Study Guide

The Zookeeper's Wife: A War Story Chapter 8

By Diane Ackerman

Chapter 8

  • This chapter is a brief biography of Lutz Heck and an overview of Nazi ideologies regarding eugenics and so-called animal purity.
  • We suggest the title "What the Heck?"
  • Heck is obsessed with resurrecting three "pure-blooded extinct species": tarpans, aurochsen, and the European bison.
  • This obsession with animal purity starts seeping over into human races later on.
  • Strangely, the Nazis are also "ardent animal lovers" (8.16), and a biologist "was once punished for not giving worms enough anesthesia during an experiment" (8.16).
  • Have a heart, man. Earthworms have three.