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Josip Broz Tito

The original name of the famous Marshal Tito was Josip Broz. Broz, who grew up as the son of a blacksmith, became a world leader from Yugoslavia. He began his young adult life fighting against Russia in the Austro-Hungarian Army during World War I and then served in the Red Army in the Russian Civil War. After his time in combat, Broz went home to become a metalworker. Due to his outspoken ways, he was imprisoned a few times for being a political agitator. With his success as a union organizer, the Soviet Comintern assigned him to re-organize the Yugoslav Communist Party, where he became the leader of the Yugoslav partisan resistance forces after the country had been overtaken by the Axis powers during World War II. He adopted the name "Tito" after becoming part of a military force and being made the head of the army in 1943, due to his successes. His control over much of Yugoslavia led to negotiations between the royal Yugoslavian government and his Council of the National Liberation. Their agreement was a success and he was named the leader of the New Federal Yugoslav government in March of 1945. His leadership included the suppression of internal opposition and the requirement of small farmers to grow large quantities of produce. Although these rules or “laws” were in effect for some time, they were eventually relaxed, and Yugoslavia became the most liberal Communist country in Europe. In 1963, his term as president was made unlimited, since he had been re-elected each succeeding term following his first, in 1953. Before his death on May 4 1980, Tito had promoted scientific exchanges with the West and allowed for a freer exchange of ideas between its citizens and other countries in the Bloc.