The Zookeeper’s Wife: Jan Zabinski [ISFP 6w5]

Function Order: Fi-Se-Ni-Fe

Even though it is dangerous, Jan decides to perform repeated high-risk operations to smuggle Jews out of the Warsaw ghetto and hold them in his zoo, because he cannot stand to see people being killed and mistreated. He often does this at great personal risk, sneaking them out right under the guards’ noses, and even hiding one girl (a girl he didn’t intend to take with them) under the dash of his car, at his son’s feet, because he saw how the guards assaulted her—a mere child. He makes judgments based on his perception of right and wrong, and doesn’t think his wife fully understands the emotional toil it takes on him. He says she has never been inside the ghetto, she has never seen him hand off children onto a train to go to their death, and she cannot possibly understand it, since she has not lived through it. He also objects to Lutz talking to and touching her, refusing to see it as a protective action on her part, and instead interpreting it through his own resentment and feelings (how dare he). Jan leaves her later on, to enter the danger zones and fight with the Polish resistance, getting shot, captured, and imprisoned in the process. He gets physically involved with smuggling people out, often going in person and walking them right past the guards; he thinks fast and comes up with a story when one of the guards questions his companion. Early on, he has an “instinct” about how “bad it is going to be” in Warsaw and tries to persuade his wife to take their son and leave the next day, to no avail. Jan acts under pressure and comes up with plans, but mostly goes by what he feels is right—smuggling more and more people out, and trying to convince one of his dearest friends to abandon the Jewish children and come with him, to save himself.

Enneagram: 6w5 sp/so

Though afraid, Jan still risks his life (and that of his family) on a moral principle to save as many people from abuse and death that he can—and he goes about cautiously at first, gaining confidence as no one catches them. He is careful in how he gets them out, in how he gets them passports, and smart in not intervening when it could get him shot or detained or questioned. Though angry about Lutz’s lust for his wife, he doesn’t approach or assert himself with him. At first, he wants his wife to flee and save herself, and he tries to convince various of his friends to do the same, but then he stays and fights for them, showing self-trust and self-reliance.