Friday, November 5, 2010

The Zookeeper's Wife

"The Zookeeper's Wife" by Diane Ackerman

This is a story about two Polish Christian zookeepers who saved over 300 people. Their story is amazing and it is retold by the author through diaries and historical sources. The risk that people took to save other people from death was so courageous. It is quite funny how many people had animal names and animals had people names to keep everyone safe. It is an intriguing story of risk, love, unimaginable death and courage. "Jan (the husband) shied away from praise and underplayed his bravery, saying such things as: 'I don't understand all the fuss. If any creature is in danger, you save it, human or animal.'" It was beyond this couple to let people suffer, you helped others, that is just what you did. Oh if we could only have this same mentality today. "... for most people in the Ghetto nature lived only in memory-no parks, birds, or greenery existed in the Ghetto-and they suffered the loss of nature like a phantom limb pain, an amputation that scrambled the body's rhythms, starved the senses, and made basic ideas about the world impossible for children to fathom." So much was taken from the Jews, they had to live in conditions indescribable. Nature is a part of all our souls and it was taken from them. Jan also said, "I only did my duty-if you can save somebody's life, it's your duty to try. Or: 'We did it because it was the right thing to do.'" They did what was right, never questioning.

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