Petra Ruzickova

Terezin - Stone Star (former concentration camp in the Czech Republic), 2000
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The notorious fortress in Terezin from the end of the 18th century, erected as part of the Austrian defence against Prussian expansion and serving as a Jewish reception camp during the Second World War before the one-way journey to the gas chambers, is a space in which life seems to have come to a halt, and shadows have come to fill the void. The stark, extravagant fortress architecture captivated me not only as a world of disintegration, destruction, timelessness, but also as a world charged with poetry and special magic. It resembles Theseus' labyrinth, but its shape of an eight-sided star is also reminiscent of the well-known symbol of Solomon's Biblical labyrinth. I was also drawn to this place by a subconscious personal bond. One of the prisoners at Terezin was my step-grandfather. He prayed to God that he might get out alive. He promised that if he returned from Terezin, he would adopt a child. That child was my mother.

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