The Zookeeper's Wife

The Zookeeper's Wife

A War Story

Streaming Audiobook - 2007
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Jan and Antonina Zabinski were Polish Christian zookeepers horrified by Nazi racism, who managed to save over three hundred people. Yet their story has fallen between the seams of history. Drawing on Antonina's diary and other historical sources, bestselling naturalist Diane Ackerman vividly re-creates Antonina's life as "the zookeeper's wife," responsible for her own family, the zoo animals, and their "guests": resistance activists and refugee Jews, many of whom Jan had smuggled from the Warsaw Ghetto. Jan led a cell of saboteurs, and the Zabinski's young son risked his life carrying food to the guests, while also tending to an eccentric array of creatures in the house (pigs, hare, muskrat, foxes, and more). With hidden people having animal names, and pet animals having human names, it's a small wonder the zoo's code name became "The House under a Crazy Star." Yet there is more to this story than a colorful cast. With her exquisite sensitivity to the natural world, Ackerman explores the role of nature in both kindness and savagery, and she unravels the fascinating and disturbing obsession at the core of Nazism: both a worship of nature and its violation, as humans sought to control the genome of the entire planet.
Publisher: [United States] : AudioGO : Made available through hoopla, 2007
Edition: Unabridged
ISBN: 9780792751298
Branch Call Number: E-AUDIOBOOK
Characteristics: 1 online resource (1 audio file (10hr., 55 min.)) : digital


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Sep 04, 2018

Never, not ever, have I heard a more absorbing book about animals and their relationship to all of us. Every living creature on earth has it's own unique means of surviving. During World War II Germany wanted to interrupt or eliminate some species of animals. What were they trying to control and why. Did you know that in many countries not that long ago, most zoo's were privately owned by wealthy individuals. Many it turns out were investing in the preservation of these declining beautiful creatures. The story is all here in the "Zoo Keepers Wife". Please read the "Opinion Section" above for comments that could help you determine if the "Zoo Keepers Wife" would be appropriate for you.

Apr 21, 2018

I read this shortly after it came in print, I chose this audio at random but had trouble understanding the narrator. Now I've seen the film. Yes, skip bugs or other subject matter if you so desire, for me the most important subject is remembering the hate one group of humans can have for another.

I want to remember that this behavior exists today, always has and likely always will. It's important to me to not take part in this ugliness. 'Time and again, social groups organized along ethnic, national, racial and religious lines have savaged other groups.'

MadReads Sep 19, 2011

What could have been an interesting look at zoo life and world war II in Poland was bogged down by random tangents. So, one of the zookeepers acquaintances happened to collect and mount bugs (it wasn't displayed at the zoo or anything like that). That doesn't mean I want to read/listen to pages and pages on different types of beetles!

Jan 28, 2010

I enjoyed most of this book. The parts about Jan's work with the Underground, sneaking Jews out of the Warsaw ghetto and just all the things that happened to the zoo and to Warsaw and the Zabinski family and friends during the war were facinating. I could have done without long passages about beetles etc. You can skip over those and not miss a thing.


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