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2005 | 40 | 245-258

Article title

Soviet-Yugoslav Relations in 1948-1958. Political and Ideological Aspects


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The author draws attention to the fact that during the 1948-1958 period, despite the so called normalisation of 1955-1956, the political conflict between Moscow and Belgrade assumed the additional features of an ideological conflict, i.e. an actual ideological confrontation within the international communist movement. By seeking a new legitimisation of their power, the Yugoslav communists tried to present the 'self-government' relations in their country as a model-like systemic solution for other states entering the path of the so called construction of socialism. As a result, the Soviet-Yugoslav ideological dispute oscillated around the question who, and upon what sort of a basis would have the right to determine the ideological and systemic principles of the 'socialist' system and the relations between countries governed by the communists. In those conditions, new elements emerged within the international communist movement. For the first time its unity was undermined both politically and ideologically. The Yugoslav Party was becoming an independent political factor as well as an undesired competitor of Moscow in establishing 'socialist' rules and principles which, as the Yugoslav leaders suggested, possessed universal merits. This trend became especially distinct in connection with the speeches given by Tito at the Sixth Congress of the CPY/LCY in November 1952 and in Pula on 11 November 1956 as well as in the enactment of a new LCY programme in 1958. It must be stressed that it was precisely the above mentioned speech from November 1952 and not the later speech given by Khrushchev at the Twentieth Congress of the CPSU in 1956, which was the first public condemnation of Stalin and Stalinism. This fact is usually ignored, similarly to the fact that Tito's critique was much more profound than the one formulated by Khrushchev. It was not limited to condemning Stalin alone, but also attacked the system created by him, regardless of the fact that the systemic conditions in Yugoslavia actually did not differ considerably from those prevailing in the Soviet Union.







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  • M. J. Zacharias, Instytut Historii PAN, ul. Rynek Starego Miasta 29/31, 00-272 Warszawa, Poland


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