(Written by an American expat living in the European Union)
I understand the Daily Kos is a serious online community where important progressive issues of the day are discussed. So why am I writing a diary about (yes you guessed it!) hairstyles! Well, quietly some would say insidiously a Nazi haircut known as the Hitler Youth haircut has made a comeback (with 74,000 hits in Google) according to urban legend from German speaking rural Switzerland to becoming a global presence. This has alarmed Jewish groups around the world to the point where they have began voicing concern at the rise of intolerance and anti-semitism that is coming back to haunt Europe in this 100th anniversary year of world war 1, which is 75 years from the end of world war 2. Now recently just last week these fears were realized by the populist Swiss SVP party in an anti-European immigration referendum passed by a majority of Swiss voters. I wrote a diary on that very issue (not that anyone actually read it) entitled “Switzerland far right party of hate declares war on European immigration”.
When fashion is allowed to favorably reflect on the Nazi period in terms that put that history in a favorable light then something has happened in Europe and around the world that we need to take notice of. As the old saying would have it, all that needs to happen for evil to triumph is for good people to sit by and do nothing. This last century saw not one, but two world wars come and go, with a warning, which is for those of us who aren’t prepared to learn from history are therefore doomed to repeat it. Clearly the history of World War one and two is something that America can ill afford not to learn the lessons of.
What is in a haircut any way? It’s just a fashion statement isn’t it? The Hitler Youth haircut. Well, sure it’s just a haircut but more to the point it’s an idea that people want to look like that again. It’s a look associated with historical intolerance. It’s a look that was associated with the Holocaust, the destruction of Europe and the pain and suffering of millions, that now is being celebrated in making a comeback as a fashion statement in our neighborhoods and schools and on the fashion pages and even on the silver screen. The Hitler Youth haircut is back in the limelight and it’s coming to a shopping mall near you!
It comes out of a time when the government failed the people, when jobs were lost, too many of them being shipped abroad, people were losing their homes, people were afraid and people were insecure. People were looking for a new look, new ideas, a new day of hope. Some people think the Hitler Youth Aryan look is in and it’s cool. Well let’s be honest it wasn’t just worn by Germany’s Hitler Youth, it was worn by Adolf Hitler himself as well as most German front line troops, but too many people think it doesn’t mean anything. It’s just a hair style after all? There’s no political message attached to it? It’s just a lot of silliness. That is what they said about the brown shirts in Nazi Germany in the beginning, they said it wasn’t a military uniform, it was a political party uniform (manufactured by fashion designer Hugo Boss that is. “It was Hugo Boss who made uniforms for the Nazis.” ).but then the S.A. got to be 3 million strong. Three times the size of the German army that changed Germany and in turn changed the world. Also please let’s remember that at the time this was simply viewed as the fashion business. Ergo by way of a corollary we must conclude that the Nazi fashion business has a dark side and so does the fashion history of the Hitler Youth haircut. Given that history may we simply write the whole thing off as nothing more than a lucrative fashion tread and nothing more in the matter of the Hitler Youth haircut’s strong global comeback.
Jewish World By David Lev
“Some Jewish community officials have expressed concern over the
latest style in haircuts – the “Jugend,” or “Hitler Youth” hairdo”.
(There should be some sort of a movement brought about to disassociate the hair style from the name of Adolf Hitler). A further danger is that anyone, especially young people Googling the name “the Hitler Youth haircut” will be exposed to voluminous Nazi materials, which is an insidious way of this type of (old and new) propaganda material to find readers. As such this is one more reason why an effort should be brought about to change the name of this hair style.
So when we look back at the 100th year anniversary of World War I and we look back at World War II that ended 75 years ago, perhaps we should also remember the slogan “Never Again”. For it is said all that needs to happen for evil to triumph is for good people to do nothing. Perhaps we should therefore this time all do something. To that end I invite you to post your thoughts below and speak out and you will be heard.
(Crossed posted by author from the Daily Kos)