London - Details of a bizarre Nazi plan to breed giant Angora rabbits in concentration camps to provide fur-lined clothing for Hitler’s soldiers has been unearthed in a German archive.
‘Operation Munchkin’ was the brainchild of SS chief Heinrich Himmler, who was a chicken farmer before he rose through the Nazi ranks to become the architect of the Holocaust.
The hutches were located in more than 30 concentration camps, including Auschwitz and Dachau.
They were heated and the rabbits were fed more fresh vegetables every day than the prisoners saw in a month.
The rabbits lived in hutches which Himmler decreed had to have ‘plenty of space’ – just yards from barrack huts designed for 200 where upwards of 800 captives would be crammed in.
The plan was for the rabbits to produce enough wool to make lined coats for Luftwaffe pilots, socks for U-Boat personnel and undergarments for the infantry. News magazine Der Spiegel reported on the extraordinary programme.
The ‘Angora book’ was first discovered hidden at Himmler’s home in Bavaria in 1945.
In it, Himmler wrote: ‘Throughout Europe it is my intention to establish breeding stations in concentration camps.’ - Daily Mail