Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Companies apologising for their Nazi past & blatant hypocrisy

So now Hugo Boss are apologising for their Nazi past because a book is being published about it? See BBC News article HERE.
This is the second article I have read about fashion and Nazism this year (I am sure there were more, I just haven't read them). The first one was a few months ago, in regards to the book that was released "revealing" Coco Chanel's flirtation with Nazism (Sleeping With the Enemy: Coco Chanel's Secret War by Hal Vaughan).
If I am not mistaken, Hugo Boss was tried and fined for his involvement after the war, and died not long after... I just don't really understand this need to apologise now, just because a new book is coming out. Sounds kind of like a hollow apology and highly hypocritical in my opinion.
In any case, this opens up a much larger debate. Any person who is slightly interested in this period of time and has a brain knows full well that there were many companies who collaborated with the Nazis. Some who were pressured to, and others who gladly ran to them with their business as soon as they came into power. Anti-semitism and totalitarianism were not born with Nazism, they just became somewhat tolerated as an existing regime. No one in power in countries outside of Nazi-occupied countries really knew or really cared about the extent of the atrocities committed during WW2 by the Nazis, until the war was over. And then, of course, no one had ever been a Nazi, a Nazi supporter, or had ever collaborated with the Nazis.
So, every time a book is going to come out about how a fashion designer/nuclear scientist/railway developer/foie gras provider used to collaborate with the Nazis, anyone associated with these people will feel the need to apologise?
Instead of a hypocritical apology, that is never going to wipe out whatever you or your ancestors may have done in the past, why not set up a fund or a charity that helps the victims of genocide and war today? Instead of just sweeping it under the carpet again, do something to help people suffering today.
Maybe Hugo Boss' war time victims appreciate the apology, and then that's good for them, but I think it's just another cop out. I don't think Coco Chanel ever apologised and her name and designs are still the most famous in the world. Goes to show how hypocritical this world really is, huh?

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