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Russell Brand Finds out Who’s Boss

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COMMENT: A recent inci­dent at a GQ par­ty high­lights the role of Third Reich vet­er­ans and mon­ey in the con­tem­po­rary Ger­man econ­o­my.

Come­di­an Rus­sell Brand was thrown out of an awards cer­e­mo­ny for tak­ing note of the Nazi links of Hugo Boss, the founder of the glob­al cloth­ing giant that car­ries his name.

Boss began mak­ing uni­forms for the Nazis in the mid-twen­ties.

Join­ing the Nazi Par­ty two years before Hitler’s ascen­sion, Hugo Boss pros­pered mak­ing uni­forms for the SS among oth­er Nazi par­ty for­ma­tions. After the com­mence­ment of hos­til­i­ties, his com­pa­ny made uni­forms for the army. 

Even­tu­al­ly, Boss’s firm employed forced labor­ers in its oper­a­tions, and agreed after the war to pay repa­ra­tions.

A glob­al force in the fash­ion indus­try, the firm undoubt­ed­ly oper­ates in con­junc­tion with the Bor­mann cap­i­tal net­work, which dom­i­nates cor­po­rate Ger­many and much of the world’s finan­cial and man­u­fac­tur­ing infra­struc­ture.

We also note that the inter­na­tion­al ath­let­ic wear brands Adi­das and Puma also have Nazi par­ty mem­bers as founders. Adolf Dassler and his broth­er Rudolf were Nazi par­ty members–the lat­ter also alleged­ly a mem­ber of the SS. Adi found­ed Adi­das, Rudolph Puma. (See text excerpts below.)

“Shame­ful Truth about Hugo Boss’s Links to the Nazis Revealed: As Rus­sell Brand Is Thrown out of a Par­ty for Accus­ing Fash­ion Design­er of Help­ing Hitler” by Guy Wal­ters; Dai­ly Mail; 9/5/2013.

EXCERPT: There’s noth­ing like the pres­ence of some Nazis to ruin a per­fectly good par­ty.

On Tues­day night, the come­dian Rus­sell Brand was thrown out of GQ magazine’s Men of the Year Awards after-show for mak­ing jibes about the event’s spon­sor, Hugo Boss, and the fash­ion company’s his­toric links to the Nazi par­ty.

While on stage, Brand told the gath­ered celebri­ties and politi­cians, ‘If any­one knows a bit about his­tory and fash­ion, you know it was Hugo Boss who made uni­forms for the Nazis.’

He then added, with less than sub­tle irony, ‘But they looked f***ing fan­tas­tic, let’s face it, while they were killing peo­ple on the basis of their reli­gion and sex­u­al­i­ty.’ . . . .

. . . . . Among one of Boss’s ear­li­est clients was a tex­tiles dis­trib­u­tor called Rudolf Born, which com­mis­sioned Hugo Boss to pro­duce some brown shirts for an organ­i­sa­tion called the ‘Nation­al Social­ist Par­ty’, lat­er, to become bet­ter known as the Nazis.

Style: Hugo Boss is now a glob­al fash­ion pow­er­house

By the late Twen­ties, the grow­ing Nazi Par­ty had become a good client. And when the Par­ty sup­plied Hugo Boss (as it did oth­er man­u­fac­tur­ers) the pro­duc­tion tem­plates for its uni­forms, it appears that Boss did not see the rela­tion­ship in any­thing but com­mer­cial terms.

After all, Boss pro­duced uni­forms for many organ­i­sa­tions, includ­ing the police and the postal ser­vice, and the appar­ently apo­lit­i­cal Boss was hap­py to make clothes for who­ever paid their bills.

How­ever, on April 1, 1931, Boss took a step that would see his name — and brand — for­ever asso­ci­ated with Nazism. He joined the Nazi Par­ty and was giv­en the rel­a­tively low mem­ber­ship num­ber of 508,889.

Boss’s rea­sons for becom­ing a Nazi com­par­a­tively ear­ly were twofold. First, as a busi­ness­man, it made com­mer­cial sense, as it made it eas­ier for Boss to win con­tracts from the Nazis who were increas­ingly com­ing to dom­i­nate every aspect of Ger­man life.

Sec­ond, Boss believed that Hitler was the only man who could lift Ger­many out of its eco­nomic dol­drums.

