Lepoglava prison was formed in 1854 in a monastery formerly owned by the Pauline Fathers, which was transformed by the authorities into a penitentiary (this order would wait until 2001 for a part of its property there to be returned to the bishopric). The prison was subsequently used by Austro-Hungary, the Kingdom of Yugoslavia, the Independent State of Croatia and Communist Yugoslavia, before its current role as the main penitentiary in the Republic of Croatia.
During the 20th century, the prison was a home for numerous "unwanted" groups[clarification needed] and political prisoners. This occurred during the Kingdom of Yugoslavia (1918-1941), when Communists and revolutionaries were incarcerated, along with such notables as Tito, Moša Pijade, Rodoljub Čolaković, and Milovan Đilas.
The Independent State of Croatia (1941-45) held dissidents at the prison, including Ante Vokić who attempted a coup in 1944. The prison was used to incarcerate and liquidate[clarification needed] over two thousand anti-fascists. Between 1945-91, many ethnic Croat dissidents were imprisoned by the Yugoslav government on a variety of charges. Following WWII, notable prisoners included suspected Axis collaborationists such as Alojzije Stepinac and Ivo Tartaglia. On 5 July 1948, three prisoners, were killed by prison authorities.[why?][how?] After the Croatian Spring, prisoners included Šime Đodan, Dražen Budiša, Vlado Gotovac, Marko Veselica, Dobroslav Paraga and Franjo Tuđman. A memorial to the victims was erected in 2005.
- History of the Penitentiary; accessed 4 March 2014.
- Djilas: "Memoir of a Revolutionary", osa.ceu.hu; accessed 4 March 2014.
- iPortal.hr - U Lepoglavi otkriven spomenik političkim uznicima (Croatian); accessed 4 March 2014.