Barren Island

Bassim

VIP Member
Joined
Mar 1, 2008
Member Type
Student or Learner
Native Language
Bosnian
Home Country
Bosnia Herzegovina
Current Location
Sweden
Would you please correct this short text, which I have written just an exercise?

In the northern Adriatic Sea, belonging to Croatia, there is a little island called Barren Island. It's name suggests that there is no water on it. The Yugoslav communist government had chosen this place to build the prison for political prisoners. It opened in 1949 to incarcerate those who the government classified as "dangerous" who should be kept away from ordinary prisoners. After Tito's conflict with Stalin in 1956, anyone suspected of supporting SSSR and Stalin was sentenced to a long sentence and would end up on the island. When the relations between the two countries normalised, the political prisoners still continued to be brought to the island.

I remember already as a child how people were afraid of pronouncing the name of the island. It was a place people associated with hell. Not even the best friends and family members dared to talk about it for fear of ending themselves on it. At that time, you could never know who was an ordinary citizen and who an informer. It happened that someone cracked a joke or two about Tito or other politicians for his colleagues or friends, and the next morning he was rudely awaken by the mob of police officers who beat him black and blue before taking him to the police station. After a short trial, the joker would arrive at the little island, where he would cut and carry stones and work under the scorching sun in the next three or five years, depending on the mood of the judge who had passed the sentence.
As an enemy of the state, he had no rights whatsoever. He was like a hunted animal, left at the mercy of the guards and his fellow prisoners. The exact number of the killed has never been established. Some estimate that it could be between 600 hundreds and a couple of thousands. What those people went through it is impossible even to imagine, but their suffering was enormous.

I remember asking my father one day, "Do you know anything about Barren Island?" He turned to me, his eyes wild with fear. "Don't you ever name that name!" he said. The image of his terrified eyes imprinted on my memory for ever. Of course, I knew nothing what was going on on the island, but I sensed that terrible things must have been happening there, when even my own father didn't dare to talk about it.

The truth would come up first a few decades later, with the collapse of the communism. But even then there were people who did not want to hear it. They believed they had lived in paradise, under the leadership of great leader, Tito, a saint and revolutionary. To calm their minds, they invented a new lie. "Tito knew nothing about Barren Island. It was others who devised it and kept him in ignorance," they try to convince themselves and their interlocutors.

Nowadays, Barren Island is visited by rare tourists who arrive there on their yachts. They probably know nothing about its grim past. They see some dilapidated buildings which could have been a former socialist recreation home, which abounds along the Croatian coast. They take some selfies, photographs and pictures, walk through the empty buildings, rubble, dust and dirt, until their curiosity is satisfied. Then they return to their yachts and sail on to other places, which would offer them more excitement. They leave the island to itself, its memories, suffering and relief. It will remain a witness of human stupidity, brutality and crime against humanity, and a warning to the new generations that even the noble idea of freedom can become perverted into the worst form of oppression.
THE END
 
Last edited:

teechar

Moderator
Staff member
Joined
Feb 18, 2015
Member Type
English Teacher
Native Language
English
Home Country
Iraq
Current Location
Iraq
In the northern Adriatic Sea, [STRIKE]belonging to Croatia,[/STRIKE] there is a little island called Barren Island that belongs to Croatia. Its name suggests that there is no freshwater on it. The Yugoslav communist government had chosen this place to build [STRIKE]the prison for[/STRIKE] a jail in which to keep political prisoners. It opened in 1949 to incarcerate those who the government classified as "dangerous" [STRIKE]who[/STRIKE] and should be kept [STRIKE]away[/STRIKE] apart from ordinary prisoners. After Tito's conflict with Stalin in 1956, anyone suspected of supporting the USSR and Stalin was [STRIKE]sentenced to[/STRIKE] given a long prison sentence and would end up on the island. When [STRIKE]the[/STRIKE] relations between the two countries normalised subsequently, the political prisoners [STRIKE]still[/STRIKE] continued to be brought to the island.

I remember [STRIKE]already[/STRIKE] as a child how people were afraid of even uttering [STRIKE]pronouncing[/STRIKE] the name of the island. It was a place people associated with hell. Not even [STRIKE]the[/STRIKE] best friends and family members dared to talk about it for fear of ending up [STRIKE]themselves[/STRIKE] on it themselves. At that time, you could never know who was an ordinary citizen and who was an informer. [STRIKE]It happened that[/STRIKE] If someone cracked a joke or two about Tito or other politicians [STRIKE]for[/STRIKE] with his colleagues or friends, [STRIKE]and[/STRIKE] the next morning he would be snatched by the police [STRIKE]was rudely awaken by the mob of police officers[/STRIKE] who beat him black and blue. [STRIKE]before taking him to the police station.[/STRIKE] And after a short trial, the "joker" would arrive at the little island, where he would be doing hard labour cutting and carrying stones and working [STRIKE]under[/STRIKE] in the scorching sun [STRIKE]in[/STRIKE] for the next three or five years, depending on the mood of the judge who had passed the sentence.

As an enemy of the state, [STRIKE]he[/STRIKE] a prisoner on Barren Island had no rights whatsoever. He was like a hunted animal, left [STRIKE]at[/STRIKE] to the mercy of the guards and his fellow prisoners. The exact number of [STRIKE]the killed[/STRIKE] those who perished there has never been established. Some estimate that it could be between [STRIKE]600[/STRIKE] six hundred and a couple of thousand. What those people went through [STRIKE]it[/STRIKE] is impossible [STRIKE]even[/STRIKE] to even imagine, but their suffering was certainly enormous.

I remember asking my father one day, "Do you know anything about Barren Island?" He turned to me, his eyes wild with fear. "Don't you ever [STRIKE]name[/STRIKE] say that name!" he said. The image of his terrified eyes imprinted on my memory forever. Of course, I knew nothing (about) what was going on [STRIKE]on[/STRIKE] the island, but I sensed that terrible things must have been happening there, when even my own father didn't dare to talk about it.

The truth would come [STRIKE]up[/STRIKE] out first a few decades later, with the collapse of [STRIKE]the[/STRIKE] communism. But even then, there were people who did not want to hear it. They believed they had lived in paradise, under the leadership of a great leader, Tito, a saint and a revolutionary. To perpetuate that myth, [STRIKE]calm their minds,[/STRIKE] they invented a new lie. "Tito knew nothing about Barren Island. It was others who set up the prison there without Tito's knowledge."[STRIKE]devised it and kept him in ignorance," they try to convince themselves and their interlocutors.[/STRIKE]

Nowadays, Barren Island is occasionally visited by [STRIKE]rare[/STRIKE] tourists who arrive there on their yachts. They probably know nothing about its grim past. They see some dilapidated buildings which could have been former socialist recreation centres, [STRIKE]home,[/STRIKE] which abound along the Croatian coast. They take some selfies and photographs of the place, [STRIKE]and pictures,[/STRIKE] walk through the empty buildings, rubble, dust and dirt, until their curiosity is satisfied. Then they return to their yachts and sail on to other places, which would offer them more excitement. They leave the island to itself, its memories, suffering and grief. [STRIKE]relief.[/STRIKE] It will remain a witness [STRIKE]of[/STRIKE] to human stupidity, brutality and crimes against humanity, and a warning to [STRIKE]the[/STRIKE] new generations that even the noble idea of freedom can become perverted into the worst form of oppression.
.
 
Top