Hugo Ferdinand Boss ( Metzingen , 8 of July of 1885 – ibid , 9 of August of 1948 ) was the founder of the fashion house Hugo Boss and a convinced supporter Nazi who licensed the Third Reich for making military uniforms Of the regime of Hitler in the period before the Second World War and during this period for the Waffen-SS and the Wehrmacht .
Boss was born in Germany, in the ancient kingdom of Württemberg (1806-1918). After completing his apprenticeship and a year of employment, he founded his own textile company in Metzingen between 1923 and 1924. Boss’s textile line of work focused on the making of working clothes for German industry, the post office, raincoats , Sportswear and police uniforms. His workshop had 22 workers. Hugo Boss at that time had industrial relations with Jewish tailors and of communist tendency like the family Herold, that was executed in Holland.
Collaboration with the Nazi regime
Hugo Boss was a convinced Nazi who joined the NSDAP with the number 508 889 in 1931 and was deeply embedded in Nazi doctrine. In 1934 it derives its usual productive line to the paramilitary uniforms of SA , SS and later the Wehrmacht and the Hitlerian youths, that with three million affiliates turn it into a very prosperous businessman. He did not hesitate to get rid of all relations with Jews by denouncing them to justify their indoctrination with the party.
According to a book by historian Roman Köster published in 2011 and authorized by the company Hugo Boss SA, his Nazi militancy served to trigger his benefits and save him from bankruptcy in the so-called Great Depression in 1931. In addition, since 1943 in his workshops in Metzingen Used 180 forced laborers, most of them Jewish women from France (140) and Poland (40). The pace of work was exhausting and the food and sanitary conditions were very poor. 1
They ordered the manufacture of the brown shirts for the organization SA. According to Köster, Heinrich Himmler’s later SS black uniforms were not designed by his company, but followed the bosses sent from Berlin and Boss simply made them. 2 3 4 He also made the uniforms of the Waffen SS and their costumes, parachutes, backpacks, gloves, etc.
After the end of World War II , Boss was indicted by a court in the Federal Republic of Germany and fined DEM 80 000 for his involvement in the Nazi structure.
Upon his death, in 1948, the company again made uniforms for postal workers and police. He presented his first men’s dress costumes but would not focus on fashionable men’s clothing until 1970 , when he also started operating internationally. At present it belongs to a large extent to a British investment group.
- Back to top↑ ” The Nazi past of Hugo Boss “, ABC , September 22, 2011.
- Back to top↑ Köster, Roman. “Hugo Boss, 1924-1945.” The History of a Clothing Factory During the Weimar Republic and Third Reich. “, CH Beck of Munich, Germany, 2011. (see a summary in: Study on the Companys History Abridged Version ).
- Back to top↑ ” Hugo Boss Acknowledges Link to Nazi Regime. “ The New York Times , August 15, 1997.
- Back to top↑ White, Constance CR “Patterns: Dealing with Hugo Boss’s Nazi tie.” The New York Times , August 19, 1997.