The Shmooze

Hitler-Mocking Dog Makes Nazis Angry

By Michael Kaminer

  • Print
  • Share Share

The Forward recently reported on the heroic exploits of Wojtek, the Nazi-fighting Polish bear. Now comes belated news of another animal who antagonized the Germans in World War II.

Jackie, a mutt belonging to Finnish pharmaceutical tycoon Tor Burg, was trained to imitate Hitler by his Nazi-hating owners, according to newly released documents cited by the Associated Press. The Nazi regime was so angry about Jackie “that it started an obsessive campaign” against Burg and his German born-wife, AP reports. In the middle of the war, the Foreign Office in Berlin commanded its diplomats in the Nazi-friendly Finland to gather evidence on the dog, and even devised plans to destroy Burg’s pharmaceutical wholesale company, the article explains.

Researchers at the German Foreign Office uncovered a cache of documents and diplomatic cables concerning Jackie, according to the BBC. In one exchange, dated January 29, 1941, German Vice Consul Willy Erkelenz in Helsinki wrote that “a witness, who does not want to be named, said he saw and heard how Borg’s dog reacted to the command ‘Hitler’ by raising its paw,” the BBC reports. Borg was interrogated by the Germans on suspicion of insulting Hitler; he denied ever calling the dog by the German dictator’s name, says the AP, but admitted that his wife called the dog Hitler. The Finnish merchant ensured the Nazi diplomats that he never did anything “that could be seen as an insult against the German Reich,” according to AP. The diplomats in Helsinki wrote back to Berlin that “Borg, even though he claims otherwise, is not telling the truth.” L’affaire Jackie took on epic proportions, according to the BBC, with documents flying between the Foreign Office, the Economy Ministry, the Chancellory of the Nazi government and German diplomats in then Nazi-friendly Finland.

In March 1941, says the BBC, the German Chancellory decided that “considering that the circumstances could not be solved completely, it is not necessary to press charges” against the Borgs. It was unclear whether Adolf Hitler had been involved in the saga himself.


Permalink | | Share | Email | Print | Filed under: Dog, German Foreign Office, Hitler, Nazi, Tor Burg

The Jewish Daily Forward welcomes reader comments in order to promote thoughtful discussion on issues of importance to the Jewish community. In the interest of maintaining a civil forum, The Jewish Daily Forwardrequires that all commenters be appropriately respectful toward our writers, other commenters and the subjects of the articles. Vigorous debate and reasoned critique are welcome; name-calling and personal invective are not. While we generally do not seek to edit or actively moderate comments, our spam filter prevents most links and certain key words from being posted and The Jewish Daily Forward reserves the right to remove comments for any reason.




Find us on Facebook!
  • Clueless parenting advice from the star of "Clueless."
  • Why won't the city give an answer?
  • BREAKING NEWS: Israel has officially suspended peace talks with the Palestinians.
  • Can you guess what the most boring job in the army is?
  • What the foolish rabbi of Chelm teaches us about Israel and the Palestinian unity deal:
  • Mazel tov to Idina Menzel on making Variety "Power of Women" cover! http://jd.fo/f3Mms
  • "How much should I expect him and/or ask him to participate? Is it enough to have one parent reciting the prayers and observing the holidays?" What do you think?
  • New York and Montreal have been at odds for far too long. Stop the bagel wars, sign our bagel peace treaty!
  • Really, can you blame them?
  • “How I Stopped Hating Women of the Wall and Started Talking to My Mother.” Will you see it?
  • Taglit-Birthright Israel is redefining who they consider "Jewish" after a 17% drop in registration from 2011-2013. Is the "propaganda tag" keeping young people away?
  • Happy birthday William Shakespeare! Turns out, the Bard knew quite a bit about Jews.
  • Would you get to know racists on a first-name basis if you thought it might help you prevent them from going on rampages, like the recent shooting in Kansas City?
  • "You wouldn’t send someone for a math test without teaching them math." Why is sex ed still so taboo among religious Jews?
  • Russia's playing the "Jew card"...again.
  • from-cache

Would you like to receive updates about new stories?




















We will not share your e-mail address or other personal information.

Already subscribed? Manage your subscription.