Fritz Tornow

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Fritz Tornow
Born (1924-07-27) 27 July 1924 (age 93)
Occupation Dog handler of Adolf Hitler
Known for Killing Hitler's dogs

Fritz Tornow (27 July 1924) was a Feldwebel in the German Army who served as Adolf Hitler's personal dog-handler. He was one of the last people to occupy the Führerbunker when it was captured by Soviet Red Army troops.


Tornow had the task of taking care of Hitler's beloved German shepherd Blondi, as well as her puppies, and Eva Braun's dogs. Additionally, Tornow had his own pet dachshund.

During the last days of World War II, Tornow was one of the few remaining German personnel in the Führerbunker. During the course of 29 April 1945, Hitler learned of the death of his ally, Benito Mussolini, who had been publicly executed by Italian partisans. This, along with the fact the Soviet Red Army was closing in on his location, led Hitler to strengthen his resolve not to be captured alive. That afternoon, Hitler expressed doubts about the cyanide capsules he had received through Heinrich Himmler's SS.[1] To verify the capsules' potency, Hitler ordered Dr. Werner Haase to test them on his dog, Blondi. Tornow had to force the opening of the dog's mouth while Haase crushed a cyanide capsule in Blondi's mouth. Tornow became visibly upset by these events, more so when the dog died as a result.[2]

According to a report commissioned by Joseph Stalin and based on eyewitness accounts, Tornow was further upset when he was ordered to shoot Blondi's puppies. On 30 April, Tornow took each of the four puppies and shot them in the garden of the Reich Chancellery, outside the underground bunker complex, after Hitler and Eva Braun committed suicide together. He also killed Eva Braun's two dogs, Frau Gerda Christian's dogs, and his own dachshund.[3][4][5]

On 2 May 1945 the Soviet Red Army took control of the bunker complex. Tornow was among only five living occupants; the others were Dr. Werner Haase, nurses Erna Flegel and Liselotte Chervinska, and Johannes Hentschel. They all surrendered to the Soviet Army troops.[6]

Portrayal in the media[edit]


  1. ^ Kershaw 2008, pp. 951–953.
  2. ^ Kershaw 2008, p. 952.
  3. ^ Eberle & Uhl 2005, p. 273.
  4. ^ Lehmann & Carroll 2005, p. 169.
  5. ^ O'Donnell 1978, p. 166.
  6. ^ Vinogradov, Pogonyi & Teptzov 2005, p. 62.


  • Eberle, Henrik; Uhl, Matthias, eds. (2005). The Hitler Book: The Secret Dossier Prepared for Stalin. New York: PublicAffairs. ISBN 1-58648-366-8. 
  • 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. ISBN 1-59228-578-3. 
  • Kershaw, Ian (2008). Hitler: A Biography. New York: W. W. Norton & Company. ISBN 978-0-393-06757-6. 
  • O'Donnell, James (1978). The Bunker: The History of the Reich Chancellery Group. Boston: Houghton Mifflin. ISBN 0-395-25719-0. 
  • Vinogradov, V. K.; Pogonyi, J. F.; Teptzov, N. V., eds. (2005). Hitler's Death: Russia's Last Great Secret from the Files of the KGB. London: Chaucer Press. ISBN 978-1-904449-13-3.