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Denouncing Stalin, but practising Stalinism:

Two aspects of the Yugoslav Case


Sran Grbi
Faculty of Philosophy , University of Zagreb

Abstract:
This paper examines two aspects of Stalinism that are relevant for the Yugoslav
policies in the first half of the 1950s. The first part explains the rise and fall of Milovan
ilas and the impact of his writings following the Sixth Congress of the LCY. His case
demonstrates and explains the limits of internal democratization of the Yugoslav system.
The impact of 'Titoism' on the political developments in Eastern Europe which
culminated with the Soviet intervention in Hunary is analyzed in the second part of this
paper. These two aspects were crucial for the long-term policies in Yugoslavia, as well as
for the Yugoslav foreign policy. They clearly defined the nature of the LCY and the
character of Tito's rule. Moreover, because of these developments Yugoslavia embarked
on a completely differnt foreign political course.

Keywords: Josip Broz Tito, Milovan ilas, LCY, de-Stalinization, Sixth Party Congress
of the LCY, Nikita Khrushchev, Hungarian uprising 1956

Denouncing Stalin, but Practising Stalinism: Two Aspects of the


Yugoslav Case
Introduction
The term Stalinism is used to denote an entire period of world history, communist
theory and social practices. Stalinism will be remembered primarily as a form of
totalitarian dictatorship in some way removed from the workers paradise envisaged by
Marx. While the distance between Marxs aims and the realities of Stalinism is evident, it
remains to be seen what Stalinism really meant and what was its main field of practice.
The Historical Dictionary of Marxism explains that the term Stalinism refers both to
the nature of the Soviet Union under Josef Stalins rule and to the interpretation of
Marxism sanctioned by Stalin and promulgated by the Soviet Union while he was in
power. Never official terms, Stalinism and Stalinist gained currency only after
Stalins death and, particularly, after his denunciation by Nikita Khrushchev at the 20th
Congress of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union in 1956. Both terms have tended to
be used in a derogatory way to describe a repressive, dictatorial and totalitarian regime
and a crude, dogmatic ideology 1 . Other authors went further and tried to unveil many
faces of Stalinism. One recent work tried to identify and divide various aspects of the
term itself. Therefore, we can speak about: Stalinism and power, Stalinism and foreign
threat, Stalinism as a civilization, Stalinism as state violence, everyday Stalinism etc 2 .
This paper will focus only on two aspects of Stalinism which will be analyzed within the
Yugoslav framework. These are: Stalinism as a way of conducting foreign policy and
Stalinism as a political practice.

David Walker and Daniel Gray, Historical dictionary of Marxism, The Scarecrow
Press, 200.: p. 305.
2
ed. David Hoffmann, Stalinism the Essential Readings, Wiley-Blackwell,
2002; For a more Marxist approach on the subjest see David McLellan, Marxism after
Marx, MacMillan Press Ltd, 1998.
2

Yugoslavia was the first communist country to say no to Stalin and the Soviet
Union 3 and therefore presents a specifically interesting phenomenon. With the YugoslavSoviet split in 1948. 4 Tito became the arch-heretic of the communist movement 5 .
Naturally, the Yugoslavs saw themselves as champions of anti Stalinism although they
adopted similar techniques when dealing with internal enemies. One can say that Titos
reckoning with pro-Stalin members of the CPY, founding of the high-security
prison/labor camp on the island of Goli Otok and the autocratic character of his
leadership made for a somewhat peculiar soft Stalinist practice. One should also note
that liberalization and reforms that followed the split made Yugoslavia very different
from other communist countries. Although at first the split prompted the regime to
rededicate itself to the Soviet practice of socialism 6 there was nothing that could compare
to Gulags in Yugoslavia, there were no full scale purges after 1949., there were serious
efforts to decentralize the apparatus, even the political commissars were removed from
the army 7 . These efforts proved that something new was brewing in Yugoslavia at the
beginning of 1950.

Most of the popular books on the subject published in communist Yugoslavia stressed
Yugoslav defiance. Some of the titles are: NO to Stalinism, Informbiro-Yugoslavia
said NO etc.
4
About the split see: Ivo Banac, Sa Staljinom protiv Tita, Globus, Zagreb 1990; Vladimir
Dedijer, Izgubljena bitka J. V. Staljina, Liburnija, Rijeka, 1982; Leo Mates,
Meunarodni odnosi socijalistike Jugoslavije, Nolit, Beograd 1976: pp. 102-13.;
Radovan Radonji, Sukob KPJ sa Kominformom, Politike teme, Zagreb 1975;
Raymond Pearson, Rise and Fall of the Soviet Empire, St. Martin's Press, New York,
1998:pp. 23-44.; Vladislav Zubok and Constantine Pleshakov, Inside the Kremlin's
Cold War: From Stalin to Khrushchev, Harvard University Press, 1996: pp. 110-37.;
5
It is important to stress that Tito's heresy' was the first serious affair in the world
communist movement. While Trotsky's 'Forth International' was significant from a
socialist point of view, only the coming of Cold War created an international setting
where such events presented first-rate political issues.
6
John R. Lampe, Yugoslavia As History Twice there was a Country, Cambridge
University Press, 1996: p. 246.
7
R. J. Crampton, The Balkans since the Second World War, Pearson Education Limited,
Harlow, 2002: p. 114.
3

Yugoslav international position in the early 1950s


The leaders of Yugoslavia found themselves in both political and economic
isolation at the beginning of 1950. The break with USSR and disputes with the US and
their western allies over the city of Trieste(also claimed by Italy) put Tito in a very
uncomfortable position. However, there were already some signs of warmer relations
with the West. In 1949 Tito closed the Yugoslav border to the Greek Communist forces
and thus contributed to their defeat 8 . Slowly but surely the American administration
started to think in different terms about Yugoslavia 9 . In 1949 Truman decided to offer
economical assistance to Yugoslavia and thus 'keep Tito afloat' 10 . Then in October of the
same year Yugoslavia was elected to the Security Council seat of the United Nations.
This accomplishment greatly boosted Yugoslav morale as it was meant to send a very
clear political message to Stalin 11 . In the next two years American military help was also
realized and the talks about establishing military ties were well underway. These moves
marked the beginning of the so-called 'wedge strategy' which was probably best defined
by the US Assistant Secretary of State for European Affairs Robert Perkins:
'What we are concernd with is containing, or driving a wedge, if you will, into
Communist totalitarianism, and in containing in particular the Stalin Breed of
Communism, or doctrine, or whatever you want to call it. We feel very strongly that it is
essential that Tito, having made the break with Stalin, will succeed in that break because
we can only break it down by driving wedges into it, and that is one of the most
important wedges that has appeared.' 12

