She survived Auschwitz and the death march, Zdenka Fantlová celebrated her 100th birthday Company News

As a young Jewish girl, Zdenka Fantlová passed through four concentration camps. She was not released until April 1945. Of the whole family, only she survived. According to her, she had the strength of hope and love for her fiancé. She never saw him again. Zdenka lived and went to school in Rokycany and she still remembers it. This is where a commemorative plaque was unveiled on his 100th birthday. The ever-vital lady currently lives in England and, coincidentally, in the house where the plans for Operation Anthropoid were laid.

A total of three transports were sent from Pilsen to the Terezín ghetto. Of a total of more than 2,600 men, women and children, only 209 survived the war.

Zdenka was born in Blatná, South Bohemia, and later moved with her parents to Rokycany, where she attended high school. However, she had to leave her classmates because of her Jewish background. However, she continued to study English. But even that didn’t last long. The Nazis arrested his father while he was listening to foreign radio, and the rest of the family quickly took the train to Terezín. Zdenka, then 21, was in love. Before the transport, her fiancé gave her a simple ring made from a piece of sheet metal. It was this young girl who hid throughout her incarceration, which put her in great danger. But it was the only thing that gave her hope, and she confessed that it was thanks to her that she managed to survive.

On the death marches, Zdenka crossed half of Europe until she found herself in Bergen-Belsen. It was there, at the very end of the war, that she contracted typhus and was near death. A British soldier found her at the last moment, and thanks to her knowledge of English, she managed to survive this time too.

“It was a happy life until I was twenty-one.”

She wrote a book about her destiny Peace is power, dad said. The site is reminiscent of Rokycany. To the school she attended, to her friends, and skating on the local pond. She even came to Rokycany to present the book. She has been an honorary citizen of the city since 2002. She last visited there five years ago.

Zdenka Fantlová last visited Rokycany at the age of ninety-five, photo: Jan Šašek

A commemorative plaque was unveiled to her in the house where she lived with her family. People will find another name tag on a bench in a nearby park.

Fantlová was also in the transport, which departed from Mauthausen in February 1945 and stopped at Rokycany. Zdenka wrote a short message on a piece of paper stating that she was on the train and did not know where she was going. She addressed the writing to one of her father’s employees and threw a roll of paper out the window. Miraculously, someone found the paper and delivered it to the address. However, he was in Terezín at the time, so the message sat in a box for 60 years. When Zdenka discovered it years later, she decided to dedicate it to the local museum.

“It was a happy life until I was twenty-one. Then came the hard times, I was in high school, I got kicked out of high school because there was a new law. The bad times came Four years in a concentration camp, Terezín, an extinct and exhausted family, the end of the war and I am completely alone somewhere in a foreign country, in Sweden I lived until the end of the war, at which I survived happily and actually completely healthy. And then came the hard times of living, all alone from the whole family,” recalls Fantlová.

She left Sweden in 1949 for Australia. “I set up a theater company there, we performed Czech plays, there were a lot of Czech members, so we had a whole big club,” describing. She even won an Australian Oscar for her theatrical work. He has lived in England since 1969.

“I love remembering that and I’m grateful to have lived there, to have survived all of that back then, and I leave behind my daughter and the book that I wrote at that time. subject so that there are memories, notes on it and I am truly grateful for all the years of my life, which I have lived in various situations, for better or for worse”, added Fantlová in memory of his beloved Rokycany.

He lives in the house where the plans for Operation Anthropoid were made

Coincidentally, the theme of the Heydrichiad returned to Zdenka Fantlová’s life. He has lived for years in the house where the Czechoslovak military intelligence service was based. In the apartment opposite, there was even a plan to assassinate the imperial protector. Well-known films by Josef Gabčík and Jan Kubiš and members of other paratroopers also come from Porchester Gate. The images repeat a typical English brick wall behind them.

Porchester Gate House in London has been associated with intelligence since World War II. From the second half of the 1930s, the British intelligence service was installed on several floors. From 1940 to 1945 there were offices and offices of Czechoslovak intelligence officers on the first and sixth floors. A commemorative plaque has been on the building since 2011. The English text warns passers-by that it was here in October 1941 that a plan for Operation Anthropoid was hatched, which led to the assassination of Reinhard Heydrich in Prague May 27, 1942.

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