From Trotsky To Tito. James Klugmann 1951
Mr K Zilliacus, one of Tito’s leading trumpeters in Britain, has discovered in Tito’s policy and in the practice of Tito’s Yugoslavia what he calls ‘a new kind of Communism’ – a ‘kind of Communism’ of which he approves in no uncertain terms. The whole right wing in America, the Hearst press, the New York Herald Tribune, the Wall Street Journal, the right-wing press of Britain from The Times to the Daily Telegraph, allots space, and increasing space, to sound its support for this ‘new kind of Communism’, which it finds so unlike that of the Soviet Union and which it so very much prefers.
Now this ‘new kind of Communism’, or ‘national Communism’ as it is sometimes called, which Zilliacus has discovered, is of the same order as the ‘new kind of Socialism’ or ‘National Socialism’ that Western reaction discovered in an earlier period in Hitlerite Germany. It is precisely as a weapon against genuine Socialism and genuine Communism, and against the working people, that Western imperialism needs, praises and utilises Tito. Nor were Hitler and Tito the only ones to discover ‘new sorts of Socialism’ and ‘new kinds of Communism’. Tito and the Titoites are following in the footsteps of Trotsky and the Trotskyites, of whom they are the direct descendants and disciples.
The Trotskyites, too, pretended that they were the true Communists, the real Marxists, whilst the ‘Stalinites’ had ‘betrayed Marxism-Leninism’. The Trotskyite doctrine, this ‘real Communism’ as the forerunners of Zilliacus called it, also found favour with the great trusts and monopolies.
In Mussolini’s Italy of the 1930s, when it meant long terms of imprisonment, and perhaps torture or even death, to be in any way connected with the Communist Party, and when not only all the works of Marx, Engels, Lenin and Stalin, but the works of all Italian and foreign democrats and progressives were strictly banned from Italian libraries and bookshops, the works of Trotsky, on the ‘new kind of Communism’, were ‘freely’ and widely translated and distributed. I remember vividly how in 1938, passing through Italy on the way to meet the anti-fascist and Communist students of Belgrade University, and spending a few hours in Mussolini’s Milan, the word ‘Communism’ caught my eye on a number of books prominently displayed in a bookshop window. They were newly-translated works of Trotsky.
In Hitler’s Germany, when to be a Communist or Socialist or militant trade unionist or liberal or democrat meant arrest, the concentration camp, and often death and torture, when there was instituted one of the most thoroughgoing ‘purges’ of literature and burning of books that the world has ever known, when Schiller’s Don Carlos, the poems of Heine and the novels of Thomas Mann were banned or burned as ‘subversive’, the writings of Trotsky were widely translated and distributed.
Trotsky’s writings and those of his followers were freely published in the middle and late 1930s by the Hearst press in America. His works on his ‘new kind of Communism’ were published by the Franco press at Salamanca and Burgos. The secret police of the Polish dictatorship were specially educated in Trotskyism in order to facilitate their work of espionage and disruption inside the Polish working-class movement.
Despite their ultra-revolutionary phrases the Trotskyites always found a welcome in the papers of the capitalist press lords. Indeed, it was precisely their ‘revolutionary’ phraseology, their façade of ‘revolution’, that made them such valuable weapons of reaction. The Trotskyites carried out a sort of division of labour with the capitalist propagandists and agents of espionage; disguised as revolutionaries, they could hope to find an echo where the open spokesmen of Toryism and reaction, and even the right-wing Social-Democrats, would have met with immediate rebuff.
By the mid-1930s the Trotskyites in all countries were serving three principal purposes for world reaction:
1) They acted as the main instrument by which Western reaction hoped to gain a foothold inside the land of Socialism, the USSR, as a fifth column behind the lines of Socialism which was to aid, and complement by espionage and sabotage inside the Soviet Union, the open war preparations made outside.
2) They acted as an arsenal of right-wing reactionary propaganda and slander against the Soviet Union, the Communist parties, the militant Socialists and trade unions, and the anti-fascist and peace forces, an arsenal of reactionary right-wing propaganda dressed up in left-wing words.
3) They acted as an instrument to aid the capitalists by trying to penetrate the working class, the popular and national liberation movements, above all the Communist parties – spying on them, confusing them and disrupting them from inside.
By the mid-1930s the old hoary anti-Soviet slanders were wearing thin. Capitalist propagandists had prophesied the quick downfall of the Soviet regime, but it had not fallen down. In the columns of their ‘respectable’ journals they had killed by ‘Ukrainian famines’ many times the total population of the USSR. They had pronounced that the Soviet Union was on the verge of economic collapse, but it was capitalism that ‘collapsed’ in the great world economic crisis of 1929-32. The reality of history, the triumphant victory of Socialist planning, the advance of production, the victory of collective farming, contrasted ever more strikingly with the disastrous economic slump in the capitalist world. So, more and more, the capitalist press turned to the arsenal of Trotskyism to fill its pages with vicious anti-Soviet lies.
