16 August 2011

Der Woofen SS?

While perfidious Albion was ploting to give Der Fuhrer a nice pair of jehoobies Hitler had his own war winning strategies.

According to a book titled "Amazing Dogs: A Cabinet of Canine Curiosities," Nazi specialists attempted to train a fleet of "intelligent" dogs to read, write and speak.

The research comes from Cardiff University associate professor Dr. Jan Bondeson, who found that the Nazis collected pups from across Germany and put them through intense training during the 1930s at the Tier-Sprechschule ASRA (School for Dog-Human Communication) in the town of Leutenberg.

"The Nazis were sentimental enthusiasts who were really fond of animals and liked the idea that dogs were intelligent and could communicate with people," Bondeson said.

Under trainer Margarethe Schmitt's direction, the institute trained dogs such as Rolf the Airedale terrier, who was said to be able to discuss religion, contemplate complex mathematics and communicate with humans by tapping out an alphabet code using his paw.

Another dog, Kurwenal, supposedly cracked jokes like a comedian and was a symbol of the educated canines of Germany.

But Hitler's presumable pick of the litter was a pooch named Don, who apparently barked "Mein Fuhrer" when asked who Adolf Hitler was.

Apparently the Germans seem to have had hopes that the superior dogs would eventually communicate with their SS masters and act as the ultimate guard dogs.

"Why would the Nazis allow such a bizarre project to continue in a country ravaged by war unless they had an interest in studying dog-human communication?" Bondeson asks.

Perversely the Nazis had strong feelings about animal rights. Some Nazis even wrote letters to local authorities about the pets that were being left behind when the military began forcing Jews into concentration camps.

"When the Jews were deported from certain German cities, nobody bothered about them, they said 'good riddance,'" Bondeson said. "But as for their pets, people thought, 'Well, they can't bring those with them to the concentration camps, surely we must do something. It's a completely forgotten aspect: A good Nazi was a friend to animals."

This story is rather old but I do love the far-fetched nonsense that governments will entertain in wartime. I daresay that deep down in the files there were plans to counter the intelligent uberhunds with a battalion of giant mutant bulldogs that spat explosive bumblebees….


susan said...

Considering the evidence they used astrological forecasts to plan battles and pendulums to locate allied battleships among other weirdnesses I'm not in the least surprised about the dogs. Maybe Hitler misunderstood the phrase 'dogs of war'.

SnoopyTheGoon said...

I wonder did the ruling group of Nazis sire some of the wunder-dogs?

jams o donnell said...

They were a bat shit bunch Susan.

I wouldn't put it past them Snoopy