Jovanka Broz, widow of Josip Broz Tito, was a silent witness to major changes that happened in recent years, after Tito’s era ended 33 years ago. The new era brought many events that were unimaginable at the times when Tito was at his peak, and she was the First Lady. War, hatred and bloodshed between nations and nationalities, followed by collapse of SFRY and difficult transition, were hardly what was presented as brotherhood and unity, the main motto in Tito’s Yugoslavia.
Neglected and forgotten, Jovanka lived modestly in crumbling villa in the Serbian capital without personal documents. She hardly left the house. Only recently, some officials became more interested in her wellbeing, and they offered state support to her. In last few months, she became very ill, and she was brought to hospital on the initiative of some of her personal friends, modestly claiming that she didn’t want to upset anybody with her illness. On Sunday, October 20th, 2013 at 11:45 am, her heart stopped beating, silently. There were no big announcements made, the country didn’t stop in that moment, like it did 33 years ago. Times have changed drastically, and events from modern history of Serbia have erased most of the former people’s great positive emotions. Jovanka was the last witness of an era that has already ended. She was buried today, receiving state burial as the late last tribute. Thousands of mourners from former Yugoslavia gave their final salute. Her last wish was fulfilled, and she was buried next to her husband in “House of flowers” in Belgrade.