A True Story of Saving Jewish Lives
(A Polish couple who hid 300 Jews in their zoo during the Holocaust)
The following are testimonials from those who were saved, some living in Israel now.
"I remember squatting under this concrete shelf in the basement and keeping my hand over my sister's mouth to muffle her cries because she was constantly crying, day and night," said Moshe Tirosh, aged five at the time.
"When someone slammed the door upstairs, fear would pass through me, lest they find us," the 80-year-old told AFP in a telephone interview. The retired businessman and grandfather-of-seven, who has lived in Israel since 1957, still cannot believe what he lived through.
"My parents figured that it's always darkest under a lamppost," the zoo couple's daughter Teresa Zabinska said, citing a Polish saying according to which it is best to hide in plain sight.
Tirosh had suffered two years in the ghetto, marked by hunger, typhus and near deportation to the Treblinka death camp. To escape Warsaw's Jewish quarter, his family paid off the guards and Tirosh and his sister were thrown over the wall in sacks while their parents climbed over. On arriving at the zoo, Antonina's empathy and reassuring calm told them they were in good hands.