Most of us know at least a little about the Führer's four legged friends, but I thought that it might be interesting to some, to write a little about this particular "wolf pack" within the Nazi leader's inner circle...
The famous terrier, Fuchsl, who was Hitler's WWI companion, probably started it all off for young Adolf, who quickly grew attached to his faithful four legged companions. A few years after WWI, a German Shepherd named Prinz, became Hitler's companion in 1921. Due to a lack of funds, Hitler was forced to give away Prinz, but the dog ran away from his new owner and found his way back to his former master. An event that helped strengthen Hitler's appreciation for loyalty no doubt! He later also owned another German Shepherd called Muckl.
Before the famous Blondi, Hitler owned two German Shepherd bitches, both called Blonda. The original Blonda was born in 1926, and was the mother of the second Blonda, who was born during 1930.
Blondi was given to Hitler by Martin Bormann, as a gift during 1941. In May of 1942, Hitler bought Bella, a German Shepherd bitch from Ingolstadt, as company for Blondi. Perhaps he knew that busier times were ahead, and didn't want the dog to feel lonely or neglected...
Eva Braun, herself a dog lover, was not keen on Blondi at all. According to Traudl Junge, Hitler's secretary, Eva used to secretly kick Blondi under the dinner table, whenever Hitler wasn't paying attention. On more than one occasion, Junge remembered how following a yelp from Blondi, Hitler would cast a suspicious glance towards Eva, but nothing was ever said publicly, or at least, not in front of Traudl Junge. Eva prefered the company of her two Scottish Terriers, Negus and Stasi (also known as Katuschka). These little dust shufflers seemed to annoy Hitler though, he preferring a "real" dog, such as a German Shepherd.
In the spring of 1945, Blondi had a litter of five pups, fathered by Gerdy Troost's German Shepherd, Harras. Hitler named one pup Wolf, his favourite nickname, and despite the rapid collapse of his Thousand Year Reich, still found time to begin personally training her. One of the pups was reserved for Gretl Braun, Eva's sister. Gretl received a letter and accompanying photograph of the pups, with her pup indicated, from Eva shortly before the final days of the Third Reich.
During the last days of the Nazi regime, the bizarre scenario played out with most of the key Nazi figures choosing to either go down with the ship, or run away and hide. There was no running away by the dogs though, as Blondi and her pups entered the Führerbunker, along with their master. A guard's room was even altered and became known as the Hundbunker. One witness stated that earlier in the war, they saw Hitler holding Blondi's face close to his own, and gazing into her eyes he said "Sometimes Blondi, I think that you are the only one that I can trust." When the final moments came for Hitler's beloved dog, the man was but a broken shell of his former self, and following the death of Blondi, due to cyanide capsules administered by Dr.Werner Haase, Hitler was reportedly totally inconsolable. Eye witnesses have stated that following the joint suicide of Adolf Hitler and his wife Eva, Feldwebel Fritz Tornow, Hitler's dog handler, took Blondi's pups outside to the garden above the Führerbunker, and shot them. Tornow was also said to have killed Eva's two Scottish Terriers, along with his own dachshund.
Below are a few images of Hitler, along with his faithful companion. (Note the swastika on the wicker chair, a nice touch.)