Short summary in English
In ”The Boxer” (1939, 1950 edition, p. 27) John Wagner cites Johann Elias Ridinger (Ulm 1698-1767 Augsburg):
"The main portion of most old time German hunting packs were made up of coarse haired, big dogs with bush tails and wolfish heads called 'Rüden.' They were supplied to the courts by the peasants in immense numbers and suffered great losses at every hunt, therefore no particular pains were taken to breed them. The Doggen and Bullenbeisser, however, knew instinctively how to tackle the game from behind and hold it in a way that kept them from serious injury yet gave the hunters time to reach the kill therefore they were more valuable to the hunt and were accordingly highly prized and painstakingly bred".
In the chapter ”The Parforce Hunt, Buffon & the Large Blends (16-19th Century)” we have seen how, in 1768, Johann Jakob Ridinger depicts the three principal type of hounds used in the Wild Boar Hunt in Southern Germany; "Sau Rüden" (literally “Sow Rüden”, a white wire-haired hound), "Bauer Hund" (literally “farm-[guarding] hound”) and "Dänischer Hund" (Danish hound).
(Wild Boar Hounds)
[The white wire-haired hound resting]
[The reddish hound to the right]
[The large hound to the left]
Chiens de Chasse des
(Hounds for hunting Wild Boar)
Familia IV. Fünfzähige
1 It strikes me that we here have a dog very similar to the wire-haired ”Hessischer Raubart” (Deutsch Stichelhaar, German Stichelhair), a large roughhaired pointer measuring 60-70 cm over the shoulders for males (which in German are also called ”Rüden”).
Source: The above handcoloured etching (28 x 45 cm) is from Johann Jakob Ridinger's ”Thierreich (Thierbuch, The Animal Kingdom), Augsburg, 1768. (Handkolorierter Kupferstich auf Honig-Bütte). Johann Jakob Ridinger (1736-84) was one of two sons sired by the foremost artist of hunting scenes in Germany at the time, Johann Elias Ridinger (Ulm 1698-1767 Augsburg). Alongside his brother Martin Elias Ridinger (1730-80), Johann Jakob Ridinger continued the publishing business started by their father following his death 1767. My private collection.
Below we probably see the other type of ”Rüdenhund” depicted.
Pieter Brueghel (Pieter Bruegel, Peter Brügel) The Elder’s (1525-1569) painting ”Massacre of the innocents” from year 1566-67. The painter was flamish. The wire-haired wolf-like large hound shown probably represents the ”Rüdenhund”. The painting resides with the Kunsthistorisches Museum, Vienna.
Mrs. Jette Baagøe, Managing Director of the Danish Museum for Hunting and Foresting (Dansk Jagt- og Skovbrugsmuseum), Hørsholm (north of Copenhagen, Denmark) has explained to me that the artist Johann Elias Ridinger worked most of his live in Augsburg as an artist for the Electors of Bavaria. Max Emanuel (1679-1726) was the first Elector that had a particular interest in the Par Force Hunt. His son Karl Albrecht (Regent 1726-1745) was elected Emperor of the Holy Roman Empire in 1742 (precursor to Germany). He too was found of hunting and particularly found of dogs.
That the original German hunting dog is termed ”Rüden” is incredibly important to understand.
In German the word ”Rüde” has the meaning ”männlichen Hunde, Füchse und Wölfe” or “wire-haired hounds, foxes and wolfs”. This is precisely how Johann Elias Ridinger describes them to us in the 18th Century. We see the same word applied to the municipality of “Ryde” in the landscape of Angel (from where the migrants to England set sail), the county of Satrup, Southern Slesvig. These are the large dogs that are bred on a massive scale in Germany and they have absolutely nothing to do whatsoever with the Great Dane.
Below follows an extract from a letter sent by the German dog breeder Max Grass, owner of Heinrich Grass Senior Eau de Cologne- und Parfümerie-Fabrik, Rheinaustr. 4, Köln a. Rhein. The letter is dated 4th June 1926 and is addressed to James Voase Rank who, with Bill Siggers, had Ouborough Kennel, Barn Ridge, Surrey, England:
".., ich bin in der Lage Ihnen den besten Rüden rein weiss und Lachschwarz Ideal gefleckt welcher in Deutschland steht zuverkaufen der Rüde ist GARANTIERT 90 Centimeter Schulterhoch Ia Modellkopf langen Trockenen Hals schwere volle Schnauzpartie und keine Spur von Backen er ist 3¾ Jahr alt under der gesuchteste Deckrüde in Deutschland, wenn Sie Diesen Riese haften Rüden in England haben so haben Sie der beste Zuchtrüde in England er Kostet allerdings 6000 Mark es ist ein Rüde so etwas haben Sie noch nie gesehen, wenn Herr Gordon Stewart im Juli nach Cologne kommt....."
Robert Heal has had these lines translated as follows in “The Danes of Send Manor” (2001, pages 112-3):
“..I am in a position to obtain for you the best large hound, pure white and varnish black, ideal, spotted, which is for sale in Germany. The dog is guaranteed 90 cm. high up to the shoulder. It has a first-class model head, long dry neck, heavy full mouth, and no trace of stiffening. It is 3 years and 9 months old, and most in demand in Germany for breeding purposes. It is true that the price is 6,000 Marks, but it is a dog which you have never seen before. If Mr. Gordon Stewart comes again to Cologne in July,…”
Someone unfamiliar with dogs has clearly done the English translation and thus it is not particularly accurate. For the purpose of the argument I am seeking to establish though, we need only pay attention to the fact that where the translation in English is to “hound” or “dog”, the original does in fact use ”rüden”.
As can be clearly seen from the letter (highlighted in white frames) Max Grass makes use of a variety of different words to explain the “Great Dane”: “D.(eutsche) Doggen”, ”Hündinn” and ”Rüde”. He is trying to sell the same dog and he is clearly not short of vocabulary. Like most other German dog breeders he is also not shy about inflating his own self importance: ”Dass ich I. Schriftführer dess Deutschen Doggen klubs (Ortsgruppe Cöln bin....” or “that I am 1st Secretary of the Great Dane Club, Cologne chapter”.
Max Grass thus knows very well what he is doing. The hound he is trying to sell is a Great Dane but the historical word he uses is ”Rüde” a term applicable to the original large hunting dog in German and which has nothing to do with the Great Dane.
In the evolution of the word "Rüden" it migrates from being applied originally exclusively to the wire-haired German hunting dogs to being the term used for “a male dog”. At the same time the word "Húndinn" evolves to meaning “a female dog” or the equivalent of our “bitch”. This is the case in this letter from 1926 and today.
