Island Goli otok

   Goli otok is one of the islands between Lopar and mainland. It is known as one of the most notorious political prisons in Europe after World War II. The first convicts came here in 1948 and it was closed 4 decades later. Also, in World War I, Russian prisoners were held there for a while. The scariest history of the island was in the time of Infobiro, in the period between 1949 and 1958, when political prisoners were held and tortured since they were opponents of Tito's communist regime, that is, followers of the Stalin regime. The island's inferno was experienced by over 16,000 convicts, 400 of whom did not leave it alive. On the island of Goli otok, people were being horribly punished, brainwashed and broken down through endless repetitions designed for convicts to lose their personalties. The prisoners were forced to perform hard physical work in quarries and various production plants. When the first convicts arrived, there was no vegetation on the island. The convicts afforested and built it themselves. A strong bora wind in winter months and unbearable heat in summer months aggravated the difficult destiny of convicts even more. The regime on the island became milder later on and prisoners convicted of other criminal activities began arriving as well. Escaping the island of Goli otok was virtually impossible. This was, apart from the strict control, because of strong currents and large distance from the mainland. It was all carried out in utmost secrecy so a part of the truth is only now becoming clear.  

   Today the island can be visited by tourists. There are many tourist boats that can take you there. Unfortunately, the buildings have been neglected but you can see the conditions the prisoners had to live in. There is a small tourist train that will take you across the island, as well as a restaurant.


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