It is not just a movie plot. As bizarre as its sounds, it really did happen in reality. German dictator Adolf Hitler had really commissioned Nazi scientists to train an army of talking dogs during WWII, according to a doctor, author and lecturer at Cardiff University Dr. Jan Bondeson.
As Dr. Bondeson wrote in his book, these Nazi scientists made an effort to develop a “secret army of talking dogs” that had the abilities of reading, writing and talking, following the instructions of Nazi Germany’s notorious Fuehrer.
The Nazis were known to probe every possible avenue there was just to win WWII but the activities involving the Tier-Sprechschule, perhaps, were the most unusual, Dr. Bondeson believes.
The so-called “talking dogs” of Adolf Hitler were gathered from all over Germany and sent to the Animal Speech School in Leutenberg, a city located northeast of Hanover, to be trained.
These band of “talking dogs” included Rolf, an Airedale terrier which, according to reports, had the ability to spell through tapping his paw on a board; each letter of the alphabet corresponded to the number of taps the dog made.
It was even claimed that Rolf had “talked” about religion, had a penchant for learning foreign languages, had composed poems and had once inquired this question to a visiting noblewoman – “Can you wag your tail?”
Still another well-known dog from this secret “talking dogs” army was a German pointer called Don. Don amazed his handlers when he mimicked a human voice to say this command in German – “Hungry! Give me cakes.”
But the greatest Nazi dog from among these “talking dogs” band trained by Hitler’s henchmen might have been the hound which barked “Mein Führer (My Leader)” every time it was asked who Adolf Hitler was.
Dr. Bondeson, who also authored other history books, pointed out that the Nazis viewed dogs as creatures which were almost in par with the intelligence possessed by human beings and believed that the only factor preventing the former from acting as equal to the latter were physical limitations.
“In the 1920s, Germany had numerous ‘new animal psychologists’ who believed dogs were nearly as intelligent as humans, and capable of abstract thinking and communication,” Dr Bondeson said in an interview with The London Times.
“When the Nazi Party took over, one might have thought they would be building concentration camps to lock these fanatics up, but instead they were actually very interested in their ideas. Part of the Nazi philosophy was that there was a strong bond between humans and nature – they believed a good Nazi should be an animal friend,” he added.
In fact, as Dr. Bondeson revealed, when the Nazis started to incarcerate the Jews, angry Germans flooded newspapers with their ceaseless impassioned letters inquiring about the pets the Jews left behind and what happened to them; they had no mercy to these “inferior” humans but thought a lot about the welfare of their pets.
The Führer of the Third Reich Adolf Hitler had been a dog owner himself; pictures of him with Bella and Blondi showed he was a very much the dog lover. He killed his German Shepherd Blondi moments before he committed suicide in his bunker April 1945.
On the other hand, Dr. Bondeson’s book, Amazing Dogs: A Cabinet of Canine Curiosities, also includes sections talking about performing dogs, travelling dogs, holy dogs and those which showed exceptional loyalty to their owners.