Such a busi­nesslike atti­tude was not excep­tional. There were cer­tainly bet­ter men who refused to do busi­ness with the Par­ty, but though Boss was hap­py to sign con­tracts with them, he was not a rabid Nazi. He was sim­ply a prag­ma­tist.

Part­ly thanks to his mem­ber­ship of the par­ty, the Nazis were good to Boss. By 1933, he was able to adver­tise that he made clothes not only for the SS, but also for the Hitler Youth and the Brown­shirts — the para­mil­i­tary wing of the Nazi Par­ty.

Then in 1938, busi­ness sky­rock­eted when Boss won con­tracts to make army uni­forms. By 1940, the com­pany was turn­ing over some 1,000,000 Reichs­marks, com­pared to 200,000 Reichs­marks in 1936.

How­ever, it was still far from being a major man­u­fac­turer. In 1940, Boss was employ­ing some 250 work­ers, which made it a small to medi­um-sized firm.

Like many, Boss found it hard to find employ­ees dur­ing the war, and this is where the sto­ry does turn tru­ly dark.
Unable to fill roles, the com­pany found itself employ­ing forced work­ers from the occu­pied coun­tries.

Dur­ing the course of the war, Boss used 140 such labour­ers and for a peri­od of around eight months from Octo­ber 1940, the work­force was swelled by 40 French pris­on­ers-of-war.

Although Boss’s fac­tory was not part of a con­cen­tra­tion camp — and his labour­ers were not pris­on­ers — the con­di­tions were dread­ful. . . .

. . . . After the war, Boss was ‘de-naz­i­fied’. He was clas­si­fied as an active sup­porter of Nazism, was fined 100,000 marks, and was stripped of the right to vote and run a busi­ness.

How­ever, Boss appealed, and he was even­tu­ally clas­si­fied as a ‘fol­lower’, a less­er cat­e­gory, which meant that he was not regard­ed as an active pro­moter of Nazism. . . . .

“Adolf Dassler”; Wikipedia

EXCERPT: . . . . With the rise of Adolf Hitler in the 1930s, both Dassler broth­ers joined the Nazi Par­ty, with Rudolf reput­ed as being the more ardent Nation­al Socialist.[1] Rudolf was draft­ed, and lat­er cap­tured, while Adi stayed behind to pro­duce boots for the Wehrma­cht and then broke away from the Nazi Party.[2] The war exac­er­bat­ed the dif­fer­ences between the broth­ers and their wives. Rudolf, upon his cap­ture by Amer­i­can troops, was sus­pect­ed of being a mem­ber of the SS, infor­ma­tion sup­pos­ed­ly sup­plied by none oth­er than his broth­er Adi.[3]

By 1948, the rift between the broth­ers widened. Rudolf left the com­pa­ny to found Puma on the oth­er side of town (across the Aurach Riv­er), and Adolf Dassler renamed the com­pa­ny Adi­das after his own nick­name. (Adi Dassler). . . .

“Rudolf Dassler”; Wikipedia

EXCERPT: . . . . Rudolf Dassler (26 March 1898 in Her­zo­ge­nau­rach, (Ger­many) — 27 Octo­ber 1974 in Her­zo­ge­nau­rach) was the Ger­man founder of the sports­wear com­pa­ny PUMA and the old­er broth­er of Adi­das founder, Adolf “Adi” Dassler. The broth­ers were part­ners in a shoe com­pa­ny Adi start­ed, Gebrüder Dassler Schuh­fab­rik (Dassler Broth­ers Shoe Fac­to­ry). Rudi joined in 1924, how­ev­er the broth­ers became rivals fol­low­ing World War II and start­ed their own com­pa­nies in 1948.

Ini­tial­ly call­ing the new com­pa­ny “Ruda” (‘Ru’­dolf Dassler), it was soon changed to its present name of Puma. Puma is the word for cougar in Ger­man as well as oth­er lan­guages, such as Span­ish, Ital­ian, French, Por­tuguese and Pol­ish. . . .

 

Discussion

One comment for “Russell Brand Finds out Who’s Boss”

  1. http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/world-news/coco-chanel-traitor-nazi-spy-4744650

    Coco Chanel was a TRAITOR and a Nazi spy who shared her bed with a Gestapo offi­cer

    Dec 03, 2014 23:46
    By War­ren Manger

    She might be bet­ter known for her per­fume and her lit­tle black dress­es but the icon­ic French design­er had a dark past few know about

    She is best remem­bered as the woman who changed the face of the fash­ion indus­try.

