Chapter 2

Background to Titoism

I landed in Belgrade on July 3, 1948, five days after the Cominform resolution. Physically, the city had changed much in two years. On the way in from the airport, the gigantic new administrative buildings of New Belgrade were slowly beginning to rise out of the sand-beds of the Danube. In Belgrade itself tramlines and the avenues of trees which made a three-lane street of the main Red Army Boulevard, .had been pulled up. There was now a wide thoroughfare, along which skimmed bright new red Fiat buses, received as reparations from Italy. Shops had even less in them than in 1946, when U.N.R.R.A. goods made a brave showing. People in the streets looked a little more hollow-cheeked and the tempo of life and work had definitely slowed down. The city was gay with enormous red stars, illuminated at night on all the main streets and public buildings. Belgrade was preparing for the first post-war Congress of the Communist Party. Enormous portraits of Stalin and Tito, side by side, still dominated everything else in the city.

The text of the Cominform resolution was too vague and general for the mass of the population and ordinary Communist Party members, to understand what had happened. Nobody knew what had actually happened except Tito and a few other leaders. There had been no discussion about it in Party circles, although as became apparent a few weeks later, the quarrel had been looming for months past. Within a few hours of my arrival I visited an old friend whom I had known from the days when he was in exile. He was a Communist of long standing. He reflected the views held at that time by most Communists and indeed by most Yugoslavs:

"It's a misunderstanding," he said, "which will quickly be cleared up. You mustn't be misled by the tough language. Communists are used to the most brutal criticism from their closest colleagues, but this does not affect their personal relations. After all, it is only the Cominform that has done this, not the Soviet Union. We still have the closest relations with the Soviet Union. We regard it as the Communist Fatherland and Stalin as our leader. You will see, everything will be cleared up at our Party Congress."

He was very far from the mark, but could not know any better. The background to Tito's expulsion, which went back at least as far as 1942, was carefully concealed from everybody but the party leaders. Part of the background came out a few weeks later in Belgrade with the distribution of a pamphlet, which Tito's police promptly seized, giving the text of letters sent to Tito from Moscow from 1945 onwards. Part was revealed only in March, 1950, when Moshe Pijade, trying to discredit Soviet aid to Yugoslavia during the war, released the exchange of telegrams between Tito and the Soviet High Command in 1942-3.

In June, 1948, however, not five persons in a hundred in Yugoslavia believed the Cominform resolution represented anything more than a tiff between lovers. Racially and politically the Yugoslavs looked to the Soviet Union as a good Muslim looks to Mecca. For me, there was time only for a few furtive meetings with acquaintances who were more puzzled than hurt by the dramatic turn of events, and then I had to leave the country. I had arrived with a transit visa only. The Yugoslavs did not want any foreign correspondents in Belgrade during the Party Congress, so I had to continue to Sofia, with the promise of a return visa in time to attend the Danube Conference, due to start in Belgrade on June 30. The newspapers were carrying remarkably uniform telegrams from all parts of the country assuring Tito of undying support from Party and People's Front organisations.

As I passed the Yugoslav-Bulgarian frontier station of Tsaribrod, I noticed a huge central portrait of Tito, flanked by small photos of Stalin and Dimitrov.

The telegrams exchanged between Tito and Moscow in 1942-3 throw an entirely new light on the development of the quarrel. It is certain that Moshe Pijade, member of the Yugoslav Politburo, and one of Tito's ablest apologists, intended only to support Tito's case by releasing the text of these messages before the elections in March, 1950.

In effect they show that Tito became disenchanted with the Soviet Union in 1942, when Stalin was not able to meet impossible demands Tito was making. They show that Tito had no grasp of the overall political situation in the war against Italian and German Fascism. They support the Cominform case that Tito began to take an anti-Soviet line at that time because he was forced to rely on Western rather than Soviet military support in the early stages of the partisan war. From that it is not difficult to follow the further developments in the split as revealed by the exchange of letters between Stalin and Molotov on the one hand and Tito-Kardelj on the other, and the final breakaway by Tito in attempting to form a great rival bloc to the Soviet Union as indicated in the trials of Laszlo Rajk and Traicho Kostov. But first one must go back a little in time.

