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Josip Broz
[Josip Broz ]
Portrait detail : Bozidar Jakac
May 25 1892 - May 4, 1980
A member of the Red International Guard after the October Revolution, "Tito" was appointed to the Comintern in August 1934, only to be expelled by Stalin in 1948. During World War II he led the most powerful resistance movement in Europe and, following the war, established Yugoslavia's first communist government on 7 March 1945.
Tito has left a mixed legacy. Criticized for his authoritarian rule, he is also recognized for insisting that all peoples of Yugoslavia should be granted equal rights. Played a leading role in the movement of Non-Aligned Countries, he remained leader of the country until his death in 1980.
Conspiracy theorists have claimed that Tito was initiated into the masonic Lodge "Libertas" in Naples, Italy in 1926. They will cite Aleksandar Matunović's Enigma Broz or Filip Radulović's Ljubavi Josipa Broza, neither of which, in fact mention Freemasonry.
In fact, Tito worked as a labour agitator for the Communist Party in a shipyard at Kraljevica on the Adriatic coast of Croatia from 21 September 1925 until 2 October 1926 when he relocated to a rolling-stock foundry near Belgrade. There is no evidence that he travelled to Naples at this time, if at all.
At the beginning of World War II there were twenty-seven lodges with 2,500 members in Yugoslavia. Suppressed under the Nazi regime, Freemasonry continued to be outlawed under Tito's rule, although unconfirmed claims are made that many communist leaders were pre-war freemasons.
In balance, considering the communist attitude to Freemasonry, Tito's suppression of the lodges, the residency requirement for initiation, and the irregular status of much of Italian Freemasonry at the time, there is no reason to believe that Tito was a freemason.

See: Aleksandar Matunović, (1933- ), Enigma Broz : ko ste vi druze predsednice?. Beograd : Autor, 1997. 351 p. : ill. ; 24 cm. LCCN : 98196861. Reviewed in Glas Javnosti, 25 January 2001. Beograd (Belgrade) Yugoslavia ; interviewed in Blic 28 November 1997.
There is also no mention of Freemasonry in Filip Radulović, Ljubavi Josipa Broza. Beograd : Grafos, 1990. 365pp ; Phyllis Auty, Tito, a biography. London : Longman Group Limited, 1970. 343pp ; Vladimir Dedijer, Tito. New York : Simon and Schuster, 1953. 443pp. Also see "There are many theories about Tito's actions, identity, motivations and background, some of them conspiratorial and outlandish. Many informed and well-educated ex-Yugoslavs believe that the man who led Yugoslavia was not the boy from Kumrovec, but a Russian imposter placed by the NKVD. Others suspect that the split with Stalin in 1948 was staged for some reason. Or that he was a Freemason. The list could go on." Neil Barnett, Tito. London : Haus Publishing, 2006. 175pp p. 4.


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