1945-02-04 - Josip Broz Tito
EUROPEAN PEOPLES have passed through a terrible calvary under Nazi and Fascist occupation. Their deep belief in ideals of humanity, their desire for freedom and, above all, their belief in solidarity of democratic nations of the world have sustained them in their unflinching faith in the righteousness of the cause for which they are fighting.
The Yugoslavs have not for one moment ceased to carry on this struggle. We have drawn upon ourselves the most violent hatreds of our enemies but we have inflicted heavy blows upon them and have done everything that was within our power to disprove the fallacy of their invincibility. We can proudly say that Hitler has never conquered us. At the very time when Europe was overshadowed by the blackest Nazi darkness Yugoslavia was ablaze with the fire of freedom and resistance. We caused havoc to enemy military installations, destroyed railways, roads and bridges and held down on our territory many enemy divisions which otherwise would have served on other fronts where our great allies were waging decisive battles.
Our sacrifices are terrible. I can safely say that there is no other part of the world which has been devastated on a vaster scale than Yugoslavia. Every tenth Yugoslav has perished in this struggle in which we were forced to wrest armaments from our enemies, to freeze without clothing, and to die without medication.
Nevertheless our optimism and faith have proved justified. The greatest gain of this conflict between democracy and fascism lies in the fact that it has drawn together everything that was good in humanity. The unity of the United States, the Soviet Union and Great Britain is the best guarantee to the peoples of the world that Nazi horrors will never again be repeated. In organizing our country on the sacred principles of democracy and of concern for the common man, we Yugoslavs believe that we are making our best contribution to this harmonious community.