By the mid-1930s, inspired by the Soviet Union’s struggle for peace, by its repeated efforts for collective security, and led by the Communist parties all over the world, the working class and the working people were building the united front and the popular front against war and against fascism. So once again reaction leaned on the Trotskyites. Whilst Hitler, Mussolini, the Japanese militarists, Chamberlain, Laval, the right-wing Social-Democratic leaders, openly attacked the front of peace and democracy, the Trotskyites poured out their poisonous supporting propaganda under the cover of leftist phrases. The fight of the Soviet Union for collective security, they maintained, was a ‘betrayal of revolutionary Marxism’, the Communist fight for the united and popular fronts a ‘betrayal of Leninism’:
The Stalinist version of the United Front is not unity for action but unity to lead all workers into imperialist war. (James, British Trotskyist)
The People’s Front... is the major form of the preparation among the masses for the achievement of national unity... in support of the coming war. (James Burnham, American Trotskyist, and today notorious protagonist of Wall Street’s drive for war)
When in the mid-1930s all the old reactionary class forces had been defeated inside the USSR, the Russian Trotskyites, as we have seen, became the principal weapon for Western imperialist effort to disrupt the Soviet Union and to spy on it from inside. And in the fascist aggression against Spain and China, the Franco and Japanese fascists looked on the Trotskyites in their countries as hidden complementary forces, fifth columns supporting their aggressive drives:
We rely on four hundred men who are ready to act. These are well armed and in favourable positions on the Madrid front; the infiltration of our men into the extreme Anarchist and POUM [Partido Obrero Unido Marxisto – that is, self-styled United Workers Marxist Party, in reality semi-Trotskyite organisation active chiefly in Catalonia and Madrid] ranks is being carried out successfully... In fulfilment of your order I went myself to Barcelona to interview a leading member of the POUM... He has promised me to send new people to Madrid to activise the POUM’s work. With these reinforcements the POUM will become, as in Barcelona, a firm and effective support for our movement! (From a report found during the Spanish War in the Peruvian embassy at Madrid from a leading Franco agent in the territory of Republican Spain)
We must buy the opportunist parties and groups, of which there are many in North China. Of these, special mention should be made of the Trotskyites. We must help them to make progress in order that they may work everywhere for our Empire. The Chinese who are adherents of Trotsky are able to lull the Chinese intellectual elements and to destroy the unity of China with their work. Their working methods are distinguished by particular skill. We must learn from them in order to accelerate our work. (From a captured document of the Japanese General Staff in North China during the Japanese aggression against China, published on 6 June 1937 in Shun Pao, Shanghai)
No one who studies the role of the Trotskyites in the 1930s, for instance, can fail to see that Tito and his gang, most of whom have direct connections with the Trotskyites, are fulfilling an identical role today and using the same dirty methods.
Read, for instance, the testimony of YL Pyatakov, one of Trotsky’s leading followers and fellow conspirators inside the CPSU(B), given on 23 January 1937, during the trial of the Anti-Soviet Trotskyite Centre. He is recounting his interview with Trotsky in December 1935:
He [Trotsky] then told me that he had conducted rather lengthy negotiations with the vice-chairman of the German National-Socialist Party – Hess... What properly does this agreement [between Trotsky and Hess] amount to if formulated briefly?
First the German fascists promise to adopt a favourable attitude towards the Trotskyite – Zinovievite bloc and to support it if it comes to power, either in time of war, or before a war, should it succeed in doing so. But in return the fascists are to receive the following compensation: a general favourable attitude towards German interests and towards the German government on all questions of international policy...
The next point of the agreement dealt with the form in which German capital would be enabled to exploit in the Soviet Union the raw material resources it needs. It concerned the exploitation of gold mines, oil, manganese, forests, apatites, etc...
What about these concessions that we outlined in addition to a number of others that we also had in mind, and also the need for a certain pacification of the forces which we would mobilise for a fight against Stalin, that is to say, hostile forces? What I mean is the hostile sections, the kulaks. In this connection also it would be necessary, for considerations of home policy, to effect a fairly big retreat in addition to concessions to foreigners... To put it simply, Trotsky explained that it would be a very serious retreat... In this connection Trotsky said that in essence our programme was the same as that of the Rights in so far as the Rights had adopted a diversive wrecking programme and considered that it was necessary to retreat towards capitalism. (Verbatim Report of the Court Proceedings in the Case of the Anti-Soviet Trotskyite Centre (Moscow, 1937), pp 64-66)
When you read of the secret agreements between the Trotskyites and German fascism, the plans for the internal sabotage of the Soviet regime, for the assassination of the Soviet leaders, and for the restoration of Russian capitalism subservient to German imperialism, you read of the precursor of the Titoite agreements with the successor of German fascism – American imperialism. There is only this difference – the Titoites have succeeded, temporarily, in carrying out their schemes in Yugoslavia.
