Yugoslavian crisis

A great influence on the formation of the communist system in Yugoslavia was exerted by
the so-called Yugoslavian crisis of 1948 which was based on the independent foreign policy
of Josip Broz Tito (who sought to include Albania and Bulgaria into the federation) and
ideological divergences in the understanding and implementation of the Marxist-Leninist
doctrine. Yugoslavian communists were convinced they understood its principles better than
their Soviet companions, even going as far as the allegation that the USSR's economic system
(based on the exploitation of other states of folk democracy) was more reminiscent of
national capitalism than of real socialism. This led to severe tensions, as a result of which the
CPY was expelled from the composition of parties associated in Cominform (the successor of
Comintern, dissolved in 1943), and until 1949 most of the Eastern Bloc countries broke off
diplomatic and economic relations with Yugoslavia. Such a radical cooling of relations with
the camp of folk democracy and an escalation of tension with the Soviet Union served as a
pretext for Tito to clear the ranks of the party from Stalinists who were unfavourable to him
and who could turn out to be a great threat to him. A small island of Goli Otok on the west
coast of Croatia, became a symbol of repression against opponents of his policy, also among
his own party. Using the infrastructure left by the Austrian prisoner-of-war camp for Russian
soldiers in the Great War period, a special prison, sometimes called the Gulag of Tito, was
established there in 1949. Until 1956, both political opponents of Tito and common
criminals, or even completely innocent people, were sent and imprisoned there, and they
were recognised as supporters of the USSR by the Stalinist hunt. The last of the prisoners did
not leave the island until 1988, because the main purpose of the camp was the so-called re-
education. If the prisoner did not show a satisfactory change in attitude, this was a
legitimate reason for extending the sentence. In practice, this mechanism was used in order
to be able to isolate the political opponents of the new regime efficiently without the need
for further trials or investigations.