefully balanced federation fell apart, and currently it consists of seven independent states.

 
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<k>

Yugoslavia, 1000 dinar, 1968.  25th anniversary of the Republic of Yugoslavia - apparently.
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See: The Royal Mint Museum.

<k>

Tito's 85th birthday. 200 dinar, 1977.
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<k>

5000 dinar, 1978.  Mediterranean Games, Split.
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See: The Royal Mint Museum.

<k>

Death of Tito, 1000 dinar, 1980.
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<k>

1000 dinar, 1981.  40th Anniversary of Uprising and Revolution.
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See: The Royal Mint Museum.

Figleaf

I fine portrait gallery, showing once more how difficult it is to do portraits on coins. The last portrait is especially off, but that's probably also because deification had set in. As a Roman emperor put it on his death bed: "I think I will soon be your latest god".

Peter
An unidentified coin is a piece of metal. An identified coin is a piece of history.

<k>

Yugoslavia, 250 dinar, 1984.  Winter Olympics at Sarajevo.
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See: The Royal Mint Museum.

translateltd

Quote from: Figleaf on January 01, 2013, 11:08:05 AM
I fine portrait gallery, showing once more how difficult it is to do portraits on coins. The last portrait is especially off, but that's probably also because deification had set in. As a Roman emperor put it on his death bed: "I think I will soon be your latest god".

It looks the same as the one on the 1978 coin-like object illustrated in reply #3, though maybe slightly more squat.  A living god at the time?  :-)

Figleaf

Sorry, I meant last as in "just before his death." The one with the glasses.

Peter
An unidentified coin is a piece of metal. An identified coin is a piece of history.

bart

Quote from: Figleaf on January 01, 2013, 08:29:35 PM
Sorry, I meant last as in "just before his death." The one with the glasses.

Peter

Indeed, on the portait with the glasses Tito looks like Kim-Jong-il.

Bart

<k>

Yugoslavia, 100 dinar, 1945.  40th anniversary of liberation.
Visit the website of The Royal Mint Museum.

See: The Royal Mint Museum.

Zantetsuken

Nice selection <k>. Tito was a important figure in his day. He kept peace and stability in the region among the ethnic groups. It wasn't too long after his death in 1980, that the relations between the groups were starting to become strained. One of Tito's major faults was he didn't pick someone to carry on his work. Maybe Yugoslavia didn't have to fall apart. I guess we'll never know. In any case here's one of mine. This is a proof version for the 1,000 Dinara commemorating Tito's death.

YUGOSLAVIA (SOCIALIST FEDERAL REPUBLIC)~1,000 Dinara <Proof> 1980

Tirant

Most people who lived on the old Yugoslavia tell that Tito was a very beloved leader who was capable of keeping together all the country without repression, unlike other so called "leaders" of that time. He also could keep Yugoslavia neutral in the middle of the cold war, moving apart of the soviet orbit and receiving a lot of influence from the western countries, as we can see in their music or movies.

Too bad what happened, maybe we'll never know what would happen if somebody continued Tito's work, but Yugoslavia's legacy (including its coins) will remain.