Thursday, 9 August 2007

Der Untergang


A discovery of hundreds of Hitler’s gramophone records in the attic of a former Soviet intelligence officer who died earlier this summer sheds new light on the Nazi leader’s musical tastes. His favourite records and most scratched from frequent playing were: Beethoven Piano Sonatas Opus 78 and 90, Wagner’s Ouverture to the Flying Dutchman, Mussorgsky Boris Godunov, Tchaikovsky’s Violin Concerto and Mozart Piano Sonata n°8. It is astonishing to find Russian music in his collection. He dismissed Russians as “Untermenschen” and was contemptuous of their contribution to world culture. Most astonishing is the presence of Jewish performers. This is rather perverse. There he was listening to music performed by relatives and blood-brothers of the Jews whom he was daily sending to their deaths. The evidence that he was a music connoisseur does not make him a less hateful person. This brings me to the story of his beloved dog, Blondie, a German Shepherd. Shortly before her death, Traudl Junge, his private secretary revealed Hitler’s pride and affection for Blondie. Hitler bragged on the tricks she could perform and kept her by his side most of the time. She even slept in his bedroom in the Berlin bunker. Then, as the Russians closed in, Hitler fed Blondie cyanide. He killed her not to spare her from any of the ravages which might follow defeat, not to spare her from hunger or deprivation or disease. Rather, he had begun to suspect that the cyanide Himmler had supplied for his own suicide might be fake. So the Führer killed his dog to make sure that his supply of suicide tablets would work when the time came. Traudl Junge claims that Eva Braun was jealous of Blondie. She hated her and sometimes kicked her.

9 comments:

Flowerpot said...

Did you see that film recently of Hitler? I remember well that terrible time when he poisoned the dog. But it wasn't clear why. Dear god..

Flowerpot said...

PS, I heard a snippet on Radio 4 yesterday (9.45am slot I think)about Freud and his dogs - did you catch that? He had a succession of chows that he was devoted to. (It'll be on Listen Again if you have that facility.)

Mopsa said...

Well, this is no summer filler piece - terrifyingly substantial. What a heap of evil contradictions he was.

Rebecca Taunton said...

How terribly ironic. It is astonishing and hypocritical to his evil political beliefs. And to try out his cyanide on an innocent creature (one who he held dear) can only show what a twisted character he was.

RT

Winchester whisperer said...

Who was more jealous of whom: Eva of Blondie or Traudl of Eva?

Welshcakes Limoncello said...

The fact that he could listen to works of such beauty and then do such dreadful things makes him all the more frightening a character, I think. How could he do that to his own dog? Shuddering.

jmb said...

This story just reinforces our opinion of this horrific man. A cyanide death is extremely awful and an innocent dog who was devoted to him.
A happy story next time Eurodog? A hero dog story perhaps?
regards
jmb

Eurodog said...

Yes, jmb, you are right a string of happy dog stories will do us a world of good. I am looking into it.
Regards
ED

Steve G said...

History can be an exciting trip to take or it can be a nightmare. This post was honest and interesting, but a historical trip better left for sunny days.