Sunday, December 12, 2010

Giro the Nazi Dog

It seems a bit unfair to tarnish Giro (an Alsatian) with the same brush as his owner, but the name's stuck, and the poor mutt will forever be known as Giro the Nazi Dog. Was Giro a Nazi? It's hard to say. Certainly dogs are loyal to their owners but how far did Giro tow the company line? Did he like other breeds of dogs, for example, or only German Shepherds?

We may never find out, for Giro died in 1934 from 'accidental electrocution'. But he was given a full Nazi burial. Giro's owner was Dr Leopold von Hoesch, German ambassador in London from 1932-36.

Giro's grave can be found next to the former Nazi Germany embassy at 6-9 Carlton House Terrace, London SW1 (near the top of the stairs by the ICA). His epitaph reads, "Giro: A true companion". Yes, he probably was a Nazi.

If I ever get a dog (or any pet for that matter), I'm going to call it Giro.


Sophie Lily said...

One question, why was it called Giro?
Sounds like a bank Giro to me.

Barnaby said...

I'm not entirely sure. It is a German word but comes from the Greek, meaning circle. So it doesn't really make sense.

Yes, Giro to me will always remind of going to collect my unemployment benefit cheque back in the day, colloquially known as 'Going to get my Giro'.