Between the Trotskyites and the Titoites, there are the closest links – links of person, links of purpose, links of method. In many cases the Titoites of today are the Trotskyites of yesterday.
Kostov in his written evidence revealed how he first met Tito in Moscow in 1934. He tells how Tito, then operating under the pseudonym of ‘Walter’, was nominated for leading work in Yugoslavia by two still-concealed Trotskyites – Béla Kun and Valetsky – how Tito shared with Kostov his Trotskyite views:
In one of his conversations during 1934 Tito had told me of his Trotskyist ideas... In this connection he exposed his hatred towards the leadership of the CPSU(B), headed by Stalin. Tito had a great desire to leave as soon as possible for Yugoslavia in order to work without any control and in accordance with his political ideas. Tito told me that himself, requesting me to render him the necessary assistance and to present a favourable report of him, when his personal question came up for solution. I promised to do that. Thanks only to the support of the Trotskyites Béla Kun and Valetsky, and thanks to the favourable report on Tito given by me, the latter could in 1934 leave for Yugoslavia and assume a leading post there. (Verbatim Report of the Kostov Trial, pp 98-99)
By 1934 Tito, therefore, was already a Trotskyite, and was promoted in the Yugoslav Communist Party on the initiative and with the aid of Trotskyites.
Many of the conspirators in the Rajk and Kostov plots started their careers of betrayal through contact with the Trotskyites. Ivan Stefanov, one of the Bulgarian conspirators, was indoctrinated with Trotskyism by the Russian Trotskyite Rakovsky, who was Soviet ambassador in Paris in 1925 where he met Stefanov (Verbatim Report of Kostov Trial, p 127). Pál Justus, one of the fellow-conspirators of László Rajk, was a Trotskyite already in 1930-31. As such he was tolerated by the Horthy dictatorship’s police and became a virtual tool of the Horthy police before he was actually organised as an agent:
As a result of the fact that the activities of the organisation [Trotskyite organisation – JK] were exclusively directed against the illegal Communist Party, the Horthy police not only tolerated this movement but even supported it with benevolence, and while they allowed me and my colleagues to work with a seemingly most radical phraseology, at the same time they most brutally persecuted the Communist Party.
Looking at all this today, I see already that it means that I was, in fact, an ally and a tool of the Horthy police before I was actually arrested. (Verbatim Report of Rajk Trial, p 188)
There is a close tie between Trotskyism and police espionage in the labour movement. Trotskyite propaganda prepares the path for betrayal on the one hand and, on the other, it provides the already organised police agents a useful platform for disruption within the Communist organisations. As Justus put it:
If I look back on my career, I see one common cause for all the crimes which I committed, and that is my Trotskyite convictions. Through Trotskyite literature... through contact with international Trotskyite leaders and through their influence, I myself became a sworn enemy of the Communist movement. My close on twenty years of political activity are filled with the poison of Trotskyism. Already in the 1930s I allied myself with the various groups and factions which fought against the Communist movement then in illegality. Through this fact I became a helper of the police even at a time when I was not yet an organised agent, though shortly after this too happened... (Verbatim Report of Rajk Trial, p 297)
From Trotskyism to police agent and thence to the ranks of the Titoite conspirators in Hungary was a logical transition.
Moša Pijade, one of the leading so-called ‘theoreticians’ of the Tito gang, exposed himself as a long-term hidden Trotskyite by his article on the Rajk trial published in Borba at the end of September 1949 (reprinted in English by Tanjug, 27 September 1949). ‘It is reminiscent’, he wrote in the course of a virulent attack on the Rajk trial, ‘of the trials in the Soviet Union in 1936, the organisers of which could have helped in staging the Budapest trial with their abundant experience.’ This article is significant, not because of the anti-Soviet slanders of Pijade, of which there are today legion, but because it brings into the open that Pijade had been for long years a hidden enemy of the Soviet Union, whilst posing as an unreserved supporter of the Soviet regime, of the policy of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union and of the Communist International.