This is the opposite to what we do in Old English and Old Norse and to what we see applied in the Royal Danish Hunting Protocols from the 18th Century. In our common language (Old English and Old Norse are dialects of the same language) a “hound, hund” always means “a male dog” whereas a “Bikkjuna, Bicce, bitch, Tæffue, Tife, Grig, Grey” always means “a female dog”.
The German linguistic evolution occurs because the word “Rüde" is the original large wire-haired German hunting dog. It’s migration to the meaning “a male dog” happens because the male dog is physically larger than its female counterpart. The evolution of words is identical to our own where “grig, grey” (Old English, Old Norse) migrates from simply meaning “a female dog” to a term applied to a new breed of smaller hunting dogs called “Greyhounds”. The male of the new breed Greyhound will originally have been the same physical size as the female dog of the Great Dane at the time the Greyhound evolved in the 14th Century.
Likewise we recall that when the Par Force Hunt was terminated in Denmark in 1741 HM the Queen of Denmark’s brother’s son, the Viscount of Culmbach, received 25 packs of HM King Christian VI.’s Great Danes. Thus 25 packs of Great Danes arrive in the landscape called ”Brandenburg-Bayreuth”. Therefore from the year 1741 the Great Dane is present in Southern Germany, is bred and exchanged amongst the local aristocracy, including the area around Württemberg. There is about 60-90 miles between Stuttgart/Tübingen, Württemberg and Augsburg, Bavaria.
We have seen how (from 1585 onwards) the original Great Dane with facial features very similar to the Russian Wolfhound and the Greyhound is blended with “English puppies, English Dogs” (the English mastiff, today known as the “Broholmer”). The outcome of this blending is known in the Royal Danish Hunting Protocols as “Blendinge” – the present day Great Dane.
The problems facing the breeders in adapting the large hunting dogs to the Par Force Hunt are identical in the small German principalities. The large hounds received from Denmark in 1741 are specifically not the large “Blendinge” (blended hounds) but the original Great Dane with features similar to the Russian Wolfhound. Only “His Majesty of Sardinia” is given “4 large hounds of the Danish blended hounds” some time before the year 1741 1.
1 Source: C. Weismann: Vildtets og Jagtens Historie (1931, p. 449)
Therefore the original Great Dane must be blended with a mastiff/dogge type in order for it to attain the weight and muscular structure required for the Par Force Hunt.
The German “Meyers Encyclopaedia” (Meyers Konversationslexikon, vierte Auflage/4. oplag, Leipzig, 1888-1889, book 8, p. 799) explains to us that the chosen mastiff/dogge in Germany is a Bullenbeißer (Bullenbeisser) 1.
1 Ein Blendling zwischen Windhund und Bullenbeißer ist der dänische H.(und) or “a blend between a Russian wolfhound and a Bullenbeisser is the Danish hound”. The German word “windhund” – in Danish “myndehund” does not exist in modern nor Middle English for historical reasons and hence the usage of the word “Russian Wolfhound” to depict the features of the dog. An English speaking reader should not associate the word as applied here with the present day Russian Wolfhound.
M. Dadler describes in ”Der Hunde” (Nordhausen, Ernst Friedrich Fürst, 1835, p. 20) the Bullenbeiser dog in detail.
In Denmark and England we have our “English hounds” (the English mastiff). In Germany they make use of the Bullenbeiser.
Bismarck and the Creation Myth
Up until the year 1880 and without a single known exception we find that all scientist, all historians and people at large the world over are in agreement with that the country of origin of the Great Dane is Denmark. The dog’s, Denmark’s, Europe’s and the World’s history changes though with the arrival of Bismarck.
Most will be familiar with that the 19th Century saw most small German principalities unite under the banner of German nationalism. The primus motor was the German aristocracy and Otto von Bismarck (1815-1898).
The Great Dane, being the largest dog in the world, would easily be able to symbolise German superiority fuelled by a massive inferiority complex towards the rest of Europe. Thus Bismarck wished for the Great Dane to become the national dog of Prussia and the German Reich. It was for him totally unacceptable that the Great Dane, in Germany and worldwide, was named after his archenemies, especially after the occupation of large tracts of Denmark in 1864. Bismarck was Prime Minister of Prussia 1862-1873, Imperial Chancellor of the German Reich 1871-1890. Prussia conducted warfare against Austria-Hungary in 1866 and against France in 1870-71. These wars led to Bavaria, Württemberg as well as the states of Baden and Hesse joining the North German Alliance, established in 1866 and comprising 17 North German states. As a result the German Reich is created in 1870. Bismarck was forced in to retirement 18th March 1890.
German sources write that the Great Dane was declared a "Reichhund" at the The Congress of Berlin (13 June – 13 July 1878). Following this announcement a commission was established later on in 1878, chaired by Heinrich Bodinus, Director of the Berlin Zoological Gardens (Direktor des Zoologischen Gartens von Berlin). Six further German “dog experts” joined him. The commission was named ”Kynologischer Verein Hektor” (Hector Cynological Society) and it is this commission that dreams up a new name "Deutsche Dogge" - the logical extension of the "Deutsche Reich" created in 1871 1.
1 Dr. A. Ströse: Unsere Hunde - Form und Leben des Hundes (Erster Band, Neudamm 1902, Der Dänische Hund); "Brehms Tierleben" (3rd edition, Säugetiere - Zweiter Band, p. 125-126), issued 1890-93;
Verband für das Deutsche Hundewesen (VDH): Chronik des Deutschen Hundewesens (2006, p. 4)
Dr. Ulf Morgenstern, Otto-von-Bismarck Stiftung (19.12.2011): ”daß Bismarcks Doggen bald die "Reichshunde" hießen, war da nur eine Frage der Zeit. Bismarck war hier ganz Kind seiner Zeit, die schichtübergreifend auf den Hund kam. Bewußt oder unbewußt wählte er die seinerzeit größte Rasse aus, die erst Dänische, dann nach 1864 Ulmer und später Deutsche Dogge hieß”.
http://lexikon.freenet.de/Reichshund : Der Begriff Reichshund wurde zunächst im Zuge des Berliner Kongresses von 1878 geprägt, bei dem Reichskanzler Bismarck mit einer Dogge aufgetreten war, und war infolgedessen im Kaiserreich für diese Hunderasse inoffiziell geläufig.
