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Nazis tried to train dogs to talk, read and spell

world Updated: May 26, 2011 00:27 IST

Adolf Hitler led Nazis tried to train dogs to talk, read and spell to help them win World War II, new research has revealed.

According to the research, led by Dr Jan Bondeson of Cardiff University, the Germans viewed canines as being almost as intelligent as humans and they attempted to build an army of fearsome "speaking" dogs.

In fact, Hitler hoped the animals would learn to communicate with their Nazi masters and he even had a special dog school set up to teach them to talk, 'The Daily Telegraph' newspaper reported.

The dog school, called the Tier Sprechschule ASRA, based in Leutenburg near Hannover and led by Margarethe Schmitt, was set up in the 1930s and continued throughout the war years, says the research.

The incredible findings also show that Nazi officials recruited so called educated dogs from all over Germany and trained them to speak and tap out signals using their paws.

One mutt was said to have uttered the words "Mein Fuhrer" when asked who Adolf Hitler was. Another "spoke" by tapping letters of the alphabet with his paws and was said to have speculated about religion and learnt poetry.

The Germans hoped to use the animals for the war effort such as getting them to work alongside the SS and guard concentration camps to free up officers, according to the research by Dr Bonderson.

Hitler was a well known dog lover and had two German Shepherds, called Blondi and Bella. He famously killed Blondi moments before committing suicide in his bunker in 1945.