Author Topic: Did you know?  (Read 8126 times)

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Offline Jarhead0331

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Did you know?
« on: February 21, 2012, 11:32:42 AM »
Hugo Boss was a member of the Nazi party and designed and supplied the uniforms for the SS, SA, Hitler Youth, and National Socialist Motor Corps?

These things usually don't slip past me, but I was completely unaware of this...

From wiki...

Quote
Hugo Boss started his clothing company in 1924 in Metzingen, a small town south of Stuttgart, where it is still based. However, due to the economic climate in Germany at the time Boss was forced into bankruptcy. In 1931 he reached an agreement with his creditors, leaving him with 6 sewing machines to start again. The same year, he became a member of the Nazi party and a sponsoring member ("Förderndes Mitglied") of the Schutzstaffel (SS).[9] He later stated himself that he had joined the party because of their promise to end unemployment and because he felt "temporarily" withdrawn from the Lutheran church.[9] He joined the German Labour Front in 1936, the Reich Air Protection Association in 1939, the National Socialist People's Welfare in 1941.[9] His sales increased from 38,260 RM in 1932 to over 3,300,000 RM in 1941, while his profits increased in the same period from 5,000 RM to 241,000 RM.[9] Though he claimed in a 1934/1935 advertising he had been a “supplier for Nazi uniforms since 1924”, such supplies are probable since 1928/1929 and certain since 1934, when he became an Reichszeugmeisterei-licensed (official) supplier of uniforms to the Sturmabteilung, Schutzstaffel, Hitler Youth, National Socialist Motor Corps and other party organizations.[9] To meet demand in later years of the war, Boss used about 30 to 40 prisoners of war and about 150 forced laborers, from the Baltic States, Belgium, France, Italy, Austria, Poland, Czechoslovakia and the former Soviet Union.[9] According to German historian Henning Kober, the company managers were “avowed nazis”, “the Boss were all great admirers of Adolf Hitler” and Hugo Boss had in 1945 in his apartment a photograph of himself with Hitler taken in the latter's Obersalzberg retreat.[10]

In a 1946 denazification judgement, based on his early party membership, his financial support of the SS and the uniforms delivered to the Nazi party even before 1933, Boss was considered both an “activist” and a “supporter and beneficiary of National Socialism”. He was stripped of his voting rights, his capacity to run a business and, fined “a very heavy penalty” of 100,000 marks.[9] He died in 1948 but his business survived.

In 1997, the company appeared in a list of Swiss dormant accounts, which stirred the publication of articles highlighting the involvement of Hugo Boss with the Nazis.[11][12][13] In 1999, American lawyers filed lawsuits in New Jersey, on behalf of survivors or their families, for the use of forced workers during the war.[14][15] The company did not comment on these law suits but reiterated an earlier statement that it would “not close its eyes to the past but rather deal with the issues in an open and forthright manner”.[14] It sponsored research by German historian Elisabeth Timm.[9] Nevertheless, after Timm told the press of her findings, the company declined to publish them.[16] In December 1999, an agreement was reached between the German government and a group of American class-action lawyers, Jewish groups and the United States government to set a $5.1 billion fund, financed equally by German industry and the German government, to compensate slave laborers used by the Germans in World War II.[17] Hugo Boss agreed to participate in this fund,[18] for an amount which was estimated by some sources to be “about 752 000 €”,[19] while others considered the firm “finally paid an absolute minimum into the compensation fund”.[20]
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Offline LongBlade

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Re: Did you know?
« Reply #1 on: February 21, 2012, 11:59:35 AM »
I had no idea.

Offline Centurion40

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Re: Did you know?
« Reply #2 on: February 21, 2012, 12:17:51 PM »
Explains why the Nazi's had sharp uniforms.  But to think that Boss joined the Nazis in 1931 AND that he was a sponsoring member of the SS!!!  :o

I'm shocked that the company still carries his name!!!  :o
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Offline LongBlade

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Re: Did you know?
« Reply #3 on: February 21, 2012, 12:45:40 PM »
Agreed. Talk about a black mark. How the heck are they still around?

Offline bayonetbrant

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Re: Did you know?
« Reply #4 on: February 21, 2012, 12:47:05 PM »
Beretta made guns for the fascists in Italy.  Now they make sidearms for the US Army.  It's not as bad as being SS members, but probably still qualifies as economic opportunism.
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Offline Centurion40

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Re: Did you know?
« Reply #5 on: February 21, 2012, 12:50:22 PM »
Yeaaah, but Beretta was founded in 1526.  It appears as if Hugo Boss got his big start/got established via his Nazi connections.
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Offline Jarhead0331

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Re: Did you know?
« Reply #6 on: February 21, 2012, 12:56:54 PM »
Yeaaah, but Beretta was founded in 1526.  It appears as if Hugo Boss got his big start/got established via his Nazi connections.

This is a very astute observation and key distinction from other manufacturing/design entities that supported the economies of the chief antagonists of the WWII era.

Beretta, IG Farben, Bayer, Mercedes, BMW, Lufthansa, Mitsubishi, Honda, Toyota, etc.  They all supported the industrial war efforts of their mother nations, but Boss seems to have been an early adopter of the National Socialist ideology and certainly used his party membership to profit.  He also used slave labor in his factories.   