Evanthis Hatzivassiliou, Greece and the Cold War, Frontline state, 1952 1967,
Routledge, 2006: p. 8.
9
There was a missed chance right after the Tito-Stalin split in 1948. The american
administration looked very unfavourably on Tito and some even thought that the split
is just a tactical manoeuvre to confuse the US administration.
10
Lorraine M. Lees, Keeping Tito Afloat The United States, Yugoslavia, and the Cold
War, Pennsylvania State University Press, 1997: p. 76-7.
11
Ibid:75.-76.; .; Tvrtko Jakovina, Ameriki komunistiki saveznik, Profil, Zagreb 2003:
pp. 287-8.
12
Lorraine M. Lees, op. cit.: p. 96.
4

The 'wedge strategy would have far-reaching consequences in the following


years.
At the same time Eastern Europe was in the middle of 'anti-Titoist' purges and
many high ranking Communists were sentenced or executed 13 . After discarding the
prospect of military intervention Stalin was bent on restraining 'Titoism' within the
borders of Yugoslavia. One consequence was the inauguration of a far harsher attitude
toward the Soviet Unions East European satellites. Integral to the new approach was a
series of celebrated cases, all closely orchestrated by Stalin, against enemies within the
leadership of the socialist states. With the help of advisers from Moscow, a case was
fabricated against the former Hungarian Minister of Internal Affairs, Laszlo Rajk,
charging that he had headed a spy organization. Two months after Rajks execution,
Traicho Kostov, the former Secretary of the Bulgarian Communist Party, was also tried
and executed. These trials were matched by analogous arrests in Poland, Romania,
Czechoslovakia, and Albania 14 .
With Yugoslavia and the USSR both being Communist countries one needn't have
waited to long for the escalation of conflict on the ideological battlefield.

13

See: Joseph Rotschild and Nancy M. Wingfield, Return to Diversity: A Political


History of East Central Europe since World War II, Oxford University Press, 2000:
pp. 125-46.; Geoff Eley, Forging Democracy: The History of the Left in Europe 18502000, Oxford Univerity Press, 2002: pp. 308-311.; Tony Judt, Post-war, WH London
2005: pp. 178-96.
14
Yoram Gorlizki and Oleg Khlevniuk, Cold peace: Stalin and the Soviet ruling circle,
19451953, Oxford Univerity Press, 2004: p. 70.
5

Ideological deviations
In a tense intenational climate Tito set off to establish the basics of the ideological
frame that would dominate Yugoslav domestic and foreign policy for the next few
decades. It was obvious that he had to 'move closer to the West economically and away
from the Soviet Union ideologically' 15 . The atmosphere among the top ranked Yugoslav
communists was almost ebullient. It does not come as a suprise when Milovan ilas, the
leading party ideologue, starts re-reading 'Capital' hoping that he will reveal the fallacies
of Stalin, even Lenin 16 . Edvard Kardelj and Boris Kidri soon joined ilas in the quest
for the origin of communism 17 . The three of them would come to form the Yugoslav
ideological 'troika' during the Cominform years.
Tito supported such an ideological confrontation. The process that began with
destroying millions of Stalins images culminated with a passing of the Law on the
Management of State Economic Associations by Work Collectives, popularly known as
'workers self-management' 18 . This was a huge step forward within the frames of
Communism. ilas, Kidri and Kardelj were behind this new law and Tito was delighted
with it. He supposedly even said: ' That's from Marx! Factories in the hands of the
workers' 19 . The 'workers self-management' law was just the first step towards a more
democratic political atmosphere.
The Sixth Congress of the CPY was held in Zagreb from 2 to 7 November 1952
and it was a milestone for the nature of Communism in Yugoslavia. Theoretical
foundations of the new course were to be 'democratization, decentralization and

15

John R. Lampe, op. cit.: p. 250.


Milovan ilas, Vlast i pobuna, Europapress holding Novi Liber, Zagreb, 2009: p.
296.
17
Vladimir Dedijer, Veliki buntovnik Milovan ilas, Prosveta, Beograd, 1991: p. 331.
18
Duan Bilandi, Drutveni razvoj socijalistike Jugoslavije, Naklada CDD, Zagreb,
1976: pp. 124-5.; John R. Lampe, op. cit.: pp. 251-3.; Sabrina P. Ramet, Tri
Jugoslavije izgradnja drave i izazov legitimacije 1918. 2005., Golden marketing
Tehnika knjiga, Zagreb, 2009: pp. 249-50.
19
Milovan ilas 2009, op. cit.: p. 296.
16

debureaucratization 20 . These processes were thought to lead towards the withering


away of the state which was another concept first put forward by Marx 21 . The name of
the Party itself was changed from the Communist Party of Yugoslavia to the League of
Communists of Yugoslavia 22 . A liberal atmosphere that dominated the Congress 23 which
was followed by a period of applied liberalization throughout the country. The main
ideological architects of the Congress were ilas and Kardelj, although it seems that the
former had more influence. Milovan ilas was behind all major decisions at the Congress
and some historians rightly label the Sixth Congress as the ilas Congress 24 .

The education of Milovan ilas


Born in Podbie, Montenegro, ilas was a leading member of the Yugoslav
Communist Party (YCP) and a minister in the communist government of Yugoslavia after
the war, becoming vice president to Tito and viewed as his likely successor. However, his
chief contribution has been as a critic of communism and in particular of Stalinism 25 . His
political and writing skills were also well-known 26 .
His staunch rhetorical attacks on Stalin and the Soviet Union made him one of the
most hated Yugoslav politicians in the USSR. His speeches and articles during the split
contained a surprising amount of hateful and vindictive remarks about the nature of

