Germany / Politics

It’s not new news about Boss & the Nazis


Russell Brand was thrown out of a GQ party for recalling the involvement of the sponsors’ links with the Nazi party.

But the fact that the Boss company not only designed the Stormtrooper and SS uniforms but also laid the foundations for the company’s prosperity by employing slave labour to make the uniforms was revealed as long ago as 1997 by the Austrian magazine, Profil.

1930s Boss ad publicising the company’s links with the Nazis.

According to the Washington Post (August 15, 1997),

The German clothing factory that eventually became the international menswear powerhouse Hugo Boss manufactured Nazi uniforms during World War II and most likely did so using slave labor. . .

A statement from Hugo Boss AG, which is based in Metzingen, Germany, details and confirms much of the account.

“The clothing factory founded by Mr. Hugo Boss manufactured work clothes and we think SS uniforms as well . . . we’re currently trying to find what was going on,” said Monika Steilen, spokeswoman for Hugo Boss AG, by phone from headquarters in Germany.

Boss, who died in 1948, founded his family-owned garment business in 1923. The company struggled for a time, fell into bankruptcy, and then, during the war, made the uniforms worn by the German SS, storm troopers, Wehrmacht and Hitler Youth. It’s likely that the factory was manned by forced labor, including concentration camp prisoners and prisoners of war.

News of the tainted past of Hugo Boss AG, which has a turnover of about $535 million a year, caught 7th Avenue off guard. The industry is slowly absorbing the news and wondering about the possible effect on the company’s image and business fortunes.

“The clothing factory founded by Mr. Hugo Boss manufactured work clothes and we think SS uniforms as well . . . we’re currently trying to find what was going on,” said Monika Steilen, spokeswoman for Hugo Boss AG, by phone from headquarters in Germany.

Boss, who died in 1948, founded his family-owned garment business in 1923. The company struggled for a time, fell into bankruptcy, and then, during the war, made the uniforms worn by the German SS, storm troopers, Wehrmacht and Hitler Youth. It’s likely that the factory was manned by forced labor, including concentration camp prisoners and prisoners of war.

News of the tainted past of Hugo Boss AG, which has a turnover of about $535 million a year, caught 7th Avenue off guard. The industry is slowly absorbing the news and wondering about the possible effect on the company’s image and business fortunes.

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