Yugoslav Dictator's Widow Dead at 88

Jovanka Broz was one of 'last most reliable witnesses' of Yugoslavia's history

By Newser Editors and Wire Services

Posted Oct 20, 2013 11:30 AM CDT

(Newser) – Jovanka Broz, who was married to Yugoslavia's dictator, Josip Broz Tito, for nearly 30 years but lived in isolation as the federation he had built broke apart, died today. She was 88. Broz died of heart failure at Belgrade's emergency hospital, where she had been receiving care since August, said its director. "With Broz's death, we are left without one of the last most reliable witnesses of our former country's history," said Serbian Prime Minister Ivica Dacic.

Tito came to power after World War II, and Broz, an ethnic Serb, was assigned to work with the communist leader. They began a relationship and married in 1952. Over the next two decades, Broz accompanied Tito during his many international trips and at meetings with foreign leaders and celebrities, including British royals, President Richard Nixon, and Hollywood stars. Tito died in 1980, and the six-member federation fell apart in early 1990s. Following Tito's death, Broz was kicked out of her residence and mostly remained in isolation. "I'm totally deprived of any rights," Broz said in a 2001 interview. Dacic said that "unfortunately the historic injustice has just started to be undone at the end of her life." He said his government supports burying Broz at the same complex that houses Tito's tomb.

FILE - In this Friday, May 4, 2001 file photo, Jovanka Broz, the widow of former Yugoslav President Josip Broz Tito stands by his tomb after laying a wreath during a ceremony in Belgrade, Serbia. Hospital...   (Darko Vojinovic)
In this Friday, May 4, 2001 file photo, Jovanka Broz, the widow of the former Yugoslav President Josip Broz Tito, leaves a memorial center after a ceremony in Belgrade, Serbia.   (AP Photo/Darko Vojinovic, file)
In this Sunday, May 11, 1969 file photo, the late President of Yugoslavia, Josip Broz Tito, and wife Jovanka Broz tour Montenegro Republic.   (AP Photo, File)
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