In 1940, when Hitler began to put pressure on the Balkans and seemed about to send his panzers in the direction of Yugoslavia, the Soviet Union ostentatiously concluded a pact with King Peter's government, and by a series of declarations let it be known that the Soviet Union regarded the Yugoslavs as brother Slavs, for whom she had the friendliest, fraternal feelings.

This pact remained in force after the Nazis invaded Yugoslavia, the Yugoslavs resisted and an exile government under King Peter was set up on London.

The pact was still in force when the Soviet Union was attacked. The Soviet Union fought the war on the basis of its alliance with two other world powers, England and the United States. Stalin, Churchill, and Roosevelt were pledged to fight together to destroy German, Italian, and Japanese Fascism. Doctrinaire questions of proletarian revolution in this country or that had to be put on ice until the chief aims of the great alliance were achieved and the forces of aggression were crushed. Political questions could be settled later. By Tito's messages to Moscow in 1942, it is clear he never grasped this point. The Soviet Union was fighting a life and death struggle, the outcome of which would also settle the fate of Yugoslavia regardless of what Tito and his partisans could do. This is an indisputable fact and to state it is not to belittle in any way the heroic struggle waged by partisans in Yugoslavia and in Bulgaria or by the Maquis in France. It is against this background of a three-power military alliance to defeat Fascist aggression, that one must view the following exchange of messages. And it must be remembered that the Soviet Union still had an alliance with King Peter's Yugoslav government, then operating in exile in England, with a Minister in the Soviet Union and with an army fighting in Yugoslavia.

During February and March, 1942, Tito sent many messages to Moscow, stating that a partisan movement had been started and asking for supplies to be dropped at a certain airfield in East Yugoslavia. Pijade complains that instead of help, Tito received a rather cool message from Moscow, which mentioned nothing about help but reproached Tito for splitting the national resistance movement. "In looking over your information," the message from Moscow stated, "an impression is obtained that followers of the English and Yugoslav governments with some justification suspect that your partisan movement is taking on a Communist character and is directed toward the Sovietisation of Yugoslavia. For example, why was it necessary for you to form a special proletarian brigade? The basic and immediate aim now is to unite all the anti-Hitler elements, to smash the occupier and to gain national liberation... Are there no other Yugoslav patriots aside from Communists and their sympathisers, with whom you can unite to fight the enemy? It is difficult to accept the charge that London and the Yugoslav governments are siding with the occupation forces. There must be some big misunderstanding. We request that you seriously consider your entire tactics and see whether you have done everything possible to create a united front of all the enemies of Hitler and Mussolini."

Pijade (and one must remember that all these messages were revealed by him in "Borba," the official organ of the Yugoslav Communist Party, in mid-March, 1950, a few days before the Yugoslav elections in an effort to prove that the Soviet Union cold-shouldered Tito during the first years of his struggle) said that on receipt of this telegram Tito wrote to him that "Grandfather (Stalin) seemed to bank a great deal on the alliance with England and America." Tito told Pijade that Moscow had requested him to change the wording of a proclamation he had prepared. The changes suggested by Moscow were (a) In the beginning of the second paragraph eliminate the lines "which were organised by the Communist Party"; (b) add to the fourth paragraph "Hitler will not withstand the powerful coalition of America, England and the U.S.S.R., around which all the freedom-loving nations are gathering"; (c) Change the end of the last paragraph in this way, "The victory of the heroic Red Army is a victory of all people of Europe but we too must fight to help the just cause of the U.S.S.R., England and America and by this to accelerate our own liberation"; (d) Eliminate the slogans, "Long live the uprising of all the enslaved peoples of Europe against the occupier," "Long live the heroic Red Army," "Long live Comrade Stalin," and "Long live the Soviet Union."

In another message Moscow puts its finger on the weak point in Tito's position when they told him, in March, 1942, "Do not consider the struggle only from your own national point of view, but from the international point of view, from the Anglo-Soviet-American coalition. Stop the pro-Communist and exclusively pro-Soviet line. Remember you are part of a world anti-Nazi Front."

The Soviet Union had no intention of weakening the grand alliance by intriguing behind England and America's back to foster a revolution in Yugoslavia against a government with which both England and the Soviet Union had diplomatic relations.

