Josip Broz Tito (b. 1892) was the ruler of Yugoslavia from 1941 until his death in 1980. Although he is generally viewed as a benevolent dictator, in actuality Tito was no less ruthless than the other Eastern Bloc leaders.
Born Josip Broz to a Croatian father and a Slovene mother, Tito adopted his moniker during the Second World War—it was the last of many codenames he used while underground. He distinguished himself by repelling the invading Nazis from Yugoslavia with minimal help from Russia, and spent the post-war years currying favor with both the Soviets and the West, as well as reaching out to developing nations. His funeral was the largest state ceremony in modern history, drawing hundreds of dignitaries from around the world.
A powerful cult of personality was required to unite Serbs, Croats, Bosnians, Herzegovinians, Kosovars, Macedonians, and Slovenes, in territory renowned for its warlike ways, under one flag. Tito was charismatic enough to manage. But his outward geniality was a façade. He was responsible for a number of mass murders, especially of ethnic Germans and Hungarians in Yugoslavia after the Second World War. He was extremely harsh in dealing with his enemies, real or imagined; the death march to the notorious Goli Otok prison camp was a favorite punishment. And Tito lived the life of luxury, maintaining over two dozen addresses, including his own private island.
Although the standard of living in Yugoslavia was higher than in other Communist countries, this had less to do with Tito’s vaunted economic policies than the generous aid he quietly received from the United States. When he died, Yugoslavia fell apart, and the treasury that financed his lavish lifestyle was bankrupt.
Coin • KM31, 2 dinar—aluminum; 22.3mm; 1.2 g; issued 1953 Obverse: state emblem of Yugoslavia. Reverse: denomination divides date. Banknotes • P-93, 5000 dinar; 164 x 75mm; issued 1985 Posthumous issue-Obverse: large portrait of a middle-aged Tito. Reverse: skyline of Jajce, a city in what is now Bosnia and the site of the historic convention of the Anti-Fascist Council of National Liberation of Yugoslavia in 1943.
Album Data: Album open measures: 11” x 7.5” Album folded measures: 5.5” x 7.5”
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