Hitler’s affinity with animals

Compassion for animals is intimately connected with goodness of character, and it may be confidently asserted that he, who is cruel to living creatures, cannot be a good man.
– Schopenhauer, On the Basis of Morality

[Unlike other narratives which merely point out Hitler’s fondness for animals, perhaps relying on photos to express it all, I wish to conduct an in-depth investigation into his relationship with animals. I will also attempt to illustrate his plethora of remarks on wildlife, which proceed from observation and experience, not theoretical knowledge.
Also, esoterics can explain the apparent antithesis between his sympathy for animals yet contempt for humans, his lack of interest in animal biology and plant botany yet invested interest in human affairs and history. For the time being, this inquiry will have it’s own dedicated article to make it easier for me to arrange the quotations.
Lastly, it must be stressed that Hitler was a vegetarian for higher reasons (viewing it as a natural course of action) rather than mere health or ethical concerns.]

His love of nature was pronounced, but in a very personal way. Unlike other subjects, nature never attracted him as a matter for study; I hardly ever remember seeing him with a book on the subject. Here was the limit of his thirst for knowledge.

– August Kubizek

Hitler, Table Talk (Cameron & Stevens), January 25-26, 1942:
I love animals, and especially dogs. But I’m not so very fond of boxers, for example. If I had to take a new dog, it could only be a sheep-dog, preferably a bitch. I would feel like a traitor if I became attached to a dog of any other breed. What extraordinary animals they are—lively, loyal, bold, courageous arid handsome!

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Hitler, Table Talk (Cameron & Stevens), January 25-26, 1942:
I once possessed a work on the origins of the human race. I used to think a lot about such matters, and I must say that if one examines the old traditions, the tales and legends, from close up, one arrives at unexpected conclusions.

Hitler, Table Talk (Cameron & Stevens), August 29, 1942:
Man is not endowed by nature with the herd instinct, and it is only by the most rigorous methods that he can be induced to join the herd. He has the same urge as the dog, the rabbit and the hare, to couple up with one other being as a separate entity. The social State as such can be maintained only by a rule of iron; take away the laws, and the fabric falls immediately to pieces.

Hitler, Table Talk (Cameron & Stevens), September 17, 1941:
One cannot change rabbits into bees or ants. These insects have the faculty of living in a state of society—but rabbits haven’t.

Hitler, Table Talk (Cameron & Stevens), November 16, 1941:
Animals who live in the social state have their outlaws. They reject them. Society should preserve itself from such elements.

✝Origen:
nor does [Celsus] see how great is the injury done to religion from accepting the statement that before God there is no difference between a man and an ant or a bee, but proceeds to add, that “if men appear to be superior to irrational animals on this account, that they have built cities, and make use of a political constitution, and forms of government, and sovereignties, this is to say nothing to the purpose, for ants and bees do the same.
Bees, indeed, have a sovereign, who has followers and attendants; and there occur among them wars and victories, and slaughterings of the vanquished, and cities and suburbs, and a succession of labours, and judgments passed upon the idle and the wicked; for the drones are driven away and punished.

Hitler, Table Talk, November 20, 1941 (Jochmann):

Statements by the Führer:
1. If the Christian concept of God were correct, then the ants would have to conceive of God as an ant,


Traudl Junge:
The deer, rabbits and squirrels were very tame. They grazed in the meadows and took hardly any notice of passers-by. It seemed they had discovered that no shot would disturb their peace here, and that humans protected them and would put out food for them in winter. Eva Braun’s black terriers sometimes raced through the tall grass on the hillsides yapping, and the deer grazing there would look at them pityingly and leap aside only when the dogs chasing them came very close.

Rochus Misch:
Besides Hitler, we also had time to look after a young roe fawn, which came to us one day. We fed it peanuts, and the crafty animal soon knew exactly where we kept these and was soon helping itself. It would also come up the steps to the hut, push open the door with its snout and lick up the peanuts from the floor. We would leave the door open intentionally, and often the fawn would come up to our beds for assistance if it failed to find what it was looking for.

