The mascot of the 1972 Olympic Games in Munich Germany was a Dachshund named Waldi—a blue, green, yellow and orange stuffed toy modeled after a real-life member of the breed. He represented the attributes essential in Olympic athletes, including tenacity and agility. Waldi, along with every other Dachshund in the world, is celebrated at the Dachshund Museum which opened April 2, 2018 in the German city of Passau in Bavaria.
The brain child of two former florists, Josef Küblbeck and Oliver Storz, this museum contains 4500 objects to honor the breed, making it the world’s largest collection of Dachshund memorabilia. Exhibits contain stamps, plates, puppets, toys, salt shakers, statues, artistic prints, figurines, beer steins and a print of Picasso’s famous Dachshund sketch. The only live Dachshunds that are regularly in attendance are Seppi and Moni, who belong to Küblbeck and Storz, but other dogs are welcome to come in, too.
Dachshunds are popular throughout Germany, but especially so in Bavaria, and they are often used as a symbol of the country. They were bred in Germany to hunt predators of ducks and geese such as foxes and badgers. The last emperor of Germany, Kaiser Wilhelm II, had a Dachshund that was his hunting companion and who was buried with his own gravestone. Many Germans admire the breed and take pride in its abilities, as exemplified in the German saying, “When the dachshund looks in the mirror, he sees a lion.”