It has not been known for a long time that animals in the army can perform an invaluable work, although that is probably still underestimated by society.
The presented open-air exhibition Mascot Animals in the Polish Armed Forces in the Years 1918-1945 from the collection of the Army Museum in Białystok and the London-based Polish Institute and Sikorski Museum bring closer to attention lesser-known heroes of wars and armies – animals who were engaged into battle by men and at the same time played the role of army 'mascots'. They repertoire of animals was very extensive. Not only dogs but also horses, bears or birds were becoming faithful companions during the turmoil of war. For their hard service, they were often officially awarded, and monuments were erected to commemorate them. Nowadays, their lives are popularised by pop culture, animated films and board games, as in the case of the Persian bear taken in by soldiers of the Polish Army in the East, the famous Wojtek.
Young and old alike are therefore invited to get familiar with this interesting exhibition, which has been enriched with artefacts from the collections of the Central Museum of Prisoners-of-War, illustrating the life of Polish soldiers in captivity. The exhibition is also accompanied by a screening of the animated film Wojtek the Bear produced by the Institute of National Remembrance.