20

Duan Bilandi, Historija Socijalistike Federativne Republike Jugoslavije: glavni


procesi : 1918-1985, kolska knjiga, Zagreb, 1985: pp. 175-8.; Duan Bilandi,
Hrvatska moderna povijest, Golden marketing, Zagreb, 1999: pp. 321-5.;
21
Marx explains this question most thoroughly in his Critique of the Gotha Programme.
(Karl Marx, Friedrich Engels, Selected Works, Vol. 3, Moscow, 1973: p. 26.)
22
The new name was also supposed to sound more marxist alluding to the
first Marxist international organization, the Communist League.
23
Milovan Djilas, Anatomy of a moral, Kessinger Publishing, 2009: p. 319.
24
Sabrina P. Ramet, op. cit.: pp. 249-52.
25
David Walker and Daniel Gray, op. cit.: pp. 92-3.; Ko je ko u Jugoslaviji 1970: pp.
241-2; Milovan Djilas, The Unperfect Society: Beyond the New Class, Harcourt,
Brace & World Inc., 1969: pp. vii-xi; Milovan ilas 2009, op. cit.: pp. 427-47.;
Robert Service, Comrades: Communism: A world history, Pan Books, 2007: p. 256.
26
Apart from writing five books of his memoirs, ilas wrote several books about
Marxism, novels and short stories.
7

socialism in USSR. ilas was well known for his enthusiasm in political matters 27 . In
the thirties he was one of the most radical Bolsheviks and during the war he was involved
in several executions which he himself would later write about in his memoirs 28 . It seems
that the conflict with Stalin softened his Bolshevik side and he was to prove himself as
the torchbearer of the Yugoslav Road. It is not an easy task to pinpoint the exact start
date of ilass deviation because his policies and articles were at the front of the new
official state policy after the 6th Congress 29 . He wrote a series of articles in the official
organ of the Party, Borba, in September 1951, on the freedom of criticism, the duty of
communists and progressive people to learn, the necessity of looking for new roads,
and the spiritual misery and brutality of the bureaucrats 30 . After the 19th Congress of
the Communist Party of the Soviet Union, which was held from 5 to 14 October 1952,
ilas was quick to comment on the new theoretical developments in the USSR in his
article Is Stalin moving in Circles? 31 . In December 1952 and January 1953 ilas
headed the Yugoslav delegation to India and Burma where he preached the message of
Yugoslav communism at the Congress of the Asian Socialist Parties in Rangoon 32 .
Leader of the British Labour Party, Clement Attlee, was also at the conference. He made
an interesting remark to the Yugoslav delegation when he said that the Yugoslavs are
here to export ideas 33 .
When it comes to the ideas that shaped ilass way of thinking we can only
speculate. According to Vladimir Velebit, ilas was significantly influenced by the visit
he made to the United States in 1949 during the General Assembly of the United Nations
in New York 34 . Some authors think that ilas was impressed with the gradual progress
27

Some authors tend to ascribe this to his Montenegrin background. See: Vladimir
Dedijer 1991, op. cit.
28
See: Milovan Djilas, Wartime, Mariner Books, 1980.
29
See above.
30
Slobodan Draskovich, The Case of Milovan Djilas, Modern Age, Chicago, Spring
1958: p. 152.
31
Darko Beki, Jugoslavija u hladnom ratu, Globus, Zagreb 1988: pp. 393 4.
32
Milovan ilas 2009, op. cit.: pp. 33341.; Darko Beki, op. cit.: p. 494.
33
Milovan ilas 2009, op. cit.: pp. 3356.
34
Tvrtko Jakovina, op. cit.: p. 363.
ilas claims that he was not impressed by the standard of living in the USA, although
8

toward socialism under a multi-party system during his first visit to Great Britain in
1951 35 . ilas himself states that the fateful moment occurred on the night of December
7/8 1953:
Although I had, as usual, fallen asleep about midnight, I woke up suddenly,
smitten within by some unfaltering, fateful realization that I would not be able to abandon
my views. 36
What we can be certain of is that the political developments in Yugoslavia prior to
December 1953 had a profound influence on ilas. The conclusions of the Sixth
Congress stressed that the partys primary task lay in the ideological and political
education of the masses. Based upon these principles a new Constitutional Law was
adopted in January 1953 37 , replacement of the 1946 version which bore an
embarrassingly close resemblance to Stalins Constitution of 1936 38 . This new
Constitutional Law enshrined the concept of socialist direct democracy as the expression
he admits that his Marxist views were somewhat shaken when he saw a highly
prosperous non-socialist state(Milovan ilas 2009, op. cit.: p. 290.).
35
John R. Lampe, op. cit.: pp. 258. 259.
A. Bevan(1897.1960) was one of the prominent Labour politicians. During the Third
Plenum of CPY, which discussed the fate of Milovan ilas, he was mentioned in the
context of his alleged influence on ilas. This provoked some of the Labour Party
members and Tito himself wrote a letter to Bevan stating that he is certain that Bevan
had no influence on ilas whatsoever (Milovan ilas 2009, op. cit.: p. 348.).
36
Milovan Djilas 1969, op. cit.: p. 25.
37
John R. Lampe, op. cit.: pp. 256-7.; R. J. Crampton, op. cit.: pp. 1167.
The Constitutional Law was not the complete Constitution of Yugoslavia. It abolished
and amended
much of the 1946 Constitution, but did not abolish it completely. In the first part the
Constitutional Law
declared the new rights of producers and working people, formulated the contents and
form of power of
the working people, regulated the issue of relations between the federation and
republics. The second
part refers to the organisation of authority in the federation and truly represents a
federal law. The third
part includes provisions about the bodies of power of republics and bodies of power
of the autonomous
province and autonomous region. (www.arhivyu.gov.rs)
38
Soviet Constitution of 1936 is available on
www.departments.bucknell.edu/russian/const/1936toc.html
9

of the working people through self-management 39 . Moreover, Tito accepted the new law
because it was a good way of sounding more Communist than the Soviet Union, yet
more democratic than the West 40 .

The Reversal
Only a month after introducing the new Constitutional Law Yugoslavia signed the
Pact of Friendship and Collaboration with Greece and Turkey (the Balkan Pact) 41 . This
was one of the highpoints in Yugoslav-Western relations 42 because it indirectly
associated Yugoslavia with NATO. There were even more pro-Western signals coming
from Yugoslavia in early 1953. The first five-year plan was failing miserably 43 and by
the end of March the peasants were free to leave the collectives and take with them their
land and equipment 44 . Titos visit to Great Britain (16 21 March) was significant as it
was his first trip to the West as head of state and first trip abroad after the exhaustive
Cominform period 45 . However, these events were diminished by Stalins death on 5
March 1953. His death had far-reaching consequences for Yugoslavia. Tito was already
feeling uncomfortable being aligned with the West and dependant on their military and
economic assistance. Moreover, Tito began to look at the internal developments that
followed the Sixth Congress in a different light. The period of liberalization had caused
39

