Yugoslavia, 1944-1949

Status and Foreign Policy : By the end of 1944, most of prewar Yugoslavia had been liberated, for the most part by Tito's communist partisans. In October 1944, Churchill suggested and Stalin accepted to establish post-war British respectively Soviet political influence on a percentages basis, Soviet and British influence in Yugoslavia was to be 50-50, while Greece and Albania fell into a British sphere of influence. British forces operated on the Austrian frontier in the final months of the war.
In 1946, Tito perceived Britain as a threat to Yugoslav sovereignty, and was concerned about the combined British-U.S. interference in Greek affairs. Thus Yugoslavia supported the communists in Greece's Civil War and Tito sought good relations with Stalin's Soviet Union, while maintaining an independent stand. Yugoslavia and Albania concluded a treaty of friendship and formed a monetary union; the formation of a larger Yugoslavia, including Bulgaria, was discussed.
In 1948 Tito, being offered a favorable solution of the Trieste issue and Marshall Plan aid, decided to break with Stalin and end her support for the Greek communists. In turn, Albania nullified all her treaties with Yugoslavia and expelled Yugoslav advisors; the concept of a larger Yugoslavia including Bulgaria was scrapped; Bulgaria again claimed Yugoslav Macedonia. Britain and the west accepted Yugoslavia's communist regime. The Iron Curtain had been moved eastward (Churchill's original speech has it extend from Stettin to Trieste).

Domestic Policy : A communist one-party-state was established, industries nationalized, farmland collectivized. According to a decision taken by the Anti-Fascist Council at Jajce Nov. 29th 1943, Yugoslavia was organized as a Federal Republic, in order to establish equality among the Serbs, Croats, Slovenes, Macedonians and Montenegrins, respectively the people of Serbia, Croatia, Slovenia, Macedonia, Montenegro and Bosnia & Herzegovina; minority rights were to be protected.
Immediately after the war, the country's small German minority, mainly from the Gottschee region (Slovenia) and in the Vojvodina, were either expelled or forced to give up their language and identity. In 1946 and 1947 trials against perceived collaborators and enemies of the state were conducted, eliminating political oponents to the communist regime, church leaders etc. In 1948, party purges set in.

The Economy : In Dec. 1946 all private enterprises were nationalized. In 1947 a five-year-plan was announced (1947-1951); Yugoslavia then refused to accept western aid, and relied on the import of machinery from Switzerland, Sweden and Czechoslovakia. In 1948, Tito decided to accept the offer of Marshall Plan aid; Yugoslavia entered in trade relations with western nations, while her trade with the nations in the Soviet Bloc suffered. In 1946 Yugoslavia rejected the offer of food parcels for needy families by CARE.

Yugoslavia, History of, from Library of Congress, Country Studies
Statistics of Yugoslavia's Democide : Estimates, Calculations, and Sources, from Statistics of Democide by R.J. Rummel
Geoffrey Roberts, Beware Greek Gifts : the Churchill-Stalin Percentages Agreement of October 1944, posted by Mir Istorii, English language article on Russian language Website
Croatians by Titoists 1941-1947, Italians and Others by Titoists in Trieste, Istria and Dalmatia, from Genocides and Ethnic Cleansings in Central and Eastern Europe .., links
Entry Serbia, from Global History of Currencies
DOCUMENTS World Statesmen, from Yugoslavia by Ben Cahoon
Historical Population Statistics : Yugoslavia, from Population Statistics, Univ. Utrecht
Conference at Wiliza : Declaration of the founding of the Cominform at the Conference of the Communist Parties of Yugoslavia, Bulgaria, Hungary, Poland, the U.S.S.R., France, Czechoslovakia and Italy, Sept. 1948, from The Great Powers and the Division of Europe : 1945-1949
Cominform Communique : Resolution of the Information Bureau Concerning the Communist Party of Yugoslavia, June 28, 1948, from Modern History Sourcebook
Yugoslav banknotes, from Ron Wise's World Paper Money and from Currency Museum
Trade Agreement between India and Yugoslavia, Dec 29 1948, from India Bilateral Treaties
Tito Speech of Dec. 27 1948, posted by Virtual Archive of Central European History
Yugoslav Atrocities in Venezia Giulia 1945, documents released in 2006 by UK National Archives
REFERENCE Fred Singleton, A Short History of the Yugoslav Peoples, Cambridge University Press (1985) 1999
Snezana Trifunovska (ed.), Yugoslavia through Documents, From its Creation to its Dissolution, Dordrecht : Nijhoff 1994
Chapters 4 : Yugoslavia, the How and Why, pp.42-66; 5 : Tito, pp.67-81, 6 : The Cominform Rupture, pp.82-100, 7 : Men around Tito, pp.101-107, in : John Gunther, Behind the Curtain, NY : Harper & Bros. (1948) 1949 [G]
Wallace J. Campbell, The History of CARE, NY : Praeger 1990 [G]
Article Yugoslavia, in : Britannica Book of the Year 1946 pp.853-854, 1947 pp.852-853, 1948 pp.819-820, 1949 pp.693-695 [G]
Dejan Djokic (ed.), Yugoslavism. Histories if a Failed Idea, University of Wisconsin Press 2003, KMLA Lib.Sign. 949.7103 D626y
Article : Yugoslavia, in : Americana Annual 1947 pp.781-783 (on events of 1946) [G]
Article : Yugoslavia, in : Funk & Wagnall's New Standard Encyclopedia Year Book 1946 pp.470-475 [G]

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First posted in 2000, last revised on September 8th 2008

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