Today is the National Day of Remembrance of Poles Rescuing Jews under German Occupation. 6,992 Poles of Poland have been named Righteous Among the Nations. Among them, Jan & Antonina Żabiński, maybe the most known in the world.
Their story was adapted into novel, by the American poet and writer Diane Ackerman (2007) and then movie (2017) by Niki Caro with the title “The Zookeper’s Wife” performed by Jessica Chastain (as Antonina Żabińska) and Johan Heldenbergh (as Jan Żabiński) starring Daniel Brühl (as Lutz Heck).
In 1942, during WWII, nazis started to deport Jews from the Warsaw Ghetto to the death camps. The couple managed to smuggle Jews out of the Ghetto, hide them in the zoo and then, find a way to save them by leaving the country or find shelters.
From August to September 1944, Jan Żabiński participated in the Warsaw uprising.
They saved almost 300 Jews. On October 30, 1968, a tree-planting ceremony was held at Yad Vashem honoring Righteous Among the Nations, including Jan and Antonina Żabiński.