Stevan K. Pavlowitch, Tito, Yugoslavia's Great Dictator, C. Hurst & Co., London,
1992: p. 62.
40
Ibid: 61. 62.
41
Evanthis Hatzivassiliou, op. cit.: pp. 378.
The Western powers wanted indirectly to associate Yugoslavia with NATO, but they
would not give a
blank cheque to Belgrade, allowing it to draw the whole of the West into a crisis that
would only
involve Belgrades interests.
42
The three nations will sign a defence pact (The Treaty of Alliance, Political Cooperation and Mutual Assistance) a year later, on August 9th 1954, when the Trieste
dispute was nearing its end.
43
Sabrina P. Ramet, op. cit.: pp. 255 7.
44
R. J. Crampton, op. cit.: p. 116.
45
See Katarina Spehnjak," Josip Broz Titos Visit To Great Britain In 1953." in Review
Of Croatian History Vol. I, No. I, 2005: pp. 273 93.
10

considerable confusion among the Party members and the general public. The reduction
of interference of the Party in the Yugoslav life, elimination of party bureaucracy and
democratization of the party were some of the main trends and Tito did not look
favorably on these developments. Therefore, on 16 and 17 June 1953 the Central
Committee of the LCY met at Brijuni to discuss these dangerous new trends. On this
meeting it was decided to put a stop to the negative tendencies that had emerged from
the Sixth Congress. After the plenum Kardelj and ilas went fishing. ilas claims that he
told Kardelj that he will not be able to support the new Brijuni line 46 . His heretical
behavior was slowly revealing itself.

The Fall
ilas was convinced that the plenum was a mistake and he continued to develop
his liberal ideas. The ideas he shaped during the theoretical confrontation with Stalin
and the USSR were further enhanced by his contribution to the Yugoslav Way of
Communism. He was convinced that his ideas were crucial for future developments
within Yugoslavia. The infamous series of eighteen articles in Borba were published in
the closing months of 1953 47 . Although many analysts and scholars point to these articles
as crucial in ilass fall, it was in another publication where ilas first started to criticize
the Yugoslav system. The magazine Nova Misao (New Thought) appeared in January
1953 and ilas vaguely hoped to rally the Communist-democrats for his cause 48 . Even
the first articles he wrote in Nova Misao contained a surprising amount of criticism. In
Dvostruka filozofska uloga profesora Nedeljkovia 49 ilas already warns about the
dangers that arise when a certain class (bureaucracy) holds a monopoly on the
development of theory 50 . In the same issue ilas praises the novel Pesma by Oskar

46

Milovan ilas 2009, op. cit.: p. 346.


From 11 October 1953 to 7 January 1954.
48
Milovan Djilas, Anatomy of a moral, Kessinger Publishing, 2009: pp. xiiiii.
49
The ambivalent philosophical position of professor Nedeljkovi, Nova misao 1,
January 1953
50
Veljko Stani, "Milovan ilas 1953/54 - izmeu revolucije i slobode" in Tokovi
istorije Vol. 3-4, 2008: p. 257.
47

11

Davio for his critical and somewhat revisionist portrait of the Yugoslav revolution 51 . All
in all, ilas published ten articles in Nova Misao.
Further, the series of articles published in Borba had a profound influence on the
Yugoslav political scene. In the first article New Contents 52 ilas warns of a new,
invisible battle 53 that is being thought out between capitalism and bourgeoisie,
bureaucratism and bureaucracy, and socialism and democracy 54 . He would warn about
favoritism and privilege and fraudulent and undeserved assignments 55 in the article
Some minor electoral themes 56 . His underlying concern in these articles was with the
new bureaucratic moral which was rooted in the system itself. The general public and
Tito himself looked favorably upon ilass articles and the editorial board of Borba
received almost 30000 letters praising his writings 57 . However, articles that followed
continued to unmask the Yugoslav reality. ilas was openly upholding public
discussions 58 , free arrangement of mutual relations, power relations and economic
relations 59 , democracy, legality, abiding by laws and courts as the principal instruments
of our socialist system 60 etc. The gradual development of his ideas and their true
implications were realized only in retrospect because ilas was known for his complex
and turbulent style 61 . However, what followed was a direct attack on the LCY.
By the end of December Tito and Kardelj lost their patience with ilas. At a
meeting held near Kranj in Slovenia Tito was furious about ilass articles 62 . On January
51

Ibid, 258.
11 October 1953
53
Milovan Djilas 2009, op. cit.: p. 36.
54
Ibid
55
Milovan Djilas 2009, op. cit.: p. 45.
56
25 October 1953
57
Milovan ilas 2009, op. cit.: pp. 3545; Darko Beki, op. cit.: p. 566.
58
In the article New Forms, 1 November 1953 (Milovan Djilas 2009, op. cit.: pp. 50
1.)
59
In the article 'The Importance of Form', 8 November 1953 (Milovan Djilas 2009, op.
cit.: pp. 567.)
60
In the article 'Legality', 15 November 1953 (Milovan Djilas 2009, op. cit.: p. 63.)
61
Milovan Djilas 2009, op. cit.: p. x.
62
Darko Beki, op. cit.: p. 567.
52

12

4 the last article was published. In it ilas explains that the views expressed in the
previous article Subjective Forces are his and that they are not to be associated with the
LCY 63 . The very next day ilas was escorted by the security forces to Kardeljs house.
Kardelj and Rankovi conveyed Titos opinions to him. It proved to be a final warning to
ilas and he thinks that the decision to convene a plenum had already ocured 64 . If that is
true, than the final and most widely-known article Anatomy of a moral

65

was not the

last straw in the whole process. The essay describes the massive, icy, and impenetrable
wall which was allegedly thrown up by Belgrades new social caste against a beautiful,
young actress 66 . The young actress was one of those simple people that ilas
juxtaposed against the bigoted women who symbolize all that had become hateful to
ilas in Yugoslav society. The women scorned the actress because she had not fought in
the war and because she was connected with the stage a questionable origin for a
member of the leadership of Belgrade society 67 . This article was a direct attack on the
new moral of the ruling class and it caused a huge uproar among the Party ranks.
Symbolically, the Nova Misao (New Thought) magazine was shut down.
The Third Plenum was held on 16 and 17 January 1954 68 . Its sole purpose was to
discuss the case of Milovan ilas. ilas was denounced and he was even rather selfcritical which he later regretted. He was expelled from the Central Committee and in
March turned in his party card. This plenum strengthened Titos grip over the Party and
was a further confirmation of the abandonment of the line that was created at the Sixth
Congress in 1952. However, it is important to notice that the ilas Plenum bore no
resemblance to the denouncements that were taking place in other Communist countries.
The plenum was broadcast over the radio, ilas was not forced to undergo self-criticism
and he was not expelled from the Party 69 . Titoism proved itself as significantly different
63

Milovan Djilas 2009, op. cit.: p. 123.


