Study Guide

The Zookeeper's Wife: A War Story Chapter 20

By Diane Ackerman

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Chapter 20

  • In Autumn 1942, Antonina is stricken with a sickness that leaves her legs inflamed. She must stay in bed.
  • The author speculates that this may have been the result of Antonina's pregnancy.
  • Then we jump back to June 1942, when the Polish Underground receives a letter warning them of a mass execution of Jews.
  • Before the Ghetto is liquidated, which Antonina feared would happen at the zoo, we jump back again to 1940.
  • A pediatrician names Henryk Goldszmit starts an orphanage.
  • Then, in August 1942, Goldszmit and all the orphans are put on a train to Treblinka.
  • Next, we fast-forward to 1971, when Russians name an asteroid after Goldszmit.
  • We feel like we've been to that asteroid and back.

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