Hugo Boss and Nazi uniforms
If there's a brand I love, that's for sure Hugo Boss. Perfumes, shirts, ties, suits... I'm a simple writer: if I see Hugo Boss, almost every time I'm looking at something I like and that I'd happily wear.
And yet, when I started writing Jewish Eagle I didn't have a clue about the fact that the man himself – Hugo F. Boss in persona – was a strong supporter of the Nazi party. And I didn't know that his factory took care of the production of uniforms of the Schutzstaffel (the SS) uniforms.
Everything started in Metzingen, where mr. Boss opened a textile factory that had the task of producing uniforms for the Nazi party as first importat assignment. It was 1924 in a world where Hugo Boss was far from being an important brand, and the Nazis were just starting out. The collaboration between Boss and the Party went on, and in 1931 Hugo Boss went from textile factory owner to a full-blown member of Hitler's political movement, as well as a huge supporter and investor of the SS with monthly donations.
In 1933, when Hitler seized power, all the uniforms came form Boss's factory: those of the Party, those of the Hitler Youth, and the iconic black uniforms of the SS. Furthermore, with war looming over Europe, Boss started producing clothing for the German army.
A guerra iniziata, Hugo Boss era passato da un introito di 200.000 marchi come quello del 1936, ad uno di ben 1.000.000 di marchi nel 1940. Per poter sostenere la crescente domanda, la fabbrica iniziò ad impiegare come forza-lavoro prigionieri di guerra francesi e schiavi provenienti dai campi di concentramento.
Con la fine della guerra, Hugo Boss venne etichettato come attivista, sostenitore e finanziatore del Nazionalsocialismo, e gli venne tolto il diritto di possedere un’azienda; la sua fabbrica andò in mano a suo genero Eugen, e andò avanti fino a diventare il marchio che tutti conosciamo oggi.
Hugo Boss apologizes
Nonetheless, just some years ago it was the brand itself that apologized for the past connectios with the Nazis, even if it is completely preposterous that somebody would expect apologies now from a company that is far away from what it was back then. Also, Hugo Boss wasn't even a bad man. He was an entrepeneur who, like many others, saw in Hitler the opportunity to rebuild Germany's greatness, and who saw in the Nazi Party a chance for his company to grow.
Could he refuse? Yes, but it wasn't in his best interests.
Could he rise up against the Reich's cruelties? Sure, but nobody would have followed him and he would have found himself insider a cell... or worse, inside a concentration camp without having made a real difference,
But there's one thing we can all say, and that's that those SS uniforms were cool as fuck.