Yugoslav Materials in the LBJ Archives


Non-Aligned Diplomacy: SFR Yugoslavia Between East and West

This website was created as a public digital humanities collaboration between graduate students in REE 381: Graduate Seminar in Russian, East European, and Eurasian Civilizations and Cultures at the University of Texas at Austin; the course instructor, Dr. Vlad Beronja; and European Studies & Digital Scholarship Librarian, Ian Goodale. It features a curated selection of digitized archival materials from the Yugoslav National Security File (NSF, Box 232) housed in the Lyndon Baines Johnson Presidential Archive. The materials are accompanied by short student essays demonstrating the significance of select documents for understanding the US-Yugoslav relations during the Johnson Presidency (1963-1969) and the Cold War history more broadly.

The Yugoslav NSF provides a fascinating glimpse of the 1960s era in the US and Yugoslavia as it played out in the international arena and a surprising snapshot of largely amicable relations between two countries with opposing ideologies. Some major historical themes emerging from the documents encompass Yugoslavia’s tempered criticism of the US involvement in Vietnam, the development of the non-aligned movement spearheaded by Josip Broz Tito, and Yugoslavia’s shifting position vis-à-vis the Soviet Union, all of which were of special interest to the US. The documents also contain valuable information regarding Yugoslavia’s domestic affairs in the 1960s, including an alleged coup attempt, the stagnation present in the political bureaucracy and the related problem of appointing a successor to Tito, as well as the country’s increasing reliance on foreign debt. These themes and issues are additionally reflected in the student essays featured in the Key Documents section of the site.

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