Very quickly after the June 1948 resolution of the Communist Information Bureau, the Titoites began to adopt a more and more openly Trotskyite line in their public propaganda and educational material. The British journalist Alexander Werth remarked on this already in September 1949:
Among Yugoslav rank-and-file Communists ‘political education’ now follows a curious course, if I may judge from my train conversations with soldiers and officers – it is that the real deviationist is Stalin, and that Lenin’s spirit is alive only in Yugoslavia. One soldier told me a story of something that was obviously quite new to him but which is, of course, familiar to everybody who has read his Trotsky – the story of ‘Lenin’s Testament’. (Manchester Guardian, 27 September 1949)
By the end of 1950, the main lines of Titoite political propaganda and political education had been brought on to a fully Trotskyite platform. Dressed up in only a very slightly modernised form, all the old Trotskyite lies and slanders were being repeated.
The mantle of Trotsky had fallen on the shoulders of Tito.
The Titoites, like the Trotskyites of the 1930s, therefore, play a major role in Western imperialism’s plans of aggressive war against the land (and today the lands) where the people rule. The difference lies only in this – the Titoites have a base. Through a process of internal trickery and putsch they have temporarily acquired power in Yugoslavia. And therefore they are able to prepare for imperialist war not only by trying to work as a fifth column behind the lines of the state frontiers of the Soviet Union and the People’s Democracies, and within progressive organisations in the capitalist countries, but by transforming their Yugoslav base into an armed base of Western imperialism for aggressive anti-Soviet war.
By the end of 1950, Tito had an army of over one million men, far more than the total of all the armed forces of the neighbouring People’s Democracies. The budget expenditure on arms (even by Tito’s whitewashed official figures) has gone up rapidly year by year from 1948 to the draft budget for 1951 which was published at the end of December 1950.
Unofficially, American despatch of arms to Tito Yugoslavia began early in 1950. In the summer of 1950 there were periods when fifteen to twenty trains weekly were carrying captured German arms from the American zone of Western Germany through Austria to northern Yugoslavia. At the end of 1950 it was openly decided in Washington to despatch food for consumption by the Yugoslav armed forces. In October 1950, the Sunday Observer reported:
The United States, Britain and France have decided in principle to give military aid to Yugoslavia. This decision was taken during the recent Big Three Conference in New York. (Sunday Observer, 8 October 1950)
Great care has been taken to hide the rearming of Tito Yugoslavia by Western imperialism, because it is realised that this fact destroys any claim of Tito to be ‘building Socialism’. The need to conceal the arming of Tito has been openly admitted:
There can be no question of direct alliance or an open guarantee to Yugoslavia as in the case of the Atlantic Pact countries, Western Germany, Greece and Turkey, because Marshal Tito could not accept it and because it would provide additional fuel to the Soviet propaganda campaign against Tito as a tool of the West. (Observer, 8 October 1950)
For a long period Tito took the line that he did not need or desire arms from the West. In a speech at the Second ‘Party’ Congress of his Guards Division on 18 February 1951, he was still declaring that ‘there could be no question at this stage of seeking arms from the West’ (The Times, Belgrade Correspondent, 19 February 1951). But history was very quickly to expose the manoeuvre.
On 22 May 1951, The Times Belgrade Correspondent reported a speech of Colonel-General Ivan Gošnjak in which this Titoite and Deputy Minister of Defence revealed that the decision had now been made openly to demand Western military aid. On 9 June, Kardelj announced that General Koča Popović, Chief of Staff of the Yugoslav Army, had gone abroad to USA, Britain, etc, ‘to investigate possibilities in talks with representatives of Western governments with regard to the purchase of equipment and arms for the Yugoslav Army’. In the USA General Popović visited the State Department and leading US military authorities, including General Bradley, Chairman of the US Joint Chiefs of Staff. By 19 June, the New York Herald Tribune reported that arms to the value of $1 million had been shipped to Yugoslavia from the USA and by 27 June the same paper revealed that the value of arms shipped had already passed the $3 million mark and that more were on the way.
The USA had demanded the right to supervise all distribution of arms despatched to Yugoslavia and had quickly arranged for the training in the USA of Yugoslav military personnel.
All that was most right-wing and reactionary in the US press warmly welcomed this despatch of arms as a vital anti-Soviet move, the publicist Joseph Alsop commenting in the New York Herald Tribune (7 June 1951): ‘It is only necessary to consider how much cheaper it is to buy strength here than it is, for example, in France.’
