Dinko Tomašić Collection
The records of Croatian-American sociologist Dinko Tomašić are deposited at the Hoover Institution Library & Archives, Stanford University. In accordance with its own themes and periodization, it covers Tomašić's public work after the Second World War, when he settled in the United States as a political émigré. The collection testifies to Tomašić's sociological research, in which he critically examined political and social phenomena of post-war communist society in Croatia and Yugoslavia. The main thesis of Tomašić's sociological theory was that the revolutionary transformation of society and the huge growth of the party-state’s power destroyed political, economic, social and cultural pluralism in the public life of the Yugoslav nations. Based on his sociological methods, and making use of results the fields of ethnography and anthropology, he believed that the source of the Yugoslav revolution derived from the specific Dinaric culture, which belonged to economically passive territories, regions where the Partisan movement secured the great support, such as Montenegro, Dalmatia, Lika, Bosnia and Herzegovina.
Stanford Galvez Mall 434, United States of America 94305
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Name of collection
- Dinko Tomasic Personal Papers
Provenance and cultural activities
The Dinko Tomašić Collection encompasses the émigré period of Tomašić's life, in other words, the period after 1945 when Tomašić could not return to his homeland because of his democratic views and critiques of the Yugoslav communist dictatorship and the formation of socialist society. The collection was not hidden from the secret police of the Yugoslav regime, for it was housed in Bloomington, Indiana, in the United States of America. However, Tomašić's research results, as conveyed in his works and publications, were unofficially prohibited in Yugoslavia, and his works were not quoted in Yugoslav sociological literature from the socialist period, in the first place because he eschewed the Marxist approach in his sociological work, so it was deemed a form of “reactionary literature.” The collection was deposited at the Hoover Institution by Tomašić's family in 1994. Archival processing was conducted by the professional staff of the Hoover Institution Library & Archives in 2009. At this time it is opened to the public. Thus far this collection has not been used either in exhibitions or in publications.
As part of his sociological research at Indiana University, Tomašić used questionnaires which were completed by political émigrés from Yugoslavia after 1945 and in the 1950s. These had been structured so that he asked his respondents various questions, for example about the military, theatre, education, religion, civic administration, universities, economic entities and the secret police, depending on their background. With these questionnaires about different institutions from the political and social spheres of a revolutionary society, Tomašić conducted his own research into communist society in Croatia and Yugoslavia by attempting to become familiar with the revolutionary changes which had imbued the aforementioned social institutions. The respondents were people from different political, social and national backgrounds, which gave Tomašić's sociological analysis additional credibility.
Based on his methodology, Tomašić published some remarkable studies on the phenomenon of communism in general after the war, with emphasis on its specific features in Yugoslav and East European circumstances. Firstly, his book Personality and Culture in Eastern European Politics was published in 1948. This was followed in 1953 by The Impact of Russian Culture on Soviet Communism, and then National Communism and Soviet Strategy was published in 1957. In all of these works, Tomašić tried to inform the American public and its sociologists about the social and cultural preconditions that had existed in East European societies before and, as such, ensured that communist ideology grew stronger and became widely accepted in their communities. In his last book, National Communism and Soviet Strategy, he examined the splits in the communist movement between Tito and Stalin and Soviet-Yugoslav relations after Stalin's death in 1953. Tomašić interpreted the conflict between Soviet and Yugoslav communists by using his previous work to explain that the cultural, psychological and mental structure of the Dinaric population, which predominated in the Partisan movement, played a crucial role in the conflict with Moscow as the centre of the world communism (Cicak, 1976).
Description of content
This collection consists of five archival boxes. They contain Tomašić's notes, manuscripts, statistical data and, to the greatest extent, sociological questionnaires which Tomašić prepared when interviewing political refugees, as well as their manuscripts in which they described circumstances in post-war Croatia and Yugoslavia. Box 1 contains a manuscript by a former Partisan and a member of the Yugoslav secret police, Srećko Borelli-Bailo from Split, who escaped from Yugoslavia during the early 1950s. Having interviewed him, Tomašić obtained information about the operations, structure and mentality of the Yugoslav intelligence service. Notable among the numerous other testimonies from political refugees is the account by opera producer Blaženka Rubin from Zagreb on the revolutionary changes that impacted artistic and cultural life in Zagreb. Box 2 contains Tomašić's notes on the structure and activities of the Communist Party of Yugoslavia and its secret police (the State Security Bureau, best known by its acronym, UDBA), and descriptions of the mentality and psychological profiles of representatives of the communist elite. This box also includes an essay composed by a former member of the information service, Leonid Tugarinov, who had also left Yugoslavia via Trieste during the early 1950s. The collected reports and documents of supporters of the pro-Stalinist Yugoslav Cominform movement are also collected in this box. Box 3 collects numerous interviews and reports about people who also fled from Yugoslavia, among whom most were Croats, although there were also Slovenes and Albanians who completed Tomašić's questionnaires, while Serbs and Montenegrins were the fewest in number. Tomašić could not be accused of ethnic bias, because it was obvious that Croats and Albanians were exposed to far greater repression from the regime than Serbs and Montenegrins.
Although history was one of his narrower research interests, there are texts and manuscripts about Croatian history by Tomašić in Box 4. These probably reflect his efforts to write a synthesis of Croatian history in emigration, which he never finished and published. Some of these chapters have titles such as “The office of the ban – the bearer of Croatian statehood” and “What is the difference between Croats and Serbs?” Box 5 contains two texts by political émigré Vladimir Nowotny, who wrote about cinematography and journalism in post-war Yugoslavia. The same box contains accounts by students, artists, physicians, soldiers, spies and other people from different social groups who left Yugoslavia. Tomašić's sociological questionnaires were compiled in a very exhaustive and technical manner, and they compose the bulk of the collection which he used to study the contemporary situation under Yugoslav communism. As such, they may serve as a rich historical source of personal testimonies from several social classes about the character of the new regime and its revolutionary phase in Croatia and Yugoslavia. Since Tomašić contributed a great deal to the sociology of communism, this collection still contains only a minor part of his legacy, so the key manuscripts written since 1945 are not available here.
- manuscripts (ego-documents, diaries, notes, letters, drafts, etc.): 500-999
- publications (books, newspapers, articles, press clippings): 100-499
Stakeholder(s) of the collection
- Patton, Sarah
Geographical scope of recent operation
Date of founding
Place of founding
Bloomington, United States of America
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Creator(s) of content
Important events in the history of the collection
- completely open to the public
Author(s) of this page
- Kljaić, Stipe
Cicak, Fedor. „National Communism and Soviet Strategy, by Dinko A. Tomasic.“ Indiana Law Journal 33 (1957), no. 124-132.
Kadić, Ante. „Dinko Tomašić and his death.” Studia Croatica 16 (1975), br. 58-59. Accessed December 13, 2018. http://studiacroatica.blogspot.com/2013/02/el-prof-dinko-tomasic-1902-1975.html
Kljaić, Stipe. 2017. Never more Yugoslavia – Intellectuals and Croatian National Question (1929-1945). Zagreb: Hrvatski institut za povijest.
Rihtmann Auguštin, Dunja. „Dinko Tomašić and Croatian Ethnology/Sociology.” Social Researchs: review for general social questions 8 (1993), no. 6, 969-973.
Tomašić, Dinko. „National promblems and Partisan’s Yugoslavia.” Social Researchs: review for general social questions 8 (1993), no. 2, 927-938. (translated with English by Andreja Štor)
Patton, Sarah, interview by Kljaić, Stipe , December 12, 2018. COURAGE Registry Oral History Collection