On the occasion of the Europe-Wide Day of Remembrance of victims of totalitarian and authoritarian regimes, Documenta – Centre for Dealing with the Past and the Zagreb Office of the Friedrich Ebert Foundation on Friday presented a virtual guide to the history of the camp on Goli otok, available at https://goli.hr/
On behalf of Documenta, today we sent an open letter to the Government of the Republic of Croatia, in which we once again called for the protection of Goli otok and Sveti Grgur. We requested the allocation of funds for the conservation surface and protection of the site as a precondition for the preservation of the remains of the former camp, later prison on Goli otok. As a long-term goal, we highlighted the creation of a museum-educational visitor center on Goli Otok.
The virtual guide in Croatian and English is available at https://goli.hr/
Goli Otok is a place marked by the Yugoslavian Communist regime's repression against the thousands of individuals held captive on the island. The inhospitable and uninhabited island between Rab and Senj is one of the sites with the greatest symbolic significance in the contemporary history of Croatia, and of its time as a republic in the former Yugoslavia.
However, only run-down and derelict buildings remain of the erstwhile prison camp, which later became an actual prison on Goli Otok. Sheep graze among these ruins during winter, while in the summer, tourists wander around in search of experiencing the “Alcatraz of the Adriatic”, as the island is pitched to them by tourist agencies and local boat operators.
The virtual guide, created in cooperation with Dr. Martin Previšić, offers a short introduction to the political history of Goli Otok, and a guide to the part of the island most frequently toured by visitors. The results of Dr. Previšić's years-long research are presented in a plain and simple form, suitable for those with no previous knowledge of Goli Otok, or the political history of Croatia.
In addition to providing basic information about the prison camp, and prison, on Goli Otok, the aim of this virtual guide through the history of the internment camp on Goli otok is to stimulate readers to think about ideologically motivated violence within the framework of various regimes that held sway on the territory of today's Croatia. At the same time, we wish to stress the importance of safeguarding the human rights and freedoms of each individual, and encourage empathy with the victims of political and ideological violence.
Documenta – Centre for Dealing with the Past
In Zagreb, 23rd August 2020
OPEN LETTER TO THE GOVERNMENT OF THE REPUBLIC OF CROATIA
Dear Mr. Plenković,
we would like to welcome your decision to visit Goli Otok on the occasion of the Europe-Wide Day of Remembrance for victims of totalitarian and authoritarian regimes. At the same time, we call on you again to protect Goli Otok and Sveti Grgur.
As you will unfortunately see, the facilities on the island are left to devastation and decay. We emphasize the urgency of allocating funds for the preparation of the conservation base and the protection of the site as a basic precondition for preserving the remains of the former camp of the later prison on Goli otok and Sveti Grgur.
These steps will not be possible without the support of the Government of the Republic of Croatia, especially the Ministry of Culture. We also hope that you will support the creation of a museum-educational visitor center on Goli Otok as an important step in developing the remembrance-culture.
This way we would like to draw your attention to the virtual guide to the history of the camp on Goli otok presented on Friday, created in cooperation between Documenta – Center for Dealing with the Past and Zagreb Office of the Friedrich Ebert Foundation. The virtual guide is available at https://goli.hr/
We hope that our guide will improve your stay on the island and that by working together we will keep Goli Otok from devastation and decay.