New roads are being built up and down the country with a specific military strategic purpose. It is one of the tragedies and ironies of history that the Belgrade – Zagreb highway, which began with the aid of the foreign Youth Brigades, has now been revealed as part of a general Western strategic plan to link Anglo-American military bases on the frontiers of the People’s Democracies of Eastern Europe. It is now planned that this road should be so extended north and south as to link the Anglo-American base of Trieste through Zagreb, Belgrade and Skopje, to the Anglo-American base of Salonica in Northern Greece. The voluntary labour detachments, which had the willing support of youth and people in the emergency period immediately following Liberation, have been transformed into compulsory labour squads, and by such squads, unpaid and without proper equipment, this highway is now being completed. There are a whole series of airports situated along it. Several sectors of the road itself have been extended and surfaced with concrete for possible use as airstrips, and then camouflaged over with a thin layer of soil. It is remarkable that there is already rail contact between Trieste, Ljubljana, Zagreb and Belgrade, whilst a transverse east-west road linking the richer areas of Slavonia and Vojvodina with the barren coast of Dalmatia is desperately needed but not being constructed. New highways are being planned, however, linking Yugoslavia with neighbouring People’s Democracies, highways demanded by Western strategy such as the Niš – Tsaribrod project leading up to the Bulgarian frontier.
The correspondent of the Neue Züricher Zeitung (14 May 1950) had this to say on the Belgrade – Zagreb highway:
Opinions differ about the economic value of the ‘autoput’ [autostrad]. It has no genuine crossroads and most of the important economic and communications centres between Belgrade and Zagreb are by-passed. It can be argued as to whether the road traffic between Belgrade and Zagreb was really worth the tremendous expenditure.
Indeed, when this correspondent journeyed along the completed sector of the road he only met four private cars and a few lorries. But this is a ‘luxury’ about which there has been no complaint from the American government.
Tens of thousands of acres of crop area have been taken from peasants for the construction of airfields and other military installations.
Old airfields have been enlarged and many new airfields are under construction with the help of American experts. On 1 January 1950, it was announced in Washington that the USA has granted permission to Yugoslavia to import aircraft engines and parts, and a whole number of agreements, open and concealed, have given the United States the right to use Yugoslav aerodromes. On 17 January 1950, the New York Herald Tribune correspondent in Belgrade reported that ‘American airliners will begin flying over Yugoslavia next week as a result of only one day of negotiations between Pan-American World Airways officials and Yugoslav government officials’. He forecast at the same time similar Yugoslav agreements with Britain, France and Italy.
In the same way a number of Yugoslav harbours on the Adriatic coast have been enlarged with American ‘aid’ and placed at the disposal of the Western capitalist countries. On 10 April 1950, the Tito government issued a decision on the question of the admission, navigation and stay of foreign vessels in Yugoslav territorial waters. This gives the Naval Command the right to permit at the request of foreign naval commanders, naval exercises, entry of crews into ports and the landing of armed crews ‘for participation in parades and funeral processions’. The interest of the West in participation in funeral processions on Yugoslav soil is perhaps symbolic of the role of Western imperialism in Yugoslavia and other East European territories.
But the role of Tito’s Yugoslavia in the Western war plans is not confined to that of becoming one of several American bases for attack on the Soviet Union and the People’s Democracies. Within the military diplomatic plans of Atlantic Pact diplomacy is the aim of making Yugoslavia into the hub, the centre of a Western war bloc on the borders of People’s Democratic Europe.
With the aid of the Titoites, Western reaction is trying to build up a war bloc stretching from Austria southwards through Yugoslavia to Greece, and from Italy eastwards through Yugoslavia and Greece to Turkey. The Belgrade – Athens axis was formed early in March 1950 as the logical outcome of the Titoite betrayal of the Greek Democratic Army. Already on 11 December 1949, Cyrus Sulzberger was writing in the New York Times of the creation of the ‘Vienna – Belgrade – Athens diagonal’. The Sunday Times (25 May 1950) explained that the Turkish press (despite the change of Turkish government) was preoccupied with the creation of a ‘security bloc’ composed of Greece, Italy, Yugoslavia and Turkey, and, about the same time, the Turkish newspaper Yeni Sabah described the closer relations of Athens and Belgrade as of historic and decisive significance for ‘changing the situation in the Balkans’.
Closer political relations and military connections are being knit between Tito’s Yugoslavia and Austrian reaction. It was announced in Vienna on 28 April 1950 that, following a meeting of the Austrian Minister in Belgrade with the Yugoslav Deputy Foreign Minister, the sentences of all Austrian war criminals sentenced in Yugoslavia would be cut by half. The vacancies in the prisons made by the release of war criminals from the Nazi occupation forces were quickly filled by the arrest of Communists and Partisans. Reporting an interview with a top Yugoslav official in Belgrade, the US News and World Report said (28 July 1950) that the reply (discussed by the Yugoslav Cabinet) to one of the questions put had stated that ‘relations with Greece have improved a great deal. In fact, they are almost cordial at present. The same goes for Turkey. There is also a “bettering of relations” with Italy.’
