6. The water reservoir

Inmates remember thirst as one of the gravest problems on Goli Otok. One of the best assignments an inmate could receive in the camp was the role of the water carrier. These were people whose task was to portion out water during meals or work. The water carrier had the power to decide whether to give inmates less or more water. He could drink water himself, whenever and however much he wanted, but he was always under the threat of other inmates. They all desired his position, and were willing to do anything to achieve it. Simply, there was never enough water. In addition to punishment sometimes being meted out in the form of reduced water rations, logistically it was difficult to bring water to Goli Otok. There was a water carrying ship called “Izvor”, which supplied the camp with water. One of the ways to deal with the problem of water scarcity was to build a large sloped surface as a reservoir for a rain­water capture and storage.

Photograph: Darko Bavoljak