One of the last returnees from Russian captivity in 1955 brought us the true, heart-breaking story of the little German Spitz bitch Nelly, which will be told here:
One day, a German comrade came on foot with a prisoner transport from our other camp to our Ural camp. His dog, whose attitude had not caused him any trouble so far, followed him unnoticed among the Russian civilians on the sidewalks and then lay in wait for 3 days and 3 nights in the potato fields surrounding the highly fenced camp. Because, she was ruthlessly chased back to the camp gate. On the fourth morning, Nelly found a good opportunity: when a large train of horse-drawn vehicles crossed the camp gate, she broke through the guard chain like a bolt of oil and was suddenly in the German camp. She quickly found her master among the hundreds of men, and how great was the joy of seeing her again! The little dog quickly won the full love of the inmates and knew very quickly how to distinguish between Germans and Russians. She soon learned to warn of the approach of Russian control units by barking lively, thereby making herself indispensable.
When the columns of prisoners left for work at 6 a.m., Nelly and her daily food were hidden in a well-camouflaged earth cave in time. She understood from the first day that she had to behave silently there. But how great was the joy when the friends returned to camp 12 hours later. Her master freed her from the hiding place, and she hurried with giant leaps into the dining hall barracks, sat on her hind legs and sat up and begged. She received delicacies in turn, as each one tried to offer her the few meat fibers in the soup. Finally, she hurried to the cook, who already had a bowl of food for Nelly. Then she hurried along the tables, contributing to the evening's entertainment, until she went to rest with her master on the shared cot.
After 4 weeks, Nelly had become so close to the men's circle that it was generally decided to take her with them to the workplace. She found space under her master's bulky, padded jacket; Given their light weight, it was no problem to carry them on the 7 km daily walk. At work, one of the men always took turns leaving his protective jacket to the dog in order to provide him with sufficient protection in the fierce cold. However, you then had to work twice as hard to compensate for the lack of warmth from the cotton jacket. In the warmer months, Nelly sat among the men without venturing near the guards. Of course, it was then a duty of honor to share the edges of brown bread with Nelly during the breakfast and lunch breaks. The wagging of the tail or a quick lick on the hand was the best reward for the donor. "Our hunger was satisfied by the love and loyalty that this dog showed us and the love that we were able to give her."
Eventually, however, the camp staff discovered that the Spitz was being taken to work hidden under his clothing. The entire staff was then thoroughly searched every morning and a new trick had to be found in order to be able to take the dog with them.
Every morning, a thousand men lined up in a long line of five behind the camp gate, then five men each went a few steps forward to be examined, then about 50 m further in front of the camp gate to gather there again. Nelly found herself between the feet of the second half men. When she heard the shout “Nelly, run! ” she had to rush from this department through the chain of guards and the camp gate to the people being examined in order to be picked up by someone and hidden under her jacket. Every morning, the moment of tension awaited by the Germans and the Russian guards alike was when the order would be given and whether the little creature could evade the regular bombardment or the projectiles made of wood or stone. This trick worked for months, despite all the Russians' efforts to catch or hit the little, clever dog.
But since the poor German men with no rights were not allowed to own anything they loved or revered, one day things got serious. Some higher-ranking Bolshevik heard something about the clever "Dog of the Germans" and ordered the deployment of the garrison, including the bloodhounds.
Little Nelly's master suspected something and didn't dare take the dog back to camp that evening. A hole in the ground was quickly dug, the Spitz was hidden in it and when he left he was clearly told not to leave this place. The column then left calmly.
The next morning, as the prisoners made their usual march through the streets, they suddenly saw a small dog's head with sad eyes appear halfway over the edge of the ditch. It was Nelly, wounded to death. She died in the arms of her master, who was almost overcome by despair, and who only his comrades could restrain from a rash outburst against the nearest guard.
A Russian woman at work sneered and explained what had happened. She worked as a crane operator in the immediate vicinity of the Germans and had observed from the height of the crane tower where the Spitz had found its hiding place. That evening, she went to the cave to get the dog and take it with her children. But Nelly didn't allow herself to be lured out, and pinched the woman's arm a few times. Out of anger that the German dog didn't want to know anything about a Russian woman, she quickly ran to the camp political commissar and described the hiding place to him. The inspector thought the political side of the matter was so important that he immediately drove his company car to the dog's hiding place and quickly fired a few shots from his pistol blindly into the cave. When the Russian had left, the dog came out of the camp, cruelly mutilated, and dragged herself on her uninjured hind legs along the familiar path to the camp in order to seek protection from those who were kind to her. But they soon lost their strength. Halfway there she collapsed and lay in her bed of wounds all night, waiting until dawn until the gray convoy arrived, and her master found her. 😰😰😰