Herta Haas

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Herta Haas (second from left) in 1943

Herta Haas (29 March 1914 – 5 March 2010) was a Slovene and Yugoslav Partisan during World War II and the second wife of Josip Broz Tito, leader of the Partisans and a future President of Yugoslavia.[1]

Biography[edit]

Haas was born 1914 in Slovenska Bistrica, Slovenia, which was part of Austria-Hungary at the time.[2] She joined the revolutionary workers movement in high school and worked as a courier between groups in Yugoslavia and France.[2]

Haas met Tito in Paris, France, in 1937,[2] a year after he had divorced his first wife, Pelagija "Polka" Belousova. In 1940, Haas travelled to Istanbul, Turkey, to deliver a passport to Tito, who was returning from a trip to Moscow, Soviet Union.[2] Their relationship soon turned romantic, according to Tito's authorized biography, The Loves of Josip Broz Tito.[2] The couple married in 1940[1] and returned to Yugoslavia using aliases.[2] They lived in Zagreb until the Invasion of Yugoslavia, when Tito moved to Belgrade, while Haas, who was pregnant with their only child, remained in Zagreb.[2]

In May 1941, Haas gave birth to their only son, Mišo Broz, who was a Croatian ambassador to Indonesia from 2004 to 2009.[1] Partisan supporters hid Haas and her son from Nazi German authorities and their allies, but she was eventually caught and arrested.[2] She was swapped for a German officer in a 1943 prisoner exchange between the Germans and the Partisans.[2]

By the time Haas was released and rejoined the Partisans in 1943, Tito was having an affair with his personal secretary Davorjanka Paunović, who was code named "Zdenka".[2] Haas and Tito suddenly separated in 1943 in Jajce during the second meeting of AVNOJ after she reportedly walked in on him and Davorjanka Paunović.[3] Haas spent much of the rest of World War II in Slovenia, away from Tito.[2]

Haas reportedly met Tito only once after World War II during a visit to his presidential office in Belgrade.[2] Following the end of the war, Haas worked at several Yugoslav government institutions.[1] She remarried and gave birth to two daughters.[2] She lived much of her later life in relative obscurity.

Herta Haas died in Belgrade, Serbia, on 5 March 2010, at the age of 95.[2]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d "Tito's ex wife Hertha Hass dies". Monsters and Critics. 9 March 2010. Archived from the original on 28 January 2013. Retrieved 24 March 2010.
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n "Tito's second wife dies at 96". Xinhua. 10 March 2010. Archived from the original on 9 June 2011. Retrieved 24 March 2010.
  3. ^ "Titova udovica daleko od očiju javnosti". Blic.rs. 28 December 2008. Archived from the original on 14 December 2009. Retrieved 10 March 2010.

External links[edit]