The Balkans: Doomed to Disunity?
Often treated as a footnote of European history, the future of the Balkans became a hot topic at the end of the Ottoman Empire. Was Europe’s ‘Little Orient’ destined to fall apart?
On 10 February 1948, Joseph Stalin welcomed the veteran communists Georgi Dimitrov and Edvard Kardelj to the Kremlin. The Red Army’s sweep across Eastern Europe had propelled Dimitrov to leadership of the newly established People’s Republic of Bulgaria after more than 20 years of exile in the USSR. Kardelj, meanwhile, was second-in-command to Josip Broz Tito, whose anti-fascist partisan movement had liberated Yugoslavia and replaced the country’s old kingdom with a communist-led ‘People’s Republic’. Joining them were countless other top-level officials from all sides.