[While it’s true that some areas typically have animals who are inclined to be trusting towards most visiting humans due to the peaceful environment, there are also instances where animals find solidarity with human individuals while remaining aloof from the rest of mankind with the deepest suspicion.]

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Otto Dietrich:
One of his favorite subjects of conversation – to the distress of Göring – was his vigorous condemnation of hunting unless it involved the hunter’s actually risking his own life. He said he could never harm so beautiful an animal as a deer, and forbade all hunting on the Obersalzberg. He sneered at the amateur sportsmen, while he had words of praise for poachers, who at least killed for food. During the war he had poachers released from the prisons and placed in probationary battalions.
Field Marshal Keitel:
I led his conversation around to hunting anecdotes, although I knew that hunting was a theme anything but dear to the Führer’s heart. He always said that hunting was nothing but cowardly murder, as the deer, the most beautiful of Nature’s creatures, was unable to defend itself. The poacher, on the other hand, he lauded as one of his heroes and the very best type of soldier; he would dearly like to form an elite battalion of poachers, he said.
Hans Baur:
The only blood sportsman he had any respect for was the poacher – he at least, he said, pitted his wits against the gamekeeper as well as the prey, and risked a heavy fine or a term of imprisonment. So during the war Hitler logically released almost all o them, declaring that poachers would make far better soldiers than Sunday-afternoon sportsmen.

Hitler, Inside the Third Reich (Speer’s Memoirs):
How can a person be excited about such a thing. Killing animals, if it must be done, is the butcher’s business. But to spend a great deal of money on it in addition. . . . I understand, of course, that there must be professional hunters to shoot sick animals. H only there were still some danger connected with hunting, as in the days when men used spears for killing game. But today, when anybody with a fat belly can safely shoot the animal down from a distance. . . . Hunting and horse racing are the last remnants of a dead feudal world.

Hitler, Table Talk (Cameron & Stevens), August 20, 1942:
Personally, I cannot see what possible pleasure can be derived from shooting. Think of the tremendous ceremony that accompanies the slaughter of a deer! And the hare is shot, not sitting, but on the run, to make his end more spectacular. The Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals would do well to turn its attention to the sportsmen themselves.

Hitler, Table Talk (Cameron & Stevens), October 28, 1941:
[The poacher] at least risks his life at the sport. The feeblest abortion can declare war on a deer. The battle between a repeating rifle and a rabbit—which has made no progress for three thousand years—is too unequal. If Mr. So-and-so were to outrun the rabbit, I’d take off my hat to him.

Hans Baur:
A real battle between men and animals, in which the men took risks, appealed to him; he liked certain films sent to him by a friendly Maharajah, and he wasn’t in the least disturbed at sequences showing men being torn to pieces by the animals they had set out to hunt.
But when we saw films in which ordinary hunting took place, he would cover up his eyes and ask us to tell him when it was all over.


Otto Dietrich:
To animals he ascribed the ability to think, and for them he felt sympathy – not for human beings. He was sensitive to the sufferings of animals and expressed his sympathy in the most decided terms. But he never wasted a word on humanitarianism except, on one occasion, to characterize it as a mixture of cowardice, stupidity, and intellectual conceit.
Hans Baur:
Altogether, Hitler’s attitude towards dumb creatures, including birds, perturbed a good many of his devoted followers.
Goebbels (Diaries), December 29, 1939:
[Hitler] has little regard for homo sapiens. Man should not feel so superior to animals. He has no reason to. Man believes that he alone has intelligence, a soul, and the power of speech. Has not the animal these things? Just because we, with our dull senses, cannot recognise them, it does not prove that they are not there.

Hitler, Table Talk (Cameron & Stevens), January 25-26, 1942:
When [] Graf made me a present of Muck, the process of getting accustomed was quicker. He came up the stairs rather hesitantly. When he saw Blondi, he rushed towards her, wagging his tail. Next day, it was indescribable.
A dog gets used to a new master more quickly when there’s already a dog in the
house. It’s enough even if he learns from the scent that his new master has recently had a dog; he feels himself trusted.
The dog is the oldest of the domestic animals. He has been man’s companion for more than thirty thousand years. But man, in his pride, is not capable of perceiving that even between dogs of the same breed there are extraordinary differences. There are stupid dogs and others who are so intelligent that it’s agonising.

