2004 | 39 | 27-59
Article title

The Policy of the League of Communists of Yugoslavia and the National Question in Yugoslavia in 1919-1943

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The author maintains that the national policy of the League of Communists of Yugoslavia from the moment of its establishment to the Second Session of the Anti-Fascist Council for the National Liberation of Yugoslavia, held in November 1943 was closely subjected to the stand of the Soviet dictator. Depending on wider political goals Moscow spoke about the need to dismantle or maintain the Yugoslav state. To a certain extent the discussed policy depended also on the stance of the Yugoslav communists, chiefly Serbs, who, as a rule, were inclined to endorse the conception of creating a federational albeit centralised Yugoslav state, as well as on the attitude of the Croatian communists, headed by Andrija Hebrang. The latter were advocates of granting the future republics, mainly Croatia, essential autonomy within the federation. The ultimately winning conception was that of Josip Broz Tito, the party leader appointed by the Kremlin after the arrest and execution of Milan Gorkic during the Stalinist 'purges', presumably with the participation of Tito himself. At the time, Tito supported a centralised party and and equally centralised communist state and these conceptions were accepted during the Second Session of the Anti-Fascist Council for the National Liberation of Yugoslavia. Consequently, Hebrang and his political friends lost their political rank and influence. Certain modifications connected with a gradual abandonment of the Soviet model also as regards national questions did not become apparent until the conflict between Tito and Stalin in 1948. Nonetheless, this was an extremely slow process. The decentralisation of the state triumphed fully only in connection with the reforms initiated in the mid-1960s. In its general outline, it was concurrent with the earlier conceptions expounded by Hebrang, albeit realised by Josip Broz Tito, his wartime political opponent.
  • M. J. Zacharias,, Instytut Historii PAN, Zaklad Dziejów Europy XIX-XX w., ul. Rynek Starego Miasta 29/31, 00-272 Warszawa, Poland
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