Study Guide

The Zookeeper's Wife: A War Story Chapter 12

By Diane Ackerman

Chapter 12

  • Antonina is upset as German hostilities continue, and the Nazis lock away over 400,000 Jews in the Warsaw Ghetto.
  • Two of Antonina and Jan's friends, Adam and Wanda Englert, stage a fake divorce so that Wanda can flee. But before she runs away, they throw a farewell party.
  • Antonina and Jan head to the party, but their trip is interrupted by a bombing. Way to kill their buzz, Nazis.
  • Antonina and Jan are only saved because they stopped to have a smoke. Smoking can save lives, we guess.
  • Antonina and Jan don't have time to rejoice in their luck, because the bombs appear to have fallen near Ryś's school.
  • Luckily, all the kids are safe.
  • Wanda ends up disappearing, but she shows up in the zoo "in the guise of Ryś's non-Jewish tutor" (12.22). Quite a magic act.

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