AT the time of his death Stalin was the acknowledged leader of the entire world Communist movement with the single exception of the Yugoslav Party. It was often said that Stalin was the Pope of all the Communists and that Moscow was their Rome. Certainly the international movement presented an impressively united front to the rest of the world. This had, however, the disadvantage that hostile propaganda could represent Communism as a single worldwide conspiracy centred in the Kremlin and argue persuasively that as all Communists were thus under Russian control, any Communist-led revolution anywhere must be instigated from Moscow and extend the power of the Soviet Union if successful.
The Yugoslav exception remained an exception for a long time, for no other Communist party officially sided with Yugoslavia although there were widespread secret sympathies for Tito's stand. The quarrel arose from Tito's determination to be master in his own house, but the condition of his ability to defy Stalin without destroying the Communist régime in Yugoslavia was the position of national leadership he had attained through his command of the "Partisan" guerrilla forces of resistance to the German army of occupation during the war. The Communist parties ruling in other East and Central European countries had too little basis of support among the peoples they governed and were too dependent on Soviet support to think, at any rate during the early post-war years and while Stalin was alive, of asserting their independ