At the dog show in Berlin 1880 the commission announces that from this point in time onwards throughout the German Reich, the Great Dane may now only be referred to as “Deutsche Dogge”.
The “dog experts” were of course the existing breeders of the Great Dane in the German Reich. Amongst these were:
Eduard Colmar Messter (1840-1913) was a manufacturer of microscopes and owned the company called “Firma Messter” in Berlin from 1859. In 1868 production was relocated to Friedrichstr. 99. In 1892 he transferred the day-to-day management to his son Oskar who later on became very involved in the development of the first cinematic projectors (and the city of Ismaning, Bavaria named the street Oskar-Messter Strasse after the son). Eduard Messter was also the owner of the largest dog kennel in Northern Germany. His active period seems to have been 1878-90 and he is not short selling himself and his skills:
“I have bred Danish Dogs since 1875 and I do not believe I exaggerate when I state
that “Danes” became popular in Northern Germany as a result of my kennel”.
Max Hartenstein (- 1917) was a very active promoter of all things German, including dog breeds. His active period was 1878-1917. His kennel was called “Plavia” which he ran out of the small German city of Plauen in the state of Saxony (Sachsen). It is from Hartenstein and his large dogs that the German Creation Myth about the origin of “Deutsche Dogge” from Württemberg originates.
To begin with the invention of the term “Deutsche Dogge” did not have any consequences outside the German Reich as English and French speaking countries continued to refer to the Great Dane as Great Dane/Danish Dogs and Grand Danois 1.
1 The slightly smaller versions were referred to as “Ulmer Doggen”.
Records from the Stud Book in Denmark show that in 1890 the Danes referred to their own dog as “Large Danish hound” (Stor Dansk Hund) and “The Danish Hound” (Den danske Hund).
The term “Deutsche Dogge” does not exist anywhere in the world prior to 1880 and the German Reich fully acknowledges that the name has been artificially created 1.
1 Dr. A. Ströse: Unsere Hunde - Form und Leben des Hundes (Erster Band, Neudamm 1902): ”Im Jahre 1880 wurden durch eine in Berlin tagende Kommission alle diese früheren lokalen benennungen für ein und dieselbe rasse unter dem gemeinschaftlichen namen deutsche Dogge zusammengesasst”. This translates as follows: “in the year 1880 a commission in Berlin took all the previous local names for the one and same race and merged them under the common name deutshe Dogge”.
As the absolute monarchies of Europe came to an end by the end of the 19th Century, the task of organising and breeding hunting dogs transfers from the royal families to the aristocracy and later on to commoners. The English Great Dane Club is established in 1883. In the German Reich the Deutsche Doggen Klub is established five year later in 1888. The total number of Great Danes in the entire German Reich in the years following 1888 was, in accordance with the Stud Book, the grand sum of 583 registered dogs. In Denmark the Danish Kennel Club was established in 1897. It retains responsibility for the Great Dane until a separate club is established in 1928 under the name of "Specialklubben for den danske Hund" (Special Club for the Danish Hound).
From 1880 onwards, slowly but surely, an almost biblical re-writing of history is seen in German literature that dominates most sciences worldwide at the time.
The re-writing of the history of the Great Dane can be traced precisely to the dog show in Berlin in May 1880. However, at the dog show during the Oktoberfest in Munich in 1880 three brothers from the same litter of Great Danes were still exhibited as "Ulmer Dog", “English Dog” and “Danish Dog” respectively 1.
1 For further reading see Viggo Møller: Hunden og Hunderacerne (1887, pages 218-233) and Oscar Horn: Handbuch des Hunde-Sport (1882, "Schutz- und Wachthunde", 3. Deutsche Doggen, p. 181-185).
Mr. von Schmiedeberg is in 1883 the former editor of the German dog magazine “Der Hund” (The Hound). This year he translates from English to German Vero Shaw’s work ”Classic Dog Encyclopedia” (1879-81). The Germen edition is called ”Illustriertes Buch vom H. Shaw” (Leipzig, 1883). In the German edition we find a post-script added personally by von Schmiedeberg:
“An article was published in an English trade journal referring to the name “Deutsche Dogge” as an “Usurpation” --- The reason for the desire for the current name has already been explained and does not seem to me an usurpation as the race most likely has been known in Germany almost as long as in Denmark and has furthermore in this country been improved”. 1
1 The Danish translation by Viggo Møller can been seen in ”Hunden og Hunderacerne” (1887, pages 218-233).
An English speaking reader will know all too well the full implication of terming the newly created word “Deutsche Dogge” a ”usurpation”. This is precisely what is was and is.
As the author Viggo Møller does it, it is the sentence “the race most likely has been known in Germany almost as long as in Denmark” that makes the reader sit up and pay attention. Let us recapture the same sentence in its German original:
“...die Race ist in Deutschland wahrscheinlich fast ebenso lange bekannt wie in Dänemark, und hat ausserdem hier zu Lande eine Veredlung erfahren. In Dänemark geschah aber das Gegentheil“.
In other words; by using the term ”fast ebenso lange bekannt wie in Dänemark“ or “[known] almost as long as in Denmark” von Schmiedeberg acknowledges fully that the origin of the Great Dane is Denmark as the dog has been known here longer than in Germany.
Another example is the letter written by the Prussian Albrecht zu Solms-Brauenfels to the editor of the English ”The Kennel Gazette” in April 1883. His letter is a reaction to the article written by the co-founder of the Great Dane Club in England, Frank Adcock, in the ”The Kennel Gazette” in March 1883. Frank Adcock writes: ”...as you will see from the enclosed circular, Mr. R. Gambier Bolton has now undertaken the formation of a club to promote the further development and improvement of these canine giants”. The Great Dane Club, England is founded in April 1883.
The German “Creation Myth” is by now fully developed and Albrecht writes:
”I presume that the starters of the club wish to understand under “Great Dane” that breed we call in our country, and at our leading shows, “Deutsche Dogge”, which is one of our oldest and finest breeds, and mostly known in England under the name of “German Boar Hound”.
Everyone is aware of, including England, that we are dealing with outright lies from an obscure princeling from a Principality that no longer exists in 1883 (the landscape of ”Solms-Braunfels” today forms part of the German state of Hesse. It became a Principality in 1742 and was divided between Austria, Hesse-Darmstadt, Prussia and Württemberg in 1806).