Milovan ilas 2009, op. cit.: pp. 367-8.
65
Published in Nova Misao.
66
Milovan Djilas 2009, op. cit.: p. xxiv.
67
Ibid, xxv.
68
For the full minutes of the Plenum see: 'Komunist', br. 1.-2., 1954.
69
Tito intervened during the Plenum when it was proposed to expell ilas from the Party.
He said: 'We shouldn't expell him because the western press will label as as Stalinists.'
64

13

from Stalinism but it was also obvious that Tito will have the upper-hand in all political
decisions in the country.

The demise of Stalin(ism)


The case of Milovan ilas had far-reaching consequences for the future of
Yugoslav politics. However, it seems that the international repercussions of the case were
minor. The American Embassy followed the case with genuine interest, and some even
expected a classic Stalinist showdown 70 . In the end, Americans took a realistic
approach to the whole process. They knew very well that Tito is extremely valuable as a
key figure in their wedge-strategy. While the US media interpreted the fall of Milovan
ilas through a democracy vs. communism dichotomy, the Dulles-administration knew
the real value of Titos Yugoslavia in the Cold War. That is why the words Dulles used
just three weeks after the third Plenum should not come as a surprise: we could
anticipate a tightening of discipline in the Yugoslav Communist Party and a check of the
recent trend toward liberalization. Furthermore, Mr. Dulles stated that the only really
disturbing factor in the current situation in Yugoslavia was the prolonged drought 71 .
This way of reasoning was quite uncharacteristic of Dulless well-known brinkmanship
style of conducting foreign policy. Therefore, it was possible for the Americans to be in
support of Tito and of ilas 72 at the same time, although this support was manifesting
itself on different levels.

70

Tvrtko Jakovina, op. cit.: p. 365.


Memorandum of Discussion at the 183d Meeting of the National Security Council,
Washington, February 4, 1954, p. 1370.(
http://digital.library.wisc.edu/1711.dl/FRUS.FRUS195254v08, accessed on 21 May
2010)
72
American ambassador in Belgrade George V. Allen did not think highly of ilas. In
January 1951 he described ilas and Dedijer in a rather critical light: Djilas and
Vlado Dedijer, who is accompanying him as aide and translator, are both intriguers,
dogmatic Marxists, and suspicious of all bourgeois governments. I regard them as
among the more sinister figures of present regime, although Djilas has taken pains to
try to convince me he is leading CPY toward west orientation. (The Ambassador in
the United Kingdom (Gifford) to the Secretary of State, London , January 31, 1951,
http://digital.library.wisc.edu/1711.dl/FRUS.FRUS1951v04p2, accessed on 21 May
71

14

The death of Stalin in March 1953 was the political event of the whole year. One
might argue that it came too soon and thus influenced Titos decision to slow down
liberalization of the regime and Yugoslav connections with NATO. However, Tito had to
be very careful during these months as he was trying to figure out who will win the
Soviet power struggle while pursuing a satisfactory settlement of the Trieste dispute.
Stalins death immediately launched a discussion about his legacy and of
Stalinism. While thousands were mourning the death of the great leader, a new
leadership was emerging in Kremlin. It was Lavrenty Beria who wanted a radical shift in
Soviet foreign policy. While he was perceived as the Stalins number one executioner, his
incentives could have led to a significant improvement of East-West relations. Apart
from pushing for the unification of Germany, Beria thought that a conciliatory approach
toward Yugoslavia might help boost Soviet international prestige 73 . Such thoughts were
still deemed heretical and after his was arrest on 26 June Khrushchev and Molotov would
call this ploy high treason 74 . The fall of Beria would prove to be the last political
confrontation conducted along Stalinist lines. Of increasing concern for the new Soviet
leadership 75 was the necessity of a new approach towards relations with the countries of
the Soviet bloc as well as with Yugoslavia.
The riots in East Germany, Bulgaria and Czechoslovakia in May and June 1953,
shortly after Stalins death, proved to be the first of the major post-Stalin crisis in the
Soviet bloc. However, these outbreaks had been provoked mainly by grievances over
work conditions, monetary reforms, and food rationing; they were not a demonstration of
systemic and ideological challenges to the Stalinist structural legacy like those that were
2010)
When Beria was arrested the police found a letter that he was planning to send to
Rankovi. He even sent
a secret emissary hoping that this will ultimately lead to the restoration of friendly
relations. (Vladislav Zubok and Constantine Pleshakov, op. cit.: pp. 158-9 Vladislav
Zubok, CWIHP Working paper No. 4., Soviet Intelligence and the Cold War:: The
small Committee of Information, 1952-53, 1992: p. 18.)
74
Vladislav Zubok, CWIHP Working paper No. 4., Soviet Intelligence and the Cold
War:: The small Committee of Information, 1952-53, 1992: p. 18.
75
Malenkov, Molotov and Khruschev.
73

15

elicited in 1956 76 . Serious challenges to Soviet authority arose only when Khrushchev
emerged as the only leader in the USSR, and when his reforms were combined with the
spectre of Titoism. The Yugoslav-Soviet rapprochement was the underlying process
that set in motion events that would ultimately lead to tectonic shifts in the Soviet bloc.
Since the Soviets were unable to deal successfully with the Yugoslav schism
they had to find new solutions. The two countries re-established diplomatic ties soon after
Stalins death 77 but true reconciliation could come only after the power-struggle in the
USSR was over. When Nikita Khrushchev finally emerged victorious in February 1955
his first major trip abroad was to Belgrade.

Khrushchev and Tito


Nikita Khruschev wanted to undertake a revolution in Soviet foreign policy. After
outmaneuvering both Beria and Malenkov, he and Molotov were in charge of conducting
foreign policy. The Yugoslavs regarded Molotov extremely unfavorably since the TitoStalin split in 1948. Therefore, it was up to Khrushchev to establish better relations
between the two communist states. Khrushchev did so by writing four letters to Marshall
Tito during 1954.
The decision to write to Tito did not come easily. It seems that the struggle
between the last two contenders for supremacy in the USSR was partly decided during
the discussions about the future of relations with Yugoslavia. In February 1954 the
76
77

Joseph Rotschild and Nancy M. Wingfield, op.cit.: pp. 14950.


