»The race has been cancelled«
The last year in the life of Josip Broz – Tito
12 Maj – 28 June 2020
The year 1980 did not have a promising start in the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia. Media reports in early 1980 informed citizens that longtime President Josip Broz – Tito had health problems. His admission and further hospitalization in one of the most modern healthcare facilities in the country, the Clinical Centre in Ljubljana, was closely monitored by both the domestic and foreign public until his passing in May 1980.
In the climate of growing economic crisis, global political shifts and new military conflicts, the Slovene political leadership on May 4, 1980 received the agreed code "The race has been cancelled": Josip Broz - Tito had died.
The National Museum of Contemporary History's exhibition, with material from various institutions, introduces the visitor to the complex story of the gradual farewell to the last living leader from the Second World War.
The basic exhibition narrative of the visible weakening of the president during his last protocol duties and treatment at the Ljubljana Clinical Centre and of the mass farewell/funeral in Belgrade is interwoven with stories of various persons connected with him and some museum items exhibited for the first time.
It tells of the complications of the full planning of the Clinical Centre building and about Tito's medical council of top doctors and their eagerly awaited messages about the president's treatment. It presents the memories of the nursing staff who cared for him and the inquiries of his estranged wife, Jovanka Broz, about her husband's health.
Through stories of museum items held by MNZS, from his last "uniform" - a dressing gown - to the stylized cartridge of the blank charge for the salvo of honour, fired on the day of his funeral, it also shows little known fragments of the last "battle" of the head of state. Yugoslavia finally broke apart in inter-national military conflict at the start of the nineties a good decade after Tito’s death.
Streets and display windows changed their image overnight, Ljubljana, May 1980, photo: Janez Pukšič, kept by the National Museum of Contemporary History.
Special issue of the newspaper Delo, Ljubljana, May 5, 1980, photo: Miško Kranjec, kept by the National Museum of Contemporary History.
The news of the death of Josip Broz - Tito was also followed through television reports, Ljubljana, May 4, 1980, photo: Miško Kranjec, kept by the National Museum of Contemporary History.
View of the events and the huge crowd of people in front of Belgrade's main railway station after the arrival of the Blue Train, Belgrade, Serbia, May 5, 1980, photo: Miško Kranjec, kept by the National Museum of Contemporary History.