Dr. A. Ströse writes in ”Unsere Hunde - Form und Leben des Hundes” (Erster Band, Neudamm 1902):
”Der Dänische Hund
Űber die Ubstammung der deutschen Dogge find wir ziemlich genau unterrichtet, und schicke ich voraus, dass man die deutsche Dogge früher allgemein und auch heut noch vereinzelt in Württemberg, das wir als das Stammland der deutschen Dogge ansehen müssen, als hassrüde bezeichnet; auch die name Ulmer Dogge, dänische Dogge, deutscher und altdeutscher Fanghund, englische Dogge, dänischer hund, Dogge leichten und schweren schlags, Boarhund waren für diese rasse mehr oder weniger gebräuchlich. Im Jahre 1880 wurden durch eine in Berlin tagende Kommission alle diese früheren lokalen benennungen für ein und dieselbe rasse unter dem gemeinschaftlichen namen deutsche Dogge zusammengesasst.”
The Prussian/German Creantion Myth is re-writing history in this way:
”Der Dänische Hund” (The Danish Hound) which since 1880 has been re-baptised the newly created name of ”Deutsche Dogge”, can trace it’s origins to Württemberg 1. In stark contrast to the rest of the world's population, in the German Reich they are “reasonably well informed” about this (ziemlich genau unterrichtet).
The same author is arguing that another dog is the “real” hound from Denmark and he complains about that the rest of the world continue to call the dog the Great Dane, Grand Danois, Grand Dane etc. From this point onwards the German Creation Myth rhetoric is very consistent following the old and tested method of repeating a lie so many times that it eventually becomes the truth.
1 Not a single piece of evidence has ever been put forward in support of the argument that the Deutsche Dogge should originate from Württemberg. The “information” about the supposed origin of Deutsche Dogge from Württemberg originates from Max Hartenstein, who is himself a member of the commission that invents the new name “Deutsche Dogge”. I have previously shown how King Christian VI. to Denmark in the year 1741 dispatches 25 packs of Great Danes to his Queen’s brother’s son the Viscount Friedrich von Brandenburg-Bayreuth. It would be my guess that the Deutsche Dogge-Commission in 1880 is not aware of, or perhaps has no desire to become aware of, the history of the Great Dane prior to 1880.
We also need to mention Johan Täntzer’s work ”Der Dianen Hohe und Niedere Jagdgeheimnüsz” (1682-89 in 3 books) which was purchased by King Christian V. to Denmark (Regent 1670-1699) for the sum of 12 Rigsdaler (monetary unit of Denmark at the time).
Many German re-writers of history continue to use this work as perhaps their main source in pointing to a German origin of the Great Dane. The argument presumably goes that because the books are published in German, that the author is clearly of German descent (from Saxony) then his mentioning of large hounds must mean that the Great Dane is in fact German.
Mr. Täntzer1 commenced his hunting career as a fowler with the royal Danish hunting lodge called Jægersborg Slot 2. Following his stint as a fowler he moved on to become a wolfhunter for 8 years (between 1677 and 1685) in the Danish landscapes of Slesvig and Jutland (without having any impact on the wolf population). He ended his career as Inspector of the game preserve outside Copenhagen (around the present day Copenhagen Airport) called “Gammel og Ny Amager” (Old and New [island of] Amager). His 3 books are published in Copenhagen and are exclusively based on his experiences from Jutland and his view and usage of the Great Dane in his attempt to hunt down wolfs in Denmark.
1 In his letter of employment it says “Teutzer” but he signed himself as ”Täntzer”. He is subordinated to the Master of the Royal Hunt (Mr. Brockdorff in Haderslevhus, Koldinghus and Riberhus, all Jutland from the year 1681). However, the Forest Superintendent and the foresters were obliged to assist him during the hunts. In addition the local Prefect and its officers had to provide horses and people for his usage in the wolf hunt. He was permitted to hunt wolfs but not other game on the royal lands in Slesvig and Jutland. He received 2 shilling for every wolf killed and had free lodging at the hunting lodge in Skanderborg. He received no fixed salary and he alone bore the economic cost of all the hunting gear.
2 Master of the Royal Hunt Vincentz Joachim Hahn (1632-1680) was born in Mecklenborg (Mecklenburg) and came to Denmark 6 years old. He was trained as a huntsman and forester in Saxony and was given his letter of employment 8th January 1661. On the 8th May 1670 he is paid 1.500 Rigsdaler from the royal purse to commence the amalgamation the two game preserves Jægersborg Dyrehave and Jægersborg Hegn (north of Copenhagen). Mr. Hahn was one the “favorites” of Christian V. King to Denmark and in 1672 the king gave him as present the entire village of Tøbberup. The village in turn was transformed in to the Hjortespring Manor (bought back by the Crown in 1738 after which the buildings were destroyed). Hahn died only 47 years old and was put to final rest in Roskilde Cathedral. His subsequent reputation in Denmark is terrible not least as a result of his greediness. It is Mr. Hahn that employs Mr. Täntzer.
Source: C. Weismann: Vildtets og Jagtens Historie (1931, pages 467-470), who has the information from the Royal Danish Protocols.
Johan Täntzer uses the words ”Cammer Hund”, ”Leib Hund” and ”englische Hund”. A ”Cammer Hund” (Chamber Hound) refers to a dog, which joins his master in the bedroom. Because the word “Hund” (Hund) is attached to the type of dog we can assume that this is a large dog. D. Johann Georg Krünitz explains in ”Oeconomischen Encyclopädie” (1773-1858, 242 books) that a “Leib Hund” (Life Hound) is “a dog which a noble lord constantly has by his side, as oppose to a Chamber Hound”. The word “leib” directly translates to “life”. A “Leib Hund” is thus a “Life [guard] Hound”. The usage of ”englische Hund” (English Hound) is quite unique to the royal dog breeding in Denmark as the “English Hound” is imported from England from the year 1585 onwards 1.
1 See Viggo Møller’s mentioning of this in ”Hunden og Hunderacerne” (1887, pages 218-233).
We find the German “Creation Myth” and re-writing of history in a single English publication; Vero Shaw’s ”Classic Dog Encyclopedia” (1879-81). The Great Dane is here re-named “German Mastiff” even though the same author cites Sydenham Edwards who calls the dog Great Dane. He appears to be the only English author attempting to re-write history in English 1. Frederick Becker writes in ”The Great Dane” (Our Dogs, Manchester, 1905) that the Great Dane was imported to England from Denmark and that the dog in England is called “Great Dane”.
