Blondi

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Blondi
Bundesarchiv B 145 Bild-F051673-0059, Adolf Hitler und Blondi auf dem Berghof.jpg
Adolf Hitler holding Blondi on a leash.
Species Canis lupus familiaris
Breed German Shepherd
Sex Female
Born 1941
Died 29 April 1945(1945-04-29)
Nation from Germany
Owner Adolf Hitler and family
Offspring Wulf and four other pups

Blondi (1941 – 29 April 1945)[Note 1][1] was Adolf Hitler's German Shepherd, a gift as a puppy[2][3] from Martin Bormann in 1941. Blondi stayed with Hitler even after his move into the Führerbunker located underneath the garden of the Reich Chancellery on 16 January 1945.[4]

Hitler was reportedly very fond of Blondi, keeping her by his side and allowing her to sleep in his bed in the bunker. According to Hitler's secretary Traudl Junge, this affection was not shared by Eva Braun, Hitler's companion (and later his wife), who preferred her two Scottish Terrier dogs named Negus and Stasi.

Blondi played a role in Nazi propaganda by portraying Hitler as an animal lover. Dogs like Blondi were coveted as "germanischer Urhunde", being close to the wolf, and became very fashionable during the Nazi era.[5] On 29 April 1945, Hitler expressed doubts about the cyanide capsules he had received through Heinrich Himmler's SS.[6] To verify the capsules' potency, Hitler ordered Dr. Werner Haase to test one on Blondi, who died as a result.[7] According to Albert Speer, Hitler killed Blondi because he feared that the Russians would capture and torture her after overrunning the bunker.[8]

Blondi's puppies[edit]

In March[9][10] or in early April[11][12] (likely 4 April)[13] 1945, she had a litter of five puppies with Gerdy Troost's German Shepherd, Harras. Hitler named one of the puppies "Wulf", his favorite nickname and the meaning of his own first name, Adolf ("noble wolf").[14] and he began to train her.[15] One of Blondi's puppies was reserved for Eva Braun's sister Gretl. Eva sent Gretl a letter containing a photo of Blondi and three of her puppies, Gretl's being indicated with an arrow.[16]

Other dogs[edit]

During his military service in World War I, Hitler rescued a stray white Fox Terrier named "Fuchsl". Hitler had great affection for the dog, and, when he was not on duty at the front, he would spend much of his free time playing with the dog in the barracks. Hitler was profoundly distraught when he lost him.[17][18]

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, she 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.[19]

He also owned a German Shepherd called "Muckl".[20] Before Blondi, Hitler had two German Shepherd dogs, a mother [born 1926] and daughter [born ca. 1930] – both named Blonda. In some photos taken during the 1930s the younger Blonda is incorrectly labeled as Blondi[13] (in most cases photograph descriptions were written later).

In May 1942, Hitler bought another young German Shepherd "from a minor official in the post office in Ingolstadt"[21] to keep Blondi company. He called her Bella.[22] According to Traudl Junge, Eva Braun was very fond of her two Scottish Terrier dogs named Negus and Stasi. She usually kept them away from Blondi.[23]

Death of Blondi and other dogs[edit]

During the course of 29 April 1945, Hitler learned of the death of his ally Benito Mussolini at the hands of Italian partisans. This, along with the fact the Soviet Red Army was closing in on his location, strengthened Hitler in his resolve not to allow himself or his wife to be captured. That afternoon, Hitler expressed doubts about the cyanide capsules he had received through Heinrich Himmler's SS.[24] By this point, Hitler regarded Himmler as a traitor, and he had doubts about the content of the capsules. To verify the capsules' contents, Hitler—who already intended to have Blondi killed so that she did not fall into the hands of the Russians[25]—ordered Dr. Werner Haase to test one on Blondi, and the dog died as a result.[26] Hitler became completely inconsolable.[27]

According to a report commissioned by Joseph Stalin and based on eyewitness accounts, Hitler's dog-handler Feldwebel Fritz Tornow took Blondi's pups and shot them in the garden of the bunker complex on 30 April, after Hitler and Eva Braun committed suicide. He also killed Eva Braun's two dogs, Frau Gerda Christian's dogs, and his own dachshund. Tornow was later captured by the Allies.[28] 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.[29] After the battle in Berlin ended, the remains of Hitler, Braun, and two dogs (thought to be Blondi and her offspring Wulf) were discovered in a shell crater by a unit of SMERSH, the Soviet counter-intelligence agency.[30][31] The dog thought to be Blondi was exhumed and photographed by the Soviets.[32]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ Some sources incorrectly suggest 1934 as Blondi's date of birth. Eatwell, Roger (1995). Fascism: A History. Chatto & Windus. p. 152. 

