The aggressive Nazi-bred cows that caused havoc on a modern farm

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tags: Nazi, WW II

Some of Derek Gow's cows terrified him. "If I was standing here and some of the more aggressive ones were in this field, and they could see me, then they would come right across now and try and kill you," he told the BBC. Those cows would charge "with every intention of wiping you off the face of this Earth," he said from his farm.

That aggression was no fluke; those cows were Heck cattle, bred by Nazi zoologists who used Spanish fighting bulls in their quest to resurrect a long-extinct breed, the aurochs. Their resulting mean demeanor forced Gow, an English farmer, to send 20 of his Heck cows off to be turned into burgers and sausages, the BBC reported.

The story of how the Nazis got into the cow-breeding business actually began in 1600s Poland, when the last of the aurochs died. Dutch writer Cis Van Vuure said the aurochs had "the dubious honor of being the first documented case of extinction," Elizabeth Kolbert writes in the New Yorker.

Read entire article at WaPo

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