Hitler, Table Talk (Cameron & Stevens), October 30, 1941:
It’s lucky we don’t understand the language of hares. They might talk about you something like this: “He couldn’t run at all, the fat hog!” What can an old hare, with a whole lifetime’s experience, think about it all? The greatest joy must prevail amongst the hares when they see that a beater has been shot.

Hitler, Table Talk (Cameron & Stevens), January 1-2, 1942:
Why is it that the screech of an owl is so disagreeable to a man? There must be some reason for that. I imagine it to be the confused hubbub of the virgin forest. Animals cry aloud when they’re hungry, when they’re in pain, when they’re in love. The language of the birds is certainly more developed than we think.

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Hitler, Table Talk (Cameron & Stevens), January 1-2, 1942:
We say that cats are playful creatures. Perhaps they think the same of us. They endure us as long as they can, and when they’ve had enough of our childishness, they give us a scratch with their claws!
Hitler, Table Talk (Cameron & Stevens), July 8, 1942:
I once watched how a cat went about eating a mouse. She did not gobble it at once, but first of all played with it, as if giving it the chance to escape. It was only when the mouse was bathed in sweat with all this running hither and thither that the cat gave it the coup de grâce and ate it. Obviously it is in this state that the mouse appears most succulent and savoury to the cat.

Hitler, Table Talk (Cameron & Stevens), December 28-29, 1941:
When I’m told that 50 per cent of dogs die of cancer, there must be an explanation for that. Nature has predisposed the dog to feed on raw meat, by tearing up other animals. To-day the dog feeds almost exclusively on mixed bread and cooked meat.

Hitler, Table Talk (Cameron & Stevens), April 25, 1942:
Those who adopt a vegetarian diet must remember that it is in their raw state that vegetables have their greatest nutritive value. The fly feeds on fresh leaves, the frog swallows the fly as it is, and the stork eats the living frog. Nature thus teaches us that a rational diet should be based on eating things in their raw state. Science has proved, too, that cooking destroys the vitamins, which are the most valuable part of our food.

Goebbels (Diaries), April 26, 1942:
Certainly the arguments that [Hitler] adduces in favor of his standpoint are very compelling. It is actually true that the great majority of humanity is living a vegetarian life and that the animals that live on plants have much greater powers of resistance than those that feed on meat. It is furthermore a very characteristic thing that the human being, generally speaking, eats only the meat of such animals as themselves feed on plants and not on such as feed on meat.

Hitler, Table Talk (Cameron & Stevens), January 22, 1942:
So it’s not man who eats grass, it’s his cattle. Amongst the animals, those who are carnivores put up performances much inferior to those of the herbivores. A lion’s in no shape to run for a quarter of an hour—the elephant can run for eight hours!
The [apes], our ancestors of prehistoric times, are strictly vegetarian. Japanese wrestlers, who are amongst the strongest men in the world, feed exclusively on vegetables. The same’s true of the Turkish porter, who can move a piano by himself.

Hitler, Table Talk (Cameron & Stevens), April 25, 1942:
As regards animals, the dog, which is carnivorous, cannot compare in performance with the horse, which is vegetarian. In the same way, the lion shows signs of fatigue after covering two or three kilometres, while the camel marches for six or seven days before even his tongue begins to hang out. Speaking generally, the experts do not take facts sufficiently into consideration. It has been proved that a vegetarian diet—and particularly a diet of potato peelings and raw potatoes—will cure beri-beri within a week.

Hitler, Table Talk (Cameron & Stevens), July 8, 1942:
In many ways, my sheepdog Blondi is a vegetarian. There are lots of herbs which she eats with obvious pleasure, and it is interesting to see how she turns to them if her stomach is out of order. It is astonishing to see how wise animals are, and how well they know what is good for them.
Hitler, May 26, 1944, Platterhof hotel talk:
Nature already eliminates, in the [illegible] struggle the damaged and the weak. Bitches immediately push weak puppies, who want to suck, away from themselves. Why? We do not know. But she allows it to die – cruelly, as we human beings believe – in reality, however, [such perishing is] full of profound insight.

