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Bear which served alongside Polish troops in WWII to have memorial in Italy

PR dla Zagranicy
Victoria Bieniek 21.06.2017 08:30
A memorial to Wojtek the Bear, who accompanied Polish troops of the Second Corps in World War II, is to be erected in Cassino, central Italy, close to the site of the Monte Cassino battle in which Polish soldiers played a decisive role in an allied victory.
Wojtek the Bear eyes a dog in the Middle East. Photo: Wikimedia Commons (Public Domain).Wojtek the Bear eyes a dog in the Middle East. Photo: Wikimedia Commons (Public Domain).

The Mayor of Cassino, Carlo Maria D’Alessandro, was quoted by local media as saying that Wojtek the Bear was “a true soldier who fought in the Battle of Monte Cassino.”

Eyewitness reports said that during the battle Wojtek was seen on the front lines carrying empty ammunition crates and used shells.

In 2015, memorials to the bear were unveiled in Imola, in the northern Italian province of Emilia-Romagna, and in the Scottish capital, Edinburgh.

The history of Wojtek started in April 1942. The bear was discovered in Iran by a group of Polish POWs who were being transported from Siberia through the Middle East to Egypt, from where they were shipped to Europe.

The soldiers treated Wojtek, then a small cub, as a baby, nursing him with a bottle of condensed milk.

After the war, he ended up in a Scottish village where he lived with a group of former Polish soldiers. He died in 1963. (mk/pk/vb)

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