Friday, January 07, 2011

Finnish "Hitler dog" became Nazi obsession

In addition to their other faults, the Nazis were apparently rather thin-skinned:

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.

HT: Mad Latinist via Facebook.

You'd think they would have had more important things to think about. But I guess that's what totalitarianism is: the inability to let anything slide. Eventually, they did drop the matter, but it did seem to take up some bandwidth in some pretty important ministries at a pretty critical time. Maybe, in some small way, that dog helped win the war.

PS: I have no idea why that AP story includes a bunch of links to itself. Rather tautological. They seem to be automatically generated, and if you hover over them in the Yahoo version of the story they generate some other links to versions of the same story. It seems to me that many news organizations don't know how to make hyperlinks useful.

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