1 Vero Shaw is very likely a bit too closely associated with von Schmiedeberg, the German editor of “Der Hund”, who translates Vero Shaw’s book from English to German in 1883. Von Schmiedeberg forms part of the conspiracy of the German “Creation Myth”. For more about this please refer to Viggo Møller: Hunde og Hunderacerne (1887, pages 218-233).
22nd May 1911 an international cooperation is established to further the knowledge of and protect purebred dogs. The organisation is named “International Canine Federation” (also known by its French acronym “FCI” or “Federation Cynologique Internationale”). It has five founding members; The German Reich, Austria-Hungary, Belgium, France and the Netherlands.
Since the German Reich had defeated Austria-Hungary in warfare in 1866 and France in 1870-1, The German Reich is from the outset able to manipulate FCI in accordance with its desired policies. FCI ceases to exist during the course of World War I and is only re-established 10th April 1921, this time by France. Only the 5th March 1968 does FCI become a legal body.
The Swiss philosopher, natural scientist and developmental psychologist Jean Piaget (1896-1980) was a member of the “Friends of Nature Club” (Club des Amis de la Nature). The Club had gathered 26th December 1912 in the auditorium at Collège Latin de Neuchâtel, Switzerland. Jean Piaget made a speech and said amongst other things:
”Vous penserez peut-être qu'il est vraiment fastidieux que des savants français et des savants allemands se querellent pendant des années pour savoir si le chien danois appartient à la même espèce que le griffon et que le basset, ou si deux de ces chiens sont des variétés du troisième, ou si un de ces chiens est une sous-variété du second qui serait une variété du premier constituant le type de l'espèce.”
I translate this to English as follows:
“Perhaps you find it ever so boring that the learned French and the learned Germans have argued for many years to establish if the dog Danois [Dane] is the same type as the Griffon or the Basset [Hound], or if these two dogs are a variety of a third or if one of these dogs is a sub-specie of the second who is a sub-specie of the foremost constituency of this specie”.
The contents of the commentary by Mr. Piaget are in itself not particularly interesting apart from a minor but very important point. Mr. Piaget is making an attempt at humour by means of sarcasm and the metaphor he is using is the dispute over the origin of the Great Dane. Quite clearly the audience in Collège Latin de Neuchâtel, Switzerland in 1912 will be well aware of the imbedded humour and thus of the outrageous attempt by the German Reich to rewrite the natural history of the Great Dane. In fact the manipulative manners of the German Reich is so relentless and widespread that it can be used as humour.
Germany’s charge against Denmark
Towards the end of 1936 the German kennel club for dogs had been made subject to the Ministry of Food Supply (Reichsernährungsministerium) and the Army supreme command (Oberkommando des Heeres) under S.A. (Sturm Abteilung)1. Under its new name ”Reichsverband für das Deutsche Hundewesen” or ”R.D.H.” the nazi-controlled German kennel club dispatches a letter to the Danish Kennel Club (“DKK”), signed by the Secretary Franz Bazille.
In this letter Germany charges Denmark on the forthcoming Annual General Meeting of the International Canine Federation/ Federation Cynologique International (FCI) to be held in Paris 22nd July 1937 (today FCI is based in Belgium). The charge is that from the AGM onwards the Great Dane must only be name Deutsche Dogge globally.
1 By order of Gestapo dated 20th July 1935 all other dog associations ceased to exist. The S.A. is only trusted in 1936 because Hitler personally arrested and ordered the execution without trial of Ernst Julius Röhm (Ernst Roehm), co-founder and commander of the S.A. on the 2nd July, 1934 as the culmination of what became known as “Night of the Long Knives”. Henceforth S.A. was brought under army control.
The Agenda for the board meeting 5th December 1936 in the Danish Kennel Club, item 3., confirms that the initial letter from Nazi-Germany has been received with the sender being ”Reichsverband für das deutsche Hundewesen”. The letter is dealt with at the board meeting (The Danish Kennel Club actually receives two letters from the same sender).
The Minutes of the board meeting dated 5th December 1936 states as follows:
“Re. Item 3. It was decided to mail Reichsverband the Standard for the Great Dane1 and reply that we shall maintain the Great Dane as a hound of Danish origin but that we do not object to acknowledging the dog bred in Germany and known as “Deutsche Dogge” as a dog of German origin. It was decided to mail a copy of our reply to The Great Dane Club [of Denmark] and request their comments. It was decided to reply to the other letter from Reichsverband that the procedures of FCI occasionally has been less than swift, presumably due to its workload. Written replies have been provided to all letters”.
1 The standard for the Great Dane was written by Denmark in 1935 with Denmark being the country of origin of the Great Dane. Hence the correct reply is to provide the universally agreed upon standard for the Great Dane as written by Denmark.
The draft reply proposed by The Danish Kennel Club to be mailed to ”Reichsverband für das deutsche Hundewesen” is thus first submitted to The Great Dane Club [of Denmark] for comments prior to it being sent. As the reply contains a recognition of “Deutsche Dogge” in Germany, a statement the Danish Kennel Club is not legally permitted to give without prior consent from The Great Dane Club [of Denmark], the draft reply is never mailed.
The Danish Kennel Club 18th January 1937 contacts in writing haulage contractor Madsen, a member of the board of The Great Dane Club [of Denmark] 1. From the letter issued by The Danish Kennel Club we can derive that The Great Dane Club [of Denmark] makes an approach to The Danish Kennel Club 13th January 1937 and requests a response as soon as possible “as to the question if Great Dane henceforth shall be named Great Dane or Deutsche Dogge..”. Likewise, one can also deduct from the same letter that the Danish Kennel Club immediately following the board meeting on the 5th December 1936 has mailed its draft reply to ”Reichsverband für das deutsche Hundewesen” to The Great Dane Club [of Denmark] for comments. It is the contents of the draft reply proposed by the Danish Kennel Club that has set the wheels in motion and made haulage contractor Madsen snappish in his dealings with the Danish Kennel Club with whom he speaks 13th January 1937.
1 The chairman of The Great Dane Club [of Denmark] at this point in time is believed to be Erik Levison. However, he is incapacitated and dies 1936-37. Haulage contractor Madsen only becomes chairman of The Great Dane Club [of Denmark] in 1948. Mr. C. Hagbarth Christensen is appointed chairman of the Club sometime during the spring of 1937. Mr. Knud Madsen appears to be bridging the gap on behalf of The Great Dane Club [of Denmark] in the meantime.
