Bare Island, also known as Goli Otok in Croatian, is a small, uninhabited island located off the coast of Croatia in the Adriatic Sea. It can be reached via boat from the island of Rab. While it may seem like an idyllic and peaceful place at first glance, the island has a dark and disturbing history.
Dark history of Goli Otok – The Yugoslavian Regime
During the Yugoslavian regime, Bare Island was used as a political prison, where prisoners were sent to be imprisoned and punished for their perceived opposition to the communist government.
The Yugoslavian regime, which was in power from 1945 to 1992, was a communist government led by Josip Broz Tito. Tito was a controversial figure, and his government was known for its strict control over the country and its citizens. Political dissidents and anyone perceived as a threat to the government were often imprisoned or exiled to Bare Island.
The Croatian Alcatraz
Bare Island was often referred to as the Croatian Alcatraz due to its isolated location and the harsh conditions that prisoners faced while incarcerated there. The island was surrounded by rocky cliffs and had only a single entrance, making it difficult for prisoners to escape. The prison facilities were basic and overcrowded, and prisoners were subjected to hard labor and frequent interrogations. Many prisoners suffered from physical and psychological abuse at the hands of their captors.
Remembering the Past
Despite the horrors that took place on Bare Island, it has remained a relatively unknown and overlooked part of Croatian history. Today, the island is a protected nature reserve, and visitors are allowed to explore the abandoned prison buildings and learn about the island’s dark past.
Bare Island serves as a reminder of the human rights abuses that took place during the Yugoslavian regime, and serves as a cautionary tale about the dangers of authoritarian governments. It is important to remember and learn from the past in order to prevent similar tragedies from occurring in the future.