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The Zookeeper's Wife

A War Story

Ackerman, Diane

(Book - 2008)
Average Rating: 3.5 stars out of 5.
The Zookeeper's Wife
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The true story of how the keepers of the Warsaw Zoo saved hundreds of people from Nazi hands. 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 Żabiński began smuggling Jews into empty cages. Another dozen "guests" hid inside the Żabińskis' 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--and keeping alive an atmosphere of play and innocence even as Europe crumbled around her.--From publisher description.
Publisher: New York : W.W. Norton, 2008
Edition: 1st paperback ed
ISBN: 9780393333060
039333306X
9780393061727
Branch Call Number: 940.5318 A182z 2008
Characteristics: 368 p., [8] p. of plates :,ill. ;,21 cm

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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 Żabiński began smuggling Jews into empty cages.

Documents the true story of Warsaw Zoo keepers and resistance activists Jan and Antonina Zabinski, who in the aftermath of Germany's invasion of Poland saved the lives of hundreds of Jewish citizens by smuggling them into empty cages and their home villa.

The true story of how the keepers of the Warsaw Zoo saved hundreds of people from Nazi hands. 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 Żabiński began smuggling Jews into empty cages.


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Jan 27, 2015
  • thecurious1 rated this: 4.5 stars out of 5.

It's a great holocaust story. It's a story about the people who stood up and said no to evil and their fight against the nazis. It will give you chills of how inhumane we can became, but it will restore your faith in people. It also talks about how humans are animals and animals are actually just like us.

one of the best memoirs of survivors and resistance workers,these people were so touching and brave and resourceful I wonder if I could do 1% of what they did to help others and keep body and soul together.karen

Sep 06, 2013
  • dbed rated this: 4.5 stars out of 5.

An excellent book. It was a totally personal account of living in occupied Warsaw in WWII. The story was put together using the main character's diary as the chief source. Because the protagonist was an optimist the story does not come across as all black and facing doom as many stories of the occupation do. But then, even she feels the terror and unknown fears of life with no security for tomorrow. A most interesting book.

Mar 11, 2013
  • BugLady1 rated this: 3.5 stars out of 5.

An interesting true life view on experiences during wartime in Poland. Amazing story which gives a new understanding to the reality of an historic time.

I could not put this book down! What a fascinating and different account of the war! Those involved were not "heroes" in the traditional war story style, just real people struggling to do what's right in the midst of a war.

Aug 23, 2012
  • ownedbydoxies rated this: 4.5 stars out of 5.

Diane Ackerman is a wonderful writer and the story is one that should be shared, so this book wins on two counts. Loved it and recommend it.

Nov 29, 2011
  • mogie rated this: 3 stars out of 5.

I did not find this book difficult to read at all. I like that the author is a naturalist and it gives a different perspective to the book. I found the book all the more interesting because it is non-fiction. It's not a high action book but I enjoyed it regardless

Jan 23, 2011
  • Sarah1984 rated this: 3 stars out of 5.

I tried really hard to enjoy this book, but it was just too slow for me. The plot sounded really good, especially as I am a fan of war related stories - especially true stories. There was too much written before the war began, and the refugees arrived at the zoo.

Dec 07, 2010
  • readilee rated this: 4 stars out of 5.

a true story - ordinary people in extraordinary times ...living on the edge of discovery, behaving courageously,selflessly...

there is hope for the human race

proposed title for August 2010

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Jan 27, 2015
  • thecurious1 rated this: 4.5 stars out of 5.

Frightening or Intense Scenes: It has moments where you can be truly frightened, and believing that characters may have died.

Jan 27, 2015
  • thecurious1 rated this: 4.5 stars out of 5.

Violence: It describes the brutality of the nazis, sometimes in great detail.

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Jan 27, 2015
  • thecurious1 rated this: 4.5 stars out of 5.

thecurious1 thinks this title is suitable for 14 years and over

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app16 Version musli Last updated 2015/02/26 09:22