Blondi (c. 1941 – 29 April 1945) was Adolf Hitler's German Shepherd dog, a gift as a puppy from his loyal men in 1941, and put down in 1945, when Hitler committed suicide, as he feared that the Soviets would capture and torture Blondi after overrunning the bunker.
Hitler was according to accounts very fond of Blondi and other dogs he owned. He may have been especially fond of German Shepherds. In 1921, during his years of poverty, he had been forced to lodge another German Shepherd elsewhere. However, she managed to escape and return to him. Hitler, who adored the loyalty of the dog, thereafter developed a great liking for the breed. There were also other associations such as German Shepherds being argued to be close to wolves and the name "Adolf" meaning "Noble Wolf". His known dogs before Blondi are "Muck", "Prinz" and "Blonda".
Hitler was in Mein Kampf and National Socialist propaganda portrayed as a great animal lover and Blondi played a role in this propaganda. After Hitler gained power, National Socialist Germany implemented various strong animal and environmental protection measures. This was rarely mentioned in later Allied propaganda portraying Hitler as a psychopath.
Rochus Misch reported at an event organized by the "Hoffmann-von-Fallersleben-Bildungswerk e. V." in Berlin in 2000 (as reported by the "Deutschherrenklub"), he was there when the men at the Berghof chose Blondie from the litter. Since Misch only belonged to the Führer Escort Command (Führer-Begleit-Kommando) from 1940, it can be assumed that Blondie was born in 1940, or rather 1941.
According to Misch, the motivation for the purchase was the death of “Muck” and the grief of Adolf Hitler. The Berghof's housekeeper made the suggestion, and after Hitler's loyal followers inspected the litter (Blondi came from a litter of the German Shepherd of Gerdy Troost, Paul Ludwig Troost's wife.), they decided to pool together, buy the puppy and give it to the Führer to cheer him up, which they did. Misch wrote in his notes:
- “The animal always had a positive effect on Hitler, distracting him and cheering him up.”
Hitler often had himself pictured with this dog and, according to contemporary witnesses, loved her very much. His secretary Traudl Junge wrote in her memoirs Bis zur letzten Stunde. Hitlers Sekretärin erzählt ihr Leben (List-Verlag, 2004):
- “Hitler had the greatest pleasure when Blondi could jump a few centimeters higher again […], and he stated that spending time with his dog was his best form of relaxation.”
Before Hitler committed suicide on 30 April 1945, he ordered physician SS-Obersturmbannführer Dr. med. Werner Haase (de) to test a cyanide capsule on Blondi. The capsule killed her. According to a report commissioned by Stalin and based on eye witness accounts, Hitler's dog-handler, a Sergeant Fritz Tornow, took Blondi's pup "Wolf" from the arms of the Goebbels children, who had been playing with it, and shot "Wolf" in the garden of the Führerbunker. He then put down Eva Braun's two dogs (Scotch Terriers named “Negus” and “Stasi”) and his own Dachshund by lethal injection.
Hitler did not want the beloved dogs in the hands of the Red Army where they would be abused as subjects of anti-German propaganda and torture. 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 had. When the Battle of Berlin fizzled out, the dog was exhumed and photographed by the Soviets.
- Haase was murdered 1950 by the Soviets in Moscow.