Gariwo: the gardens of the Righteous

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THE ZOOKEEPER’S WIFE

screening at the Cinéma Galerie in Bruxelles

Jan and Antonina Żabiński - recognized by Yad Vashem as Righteous Among the Nations (honorific used by the State of Israel to describe non-Jews who risked their lives during the Holocaust to save Jews from the genocide) on September 21, 1965 - were the zookeepers of the Warsaw zoo who helped and saved hundreds of Jews escaping from the Nazi persecution. They allowed the Jews to found temporary shelter in the zoo’s abandoned animal cells, until they were able to relocate to permanent places of refuge elsewhere and also sheltered a dozen Jews in their two private home on the zoo's grounds. Despite the pain of losing their animals, the spouses took advantage of their position to help others. Moreover, Antonia and their young son Ryszard fed and cared for the Jews who they had given shelter to at the zoo. The zookeeper’s wife - a teacher and respected author who published children's books about animals - wrote a diary during the occupation which is the base of the Diane Ackerman’s book which tells her story.

Her story also inspired the 2017 movie “The Zookeeper's Wife” - a war drama directed by Niki Caro - that was firstly presented last May in London by Dr Arkady Rzegocki, Ambassador of the Republic of Poland in the UK and Antony Lishak, director of Learning from the Righteous - a London educational charity for children inspired by the stories of the Righteous Among the Nations. Every year Lishak, together with the Polish Embassy, takes care to celebrate the European Day of the Righteous, and the importance of these themes. He wrote a book, Stars, based on the work of Jan and Antonina Zabinski, with whom he wants to encourage children to consider the themes of courage and altruism. 

On Tuesday the 26th of September 2017, at the Cinéma Galerie in the well known Queen’s Gallery in Bruxelles, it will take place the screening of the movie. Before the showing there will be a discussion about the phenomena of The Righteous Among the Nations held by Anna Stróż, Director of the Ulma Family Museum of Poles Saving Jews in World War II (Markowa, Poland) and Antony Lishak.

Lishak just become one of our Ambassador. He is now working on his 2018 projects dedicated to the figure of Irena Sendler - a Polish nurse who worked with the Resistance in Poland occupied during the Second World War and rescued about 2,500 Jewish children, together with some twenty other members of the Polish Resistance.

The Polish Parliament has officially designated 2018 as the year of Irena Sendler, and together with Learning from the Righteous we are going to inaugurate in her honour a Garden in Nottingham.  

Movie Trailer:

19 September 2017

Shoah

the genocide of Jews

In the framework of second world war (1939-1945) Europe witnessed the genocide of the Jewish people (1941-1945). The “final solution“, the extermination of six million Jews, was planned by Hitler who had come on power in Germany in 1933. Since the publication of Mein Kampf, Hitler had planned the nationalsocialist revolution based on a racist ideology.
In the memory of the Jewish people and in the verdict that closed the works of the International Military Court, 6,000,000 victims of the extermination are estimated. As a matter of facts, the most reliable scholars including Raul Hilberg estimate about 5,200,000 victims.

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Featured story

Ugo Moglia

displaced in Pedemont, he took away with himself a Jewish family