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Imprisoning “Enemies of the State” in a Communist Dictatorship: The Record of Tito's Yugoslavia, 1945–1953
Publisher: Journals Gateway
Journal of Cold War Studies (2021) 23 (4): 124–152.
Published: 01 November 2021
AbstractView article PDF
Even though the Yugoslav Communists were expelled from the Soviet bloc in 1948, the Communist regime in Yugoslavia headed by Josip Broz Tito had embraced many of the repressive policies associated with Stalinist dictatorships. Based on newly available archival materials from Bosnia and Herzegovina, this article examines policies related to the incarceration of “enemies of the state” during the first several years of Tito's regime. By focusing on policy discussions and implementation, the article shows how government, state security, and prison officials dealt with questions relating to prison conditions, penal policy, and rehabilitation. These documents permit scholars to begin moving beyond the existing focus on well-documented events of mass killing and oppression during the early years of Communist rule—such as the Goli Otok prison camp for alleged Cominformists and mass executions in late 1944—to gain a better understanding of how Yugoslav officials viewed and debated penal policies.