Study Guide

The Zookeeper's Wife: A War Story Chapter 15

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Chapter 15

  • The Germans shut down the pig farm at the zoo.
  • Antonina is baffled, because that means less meat for everyone, even the Nazis.
  • Jan is angry, because the pig farm was his big excuse for sneaking into the Ghetto for supplies. Now he has to find a new way into the Ghetto.
  • Meanwhile, not content to destroy only the zoo's animals, the Nazis also cut down many of the plants and trees and replace them with German ones.
  • Jan soon meets with Warsaw's Polish vice-president, who hooks Jan up with a Ghetto pass. It's a job linked to Warsaw's Parks and Gardens Department, giving Jan access to the Ghetto under the guise of inspecting its flora.
  • This job introduces Jan and Antonina to famous entomologist (two words we never thought would go together), Dr. Szymon Tenenbaum.
  • Tenenbaum leaves his insect collection to Jan for safekeeping.
  • Later, Tenenbaum allegedly authorizes a German named Ziegler to inspect his collection.
  • Ziegler is simply Ziegler, like Madonna. No need for more than one name.
  • Jan worries that Tenenbaum has turned him and Antonina in to the Nazis.
  • But no, Ziegler just really loves beetles.
  • Ziegler wants Jan to be a liaison between him and Tenenbaum, an arrangement that would grant Jan unprecedented access to the Ghetto.
  • Entering the Ghetto under the guise of being a beetle expert gives Jan the ability to sneak many people out.
  • In the winter, Tenenbaum dies, and Ziegler leaves his dog, Zarka, in Antonina's care.
  • Jan begins to plot an escape for Tenenbaum's widow.

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