10 January 2011

Hitler and Jackie...

I have always loved history. Perhaps my fascination in historical research is with the idea that you might uncover something in your travels through the treasure troves of history that no one else has seen for years, decades or centuries. Sometimes those "discoveries" might be enlightening and other times they might end up being nothing more than a question on a Trivial Pursuit card.

One such piece of history relates to recently uncovered documents that highlight the Nazis fascination with a Finnish dog, Jackie (a Dalmation cross), owned by Tor Borg. It would seem that Jackie had an unusual talent of being able to mock the Fuehrer. Whenever Jackie heard the word Hitler his paw would raise in the fashion of a German doing the Heil Hitler salute.

What makes this truly bizarre is that the incident resulted in significant diplomatic traffic between Helsinki and Berlin as to how best to deal with the insult. The plan was to haul Borg in for questioning and destroy his pharmaceutical business. However, as the cables show, Borg denied the accusations, although he did admit that his wife called the dog, Hitler.

Luckily, for Borg, no witnesses could be found that were willing to testify that Borg had trained Jackie to perform the salute. So, the case faltered and never went to trial. Borg continued on his merry way and remained a successful business man with his Tamro Group until his death. Jackie led a full life and died of natural causes.

Apparently, to date, there is nothing in the documents to suggest that Hitler himself was aware of the saluting dog, but considering the documents were passed through his office it is likely that the Fuehrer may have known that he was being mocked by a dog. I would reckon the Nazis would have been besides themselves if the Downfall parody videos had been around during World War Two. To be honest, you would have thought that the Nazis would have had more important things to contemplate than a dog with a penchant for a salute considering they were fighting a war on two fronts.

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