Grgo Šore Goli Otok Collection
The Grgo Šore Goli Otok Collection is part of a broader collection consisting of documents from personal and family bequests and is kept in the Croatian History Museum. The collection includes documentation about Goli otok (a small rocky island in the Adriatic Sea), official correspondence, newspapers and photographs. In his manuscripts, Grgo Šore described in detail all of the horrors he experienced on Goli otok during his captivity as a falsely accused “Cominformist.” Particularly noteworthy are the drawings depicting the brutal treatment of inmates by the prison guards.
Zagreb Ulica Antuna Gustava Matoša 9, Croatia 10000
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Name of collection
Grgo Šore Goli Otok Collection
Provenance and cultural activities
The Grgo Šore Collection was created between 1945 and 1998 and details Šore's detention on Goli otok from 1949 to 1953. According to Dubravka Peić Čaldarović, the collection contains 16 handwritten and typewritten documents, but in three to four variants, because Šore continually rearranged the manuscripts. The documentation consists of a diary, recollections, photographs and Šore’s official correspondence. In 2000, the Croatian Historical Museum bought the Grga Šore Collection from his son Stjepan. An employee of the Croatian History Museum, Dubravka Peić Čaldarović, inventoried the Collection and its contents became a part of the "Memories of the 20th Century" online exhibition.
The testimony of Grgo Šore is important because it provides a detailed description of the post-war communist prison camp on Goli otok. The prison camp was established in 1949 under the orders of the Yugoslav communist authorities led by Josip Broz Tito. The reason for the establishment of the prison camp was the conflict between Yugoslavia and the Soviet Union, which began in the summer of 1948 after the Cominform Resolution. In the beginning, the prison camp was the central venue for punishing “Cominformists,” i.e. all of those who had sided with the Soviet Union. Later, under false accusations of being “Cominformists,” many real or potential enemies of the communist regime were sent there (Previšić 2014, 1-6).
Thousands of detainees passed through the prison camp, many of whom had been killed because of the harsh conditions and brutal political interrogation methods. The prisoners were brought to Goli otok until 1956, when relations between Yugoslavia and the Soviet Union were normalised. After 1956, the prison camp on Goli otok switched from federal jurisdiction to the jurisdiction of the People’s Republic of Croatia and its repressive apparatus, which continued to use it to confine the enemies of the system (Previšić 2014, 111, 283, 313, 315).
Besides Grgo Šore’s testimony, the “Memories of the 20th Century” online exhibition also includes the testimonies of other people who were victims of totalitarian systems and dictatorships in Croatia during the 20th century. Their testimonies illustrate the typical moments of this harsh aspect of Croatian history. The Grgo Šore Collection is available for use with the permission of the Croatian History Museum (Interview with Dubravka Peić Čaldarović).
Description of content
The Grga Šore Collection owned by the Croatian History Museum contains 16 documents, two journals and one photograph. Although it consists of a relatively small number of documents, the documents have dozens of pages of text. Šore would first handwrite the text and that he rewrite it with a typewriter. The rewritten texts are not identical, because Šore often added information by hand, and sometimes even glued pieces of paper to add sentences to the already typewritten text. Although in some details they differ, essentially the texts remained the same. The documentation from the collection, based on the example of one of the detainees, testifies to the repression of the regime against advocates of the Cominform Resolution and to all those who were considered politically threatening by the regime. Two issues of the weekly newsmagazine Danas from 1988 contain some of the first articles printed in Yugoslavia about the prison camp on Goli otok.
- manuscripts (ego-documents, diaries, notes, letters, drafts, etc.): 10-99
- photos: 0-9
- publications (books, newspapers, articles, press clippings): 0-9
Stakeholder(s) of the collection
Geographical scope of recent operation
Date of founding
Place of founding
Seget Donji, Croatia
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Creator(s) of content
Important events in the history of the collection
- completely open to the public
Author(s) of this page
- Godić, Darjan
Kosić, Ivan. 2009. Goli otok: najveći Titov koncentracioni logor (Goli otok: Tito’s Biggest Concentration Camp). Zagreb: Mikrorad; Udruga Goli otok "Ante Zemljar."
Previšić, Martin. 2013. “Broj kažnjenika na Golom otoku i drugim logorima za ibeovce u vrijeme sukoba sa SSSR-om (1948.-1956.)“ (The number of convicts on Goli otok and other Internment camps during the Cominform period, 1948 – 1956), Historijski zbornik 66, no. 1 (2013): 173–193.
Previšić, Martin. 2014. “Povijest informbiroovskog logora na Golom otoku 1949. – 1956.“ Ph.D. dissertation, University of Zagreb.
Peić Čaldarović, Dubravka, interview by Godić, Darjan, September 21, 2018. COURAGE Registry Oral History Collection