Is Hitler’s horse buried in St. Rose?

Evidence points to LaBranche Plantation as resting place

August 19, 2011 at 9:25 am  | Mobile Reader | Pring this storyPrint 

In the late 1940s, a local doctor, C. Walter Mattingly, bought a prized race horse from Germany. The horse was a chestnut thoroughbred stallion named Nordlicht and it lived on LaBranche Plantation in St. Rose until its death in 1968.

There is another story of a horse named Nordlicht - a racing champion that belonged to a ruthless dictator of the Third Reich, known as Hitler.

Many believe the two horses are one in the same. Dr. Mattingly’s horse had belonged to the Third Reich and was extremely valuable before the war. After the war, it was sold as a stud. Blogs, books and even the plantation’s owners would say for years that Hitler’s horse was buried in St. Rose.

According to Roadside America, Hitler’s horse won the German and Austrian derbies in the 1940s and supposedly had his image placed on a German postage stamp. The site says that when Hitler fell from power, Nordlicht’s popularity fell as well and the U.S. Army claimed the horse as a spoil of war. Now hundreds of Nordlicht’s offspring race in American circuits after Dr. Mattingly used the horse as a stud, according to the site.

While the plantation is currently closed to tours and held as private property, according to an old brochure: "LaBranche is of statewide significance because of its exceptional Federal woodwork ,…authentic slave quarters, the largest pecan tree in the state of Louisiana, Zachary Taylor’s bathtub, and the grave of Hitler’s horse - Nordlicht."

Marilyn Richoux, local historian and co-author of "St. Charles Parish Louisiana: A Pictorial History," said that local historians believe a Third Reich horse is buried at LaBranche and that a plaque is even in place over the grave, but they have no conclusive evidence that the horse definitely belonged to Adolf Hitler.

Many local and national history books and Web sites also list a Third Reich horse being buried at the plantation without specifically mentioning that it belonged to Hitler, including Henry E. Yoes III’s work "Louisiana’s German Coast: A History of St. Charles Parish."

The story of Nordlicht is just one hidden historical treasure belonging to St. Charles Parish. If you know of another interesting or odd piece of local history, email

View other articles written By Michelle Stuckey

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