Throughout the spring of 1942, Tito kept pleading for weapons from Moscow at a time when the Germans were battering at the gates of Moscow and Leningrad and were overrunning a large part of European Russia. On March 29, Moscow made it clear that Tito could expect no help in the immediate future,

"Every effort is being made to help you but there are huge technical difficulties. Unfortunately do not count on them being overcome in the near future. Please bear this in mind. Try and capture weapons from the enemy and use sparingly those that you have." But Tito kept sending off desperate appeals every few days, although he well knew the only way to send help was by air, the nearest Soviet aerodrome was 1,200 miles away, the whole flight would be over German-occupied territory; every plane, rifle and bullet was needed for the enormous battles raging in the Soviet Union. On April 23, Moscow sent another reply;

"As we have already told you, you cannot count on getting munitions and weapons in the near future. The main reason is the impossibility to ship them. Exploit all existing possibilities to supply yourself on the spot... as regard unmasking the activity of the Chetniks. This is necessary but at present it would be better policy to do this by a general appeal to the Yugoslav government to unite all elements."

Less than a month later, however, Tito sent another appeal with apparently scant grasp of the critical situation in the Soviet Union itself and no conception that the size of operations there, that made his own activities look like village brawls. On May 24, he reported: "The situation is critical; the soldiers are worn out, there is no ammunition." Six days later: "The Italians were repelled with great losses. 60 Italians and 25 Chetniks were killed." The Soviet High Command did not use the word great unless 10 or 12 enemy divisions had been wiped out, so it was hardly to be wondered at if they did not take Tito's messages very seriously.

Tito kept sending messages for help and also requests for Moscow to denounce the Chetnik leader Mihailovich, and the London government which .supported him, but Moscow was not prepared to do this unless it had absolute proof that Mihailovich was, in fact, a traitor collaborating with the Germans. Denouncing Mihailovich meant breaking agreements with the Anglo-American allies unless the latter, too, could be convinced by watertight proofs, that the Chetniks had gone over to the other side. Tito received a message in September, 1942, as follows: "Urgently inform us of a summary of the documents you have on the role of Mihailovich. Confirm the authenticity of these documents. It can be that the Germans are greatly interested in inspiring the struggle between Partisans and Chetniks. It is possible that they have forged certain of these documents."

Pijade finds it monstrous that the Russians were suspicious of their reports about Mihailovich and he accuses the Russians of perfidy because, in November, 1942, they were negotiating to send observers to Mihailovich's headquarters. This seemed the logical thing for the Russians to do. They would have been in the best position to check whether the Chetniks were fighting with the Germans and if so, to express them without upsetting their agreements with the Allies. The Soviet request incidentally was turned down. Pijade again unwittingly pays tribute to the absolute correctness of the Soviet attitude vis-a-vis her British and American Allies, when he quotes from an exchange of telegrams between the Yugoslav governments in London and their Ambassador, Simich, in Moscow, in December, 1942. The exchange was in reference to the Soviet request to send a mission to Mihailovich.

King Peter's Foreign Minister in London sent a message to the military attaché in Moscow: "There can be no talk of any co-operation until the campaign against General Mihailovich is stopped. This is a prerequisite for further work. All efforts of the Ambassador and the military attaché should be directed towards these aims."

Ambassador Simich replied: "Please keep me informed about the campaign against General Mihailovich. Here in Russia it is not possible to hear or read anything against him. If there is a campaign against him in foreign papers, it is not mentioned here... the only thing noticeable here is that his name is not mentioned either in the press or on the radio." Until an official line on Mihailovich had been agreed by the three Allies, the Russians were not taking sides on the issue which Tito wanted to pose at the most critical time in the war. When the Russians were fighting for every room of every house at Stalingrad, Tito was fighting to transform the war into one in which the Soviet Union and Tito's partisans would be lined up against King Peter; Mihailovich and the Anglo-Americans. And Tito must have been a political illiterate if he did not see that.

Within two months the mercurial Tito had changed his attitude from the depths of despair with not enough bullets for his rifles or bread to eat, to the heights of optimism, with well-armed divisions and talk of setting up a government. Moscow had to restrain his ebullience again.

On the 8th September, 1942, Tito had sent another desperate plea for- help. On November 12th, however, he notified Moscow that: "We have already organised 8 divisions of 3 brigades each in the territory of Bosnia, Croatia and Dalmatia... All these divisions are well-armed, even including artillery. These arms were taken in battle... We will now organise something in the way of a government..." Moscow advised caution, a few days later, according to Pijade. After approving the idea of a committee of liberation, the message said, "Do not consider that committee as a government but as a political body of the national liberation struggle... Do not oppose the Yugoslav government in London at this stage, do not raise the question of the removal of the monarchy. Do not put to the people the question of the regime in Yugoslavia. It will be solved after the destruction of the Italo-German coalition."