The Minutes of the board meeting dated 30th March 1937 states as follows:
“Re. Item 4. A letter from Mr. Henry Larsen was read (then retired Consul to Geneva, Switzerland). It was decided to approach Press Attaché Wamberg (then with the Royal Danish Embassy in Paris) and ask if he would be willing to represent The Danish Kennel Club and defend our interests as regards to matters concerning the “Great Dane”. It was decided to seek legal assistance in preparing the written defence and to direct the lawyers to amongst other the Chairman of The Great Dane Club [of Denmark]”.
The case of the “Great Dane” was discussed again at the board meeting in The Danish Kennel Club the 29th May 1937 where Item No. 11 on the Agenda is “The Great Dane issue”.
At this board meeting is was decided to approach Mr. Henry Larsen as to “if he would assume the responsibility of seeing the Great Dane issue through to a successful conclusion…”.
The other reason why the German attack is launched in 1937 can be pinpointed to the fact that the Danish Aage Vilhelm Christian Count Moltke (1866 -1943), at the time Chairman of The Danish Kennel Club, in 1935-36 also held the Chair of The International Canine Federation(FCI). Denmark had joined the FCI in 1934.
The President of the ”Reichsverband für das deutsche Hundewesen” (RDH) in 1937 is Hans Glockner. As Gordon Stewart had done in the United Kingdom in 1930 1 so Hans Glockner created a trophy, named after him, which still exists today. The self-effacing title of Hans Glockner was ”Reichsführer für das deutsche Hundewesen” or “Reichsführer for German Dog Matters”. In 1939 S.A. Obergruppenführer Manthey becomes President of the RDH and Major Most the equivalent of Secretary 2.
1 Gordon Stewart who had Kennel Send presented 5 Send Gold Vases to the Kennel Club of the United Kingdom in 1930 to be given for each group winner at the Crufts Dog Show annually. The Kennel Club of the United Kingdom keeps the vases. Source: Robert Heal: The Danes of Send Manor (2001, p. 141)
2 According to ”Delegierten Commission e.V. Hundeverband für Deutschland” in a letter to the Jewish Central Council in Berlin (Zentralrat der Juden in Deutschland) the leadership of the RDH was as follows:
Hans Glockner was in 1931 “3. Vorsitzender” of the DKH and Franz Bazille “geschäftsführender Vorsitzender” (= Secretary) of the DKH
From the beginning of 1933 Franz Bazille was “Geschäftsführer” (= Secretary) of the RDH
From the middle of 1933 Hans Glockner was “Reichsführer” of the RDH
From 1935 Hans Glockner was “Verbandsführer” of the RDH
Franz Bazille was in 1935 “Reichsausstellungswart” (Guardian of exhibitions in the Reich) and “Leiter” (Leader) of Foreign Affairs of the RDH
In March 1952 Franz Bazille becomes the First Honorary President of the VDH until his death 12th October 1952
For further reading see : Franz Bazille: Die Kennzeichen unserer Rassehunde” (Bielefeld, 1926) and Franz Bazille: Katechismus der Hunderassen (Weber’s Illustrierte Katechismen, No. 144)
Germany’s charge against Denmark was as follows:
”Le Reichverband für das Deutsche Hundewesen recoit constamment des plaintes de ce que dans la presse professionelle étrangére on parle toujours à nouveau du ”Grand Danois” tandis qu’il ne peut s’agir que du ”Deutsche Dogge”, c’est à dire que le Grand Danois n’est pas autre chose que notre Deutsche Dogge.
Nous nous sommes, par conséquent, adressés à la F.C.I. et on nous informe qu’à ce sujet il faut prendre l’avis du Kennel Klub danois, surtout pour savoir s’il existe des caractères particuliers à la race du Grand Danois. Afin d’éclaircir la question reconnaitre le Deutsche Dogge comme tel et à ne plus employer l’appellation de ”Grand Danois”, appellation qui n’occasionne que des erreurs et des malentendus”.
(FCI, Le Secretaire General, Baron Albert Houtart)1
1 Albert-Léon-Marie Baron Houtart (1887-1951). Baron Houtart was from 1935-43 governor of the province of Brabant, Belgium (Gouverneur Honoraire du Brabant). Nazi-German radio in Brussels announces 10th March 1943 that as the last of the by HM the King of Belgium appointed governors of the various provinces of Belgium he was removed from office. Baron Houtart was re-appointed governor again 1944-49. He published several books about dogs.
I translate the charge by Germany as follows:
”Reichverband für das Deutsche Hundewesen constantly receives complaints that the word ”Grand Danois” [Great Dane] continues to be used by the professional foreign press although it clearly refers to Deutsche Dogge. In other words the Grand Danois [Great Dane] is nothing but our Deutsche Dogge.
As a consequence of this we have approached the FCI and we have been informed that we are obliged to submit this matter to The Danish Kennel Club, specifically to learn if there are any special characteristics of the Grand Danois [Great Dane].
Finally to clarify the issue we demand the recognition of Deutsche Dogge as such and the cessation of usage of Grand Danois [Great Dane] henceforth in order to avoid mistakes and misunderstandings”
(FCI, Secretary General, Baron Albert Houtart)
The protocol from the FCI provide us with very important evidence as we are able to discern from it that former Consul General Ferdinand Prior1 on behalf of The Danish Kennel Club presents a sizable historical material regarding the origin of the Great Dane2. Mr. Prior counters the German attack with two statements:
That Denmark shall not accept that the Great Dane is split in to two separate type of hounds, and
That Denmark shall not accept that the name Great Dane (Grand Danois) shall cease to exist and be replaced by a newly created type of hound called ”Deutsche Dogge”.
We have good reason to suspect that the Danish government is well informed about the German aggression already in 1937. The Danish Kennel Club contacts the journalist and Press Attaché with the Danish legation in Paris Helge Wamberg and asks that he spearhead the Danish defence. He declines to do so by referring to his diplomatic position. It is a reasonable assumption that Mr. Wamberg’s refusal to assist in this matter is a decision dictated by the Danish Foreign Office and hence the Danish government. Against an aggressive Nazi-Germany bullying its way forward the origin of the Great Dane has become an “untouchable” issue. The bust of Mr. Helge Wamberg can be seen on the outside wall of the Danish Students Hall in Paris (La Fondation Danoise), which he co-founded. He married Sascha Wamberg. Please refer to Hakon Stangerup: Dansk kultur i Frankrig 1920-1960. En bog til minde om Helge Wamberg (1959) and Karl Bjarnhof: Historien om Sascha (1961).
Source: C. Hagbarth Christensen: Danmark vandt Kampen om ”Grand danois” Navnet (”Hunden”, 1937, p. 167).
