Zookeeper's Wife, The: A War Story

by Diane Ackerman | History |
ISBN: 039333306X Global Overview for this book
Registered by winghyphen8wing of Honolulu, Hawaii USA on 1/5/2013
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2 journalers for this copy...
Journal Entry 1 by winghyphen8wing from Honolulu, Hawaii USA on Monday, January 07, 2013
Excellent look at the occupation of Warsaw by the Nazis: told from the viewpoint of Antonina, the zookeeper's wife. Photos after page 192: I always want more.

I love the stories about the animals, but the Nazis really treated the Polish people badly, and you don't hear about that much in the US. According to this book, they were threatened with harsher punishment for helping the Jews than the people of any other country - and yet so many of them helped anyway. (I also remember a Polish former co-worker telling me that any Pole who helped the Jews faced death if caught.)

Here is a heron sculpted by Magdalena Gross, probably from a model at the zoo, and a cormorant.

Other copies on my BookCrossing shelf:


Journal Entry 2 by winghyphen8wing at Honolulu, Hawaii USA on Saturday, January 12, 2013

Released 6 yrs ago (1/11/2013 UTC) at Honolulu, Hawaii USA


Off to see the world by way of chefcrossing's Rescue-themed bookbox: the Zabinskis were part of the Polish resistance during the WWII German Occupation; they helped a number of Jews escape from the Nazis.

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Journal Entry 3 by wingBooksandMusicwing at Seattle, Washington USA on Tuesday, May 22, 2018
Having read some of the negative reviews I was expecting something less than what I got.
I found the book quite good. I got a better understanding of what it was like for the Polish people when the Germans invaded, how the Germans killed so many Polish people and destroyed much of Warsaw. And to hide and help Jews was terribly dangerous but there were many Polish people who risked their lives, the lives of the their family and neighbors to get Jews out of the ghetto and into safe houses. I think one of the most telling scenes in the book is when the German officers come to the devastated zoo and hold a New Year's hunting party killing the remaining helpless zoo animals. And then there was that German guard who liked to shoot children sneaking out of the ghetto to get food and bring it back to their families. What happens to soldiers in war, what happens to people. Is it that the inner nature is let loose? Some people choose to become killers (above and beyond the obligations of a soldier) and others choose to save lives. The zookeeper and his wife chose to save lives, they had many close calls and had to be clever, there were so many dangers. I thought the author did a good job telling the story.

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