Two months after Tito's high optimism, he was again in black despair. At the end of January, 1943, there was a sharper note in his pleas. "I must again ask you," he radioed, "is it really impossible to let us have any kind of help. Hundreds of thousands of refugees are threatened with hunger and death... Do everything you can to help us." Moscow, with the decisive battle for Stalingrad still raging, replied: "You must not doubt for a moment that we would help if there existed the least possibility to send you material help... We have personally with Joseph Vissarionovich (Stalin) examined the means whereby we might offer you help. Unfortunately up till now there has been no way to successfully overcome the insurmountable difficulties... As soon as there is a possibility we will send you all that is most essential. Can you really doubt that? Please grasp correctly the existing situation and explain it to the comrade fighters. Do not grieve but exert all your strength..."

This was an honest and sincere appraisal of the situation which Tito must have realised if he could read maps and understand the radio, but two weeks later he sent another even more imperative plea for help. On March 4, he asked, and again on June 12... "We are now eating horses without bread... The enemy is making his last effort to destroy us, but he will not succeed. We ask your support in this most difficult trial."

The Russians were not able to send assistance until early in 1944, when their mission arrived at Tito's headquarters.

Pijade concluded his long account by a grudging admission of Soviet help in liberating Belgrade, Banat and Bacska. "But," he added, “this was unavoidable for the Red Army because without it they would not have been able to continue to take Budapest and Vienna." To which Marshal Stalin might well retort, "Without Tito, we would still have been able to take Belgrade, Budapest and Vienna."

Emerging from this exchange of messages are three interesting points: (1) Moscow believed that Tito's policy was incorrect in that he weakened the resistance movement by trying to carry out a revolution and fight a war at the same time. Support by Moscow of such a policy would have weakened the Three-Power Alliance; (2) Moscow was wearied with repeated pleas for help after she had plainly stated that with the best will in the world such help was impossible to deliver; (3) Tito became more and more disgruntled with the Soviet Union as help did not arrive and as he saw that Moscow did not have a high opinion of his political judgment.

What happened in the first years after the end of the war is a smooth continuation of what transpired during the war, with Tito making impossible demands on the Russians and being rebuffed more and more coldly each time.

There was a flutter of excitement among correspondents gathered in Belgrade for the Danube Conference, one sultry Saturday afternoon, when it became known that Tito's police were scouring Belgrade, trying to collect pamphlets which had suddenly and mysteriously appeared all over the city. They had been printed by the Pravda publishing house in Moscow and contained copies of letters sent by the Central Committee of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union to the C.C. of the Yugoslav Communist Party. One copy which had been left in the French reading room in Belgrade soon found its way into the hands of correspondents.

These letters gave the first indication up to that time that the quarrel dated back further than the Cominform resolution, and they destroyed the illusions of my Yugoslav acquaintances who thought the rift was a "lovers' tiff." The contents of the letters, at least their trend, should have been known to Party members months previously. If they had been perhaps Tito would have been forced to take up a different position as regards the Cominform. It seems very likely that Moscow had deep suspicions about Tito as a result of his attitude during the war and that the Cominform headquarters was set up in Tito's capital for the same .reason that Moscow had' earlier suggested setting up a mission with Mihailovich – to have trained observers on the spot to watch a suspiciously confused situation.

One of the most interesting references was to Trieste where Tito tried to embroil the Soviet Union in a similar affair to that of breaking with Britain and America in 1943 over King Peter's government. The letters reminded Tito of a speech he had made in Ljubljana in 1945, in which he said, "It is said that this was a just war and we have so regarded it, but we demand also a just conclusion. We demand that everyone shall be master in his own house. We don't want to pay other people's accounts, we don't want to be mixed up in any spheres of interest." Tito was referring to Trieste and had been bringing his heaviest guns to bear on the Soviet Union to secure Trieste for Yugoslavia.