After a meeting between Molotov and the Yugoslav envoy Dragoje uri it was
decided to resume diplomatic ties. However, Molotov was very careful while
explaining this move to the central commitee: 'Since we did not succeed in settling the
particular problem [of Yugoslavia] by a frontal assault, it became necessary to resort
to other methods. It was decided to establish with Yugoslavia the same relations as
with the other bourgeois states tied with the aggressive North Atlantic bloc. (Vojtech
Mastny, CWIHP Working paper No. 35., NATO in the Beholders Eye: Soviet
Perceptions and Policies, 1949-56, 2002: p. 40.)

16

Presidium ordered Molotov to improve relations with Belgrade, but he continued to


depict the

Yugoslavs as fascists 78 . Khrushchev seized the initiative and wrote the first letter on 22
June. At the time Tito was concerned with the signing of the Balkan Pact and the final
agreement over Trieste. It seems that these pro-Western moves convinced even the
staunchest conservatives within the Presidium to support the Khrushchev line 79 . In the
first letter Khrushchev hopes that not only diplomatic relations but also balanced
economic and cultural ties between our countries could be improved, based on full
equality and mutual gain 80 . Furthermore, Khrushchev thought that the time was ripe for
the establishment of contacts between the CC of the Communist Party of Soviet Union
and the CC of the League of Communists of Yugoslavia 81 . Khrushchev tried to put the
blame for the split on Beria and ilas. Since both of them were no longer in power it was
a convenient way to offer the Yugoslavs a quick road towards reconciliation. This was
unacceptable for Tito, since it was clear to him that Stalin and Molotov were behind
Soviet policies. Tito did not think that using ilas 82 as a scapegoat could prove itself
useful in the rapprochement. The correspondence between Tito and Khrushchev lasted
until September. Thus, first steps were made and when Khrushchev emerged as the new
Soviet leader his proposed revolution in foreign policy could start.
In March 1955, Khrushchev started a major public relations campaign designed to
undermine support for Molotovs views 83 . He had the support of Marshall Zhukov and
78

William Taubman, Khrushchev, the Man and his Era, W. W. Norton & Company,
New York, 2004: p. 268.
79
CWIHP Bulletin 12/13, 2001: p. 316.(S. Rajak, New Evidence from the Former
Yugoslav Archives)
80
Ibid, 319.
81
Ibid, 320.-321.
82
Ibid, 321.
...as far as we are concerned, we need to say openly that an individual, for example
Djilas, was not the cause of this conflict, regardless of his lack of balanced approach
and his outbursts from one extreme to another.'
83
Aleksandr Fursenko and Timothy Naftali, Khrushchev's Cold War, W. W. Norton,
17

the new Prime Minister Bulganin. High-level negotiations were initiated with the
Yugoslavs and Belgrade responded positively to the Soviet suggestion of a visit in May.
The Soviet delegation led by Khrushchev landed in Belgrade on 26 May. The Soviets
were treated to an ice-cold reception at the airport. The Yugoslavs did not even bother
to translate Khrushchevs remarks. He again accused Beria for the split, a statement the
Yugoslavs found unacceptable. Further adding to his problems Khrushchev got
stupefyingly dunk on several occasions and found it extremely difficult to negotiate with
Tito and Kardelj. Yugoslavia and the Soviet Union signed the Belgrade declaration, but
it only established cordial relations between the two states 84 , not between the parties as
Khrushchev had hoped for. Nonetheless, with this meeting and the signing of the
Austrian State Treaty earlier in May the Khrushchev Thaw 85 had begun in earnest.

The Spectre of Titoism


When Khrushchev gave his famous Secret speech at the Twentieth Party
Congress in February 1956 the world stood still. The great Stalin was accused of
unimaginable crimes and his politics were heavily criticized. Khrushchev had pledged to
return the USSR to Leninism. Khrushchev still glorified Lenin, thus allowing himself to
criticize Stalin and at the same time save the sanctity of the Soviet regime. This position
was surely closer to the line propagated by the Yugoslav communists, who saw
themselves as standard bearers of Leninism after the split. Not only did Khrushchev

2006: p. 27.
The final declaration issued when they left a week later on June 2 was signed for the
Soviet delegation not by Communist party leader Khrushchev but by the titular head
of the government, Nikolai A. Bulganin, a signal that full ideological reconciliation
was still beyond reach and a symbol of the Yugoslav contention that relations between
two equal, sovereign states, not between a central and a peripheral party, were being
mended. Tito signed for Yugoslavia in his capacity as the countrys president. (Joseph
Rotschild and Nancy M. Wingfield, op.cit.: p. 148.)
85
The term Khruschew Thaw is used to describe the period after Khruschev's ascent to
power until the Hungarian uprising. The Soviet writer Ilya Ehrenburg published a
novel 'The thaw' in 1954 which then gave name to the Khrushchev Thaw.
84

18

denounce Stalin, but during the foreign policy 86 section of the Congress a few days
earlier he stated that different roads to socialism were possible 87 . The importance of his
speech cannot be stressed enough. It sent shockwaves throughout Eastern Europe. A
liberal trend was set in motion and it soon blew out of proportion. Khrushchev found
out that the consequences of his speech were far greater than he imagined. He was thus
caught in a dilemma between his perceived need to reintegrate Yugoslavia into the
Communist world, his craving to dismantle political Stalinism, and the Soviet Unions
stake in averting the destabilization and possible loss of its client states. The road from
the Secret Speech to the Hungarian Revolution lay open.
Tito made a return visit to USSR in June 1956. The reception and the atmosphere
surrounding the visit was quite different than the one that had surrounded Khrushchevs
visit a year earlier. There was a grandiose reception for Tito in Moscow, and during their
visit to Stalingrad the masses enthusiastically surrounded the Yugoslav leader. However,
the talks between the two delegations were strained just like a year before in Belgrade.
Tito continuously rejected the unity of socialist countries, condemned the very term
socialist lager and stressed the importance of different roads to socialism 88 . The result of
these talks was the Moscow declaration which established the inter-party relations
between the LCY and the CPSU, but also recognized "various roads to socialism" as
legitimate. This declaration had a profound influence in the aftermath of the Secret
Speech. Several key questions arose. What will happen in the satellite states? Are they
allowed to pursue their own roads to socialism? Where is the limit of Soviet power? All
these questions were to be answered in the next five months.
After the signing of the Moscow declaration Khrushchev felt it necessary to
meet with the other East European leaders. At a meeting held on 22 June there was no
mention of the declaration and the Yugoslav ambassador to USSR Veljko Miunovi
86

The famous 'Secret Speech' was delivered on the last day of the Congress, February 25.
The Congress lasted from February 14 to February 15.
87
William Taubman, op.cit.: p. 271.
88
Dragan Bogeti, Podsticaji i ogranienja na putu normalizacije jugoslovenskosovjetskih odnosa tokom 1956. in Tokovi istorije, Vol. 3-4, 2005: pp. 163-4.
19

interpreted this as a sign that the declaration is applicable to Yugoslavia only 89 . In almost
all the Soviet-bloc countries major changes happened between March and October 1956.
The level and intensity of the reforms varied from country to country but they all bore the
signature of Titoism.

