Tag Archives: Zdenka Fantlova

The Tin Ring

‘The Tin Ring’

A society under pressure, its economy crumbling and out of this a strong man, surrounded by other strong men rises to power. He has all the answers. Indeed he has The Final Solution. And when all his answers are unleashed upon the rest of Europe the result is a catastrophic unnatural disaster, the chaos made unbelievable by the sheer order and precision of the state machinery used to carry it out.

Few survived the inhumanity of The Holocaust, and often those who had were deeply traumatised. So much of their humanity had been stolen they were often mere ghosts of people walking through their lives. But seventeen year old Zdenka, a Czech schoolgirl, retained her optimism, her belief in the beauty of life and in love. This powerful belief was symbolised in a tin ring, which against all odds was made and given to her by her fiance in the first of many concentration camps. And it was against all odds that Zdenka survived and kept her ring, finding the strength to reconcile the horrors of genocide and face her own terrible personal losses and be a Voice for Peace, for Humanity, for Love and for Light.

Zdenka’s tense and insightful story, ‘The Tin Ring: How I Cheated Death’ is more than a catalogue of observations about the Third Reich’s horrible secret death camps and the depths of hatred and anti- Semitimism. Threaded through her story is her reflections on being human, on surviving all the ups and downs that life throws at each and everyone of us. And so within her story is a powerful message of hope, of cultivating a dignified inner strength even in the face of life’s worst indignities.

As the author herself recognises, Zdenka’s story her survival of genocide resonates even today. An unnatural disaster that can and has reoccured. Indeed only recently has the news featured a shop in India, insensitively named ‘Hitlers’ and complete with swatiska. Hence the importance of Zdenka’  timeless and optimistic prose will also resonate in today’s world with people from all walks of life. So powerful is Zdenka’s message that her story has been brought to the stage by Mike Alfreds and Jane Arnfield. Now playing in London at The Lowry Studio from the 6- 8th September, you can see it again at the Lit and Phil Library in Newcastle from Thursday 27th of September to Saturday 29th of September.

The website for this intriguing and inspiring production is:http://www.thetinring.com/   and you can also listen to an interview with Zdenka and actress, Jane Arnfield who plays her on the stage, on BBC Radio Lancashire with Sally Naden.

“My story is universal: it is about the power of love, which combined with hope, enables us to achieve almost a miracle.  I hope it will inspire all who see the performance”.  

Zdenka Fantlova

29/05/12