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Little was known about Erika Stránská (1930-1944), a Czech girl who lived in Room 28 for one and a half year. In May 1944 she was deported to Auschwitz where she was killed.
The survivors remember a fine and quiet girl who loved art classes with Friedl Dicker-Brandeis. She made lovely paintings. Some of her former roomates remember that she was related to a Czech artist. Now we know it was the Alexander Brandeis (1848-1901), a patron of the arts and a friend of leading Czech artists. .
In Helga's Diary we find traces of Erika's life in Theresienstadt. For a while the girls felt very close to each other and went to concerts together. In May 1944 their ways parted.
In 2012 the younger half-sister of Erika, Monika Zolko, who lives in São Paulo, found out about the book 'The Girls of Room 28" and saw that Erika was part of the community in Room 28. Her grand-daughet wrote an Email to me.
Learning about the exhibition, Monika's daughter Karen Zolko decided to adopt the original exhibition and to bring it to Brazil in a new design - in remembrance of Erika and her friends from Room 28, who did not survive the Holocaust.
In 2013 two new panels were created for display in the European Commission in Brussels.
In 1942 the nazis took away Monika's father and other family members, also her sister Erika Stránsky. Monika and her mother went to live in the little Czech village of Bozkov. Her father managed to escape the camp where he was deported to work and reunited with his family in Bozkov. He had a camera and made a film which you can see on Youtube:
New video, April 2022
Released 10 March 2022 by Albatros, Prague
Released by Swiat Ksiaski, Warsaw, 2021
German. English and Portuguese version available over Edition Room 28.
Many projects are supported and realized in cooperation with the NPO Room 28 e.V.
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