Heil Hound: Nazis plagued by Hitler mutt
BERLIN — Newly discovered documents have revealed a bizarre footnote to World War II: the Nazis’ dogged obsession with a Finnish mutt who gave not a howl, but a heil.
And, just as absurdly, the totalitarian state that dominated most of Europe was unable to do much about the canine’s paw-raising parody of Germany’s Fuehrer.
In the months preceding Hitler’s invasion of the Soviet Union, Berlin’s Foreign Office commanded its diplomats in the Nazi-friendly country to gather evidence on the dog and its owner — and even plotted to destroy the owner’s pharmaceutical business.
Historians were unaware of the scheme until some 30 files containing correspondence and diplomatic cables were found by a researcher in the Foreign Office archives.
Klaus Hillenbrand, an expert on the Nazi period who examined the documents, called the episode ‘‘completely bizarre.’’
‘‘Just months before the Nazis launched their attack on the Soviet Union, they had nothing better to do than to obsess about this dog,’’ he said.
Hmong mourn general’s death
MINNEAPOLIS — The Hmong community in the United States — from California to Minnesota to Wisconsin — was mourning Friday over the death of Vang Pao, a revered former general in the Royal Army of Laos who helped lead them to a new home in America after the Vietnam War.
Vang Pao died Thursday night in Clovis, Calif., near Fresno, following a battle with pneumonia. He was 81.
The general led Hmong guerrillas in their CIA-backed battle against communists during the Vietnam War. They faced persecution after the communists took over Laos in 1975, and he was credited with resettling tens of thousands of Hmong from the hills of Laos into American cities like Fresno, St. Paul and Milwaukee.
Teen died in shooting
HERMOSILLO, Mexico — Mexican officials said Friday there is no doubt that a teenager involved in a shooting with U.S. Border Patrol agents in Arizona died from a gunshot wound.
The government of the Mexican border city of Nogales initially said Ramses Barron Torres, 17, was killed when he fell off the border fence and hit his head.