Sunday, June 17, 2012

Quote of the Day- Josip Broz Tito

Today, we conclude our quotes from 16 people associated with the 16 countries in Euro Cup 2012 (eight on each blog, the other eight can be found on our sister blog "Politics, Culture and Other Wastes of Time."

And, we finish things off with the founder of Yugoslavia Marsal Josip Broz Tito, known simply as Tito, who was Croatian by birth. Croatia faces Spain next week in the last game of the first round. Tito (1892-1980) was born in the village of Kumrover, a Croatian village in the north which borders Slovenia.

Many have compared Tito to Turkish leader Mustafa Kemal Ataturk (1881-1938). Both formed their respective countries in the ashes of changing geopolitics, and both were the proverbial strong man in their respective nations. The major difference was that Ataturk was a capitalist and Tito was a socialist. And, Turkey has had its borders in tact since the foundation of the Republic in 1923 whereas Yugoslavia, a coalition of six republics, is now seven separate countries.

Though he was despised by many ethnic Serbs and Croats in America and western Europe for his politics, Tito was respected by the West for giving Yugoslavia autonomy from the Soviet Union, more so than the other Iron Curtain countries in eastern Europe.

But, ironically, it was Yugoslavia which suffered the most from the Soviet Union's sudden collapse in 1990, and Serbia went to war with Croatia and Slovenia shortly thereafter. The war went on to grasp Bosnia-Herzegovina and turn its capital city of Sarajevo, the site of the 1984 Winter Olympics, into a war zone.

Tito visited both John F. Kennedy and Richard Nixon during their respective presidencies in Washington, D.C.

Here is his now seemingly haunting quote:

"We have split an ocean of blood for the brotherhood and unity of our peoples and we shall not allow anyone to destroy it within."

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