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Wojtek the Bear: Polish War Hero First Edition Edition

4.9 out of 5 stars 15 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-1841588452
ISBN-10: 1841588458
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Editorial Reviews

Review

'It is both moving and amusing' - Lord David Steel

About the Author

Aileen Orr was born and raised in Lockerbie before going on to study at the London School of Economics. After working for the Bank of America she joined and headed a new political team as regional director of the Countryside Alliance. She is now an advisor to Michael Russell MSP.
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Birlinn; First Edition edition (November 2, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1841588458
  • ISBN-13: 978-1841588452
  • Product Dimensions: 7.9 x 5.4 x 1.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 9.9 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (15 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,645,340 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By James Denny on December 2, 2010
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
The story of Wojtek, a brown bear adopted as a orphaned cub by Polish soldiers is well-known in some quarters, notably in Britain and among Polish veterans of World War II. However, his story may not be so well known elsewhere. Aileen Orr's new biography "Wojtek the Bear, Polish War Hero" will help to remedy that.

Orr grew up in post-World War II in the Borders area of Scotland on a farm near to a Polish troop demobilization center. It was there in the period immediately after World War II that her grandfather came to know and love Wojtek, a brown bear who served and was given a rank in the Polish Second Army. By the time Orr was a young girl, Wojtek had become a resident of the Edinburgh Zoo. This is where Orr would go to visit Wojtek. Wojtek lived until the age of 22. He died at the Zoo in 1963.

The saga of Wojtek (pronounced Voy-check) begins with his adoption in 1942 by Polish troops stationed in Iran. His socialization was as a member of a platoon of men, not as a wild bear as he would otherwise have been, gatherering and hunting for food, wary of men. What is fascinating is that Wojtek probably considered himself as much a human as a bear since from an impressionable age he had no mama bear to teach him. Instead, he modeled himself as a soldier, following the lead of the soldiers as they did their daily duties and practiced their field maneuvers.

For more than five years, Wojtek lived freely with the Polish soldiers, modeling his behavior on theirs, wrestling with them, rough-housing and playing games with them, eating as they ate. A mascot and morale-booster, Wojtek was this and much more. The Polish Second (Artillery) Corps moved many times from Iran to Iraq, to Palestine, to Egypt, Italy and finally, to Scotland. As the Army moved, so did Wojtek.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
On the recommendation of a friend, I bought 3 copies of this book ... one for him, one for me, and one for our mutual friend. Both of them have finished the book and raved about it. I have started, but not finished my copy. If the remainder of the book is equal to what I've read so far, I'd give it 5 stars. It's easy to read and an excellent story of an unusual, but true bit of history.
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Great story of a little know event in world history. Wojtek was an amusing and touching story but the real stars were the Polish Army who
fought so bravely and then did not have a country to call home. The Polish army that was not even allowed to march in the victory parade in
London for fear of offending Josef Stalin. Truly a moment of which the British should be truly ashamed
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By MARILYN on March 21, 2015
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is a great true story an de I learned so much. I did not know how much the Poles helped the,Scots in WW II. And, Wojtek is amazingl I wish I had know him. The statue is beautiful and the author so knowledgeable. A must read!!!
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A great story about a truly remarkable bear, Wojtek, and a group of Polish soldiers that would not be defeated by the Russians or Germans.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This book was bought for my son and really enjoyed it. He liked reading about the bears antics and thought it was comical. It was an interesting read about what happened to the bear after the war.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Amazing Story about a Little bear and his Polish soldier friends. It's the stories of the soldiers which are interesting, more then the memories of Generals who tell it "their" way.
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Wonderful story! Heartwarming and heartbreaking. I can imagine the sadness Wojtek felt when separated from his comrades. This is a must for readers of WWII stories.
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