The headlines this week reeked of déjà vu, reminiscent of previous confrontations and intifadas, as conditions on the ground in Gaza are becoming more and more similar to those that preceded the 2014 war.19:05 05.02.16 | 4 comments
Why did Nazis like dogs and vice versa? Because dogs are most submissive animals and Nazis were the prototype of what Horkheimer, Adorno and Fromm call the “authoritarian personality”. British anti-authoritarian educator A.S.Neill left a very sharp-sighted remark: “I’ve seen in 1935 how hundred thousand obedient, cringing dogs on Tempelhof Camp in Berlin wagged their tails when great trainer Hitler whistled his orders.” (Neill, A.S.: Antiautoritäre Erziehung. Reinbek 1969, p.110). Hiler’s Munich girl friend Maria Reiter relates how during a walk in the evening with her girl-friend and young Adolf, Hitler’s dog attacked the girls’ dog and nice dog-loving Adolf gave his dog a lesson on the spot, “whipping him like a madman”. His father Alois Hitler had practised the same kind of education whipping his dog “until he pissed on the floor”. His sons he used to educate in quite the same way, once to a degree he was afraid he had killed little Adolf. During his military service in German Reichswehr, Hitler spyed on comrades and transmitted his reports unter the code name “Wolf” (Schaake, Erich: Hitlers Frauen. Munich 2000, p.124) and later on, the Fuhrer liked to be called “Herr Wolf” within his inner circle, for instance by Goebbels’ children. Contrarily to dog-loving, dog-beating Nazis, Jews since antiquity were known for their non-conformity and non-submission. The Jews’ experience with obedient peoples were quite as bad as with dogs. Since in Eastern Europe peasants sometimes set their dogs upon Jewish peddlars, an old Jewish saying claimed that an apostate retains two characteristics: “He falls asleep Saturday after lunch and he’s afraid of dogs.” (Telushkin, Joseph: Jewish Humour, NY 1992, p.189). So once more: Nazist “love” for dogs had nothing to do with the fairy-tale of “Hitler’s vegetarianism”, as White-Sausage-eater and Stuffed-Pigeon-lover Hitler was not a vegetarian by any means, even if he renounced on meat for certain periods to reduce his embarrassing flatulence and body smell. (see Berry, Rynn: Hitler: Neither Vegetarian Nor Animal-Lover. New York 2004; Patterson, Charles: Für die Tiere ist jeden Tag Treblinka. Frankfurt/Main 2004). I admit I’m vegan, respect whatever animals, but don’t like dogs. However, Levinas’s story about the prisoner-respecting stray dog Bobby, this “last Kantian in Nazi Germany” is uplifting.