Jan and Antonina Zabinski are a couple who saved nearly 300 Jews from the Nazis by hiding them in the Warsaw Zoo. The Times of Israel’s Anna Maria Jakubek reports that Hollywood is set to tell the Zabinskis’ story in the film, The Zookeeper’s Wife:
Based on actual events, “The Zookeeper’s Wife” tells the story of then zoo director Jan Zabinski and his wife Antonina, who together saved nearly 300 people, mostly Jews smuggled out of the city’s ghetto, by providing them shelter in their villa basement.
Thankfully, the Nazi Germans occupying Poland never found out.
“Antonina and Jan were ordinary people who risked everything — their safety and the safety of their children — to save others. They fostered hope in a time that was so dark,” Oscar-nominated US actress Jessica Chastain, who plays Antonina, told reporters ahead of the screening.
She said it was exciting to play how Antonina, initially unsure of herself, “is left alone at the house and given all this responsibility for caring for all these people and to protect them she grows into herself…”