From the FCI protocol of the defence material presented and written in French we can see that this material is published in Bulletin Officiel de la Société Canine de Monaco in August 1937. We know that Mr. C. Hagbarth Christensen brought along two suitcases full of books, a total of 30 books. “My hope is that The Great Dane Club [of Denmark] one day shall be able to find the funds so that all this wonderful material may be translated in to Danish and published in a book…”. Source: C. Hagbarth Christensen: Danmark vandt Kampen om ”Grand danois” Navnet (”Hunden”, 1937, p. 167-168, 170).
At the Annual General Meeting of the FCI in 1937 the former Consul General Ferdinand Prior is joined by the chairman of The Great Dane Club [of Denmark] Mr. C. Hagbarth Christensen and Mr. Henry Larsen, Geneva ("Hunden", month of August?, 1937, p. 143)1.
1 Mr. C. Hagbarth Christensen is chairman of The Great Dane Club [of Denmark] 1937-48. Thus he begins his chairmanship with this existential problem for the Great Dane and Denmark.
The protocol from the Annual General Meeting of the FCI 22nd July 1937 in which the German charge against Denmark is described in detail. Forwarded on request by the FCI to The Danish Kennel Club in the spring of 2003. Source: The Great Dane Club [of Denmark].
I trust the reader will recognise both the Prussian and the Nazi-German “weltanschauung”; that all non-German races must be exterminated or subjugated to the will of the Germans. That all things important must originate from the German race. However, even more importantly the protocol provides no clues as to any evidence presented by the Germans. Since we have an exhaustive description of all matters addressed at the AGM of the FCI this can only lead to the conclusion that no such evidence or proof was ever put forward nor does it indeed exist. Thus the charge by Germany can be summed up as merely seeking a cease-and-desist order on the name “Great Dane, Grand Danois” as it is the same hound as Deutsche Dogge. The protocol ends by stating that following the defence by Mr. Prior of Denmark, the President of the ”Reichsverband für das deutsche Hundewesen” (RDH), Mr. Glockner, commented that it was a mistake to table this issue in the Agenda and that the R.D.H. shall not officially seek to amend the name “Great Dane, Grand Danois”.
Likewise we have the Danish report of the AGM of the FCI 22nd July 1937 and the Danish defence against Germany. Mr. C. Hagbarth Christensen 1 is chairman of The Great Dane Club [of Denmark] and participated in the very meeting on the Danish side. His full report is printed in “Hunden” (1937, October, p. 165-173).
1 In the chapter “In between the Wars & after WW2” the reader will find a short description of Mr. C. Hagbarth Christensen.
“Denmark won the battle over the name “Great Dane”. The largest challenge ever faced by The Danish Kennel Club in its entire existence returned a sizable victory for the Club. By Mr. C. Hagbarth Christensen (chairman of The Great Dane Club [of Denmark])”. Source: The Great Dane Club [of Denmark].
Consul General Ferdinand Prior commences the Danish defence by reciting the German charge against Denmark for the General Asembly as shown above. Thereafter he continues in French, here in the English translation:
“Permit me to draw attention to the fact that from the circumstances just referred to it is Germany which has raised the matter and not Denmark as erroneously stated on the Agenda of today’s General Assembly. However, we shall be willing to partake in the debate and thus I have decided to explain to you our point of view without any further hesitation.
Last Monday I listened to an extraordinarily scientific Exposé about the psychology of dogs as well as the scientific discussion that followed. Alas, as I stand before you I must admit that I find myself feeling like a little Danish dog in a game of skittles. For I cannot hope to reach the same heights as did the speakers this past Monday just merely by being fond of dogs and Great Danes in particular. However, I do know that in order to a true friend of animals one must possess a great dose of goodness and an inexhaustible tolerance, and I appeal for both as I now address you. I shall do my outmost to show good will towards the matter at hand and to the extent possible avoid issues that may upset the sensibilities of others and in particular our friends from the German delegation.
The matter that has been raised is, as you all know, a repeat issue that has already been previously addressed – and I am tempted to say has been dealt with since the beginning of time, I.e. since the first day this beautiful animal called “Grand Danois” or in English “the Great Dane” or still in German “der grosse dänische Hund” first got this name. For the name of the hound has, dare I say, gained a prescriptive right – recognition by its long-term usage – and this is no small matter. I would argue that the value of a prescriptive right is significant and no less so in the scientific world and something one should not alter as this would only be a source of confusion. If I am not mistaken science has never been fond of matters that confuse.
I dare not assert any influence over you and I shall openly admit that it remains an open question as to who first came up with this beautiful name for the hound in question and why it was given to it. However, I believe we can agree on in unison and without hesitation that the name of the hound sounds like a fanfare and is so well suited for its subject that one cannot differentiate one from the other. There are certain terms of expression, let us call them of a historical and otherwise nature, which it would be sacrilege to touch – and he who did so would most likely gain nothing from doing so, on the contrary. Further more one would search in vain for anything so beautiful, so soothing for the ear, something so accurate for the spirit and for science, as the name Grand Danois, Great Dane etc. One really has to ask oneself why anyone would be so eager to change it!
I recently had the opportunity to discuss the matter at hand with a true expert on dogs, Professor Letard 1, who will be familiar to all of you and whose absence today I very much regret. However, he expressly permitted me to quote him. During the course of our conversation concerning the name and the history of the Great Danes he stated: A geographical name given to an animal is not necessarily in the beginning a judgement of the animal’s origin, and he quoted me several examples confirming his theory: We have the Spanish dog whose origin most likely is not Spain and rather should be classified as a French dog, but understood so that the name Spanish Dog is maintained. There is the Arabian horse, whose origin has nothing to do with Africa or Arabia – it originates from central Asia; this is also the case with the Berber (Barb, Barbary) horse which does not originate from the Berber homeland but Asia; the Angora rabbit does not originate from Angora and the Livornian dog does not originate form Livorno. Let us therefore not spend more time looking for the answer as to why one calls our hound Great Dane, no one will be able to say for certain. However, as Professor Letard whispered in my ear and as I have previously stated: The name Great Dane has gained a prescriptive right by its long-term usage.
