Zdenka Fantlová Ehrlich
Zdenka Fantlová Ehrlich died peacefully at the age of 100 in her home in London on November
14. She was born to a Czech-Jewish family in the town of Blatná on March 28, 1922.
Zdenka was deported to Terezín on January 20, 1942. She worked in the kitchens at
the camp and also performed in cabarets and plays. She was briefly reunited with her
boyfriend Arno, who was deported to Auschwitz in June, 1942. The night before Arno
left, he gave Zdenka a tin ring inscribed with the date: 13.6.1942. Zdenka never saw him
again, but she held on to the ring through her time in Terezín, Auschwitz, Kurzbach,
Gross-Rosen, Mauthausen and Bergen-Belsen. She would later, in 1996, publish a book,
The Tin Ring, about her time with Arno and her experiences during the war. The Tin Ring
was adapted into a one woman show by Jane Arnfield and Mike Alfreds in 2010.
From Bergen Belsen, Zdenka was sent to Sweden to recover from the horrors of the
camp. She found work in a biscuit factory, and then worked for the Czech Embassy in
Sweden. In 1949, after learning she was the only surviving member of her family, she
moved to Melbourne, Australia. A year later she met Charles Ehrlich, and they were
married in 1950. Zdenka worked as an actress for the Tana Theatre, started by Terezín
survivor Hana Pravda. In 1969, Zdenka, Charles, and their daughter moved to London,
where she remained for the rest of her life.
Zdenka appears in the Defiant Requiem film, sharing her experiences in Terezín.