    But there was anoth­er side of Coco Chanel that was every bit as dark as her famous Lit­tle Black Dress­es.

    New­ly dis­cov­ered doc­u­ments prove she was a Nazi spy who shared a bed with a senior Gestapo offi­cer and tried to con­vince Britain to end the war.

    The Nazis chose her to nego­ti­ate a truce with Britain because she was already a friend of Win­ston Churchill.

    And that friend­ship may have been the only thing that saved her from the revenge of the French Resis­tance after the war end­ed.

    Offi­cial Nazi papers found in French Defence Min­istry archives show that Chanel was recruit­ed by the Nazi mil­i­tary intel­li­gence divi­sion, the Abwehr, and giv­en an agent num­ber – F‑7124.

    She was also giv­en her own code name, West­min­ster, a ref­er­ence to her affair with the Duke of West­min­ster 20 years earlier.spit

    The Nazi papers, now the sub­ject of a bomb­shell new French TV doc­u­men­tary, appear to prove what his­to­ri­ans have sus­pect­ed for many years.

    After the war the French gov­ern­ment claimed many of the country’s favourite celebri­ties joined the Resis­tance, or at the very least boy­cotted the Nazis after the Ger­man army occu­pied Paris in June 1940.

    In real­i­ty many cosied up to their new mas­ters.

    His­to­ri­an Hen­ry Gidel says: “The rev­e­la­tions about Coco Chanel show the French ­offi­cial line that the country’s stars boy­cotted the Nazis are a sham.

    “The doc­u­men­tary mak­ers have also raised awk­ward ques­tions about the con­nec­tions of singers Edith Piaf and Maur­ice Cheva­lier.”

    Piaf and Cheva­lier are now also sus­pect­ed to have been Nazi agents and both saw their careers flour­ish as a result. Piaf even per­formed a series of pri­vate con­certs for senior Ger­man offi­cers.

    The late US his­to­ri­an Hal Vaugh­an, who lived in Paris and wrote a book about Chanel’s Nazi links, said last year: “Chanel didn’t believe in any­thing except fash­ion. She believed in beau­ti­ful clothes, she believed in her busi­ness. She didn’t care about Hitler or pol­i­tics or Nazism.

    “Chanel was a con­sum­mate oppor­tunist. She grav­i­tat­ed to pow­er and the Nazis were in pow­er.

    Hul­ton Archive Win­ston Churchill (1874 — 1965) accom­pa­nied by his son Ran­dolph (1911 — 1968) and Coco Chanel
    Friends in high places: Win­ston Churchill accom­pa­nied by his son Ran­dolph and Coco Chanel

    “This is def­i­nite­ly some­thing that a lot of peo­ple would have pre­ferred to put aside, to for­get, to just go on sell­ing Chanel scarves and jew­ellery.”

    Dur­ing the Nazi occu­pa­tion of Paris, Chanel lived in a lux­u­ri­ous suite at the Ritz Hotel, which was also the French ­head­quar­ters of the Ger­man air force.

    She prompt­ly embarked on an affair with Baron Hans Gun­ther von Dinck­lage, a high-rank­ing Gestapo offi­cer who was hon­oured by Hitler and pro­pa­gan­da chief Joseph Goebbels.

    He was also an intel­li­gence expert who had been run­ning espi­onage oper­a­tions in France dur­ing the 1930s.

    Chanel was 57 when the occu­pa­tion began in 1940 and Dinck­lage was 13 years younger.

    But the pair remained lovers for 10 years and fled to Switzer­land togeth­er after the war.

    Chanel was pre­pared to use her Ger­man con­tacts to pro­tect her wealth and also tried to exploit the grotesque Nazi ­“Aryani­sa­tion” laws which banned Jews from own­ing busi­ness­es.

    The design­er hoped to snatch back her per­fume com­pa­ny and the rights to the famous Chanel No 5 scent, which she had sold to the Jew­ish Wertheimer broth­ers in 1924.

    How­ev­er, she was thwart­ed when she dis­cov­ered that the Wertheimers, who had already fled to the safe­ty of Amer­i­ca, had sold their stake in the busi­ness to a non-Jew, inval­i­dat­ing her claim.

