Blondi: Wikis

  
  
  

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Eva Braun and Adolf Hitler, with Hitler holding Blondi on a leash.

Blondi (1941 or 1942 — 30 April 1945)[1][2] was Adolf Hitler's German Shepherd dog, given to him as a gift in 1941[3][4] by Martin Bormann. Blondi stayed with Hitler even after his move to the underground bunker in January 1945. In March[5][6] or in early April[7][8] (likely 4 April)[9] 1945, she had a litter of five puppies with Gerdy Troost's German Shepherd, Harras. Hitler named one of the puppies "Wolf", his favorite nickname and the meaning of his own first name, Adolf (Noble wolf)[10] and he trained it.[11] One of Blondi's puppies was reserved for Eva Braun's sister Gretl; and Eva sent Gretl a letter containing a photo of Blondi and three of her puppies, Gretl's being indicated with an arrow.[12]

By all accounts, Hitler was very fond of Blondi, keeping her by his side and allowing her to sleep in his bedroom in the bunker, an affection not shared by Eva Braun, Hitler's girlfriend, who preferred her two Scottish Terrier dogs named Negus and Stasi (or Katuschka).[13][14] According to Hitler's secretary (Traudl Junge), Eva hated Blondi and was known to kick her under the dining table.[15]

In May 1942 Hitler bought another German Shepherd dog "from a minor official in the post office in Ingolstadt" in May 1942[16] to keep Blondi company. He called her Bella.[17]

As a soldier in World War I Hitler had great affection for a stray white Bull Terrier named "Fuchsl" and was distraught when he lost it.[18][19] He had been given a German Shepherd before named "Prinz" in 1921, during his years of poverty, but he had been forced to lodge the dog elsewhere. However, it managed to escape and return to him. Hitler, who adored the loyalty and obedience of the dog, thereafter developed a great liking for the breed.[20] He also owned a German Shepherd called "Muckl".[21]

Before Blondi, Hitler had two German Shepherd bitches, mother [born 1926] and daughter [born ca. 1930]- both named Blonda. On some photos made in 1930s Blonda (the daughter) is incorrectly labeled as Blondi[9] (in most cases photos' descriptions were written later).

Role in Nazi propaganda

The National Socialists embraced animal welfare as a central theme. Presenting Hitler as an animal lover was an important aspect of Nazi propaganda. In nineteenth century Germany, various Tierschutz (animal protection) organizations had won high level celebrity support, from Richard Wagner for example, who famously remarked that he would not want to live in a world in which "no bitch would wish to live any longer."[22][23]

Dogs like Blondi[24] were coveted as "germanischer Urhund", being close to the wolf, and grew very fashionable during the Third Reich.

Death

Before Hitler committed suicide on April 30, 1945, he ordered physician Werner Haase to put Blondi to sleep, in fear she may be captured and eaten. He became completely inconsolable after the fact and took his own life very shortly after.[25] According to a report commissioned by Joseph Stalin and based on eye witness accounts, Hitler's dog-handler, a Sergeant Fritz Tornow, took Blondi's pups from the arms of the Goebbels children, who had been playing with them, and shot them in the garden of the bunker. He then killed Eva Braun's two dogs and his own dachshund by lethal injection. Tornow was later captured by the Allies.[26] Hitler's nurse, Erna Flegel, said in 2005 that Blondi's death had affected the people in the bunker more than Eva Braun's suicide had.[27] When the battle of Berlin fizzled out, the dog[28] was exhumed and photographed by the Soviets.[29]

In In Hitler's Bunker: A Boy Soldier's Eyewitness Account of the Führer's Last Days, page 169, Armin D. Lehmann elaborated on Blondi's death:[30]

That afternoon Hitler summoned Professor Werner Haase from the emergency hospital to the bunker to stage a dress rehearsal of his own suicide. Hitler no longer trusted the SS and he wanted an assurance that the poison capsules he had been provided with by the SS doctor Ludwig Stumpfegger actually worked. The guinea pig chosen for this experiment was his beloved Alsatian Blondi. The dog was led into the toilets off the waiting-room at the foot of the steps to the upper bunker by Hitler's dog attendant Sergeant Fritz Tornow. Inside, Tornow forced Blondi's jaws open and crushed the capsule with pliers as Haase watched. The dog collapsed on the ground instantly and didn't move. Tornow was visibly upset. Hitler couldn't bear to watch the scene himself. However, he entered the room shortly afterwards and, seeing the results for himself, departed without saying a word. Tornow was further mortified to be given the task of shooting Blondi's four young puppies. The Goebbels children were understandably upset when their sprightly little playthings were wrenched from them. Tornow took them up to the Chancellery Garden where they were put to death along with several other pets of the bunker inmates. Later, Hitler met the medical staff to thank them in the lower bunker. As Professor Schenck records in his memoirs, one of the nurses became hysterical.

