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Through the Lion Gate: A History of the Berlin Zoo
— —
Gary Bruce (Associate professor of history, Associate professor of history, University of Waterloo)
Through the Lion Gate: A History of the Berlin Zoo by Gary Bruce (Associate professor of history, Associate professor of history, University of Waterloo) at Abbey's Bookshop,

Through the Lion Gate: A History of the Berlin Zoo

Gary Bruce (Associate professor of history, Associate professor of history, University of Waterloo)


Oxford University Press Inc

European history;
Modern history to 20th century: c 1700 to c 1900;
20th century history: c 1900 to c 2000;
Second World War;
Zoos & wildlife parks


320 pages

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In 1943, fierce aerial bombardment razed the Berlin zoo and killed most of its animals. But only two months after the war's end, Berliners had already resurrected it, reopening its gates and creating a symbol of endurance in the heart of a shattered city. As this episode shows, the Berlin zoo offers one of the most unusual--yet utterly compelling--lenses through which to view German history. This enormously popular attraction closely mirrored each of the political systems under which it existed: the authoritarian monarchy of the kaiser, the Weimar Republic, Nazi Germany, and the post-1945 democratic and communist states.

Gary Bruce provides the first English-language history of the Berlin zoo, from its founding in 1844 until the 1990 unification of the West Berlin and East Berlin zoos. At the center of the capital's social life, the Berlin zoo helped to shape German views not only of the animal world but also of the human world for more than 150 years. Given its enormous reach, the German government used the zoo to spread its political message, from the ethnographic display of Africans, Inuit, and other exotic peoples in the late nineteenth century to the Nazis' bizarre attempts to breed back long-extinct European cattle.

By exploring the intersection of zoology, politics, and leisure, Bruce shows why the Berlin zoo was the most beloved institution in Germany for so long: it allowed people to dream of another place, far away from an often grim reality. It is not purely coincidence that the profound connection of Berliners to their zoo intensified through the bloody twentieth century. Its exotic, iconic animals--including Rostom the elephant, Knautschke the hippo, and Evi the sun bear--seemed to satisfy, even partially, a longing for a better, more tranquil world.

By:   Gary Bruce (Associate professor of history Associate professor of history University of Waterloo)
Imprint:   Oxford University Press Inc
Country of Publication:   United States
Dimensions:   Height: 242mm,  Width: 163mm,  Spine: 26mm
Weight:   692g
ISBN:   9780190234980
ISBN 10:   0190234989
Pages:   320
Publication Date:   October 2017
Audience:   Professional and scholarly ,  Undergraduate
Format:   Hardback
Publisher's Status:   Active

Introduction Chapter 1: Out from the Island of Peacocks Chapter 2: The Human Zoo Chapter 3: To the Zoo! Animals and Society in the Imperial Capital Chapter 4: An End to the Sighing of the Animals Chapter 5: The Nazi Ox: The Berlin Zoo and Nazism Chapter 6: Animals among the Beasts: The Zoo Descends into War Chapter 7: The Hippo and the Panda: A Tale of Two Zoos Epilogue: Of Trams and Tortoises Bibliography

Gary Bruce is Professor of History at the University of Waterloo. Winner of a distinguished teacher award, he is the author of The Firm: The Inside Story of the Stasi and of numerous articles on modern German history.

Through the Lion Gate by Gary Bruce is a thoroughly engaging history of the zoo's development through time. * Ulrike Zitzlsperger, Times Higher Education * With Through the Lion Gate, the Canadian historian Gary Bruce has written the first comprehensive history of Germany's oldest and arguably most prestigious zoo in English. * Herman Reichenbach, Archives of Natural History Vol.45.1 * Bruce uncovers the many sinister sides of the zoo's history and the immense challenges during wartime. * Bernd Brunner Times Literary Supplement *

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