"This was said in connection with Trieste," said the letter from the C.P.S.U. (Communist Party of the Soviet Union), "after a series of territorial concessions for the benefit of Yugoslavia had been extracted by the Soviet Union from the Anglo-Americans. The latter along with the French rejected the proposal of the U.S.S.R. to hand over Trieste to Yugoslavia, and they occupied it with their own forces from Italy. When all other means had been exhausted the Soviet Union was left with only one means of effecting the transfer of Trieste to Yugoslavia – that of starting a war with the Anglo-Americans over Trieste, to take it by force. The Yugoslav comrades could not fail to realise that after such a serious struggle the U.S.S.R. could not enter a new war. It was this circumstance which evoked the dissatisfaction of the Yugoslav leaders and Tito's statement above was directed not only against the imperialist powers but also against the Soviet Union:

"The Soviet government was obliged to draw the attention of the Yugoslav government to Tito's statement. The Soviet Ambassador in Belgrade received instructions from the Soviet government to make the following statement to the Yugoslav government, which he did on June 3, 1945. ‘We regard Comrade Tito’s speech as an unfriendly attack on the, Soviet Union. Tell Comrade Tito if he should again permit such an attack on the Soviet Union we shall be forced to reply with open criticism in the press and to disavow him'." As early as June, 1945, before the war was ended!

The Soviet Union continued to support Tito on the question of Trieste by every possible diplomatic means and at the United Nations, but Moscow objected to being called in to support an armed adventure by Tito to seize the city. And that is what he wanted to do.

The first of the series of letters published was dated March 27, 1948, and referred to a Yugoslav request to reduce the numbers of the Soviet Military Mission to Yugoslavia by sixty per cent. The letter from the C.P.S.U. to Tito and the C.P.Y. (Communist Party of Yugoslavia) reminded Tito that the Soviet had sent its mission only at the invitation of the Yugoslav Government and had sent far fewer officers than had been requested. The four reasons given by the Yugoslavs for reducing the mission were (a) Soviet advisers were too expensive; (b) The Yugoslav Army did not need the experience of the Soviet Army; (c) the regulations of the Soviet Army were stereotyped and of no benefit to the Yugoslav Army; (d) Soviet advisers were being paid for nothing since they were of no use.

The letter pointed out that in such circumstances, the Soviet Army was discredited and a situation had been created in which it would be impossible to leave Soviet military advisers in Yugoslavia. Accordingly the whole mission was withdrawn. Djilas, Tito's propaganda chief at a meeting of the Central Committee had also made disparaging remarks about Soviet officers as compared to British officers.

In a letter dated April 13, the C.P.S.U. had some acid remarks to make about Tito's modest claims to have developed a new type of warfare which made unnecessary military advice from the Soviet Union. "The Yugoslav leaders even claim they have supplemented Marxist science on war with a new theory according to which war is a mixture of operations by regular troops, partisan detachments and popular uprisings. This so-called theory is as old as the world and is not new to Marxism. The Bolsheviks applied it to our civil war in Russia and on a much greater scale than in Yugoslavia. But the Bolsheviks never claimed to have added anything new to military science because this method had been applied long before the Bolsheviks by Field Marshal Kutuzov against Napoleon's troops in 1812. Even Kutuzov did not claim to be an inventor in this respect since the Spaniards had adopted it in 1808." It was, of course, on the basis of the "new theory" of warfare which Tito had developed that the Soviet military advisers were regarded as superfluous.

Other letters referred to a hostile attitude towards Soviet representatives by government officials who treated them as representatives of western capitalist states, instead of a fraternal Communist state; Soviet officials, including: Yudin, the Cominform representative, were shadowed by Yugoslav police; in the Yugoslav Ministry of Foreign Affairs there were officials known to the Russians to be Western spies and as they had access to all correspondence that passed between the Soviet Union and Yugoslavia the Russians would no longer conduct open correspondence through the-Yugoslav Foreign Office; the Soviet Ambassador was refused information about the work of the Yugoslav Communist Party. Tito and Kardelj had sent a letter to Moscow in April, 1948, stating "We consider that the Soviet Ambassador has no right to demand information about the work of our Party from anybody. That is not his business." The Soviet reply pointed put that the Yugoslavs were identifying the Soviet Ambassador, representing the Communist Government of the Soviet Union, as an ordinary bourgeois Ambassador, and that by doing so they seemed to see no difference between the foreign policy of the Soviet Union and that of the British and Americans.

