bite-size chunks of London

Giro the Nazi dog

Giro the so-​​called Nazi dog was the pet terrier (not an alsatian, as some have claimed) of the German ambassador to the Court of St James’s in 1932–6, Leopold von Hoesch. The ambassador was in fact said to have disliked the Nazis and there is no record of the dog’s political opinions.

When Giro chewed through a cable and died from electro­cution in February 1934, Hoesch had his remains buried in the gardens of Carlton House Terrace, part of which was home to the German Embassy until the outbreak of the Second World War. The ‘Nazi dog’ appel­lation has been popularised in the context of Giro’s diminutive tombstone, which has become a destination for those seeking out London’s most obscure and offbeat sights. The dog’s memorial reads, ‘Ein treuer Begleiter!’ (A faithful companion). The grave is located behind railings near the Duke of York’s Column.

He was given a full Nazi burial and his grave lies in what was once the front garden to No.9, now a small space between the Duke of York steps and a garage ramp … This is London’s sole Nazi memorial, situated somewhat inappro­priately in an area filled with monuments to heroes of the British empire.”

The Times (21 August 2005)

The tombstone of Giro, the so-called Nazi dog

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