product description page
The Zookeeper's Wife (Reprint) (Paperback) by Diane Ackerman
about this item
After ****** tanks rolled through Poland during World War II, the Warsaw Zoo was nearly destroyed. Zoo director Jan Zabinski and his wife, Antonina, not only managed to keep the zoo animals alive during wartime, but used it as a shelter for several hundred Jews. This remarkable tale, written with the perfect mix of reportage, poetry, and dramatic flair by noted writer Diane Ackerman, is riveting, thoughtful, and humane.
When Germany invaded Poland, Stuka bombers devastated Warsaw--and the city's zoo along with it. With most of their animals dead, zookeepers Jan and Antonina Zabinski began smuggling Jews into empty cages. Another dozen "guests" hid inside the Zabinskis' villa, emerging after dark for dinner, socializing, and, during rare moments of calm, piano concerts. Jan, active in the polish resistance, kept ammunition buried in the elephant enclosure and stashed explosives in the animal hospital. Meanwhile, Antonina kept her unusual household afloat, caring for both its human and its animal inhabitants--otters, a badger, hyena pups, lynxes.With her exuberant prose and exquisite sensitivity to the natural world, Diane Ackerman engages us viscerally in the lives of the zoo animals, their keepers, and their hidden visitors. She shows us how Antonina refused to give in to the penetrating fear of discovery, keeping alive an atmosphere of play and innocence even as Europe crumbled around her.
Number of Pages: 368
Sub-Genre: Military / World War II, Europe / Eastern, Holocaust
Publisher: W W Norton & Co Inc
Author: ACKERMAN, DIANE
Street Date: September 7, 2008
Item Number (DPCI): 059-04-2523