The highlight of our visit to Potsdam was visiting the grave of Frederick the Great, King of Prussia and the tombs of his dogs!He may have introduced potatoes to Germany, won many battles and whatever else he did, in our eyes, paled in comparison to how much he loved his canine companions. Apparently he even took them to war – actually, poor doggies. Hope they weren’t too frightened.
When his beloved greyhound, Biche died, he wrote to his sister:
“I have had a domestic loss which has completely upset my philosophy. I confide all my frailties in you: I have lost Biche, and her death has reawoken in me the loss of all my friends, particularly of him who gave her to me. I was ashamed that a dog could so deeply affect my soul; but the sedentary life I lead and the faithfulness of this poor creature had so strongly attached me to her, her suffering so moved me, that, I confess, I am sad and afflicted. Does one have to be hard? Must one be insensitive? I believe that anyone capable of indifference towards a faithful animal is unable to be grateful towards an equal, and that, if one must choose, it is best to be too sensitive than too hard”.
George and I were there to pay our respects at the tombs in the grounds of the Sans Souci Palace …
May’s comment: Frederick the Great or Der Alte Fritz (“Old Fritz”) reigned over the Kingdom of Prussia from 1740 until 1786. Known for his military victories, he was also known as the potato king . But he also never really liked the company of people. He asked to be buried with his dogs.