30 September 2013, 18:35

'Angora project’: Nazi bred giant rabbits in luxury in concentration camps

белый кролик

One more fact emerged reminding that Nazi regime valued animals more than people. Giant Angora rabbits were bred with love and care in concentration camps to provide fur for the linings of jackets for Luftwaffe pilots. The details if the plan has been unearthed in a German archive.

Angora rabbits were raised in Nazi concentration camps, including Auschwitz, Buchenwald and Dachau, says the album titled "Angora" which belonged to Heinrich Himmler, the chief of the SS in Nazi Germany and head of its concentration camps. SS chief had a career as a trained chicken farmer before he became the architect of the Holocaust.

He ordered a breeding programme for the rabbits and specified that they were to be raised in luxury just yards away from the where the most terrible crime against humanity was taking place.

In the same compound where 800 human beings would be packed into barracks that were barely adequate for 200, the rabbits lived in luxury in their own elegant hutches. In Buchenwald, where tens of thousands of human beings starved to death, rabbits enjoyed beautifully prepared meals. The furry residents were also given a daily supply of fresh vegetables- probably more than the human inmates who were forced to tend them saw in a month. The SS men who whipped, tortured, and killed prisoners saw to it that the rabbits enjoyed loving care.

The rabbits were raised for their soft, warm fur, which was shaved and used for, among other things, the linings of jackets for Luftwaffe pilots. Himmler had given speeches bragging that "We Germans are the only people in the world who have a decent attitude towards animals."

The 'Angora book' was discovered hidden at Himmler’s home on the fringes of the Tegernsee lake in Bavaria in 1945. It contains 150 photos of fluffy rabbits, some being cared for by concentration camp prisoners in their striped 'pyjama' uniforms.

Some of these inmates were even executed if their SS overseers believed they were not treating their rabbit charges with enough respect.

The breeding programme began in 1941 shortly after the Nazi invasion of the Soviet Union.

A chart in his book counted 6,500 rabbits by the end of 1941 and 25,000 by 1943. But by that year, when the project finally stopped as the war began to turn disastrously against Germany, the total amount of wool collected amounted to less than five tons. When the camps were liberated many empty hutches were found but the rabbits were long gone. Like many other Nazi ideologies Himmlers plans failed to match up to reality.

Voice of Russia, The Daily Mail

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