In his new book “Amazing Dogs: A Cabinet of Canine Curiosities”, Jan Bondeson, a historian at the University of Cardiff, tells the story of the Nazi’s failed attempt to form an army of dogs able to read, write and speak.
In the 1920s, in Germany there were people who said that some dogs are almost as smart as men, endowed with abstract thinking and ability to communicate. After the Nazi party took power, its members showed great interest in dogs’ intelligence.
According to the book, the sustainers of these ideas imagined a day when the dogs could be used alongside German troops and could release SS officers from concentration camps. That is why, in order to exploit the full potential of the canine, Hitler established Tier-Sprechschule (a school for talking animals), which recruited dogs throughout the country.
Apparently, teachers of this school made amazing discoveries. An Airedale terrier named Rolf became famous after teachers said that he is able to indicate the letters of the alphabet by repeated beatings on a board (each point represented a certain number of beats).
Two other dogs are said to have been able to produce a barking that was similar to the human voice, one of them being able to say that Hitler was “Mein Fuhrer” and the other said “Hungry! Give me cakes!”
The Nazis believed that there is a strong link between man and nature, and their love for animals was somehow taken to the extreme: when the Jews were taken and held in camps, many Germans sent letters to newspapers across the country asking what will happen with the pets left behind.
Hitler was an animal lover, owner of two German shepherd: Bella and Blondi. The Fuhrer shot Blondi shortly before he committed suicide.