Photography collector Jean-Marie Donat was browsing through old photographs from Germany when he noticed something quite bizarre—there were a lot of photographs involving someone dressed in a polar bear costume. He was inspired to collect these strange images into a book, which is titled Teddybär.
Why was this a common thing? We’re not exactly sure. According to Mashable, it offers a pretty intriguing look into an odd slice of German history. As everyone knows, Germany, especially in the mid-20th century, was a very unsteady place. Germany saw the center of two world wars, the rise and fall of the Nazi party, and the rebuilding of a nation. Perhaps these strange bear photos were there to give a little bit of light to an otherwise dark period of history.
The 200-page book of humans posing with a polar bear includes witty insight from philosopher Klaus Peter Speidel. It is published by Innocences Publishing in a limited 500 copy run, and can be purchased here. Check out a few more of the weird images below.