References

  1. ^ some sources incorrectly suggest 1934 as Blondi's DoB
  2. ^ Roger Eatwell (1995). Fascism: a history. Chatto & Windus. pp. 152. 
  3. ^ Comfort, David (1994). The first pet history of the world. New York: Simon & Schuster. pp. 247. ISBN 0-671-89102-2. 
  4. ^ some sources suggest the Summer of 1942 (see: Richard Wires (1985). Terminology of the Third Reich. Ball State University. pp. 9. ) or even February 1943 (see: timelines.ws)
  5. ^ Galante, Pierre; Silianoff, Eugène; Silianoff, Eugene (1989). Voices from the bunker. New York, NY: G.P. Putnam's. pp. 12. ISBN 0-399-13404-2. 
  6. ^ Dekkers, Midas; Vincent, Paul (2000). Dearest Pet: On Bestiality. Verso. pp. 171. ISBN 1-85984-310-7. 
  7. ^ Eberle, Henrik; Uhl, Matthias; MacDonogh, Giles (2000). The Hitler Book: The Secret Dossier Prepared for Stalin from the Interrogations of Hitler's Personal Aides. PublicAffairs. pp. 188. ISBN 978-1-58648-456-9. 
  8. ^ Brush, Karen A. (207). Everything Your Dog Expects You to Know. New Holland Publishers Ltd. pp. 108. ISBN 1-84537-954-3. 
  9. ^ a b abbyk9.blogspot.com (Distant Relatives)
  10. ^ Bullock, A. Hitler: A Study in Tyranny (Penguin Books 1962), 785.
  11. ^ Kohler, Joachim; Taylor, Ronald K. (2001). Wagner's Hitler: The Prophet and His Disciple. Polity Press. pp. 19. ISBN 0-7456-2710-2. 
  12. ^ Nerin E. Gun (1969). Eva Braun: Hitler's mistress. Meredith Press. pp. 241, 246. ISBN 0-7456-2710-2. 
  13. ^ thirdreichruins.com
  14. ^ Junge, Traudl, Until the Final Hour, 2002, ISBN 0-297-84720-1 Consulted on July 9, 2009.
  15. ^ Traudl Junge: Bis zur letzten Stunde. Hitlers Sekretärin erzählt ihr Leben. Claassen, Düsseldorf 2001, ISBN 3-546-00311 (Biography of Hitler's secretary Traudl Junge)
  16. ^ Goebbels' Diary, 30 May 1942: " He [Hitler] has bought himself a young German Shepherd dog called “Blondi” which is the apple of his eye. It was touching listening to him say that he enjoyed walking with this dog so much, because only with it could he be sure that [his companion] would not start talking about the war or politics. One notices time and time again that the Fuhrer is slowly but surely becoming lonely. It is very touching to see him play with this young German Shepherd dog. The animal has grown so accustomed to him that it will hardly take a step without him. It is very nice to watch the Fuhrer with his dog. At the moment the dog is the only living thing that is constantly with him. At night it sleeps at the foot of his bed, it is allowed into his sleeping compartment in the special train and enjoys a number of privileges….that no human would ever dare to claim. He bought the dog from a minor official in the post office in Ingolstadt."
  17. ^ Irving, David John Cawdell (1977). Hitler's war. New York: Viking Press. pp. 328. ISBN 0-670-37412-1. 
  18. ^ Ian Kershaw (1998). Hitler 1889-1936: Hubris. Penguin Press. ISBN 0-393-320359. 
  19. ^ Giblin, James; Payne, Robert (2000). The life and death of Adolf Hitler. New York, Praeger [1973]. pp. 20. ISBN 0-395-90371-8. 
  20. ^ Beevor, Anthony (2004). Berlin: The Downfall 1945. Viking Books. p. 357. ISBN 978-0670886951. 
  21. ^ Baldur von Schirach (1967). Ich glaubte an Hitler. Mosaik Verlag. pp. 106. 
  22. ^ Tröhler, Ulrich and Maehle, 1987 in Andreas-Holger in Rothfel, Nigel. Representing Animals. University of Indiana Press, p. 29.
  23. ^ Compare Heinrich Himmler in the 1943 Posen Speech (Translation of the German Original): Whether 10,000 Russian females fall down from exhaustion while digging an anti-tank ditch interests me only in so far as the anti-tank ditch for Germany is finished. (...) We Germans, who are the only people in the world who have a decent attitude towards animals, will also assume a decent attitude towards these human animals. But it is a crime against our own blood to worry about them and give them ideals
  24. ^ Boria Sax. Animals in the Third Reich: Pets, Scapegoats, and the Holocaust. Foreword by Klaus P. Fischer. New York and London: Continuum, 2000. ISBN 978-0-8264-1289-8.
  25. ^ O'Donnell, James (1978). The bunker: the history of the Reich Chancellery group. Boston: Houghton Mifflin. pp. 166. ISBN 0-395-25719-0. 
  26. ^ The Hitler Book: The Secret Dossier Prepared For Stalin From The Interrogations of Hitler's Personal Aides, Edited by Henrik Eberle and Matthias Uhl and translated by Giles MacDonogh, Public Affairs, 2005, ISBN 1586483668.
  27. ^ Harding, Luke. "Hitler's nurse breaks 60 years of silence", The Guardian, May 2, 2005.
  28. ^ The Russians exhumed two dogs - Blondi and one of her puppies (probably Wolf). According to the autopsy, both dogs were shot and Blondi was killed by poison. Apparently Wolf did not want to swallow the capsule and was shot[citation needed]. The other puppies were probably shot by Fritz Tornow outside the bunker (see Bezymenskiĭ, Bezymenskiĭ (1968). The death of Adolf Hitler: unknown documents from Soviet archives. Harcourt, Brace & World. pp. 43. ). Some sources say that Wolf was killed with the other puppies in the Chancellery garden (see Moorhouse, Roger (2007). Killing Hitler: The Plots, The Assassins, and the Dictator Who Cheated Death. Bantam. pp. 323. ISBN 0-553-38255-1. ).
  29. ^ Tony le Tissier. Berlin Then and Now. After the Battle, 1992.
  30. ^ Lehmann, Armin Dieter; Carroll, Tim M. (2005). In Hitler's Bunker: A Boy Soldier's Eyewitness Account of the Fuhrer's Last Days. The Lyons Press. pp. 169. ISBN 1-59228-578-3. 







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