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Informbiro (also the Informbiro period or the Time of the Informbiro) was a period in the history of Yugoslavia which spanned from 1948 to 1955, characterised by conflict and schism with the Soviet Union. The word Informbiro is the Yugoslav name of the Cominform, an abbreviation for "Information Bureau," from "Communist Information Bureau".
The term refers to the Cominform Resolution of June 28, 1948 (resulting from the Tito–Stalin Split) that accused the Communist Party of Yugoslavia (KPJ), among other things, of "depart[ing] from Marxism-Leninism", exhibiting an "anti-Soviet attitude," "meeting criticism with hostility" and "reject[ing] to discuss the situation at an Informbureau meeting." Following these allegations, the resolution expelled the KPJ from Cominform. As a result, Yugoslavia fell outside of the Soviet sphere of influence, and the country's brand of communism, with its independence from the Soviet line, was called Titoism by Moscow and considered treasonous. Party purges against suspected "Titoites" were conducted throughout Eastern Europe.
Significant evidence supports the opinion that the actual reason for the Cominform Resolution was the unwillingness of Josip Broz Tito to obey the instructions of Joseph Stalin. The most serious disputes concerned policy in the Balkans. In particular, Yugoslavia was considered to be pushing too fast towards unification with Bulgaria and Albania. Although following Stalin's proposal for a series of such unifications, Tito was seen to be proceeding without proper consultation with Moscow. Another issue was Tito's eagerness to export revolution to Greece, in contravention of Stalin's Percentages Agreement with the capitalist powers.
The Cominform Resolution is seen as a failed attempt by Stalin to command obedience not only from Tito, but from other national Communist parties as well.
In his memoirs, Nikita Khrushchev asserted that he was "absolutely sure that if the Soviet Union bordered Yugoslavia, Stalin would have intervened militarily." The Soviets planned an invasion with Hungarian, Romanian, and Soviet troops, and in January 1951 large military maneuvers in Hungary simulated an invasion with the assumption of NATO intervention on the Yugoslav side. The threat of war declined, however; Yugoslavia was important to the West because of its importance to the defense of Italy and Greece, and the United States' strong defense of South Korea in the Korean War had likely helped discourage the Soviets, Béla Király stating that it "nipped Stalin's pet project in the bud". The country became an informal NATO member; in February 1951 the British Chiefs of Staff announced that a Soviet attack of Yugoslavia "would lead to world war", in June Koča Popović visited Washington DC for joint planning discussions, and by the mid 1950s the United States provided the country with one half billion dollars in military aid.
This period was also marked by dissent within the League of Communists of Yugoslavia and subsequent repression and deportations of many pro-Soviet members to labor camps and prisons, notably Goli Otok island.
Khrushchev reconciled with Tito after Stalin's 1953 death, but Yugoslavia remained outside the Eastern bloc and an informal NATO member. Tito dramatically changed his domestic policies and created an amnesty programme. Most of the prisons were closed and destroyed, and government also loosened controls in the media to much wider extent than in the rest of the Eastern bloc.
This period figures prominently in Yugoslav literature and cinema.
- February 1948 – Soviet foreign minister Vyacheslav Molotov threatens Tito that "serious differences of opinion about relations between our countries" will result if Tito does not clear his actions with Moscow
- March 27, 1948 – the Central Committee (CC) of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union (CPSU) sends a letter of warning to the Central Committee of the KPJ
- April 12–13, 1948 – A CC KPJ plenum discusses the CPSU letter
- May 4, 1948 – The CC CPSU sends a new letter to the CC KPJ with additional allegations
- May 9, 1948 – At a meeting in Belgrade the CC KPJ issues its reply to the CKVKP(b) letter
- May 20, 1948 – The CC KPJ issues a statement that the KPJ will not send a delegation to the next Cominform meeting
- June 28, 1948 – Cominform circulates the "Resolution on the situation in the KPJ"
- September 1948 – The USSR unilaterally annuls its treaty with Yugoslavia. Hungary, Poland, Bulgaria, Romania and Czechoslovakia follow suit.
- October 25, 1948 – The USSR expels the Yugoslav ambassador. Other pro-Soviet governments follow suit.
- November 29, 1948 – From the scheduled meeting in Budapest, Cominform issues a new resolution that states in part that "the transformation of Yugoslavia from the phase of bourgeois nationalism into fascism and direct betrayal of national interests is complete"
- 1949 – Goli Otok prison camp is established for the internment of "supporters of the Informbiro"
- June 6, 1953 – Under Khrushchev, the USSR suggests the exchange of ambassadors with Yugoslavia. Hungary, Bulgaria and Albania follow suit.
- 1954 – Poland and Czechoslovakia also restore relations with Yugoslavia
- June 2, 1955 – Yugoslavia and the USSR sign a joint declaration in Belgrade
- 1995 – Goli Otok internees from post-Yugoslav republics seek damages
Informbiro in cinema
- Hadžić, Fadil (1951), Tajna Dvorca I.B.
- Godina, Karpo (1982), Red Boogie.
- Kusturica, Emir (1985), Otac na službenom putu [When Father Was Away on Business].
- Kovačević, Dušan (1984), Balkanski Špijun [Balkan Spy].
- Popov, Stole (1986), Srećna nova '49.
- Papić, Krsto (1988), My Uncle's Legacy, from the novel by Ivan Aralica.
- Arso Jovanović
- Sreten Žujović
- Communist Party of the Free Territory of Trieste
- Nova borba
- Za socijalističku Jugoslaviju
- Schindler, John R. (1998-02-24). "Dodging Armageddon: The Third World War That Almost Was, 1950". Cryptologic Quarterly: 85–95.
- Gibianskii, Leonid (1998), "The Soviet-Yugoslav Split and the Cominform", in Naimark, Norman; Gibianskii, Leonid, The Establishment of Communist Regimes in Eastern Europe, 1944–1949, Boulder, CO.
- ——— (2001), "The Idea of Balkan Unification and Plans for its Implementation during the 1940s", Voprosy Istorii (in Russian) (11–12): 38–56.
- June 1948 Cominform Resolution, Fordham.