New documents: Hitler-mocking dog enraged Nazis
from Yahoo via the Associated Press
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BERLIN – Newly discovered documents have revealed a bizarre footnote to the history of the Second World War: a Finnish mutt whose imitation of the Hitler salute enraged the Nazis so deeply that they started an obsessive campaign against the dog's owner.
Absurdly, a totalitarian state that dominated most of Europe was unable to do much about Jackie and his paw-raising parody of Germany's Fuehrer.
In the middle of World War II — months before Hitler ordered some 4.5 million troops to invade the Soviet Union — the Foreign Office in Berlin commanded its diplomats in the Nazi-friendly Nordic country to gather evidence on the dog, and even came up with plans to destroy the pharmaceutical wholesale company of its owner.
Historians had not been aware of the episode before some 30 files containing parts of the correspondence and diplomatic cables were recently found by a researcher at the political archives of the German Foreign Office.
Klaus Hillenbrand, an expert who has written several books on the Nazi period, was contacted by the historian and examined all of the documents for an article to be published Saturday in daily newspaper Die Tageszeitung.
In an interview with The Associated Press, Hillenbrand called the entire episode "completely bizarre."
"Just months before the Nazis launched their attack on the Soviet Union, they had nothing better to do than to obsess about this dog," Hillenbrand said.
See also: Cats that Look Like Hitler