Blondi (1941 – 29 April 1945) was Adolf Hitler’s German Shepherd dog, given to him as a gift in 1941 by Martin Bormann. Blondi stayed with Hitler even after his move into the Führerbunker located underneath the garden of the Reichs Chancellery on 16-01-1945. In March or in early April, she had a litter of five puppies with Gerdy Troost German Shepherd, Harras. Hitler named one of the puppies “Wulf”,
his favorite nickname and the meaning of his own first name, Adolf (Noble wolf) and he began to train her. One of Blondi’s puppies was reserved for Eva Braun’s sister Gretl , and Eva sent Gretl a letter containing a photo of Blondi and three of her puppies, Gretl’s being indicated with an arrow.
Hitler was reportedly very fond of Blondi, keeping her by his side and allowing her to sleep in his bedroom in the bunker. This affection was not shared by Eva Braun, Hitler’s companion (and later his wife), who preferred her two Scottish Terrier dogs named Negus and Stasi (or Katuschka). According to Hitler’s youngest secretary Traudl Junge, from Munich Eva hated Blondi and was known to kick her under the dining table.
In May 1942, Hitler bought another young German Shepherd “from a minor official in the post office in Ingolstadt to keep Blondi company. He called her Bella.
During his military service in World War I, Hitler had great affection for a stray white Fox Terrier named “Fuchsl” and was distraught when he lost him. He had been given a German Shepherd before named “Prinz” in 1921, during his years of poverty, but he had been forced to lodge the dog elsewhere. However, she managed to escape and return to him. Hitler, who adored the loyalty and obedience of the dog, thereafter developed a great liking for the breed. He also owned a German Shepherd called “Muckl”.
Before Blondi, Hitler had two German Shepherd dogs, a mother [born 1926] and daughter [born ca. 1930] – both named Blonda. In some photos taken during the 1930s the younger Blonda is incorrectly labeled as Blondi (in most cases photograph descriptions were written later).
Blondi played a role in Nazi propaganda by portraying Hitler as an animal lover. Dogs like Blondi were coveted as “germanischer Urhund”, being close to the wolf, and became very fashionable during the Third Reich.
During the course of April 29, 1945, Hitler learned of the death of his ally Benito Mussolini, who had been executed by Italian partisans. This, along with the fact the Soviet Army was closing in on his location, led Hitler to strengthen his resolve not to allow himself or his wife to be captured. That afternoon, Hitler expressed doubts about the cyanide capsules he had received through Heinrich Himmler’s SS. To verify the capsules’ potency, Hitler ordered Dr. Werner Haase to test them on his dog Blondi, and the dog died as a result. Hitler became completely inconsolable. Dr. Haase died in the Russian prison camp Butyrka in Moscow, age 50 on 30-11-1950.
According to a report commissioned by Joseph Stalin and based on eye-witness accounts, Hitler’s dog-handler, Feldwebel Fritz Tornow
, took Blondi’s pups and shot them in the garden of the bunker complex on April 30, after Hitler and Eva Braun committed suicide. He also killed Eva Braun’s two dogs, Hitler’s secretary, Frau Gerda Christian’s dogs and his own dachshund. Tornow was later captured by the Allies. Hitler’s nurse, Erna Flegel said in 2005 that Blondi’s death had affected the people in the bunker more than Eva Braun’s suicide. Erna Flegel died old age 94 on 16-02-2006 in Mollin. After the battle of Berlin ended, the remains of Hitler, Braun, and two dogs (thought to be Blondi and her offspring Wulf) were discovered in a shell crater by a unit of Smersh, the Soviet counter-intelligence agency. The dog thought to be Blondi was exhumed and photographed by the Soviets.