The Mysterious German Fad of Posing with a Man in a Polar Bear Suit
A bizarre German craze of posing for pictures alongside actors dressed up as polar bears has been unearthed in a series of photographs dating back to the 1920s. The pictures were found hunting through flea markets for the past 20 years by French collector Jean-Marie Donat and are currently being exhibited at the Arles Photography Festival in the south of France.
There is little in the way of explanation for the social phenomenon except to say that for whatever reason Germany has had a long and crazy fascination with polar bears. Why men in polar bear suits posing w/ tourists at the beach? No one knows, but thats the thing w/ fads, here one day, gone the next. Though this particular fad lasted about 40 years (1920’s – 60’s) and an occasional polar bear imitator can still be found on the streets of Germany to this day.
*Please forgive the occasional swastika – it was Germany in the 30’s after all.