"My husband, Josip Broz"

Although Jovanka spent most of her years with Tito (they did not have children together), it can still be said that the real, if not the only, love of Tito was and remained the young and beautiful partisan Davorjanka Paunovic - Zdenka.

Four women could use this sentence, but none of them was the woman of his life. The public life of the lifelong president of the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, Josip Broz Tito, is well known to the general public. Numerous documents, books, monographs and documentaries and feature films speak for themselves, but until the collapse of the common state of the southern Slavs, little was known about his private life. Who were the women in Tito's life and how much did they manage to keep some of the attention of one of the most important figures of the twentieth century?

Tito's first wife is the Russian Pelagia Belousova. He met her during his captivity in Russia, where he found himself as an Austro-Hungarian soldier during World War I. The wedding took place in 1918, when she was only 14 and he was 26. Unfortunately, their first children, Zlatica and Hinko, died very young, but in 1924 their third child was born, whom they named Zharko. After the war they moved to the Kingdom of Serbs, Croats and Slovenes, where they both took an active part in the Communist movement. After Broz's arrest, Pelagia and Zharko return to Russia and she works in the Comintern. Their marriage ended in 1936. Two years later she was arrested during the great Stalin purge, accused of being a Trotskyist and sentenced to prison. Due to Tito, Pelagia will be in prison from 1948, when the resolution of the Inform Bureau disrupts the relations between the USSR and SFRY. She remarried and gave birth to daughter Nina. She died in Moscow in March 1967.


Two women at the same time


Meanwhile, Tito marries Lucia Bauer, a German communist. His marriage was the least exploited by his biographers, and the reason for this became known many years after his death, when documents from the NKVD archives (Stalin's secret police) came out related to Tito's interrogation over the arrest of his ex-wife at the time. Namely, during the big purge, besides Pelagia, Lucia Bauer was also arrested. In the fabricated trial against her, she was sentenced to death and executed on September 27, 1938. Tito, who was in Yugoslavia at the time, returned to Moscow in August of that year and learned that his wife had been arrested. Shortly afterwards, he wrote in a written statement to the Comintern that he "felt guilty for not noticing his wife's treacherous actions due to lack of vigilance." At the time of writing, Lucia is already dead. There was no place in the flawless biography of the eldest son of the Yugoslav peoples for the fact that he denounced his wife in order to protect his own life.

Tito met his third wife, a Slovenian of Jewish descent, Herta Haas, in Paris in 1937. Two years later, after their second meeting, they start a romantic relationship, which results in marriage. Until the beginning of the Second World War they lived together in Zagreb, where on the eve of the war, on May 24, 1941, their son and Tito's last child, Aleksandar Misho Broz, was born. The war separates the two spouses, Tito joins the partisans, and Herta stays in Zagreb to look after his newborn son until March 1942, when she is arrested by the Ustashas after a failed suicide attempt.

During that time, Tito met the young and beautiful partisan Davorjanka Paunovic - Zdenka, who soon became his secretary, but also his mistress.

In 1943, negotiations took place in Zagreb between a partisan delegation led by Vladimir Velebit and the German army, to which an exchange of prisoners was agreed. Herta Haas is among the prisoners exchanged. The experienced diplomat Velebit manages to keep the Germans from finding out her true identity, thinking that a certain Marija Saric (the false name used by Hertha at the time) has nothing to do with the commander of the partisan forces.

After his release from captivity, Herta joined the General Staff of the Yugoslav People's Liberation Army and soon became aware of the new situation. While the Second Session of AVNOJ was being prepared in Jajce, a real drama was taking place in the General Staff. A Davorian woman greeted Hertha with the words: "My dear, there is no room for two women in this house." Anxious Herta went to Tito with the question: "Who is that woman? Am I not your wife? ”Tito, who was embarrassed by the presence of his associates, replied:“ Well, make a deal. ” It was the drop that spilled over the glass, after which Herta left him forever and crossed into the liberated territory of Slovenia, and met Tito only once more in his life.

The romance between the supreme commander of the partisan forces and his secretary continued throughout the war. They were so in love with each other that Tito's comrades had to intervene and ask them to be quieter while making love because it could have a negative effect on the morale of the army. And right at the end of the war, fate is playing with the two lovers. Namely, Zdenka fell ill with tuberculosis and died at the age of twenty-five, on May 1, 1946. Tito, broken by pain and wanting to keep Zdenka close to him, decides to bury her in the immediate vicinity of his residence within the court complex of Dedinje, where her grave is still located (Serbian heir to the throne - Prince Aleksandar Karadjordjevic, after the restitution at the White House, decides to accept that historical fact and not to exhume and dislocate the body of Davorjanka Paunovi)).

After Davorjanka's death, Tito wrote a 16-page letter to his still-lawful wife, Herta, asking her to return it. The almighty marshal receives an unexpected response in just a few sentences, in which, among other things, the defiant Hertha tells him: "My dear, Herta Haas kneels before a man only once in his life." Hertha spent the rest of her life in Belgrade, working for the Federal Executive Council, remarried and had two daughters with her second husband, and died in 2010.


The fate of Jovanka


Jovanka Budisavljevi,, the beautiful and young woman, lieutenant colonel of the Yugoslav People's Army, is the fourth and last wife of Josip Broz Tito. He married her on April 15, 1952 in Villa Dunavka in Ilok, with Aleksandar Rankovi како as the groom of the groom and General Ivan Gosnjak as the old man. Her first "baptism of fire" as first lady took place a year later during a visit to Yugoslavia by British Foreign Secretary Anthony Eden. From then until 1977, Jovanka was always with her husband, accompanying him during his numerous business trips and visits both in the country and abroad. With its charm and beauty, it manages to give a different dimension to the marshal's surroundings. But under the influence of the then high-ranking Yugoslav official Stane Dolanc and the Minister of Defense, General Nikola Ljubicic, Tito, who is already older and mainly controlled by these two officials from his closest circle, decides to move from his official residence in Uzice. 15 and move to the White House. He will spend the last three years of his life without Jovanka.

The reasons for their separation are numerous, from the eccentric and controlling behavior of Jovanka, who changed even the people in Tito's cabinet, her alleged contacts with the Russian secret service, to the already mentioned wish of Dolanc and Ljubicic to have full control over the already aging president. After Tito's death, a real Golgotha ​​began for Jovanka, she was harassed by the then leadership of the SFRY, her civil rights were denied (she does not even have personal documents), and her communication was limited to a very small number of people. Jovanka died in Belgrade on October 20, 2013, at the age of eighty-eight, as much as Tito had when he died. The Serbian authorities complied with her last wish, to be buried next to the man to whom she dedicated her life, in the House of Flowers, where the remains of Josip Broz Tito are located.

Although Jovanka spent most of her years with Tito (they did not have children together), it can still be said that the real, if not the only, love of Tito was and remained the young and beautiful partisan Davorjanka Paunovi --Zdenka, who formally never became Tito's wife, but managed to leave the deepest trace in his heart.

After all, one thing is certain. Tito treated all his wives (except Davorjanka Paunovi)) equally as his associates. When "love" ceased, they were discarded as worthless waste.

(Сthe pans listed in the "Columns" section are not always views and reflections on the editorial policy of "Free Press").

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