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Costume Designer Nina Jirsíková Created Her Own Grim Fashion Magazine at Ravensbruck

By March 27, 2023July 26th, 2023No Comments

Translation: This year’s fashion trend for a stroll between the camp barracks on the summer Sunday. Washed trousers draped over the forearm (to dry), and as a particularly tasteful accessory – teaspoon compellingly inserted into a buttonhole, and a meal bowl at the waistline. Name of the design: Omnia mea mecum porto {Latin: “All that is mine I carry with me “}                                            (So that nobody steals it from me)

Translation: “This tasteful winter costume is especially suitable for winter morning temperatures (5 in the morning -30°).”

These illustrations sum up the prisoner’s attitudes at Ravensbruck Concentration Concentration Camp for women, a mixture of grim realism and the grit that they needed to survive such harsh conditions. Drawn by prisoner Nina Jirsíková a former dancer, actress, choreographer and costume designer who created a Ravensbruck fashion magazine, it’s her own ironic take on the camp clothing the women were reduced to wearing.

Nina Jirsíková pre-Ravensbruck

Born on February 6, 1910 in Prague, Cechy, Austria-Hungary (now the Czech Republic) Nina also created many illustrations of everyday life at the camp, which I drew upon to bring the camp alive in The Golden Doves. 

Nina as Salome in happier times

Nina’s drawings and art by other Ravensbrück artists serves as valuable documentation of the inhumane conditions at the camp, which the staff hid from the world for so long.

 

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