a:139:{s:6:"submit";s:6:"Submit";s:20:"submittedTime_string";s:23:"2010-3-23 8:35:39pm PDT";s:18:"student_name_first";s:6:"Rachel";s:17:"student_name_last";s:4:"Gelb";s:19:"student_essay_title";s:69:"Manufacturing an Illusion: Engineering Nazi Ideals by Sewing Machine ";s:22:"book_author_name_first";s:5:"Irene";s:21:"book_author_name_last";s:8:"Guenther";s:15:"book_title_main";s:46:"Nazi Chic? Fashioning Women in the Third Reich";s:14:"book_title_sub";s:0:"";s:21:"book_publication_city";s:6:"Oxford";s:26:"book_publication_publisher";s:15:"Berg Publishers";s:21:"book_publication_year";s:4:"2004";s:16:"book_pages_count";s:3:"320";s:20:"book_ucsb_callNumber";s:24:"ISBN 978-1-85973-717-0. ";s:14:"book_link_text";s:16:"amazon.com ($29)";s:13:"book_link_url";s:70:"http://www.amazon.com/Nazi-Chic-Fashioning-Women-Culture/dp/185973717X";s:23:"book_cover_image_source";s:4:"file";s:20:"book_cover_image_url";s:7:"http://";s:13:"student_about";s:502:"I am a senior Global Studies major at UCSB. I come from a Jewish background and lost many members of my ancestry in concentration camps. As a result, the Holocaust has always held a significant meaning in my life. I have always been fascinated with the mediums that the Nazis utilized in an effort to portray their antisemitic , racist ideals. I chose to write my paper on Nazi Chic? because I feel that fashion is often overlooked when analyzing propaganda and I wanted to explore this avenue further.";s:22:"student_essay_abstract";s:962:"The Holocaust was founded on a multitude of illusions based on the idea that one ‘form’ of people were more valuable than another. In Nazi Germany, this notion manifested itself in the commodification of people in that human beings were granted less worth than a fancy dress or hand carved wooden chair. My paper is based on the book Nazi Chic? Fashioning Women in the Third Reich, by Irene Guenther. It examines the manufacturing of this illusion that manipulates women and fashion in an effort to reflect Nazi ideology. My essay addresses the manner in which fashion was utilized as an avenue for social repression against the Jews. After closely analyzing Guenther’s book, readers can view all of German society, as opposed to only focusing on the Jewish population, as being part of a systematic prison that attempted to suppress a great deal of free will. Both the Germans and the Jews were being fashioned to conform to a new Aryan society.";s:13:"student_essay";s:11842:" Fashion and the Holocaust are two matters that are not often viewed as related. However, as author Irene Guenther clearly argues in her book titled Nazi Chic? Fashioning Women in the Third Reich, these two terms have much more in common than is often perceived. Guenther examines the manner in which antisemitism is translated into women’s clothing during World War II. Nazi Chic? Fashioning Women in the Third Reich additionally addresses how the Nazis attempted to manipulate an artistic form of self-expression, such as fashion, into a rigid and unforgiving rule that left little to no room for any notion of personal identity in Nazi Germany. Guenther depicts how fashion can be harnessed as a means for constraining moral choice and discusses how clothing was utilized as a medium of propaganda that reinforced gender and racist related stereotypes in the Nazis efforts to purify the Aryan race. After closely analyzing Guenther’s book, readers can view all of German society, as opposed to only focusing on the Jewish population, as being a part of a systematic prison that attempted to suppress a great deal of free will. Both the Germans and the Jews were being fashioned to conform to a new Aryan society. Guenther’s goal is to educate the public so that readers can break down the constrictive curtain of social constructions and assess Nazi culture/fashion through unbiased eyes. By assessing various primary sources such as magazine articles, personal accounts, photographs, and essays, Guenther is able to support her argument with concrete evidence pertaining to Nazi fashion in the Third Reich. “Throughout the 1920s and before, critics had vociferously decried what they described as ‘masculinized,’ ‘jewified,’ ‘French-dominated’ fashions and ‘poisonous’ cosmetics, all of which had purportedly lead to the moral degradation of German women” (Guenther, 98). Guenther recounts how the Jews were constantly being “accused of monopolizing the German fashion world; of producing cheap, trashy clothing that degraded women and brought ruin to small German businesses; and of pushing international fads on unsuspecting German female consumers” (Guenther, 144). In other words, the Jews were blamed for tricking German women and taking advantage of German consumers by robbing the Germans of their own free will. The deception behind this notion is that in reality it was the Nazi party who manifested its own party’s ideals in stripping the Germans of a personal identity in a grand effort to rob its citizens of all liberties. Guenther highlights the hypocrisy of German fashion in the Third Reich throughout the entire book. As an example, Guenther discusses the natural beauty campaign that was encouraged as a means for German women to express German nationalism. This anti-cosmetic campaign was fueled by cosmetic ads with women wearing make up that looked natural. Guenther relays how this campaign promoted a “beauty ideal that was largely achieved through artificial means” (Guenther, 107). It also served to reinforce the socially constructed feminine gender roles that Nazi Germany firmly believed in. The hypocrisy behind this campaign is evident; however, as Guenther reveals, many German women ignored the blatant contradictions of this ad that proclaimed cosmetics to be the very poison and cure that separated the lowly Jews from the superior Germans. In addition to the case described above, Nazi Chic? Fashioning Women in the Third Reich draws on plenty of examples to highlight the Nazi Party’s deceitful platforms as represented through Nazi-inspired fashion and clothing. For example, in concentration camps Jews were forced to:
labor in wretched conditions in leather factories, sewing rooms, and textile shops to produce clothes and shoes for German citizens, military and civilian alike. These were the same Germans who had been told for years that clothing made by Jews was degenerate and would harm them, emotionally and physically (Guenther, 256).
