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Jeruba's avatar

What "famous statement" did Marshal Tito make in 1953? or maybe 1952?

Asked by Jeruba (55926points) March 24th, 2018

I’m (re)reading the entire Nero Wolfe mystery series, by Rex Stout, and am up to 1954: The Black Mountain, which takes place mostly in Montenegro (“the Black Mountain”). At the time, that small and formerly independent European nation was the site of a struggle among the Soviet Russians, the forces of the Yugoslav leader Marshal Tito, and the partisan Montenegrins fighting for their freedom. Pretty much all I know about that is supplied as exposition in the context of this novel.

There’s a reference on p. 75 of my edition that says: “Last July, when Yugoslavia resumed relations with Soviet Russia and Marshal Tito made his famous statement…”

I’m inferring that the year referred to would be either 1952 or 1953.

I don’t know much about European history of that period and don’t know what “famous statement” is being alluded to. My assumption is that contemporary readers would have recognized it.

A little googling and Wikipedia searching aren’t getting me my answer.

Do you know what Tito said in his “famous statement”?


Tags as I wrote them: Marshal Tito, Yugoslavia, European history, Soviet era, communism, 1950s, Montenegro.

(Why are the tags “European history” and “Montenegro” deleted from the list of topics associated with my question? I’ve doubled-checked, and they are there in my post.)

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6 Answers

janbb's avatar

Been doing some sleuthing. Most quotes don’t have dates attributed to them. This looks the most likely, a statement found in a letter to Stalin from Tito. Check out this article and see if it might fit.

elbanditoroso's avatar

My guess is that it’s the Belgrade Document link with which Tito said “We’re Communist, but we’re going to practice Communism a little differently than Russia does”.

janbb's avatar

^^ I saw that referenced too but that’s a later date than the one @Jeruba is asking about. I found lots of history but the letter was the only statement I found for 1952 – 53

(Interesting that the two librarians were researching this.)

elbanditoroso's avatar

@janbb – what else is there to do on Saturday night?

janbb's avatar

Nothing better than a busman’s holiday apparently!

Jeruba's avatar

Love having the research help! Thank you.

Since the book was published in October of 1954, the events of the story (set in springtime) can’t take place later than early 1954 and probably occur the preceding year; so “last July” is either 1953 or 1952. Stalin died in March of 1953, so if the reference is to the Tito letter, that would have to make it 1952. I don’t see mention of a date on the letter, though.

I thought I would find some prominent reference to Yugoslavia’s “resumed relations with Soviet Russia,” which would date the “famous statement,” but I didn’t. It seems to refer to something that most people up on their current events would have known at the time, and that might not apply to a letter. But resuming relations seems most plausible following the death of Stalin.

It’s not important to the story, but I can’t help wondering about it anyway.

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