I just finished reading this excellent book, and the movie is now out in theaters, although I will probably not see it as it involves animals dying, which always sends me over the edge emotionally.
It is a true story of a zoo keeping family in Warsaw, Poland that helped the Underground and hid Jews during WWII. I had read a book a few weeks back about what happened to the Poles during WWII, and now I have read this. Before these books, I had no idea of what happened in Poland, except for the Nazis' taking all the Jews from the Ghetto in Warsaw. I wondered why I have not heard of these things until now. I never realized the whole impact of WWII upon the European populace. I suppose no one, but God, will ever fully know the impact.
The Nazis seemed to have an obsession with not only creating a pure race, but also a pure world, with nature and animals included. At least what they considered pure. So when they came to the zoo, they took the breeds they wanted to breed to its original state, and killed the rest of the animals.
They came in and changed the floral and fauna, desiring to turn Poland into a pure German/Aryan country. Thus, not only were Jews carted off to the camps and crematoriums, all the intelligentsia and political figures were killed. They came in and destroyed Warsaw, obliterating it to ruins.
Why did they hate the Poles so? From what I can gather, and I may be wrong, Germany had considered the land Poland was on German, and it was right between Germany and Russia. The Nazis had intention to invade Russia all along, but they had to take over Poland. Russia wanted Poland too, so they agreed to divvy up Poland between the two parties, until Germany reneged on the deal. I am surprised that Russia was stupid enough to trust Germany, considering they were just as ruthless.
The Polish Underground was the greatest one in Europe, well organized and well managed. They helped each other out, hiding Jews from one place to another. They left animals at the zoo, know the family would care for their pets. The Poles helped the Jews transform their appearance so they wouldn't look Jewish, but German, or at least Polish, coloring hair, teaching mannerisms, even cosmetic surgery.
I guess Germany was mad that they lost so miserably after WWI that they wanted to punish the world. Not all of Germany, of course, but when the Nazis came into power, they were a murderous mob bent on destruction. It is amazing to me how people can hate others so much that they indiscriminately kill, maim, or destroy.
I can see why they have the EU. They just don't want to go through that again. And yet, there is a rise in neo-Nazism and antisemitism in Europe. I don't get that. Every where you go there is a museum about WWII and what happened. Why would they want to go through that again? Why would they deny something that is so obvious? Are these people so brainwashed like in a cult that they just can't see what is in front of them? It boggles the mind.
I don't suppose these questions can be easily answered, as we see this type of systemic destructive thinking and behavior all over the world, from gangs and cults, terrorists and extremists. These systems give individuals a sense of power that they think they don't have. And their solution is violence.