To reduce love, respect and gratitude into a cult is shameful. The man followed his fate and fought for ideals. What does a cult – characteristic of the Gods – even mean for him?

Miso Maric

Churchill: ‘We have decidedly taken Tito’s side due to his brave fight against the German army.’

Stalin: ‘Keep yourself healthy, Europe will need you’!

Roosevelt: ‘Tito’s decision to fight against the Nazis has been the turning point of WW2 history.’

de Gaulle: ‘Tito is a legendary hero’

Chaplin: ‘As a soldier in the battle against fascism, I stand still and salute the Marshal for his fight.’

Sartre: ‘Tito’s Yugoslavia is a realisation of my philosophy.’

Tito Bosnia: (Indonesian journalist): ‘As you might have noticed, my name is the combination of Tito’s name and the country BiH. This name was given to me by my father…’

A droplet of ‘Mostar Rains’: ‘Uncle Miso, only comrade Tito ever bowed to us’

Krleza:  ‘He never doubted his ideals, and he’s realised more of them than generations of poets, politicians, rulers, and army leaders’

Kosta Nagy: ‘In October ’42, I saw him in front of a train carriage, it’d been snowing, he was shaving. You know, Kosta, it’s time to form a state. I was quiet in shock. The world is in chaos, and he’s forming a state?!’

Mate Parlov:  ‘I was Tito’s favourite, he loved me… How could I ever be a nationalist, I’m a world champion.’

I am not a champion in anything, a man in exile, Exeter, UK, the waiting room for death itself. Here comes May, a month of joy, sorrow and beautiful sun after heavy rains. Azra hung me in the garden with clothespins to dry me down, and for the 46th year she’s calling me to my senses without success. My daughter Milena learned what Otac (father) means, granddaughter Bella is trying to learn what Djed (Granddad) is, successfully…

In ‘48, in her native Bosanski Petrovac, my mother Desa was given a piece of paper: ‘M.M. a child victim of fascist terror’.  I searched for her father, maternal grandfather, in vain. My father’s father, grandmother, aunts and Maric’s kindergarten were excavated. Klapcic Milan (12), the youngest – a 3-month-old girl, with no name. A whole generation gone, they rest under the Partisan Star in the cemetery of my father’s village Kolunic. Where one dies once, they are buried twice, the century wailing.

I heard about Tito for the first time from surviving uncles, reconstruction brigadiers… Later I met him in textbooks, books for adults… I dreamed of my grandfathers with his face, I fell in love. He was my teacher of forgiveness and love, so I sang of him, saw him ten times, and created hundreds of scenarios. Departures of relays, republican and federal ceremonies, Neretva, Drvar, Srem… Alas, I did it for me, Tito and Titoians know to love with no interest.

Now, from the rags of the tired Yuga, I listen to those short-legged tongues talk about the cult of personality. Their first cries were in hospitals, their first steps in apartment buildings, they were educated under the lights of power plants, treated and vaccinated, these are passengers from new highways and asphalted country roads, and they had everything handed to them. Honorable ancestors found their luck in Tito’s Yugoslavia, and their descendants tore it all down and stole from it, conveniently calling it ‘transition’… and so on and so shamefully forth.

‘Scuse me, what even is a cult? I quoted a few people in the beginning, as the complete Register of planetary transgressors of the creation of ‘Tito’s cult’ wouldn’t even fit within the Mahabharata. The Jugovic’s awarded him with 18 of the highest state medals, possibly a few to get into his good graces, but they’re ours let’s not get nitpicky. Some were also given to the beloved occupier, so what? The strikers of the work action ‘Building the Cult of Tito’ from all continents but Australia solemnly decorated him with the 101st most prestigious state medal.

To reduce love, respect and gratitude into a cult is shameful. The man followed his fate and fought for ideals. What does a cult – characteristic of the Gods – even mean for him?

Tito is the world champion on the Mt Olympus of the Immortals in the most difficult categories of life. If that’s a cult, I am proud and eager to join in with those wiser than me.


Miso Maric, an active journalist since 1969, editor in numerous BiH media, founder of Children’s Ensemble ‘Mostar Rains’, part of poetic and music anthologies, award-winning prose and poetry writer, translated into many world languages