Josip Broz Tito

Marshal Tito's Talk
with the Belgrade Pioneers

Date: January 6th, 1946
Source: The Children of Yugoslavia
Published: Jugoslaveska Knjiga, Belgrade
Transciption/HTML Markup: Mike B. for MIA, 2008
Public Domain: Marxists Internet Archive (2008). You may freely copy, distribute, display and perform this work; as well as make derivative and commercial works. Please credit “Marxists Internet Archive” as your source.

On January 6th, 1946, 15 delegates from all the city districts of Belgrade were received by Marshal Tito. The Marshal's first few words were:

"How are you learning, Pioneers?"

"Well," answered some of the livelier ones, "Only we don't go to school regularly. We have no fuel."

"I didn't know you weren't going to school regularly, and have you all the books you need?"

"We have some old ones and we have some new ones," answered the Pioneers.

When the conversation turned to Pioneer halls, the Marshal suddenly asked : "Have you got a central Pioneers hall here?"

"No, that is why we came to you, Comrade Marshal, to ask you to see that we Pioneers should also have our central hall."

"That is just what I want, but what is it that you need?"

"Only the building."

"Oh, then it's not so difficult, so long as you are here!" laughed the Marshal. "We shall try to fix this up as soon as possible."

The Marshal was in a happy mood, and eagerly agreed to see the performance which had been specially prepared in his honour while the "Kozara Kolo" was being danced he said to those around him: "The 'Kozara Kolo' is much prettier when danced by children."

The programme ended with Russian national dances.

The Pioneers again sat in a circle 'round the Marshal and they began to talk. The Marshal asked the nearest boy: "What would you like to be?"

"Either an engineer or an actor."

The Marshal laughed, "And you?"

"I want to be a motor mechanic."

"I want to be an officer."

"I'm going to be an officer."

And another pioneer started explaining to him: "That's not so easy. First of all, boy, you have to fight."

Marshal Tito laughed again and said" "Now you will first become an officer, and then fight. Formerly, it was the other way 'round."

The Pioneers begged the Marshal to tell them a story. he consented, and spoke for a long time, giving them the minutest details.

"Near Drvar, there is a cave and inside it is a shed with a few rooms. Beneath the shed is a canal, through which water flows. We wanted to pass through that canal; but the germans noticed this, and constantly kept the exit under fire. The first of our men to come out was killed. We tried again, and we all came out, while the Germans went on firing. The planes disturbed us constantly. Every morning at about six o' clock they bombed us. Our cave rocked like a boat. The blast was felt even in the cave itself, on account of the fissures in the rock."

"And did you know it was because of you?"

"Yes," said the Marshal. "But they failed. And now we have Rupnik and Nedić in our hands and soon we will have the German General who commanded the attack. I am very glad. He who laughs last, laughs longest."

It was late, but Marshal Tito was still talking to the Pioneers. Finally they wanted to hear something about the Pioneers' halls in Moscow.

"I was in the Central Pioneers' Institute. It had formerly been a noble's place. There is a big building, and a lot of smaller machines, etc. There the children construct complete little engines. We shall try to give you such a hall. We shall either rent a house, or have one repaired. Her is 50,000 Dinars as the first contribution. I should personally like to see the building which is to be fitted up as the Central Pioneers' Hall."

Jevrosima Popović then rose to her feet and thanked the Marshal for his fatherly care and promised that the best Pioneers would be in the new institute.

The the Marshal said goodbye to his guests, shaking hands cordially with every one of them.

"Goodbye dear comrades. We shall meet again soon. As soon as you get your Centrall Hall, I shall come immediately to see it, and visit you."

Josip Broz Tito Internet Archive
Marxists Internet Archive