September 22, 2011
Hugo Boss apologizes for its forced labor under Nazis
The German fashion house Hugo Boss has apologized for mistreating forced labor at a uniform factory during World War II.
Revelations about how company founder Hugo Boss employed forced workers at his clothing factory, which was contracted to make Nazi uniforms, have appeared in a book about the history of the company during the Hitler years.
The book, which was financed by the fashion house, makes clear that Boss was a loyal Nazi. Orders for uniforms from the National Socialist Party after Boss joined in 1931 saved the factory from bankruptcy. Boss died in 1948.
The factory used 140 Polish and 40 French forced workers; most were women.
“Hugo Boss, 1924-1945: A Clothing Factory During the Weimar Republic and Third Reich” was written by Roman Koester, an economic historian at the Bundeswehr University in Munich.
The company said in a statement on its website that it expressed “profound regret” to the forced workers who suffered while working at the factory during the war.