References[edit]

  1. ^ Kershaw, Ian. Hitler: A Biography, W.W. Norton & Co. p. 252. ISBN 0-393-06757-2
  2. ^ Comfort, David (1994). The First Pet History of the World. New York: Simon & Schuster. p. 247. ISBN 0-671-89102-2. 
  3. ^ some sources suggest the Summer of 1942 (see: Wires, Richard (1985). Terminology of the Third Reich. Ball State University. p. 9. ) or even February 1943 (see: timelines.ws Archived 14 November 2009 at the Wayback Machine.)
  4. ^ Beevor, Antony (2002). Berlin: The Downfall 1945. Viking-Penguin Books. p. 139. ISBN 978-0-670-03041-5. 
  5. ^ Sax, Boria (2000). Animals in the Third Reich: Pets, Scapegoats, and the Holocaust. Foreword by Klaus P. Fischer. New York and London: Continuum. ISBN 978-0-8264-1289-8.
  6. ^ Kershaw, Ian (2008). Hitler: A Biography, W.W. Norton & Co. pp. 951–952.
  7. ^ Kershaw, Ian. Hitler: A Biography, W.W. Norton & Co. p. 952.
  8. ^ Gitta Sereny, Albert Speer: His Battle with the Truth, p. 528.
  9. ^ Galante, Pierre; Silianoff, Eugène; Silianoff, Eugene (1989). Voices from the Bunker. New York, NY: G.P. Putnam's. p. 12. ISBN 0-399-13404-2. 
  10. ^ Dekkers, Midas; Vincent, Paul (2000). Dearest Pet: On Bestiality. Verso. p. 171. ISBN 1-85984-310-7. 
  11. ^ Eberle, Henrik and Uhl, Matthias, ed. (2005). The Hitler Book: The Secret Dossier Prepared for Stalin, New York: PublicAffairs, p. 188. ISBN 1-58648-366-8
  12. ^ Brush, Karen A. (2007). Everything Your Dog Expects You to Know. New Holland Publishers Ltd. p. 108. ISBN 1-84537-954-3. 
  13. ^ a b "Distant Relatives". Abby K-9. March 2006. Archived from the original on 9 November 2007. 
  14. ^ Bullock, Alan (1962). Adolf Hitler: A Study in Tyranny, Penguin Books, p. 785.
  15. ^ Kohler, Joachim; Taylor, Ronald K. (2001). Wagner's Hitler: The Prophet and His Disciple. Polity Press. p. 19. ISBN 0-7456-2710-2. 
  16. ^ Gun, Nerin E. (1969). Eva Braun: Hitler's Mistress. Meredith Press. pp. 241, 246. ISBN 0-7456-2710-2. 
  17. ^ Kershaw, Ian (1998). Hitler 1889-1936: Hubris. Penguin Press. ISBN 0-393-320359. 
  18. ^ Giblin, James; Payne, Robert (2000). The Life and Death of Adolf Hitler. New York, Praeger [1973]. p. 20. ISBN 0-395-90371-8. 
  19. ^ Beevor, Antony (2002). Berlin: The Downfall 1945. Viking-Penguin Books. p. 357. ISBN 978-0-670-03041-5. 
  20. ^ von Schirach, Baldur (1967). Ich glaubte an Hitler. Mosaik Verlag. p. 106. 
  21. ^ 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 Führer 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 Führer 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."
  22. ^ Irving, David John Cawdell (1977). Hitler's war. New York: Viking Press. p. 328. ISBN 0-670-37412-1. 
  23. ^ Junge, Traudl (2003). Until the Final Hour: Hitler's Last Secretary. London: Weidenfeld & Nicolson. p. 77. ISBN 978-0-297-84720-5. 
  24. ^ Kershaw, Ian (2008). Hitler: A Biography, W.W. Norton & Co. pp. 951-953. ISBN 0-393-06757-2
  25. ^ Gitta Sereny, Albert Speer: His Battle with the Truth, p. 528
  26. ^ Kershaw, Ian (2008). Hitler: A Biography, W.W. Norton & Co. p. 952. ISBN 0-393-06757-2
  27. ^ O'Donnell, James (1978). The Bunker: The History of the Reich Chancellery Group. Boston: Houghton Mifflin. p. 166. ISBN 0-395-25719-0. 
  28. ^ Eberle, Henrik and Uhl, Matthias, ed. (2005). The Hitler Book: The Secret Dossier Prepared for Stalin, New York: PublicAffairs, p. 273. ISBN 1-58648-366-8
  29. ^ Harding, Luke. "Hitler's nurse breaks 60 years of silence", The Guardian, May 2, 2005.
  30. ^ Beevor, Antony (2002). Berlin: The Downfall 1945. Viking-Penguin Books. p. 399. ISBN 978-0670030415. 
  31. ^ According to the autopsy, both dogs were shot and Blondi was killed by poison. 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. p. 323. ISBN 0-553-38255-1. ).
  32. ^ Le Tissier, Tony (1992). Berlin Then and Now, After the Battle.

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