The Historical Journal

Articles

The Cominform: Tito's International?

Geoffrey Swaina1

a1 Bristol Polytechnic

Abstract

Although it is now recognized that the Stalin-Tito dispute was sparked off by Tito's desire to intervene decisively in the Greek civil war, the ideological context of that decision has never been fully explored. This article suggests that, since the early days of the Second World War, Tito had been committed to establishing a popular front ‘from below’, i.e. under clear communist control. He did this not only in Yugoslavia, but used his position in the war-time Comintern to persuade other communist parties to do the same. As a result he was dissatisfied with the all-party coalition governments established with Stalin's consent throughout Europe in 1945. Tito favoured a communist offensive, while Stalin, aware of the international position of the Soviet Union, favoured a more cautious approach. When Stalin summoned the first meeting of the Cominform in September 1947 and made Tito its de Facto leader, Tito mistakenly assumed he was to head a new international committed to a revolutionary offensive not only in Eastern Europe but in Greece and even Italy and France.