“The Zookeeper’s Wife” Is Seriously Incomplete

By | April 6, 2017 | 2 Comments

Antonina Zabinska and friend, 1938

“The Zookeeper’s Wife” is a 2017 film starring Jessica Chastain. The story, based on real events, involves Antonina and Jan Zabinski, who ran the zoo in Warsaw, Poland, just as World War II begins. The Germans took over the zoo, removed the prize animals to Germany, and shot the rest.

The couple turned the zoo into a pig farm to provide meat for German troops. The pigs were fed with garbage from the Ghetto, where the Jews of Warsaw were confined and crowded together. However, the Zabinskis managed to smuggle about 300 Jews out of the Ghetto, hidden under the garbage in their truck. All but two of these Jews survived.

The film follows the history of Warsaw through the end of the war. It shows in some detail how the Polish Resistance gathered illegal guns, then staged a heroic fight for the liberation of their capital in 1944. What the film does not show is that the Soviet army, under Stalin’s orders, halted outside Warsaw, allowing the Germans to liquidate the cream of Polish fighters ‒ and thereby make the communist takeover of Poland easier.

The film also fails to show an episode directly relevant to the story line. Despite lasting 2 hours 4 minutes, the film does not show ‒ or even mention ‒ the uprising of the Warsaw Ghetto, which occurred a year earlier, in 1943.

When the Germans took over Eastern Europe, most Jews were rounded up into ghettos. They were crowded in unsanitary conditions, causing many to die of disease. But this was too slow for the Nazis, so they began deporting the Jews to death camps. By 1943 this news leaked out, and the Jews of the Warsaw Ghetto decided to rebel – and die on their feet rather than on their knees.

Accounts vary, but the Jews were armed with perhaps 59 handguns and nine bolt-action rifles. In contrast, the Germans were armed with submachine guns and machine guns, as well as mortars and flame throwers. Nevertheless, the Jews inflicted casualties and forced the Germans to withdraw. Finally they had to call in artillery, tanks, and armored vehicles to reduce the Ghetto to rubble.

Clearly, the Germans would rather have used these troops, artillery, tanks, and armored vehicles against the Russians, with whom they were engaged in a death struggle. But at first they couldn’t believe that Jews were defending themselves.

An eyewitness described the confusion in the German ranks: “There runs a German soldier shrieking like an insane one, the helmet on his head on fire. Another one shouts madly ‘Juden…Waffen…Juden…Waffen!’” [Jews…weapons!]

Polish sources list German casualties as about 300 killed and 1000 wounded. What is undeniable is that the Germans were delayed by at least a month in clearing the Ghetto and deporting the remaining Jews to death camps.

Note what Joseph Goebbels, Nazi minister of propaganda, concluded: “It shows what the Jews are capable of when they have weapons in their hands.” [Emphasis added.]

Gun control, anyone?

But this is not the first Hollywood movie to omit a crucial event regarding guns and the Holocaust.

In the 1993 film “Schindler’s List,” Liam Neeson gives an outstanding performance as Oskar Schindler, a womanizing, hard-drinking German who was a Nazi Party member. Yet during World War II, he saved about 1200 Jews from extermination by putting them to work in his factory. They now have over 6000 descendants.

Schindler escaped the clutches of the Gestapo by claiming that “his” Jews were doing essential war work. But Schindler was even braver. He did something that could not have been explained away. Had it been discovered, he would have been executed, and probably tortured first.

He stole guns and gave them to “his” Jews, so that if they were discovered, they could defend themselves. The film ran 3 hours 15 minutes, yet somehow there was no time to include this incident, which would have taken two or three minutes.

Was the incident boring? No, it would have been dramatic. Was it violent? No, the film depicted awful violence. The problem was that an anti-gun agenda was more important to the film makers than depiction of a dramatic and revealing incident.

To believe that today’s Americans shouldn’t have guns is illogical. Careful studies show that allowing law-abiding citizens to carry guns reduces the rate of violent crime. But to believe that Jews during the Holocaust shouldn’t have had guns borders on being delusional, even genocidal.

The guns were stolen twice – by Schindler to help the Jews, and by the film makers to further their leftist agenda.

Hollywood seems to love films about the Holocaust. They are almost sure to pick up Oscar nominations. But even with a subject so voluminously documented and so painfully tragic, the Left cannot resist altering facts to suit its pacifist, anti-gun agenda.

A righteous German helps save Jews by employing them? Show it. A righteous German helps save Jews by smuggling guns to them? Don’t show it. The Poles obtain many guns and rise up against the Nazis? Show it. The Jews obtain a few guns and rise up against the Nazis? Don’t show it. Jews as passive victims being herded onto boxcars? Show it. Jews as heroic fighters shooting Nazi troops? Don’t show it.

What Hollywood moguls don’t show says as much about them as what they do show. The same goes for the rest of us. Check out what people omit. It reveals a lot about them.

Author’s Note:

For a comprehensive history of the Holocaust, read “The Destruction of the European Jews” by Raul Hilberg.

If you wish to see what the Holocaust was really like ‒ and have a strong stomach ‒ watch this film, made for the U.S. Army by famous director George Stevens:
https://archive.org/details/gov.archives.arc.43452

For more information, check out this website:
Jews for the Preservation of Firearms Ownership, http://jpfo.org/

Contact: dstol@prodigy.net. You are welcome to publish or post these articles, provided that you cite the author and website.

www.stolinsky.com

2 Comments

  • Steve Stults says:

    All of your criticisms are things not in any way central to the movie. To digress and start talking about how many casualties were suffered in the Ghetto rising or greater Warsaw rising would have been absurd.

    Ridiculous essay.

    • You’re right – those facts were not “central to the movie.” But they were central to the actual situation.

      This is similar to the movie “United 93,” which was factual up to the point of omitting the heroic Todd Beamer. He recited the Lord’s Prayer with the phone supervisor, asked her to tell his wife and kids he loved them, and then said, “God help me. Jesus help me. Are you ready? Let’s roll!” But Hollywood just didn’t have time for this documented, dramatic scene.

      What we leave out may say more about us than what we put in.

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