Blondi: Hitler's Dog

Blondi was not a war dog, but she was a famous dog during the Second World War. She belonged to Adolf Hitler, Germany's most nefarious leader.

Hitler and Blondi

Adolf Hitler, the leader of the Nazi Party who allowed millions of people to suffer and die inhumanely, loved dogs - with the exception of boxers and lap dogs of any variety. Hitler had many dogs during his life but his favorite (the one historians most often mention) was Blondi, a female German shepherd who was given to him as a gift in 1941 by a top aide who wanted to please his Fuehrer.

Hitler became devoted to Blondi. She had her own caretaker, an Army sergeant dog handler, who attended to her full-time. Unlike many regular dogs during that time period who lived in outdoor kennels, Blondi was allowed indoors. She had her own special wooden box in Hitler's room and often slept at the foot of her master's bed. She was even allowed inside the sleeping compartment of Hitler's special train when they traveled together. Blondi went almost everywhere Hitler went - to his various military headquarters, the government Chancellery in Berlin, and his mountain villa.

Blondi was taught many tricks. She could fetch, beg, jump through hoops, climb a stepladder, clear a six-foot fence and even sing for guests on special occasions. During military crises, Hitler would take breaks between conferences to spend time with Blondi. He would walk her and have her perform her tricks. The Generals, who often accompanied Hitler during these times, noticed if Blondi performed well, Hitler mellowed and sometimes took their advice. If Blondi did not perform well, the Fuehrer was hard to deal with. According to one officer, "I sometimes had the impression that the outcome of the Russian campaign depended more upon Blondi than the German general staff."

In 1945, as the Russians closed in on Berlin, Hitler took up residence in the heavily reinforced underground shelter beneath the Chancellery garden. Blondi lived inside the bunker with Hitler, his staff and his longtime companion (later wife) Eva Braun. Blondi, who had given birth to five puppies, stayed in Hitler's bedroom and had free run of one of the bunker's bathrooms, which was nicknamed the "Hundebunker" (the dog bunker). Hitler was particularly fond of one pup named Wolf. Only Hitler was allowed to touch Wolf, and he was often seen carrying and caressing the small dog during his last days in the bunker.

In April 1945, Hitler knew he would not win the war. He had a morbid fear of being captured alive by the Russians and knew his only way out of this difficult situation was to take his own life. He intended to use cyanide - biting on a small glass ampule, releasing the poison in his system. Hitler became paranoid, and feared the capsule given to him would contain a knockout drug instead of cyanide, delivering him unconscious but alive to the Russians instead of killing him. He decided to have the cyanide capsule tested and chose Blondi for the test. On April 29 (April 30 according to some sources), Blondi died from cyanide poisoning. The following day, Hitler and Eva Braun committed suicide. Hitler shot himself in the head and Eva used the cyanide capsule. After their deaths, Blondi's puppies were reportedly shot to death by Hitler's dog handler.

One source says Hitler planned to release Blondi out in to the streets instead of having her killed but he worried the Russians would take her or she would be eaten as the Germans were starving for food. It is said Hitler was inconsolable after Blondi's death, and later, when Russian troops searched the area, Blondi's body and one of her puppy's body (believed to be Wolf) were found lying next to Hitler's body.