As a dog lover, Hitler would no doubt have been flattered — “Adolf” the part Alsatian mongrel was not only his namesake but also meticulously trained by his Berlin owner to raise his right paw in a Nazi salute every time the command “Heil Hitler!” was uttered.
But in a country where giving the Nazi salute even in jest has been strictly verboten since 1945, Adolf’s canine tricks did not amuse the police or the judiciary.
Yesterday his owner, a pensioner named as Roland T, was starting what seemed like a draconian prison term of five months for repeatedly displaying banned Nazi symbols. His pet was dispatched to one of the city’s animal homes.
Earlier this year, judges ruled that Roland T should serve a prison term after suspended jail sentences and fines failed to dissuade him from continuing to display Nazi symbols.
The ban on Nazi symbols has been felt even by anti-Nazi activists, who last year were punished for using a swastika with a red slash across it.
Tony Paterson in Berlin
Published: 21 December 2007