Resilience Behind Bars

Animals and the Zoo Experience in Wartime London and Berlin
  • Mieke Roscher
  • Anna-Katharina Wöbse
Part of the Palgrave Studies in World Environmental History book series (PSWEH)


Drawing from descriptions of individual animals such as the panda-bear Ming or the elephant Siam, this essay explores how zoo animals in the metropoles London and Berlin emerged as resilient fellow sufferers in times of mass bombings and omnipresent destruction. Not least of all they served to satisfy patriotic needs and helped to illustrate the respective political agendas either as part of the “home front” or the “folk community.” At the same time, at least for some animals, with these new attributes the room to maneuver and their agency increased. They were a part of an overlapping community of fate, in which an interspecies resilience emerged as part of a narrative knot that was tied around their willingness to support the war efforts.

Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Mieke Roscher
    • 1
  • Anna-Katharina Wöbse
    • 2
  1. 1.University of KasselKasselGermany
  2. 2.Justus-Liebig-University of GiessenGiessenGermany

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