Yugoslavia: Modernizing by Fire

In Belgrade, a furniture company was saved from bankruptcy when fire destroyed its antiquated— but well insured— plant. In the town of Pirot, a money-losing rubber factory, also insured, went up in flames. In Bosnia, a meat-packing plant mysteriously burned down.

Throughout Yugoslavia, factories are bursting into flames at a rate described by Zagreb's weekly Vijesnik u Srijedu as "a fire and a half a day." Asked Bel grade radio last week: "Are we going to see our entire industry disappear in billows of smoke?"

By remarkable coincidence, most of the fires break out in establishments that are in deep financial...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now


Get TIME the way you want it

  • One Week Digital Pass — $4.99
  • Monthly Pay-As-You-Go DIGITAL ACCESS$2.99
  • One Year ALL ACCESSJust $30!   Best Deal!
    Print Magazine + Digital Edition + Subscriber-only Content on TIME.com

Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!