Newly Declassified CIA Document: Lifelong Yugoslav dictator "was not of Yugoslav origin"

6 posts

Niccolo and Donkey
Lifelong Yugoslav dictator "was not of Yugoslav origin"


August 19, 2013


BELGRADE -- Josip Broz Tito was "not of Yugoslav origin," a recently declassified document published on the CIA website has asserted.

The U.S. intelligence agency said that a phonetic analysis of his speech suggested this conclusion.

Broz - who came to power in the post-WW2, single-party communist Yugoslavia, and remained president until his death in 1980 - was officially of mixed Croat-Slovenian heritage.

But the paper says that the manner in which he spoke "Serbo-Croatian" - allegedly his mother tongue, but spoken with a foreign accent - meant that his true native language, "or at least one closer to him than Serbo-Croatian," was either Russian or Polish.

The authors of the lengthy analysis conclude that it would be "logical to assume" that the controversial leader was either Russian or Polish, but stress that his true identity can only be hypothesized - but that it "certainly was not Yugoslav."

They went on to assert that his non-Yugoslav origins were the reason for his "impartiality and success in solving the various problems and conflicts of ethnic groups in Yugoslavia."

The speech that was analyzed dates back to 1977, Belgrade-based Politika and Mondo media outlets are quoting the document on Monday, adding that "any further investigation of Tito's true identity would only serve academic purposes."
Niccolo and Donkey
Theo Alex Broseph Vuk

There have long been rumours about the real Josip Broz being killed during WW1 while fighting the Russians on the Galician Front or having been executed in Moscow during Stalin's purges in which Yugoslav Communists were almost entirely eliminated. The claim was that a Russian or Pole born in the Polish part of the Russian Empire took on his identity and was infiltrated into the Yugoslav Communist Party in the late 1930s under Stalin and the NKVD's direction so as to steer it towards a Stalinist path. Some have claimed that the real Josip Broz was missing a finger due to a work accident while he was a locksmith, and that this 'fake Tito miraculously grew it back'. Other rumours included one in which his mother didn't recognize him when he came back to visit his village of Kumrovec.

This is all nonsense, IMO. Tito came from the region of Zagorje which has its own unique dialect and many, many localized subdialects that are incredibly difficult to decipher for the majority of Croatian and Serbian speakers. His dialect, kajkavski/kajkavian , sounds a lot like West Slavic dialects when spoken. He was also born in 1892 and in his formative years never left his village in an era when the subdialects were plentiful and rather untainted from mass communication and contact with more prevalent dialects and speech patterns.

Lastly, Tito himself spent a lot of time in Russia after being taken prisoner during the war and experiencing the Revolution as well as its aftermath. He even married a Russian woman and sired children with her. This no doubt also affected his speaking patterns.

I would like to know who was on the CIA staff in 1977 analyzing his recordings. Did they have any kajkavian speakers?

Nic, what did you and the older people in your family make of Tito's accent?

This is very dubious. People occasionally acquire affectations in their accents for all sorts of reasons. Wikipedia already has someone debunking this:

Unfortunately (for me), footnote 127 has a source written in Croatian :

Back to the OP:
The document's authors who conclude that Tito wasn't Yugoslav go on to say that it's not important? Who are the people who wrote this drivel? I think these authors are incompetent. I want my tax dollars back.
Niccolo and Donkey

Take a look at my post above and you'll see that I agree with the debunking. My family in the old country up until people started moving to Zagreb or abroad would have found his accent to be puzzling as well simply because we are located far, far away from kajkavian speakers. Kajkavians make up less than 20% of all Croatian speakers and it's not even the linguistic standard as the shtokavian variant was chosen instead during the 19th century (which I speak, albeit within a sub-dialect that is not the standard).

Zagrebians are kajkavians, but their version is more comprehensible than those found in the small villages and hamlets of the Zagorje region to the north and west of the capital.

I was exposed to this dialect growing up here outside of Toronto as we have immigrants from those regions. We'd often mock each other in a friendly way in respect to how each of us spoke our language.

Some maps:



Map of Tito's birthplace, Kumrovec, just to the northwest of Zagreb, along the Slovenian border.

Niccolo and Donkey

Thanks to Mike for the .pdf file. I'll upload it here for any native speakers should they come across this thread and decide to join in.


Tito was Agent Walter (Walter Weiss)