These pictures have been shared around the internet for almost a decade as being actual 1930s Nazi adverts by the clothes manufacturer and brand Hugo Boss.
For anyone who has studied and examined actual 1930s adverts or catalogues it is quite obvious that these images are just quick lazy Photoshop creations.
But anyone should get suspicious simply because the description of the uniforms is in English.
Why would a manufacturer making uniforms for the German Reich describe them in any language but German?
On top of that one of the ads calls these uniforms the “1934 collection” while some of these uniforms date from much later.
Another give-away is that the illustrations were made by the well known military uniforms expert and illustrator Pierre Turner.
The ones in these “ads” come from the book ‘German Uniforms of the Third Reich 1933-1945’, published in 1980.
But on top of that; Hugo Boss did not design uniforms for the Nazis.
This myth has been going around for a long time but it simply is not based on fact.
Boss had a clothes manufacturing company and in the 1920s he was commissioned by a textiles distributor called Rudolf Born to supply brown shirts for the NSDAP, the Nazi party.
Eventually the Nazis became a good client but they told Boss what to make and how to make it, they didn’t ask him to design anything. In 1938 Boss won contracts to make army uniforms but by 1940 he was still a relatively small firm, employing about 250 people.
In short; there is no evidence whatsoever that proves that Hugo Boss designed any Nazi uniforms or even parts of uniforms, but he did manufacture them.
But this does not mean his hands were clean, he was a Nazi party member, an follower of Nazism and made use of forced labour.
These forced labourers had to work long days, were not fed properly, didn’t get medical care and also not allowed in the shelters during air raids. Although there were many places were forced labourers were treated a lot worse, the treatment of these people making the uniforms was still shameful.
It took till 2011 for the firm to apologise for its behaviour during the Nazi era.
The apology was issued after a book about the company’s history was published, to be fair the book was commissioned by the company itself but they realised that the only way to deal with their past was to allow the researchers to do their work without being influenced.
The publication was not flattering for the company.
The Nazi uniforms were mostly based on earlier Prussian models and designed by several people.
For instance, the black SS uniform was designed by SS members Karl Diebitsch (artist) and Walter Heck (graphic designer).
Here are some real 1930s Nazi Hugo Boss adverts, as you can see they don’t look anything like the fake ones above and they’re also clearly cheap affordable adverts by a small company.
In one Boss claims to have been supplying the Nazis with uniforms since 1924, but that’s what one would call false advertising today as that most likely happened several years later.
So regardless if these images were meant as genuine fakes of 1930s ads or just as a illustration to confront the Hugo Boss brand with its past, people have been sharing them as real and many people still think Hugo Boss designed the Nazi uniforms.
- Hugo Boss, 1924-1945: Die Geschichte einer Kleiderfabrik zwischen Weimarer Republik und Drittem Reich by Roman Köster
(abridged version available by clicking here)
- Hugo Ferdinand Boss (1885-1948) und die Firma Hugo Boss. Ein Documentation, 1999 by Elisabeth Timm M.A.
- German uniforms of the Third Reich 1933-1945, Brian Leigh Davis & Pierre Turner
- Das Panzer museum on Youtube
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