Daughter of couple who hid Jews at Warsaw Zoo dies


(JTA) — The daughter of a Polish couple who rescued Jews by hiding them at Warsaw’s zoo has died.

Teresa Zabinska-Zawadzki died Sunday at the age of 77, the Warsaw Zoo wrote on Facebook. The statement did not specify the cause of death. She was born in 1943 at the zoo when Warsaw was occupied by Nazi Germany.

Zabinska-Zawadzki’s older brother, Ryszard Zabinski, died in 2019.

During World War II, their parents, Jan and Antonina Zabinski, hid about 300 Jews whose lives were saved. Jan Zabinski, a lieutenant in the Polish resistance, was the zoo’s director and sheltered the Jews in underground pathways connecting the animal cages. He also used the zoo to store arms for the resistance.

In 2017, the couple’s actions were made into a feature film, “The Zookeeper’s Wife,” starring Jessica Chastain.

Antonina died in 1971 and her husband in 1974. The Yad Vashem Holocaust museum in Jerusalem recognized both Zabinskis as Righteous Among the Nations in 1965.

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