    Get­ty Hugh Grosvenor, 2nd Duke of West­min­ster
    Lovers: Hugh Grosvenor, 2nd Duke of West­min­ster

    It is now believed that Chanel was enlist­ed into the Abwehr by the French aris­to­crat and Ger­man dou­ble-agent Baron Louis de Vaufre­land in the sum­mer of 1941.

    He may have cement­ed her recruit­ment with a promise that her nephew Andre would be released from a PoW camp.

    Her first mis­sion was to go with Vaufre­land to Madrid and help him iden­ti­fy Nazi sym­pa­this­ers and recruit them as poten­tial spies.

    Then in 1943 she trav­elled to Berlin with her Nazi lover to offer her ser­vices as a dou­ble agent to SS chief Hein­rich Himm­ler.

    As a result she was sent to Madrid on a sec­ond mis­sion for Himm­ler him­self.

    The war had turned against Ger­many and some Nazis want­ed to break with Hitler and nego­ti­ate a sep­a­rate truce with Britain.

    Chanel was seen as the per­fect per­son to do that.

    After all, she knew British PM Win­ston Churchill from her days as the lover of Hugh Grosvenor, Britain’s rich­est man, the 2nd Duke of West­min­ster and a known anti-Semi­te.

    The Prime Min­is­ter had been a reg­u­lar vis­i­tor to the Rose­hall Estate, their Scot­tish love nest, which Chanel had dec­o­rat­ed.

    But the plan failed because Churchill nev­er respond­ed to her.

    Get­ty Coco Chanel, French cou­turi­er. Paris, 1936
    Icon: Coco Chanel, French cou­turi­er

    British intel­li­gence already knew that Chanel had quite lit­er­al­ly jumped into bed with the ene­my – details of her meet­ings in Berlin were passed on by a Nazi defec­tor.

    Or Churchill may sim­ply have decid­ed he had no time to talk pol­i­tics with a fash­ion design­er as the Sec­ond World War reached its cli­max.

    His­to­ri­an Hen­ry Gidel says: “Chanel dis­played incred­i­ble mega­lo­ma­nia and naivety in imag­in­ing that she could change Churchill’s mind.”

    A fort­night after Paris was lib­er­at­ed in August 1944 two men from the French Resis­tance arrived at the Ritz to escort Chanel, then 61, to the offices of the “clean-up com­mit­tee” that dealt with Nazi col­lab­o­ra­tors.

    A few hours lat­er she was released.

    It was a nar­row escape giv­en her wartime exploits, espe­cial­ly as most women who slept with a Nazi were parad­ed through the streets with their heads shaved.

    Sev­er­al expla­na­tions have been put for­ward to explain why she got off so light­ly.

    The French author­i­ties were undoubt­ed­ly keen to deny that many of their biggest celebri­ties had done deals with the Nazis as they tried to re-uni­fy the coun­try and restore a sense of nation­al pride.

    They are also unlike­ly to have been privy to secret British files that revealed how deeply the design­er had been drawn into the Nazi war machine.

    And it has been claimed that Churchill, or even the British roy­al fam­i­ly, ­inter­vened to ensure she escaped pun­ish­ment.

    Get­ty Edith Piaf
    Edith Piaf

    Accord­ing to Chanel’s great-niece Gabrielle Palasse Labrunie she told her fam­i­ly “Churchill had me freed” when she returned home.

    Chanel prompt­ly fled to Switzer­land with her lover Dinck­lage, leav­ing Paris in her chauf­feured Cadil­lac, and only returned to France in 1949, when she escaped pun­ish­ment for a sec­ond time while giv­ing tes­ti­mo­ny at the tri­al of the trai­tor Vaufre­land.

    She returned to Paris per­ma­nent­ly in 1954 and ­imme­di­ate­ly set up home at her wartime res­i­dence, the Ritz Hotel, where she lived for the next 17 years until her death.

    She even set up her own fash­ion house financed by none oth­er than Pierre Wertheimer, one of the Jews she had sought to dis­pos­sess using Nazi laws dur­ing the course of the war.

    By the time Chanel died in Jan­u­ary 1971, aged 87, she was a true French icon whose designs were cov­et­ed around the world.

    Jack­ie Kennedy was wear­ing one of her pink suits on the day JFK was assas­si­nat­ed in Dal­las in 1963.

    Chanel was one Nazi agent who real­ly did get away with it, and even her dark past had been air­brushed out of his­to­ry – until now.

    Posted by Vanfield | December 4, 2014, 10:35 am

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