1 French veterinarian researcher Mr. E. Letard
For hundreds of years the Great Dane has been known as a distinct type of hound, and the name has always been the same – even in Germany where the hound was called ”der grosse dänische Hund” [the large Danish hound]. Only in the past 50 years have German breeders attempted to have the hound acknowledged under the name ”Die deutsche Dogge” – not as a new, independent type of hound. They wanted that the type of hound known as Great Dane be renamed as Deutsche Dogge. In the very letter in which Reichsverband für das Deutsche Hundewesen informs The Danish Kennel Club that it intends to demand a final renaming of the hound – the letter which I have just now read to you – Reichsverband is further more acknowledging that the trade press abroad uses the name “Great Dane, Grand Danois” for the hound which Reichsverband says “is nothing but their Deutsche Dogge”. Thus the Germans acknowledge that it is the same hound and that it only demands a change of name. Permit me this remark; if the type of hound has been known as Great Dane for hundreds of years and only Deutsche Dogge for about 50-60 years, then Reichsverband is not expressing itself very well when it states that the Great Dane “is nothing but their Deutsche Dogge” – au contraire it would be necessary to state that their Deutsche Dogge is nothing but our Great Dane. If a hound is to be renamed it is Deutsche Dogge and not the Great Dane.
I have already put to you my personal opinion that the name Great Dane sounds like a fanfare and from an esthetical point of view any other name might sound indistinct, perhaps trite. Would one then also have to rename the clubs the world over whose names have assumed the name Grand Danois or Great Dane? Whoever would believe this – even for a moment? What would one do with the numerous scientific and other works dedicated exclusively to the Great Dane? There is a desire to avoid confusion. The argued for renaming would create confusion!
I have brought along excerpts from important cynological works from Germany, France and England, all of which address the Great Dane, and in the most recent works also Deutsche Dogge. I am making these works available to the General Assembly and I am also willing to read them back to you should you find this desirable.
For the time being I shall only mention to you each of the titles in chronological order and a brief summary of the contents of each title.
(Hereafter follows the reading aloud which in its matter-of-fact and historical merit left a big impression upon the audience. Mr. Prior then continued:)
I wish to end my speech with a final excerpt from the very interesting and meticulously executed Practical Dog Book by Edward C. Ash, London 1931, - I can highly recommend you to read everything Mr. Ash has written about the Great Dane. He arrives at the following conclusion [page 46]:
”It may well be asked how it has occurred that although the Great Dane was kept and bred in England for over two hundred years, and evidently was at some time or another a Danish breed, the breed should be claimed to-day as a German variety! It may be recalled that the important German Chancellor, Prince Bismarck, kept a Great Dane name Tyras. Tyras everywhere accompanied his master. When Tyras died the news of his death was cabled round the world! Tyras, Great Danes and Germany became irrevocably united”.
Ladies and gentlemen, I am now approaching the end of my statement. Everything I have told you will have shown to you that the Great Dane has been internationally recognised as a unique type of hound for hundreds of years. Not withstanding the improvements made on the original hound throughout the centuries, every clear-sighted human being would grant that the Great Dane of today is the Great Dane of old.
No one is about to belittle the efforts made by our German friends in improving the Great Dane. However, we refute absolutely their right to demand the creation of a new breed under the name “Deutsche Dogge”, and to claim that the Great Dane no longer exists, or that the hound that we have given this name, in reality should belong to this so-called new breed referred to as “Deutsche Dogge”.
I trust you will all agree with me in acknowledging that the more one looks in to the matter of the Great Dane the more one will come to realise that nothing or no one shall succeed in erasing the glorious name “Grand Danois” or in English “Great Dane” internationally from the nomenclature of dogs” 1.
1 The final three paragraphs of Mr. Prior’s speech in French forms part of the protocol from the FCI and says as follows:
M. F. Prior termineit son exposé comme suit:
”Mesdames et Messieurs, j’ai terminé. Tout ca que ja vous ai dit aura servi à vous montrer que la race du Grand Danois a été internationalement connue comme race indépendante depuis des siècles, et malgré les améliorations que le type premier a sans doute subies au cours des siècles, aucun esprit averti n’a jamais pu admettre que le type de nos jours n’appartienne plus à la race du Grand Danois.”
”Personne ne disputera à nos amis les Allemands les efforts qu’ils ont fait pour améliorer cette race, mais nous contestons absolument leur droit à réclamer la création d’une nouvelle race a’appellant ”le Deutsche Dogge” et à prétendre qui la race du Grand Danois n’existe plus, ou que le chien auquel nous donnons ce nom appartient en vérité à cette soidisant nouvelle race du ”Deutsche Dogge”.
”Et je pense que vous êtes d’accord avec moi pour recoinaitre que plus on étudie la question et plus on se rend compte que jamais rien, ni personne, ne réussira à rayer internationalement de la nomenclature caninen le glorieux nom du Grand Danois, ou en anglais ”the Great Dane”.
Paris, le 22 juillet 1937. (s). D. Prior.
Mr. C. Hagbarth Christensen proceeds to comment on the events following Ferdinand Prior’s defence of the Great Dane in French:
“A tremendous applause ensued both towards to contents of the speech but also the speaker. Only with some effort did the authoritative chairman of the General Assembly managed to re-establish order.
The chairman of the Reichsverband, Hans Glockner, immediately asked for permission to speak and stated that the Reichsverband had never written or mailed the letter1 referred to and which was the source of the whole case. In his opinion the letter was the most stupid letter he had ever heard of.
1 The statement by Hans Glockner that the ”Reichsverband für das Deutsche Hundewesen” (“R.D.H.”) never mailed the letter in question is an outright lie as can be seen from the protocol of the FCI. The blatant lie by Hans Glockner was subsequently discussed off the record following the General Assembly. After having been shown the original letter in which Germany charges Denmark, signed by Franz Bazille from the R.D.H., Franz Bazille owed up to that he had written the letter. “He explained that he had only wished to negotiate privately with Denmark about a partition of the Great Dane in to two types of hounds as the German shepherd had been split in to a German [Schäferhund] and an Alsatian dog [i.e. a shepherd dog from French landscape of Alsace]. It was never his intention that this matter be put to the FCI”. As remarks Mr. C. Hagbarth Christensen in his reporting on the events that day, this explanation also lacks any credibility compared with factual events prior to and during the General Assembly. There is a clear nazi hand pulling the strings of the R.D.H. As the British Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain was to find out a few years later after having signed the Munich Agreement 29th September 1938, verbal and written agreements had no meaning to Germany and only served as dispensable tools as part of a far more sinister set of events to come. So it was for the Great Dane.
Without any further hesitation the chairman of the General Assembly intervened and stated that Denmark was right in all matters when she insisted that although the Germans might have improved the Great Dane, this did not grant them the right to change neither the nationality of the hound nor its name”.