STORIES FROM A TIME OF WAR
THE SECOND WORLD WAR IN FICTION & NONFICTION
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. I have not read this novel; however I did see the film.
Another year of the A to Z Challenge has come to an end. I enjoyed researching all these books connected with the Second World War and having read many of them, I am looking forward to reading many more. I appreciate all the visitors to my posts during this month and I’ve enjoyed visiting many posts myself. I plan to continue to visit posts now that the challenge is over. If you missed any of the books I wrote about, you can access a menu of the full list by clicking the link at the top of my screen. My posts from other A to Z years are there too. Please enjoy this slide show of my entire 2018 challenge.