Antonina and Jan Żabiński- from PBSShe and her spouse, Jan, were in charge of the Warsaw Zoo. It was a labor of love.
Both were smitten with animals and sought not only to offer an educational experience to the eople, primarily the children of Warsaw, but to take the best possible care of their conviction.
Antonina and Jan would take them into their zoo-residence, a villa, creating a very Doctor-Doolittle-like atmosphere.
Most of the nimals were taken by a Gestap officer who happened to be in charge of a zoo in Germany.
What was ossible, though, was for Antonina and Jan to use the zoo as a refuge for those targeted by the Gestap, for Jews.
The zoo functioned as a way-station where Jews fleeing the ghetto could stay until more permanent shelter could be identified by other people and rganizations in the widespread Polish resistance.
Through this ordeal over three hundred people were saved with the aid of Antonina and others at the Warsaw Zoo and widespread popular support in the ity.
Jessica Chastain plays Antonina in the movi- from moviefactsinc.comDiane Ackerman is a oet and naturalist and she brings both sensibilities to this work, offering frequent observations about the natural environment in which the horrors depicted were being experienced.
One of the features of the Warsaw zoo during the Nazi occupation was that the “ Guests ” sheltering there were referred to by animal names.
As a counterpoint, the nimals that remained, or found their way to the Zabinskis care, were given human names.
One spring day, Jan brought home [ from a pig farm that had been set up at the zoo ] a newborn piglet whose mother was just butchered, thinking that [ their son ] Rys might like it as a pet…they named him Morys, and at two and a half day, Morys looked like “ piglet from Winnie-the-Pooh…very clean, pink and smooth…Morys lived in the so-called attic of the villa, really a long narrow closet that shared a terrace with the upstairs bedrooms, and each morning Antonina found him waiting outside Rys ’ s apartmen door.
Johan Heldenbergh as Jan Żabiński- from Focus FeaturesThe Zabinskis ’ tale also gives us a look at details of how Warsaw coped with the occupation, finding ways into and out of the ghetto once it was shut in, the subterfuges they engaged in to get fake identification papers, how they got information on what was happening in the ghetto, finding sources for food for the animals remaining at the zoo.
On September 21, 1965, Antonina and Jan Zaminski were recognized at Yad Vashem as Righteous Among the Nations.Published – January 1, 2007Review posted – March 31, 2017Film released – March 31, 2017=============================EXTRA STUFFLinks to the novelis ’ s personal, Faceboo and FB pagesThere is a TV series, Colony, that uses a science-fiction presentation to look at occupation in a near future world.
Michling, an outstanding 2016 novel about twins in Aushwitz, includes a section where the characters arrive in Warsaw and learn how the zoo had been used.