The Zookeeper’s Wife Opens in Theaters in March 2017

The Zookeeper's Wife cover

Credit: imdb.com

The Zookeeper’s Wife opens in movie theaters in the United States on March 31, 2017. I’ve been waiting for this film for three years. When my husband and I visited Warsaw in October 2013 they were filming it (per our innkeeper.) If you haven’t seen the previews yet, it stars Jessica Chastain in the true life story of Jan and Antonina Żabiński. They were the directors of the Warsaw Zoo when WWII broke out and are credited with saving 300 Jews from certain death. Their story is more timely than ever.

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Polish Independence Day is Celebrated Every Year on November 11

Celebrating Polish Independence Day Banner

Banner from Taylor & Francis online.

Polish Independence Day is celebrated every year on November 11. In the United States, we celebrate November 11 as Veterans Day. The United Kingdom celebrates November 11 as Armistice Day. The single event all commemorations trace back to is the end of World War I on the eleventh hour, of the eleventh day, of the eleventh month. Germany signed an armistice agreement with the Allies that morning. Poland returned to the map of Europe for the first time in 123 years.

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October 2 Marks 72 Years Since the End of the Warsaw Uprising

Soldiers of the Polish Home Army during the Warsaw Uprising

Soldiers of the Polish Home Army during the Warsaw Uprising. By M. Swierczynski [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

October 2 marks 72 years since the end of the Warsaw Uprising. By August 1944, Poland had already endured five years of occupation by both the Germans and Russians. The Germans occupied Warsaw, and had already wiped out Warsaw’s Jews with the defeat of the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising a year earlier. But the Russians had advanced to within ten miles of Warsaw, forcing German divisions into retreat. The Polish Home Army calculated an uprising would coincide with advancing Soviet troops planning to liberate Warsaw, and presumed the Soviets would move in to help defeat the Germans. It would be a deadly miscalculation.

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Happy Mother’s Day to Irena Sendler

Irena Sendler, age 97, smiling from her wheelchair

Photo from irenasendler.org


Happy Mother’s Day to Irena Sendler, a Catholic Pole, who smuggled some 2,500 Jewish children out of the Warsaw ghetto, from 1939-1943. She was assisted by about two dozen other members of Zegota, the Polish underground, but she alone knew the identities and locations of each child. When arrested and tortured by the Germans, she never revealed a single name. She barely escaped execution by firing squad, when members of Zegota bribed a German guard at the last minute. She passed away on May 12, 2008, at the age of 98.

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