Saturday May 7, 1892 to Sunday May 4, 1980
Croatia, Slovania, Serbia, Yugoslavia, Austria-HungaryJosip Broz (7 May 1892 – 4 May 1980), commonly known as Tito, was a Yugoslav communist revolutionary and statesman, serving in various roles from 1943 until his death in 1980. During World War II, he was the leader of the Partisans, often regarded as the most effective resistance movement in occupied Europe. While his presidency has been criticized as authoritarian and concerns about the repression of political opponents have been raised, most Yugoslavs considered him popular and a benevolent dictator. He was a popular public figure both in Yugoslavia and abroad. Viewed as a unifying symbol, his internal policies maintained the peaceful coexistence of the nations of the Yugoslav federation. He gained further international attention as the chief leader of the Non-Aligned Movement, alongside Jawaharlal Nehru of India, Gamal Abdel Nasser of Egypt, Nicolae Ceaușescu of Romania, Sukarno of Indonesia, and Kwame Nkrumah of Ghana.
After completing his apprenticeship in September 1910, Broz used his contacts to gain employment in Zagreb and at the age of 18 joined the Metal Workers' Union and participated in his first labour protest. He also joined the Social Democratic Party of Croatia and Slavonia.
By October 1912 he had arrived in Vienna where he stayed with his older brother Martin and his family and worked at the Griedl Works before getting a job at Wiener Neustadt where he worked for Austro-Daimler, and was often asked to drive and test the cars.
After recuperating, in mid-1916 he was transferred to the Ardatov POW (Prisoner of War) camp in the Samara Governorate, where he used his skills to maintain the nearby village grain mill. At the end of the year, he was again transferred, this time to the Kungur POW camp near Perm where the POWs were used as labor to maintain the newly completed Trans-Siberian Railway.
Upon his return home, Broz was unable to gain employment as a metalworker in Kumrovec, so he and his wife moved briefly to Zagreb, where he worked as a waiter and took part in a waiter's strike. He also joined the Communist Party of Yugoslavia (CPY).
After the arrest of the CPY leadership in January 1922, Stevo Sabić took over control of its operations. Sabić contacted Broz who agreed to work illegally for the party, distributing leaflets and agitating among factory workers. In the contest of ideas between those that wanted to pursue moderate policies and those that advocated violent revolution, Broz sided with the latter.
In March 1927, he wrote an article complaining about the exploitation of workers in the factory, and after speaking up for a worker he was promptly sacked. Identified by the CPY as worthy of promotion, he was appointed secretary of the Zagreb branch of the Metal Workers' Union, and soon after of the whole Croatian branch of the union.
After completing the full term of his sentence, he was released, only to be arrested outside the prison gates and taken to Ogulin to serve the four-month sentence he had avoided in 1927. He was finally released from prison on 16 March 1934, but even then he was subject to orders that required him to live in Kumrovec and report to the police daily.
During this time Tito wrote articles on the duties of imprisoned communists and on trade unions. He was in Ljubljana when King Alexander was assassinated by the Croatian nationalist Ustaše organisation in Marseille on 9 October 1934.
On Christmas Day 1934, a secret meeting of the Central Committee of the CPY was held in Ljubljana, and Tito was elected as a member of the Politburo for the first time. The Politburo decided to send him to Moscow to report on the situation in Yugoslavia, and in early February 1935 he arrived there as full-time official of the Comintern.
Tito lectured on trade unions to foreign communists, and attended a course on military tactics run by the Red Army, and occasionally attended the Bolshoi Theatre. He attended as one of 510 delegates to the Seventh World Congress of the Comintern in July and August 1935, where he briefly saw Joseph Stalin for the first time.
Tito travelled several times between Paris and Zagreb organising the movement of volunteers and creating a separate Communist Party of Croatia. The new party was inaugurated at a conference at Samobor on the outskirts of Zagreb on 1–2 August 1937.
On 17 April 1941, after King Peter II and other members of the government fled the country, the remaining representatives of the government and military met with the German officials in Belgrade.
Despite conflicts with the rival monarchic Chetnik movement, Tito's Partisans succeeded in liberating territory, notably the "Republic of Užice". During this period, Tito held talks with Chetnik leader Draža Mihailović on 19 September and 27 October 1941.
In liberated territories, the Partisans organised People's Committees to act as civilian government. The Anti-Fascist Council of National Liberation of Yugoslavia (AVNOJ) convened in Bihać on 26–27 November 1942.
After the Partisans managed to endure and avoid these intense Axis attacks between January and June 1943, and the extent of Chetnik collaboration became evident, Allied leaders switched their support from Draža Mihailović to Tito. King Peter II, American President Franklin Roosevelt and British Prime Minister Winston Churchill joined Soviet Premier Joseph Stalin in officially recognising Tito and the Partisans at the Tehran Conference.
On 12 September 1944, King Peter II called on all Yugoslavs to come together under Tito's leadership and stated that those who did not were "traitors", by which time Tito was recognized by all Allied authorities (including the government-in-exile) as the Prime Minister of Yugoslavia, in addition to commander-in-chief of the Yugoslav forces.
On 28 September 1944, the Telegraph Agency of the Soviet Union (TASS) reported that Tito signed an agreement with the Soviet Union allowing "temporary entry" of Soviet troops into Yugoslav territory, which allowed the Red Army to assist in operations in the northeastern areas of Yugoslavia.
On 7 March 1945, the provisional government of the Democratic Federal Yugoslavia (Demokratska Federativna Jugoslavija, DFY) was assembled in Belgrade by Josip Broz Tito, while the provisional name allowed for either a republic or monarchy.
In the final days of World War II in Yugoslavia, units of the Partisans were responsible for atrocities after the repatriations of Bleiburg, and accusations of culpability were later raised at the Yugoslav leadership under Tito.
On 14 May, he dispatched a telegram to the supreme headquarters Slovene Partisan Army prohibiting the execution of prisoners of war and commanding the transfer of the possible suspects to a military court.
Prime Minister Josip Broz Tito met with the president of the Bishops' Conference of Yugoslavia, Aloysius Stepinac on 4 June 1945, two days after his release from imprisonment. The two could not reach an agreement on the state of the Catholic Church. Under Stepinac's leadership, the bishops' conference released a letter condemning alleged Partisan war crimes in September 1945.
In November 1945, Tito's pro-republican People's Front, led by the Communist Party of Yugoslavia, won the elections with an overwhelming majority, the vote having been boycotted by monarchists.
Yugoslav intelligence was charged with imprisoning and bringing to trial large numbers of Nazi collaborators; controversially, this included Catholic clergymen due to the widespread involvement of Croatian Catholic clergy with the Ustaša regime. Draža Mihailović was found guilty of collaboration, high treason, and war crimes and was subsequently executed by firing squad on July 1946.
On 28 June, the other member countries of the Cominform expelled Yugoslavia, citing "nationalist elements" that had "managed in the course of the past five or six months to reach a dominant position in the leadership" of the CPY.
On 26 June 1950, the National Assembly supported a crucial bill written by Milovan Đilas and Tito regarding "self-management", a type of cooperative independent socialist experiment that introduced profit sharing and workplace democracy in previously state-run enterprises, which then became the direct social ownership of the employees.
In the same year, Tito became active in promoting a peaceful resolution of the Arab–Israeli conflict. His plan called for Arabs to recognize the state of Israel in exchange for territories Israel gained.
In April 1969, Tito removed generals Ivan Gošnjak and Rade Hamović in the aftermath of the invasion of Czechoslovakia due to the unpreparedness of the Yugoslav army to respond to a similar invasion of Yugoslavia.