Storm over Eastern Europe


Khrushchevs reforms improved the conditions of everyday life in the USSR and
the rest of the bloc. The real question was whether the satellites wanted reforms under the
watchful eye of the Soviets, or whether they longed to pursue independent policies.
Yugoslavia with its international prestige and its hard-earned capital from the Tito-Stalin
split presented an appealing model for the Soviet-dominated countries of the eastern bloc.
With the acknowledgement of various roads to socialism Khrushchev had opened
Pandoras box.
The death of the veteran Polish Stalinist party chief Boleslaw Bierut on March 12,
1956, had ambivalent consequences for Poland. On the one hand, it opened a leadership
gap; on the other hand, it spared Poland a struggle to remove him, such as was taking
place in Hungary over Mtys Rkosi at this time. Bieruts successor as Communist party
first secretary was Edward Ochab, who sought a stance of balance and gradualism,
further restraint of the police, easing the inordinate investments in heavy industry,
relaxing the pressure on Catholic believers, while condemning Gomulka for nationalism
and insisting on preservation of the Communists monopoly of power. he was deemed
acceptable by the Soviets, whose own domestic de-Stalinization and external
rapprochement with Tito would have been compromised had they intervened in Poland.
But Ochabs position became untenable after the Poznan workers insurrection of June
28 and 29, which indicated that the previous ferment could no longer be contained within
the existing party structure 90 . Polish Communists became desperate and by October they
89
90

Veljko Miunovi, Moskovske godine: 1956-1958., Liber, Zagreb 1977: p. 93.


Joseph Rotschild and Nancy M. Wingfield, op.cit.: p. 151.; William Taubman, op.cit.:
pp. 2923.
20

named Gomulka 91 the party Secretary. Gomulka, who was accused of Titoism and
imprisoned in 1951, represented the new national communist trend that was emerging
in the satellites.
Khrushchev approached the Polish problem quite seriously. At first he was keen
on eliminating the new leadership, but after long consultations with other members of the
Presidium Khrushchev decided to wait 92 and give Gomulka some space for his reforms.
In return for Soviet tolerance, Gomulka committed himself to preserving the Communist
monopoly of power and to holding Poland to its Soviet alliance, albeit on more equal
terms 93 . He managed to secure substantive gains for Poland, and symbolically raised
Poland from a colony to a dominion of the Soviet Empire 94 .
Successful dealing with Poland boosted Khrushchevs prestige within the Soviet
Union. He thought that he found a formula for de-Stalinization in the satellites. Even in
Romania and Bulgaria, the bastions of Stalinism, policy changes were afoot. Bulgarias
Little Stalin Vulko Chervenkov, who presided over the purges, was denounced at the
special plenum of the Bulgarian Communist Party in April 1956. He was replaced by a
91

Wladyslaw Gomulka had become leader of the underground Communist resistance in


1943 after the violent elimination of two predecessors under murky circumstances. He
was confirmed as secretary general of the party after the liberation, when he also
became a deputy premier and the minister for the regained (ex-German) territories, in
which capacity he administered the partys extensive patronage apparatus for the
distribution of these new lands to resettled Poles. Together with a small cluster of
fellow undergrounders, he soon found himself at odds with the partys Muscovites
over a number of policy issues and general stances. Gomulka tended to emphasize a
Polish national road to Socialism, to limit imitation of and dependence on the Soviet
Union, to respect the patriotic traditions of the Polish Socialists, and to depreciate the
collectivization of agriculture. (Joseph Rotschild and Nancy M. Wingfield, op.cit.: p.
134.)
92
Using force against Poland at this point would undermine the reconciliation with Tito
on which Khrushchev was banking so heavily and would succor his own residual
Stalinist rivals.
On the other hand, it seems that Mikoyan saved the Poles because Khrushchev
already decided to send the Soviet troops in Poland and it was only after Mikoyans
intervention that he decided to wait. (.; William Taubman, op.cit.: p. 294.)
93
Joseph Rotschild and Nancy M. Wingfield, op.cit.: p. 153.
94
Raymond Pearson, op.cit.: p. 53.
21

young apparatchik Todor Zhivkov 95 . In Romania, party boss Gheorghiu-Dej pushed for
the withdrawal of the Soviet troops since their presence was no longer needed after the
signing of the Austrian State Treaty 96 . However, Romania and Bulgaria remained loyal to
the Soviet Union for the time being. It was the events in Hungary that unmasked the
potential dangers of de-Stalinization.

Hungary 56
By early fall 1956 Khrushchev was becoming more worried about the events in
Eastern Europe. Therefore he again visited Yugoslavia to meet with Tito in September
1956. He expressed concerns that the Yugoslav way was being exploited by hostile
forces in Eastern Europe 97 . His concerns were somewhat alleviated by the unfolding of
events in Poland, but a far more dangerous situation was brewing in Hungary.
In Hungary, the cult of Stalin was particularly egregious, the treatment of
undesirable social categories particularly cruel, the industrialization commitment
particularly heedless, and the circle of decision makers particularly restricted and
Muscovite. The new Hungarian Prime Minister, as of 1953, Imre Nagy was a wartime
Muscovite but non-Jewish and a moderate Communist. On the other hand, the party
boss Matyas Rakosi was regarded as Stalin's best Hungarian disciple. His ruthless and
autocratic regime became increasingly burdensome for the Soviets. Rakosi was also in

95

R. J. Crampton, op.cit.: pp. 170-1.


Ibid, 185. - 186.
Under the terms of the 1947 peace treaty Soviet troops had been garrisoned in
Romania to help guard the supply lines to Soviet bases in eastern Austria.
97
Hostile forces, I said, are trying to use the Yugoslav way of building socialism to
their ends. In a number of countries of the peoples democracies, such as Poland,
Hungary, and others, reactionary elements are using such arguments in their hostile
activity in order not to finally reveal themselves, in particular that they ought to follow
the Yugoslav path, to follow Yugoslavias example, etc. Thus, it turns out that the
reactionary elements that are fighting Communist and workers parties speak out
under the flag of advocating the so-called Yugoslav path.( Note from N. Krushchev
to the CPSU CC Presidium regarding conversations with Yugoslav leaders in
Belgrade, www.wilsoncenter.org, accessed on 13 June 2010)
96

