As everyone knows, the rain in Spain falls mainly on the plain. Poor Eliza Doolittle had to repeat that phrase over and over again, under the tutelage of her cruel taskmaster, the domineering patriarch Henry Higgins in order to achieve the goals not just for herself but for her language teachers. She wanted a chance to elevate herself from desperate poverty, but her masters wanted to put one over on British society, to fool English society into believing that this poverty-stricken seller of flowers, Eliza Doolittle, was in fact of the upper classes. Technically speaking this was a conspiracy.
In a similar manner, we have a story from the Cold War, a mystery if you will, about someone who did not learn to pronounce his H's properly and so was unmasked as an impostor. Of course in his case, since he was the ruler of a Communist dictatorship, it didn't really matter.
This person was probably a plant of a Russian trained agent to lead the resistance of communist and other partisan forces in a war they expected with Nazi Germany. The mysterious Russian, if he was Russian, whose real name we do not know, was secretly proven to not be who he said he was after WW II and during the cold war. It was his failure to learn to pronounce his H's, figuratively speaking, that revealed him.
The organization that succeeded in revealing the truth (secretly) to our leaders was the newly formed and much maligned National Security Agency. Yes, that poor, misunderstood guardian of freedom, the NSA.
Our story begins in the 1930s in what was the Kingdom of Yugoslavia, formed after WW I out of parts of the Austro Hungarian Empire and the Kingdom of Slovenia. A former locksmith and metal worker, Josip Broz of Kumrovec, near Zagreb, took the underground cover name of Tito, and led the Communist faction of the partisans in resistance to the Germans who had occupied their country.
When the Germans were defeated, he was able to keep the Kingdom united and create a new country that included Croatia, Serbia, Slovenia and five other distinct provinces and ethinic groups. He was able to forge his own path for his newly Communist nation, separate from the Soviet Union, and create his own version of Socialism. (1) When he died, the country split apart violently along ethnic lines. Without him, it could not hold together.
The problem is, or the mystery, is that it was not clear, it still is not clear, who Marshal Tito was. But whoever he was, it isn't who he said he was.
Marshal Tito was supposedly born Josip Broz in 1892 in Kumrovec to a Croat Father and a Slovene mother. His first language was Serbo-Croat. He fought in the Austro Hungarian army, was captured and imprisoned in Russia, fought in the Russian revolution, and returned to Yugoslavia where he was involved in various activities that also got him imprisoned. After serving time, he went underground and joined the Yugoslav Communist party. From there he rose in prominence in the Party and led the resistance to the Germans.
But mysteriously the people of Kumrovec did not recognize him. And when Josip aka Tito spoke his native language, he made mistakes that no native would make. Serbo-Croat was apparently not his native language.
For a good discussion of the Tito mystery, see this post.
Wikipedia claims this story isn't true. Well, maybe. As you would imagine, partisans of Tito would want to deny the story. Finding out the truth here would be difficult, it might in fact, be impossible. (3)
I hope this little story will help to convince you of two things. First, the importance of studying musical theatre for understanding the Cold War. And second, to give you some idea of what the NSA does for a living. They do not give a
2. My Fair Lady, of course.
3. One could imagine exhuming the body of Tito, extracting DNA, and comparing that DNA with the DNA of other living members of his family, if any exist, or with people from that part of the world. One might then have evidence that he was related to those people or not. This is not something that I, or anyone I know, is going to cause to happen.