Alfred Pal (1920. – 2010.)

Photograph: Darko Bavoljak

Alfred Pal was a graphic and visual artist. Much of his family perished in the Holocaust, and he himself was imprisoned in Fascist Italian and Ustasha camps. In 1943, he joined the Communist Partisans. After the dispute with Stalin broke out, he spent nearly four years on Goli Otok. He was arrested in 1949 as a supporter of the Cominform Resolu­tion, and released in 1953. Later on, Pal would remember what he found hardest in the camp:

“For me personally, the most difficult thing on Goli Otok was to remain human. I believe everyone found it so, as what was demanded from an individual was the opposite of what is expected of a normal man. I didn’t want to do it, and in this I went all the way. I didn’t want to snitch on my comrades, I didn’t want to beat other convicts, I didn’t want to run to report to the interrogator. I paid the price. I was subjected to mandatory social boycott thrice, took a number of beat­ings, and ultimately became synonymous with “the gang”. That was the price, but I didn’t want to budge one inch from remaining human on Goli.”

Statement from an interview with Martin Previšić, Zagreb, 2009