05.10.

1957: Milovan Đilas Sentenced to 7 Years in Prison for Opposing Tito

1957: Milovan Đilas Sentenced to 7 Years in Prison for Opposing Tito
Photo Credit To Wikipedia Commons

Story Highlights

  • Historical event:
  • 5 October 1957
  • Josip Broz Tito stated that Đilas's ideas would lead to “anarchy” and “terrible insecurity”. Đilas was thrown out of the Central Committee and removed from all other functions in the League of Communists of Yugoslavia. However, he continued to be active as a dissident abroad through publishing books and giving interviews.

Milovan Đilas, one of the main ideologues of the Communist Party of Yugoslavia and Josip Broz Tito’s possible successor was was sentenced to seven years imprisonment due to opposing Tito and the communist regime.

Đilas was the bearer of the Party membership card with the number 4, behind only Tito and two other high-ranking functionaries (Aleksandar Ranković and Edvard Kardelj).

His transformation from a dogmatic Marxist to a democratic socialist took place in the early 1950s. Đilas had started to criticize the “petrified brains” in the Party, and said that bureaucratization is a greater enemy than capitalism, claiming the fight for democracy to be the only worthwhile goal.

He considered that the Communist Party should relinquish its monopoly of power and initiate a transition towards a multiparty system.

Tito and the Politburo quickly halted his campaign. A session of the Central Committee was held, and broadcast live on the radio. Tito himself stated that Đilas’s ideas would lead to “anarchy” and “terrible insecurity”.

Đilas was thrown out of the Central Committee and removed from all other functions in the League of Communists of Yugoslavia.

However, he continued to be active as a dissident abroad through publishing books and giving interviews. For this reason, he was imprisoned, and ended up spending a total of nine years there.

He was the first Yugoslav dissident and probably the most famous communist dissident in the world at that time.

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