Josip Broz Tito was born on May 7th, 1892, in Kumrovec, then Austria-Hungary. Yet, his exact day of birth is inexact. He was the son of a Slovene mother and Croat father. Both were peasants in the region. After finishing primary education, he left the ruler area to be a locksmith. He spent time in Zagreb, Munich, Pilsen, and Wien.
During the First World War, he served in the Austrian-Hungarian army. Besides, he encountered communism for the first time. After the war, he spent some time in Moscow, where the Bolshevik revolution recently ended. Later, he returned to his birth region of today’s Croatia. There, Josip Broz Tito swayed the Yugoslav communist party (CPY).
In the late 1930s, Josip Broz Tito presumably narrowly avoided Joseph Stalin’s purges. Yet, leaders of CPY lost their lives. Between 1939 and 1945, he led the Yugoslav partisan war against Nazi Germany. He proved to be a strong leader and achieved a worldwide reputation.
Presidency of Josip Broz Tito
In 1945, he became the prime minister of Yugoslavia. From 1953, he was the president. He held office until his death. Due to the friction with Stalin, Yugoslavia was distinct from other socialist states of the Eastern block.
For example, people were allowed to travel freely. He managed to break out of the influence of Moscow. Further, he formed an alliance of countries that stood on neither side of the Cold War. Thus, leaders in the West, as well as the East, accepted and respected Tito.
However, he was also an authoritarian leader. He went hard after any political foes or exiled Germans from the country. He created work camps, where he held political prisoners. Besides, he formed secret police similar to the Soviet KGB.
His popularity in Yogoslavia was undeniable. Hence, his death on May 4th, 1980, shocked the nation. Besides, his passing was a foreshadow of more significant problems for Yugoslavia. Ten years later, the country collapsed into a lengthy, deadly civil war.
“No one questioned “who is a Serb, who is a Croat, who is a Muslim (Bosniak)” we were all one people, that’s how it was back then, and I still think it is that way today.”Josip Broz Tito