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Hugo Ferdinand Boss (Metzingen, July 8, 1885-ibid, August 9, 1948) was a German tailor, founder of the fashion house Hugo Boss AG and a convinced National Socialist supporter who obtained the license of the Third Reich for the preparation of the military uniforms of the Hitler regime in the period prior to the Second World War and during this period for the Waffen-SS and the Wehrmacht.
Boss was born in Germany, in the former kingdom of Württemberg (1806-1918). After completing his apprenticeship and one year of employment, he founded his own textile company in Metzingen between 1923 and 1924. The Boss textile work line focused on the manufacture of work 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 communist tendencies such as the Herold family, which was executed in Russia.
Collaboration with the Nazi regime
Hugo Boss was a convinced Nazi who joined the NSDAP with the number 508 889 in 1931 and became deeply immersed in Nazi doctrine. In 1934 he derived his usual productive line to the paramilitary uniforms of the SA, SS and later the Wehrmacht and the Hitler Youth, which with three million members make him a very prosperous businessman. He did not hesitate to get rid of all relations with Jews by denouncing them to justify his indoctrination before the party.
According to a book by the historian Roman Köster published in 2011 and authorized by the company Hugo Boss SA, his Nazi militancy served him to shoot his profits and save him from bankruptcy in the so-called Great Depression in 1931. Also since 1943 in his workshops Metzingen employed 180 forced laborers, mostly Jewish women from France (140) and Poland (40). The pace of work was exhausting and the food and sanitary conditions were very poor.
He was commissioned to manufacture the brown shirts for the SA organization. According to Köster, the subsequent black Heinrich Himmler SS uniforms were not designed by his company, but followed the patterns sent from Berlin and Boss simply made them, and he also made the uniforms of the Waffen SS and their imitation suits, parachutes, backpacks, gloves, etc.
After the end of the Second World War, Boss was prosecuted by a court in the Federal Republic of Germany and fined 80,000 DM for his participation in the Nazi structure.
At his death, in 1948, the company again manufactured uniforms for postal workers and the police. He presented his first menswear suits but he would not focus on fashionable men’s clothes until 1970, when he also began to operate internationally. Currently it belongs largely to a British investment group.
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