Hitler's talking dogs

Jan Bondeson, physician/author of such excellent weird books as A Cabinet of Medical Curiosities and Buried Alive: The Terrifying History of Our Most Primal Fear, has gone to the dogs. His new book is Amazing Dogs: A Cabinet of Canine Curiosities, in which among other strange truths Bondeson recounts how Hitler was sponsoring efforts to teach dogs to talk. In yesterday's New York Times, Maureen Dowd quotes Bondeson's book in a fascinating op/ed about Hitler's strange ideas for secret weapons. From the NYT:

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"There were some very strange experiments going on in wartime Germany, with regard to dog-human communication," Bondeson writes, wondering: "Were the Nazis trying to develop a breed of super-intelligent canine storm troopers, capable of communicating with their human masters of the Herrenvolk?"

He discovered a 1943 Nazi magazine piece about the headmistress of the canine school, a Frau Schmitt, claiming that some of the dogs spoke a few words. "At a Nazi study course, a talking dog was once asked 'Who is Adolf Hitler?' and replied 'Mein Führer!" Bondeson writes of these claims, noting that "the Nazis, who had such conspicuous disregard for human rights, felt more strongly about the animals."

Amazing Dogs: A Cabinet of Canine Curiosities (Amazon)

"Hitler's Talking Dogs" (NYT, thanks Bob Pescovitz!)