Josip Broz Tito and Josef Stalin, 1948

The letter that terrified the most terrifying leader of modern times.

When a schism grew between the Communist allies, the Soviet Union and Yugoslavia, Soviet leader Stalin expected the smaller country to bow before his power. Instead, the Yugoslavian President Marshal Tito defied Stalin. The latter was incensed, and despatched successive assassins to murder Tito. Finally, the Yugoslavian sent the following message to Stalin:

“Stop sending people to kill me! We’ve already captured five of them, one of them with a bomb and another with a rifle… If you don’t stop sending killers, I’ll send a very fast-working one to Moscow and I certainly won’t have to send another.”

Tito’s message worked.

Moral: stand up to bullies. They are usually (secretly) weak men who lie and cheat their way to power, but are insecure, and desperate for approval and adoration. In the course of their supremacy they undermine the very system they espouse (The Soviet Union did not for very long exist after the death of Stalin). There is, regrettably, a lesson for us today.

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