lisa's Reviews > The Zookeeper's Wife

The Zookeeper's Wife by Diane Ackerman
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Apr 22, 08

it was amazing
Read in January, 2008

This extraordinary story combines Ackerman's lovely talent for writing about nature and the amazing tale of the Jan and Antoinia Zabinski, who were running the Warsaw Zoo during WWII, where they helped hide hundreds of Jews fleeing the city. Ackerman uncovered many stories about the Underground resistance in Warsaw and describes many other courageous people in addition to the Zabinskis. She also writes about the Germans desire for not only cleansing the human race but also animal populations as well. The Zabinskis used ingenuity to feed themselves and those they hid in empty animal cages and in their home. At one point, the zoo was destined to be "decomissioned" but Jan persuades those in charge that it should be turned into a pig farm to supply the German troops with fresh meat (some of the meat was detoured to resistance forces and poisoned before being sent to German dining halls). There are harrowing moments for the Zabinskis but they preservered to help humankind because, as Jan put it, "it was the right thing to do."
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