The Italian reactionary press, committing a complete somersault over the last two years, is more and more openly calling for close economic and military collaboration with Tito Yugoslavia. In a New Year 1951 leading article the Giornale di Trieste called for close economic and political collaboration between Italy and Yugoslavia. Such a call, coming from Trieste, always the sharpest point of Italian reactionary attack on Yugoslavia, is all the more indicative. Meanwhile there is every evidence that while the Trieste issue continues to be discussed for home consumption in the Titoite press and the press of the Italian right, neither de Gasperi nor Tito have any desire for the recall of British and American troops from Trieste. As the New York Herald Tribune headline put it on 21 January 1951: ‘Neither Italy nor Yugoslavia is willing to take steps to bring about an agreement that would mean withdrawal of US, British troops.’
You can formulate it as you wish, axis, diagonal, or ‘security bloc’, but it has become ever clearer that Western imperialist diplomacy is aiming at a war bloc of Austria, Yugoslavia, Greece, Italy and Turkey on the strategic frontiers of the People’s Democracies; and Tito’s Yugoslavia is the hub and pivot of this bloc of the reactionary Catholic Austrian government, the Christian Democrats of Italy, the Greek monarcho-fascists, and the semi-fascists of Turkey.
It is useful for a moment to study the process by which this war bloc has been knocked into shape. It does not represent an abrupt turn in Titoite policy, but is the culmination of a prolonged process of betrayal.
The open formation of the Belgrade – Athens axis in 1949-50 was prepared by years of concealed treachery towards the liberation struggle of the Greek people, treachery the facts of which are only now being revealed. In 1943 the Yugoslav Partisans made contact with the Greek Partisans, the ELAS. But already the Titoite group operating secretly within the Yugoslav Communist Party had their designs on Greece and began to abuse this contact for their own ends. They began to develop their own organisation on Greek soil, recruiting agents especially from the Slav Macedonians of north-eastern Greece. Their chief agent in this work was Vukmanović, known as Tempo, who carried out similar tasks amongst both the Albanian and Bulgarian Partisan movements.
Late in 1944, when Churchill was preparing his offensive against the Greek people, Tito ordered the Slav-Macedonian units of ELAS to withdraw to Yugoslavia. In December 1944, Tito and Tempo were preparing Yugoslav troops, together with these Macedonian units of ELAS, to seize Greek Macedonia and incorporate it in Yugoslav territory.
During the fighting between ELAS and British troops in Athens, Tito refused all aid to the Greek Partisans. Yet it was Tito who strongly urged in 1945 that the Greek National Liberation Movement (EAM) should denounce the Varkiza Agreement with the British government and continue the struggle.
When the Second Plenum of the Central Committee of the Greek Communist Party was held on 12 February 1946 (first anniversary of Varkiza), the decision was taken to adopt new forms of armed struggle, and in this decision it was Tito’s promise of the fullest support that played a decisive role. But at this very same time he was, in fact, developing his efforts to undermine the Greek National Liberation Movement, the Communist Party of Greece and the Greek Democratic Army. A number of leading Greek Communists were murdered by Titoite agents, including Zevgos, member of the Political Bureau. Ranković’s organisation penetrated into the Greek Democratic Army.
After the publication of the resolution of the Communist Information Bureau in June 1948, the Titoites began to work more openly in Greece.
At a time when Greek monarcho-fascism was in deep difficulties, the Titoites sprang to the rescue. The group in Greece subordinated to Tito (Keramidjev, Mitrovski, Goce, etc) increased their work of disruption inside the democratic movement and army. They organised the desertion of Slav-Macedonians to Yugoslavia. In the spring of 1949 open collaboration between Tito and the Greek monarcho-fascists began at Kaimakchalan. Finally, at the most critical moment of armed struggle between Greek fascism and the Greek Democratic Army, Tito, under the pretext of neutrality,  of closing the frontier, opened the frontier to the monarcho-fascist forces, who took the Greek Democrats in the rear.
This long story of provocation and treachery prepared the way for the present Belgrade – Athens Axis.
The Central Committee of the Greek Communist Party has thus summed up their military defeat at Grammos and Vitsi in 1949:
Why were we defeated militarily at Grammos and Vitsi?
After three years of struggle, except for the fact that it could not solve the basic problem of reserves, a step which would have allowed it to achieve a definite result against monarcho-fascism, the Greek Democratic Army had nullified the efforts of the reactionaries, together with those of foreign imperialist intervention, to wipe them out, and was building slowly but surely the conditions for victory.
