Cover of Tito
Tito's Gulag
A History of the Prison Island of Goli Otok
Martin Previšić, Translated by Desmond Maurer and Johannah Maurer

July 2025
544 pages.

Hardcover ISBN: 9781503629103



In 1948, the Cominform—the Soviet-dominated organization that represented communist parties throughout Eastern Europe—expelled its Yugoslav branch, the Communist Party of Yugoslavia, for "nationalist" tendencies. The next year, Josip Broz Tito, Yugoslavia's leader, began mass arrests of suspected Stalinists. Since prior to the expulsion everyone in Yugoslavia had been a Stalin supporter or claimed to be, the result was a campaign of terror comparable to the Stalinist Terror of the 1930s. Yugoslav security forces ultimately arrested some 13,000 people and imprisoned them on Goli Otok, or "Barren Island," a desolate prison island off the coast of Croatia, where they were subjected to brutal treatment rivaling any Soviet gulag. Using previously unexamined archival material and drawing on interviews with the few remaining survivors of Goli Otok, historian Martin Previšić delves into the origins of political repression under Tito and the daily workings of the prison camp island. Originally published in Croatian in 2019, this English translation is the first book to fully examine this shocking and revealing episode from the region's past.

About the author

Martin Previšić is Associate Professor at the University of Zagreb's Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences.