Make an appointment to visit the villa of Jan Żabiński, a zoologist and a long-time director of the Warsaw Zoological Garden. During World War II, he and his family hid people who needed help in their home, mainly Jews escaped from the ghetto. You will see here the same piano as the one on which Antonina Żabińska played, using it to send danger signals to the illegal tenants. In the basement, where the hideout was located, there is a room of memory for Magdalena Gross, the author of many animal sculptures. You will also see films about the pre-war Jewish district and the activities of the villa owners. The names of people rescued by Żabińskis are listed on the walls. Those who survived the Holocaust thanks to them later testified at the Yad Vashem Institute about their heroism. It is estimated that thanks to the help of the Żabińskis, as many as 300 people survived. For their actions, Antonina and Jan were honoured with the title of Righteous Among the Nations.
The unusual story written by the director’s wife was turned into the screenplay for Diane Ackerman’s book ‘The Zookeeper’s Wife’. A Hollywood hit of the same name was made based on it.
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