At the end of 1948 and the beginning of 1949 monarcho-fascism was passing through a deep moral crisis. Its army was showing signs of demoralisation; reaction in Greece was approaching a military impasse, a military crisis.
Precisely at this critical moment for monarcho-fascism, Anglo-American imperialism threw into the scales its Titoite reserves...
Tito had played throughout the classic role of agent provocateur, egging on to advanced forms of action in order to betray at the critical moment. As the same statement stated:
This treachery of Tito in the conditions through which our movement was passing in 1948-49 was the determining reason that led to our temporary but necessary retreat after the battle of Vitsi-Grammos. And we must here say openly that, if from 1946 we had known the dishonest role of the provocateur Tito, then the Communist Party of Greece would not have come to the decision to take up arms again, it would have followed another road... because it is very clear that it could not have gone ahead to a new armed struggle without a secure rear at a time when monarcho-fascism had the full support of America and Britain.
Nor are the Greek Communists alone in recognising the decisive role played by Tito in the temporary defeat of the Greek Democrat Army. Venizelos, when Vice-President of the Council of the Greek government, declared: ‘Without the aid given by Yugoslavia we could never have been so successful.’
The British Tories, in their more Aesopian language, confirmed this analysis:
Without disparagement to Greek arms, what has turned the balance in the Greek civil war? The quarrel between Tito and Stalin... (Harold MacMillan, Tory MP, end of 1949)
But most important of all has been Tito’s modification of his attitude towards Greece... The collapse of the Greek rebel army in October  was hastened by Tito’s action in closing [viz, opening to the monarcho-fascists – JK] the Greek-Yugoslav frontier. (Anthony Eden in the Daily Telegraph, 16 November 1949)
And Mr Hugh Seton Watson, in his book The East European Revolution (1950), a book which is wholly hostile to the Soviet Union and the Communist Party, writes:
In the summer of 1949 the government forces at last attained real success. The decisive event seems to have been Tito’s closure of the frontier in July.
Thus Tito was the decisive force in securing the temporary establishment of a fully Americanised Western war base in Greece, for putting monarcho-fascism back in power at a moment when it was critically challenged. Certainly this is ‘a new kind of Communism’.
While the ‘security bloc’, with Yugoslavia at its centre, is preparing for eventual Western aggression against Eastern Europe, Tito keeps up a continual round of war provocations on the borders of his neighbours. Every week brings new reports of Yugoslav-provoked incidents on the Bulgarian, Rumanian and Hungarian frontiers, where large numbers of Titoite troops are concentrated. Especially against the small state of Albania is the Yugoslav campaign of war provocation concentrated, and carried out in concert with the Italian De Gasperi government and the semi-fascist government of Greece. The Albanian minority in Kosovo and Metohija are terrorised. Yugoslav hospitality is given to Albanian war criminals. Already at the end of 1949 (5 December) the American journalist Sulzberger reported:
Marshal Tito has moved a so-called ‘Koçi Xoxe brigade’ of Albanian refugees to the Scutari frontier region. Theoretically, its job is to work on land reclamation, but actually it is causing worry to the government of Premier Enver Hoxha.
Between early 1949 and the end of June 1950, Tito’s armed forces made over 150 provocative attacks on Albania by land, air and sea and since then the campaign of provocation has intensified.
Between 2 April and 30 April 1951 alone the Titoite armed forces violated the Albanian frontier eight times.
Tito Yugoslavia has become an integral and important part in the war plans of Western reaction:
1) By building up with Western aid an inflated army and police force directed against the Soviet Union and the People’s Democracies.
2) By transforming Yugoslavia into a Western military base.
3) By acting as the organiser and centre of an anti-Soviet and anti-People’s Democracy ‘security bloc’ on the borders of Eastern Europe.
4) By developing disruptive and espionage fifth-column work inside its Eastern European neighbours’ territory.
5) By orienting its economy to the export to Western imperialism and its puppets of strategic raw materials needed for aggressive war.
Nor do we have to go far to seek confirming evidence for this role of betrayal. It comes from the very mouths of the spokesmen of aggressive war and imperialist diplomacy.
In their booklet Eastern Europe Today, published by the United States Foreign Policy Association at the end of 1949, Joseph Harsch and Emil Lengyel explain that, immediately after Liberation, American diplomacy had based its ‘operations in Eastern Europe’ on elements hostile to the new regimes. But this, they admit, did not pay. Tito, on the contrary, they declare, is an excellent investment:
Tito is worth all the dissident elements put together... It is costing us a billion dollars to equip nine French divisions, whereas Tito has brought twenty divisions potentially over to the Western side.
The US News and World Report (24 November 1950) explained:
From the US point of view Tito is anti-Stalin... Tito’s army includes thirty divisions, ready and willing to fight Stalin. Tito’s location is a strategic one...
