The Dog That Mocked Hitler - Printable Version

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The Dog That Mocked Hitler - jim armstroong - 01-23-2011



WW II Oddity (very obscure to most)


Hitler-Mocking Dog Enraged Nazis


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.


Finland cooperated with Nazi Germany but the relationship between

the two countries was strained.


Finland allowed the Nazis to take over the northern part of the

country after the Finns suffered heavy casualties and lost 10

percent of their territory to the Soviet Union in 1939-1940.


After an intense Soviet attack and heavy bombing of its territory,

including of the capital Helsinki, Finland made a pact with Germany

in 1944 that lasted two months. Finland then annulled the pact and

made a truce with Moscow that later led to a peace treaty with

the Soviet Union.


The dog, Jackie, was a mutt owned by Tor Borg, a businessman

from the Finnish city of Tampere. Borg's wife Josefine, a German

citizen known for her anti-Nazi sentiments, dubbed the dog Hitler

because of the strange way it raised its paw high in the air like

Germans greeting the Fuehrer with a cry of "Heil Hitler!"


On January 29, 1941, German Vice Consul Willy Erkelenz in Helsinki

wrote that "a witness, who does not want to be named, said ... he

saw and heard how Borg's dog reacted to the command 'Hitler' by

raising its paw."


Borg was ordered to the German embassy in Helsinki and questioned

about his dog's unusual greeting habits.


He denied ever calling the dog by the German dictator's name, but

admitted that his wife called the dog Hitler. He tried to play down

the accusations, saying the paw-raising had only happened a few

times in 1933 - shortly after Hitler came to power.


The Finnish merchant ensured the Nazi diplomats that he never

did anything "that could be seen as an insult against the

German Reich."


The zealous diplomats in Helsinki did not believe him and wrote back

to Berlin that "Borg, even though he claims otherwise, is not telling

the truth."


The different ministries that were involved in the dog scandal -

the Foreign Office, the Economy Ministry and even Hitler's

Chancellory - meticulously reported all their findings about

the canine.


The economy ministry announced that the German chemical

conglomerate IG Farben, which had supplied Borg's wholesale

trade with pharmaceuticals, offered to eliminate his company by

ending their cooperation with him.


Based on all this support, the Foreign Office was already looking for

ways to bring Borg to trial for insulting Hitler, but in the end, none

of the potential witnesses were willing to repeat their accusations

in front of a judge.


On March 21, 1941, the Foreign Office asked the Chancellory

whether to press charges against Borg and five days later they

answered that "considering that the circumstances could not be

solved completely, it is not necessary to press charges."


There's no evidence that Adolf Hitler was ever told of the case,

even if the case made it all the way to his chancellory,

Hillenbrand said.


Tor Borg died at 60 in 1959. A spokeswoman for Tamro Group,

Margit Nieminen, said the dog died a natural death, and Josefine

Borg passed away in 1971. Borg's company Tampereen Rohduskuppa

Oy eventually became Tamro Group, the leading wholesale company

for pharmaceuticals in the Nordic countries.


Nieminen told the AP that the company had not been aware of the

story surrounding Borg's dog until the recent archive discovery.






The Dog That Mocked Hitler - Walt's Daughter - 01-25-2011

OMG, somehow I CAN believe this. Talk about absurdity, stupidity and obsession. All I can say is woof!



The Dog That Mocked Hitler - Walt's Daughter - 01-25-2011

OMG, somehow I CAN believe this. Talk about absurdity, stupidity and obsession. All I can say is woof!