So there seems to be some significant basis to argue that Boss was an ideological supporter of the Nazi regime and Third Reich, whereas most of the other parties named above, were pre-existing industrial ventures that merely continued to operate through the war. They may have profited from their wartime exploits, as well, but I don't think there is much evidence in the way of ideological support there.
« Last Edit: February 21, 2012, 01:01:41 PM by Jarhead0331 »
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Offline LongBlade

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Re: Did you know?
« Reply #7 on: February 21, 2012, 12:57:51 PM »
Yeaaah, but Beretta was founded in 1526.  It appears as if Hugo Boss got his big start/got established via his Nazi connections.

That might be a fair point. Something does seem different about the two - I just hadn't set my mind to figuring out why I thought so.

Offline Centurion40

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Re: Did you know?
« Reply #8 on: February 21, 2012, 01:09:32 PM »
IMHO, if the Hugo Boss corporation existed for years before the rise of the Nazis, and was just another supplier to the Nazi regime like Krupp or BMW, then this would be a different story.

Volkswagen is NOT a different story... founded in 1937 by the German Labour Front (Deutsche Arbeitsfront- a Nazi trade union).
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Offline Staggerwing

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Re: Did you know?
« Reply #9 on: February 21, 2012, 01:29:50 PM »
JH,
Your post got me googling for more companies and led me to a story I ran across about the company Siemans.
They were one of the manufacturers of the Gas Ovens used at some of the Death Camps. They also survived the
war to do business, eventually in a big way. About ten years ago they decided to trademark a name for their new
kitchen appliances, chief among them being their new gas cooking stoves. The name they chose? The German word
for cyclone which was....

...Zyklon.

After a howl of public outrage Seimans stated that they were not aware of the connotations of the word.
The facepalm for that one could cause a concussion.
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Offline Centurion40

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Re: Did you know?
« Reply #10 on: February 21, 2012, 01:36:33 PM »
 :o
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Offline Jarhead0331

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Re: Did you know?
« Reply #11 on: February 21, 2012, 02:28:03 PM »
JH,
Your post got me googling for more companies and led me to a story I ran across about the company Siemans.
They were one of the manufacturers of the Gas Ovens used at some of the Death Camps. They also survived the
war to do business, eventually in a big way. About ten years ago they decided to trademark a name for their new
kitchen appliances, chief among them being their new gas cooking stoves. The name they chose? The German word
for cyclone which was....

...Zyklon.

After a howl of public outrage Seimans stated that they were not aware of the connotations of the word.
The facepalm for that one could cause a concussion.

That is certainly interesting in a seriously disturbing way.  Still, if you want to get technical, Zyklon-B was manufactured by Dessauer Werke für Zucker and Chemische Werke, which acquired components for the chemical from IG Farben, Schering AG and Dessauer Schlempe.  I thought most of the ovens (crematoria) were manufactured by J.A. Topf and Sons?  I know Seimans was a supported of the Nazi party and did build factories near concentration camps to make use of the slave labor.  However, I thought they mostly manufactured electrical components and in fact, I believe the company actually sued someone who claimed Seimans was involved in the manufacture of the crematoria, and won the case by demonstrating they did not.
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Offline Keunert

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Re: Did you know?
« Reply #12 on: February 21, 2012, 02:33:36 PM »
i am not so sure about Jarheads distinction.

IG Farben, Krupp and other firms were not merely operating through those years. i would say they were some of the more important columns of the nazi reign. some of them operated in a extremely unethical way and were actively exploiting jews, war prisoners and what not. While Hugo Boss might be disgusting i bet that IG Farben, Krupp and others industrial giants have caused a lot more blood.

Krupp had 100'000 prisoners and kz prisoners as a workforce. Borsig Thyssen Krupp: while they were not directly pushing Hitler to power, they were no friends of democracy and therefore were evening the ground for a totalitarian regime. later on they profited immensly from Hitler. Hugo Boss is most likely a little fish compared to those others.
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Offline Keunert

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Re: Did you know?
« Reply #13 on: February 21, 2012, 02:36:46 PM »
Consistency is the last refuge of the unimaginative.
Oscar Wilde

Special K has too much class.
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Offline Jarhead0331

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Re: Did you know?
« Reply #14 on: February 21, 2012, 02:39:18 PM »
i am not so sure about Jarheads distinction.

IG Farben, Krupp and other firms were not merely operating through those years. i would say they were some of the more important columns of the nazi reign. some of them operated in a extremely unethical way and were actively exploiting jews, war prisoners and what not. While Hugo Boss might be disgusting i bet that IG Farben, Krupp and others industrial giants have caused a lot more blood.

Krupp had 100'000 prisoners and kz prisoners as a workforce. Borsig Thyssen Krupp: while they were not directly pushing Hitler to power, they were no friends of democracy and therefore were evening the ground for a totalitarian regime. later on they profited immensly from Hitler. Hugo Boss is most likely a little fish compared to those others.

This is all probable, in which case, I would stand corrected.  Thank you.
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