On 18 November 1950, President Truman sent a letter to Congressional leaders urging immediate support for Tito, as this was required by the ‘strategic and political interests in that area’ of the American government. Tito, he said, ‘controls the largest fighting force in Europe except the Soviet Union’, and this force constitutes an element in the defence of Western Europe. American policy with regard to Yugoslavia, he added, consists in giving Tito all the aid considered necessary for the protection of American strategic and political interests. In Yugoslavia the food and economic conditions were such that they could lead to serious consequences unless the US government took immediate measures before Congress met again. Tito’s capacity to control subversive elements in Yugoslavia would be gravely and perhaps fatally undermined and the capacity of the Yugoslav military forces dangerously weakened, if measures of ‘aid’ were not immediately stepped up.
This was a frank declaration by the president of the world’s greatest imperialist power that Tito’s Yugoslavia was following a policy in the interest of Western imperialism, in the interest of Western war policy. It was also a frank avowal that opposition to Tito inside Yugoslavia was developing fast and threatening the Tito regime. And finally it proved that Truman and Tito have the same definition of ‘subversive elements’.
The London Economist (23 December 1950) in commenting on President Truman’s statement declared:
The strongest factor in the Administration’s favour [for giving support to Tito] was undoubtedly the importance of not losing Yugoslavia’s thirty-two divisions. In his original message to Congressional leaders, the President made the following case: apart from his importance as a political symbol, Marshal Tito has the largest army in Europe bar only Soviet Russia; it is now clear that, so long as it is in his power, the West can count on this in an emergency, and even without one, to immobilise at least an equal Russian force; but unless Yugoslavia is given immediate aid, Tito’s ability to counter subversive elements will be ‘seriously if not fatally’ prejudiced.
By January 1951, the right-wing American press was openly proclaiming the central role of Tito’s Yugoslavia in the war plans of American reaction. Early in January, the San Francisco Chronicle wrote:
Yugoslavia is a vital spot in the democracies’ strategic line of defence [in English this means ‘in imperialism’s strategic line of aggression’ – JK]... should it go, Greece would go too, and probably Turkey, with the whole Near and Middle East to follow.
Joseph and Stewart Alsop, writing in the New York Herald Tribune on ‘The Value of Tito’, wrote of:
... the thirty Yugoslav divisions, the Turkish Army of nearly thirty divisions, and the revivified army of Greece... Taken together, they actually constitute a larger force than any that can conceivably be organised in Western Europe before at least two years have elapsed... the consequences of losing Yugoslavia [viz, the overthrow of Tito – JK] can quite easily add up to the equivalent of final defeat in a general war. (New York Herald Tribune, continental edition, 18 January 1951)
In other words, as 1951 opened, the concealment of Tito’s role had virtually ended, and it was openly admitted that the Yugoslav Titoites were playing a central role in Western plans for aggressive war against the Soviet Union and the People’s Democracies.
Tito, on his side, was forced by events to come more and more into the open. His denials of desire to receive war material from Western imperialism rapidly became public pleas for them. His claims of ‘neutrality’ and of ‘independent policy’ were rapidly transformed into public identification of himself and his clique with US war policy. In an interview with an Observer special correspondent on 2 September 1951, Tito proclaimed, in words identical with any US embassy hand-out, that cooperation with the Soviet Union and the People’s Democracies was impossible, whilst the West had given him nothing but generous and altruistic aid. He opposed the idea of a Five-Power Peace Pact. Collaboration was necessary, he said, between Yugoslavia and monarcho-fascist Greece and the Turkish dictatorship.
A few days earlier the correspondent of the New York Herald Tribune had published her report of an exclusive interview with the Marshal (28 June 1951). Tito told her ‘that in the event of a Soviet attack anywhere in Europe, even if the thrust should be miles away from Yugoslavia’s own borders’, he would ‘instantly do battle on the side of the West... Yugoslavia considers itself part of the collective security wall being built against Soviet imperialism’.
This is Truman’s language – the precise language of the Western war-planners. Truth is turned on its head. The Soviet Union is accused of planning the aggression which is in fact being prepared and directed against her. But now the Titoites have ceased even to pretend that they are anything other than an integral part and key instrument in the military plans of the West.
Is it surprising that Mr Averell Harriman, Truman’s special representative, visited Tito at the end of August 1951, on his way back from Iran, accompanied by the State Department’s oil experts; and that they found complete identity of views when they discussed together foreign policy and war?
Tito Yugoslavia has been enrolled as a pawn in the war plans of US imperialism.
1. The word ‘instead’ appears to have been omitted here – MIA.