Lederhosen and the NAZIs


Figure 1.--Lederhosen are generally associated with German boys, but they have been worn by boys in several European countries. Hitler reportedly liked to wear them, but stopped in the 1920s because he didn't think they projected the proper image.

Lederhosen because of their association with folk culture became popular after World War I with many of the right wing political groups which sprang up in Germany. Photographs from the 1920s often show groups like the NAZI Storm Troopers (S.A.) wearing them. Hitler according to an HBC reader liked to wear lederhosen. They were apparently his favorite clothing. Photographs of Hitler in the early 1920s show him wearing them. By the late 1920s, however, he is rarely seen in them. Apparently he decided he wanted to project a more official, business-like image. As a result, for the sake of looking official, military and political, he rarely wore lederhosen after the Nazis became a more prominent political party. S.A. members more rarely appear in lederhosen by the late 1920s. I do not have details on this, but perhaps S.A. leaders like Rhoem wanted his Storm Troopers to project a more fierce image. By the 1930s, lederhosen were no longer worn by adults with NAZI uniforms. Hitler Youth boys, however, did often wear them.

NAZI Strom Troopers

Lederhosen because of their association with folk culture became popular after World War I with many of the right wing political groups which sprang up in Germany. Photographs from the 1920s often show groups like the NAZI Storm Troopers (S.A.) wearing them. S.A. members more rarely appear in lederhosen by the late 1920s. I do not have details on this, but perhaps S.A. leaders like Rhoem wanted his Storm Troopers to project a more fierce image. By the 1930s, lederhosen were no longer worn by adults with NAZI uniforms. Lederhosen projected a folk image and not a military image and as the NAZIs grew in importance it was the military imge that became dominant.

NAZI Leaders

Hitler according to an HBC reader liked to wear lederhosen. They were apparently his favorite clothing. Photographs of Hitler in the early 1920s show him wearing them. Hitler of course was an Austrian and Lederhoisen were most common in Austria and southern Germany (Bavaria). By the late 1920s, however, he is rarely seen in them. The NAZIs were very image conscious. Apparently he decided he wanted to project a more official, business-like image. I'm not sure if he reached this conclusion on his own or was advised on the subject. As a result, for the sake of looking official, military and political, he rarely wore lederhosen after the Nazis became a more prominent political party. Other prominent NAZIs also wore Lecersosen such as Goering.

Hitler and Children

While Hitler stopped wearing Lederhosen himself, we note he was often photographed with children wearing Lederhosen. It is also notable that the children of his inner cirrcle when brought to Berchesgarten were also dressed in Lederhosen. We suspect that they knew this would please Hitler.

Hitler Youth

One observer writes, " I think as regards the Hitler Youth, the regime was considered exacting, so I would have thought, there would have been, an insistence on official uniform. Actually Hitler Youth boys did often wear Lederhosen. They were not, of course the regulation uniform. Hitler Youth boys wore black short pants. There are many photographs showing Hitler Youth boys in Lederhosen. The NAZIs were obsessed with uniforms. Available images show considerable varition as to how the boys were outfitted. As in Scouting, different leaders placed varying importance n the uniform as to how strictly the uniform regulations were enforced. Especially in the early years when the NAZIs were just getting started.






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Created: May 18, 2004
Last updated: May 18, 2004