December 19th, 2007

straight to hell

"Hitler-Saluting Dog Seeks New Owner"

Dog lovers in Berlin take note: the city's animal shelter has a new ward looking for a good home. The nine-year-old German shepherd crossbreed is very affectionate, likes people and is in good health. There's just one problem: Adi (or Adolf, as he was formerly known) has been trained to raise his right paw in a Hitler salute whenever he heard the command "Salute!" However, poor Adolf was only following orders. His owner, identified only as Roland T., taught the dog to perform the Hitler salute on command.

Adolf and his owner became famous in 2003 after Roland T. got his dog to perform his party trick in front of police. The gesture landed the Berlin pensioner in court, charged with displaying symbols of a banned organization. The use of Nazi symbols, slogans or gestures is banned in Germany.

Now Roland T. is off to jail. He is reporting to a Berlin prison Wednesday to serve a five-month sentence for displaying Nazi symbols. The repeat offender, who was notorious in Berlin for openly giving Nazi salutes and wearing Hitler T-shirts, was given a series of suspended sentences but now has to do time after authorities lost patience with him. Judges had previously been lenient with the former car salesman, who was considered to have diminished culpability due to brain damage sustained in a 1995 accident.,1518,524268,00.html

I think I remember someone once saying that in German culture, comparing a person to an animal is considered insulting. Like "schweinhund" (= "pig-dog") and other German insults. So I find the idea of a sieg heil-ing dog named Adolf to be rather amusing...