22

the forefront of anti-Titoist purges. By 1955 Nagy was out of the picture as he was
advocating a new socialist line 98 . During 1956 Khrushchev finally lost patience with
Rakosi and replaced him with another Stalinist Erno Gero. Khrushchev even tried to
force reconciliation between Hungary and Yugoslavia by inviting Gero to Crimea at the
time of Titos visit in October. He hoped that by accepting Gero Tito would send a strong
political message to other satellite countries 99 .
Khrushchev was reassured by the Polish October and tried to apply the same
model to the Hungarian situation. So far, the Hungarian revolutionary process had been
largely an internal elite process. The workers and peasants, less interested in reforming
than in abolishing the Communist system, had remained sullen and silent. The spark that
activated their mass participation was the reluctant Soviet acceptance of Gomulkas
return to power in Poland, which the exhilarated Hungarians misinterpreted as a general
Soviet abdication in East Central Europe. On October 23, an initially peaceful but
politically militant demonstration by Budapest students precipitated the Revolution. The
next day, October 24, Soviet troops garrisoned in Hungary attempted to suppress the
Revolution but they soon halted their intervention in the provinces and by October 28 in
the capital as well. Politically, too, the Soviets were reassessing their commitments, and
on October 25 brought about the replacement of Gero as party first secretary by Jnos
Kdr 100 . The Soviets also endorsed Nagy as Premier and anticipated that the Nagy
Kdr pairing would now master the situation, presumably toward an outcome
comparable to the one negotiated in Poland 101 .

98

The ouster of Malenkov in February 1955 eliminated that Soviet leader who was most
protective of the New Course, and Nagy fell in his wake in Aprilousted from the
premiership, from his parliamentary seat, from the partys Politburo and Central
Committee, and even from his residual university lectureship and membership in the
Academy of Sciences. In November, he would be expelled from the party altogether.(
Joseph Rotschild and Nancy M. Wingfield, op.cit.: p. 155.)
99
Dragan Bogeti, Podsticaji i ogranienja na putu normalizacije jugoslovenskosovjetskih odnosa tokom 1956. in Tokovi istorije, Vol. 3-4, 2005: p. 169.
100
Janos Kadar was a wartime local undergrounder, a tortured victim of one of
Rkosis last purges, and non-Jewish.
101
Joseph Rotschild and Nancy M. Wingfield, op.cit.: p. 158.
23

The Hungarians misinterpreted this move as a sign that Moscow was losing
political will. Therefore, Nagy made a grave miscalculation when he called for the
repudiation of Geros original request of October 23 for Soviet military intervention, the
reconstitution of the multiparty government coalition of 1945 and a proclamation of
Hungarys neutrality. This was a step too far. Khrushchev was now bent on crushing the
Hungarian uprising, but he wanted to get approval from the other bloc leaders and from
Tito.
In one of the most amazing Cold War episodes, Khrushchev visited Tito on 2
November on the Adriatic island of Brijuni. He and Malenkov traveled in a two-engine
Ilyushin 14 in horrible weather. Despite the meteorological characteristics Tito gave
consent for the intervention in Hungary 102 . The Hungarian uprising was crushed and the
grip over Eastern Europe was once again strengthened. It would never return to the
Stalinist practices of the immediate post-war years, but the chance for true reform was
lost during the Khrushchev Thaw. In the end, Tito was too scared about the prospect of
having a non-communist, hostile country on his borders, or even with having a national
communist, non-Soviet dominated rival in the region That is why he approved of the
second Soviet intervention. The changes that took place during the Thaw years can
perhaps best be described by the Polish leader Gomulkas refusal to agree with the
intervention although he promised Khrushchev that he would not condemn the invasion
publicly 103 .

Conclusion
After the intervention Tito gave a speech in Pula on November 11, 1956 in which
he criticized some aspects of the Soviet intervention. At that time Imre Nagy was in the
Yugoslav embassy and the new leader of Hungary Janos Kadar granted him safe passage.
Nagy was arrested as he was leaving the embassy which led to a new worsening of
102
103

About the Brijuni meeting see: Veljko Miunovi, op.cit.: pp. 15665.
Victor Sebestyen, Twelve Days: The Story of the 1956 Hungarian Revolution,
Vintage Books, 2007, p. 231.
24

Soviet-Yugoslav relations. At the same time, events in Hungary clearly demonstrated the
limits of 'Titoism'. Milovan ilas was finally imprisoned after the Hungarian uprising for
publishing an article 'Storm over Eastern Europe' in magazine The New Leader. He
publicly accused Yugoslav leadership for supporting the Soviet intervention. ilas was
immediately arrested and sentenced to three years imprisonment. The next year, with the
publication of New Class, he was sentenced to another seven years. Although Yugoslav
Soviet relations would significantly detoriorate over the next few years, ilas was
conditionally released from prison only in 1961 and then again imprisoned the following
year after publishing Conversations with Stalin. The second Yugoslav Soviet
rapprochement was well on its way by 1962. ilas's fate was obviously determined more
by the current Yugoslav international position than by the potential dangerous impact his
writings might have on the general public.
These events highlighted two important aspects of the de-Stalinization campaign
and the 'Thaw' years. It became evident that only Tito's Yugoslavia was allowed 'to get
away'. It seems that the separate road to socialism was reserved only for Yugoslavia and
for Tito. Moreover, Tito overestimated the influence Yugoslavia had upon Eastern
Europe. The Soviet clampdown in Hungary clearly showed to Tito the constraints in his
'Ostblock' policy. As far as the internal situation in Yugoslavia was considered, one can
say that on this road there was no place for deviations. While Tito's rule was not
totalitarian it was overtly autocratic. Although Yugoslavia underwent its 'Thaw years' in
the early fifties this did not mean that further liberalization will be supported by Tito.
While ilas's thoughts and articles were in line with the decisions of the sixth Congress,
he went to far with his articles. During the second 'liberalization' period in the late sixties
and early seventies Tito still found necessary to stress that he never liked the decisions of
the Sixth Congress in 1952 104 .

104

R. J. Crampton, op.cit.: p. 134.


25

Sources and literature


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26

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27

26. Raymond Pearson, Rise and Fall of the Soviet Empire, St. Martin's Press, New
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Reference:

28

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29