World War II is a dark stain on human history.  Even though it is an incredibly good thing that the world joined forces to rid itself of an evil plague that threatened to spread its poison far and wide, it is also an incredibly bad thing that it was necessary in the first place.   Without a doubt, the man at the center of this the entire mess was Adolf Hitler.

Hitler 6
Heinrich Hoffman, Getty Images

Understandably, parts of Adolf Hitler's life that don't directly correlate with his rise to power and the ensuing destruction he and his cronies caused don't get mentioned very much.  Did you know that Hitler loved derby horses?  And he loved his horse Nordlicht the most.  He raced the in 1943 and 1944 on the Nazi circuit and took victories in the German and Austrian derbies. In fact, Nordlicht was undefeated during his career.   He was so successful that he was named horse of the year in 1944, and later was featured on a German postage stamp.  I wonder how many of his opponents took a dive to avoid a trip to das olden Leimfabrik (glue factory)?

Fast forward to the end of the war when allied soldiers were combing through the wreckage of battle torn Europe.  Many of the spoils of war were confiscated and sent back to the US.  One of those spoils was, you guessed it, Nordlicht.  Once on he was on this side of the pond, the champion steed was bought by New Orleans surgeon and horse breeder C. Walter Mattingly.  Nordlicht would spend the rest of his days siring a line of champions until his demise around 1968.  Historians believe that Hitler's equine pride is buried in St. Charles Parish near the entrance to the LaBranche Plantation in St. Rose.  There is even a marker with a brass plaque to denote the spot.

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