Image source: Archive of the Goli Otok “Ante Zemljar” association, author unknown
The so-called Hotel is an edifice built during 1950, which served as the accommodation facility for interrogators, members of the UDBA (1st floor), and the space where inmates were interrogated, as well as a canteen (ground floor). The forest surrounding the Hotel building today is the result of the reforesting that began in 1950. The establishment of the camp did not only affect the inmates held there, it changed Goli Otok and its environment. The area in front of the building was originally bare rock, as seen in the photograph. The camp administration wanted to reforest Goli Otok, or at least those parts of it where such a feat was possible. Soil was brought from nearby islands and used to plant trees, mainly pines. Here as well, the secret police combined political re-education with forced labour. The inmates had to stand in one spot for hours, in order to protect the saplings from the intense sun.