Andrey Edemskiy

Institute for Slavic Studies Russian Academy of Sciences Moscow Russia



The report deals with analysing of  three lines of social-political thought in Yugoslavia in 1950s. Each of them was significantt political figure in these period and belonged to one of leading school of political thought of that time. The official one was expressed by leader of Yugoslavian state and Commmunist party (CPY, since 1953 YCL) J. Broz Tito. Another one exprssed by first dissident of socialist world, former member of KPY/SKY and vice-president of communist Yugoslavia Milovan Djilas. The third one was represented by leading ideologist of anticommunist opposition in exile, proponent of liberal democracy, Serbian diplomat before WWI,  professor of Belgrade University iin interwar period Slobodan Jovanovic who had influential positions in Yugoslav governments in-exile during WWII.

The report tries to give the “so called 3D perception” of  the image of the Soviet Union since these three thinkers and political activists belonged to three different schools of political thought of that period of time coming from different background. Broz Tito was on the top of Communist state machine who used all the power of the state propaganda and official political sciences. Nevertheless since 1953 under influence of Soviet-Yugoslavia reconciliation Broz Tito made significant evolution in softening the critique of the Soviet regime.

Milovan Djilas, who unlike Broz Tito before 1944 did not live in the USSR, in late 1940s – early 1950s was the severest critique of the Stalinist regime in the Soviet bloc made significant evolution in 1953-1954 towards liberalism still criticizing Communism from Marxist background. 1955-1956 Djilas was in the first ranks of critique of Soviet system. In June 1955 in several articles published in Western press  he has demonized Khrushchev and his entourage severely. In October-November 1956 reacting on Soviet policy towards uprising in Hungary and under erlear events in Poland, he made his prognosis on inevetablility of collapse of Soviet sistem in Eastern Europe. By that time he already finished his manuscript later called “New Class” and part of it has already been transferred to the West. And It was this criique by Djilas on events in Hungary that influenced on the nature of Droz Tito’s speech in Pula in November 1956.

Slobodan Jovanovic, who expressend his views mainly in the texts published in London journal “Poruka” in Serbo-Croatian, was also one of those standing behind of this journal, trying to unite all anticommunist democratic opposition in exile on its background. Although this journal was devoted to Yugoslav contemporary situation and history mainly, and all the views on the USSR were expressed in connection with the Soviet foreign policy, the attitude of Slobodan Jovanovic to the USSR was clear and uneqivocal critique of totalitarianism. One of the conclusions of my paper is that both Broz Tito (although hiddenly and in controvercial way), and Milovan Djilas (more openly and clearly) evoluated  into the direction of critique of Soviet  system but never joined Jivanovic who died early 1958.