The Revenge of the Repressed:
East Central Europe
Tito's repudiation of Djilas's notion of the withering away of the Communist party was a prerequisite for the partial reconciliation between the Soviet Union and Yugoslavia that Nikita S. Khrushchev initiated after Stalin's death on March 5, 1953. Though the Yugoslav leaders were at first reserved toward the Soviet overtures, presumably because they were awaiting institutional and policy changes to give substance to the personnel rotations that were taking place in Moscow at that time, they eventually acceded to Khrushchev's wooing, albeit heavily on their own terms. After all, this partial reconciliation not only raised Yugoslavia's leverage internationally, but also enhanced Tito's standing with his own Communist cadres domestically. All their Partisan selfconfidence and national pride at facing down Great Power pressure notwithstanding, these cadres had never been enchanted with the discipline-shaking and privilege-eroding Titoist innovations or fully persuaded of their Leninist orthodoxy. Hence the reconciliation, in which Moscow in effect restored the aura of ideological respectability to Belgrade, did much to revive their morale, on which Tito ultimately depended.
Soviet-Yugoslav diplomatic relations were rectified steadily during 1953 and 1954. Redressing reciprocal grievances over Danube River issues provided a simultaneous auxiliary route to remedying Yugoslavia's relations with the riparian people's democracies. But all these were still only alleviations of interstate relations and left unresolved the critical question of ideological responsibility for the Tito-Stalin rift. The Yugoslavs,