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  • Writer's pictureKristina Lang

The largest state funeral in history - Josip Broz Tito/Najveći državni pogreb u povijesti – JB Tito

Today, 42 years ago, Josip Broz Tito was buried in the “House of flowers” in Dedinje in Belgrade. Tito passed away on May 4th, 1980, and I remember well how sad I was, although I was only 12 years old. Most of the people around me were heartbroken and this devastating news brought us to tears. That day Yugoslavia literally stopped for a few minutes, and I also stood calmly on the street after the news of Tito's death resounded.

Tito was a favourite politician in the former Yugoslavia, and he also rose above many on the world political stage. During World War II, Tito organized the greatest resistance to the Nazis in the world, and his partisan movement brought Yugoslavia the status of a victor in that war. Along with the liberation fight, the Communist Party of Yugoslavia, led by Tito, also waged a socialist revolution. Self-governing socialism, which was unique in the world, brought a good life to most of the inhabitants of the former Yugoslavia, and that is why Tito was a beloved politician at home. On the world stage, he had a prominent role, primarily as one of the founders of the Non-Aligned Movement, where countries who wished to not be officially aligned with or against any major power formed their own group. He also kept a smart policy that maintained Yugoslavia open to the polarized world of both the East and West. Tito refused to bow to Moscow after World War II and led an independent Yugoslavia ever since. My late mother often pointed out with pride that she “was born in the year, 1948, when we said ‘No’ to Stalin” after which Yugoslavia set out its independent path, on which it remained until its break-up in the early 1990s.

Tito's funeral, held on May 8th, 1980, was the largest state funeral in history with more delegates arriving from other countries than ever before.


Although the Soviet Union did not view Yugoslavia with sympathy for its independence from the Eastern Bloc, General Secretary of the Russian Communist Party and then Soviet Union leader Leonid Brezhnev attended the funeral and paid tribute to Tito alongside then-Chinese President and Communist Party leader Hua Guofeng. U.S. President Carter did not attend the funeral in person but sent his mother and his Vice President instead. Carter came personally to Tito's grave a few weeks later. It is not surprising that the Prime Minister of India, Indira Gandhi, attended Tito's funeral because of the close relations between India and Yugoslavia at the time. The father of Indira Gandhi, Jawaharlal Nehru, together with the Egyptian Prime Minister Nasser and Tito, founded the Non-Aligned Movement. What is impressive is that along with Indira Gandhi, Tito's funeral was attended by representatives of Pakistan, which was in a multi-year conflict with India at the time.


As a Croatian living in the UK, I want to highlight one of the Western European leaders who attended, the British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher. She found herself beside the President of Zimbabwe, Robert Mugabe, who was, among other things, a fighter against British colonialism and imperialism. Additionally, Queen Elizabeth sent her husband, Prince Philip, to the funeral.


In total the funeral was attended by 31 presidents, 4 kings, 6 princes and 47 foreign ministers on both sides of the Iron Curtain. A total of 128 countries, out of a total of 154 UN member states, attended the funeral of Josip Broz Tito.




Love,

Kristina

Sunday, May 8th, 2022


Najveći državni pogreb u povijesti – Josip Broz Tito


Na današnji dan, prije 42 godine na Dedinju, u “Kući cvijeća” u Beogradu sahranjen je Josip Broz Tito. Tito je preminuo 4. svibnja 1980. godine. Sjećam se dobro te, za mene i većinu oko mene, tužne vijesti koja je mnogim ljudima donijela suze u oči. Imala sam 12 godina i stala sam u stavu mirno kao i čitava Jugoslavija nakon što je odjeknula vijest o Titovoj smrti.

Tito je bio omiljeni političar na područiju bivše Jugoslavije, a i na svjetskoj se politickoj pozornici izdiago iznad mnogih. On je tokom 2. Svjetskog rata organizirao najveći otpor nacistima na svijetu i njegov partizanski pokret donio je Jugoslaviji status pobjednika u tom ratu. Uz oslobodilačku borbu Komunistička partija Jugoslavije sa Titom na čelu, provodila je i socijalističku revoluciju. Jugoslovenski samoupravni socijalizam koji je bio jedinstven u svijetu obezbijedio je dobar život većini stanovnika bivše Jugoslavije i zato je Tito bio omiljeni političar unutar zemlje. Na svjetskoj je pozornici imao istaknutu ulogu, ponajprije kao jedan od tri osnivača Pokreta nesvrstanih, ali i svojom pametnom politikom koja je Jugoslaviji držala otvorena vrata prema polariziranom svijetu Istoka I Zapada. Tito se odbio nakloniti Moskvi nakon 2. Svjetskog rata i vodio je od tada neovisnu Jugoslaviju. Moja je pokojna mama često sa ponosom isticala da se rodila u godini (1948) “kad smo Staljinu rekli Ne” čime je Jugoslavija krenula svojim neovisnim putem na kojem je ostala do svog raspada početkom devedesetih.

Titov je pogreb, koji se održao 8. svibnja 1980. bio najveći drzavni pogreb u povijesti sa više delegata pristiglih iz drugih zemalja nego bilo gdje do tada.

Iako Sovjetski Savez nije gledao sa simpatijama na Jugoslaviju zbog njezine neovisnosti prema Istočnom bloku, generalni sekretar Komunističke partije Rusije i tadasnji vođa Sovjetskog Saveza Leonid Brežnjev je došao na pogreb i odao priznanje Titu, jednako kao i tadašnji predsjednik Kine i vođa komunisticke partije Kine Hua Guofeng. Američki predsjednik Carter nije došao na pogreb osobno nego je poslao svojku majku i podpredsjednika, ali je došao nekoliko tjedana kasnije na Titov grob. Ne iznenađuje da je Titovom pogrebu prisustvovala premijerka Indije Indira Gandhi zbog bliskih odnosa Indije i Jugoslavije tog vremena. Ono što zadivljuje je da su uz Indiru Gandhi na Titov pogreb došli i predstavnici Pakistana koji su sa Indijom toga vremena bili u višegodišnjem konfliktu.

Obzirom da sam Hrvatica koja živi u Engleskoj želim istaknuti da je na pogrebu bila I britanska premijerka Margaret Thatcher. Ona se time se našla pored predsjednika Zimbabvea Roberta Mugabe koji je izmđu ostalog bio borac protiv britanskog kolonijalizma i imperijalizma. Engleska kraljica Elizabeta na pogreb je poslala supruga, princa Filipa.

Sve ukupno pogrebu je prisustvovao 31 predsjednik, 4 kralja, 6 prinčeva, 47 ministara vanjskih poslova sa obe strane željezne zavjese. Ukupno 128 zemalja, od sveukupno 154 zemlje članice UNa prisustvovalo je pogrebu Josipa Broza Tita.


S ljubavlju,

Kristina

Nedelja, 8. svibnja 2022.

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