“Hiel Hitler!” in Raccoonese.
Vineyard owners across Germany are hiring bounty hunters to kill thousands of raccoons who have overrun vineyards in central Germany. The raccoons are native to North America. Two were released into the wild in 1934 under the wise guidance of Nazi leader Hermann Goering. Goering, who was head of the air force, was also the chief forester of the Third Reich. The raccoons were meant to enrich German woodlands, but with no natural predators, their population exploded.
The nocturnal mammals descended on vineyards in the Brandenburg region, west of Berlin, ruining the harvest. Ripening grapes are a favourite snack of the stripy-tailed rodent … ‘Raccoons wiped out almost the entire harvest in a matter of days,’ winemaker Werner Kothe told Deutsche Presse-Agentur. ‘We have 540 vines and they have been stripped bare by these animals.’
Neither The Simon Wiesenthal Center nor the Anti-Defamation League have released any statements regarding this matter. Also, anyone who really cares about German wine growing will be relieved to note that “the main winegrowing regions in west Germany â€“ including the Mosel, Rheingau, Saar and Pfalz areas â€“ are believed to be unaffected.” Phew.