The zookeeper's wife

Diane Ackerman

A remarkable true story of bravery and sanctuary during the Second World War.

When Germany invaded Poland, Luftwaffe bombers devastated Warsaw and the city's zoo along with it. With most of their animals killed, or stolen away to Berlin, zookeepers Jan and Antonina Zabinski began smuggling Jews into the empty cages.

As the war escalated Jan became increasingly involved in the anti-Nazi resistance. Ammunition was buried in the elephant enclosure and explosives stored in the animal hospital. Plans were prepared for what would become the Warsaw uprising. Through the ever-present fear of discovery, Antonina kept her unusual household afloat, caring for both its human and animal inhabitants - otters, a badger, hyena pups, lynxes - as Europe crumbled around them.

This remarkable true story shows the human and personal impact of war - of life in the Warsaw Ghetto, of fighting in the anti-Nazi resistance. But more than anything it is a story of decency and sacrifice triumphing over terror and oppression. Jan and Antonina saved over 300 people from the death camps of the Holocaust.

Soft cover, 368 pages.