Hitler, Table Talk (Cameron & Stevens), August 3, 1942:
The question occurs to me—where does natural instinct end and human reason begin? One must draw distinctions. A bitch has puppies. Bitches get no training, but they all tend their young with uniform efficiency. That is basic instinct, which most not be confused with reason, which takes its decisions according to certain definite facts. The most primitive of instincts, to which all forms of life respond, are those of feeding and reproduction of the species.

Hitler, Table Talk (Cameron & Stevens), July 5, 1941:
The horse that is not kept constantly under control forgets in the wink of an eye the rudiments of training that have been inculcated into it. . . People sometimes quote the case of the horses that escaped from a ranch in America, and by some ten years later had formed huge herds of wild horses. It is so easy for an animal to go back to its origins!


Vegetarianism

Laurency (kl1_9.5):
2Vegetarians make propaganda for a vegetarian diet. In the future, people will not eat meat. It will be some time yet, however.

Hitler, Table Talk, November 1941 (Cameron & Stevens):
What revolutions won’t do, will be done by evolution. One may regret living at a period when it’s impossible to form an idea of the shape the world of the future will assume. But there’s one thing I can predict to eaters of meat, that the world of the future will be vegetarian!

Laurency (kl1_9.5):
2Vegetarians try to explain why it takes time. They have found quite a number of correct viewpoints, those which are within the reach of wiseacreness (ignorance, prejudice, the force of habit, etc.).
However, there are causes that lie much deeper; those which come under the laws of destiny and reaping. For millions of years man has been practically defenceless against wild beasts. The number of human victims has been greater than the wildest imagination may grasp.

Hitler, Table Talk (Cameron & Stevens), October 30, 1941:
The feeling of aversion human beings have for the snake, the bat and the earthworm perhaps originates in some ancestral memory. It might go back to a time when animals of this nature, of monstrous dimensions, terrified prehistoric man.
I learnt to hate rats when I was at the front. A wounded man forsaken between the lines knew he’d be eaten alive by these disgusting beasts.

Roschus Misch:
Less pleasant experiences were had with the mosquitoes. They plagued us, and bothered us endlessly. Without the nets which covered our heads, we would have been eaten alive.

Laurency (kl1_9.5):
2A wild animal killing a man, a being belonging to a higher kingdom, contracts the guilt of a terrible disturbance of the law of balance.

Hitler, Table Talk (Jochmann), January 25-26, 1942:
From where do we take the right to believe that man has not always been what he is today? The glimpse into nature teaches us that variations and further development occur in the kingdoms of plants and animals, but nowhere a development of the length of the leap, appears within a species that the human being would have to have done, he was supposed to have trained from a monkey-like condition to that, what is he!
Woher nehmen wir das Recht, zu glauben, der Mensch sei nicht von Uranfängen das gewesen, was er heut’ ist? Der Blick in die Natur lehrt uns, daß im Bereich der Pflanzen und Tiere Veränderungen und Weiterbildungen Vorkommen, aber nirgends zeigt sich innerhalb einer Gattung eine Entwicklung von der Weite des Sprunges, den der Mensch gemacht haben müßte, sollte er sich aus einem affenartigen Zustand zu dem, was er ist, fortgebildet haben!

Laurency (kl1_9.5):
2Anyone who knows about the laws of life can without difficulty think these relations out.

Anaximander:

Whence things have their origin,
Thence also their destruction happens,
According to necessity;
For they give to each other justice and recompense
For their injustice
In conformity with the ordinance of Time.

Whence things have their origin,
Thence also their destruction happens,
As is the order of things;
For they execute the sentence upon one another
– The condemnation for the crime –
In conformity with the ordinance of Time.

