The Daily Mail’s obsession with the Nazis is well documented and well discussed. From Lord Rothermere’s support for Hitler, to their modern day wallowing in archive material, to their amazing ability to mention the war in any article about Germany. Seriously, it’s creepy…
I guess it kind of makes sense – the Daily Mail is the newspaper of the rampant xenophobe, racist and quasi-fascistic apologiser. They live in a postwar haze of easy hate and lazy stereotypes, and fighting a retrospective moral battle with a dead enemy is a lot easier than actually, y’know, employing journalists to write about real things that are happening in the real world.
Today, though, they went in the bizarre new direction of becoming Nazi apologists – and they didn’t do this out of ideological support, or at the discovery of new evidence, or to provoke debate, but to spite Russell Brand. Read the article here, it’s fucking amazing.
It seems that Brand got ejected from the GQ Awards after party for making references to event sponsor Hugo Boss’ past history with the Nazi Party. It’s not exactly new news and has been well documented in the past, but this didn’t stop Guy Walters leaping to the fashion designers defence and arguing…
- Hugo Boss only tailored and produced Nazi uniforms, he didn’t design them, which makes him a better human than the factually flippant Russell Brand.
- Hugo Boss made the Nazi uniforms *only* because he was a long term contractor, having started out with far more innocent brownshirts for the National Socialist Society. It was just a long-term corporate gig.
- Hugo Boss only joined the Nazi Party to make more money from their lucrative contracts, which is morally fine.
- Hugo Boss may have supported Hitler, but it was his quite sensible economic policies he supported and not the Jew-killing ones.
- Hugo Boss proudly advertising he made uniforms for the SS, the Youth League and the Nazi army was just the actions “of a pragmatist.”
- Hugo Boss in no-way engineered the use of prisoner of war labour, he just woke up one morning and “found (the company) employing forced workers from the occupied countries.”
- Yes, conditions at Hugo Boss’ accidentally forced labour camps were horrific but some people survived to tell the tale, so how bad were they really?
- Hugo Boss was so compassionate that he used his special connections with the Nazi’s to have an escaped worker returned to him where “the factory foreman worked her mercilessly, and she had a breakdown” before she “gassed herself with an oven.” This tale, which concludes with Boss paying for her funeral, is described by Guy Walters as being “the most poignant” and covering the funeral costs as “a noble gesture.”
- Having described the working conditions in the Hugo Boss accidentally forced labour camp to include no doctor, little food, infestations and being forced to stay in the factory during air raids, Guy Walters concludes that “by the standards of some employers, Boss did treat his labourers reasonably well — and paid them somewhat less meanly.”
I think this article displays, more than any that have gone before it, the sheer vindictive nature of the Daily Mail. They’ve reached their frothy climax of hating Russell Brand so much – what with all his philosophical thought, none-conventional dress sense, counter-reactionary attitudes to drugs and amusing belittling of Peter Hitchens – that they would rather defend a Nazi collaborator than admit that he has a point.
When you consider that there is a third option – just not reporting on Brand at all – then you are given in a glimpse into a masochistic publication that would rather self flagellate itself into an outward denial of basic morality than accept that sometimes people you disagree with are right. But, to paraphrase the final paragraph of Guy Walters’ magnificent ode to the optimistic rewriting of history ‘it is an important distinction and may not be one appreciated by a paper as unsubtle as the Daily Mail.’
Seriously, read the article. It’s incredible.