Original scientific paper
|Fulltext: english, pdf (329 KB)||pages 7-32||cite|
Between 1945 and 1967, Josip Broz Tito, the Marshal and President of Yugoslavia, received 411,769 letters written by citizens of his country. Until 1964 he personally read most of the letters addressed to him and made decisions on requests and comments expressed in them. In this article we argue that Tito used the letters received to establish a direct link between himself and citizens. This was one of the key instruments of his power, as he used letters to conduct a permanent ‘anti-bureauratic revolution’ which would squeeze lower-level officials into a sandwich between him and ‘the people’. We focus on one particular letter, written by Dragomir Katić, a 27-year old unemployed person from Kraljevo, Serbia. The letter arrived in February 1967, and Tito used this occasion to personally meet Katić. Despite Tito’s promise, however, Katić’s problem could not be solved for more than two years, due to a power struggle between Tito and local officials in Serbia. This case sheds new light on the nature of Tito’s alleged absolute power in Yugoslavia. It tells us much about the attitude of dissatisfied individuals in Communist Yugoslavia, who cared much more about solving their personal problems than about changing the system, at least for as long as Tito was alive.
Hrčak ID: 252680