One of the main complaints of the C.P.S.U. was the fact that Tito did not come out into the open with his own criticism, and on the other hand would not accept criticism of himself. "We readily admit" the first letter stated, "that every Communist Party, including the Yugoslav Party, has the right to criticise the C.P.S.U., just as the C.P.S.U. has the right to criticise any other Communist Party. But Marxism demands that criticism be aboveboard and not underhand and slanderous... the criticism by the Yugoslav officials is neither open nor honest, but underhand and dishonest and of a hypocritical nature. While they discredit the C.P.S.U. behind its back, publicly they praise it pharisaically to the skies... We are disturbed by the present situation inside the Yugoslav Party... decisions of the Party organs are never published in the press neither are the reports of Party meetings... there is no democracy within the Party... It is characteristic that the Cadres Secretary of the Party (Rankovich) is also the Minister of the Interior. In other words party cadres are supervised by the Minister of State Security while, according to Marxism, it is the Party that should control all organs of the State, including the Ministry of the Interior..."

The C.P.S.U. pointed out that the French and Italian Communist Parties had also been submitted to severe criticism by the Cominform and that they had honestly admitted their mistakes and corrected them. "The C.P.S.U. believes that the reason for the unwillingness of the Yugoslav leaders to admit their mistakes lies in their unbounded arrogance. The services of the French and Italian Communist Parties to the revolution are not less than that of the Yugoslav party and if the French and Italian people have so far had less success than the Yugoslav party, that is not to be explained by any special qualities of the C.P.Y., but mainly because, after the destruction of the Yugoslav partisan headquarters at a moment when the partisan headquarters was passing through a serious crisis, the Soviet Army came to the help of the Yugoslav people, crushed the German invader, liberated Belgrade and created the necessary conditions for the C.P.Y. to take over power. Unfortunately the Soviet Army could not render such assistance to the French and Italian parties. If comrades Tito and Kardelj bore this fact in mind, they would be less boastful about their successes and would behave more modestly."

The Russians announced their intentions of raising the whole question of Tito's leadership at the next meeting of the Cominform and circulated to Cominform members some of the correspondence between the C.P.S.U. and Tito and Kardelj. The Yugoslavs refused to attend the conference, which was held in Bucharest with the results that startled the Communist world as much as the non-Communist world.

The Bolshevik Party had been a long time making up its mind about Comrade "Walter" as Tito was known when he was an émigré in Moscow. He was a relatively unknown and untried Communist when he was sent off, in 1934, to one of the least important Communist parties in Europe, and one with the worst reputation. The partisans suffered much and fought well under his leadership during the war. Of 12,000 Communist Party members when the war started, only 3,000 survived, and out of these 3,000 Tito created a party half a million strong. Strong numerically but not ideologically, for it is impossible to mass-produce Communists. He created, in any case, a Tito party half a million strong, with the best-equipped police force and best-equipped army in Eastern Europe to take care of any trouble. A high proportion of the 3,000 survivors of the pre-war Communists are in Rankovich's jails to-day and several thousand of the new recruits as well. Western Embassy estimates in the summer of 1949 were 10 per cent of all Communists (50,000) in jails and internment camps. None of them has been tried. The arrest of two Communist Ministers, Andrija Hebrang, Minister of Light Industry, and Sreten Zhujovich, Minister of Finance on May 8, 1948, brought the quarrel with Soviet Union to a head: Both were old-time Communists, who had fought well in the Liberation Movement, both were known to have been critical of Tito's policies for months previously. They have been in jail two years now, but Tito has not dared bring them to trial.

It was in this stunned atmosphere of Belgrade, with Communists being arrested every day, propaganda war starting up between Tito and the Cominform countries, and western diplomats seeking good fishing in the muddied waters, that the Danube Conference brought M. Vishinsky from the Soviet Union, Anna Pauker from Roumania, other important Communists from Hungary, Czechoslovakia and Bulgaria, and top-flight diplomats from England, France and the United States, in day-to-day contact for almost three weeks, as guests of the Yugoslav government. Few conferences have been held under stranger circumstances. Decorations were still in the streets from the Communist Party Congress, which finished a few days before the Danube Conference started. All the visitors were there officially to attend the Conference but most of them were far more interested in the Tito-Cominform split. It was rare enough for Tito to open wide the gates of his capital to foreign visitors, especially to journalists and everybody was determined to make the most of the opportunity. The Danube conference could not have been held at a better time or place.

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