"Nazi-bred Super Cows Roam Farm in Devon"
That's the title of an article in The Guardian about Lutz and Heinz Heck's recreation of the Auroch, a type of wild cow, seen in the cave paintings at Lascaux, France.
Lutz and Heinz Heck were German zoologists who recreated the Auroch, by "back breeding" primitive-looking cattle until, at last, they got a cow that looked right for the part.
This was, quiet literally, "breeding to a picture," which is the basis of most Kennel Club breeding programs today, in which work and ability are given the hind leg.
The caves of Lascaux, of course, were discovered by a terrier by the name of Rocket.
And as for Lutz Heck, he was was instrumental in creating the Jagd Terrier, aka the German Hunt Terrier, a fact I uncovered based on a hunch that it would be the kind of thing a Nazi zoologist like Lutz Heck would do. And guess what? I was right!
Today, many of the Jagd Terrier web sites mention the Lutz Heck connection, even if they whistle past any real description of who Lutz Heck was.
So let's set that right, eh? Here's a short decription, which I think puts the man in time and place. It comes from a New York Times review of The Zookeeper’s Wife, a book about how the director of the Warsaw Zoo and his wife saved the lives of 300 Jews by hiding them in the zoo during the war.
The Zookeeper’s Wife proceeds chronologically, starting before the war, when the Warsaw Zoo was as esteemed as any in Europe. Soon the Nazis destroyed the zoo with bombs and guns. Led by the criminal zoologist Lutz Heck, they carted off the best animals for their own collections. Then Heck and the SS held a shooting festival on New Year’s Eve, 1939, to finish the job. Their brutality at the zoo foretold their brutality in the war, as Antonina intuited in her diary, which Ackerman draws on heavily for her book. “How many humans will die like this in the coming months?” Antonina asks herself, watching the Nazi shooting spree.
- Related Link
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