DATELINE: Animals as Pawns of Nazi Germany
Nazi Creatures, a recent documentary, may seem like a stretch on a topic of Nazi history—reaching the most banal and silly lengths. However, you would be foolish to ignore this examination of the psychology of those who believed in a “Master Race.” Its first application was breeding animals.
From the earliest Nazi actions, which included Hitler’s laws to protect horses and dogs, the brilliant propaganda moves of the Nazis brought together horse lovers and dog lovers to their side.
The United States even gave plaudits for this first Nazi law in 1933 to protect dumb animals. It was, however, a clever and snide way to attack Jews and their treatment of animals for “kosher” meats. Nothing was pure about vegetarian Hitler.
Dog parades might seem ridiculous as a means to create national spirit, but the Nazis were prolific breeders of the “German” shepherd: a dog that was aggressive and became a symbol of ferocious police action.
Indeed, Hitler felt to breed a better version of Doberman and sheepdog would be perfect to herd members of concentration camps whom he regarded as sub-human.
Hitler kidnapped all the pure-breed horses of Europe to his own reservations where they could be turned into a master race of animals; it was a precursor to breeding humans to a pure level.
Twisting the science of Darwin, the Nazis were proponents of animal hypocrisy: their Berlin zoo was a place to laud “Germanic” animals and create preserves and reservations for restoring the extinct species of aggressive cows as big as elephants.
Ultimately, you have more questions than the documentary raises about the twisted logic of Nazis (that wanted to save their pure-bred horses from the Russians who would use them for horse-meat to feed starving people). The Americans were more sympathetic to animals and fell for the propaganda.
This documentary raises issues about whether Hitler would ever leave his beloved dog, Blondi, if he were to escape the bunker. Instead, he experimented by killing the dog with cyanide. That’s the ultimate consideration of Nazi creatures.