[This is a running post, updated with new notes as needed.]
Tito and His Comrades, pp. 75-80
- first free territory in WWII, “Soviet Republic of Užice”, covering 19,000 sq km and counting some 300,000 inhabitants
- gave CPY leaders their first taste of power and first opportunity to apply it with violence
- important center of military industry
- Tito established Partisans headquarters here on 9/23/1941, residence in National Bank where Partisans also installed their munitions factory whose explosion on 11/21 Tito barely survived
- Here was introduced the slogan “Smrt fašizmu (Tito), sloboda narodu (Ranković)
- Stalin’s photos and proletarian slogans appeared on house facades, gendarmes liquidated
- 11/1 and 11/2, near Užice: skirmishes between Partisans and Chetniks marked the beginning of the civil war in Serbia
- 11/25: Germans attacked and took Užice, decimating and driving the remaining Partisans out, ending the Republic, which threatened to doom the entire resistance
From Balkan Idols, p. 150
- Partisan spomenik converted to “memorial to the martyrdom of the Serb people” in mid-late-1980s.
“Yugo-Nostalgia Thrives at Tito Memorials,” Balkan Insight, 6/25/2013 [pdf]
“Serbian Town Wants to Put Tito Back in Place,” Balkan Insight, 10/20/2015 [pdf]
Reports on efforts to reinstate the Tito statue on the Main Square. The statue was eventually placed at the museum entrance.
- In the Serbian town of Uzice, Tito’s fans are campaigning for his monument to be restored. The town was once known as ‘Tito’s Uzice’ for its role in the Yugoslav Partisans’ struggle against fascist forces, almost every street bore the name of a Partisan fighter and a five-metre-high statue of the former leader dominated the main square – Partisan Square. It was removed in 1991 when the country began to descend into war and placed in the local museum, but an organisation representing former partisans, called SUBNOR, recently petitioned Serbian President Tomislav Nikolic to have it put back. In its letter to Nikolic, SUBNOR pleaded with Serbia’s current leadership to “restore to [Tito] the honours he has as an important player in history”.
- A campaign group has even been formed to lobby for the restoration, and many locals –even some who weren’t even born during Tito’s rule – agreed that the statue should rise again. “Of course it should be returned. There was no reason why it was removed. We are proud of our anti-fascist past and therefore Tito should be celebrated properly,” said Miodrag Pavlovic, aged 45. “He was one of the greatest leaders we had and the whole world knows us through him. Everybody would be proud if they had a person like Tito as a part of their history. And we lived better in that period,” said Dragoljub Savic, 37.
- The Uzice museum’s director, Nikola Gogic, agrees that monument should be restored to the town’s main square. “The monument was removed from there illegally without consulting the relevant cultural institutions and it should be returned,” Gogic said.
- Nikola Gogic, head of the museum in the Serbian town of Uzice, told BIRN on Monday that museum staff are optimistic that a five-metre-high statue of former President Josip Tito will be returned to the town’s main square, where it once belonged. “This would be one way for Uzice and this whole area to pay homage to Tito and that whole [Communist] period when a lot was done for Uzice, which rose from a small village into a town with factories,” Gogic said. “If we don’t succeed in placing the statue on the [main] Partisan Square, it will be displayed at a very visible site in the new museum,” Gogic said. “We are begging the local authorities to reconsider the 1991 decision to remove the statue. We have the support of a large number of citizens and we hope they will soon respond to our demands,” Gogic said.
- There have been attempts before to put it back in the square. SUBNOR, the organisation representing former World War II Partisan fighters, petitioned Serbian President Tomislav Nikolic to have it put back, but the attempt failed.
- Uzice was said to be late leader’s favourite town in Yugoslavia, and almost every street once bore the name of a Partisan fighter.
Velika Pobeda Statue
“Uspavana Velika Srbija,” Radio Slobodna Evropa, 11/21/2018
- The statue is a replica of a past Velika Srbija statue (?)
- 3 meters tall, cost 250,000 euros, made by Svetomir Radovic following the model by interwar sculptor Djordje Jovanović
- Symbolizes an ancient goddess holding the crown of Karadjordjevic in the left hand and the flag of the Kingdom of Yugoslavia in the right.
- The statue was almost called Velika Srbija instead of Velika Pobeda (victory); the name was changed a few days before unveiling but the controversy was out, continuing to stoke the issue of uniting all Serbs in a single state (Seselj, Dodik, Nikolic, Djukanovic, Patriarch Irinej, etc.) especially as Kosovo talks continue.
- The Great Serbia idea is present and occasionally gets revived.
Featured image CC-BY-SA Bokaco