Laurency (kl1_9.5):
2When the balance between the animal and human kingdoms has been tolerably redressed, men will definitively “lose the taste for meat” with everything that this means in the matter of all viewpoints on the pertaining problems. Parasites of the human organism, which belong to the animal kingdom, will then be susceptible of neutralization.

Laurency (L3e2):
5“Thou shalt not kill.” If that principle were made absolute, parasitism would make physical life impossible altogether. We kill moths, lice, etc. We have a right to self-defence.
If satanism creates war, then it is everyone’s duty to serve in the common defence and try to hinder the triumph of evil aggression.

Hitler, Table Talk (Cameron & Stevens), October 30, 1941:
For two or three years they’ve been preserving foxes. What damage they’ve caused! On the one hand, they’re preserved for the sake of the hunter, which means a loss of I don’t know how many hundred million eggs; and, on the other hand, they make a Four Year Plan. What madness!

Hitler, Table Talk (Cameron & Stevens), October 30, 1941:
Is it indispensable, for relaxation, to kill hares and pheasants? The joy of killing brings men together.

Laurency (kl1_9):
2It is often said in theosophical and other occult books that “there is no karma in the animal kingdom”. Then they do not know what karma is. Karma is the law of sowing and reaping, cause and effect. It rules absolutely in all worlds and in all natural kingdoms and divine kingdoms. The karma of animals is that they live off each other. They inflict suffering on each other. Would that be without consequences?

Hitler, Table Talk (Cameron & Stevens), December 1, 1941:
One may be repelled by this law of nature which demands that all living things should mutually devour one another. The fly is snapped up by a dragon-fly, which itself is swallowed by a bird, which itself falls victim to a larger bird. This last, as it grows old, becomes a prey to microbes, which end by getting the better of it. These microbes, in their turn, find their predestined ends. If we had more powerful microscopes, we would discover new worlds.

K. H. (Koot Hoomi):
The Mahatma Letters to A. P. Sinnett, Letter No. 10
Nature is destitute of goodness or malice; she follows only immutable laws when she either gives life and joy, or sends suffering [and] death, and destroys what she has created. Nature has an antidote for every poison and her laws a reward for every suffering. The butterfly devoured by a bird becomes that bird, and the little bird killed by an animal goes into a higher form. It is the blind law of necessity and the eternal fitness of things, and hence cannot be called Evil in Nature.

[Needless to say, the law of necessity is distinct from the law of balance. Not all of the Mahatma Letters comes from K. H. Laurency explores this subject in several entries.]


Hitler, Table Talk (Cameron & Stevens), January 22-23, 1942:
The story of the dog Foxl
How many times, at Fromelles, during the first World War, I’ve studied my dog Foxl. When he came back from a walk with the huge bitch who was his companion, we found him covered with bites. We’d no sooner bandaged him, and had ceased to bother about him, than he would shake off this unwanted load.
A fly began buzzing. Foxl was stretched out at my side, with his muzzle between his paws. The fly came close to him. He quivered, with his eyes as if hypnotised. His face wrinkled up and acquired an old man’s expression. Suddenly he leapt forward, barked and became agitated. I used to watch him as if he’d been a man—the progressive stages of his anger, of the bile that took possession of him. He was a fine creature.
When I ate, he used to sit beside me and follow my gestures with his gaze. If by the fifth or sixth mouthful I hadn’t given him anything, he used to sit up on his rump and look at me with an air of saying: “And what about me, am I not here at all?” It was crazy how fond I was of the beast. Nobody could touch me without Foxl’s instantly becoming furious. He would follow nobody but me.
When gas-warfare started, I couldn’t go on taking him into the front line. It was my comrades who fed him. When I returned after two days’ absence, he would refuse to leave me again. Everybody in the trenches loved him. During marches he would run all round us, observing everything, not missing a detail. I used to share everything with him. In the evening he used to lie beside me.

Kurt Ludecke:
I had intended giving [Hitler] a warm blanket, because I remembered that when the nights grew cold on the trip to Coburg, he had wrapped himself in a tattered old covering which obviously had reached the retirement age. But when I offered him a new one for Christmas, he refused it, saying he could not part from the one that was his shelter all through the war.