Tuesday, April 21, 2009

The relics of Nazi eugenics are still with us

Nazi Germany practiced a warped, twisted eugenics that led to the deaths of millions upon millions of people. However, it didn't stop with people. As well as breeding an Aryan 'Master Race', they wanted to breed animals from the past that would symbolize that mastery.

According to an article in the Daily Mail:

It is not exactly the invasion that Hitler foresaw.

But deep in the West Country, a symbol of the Nazi vision for world domination has finally found a home in the fields of England.

This cow is a relic of the Fuhrer's support for a scheme to revive the mighty aurochs - a huge beast which featured heavily in Teutonic folklore.

The aurochs had been hunted to extinction in Europe by 1627, but two zoologist brothers decided to 'bring them back to life' in a breeding plan which later won Nazi support.

Heinz and Lutz Heck mixed animals from the Scottish Highlands, Corsica and the French Camargue, as well as Spanish fighting bulls.

The animals were then transported to game parks in Schorfheide in Brandenburg, outside Berlin, and the Neander Valley in Dusseldorf.

After the fall of the Nazis, the Heck cattle were seen as an unwanted reminder of German oppression and efforts to build a master Aryan race, and almost all of them were destroyed.

But a few survived, and 13 have now been shipped from a conservation park in Belgium to Broadwoodwidger on the Devon-Cornwall border.

(Click for larger view)

Farmer and conservationist Derek Gow explained that the Nazis supported the re-creation of the auroch to evoke the power of the 'runes, folklores and legends of the Germanic peoples'.

He said: 'Aurochs were wild bulls. Julius Caesar recorded them as being bulls as big as elephants.

'Young men hunted these bulls as preparation for battle and leadership in war, but also to obtain their huge 6ft-wide horns as drinking vessels. They were huge trophies.'

Mr Gow said his Heck cattle are shorter than the aurochs, but share their muscular build, deep brown complexion and shaggy fringe.

'They look like the cave paintings of Lascaux and Altamira,' he said. 'It makes you think of the light of a tallow lamp and these huge bulls on these cave paintings leaping out at you from darkened walls.'

There's more at the link.

This fascinates me. I knew of Nazi attempts to breed a Master Race of humans, but I never knew they tried to revive the Aurochs as well! The more one learns of their warped, twisted outlook on life and reality, the more one wonders how such a megalomaniac as Hitler was able to lead an entire nation to perdition as he did. Surely the majority of Germans couldn't have been so blind to reality as to swallow his guff? Yet, apparently, they were . . .

All the same, I'd love to see an Aurochs in the flesh - but only from a safe distance!



Anonymous said...

"Surely the majority of Germans couldn't have been so blind to reality as to swallow his guff"

With the total control of the media and schools, he was able to control their reality.

LabRat said...

In all fairness, the Heck cattle are a subject of great interest to zoologists and conservationists, too- one of a few experiments to see if it's really possible to breed back to "wild type" from domesticated descendants.

Loren said...

The aurochs weren't their only subject of animal eugenics. IIRC, there were wild horses too. I want to say more, but I'm not thinking of any others off the top of my head.

Old NFO said...

Very interesting... thanks!

Roger said...

It should be pointed out that the Heck cattle did not end up all that similar to the real aurochs -- for example, they are considerably smaller -- and most geneticists believe that such a "breeding back" program is not even possible.

And in their defence it should also be pointed out that while they received government funding during the Nazi regime, there is no evidence the Heck brothers were themselves Nazis. Indeed, they tried "breeding back" experiments with other extinct species that had no relationship to Nazi mythology, for example the Quagga.