The Tin Ring ... Author - Zdenka Fantlova
The Tin Ring starts off very gently with Zdenka Fantlova recounting her childhood in Czechoslovakia. Painting a vivid picture of country life spent with her family, although her childhood has some sad moments she was obviously happy and enjoyed her life. Things changed rapidly for her when she, along with the rest of her family, were sent to Terezan concentration camp. Her first love Arno was also sent to the camp but sadly they were soon parted and on the day that Arno gave Zdenka a home made tin ring he was sent to a penal colony in the East. That day was the last time they would be together.
The book is Zdenka's memories of her years spent in a number of different concentration camps. She spent the final days of WW2 in Bergen-Belsen where she was found by an unknown British soldier. Throughout the time she spent in the camps she managed to keep Arno's tin ring, often risking death by keeping it with her. It is this ring and the hope that one day she would meet Arno again that gave her the strength and will to live.
This book is obviously not going to appeal to everyone but having seen Zdenka Fantlova being interviewed on TV I was motivated enough to read her book. She does share many of her harrowing experiences but not in a sensational way. It is an easy read as far as the style it is written in and can be read in quite a short while but that maybe because you just want to keep reading the book anyway. I did find at the beginning of the book the chapters seemed a little short but once I overcame that slight irritation I was fine with it! I can not say it is a book that I enjoyed reading because of the subject matter but it is a book that I am glad I have read. I would certainly recommend it if you are comfortable reading about this era in history.
For my artwork inspired by the book I have roughly drawn the ring to give the impression of the tin ring. I then made a light background using Tim Holtz distress ink and stamped and embossed the heart image. I wrote Arno's name below the heart and then masked off the circle. I proceeded to make a darker surrounding background with the distress inks and a red Dylusions mist. My choice of stamps for the background were selected to depict various moments in the book. The numbers are to indicate the endless times Zdenka had to be counted by her prison guards. The butterflies are my addition for hope and remembrance as there was a butterfly project a while ago to commemorate the victims of the holocaust. The other images are self explanatory. I drew the barbed wire frame using a silver gel pen.
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