Ante ZemljarANTE ZEMLJAR was born in Pag 1922. He was a member of the People's Liberation Struggle - NOB from 1941 as a resistance fighter, political activist and an officer. From 1949 to 1953 he went through torture on Goli Otok as a political prisoner. He finished the primary and secondary school in Pag and Šibenik, and in Zagreb he graduated comparative literature at the Faculty of Philosophy. He published a dozen of books. In literature Ante Zemljar proved himself as a poet, storyteller, travel writer, novelist, critic and a scriptwriter. He cooperated with almost all relevant literary magazines and he also wrote radio comedies and film scripts. He was especially successful in so-called island literature, describing in several books the climate and the people of his origin - the Croatian coast and the Kvarner Islands. He published the following books:


  • Mosaic (Rijeka, Rijeka Literary and Scientific Society, 1975)
  • Virgin or My Gabriel on Himself and the Others (Split, Čakavski sabor, 1977)
  • Notes from Cuba (Rijeka, s.n., 1979)
  • Butterfly and Other Stories (Zagreb, August Cesarec, 1979)
  • Chase After Me Over the Island 1 (Zagreb, Spektar, 1985)
  • Never Reaching Youth (Zagreb, Spektar, 1985)
  • Draught Street (Rijeka, Rijeka Publishing Centre, 1985)
  • Charon and Destinies (Belgrade, 4th July, 1988)
  • Hell of Hope: Chase After Me Over the Island 2, Variations from Goli Otok (Zagreb, Trgorast, 1997)
  • Evening Conversations, 1995 - 2000 (Rijeka, Adamić, 2001)
  • Kvarner Polyptych (Rijeka, Rijeka Publishing Centre, 2004)
  • My Friend the Blackbird (Zagreb, Durieux, 2004)
  • Hell of Hope: Chase After Me Over the Island 2, Variations from Goli Otok (Zagreb, Reason, 2004)


On several occasions he received literary awards, among others, six times with "Drago Gervais" award, and he received the "4th July" award of the Federal SUBNOR (Union of Associations of People's Liberation War Fighters) Board of Yugoslavia for the best NOB novel in 1985. His works have been translated to Italian, Spanish and English. Ante Zemljar was a member of the Society of Croatian Authors (DHK), Croatian Society of Writers (HDP) and the Croatian PEN Centre. The Association of Goli Otok Inmates of the Republic of Croatia bears his name.

He died after a short and difficult illness in 2004 in Zagreb.


“Zemljar was the fist one to condemn these crimes with a blackthorn wreath in 1941. He held on until the end, broke through many silences and wrote a book which is not just a description of those events but also a reading which warns and commits us to wake up and never let darkness and tyranny prevail and let a brother raise his hand on a brother as it happened in 1941 in Slano camp…”

Nikola Bistričić

“What is most clear is Zemljar’s conclusion that the pages on Slana camp will not be closed with this book. This book will initiate further research because it raises interest, it will start initiatives to reconstruct what can be reconstructed, to compare what can be compared and finally to condemn what should be condemned…”

Rudolf Polšak