Serbia holds state funeral for Jovanka Broz
Serbia is holding state funeral in Belgrade to honor the widow of former Yugoslav leader Marshal Tito, Jovanka Broz.
Jovanka Broz, who died of heart failure at the age of 88 last weekend, is due to be buried next to her husband Josip Broz Tito in the elaborate House of Flowers mausoleum.
She received full military honors in line with her status as a decorated member of the anti-Nazi partisans who fought in World War II, officials said.
Jovanka Broz lived as a recluse after the death of her husband in 1980.
She was accused of plotting a coup, was placed under house arrest for a time, and had her identity papers taken away.
Jovanka Broz lived in seclusion in the Belgrade suburb of Dedinje and rarely gave interviews.
However, in 2009 Jovanka Broz spoke to the Politika daily about the period after her husband’s death.
“They chased me out … in my nightgown, without anything, not allowing me even to take a photo of the two of us, or a letter, a book,” Jovanka Broz said.
“I was in isolation and treated like a criminal… I could not leave the house without armed guards.”
Serbian PM Ivica Dacic led the tributes at the funeral ceremony.
Jovanka Broz had been admitted to hospital in August in a serious condition, suffering from heart problems.
Her last wish was to be buried in the House of Flowers in Belgrade, next to Josip BrozTito.
Jovanka Budisavljevic, an ethnic Serb, was born into a farming family in what is now Croatia on December 7, 1924.
She joined the partisans when she was just 17, remaining with them until the end of the war in 1945.
After her marriage to Josip Broz, known as Tito, Jovanka Broz spent nearly three decades as first lady.
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