After the Nazis had put the Jews out of work and closed down their clothing factories and sewing shops, the Nazis then forced the starving Jews to do the same type of work but in incomparably worse circumstances. Guenther touches on the irony of the Holocaust when she says, “once again, the despised Jews who had long been accused of ruining German clothes, were still clothing Germans, only this time from the confines of a concentration camp” (Guenther, 257). The Jews were forced to support the gender and racist stereotypes that the Nazi regime strictly upheld by creating fashion items that reinforced these typecasts while simultaneously intensifying their subjugation. Guenther goes on to discuss how one woman had “worn her ‘best suit and new, beautiful white boots’ on the transport to Auschwitz” (Guenther, 256). This same woman than spotted her boots on an SS officer at camp the next day after she had been stripped, abused, and shaved. In exchange for her best suit and clean boots, the woman was given a blood stained oversized shirt in addition to men’s pants that were far too big. She recalls her feelings of irony and misery when she says how she was “practically barefoot and wearing a dead mans uniform” (Guenther, 257). While the Nazis were stealing the Jews’ clothing that they claimed to be filthy and inferior, the Jews were given mismatched shoes and ripped garments to cover their emaciated bodies. By stripping the Jews of their possessions, ripping their families apart, and then dressing them in worn out and tattered clothing, the Nazis were sending out a clear message that the Jews had no social, spiritual, or political power- in other words, the Nazis had fashioned the Jews to live a miserable life. The hypocrisy behind the Nazi fashion industry transformed garments into a “curtain behind which hide social conditions, spiritual developments, and political power shifts” (Guenther, 9). The Jews experienced the most drastic form of this imprisonment and marginalization through Nazi fashion. In every sense of the term, the Jews were incarcerated. As discussed in Guenther’s book, one of the ways that the Nazis stereotyped and marginalized the Jews was by forcing them to wear large Jewish stars stitched onto their sleeves so they could automatically be identified as the other. The Nazis did this so that every time the Jews were in public, they were forced to commute through town with the fear of heckling, beatings, and sometimes even the possibility of being shot simply because of their fashioned Star of David. This fashion-inspired statement had severe consequences for the Jews and allotted a great deal of power and authority to the Nazis. Simply by looking at one’s arm, the Nazis were able to identify the inferior and visually recognize their target. The Nazis also tattooed the Jews once they arrived at concentration camps with serial codes so that they no longer existed as humans, but instead as mere variables in the Nazis’ ploy to extinguish them altogether. While the Nazis were encouraging the natural aesthetic of clothing and appearance to represent ideal German women, they were also utilizing garments to strip Jews of their self worth and rob them of their identity. On the opposite end of the spectrum, in regards to exemplifying the ideal German woman, the Third Reich promoted clothing items such as the dirndl (a peasants dress) and a Madchen (a uniform). They advertised each item of clothing as a reflection of the party’s ideals. The dirndl-wearing woman was perceived as the ideal German mother. In 1971, from a magazine titled Jahre Berliner Konfektion she was described as:
The country woman [who] live[d] for the eternal values of culture in her connection, based on blood and soil, to nature and to community. Her biologically determined task culminates in the raising of a blossoming family of children… So the country woman gives our German Volk her best sons and daughters (Guenther, 109).
Guenther asserts that whole personas were bestowed upon women simply by the dresses that they wore. A collective sense of the ultimate mother was bestowed upon country-women who wore the fashionable dirndl. The Madchen on the other hand displayed “the Party’s attraction to organization and militarization” (Guenther, 119). Nazi Chic? Fashioning Women in the Third Reich focuses on how different female German images were able to evoke various Nazi ideals. Guenther illustrates that the Nazis were able to create such images that communicated overarching ideas by collectivizing Nazi Germany through propagandistic advertisements that recognized Nazi-inspired clothing as the only attire that was socially desirable and accepted by women. The thread that was stitched into the fabric of Nazi-inspired clothing could easily be perceived as a metaphor for the Nazi ideologies that served as the foundation to the fabric that was sewn into every German citizen’s personal character. A further degree of irony can be detected in the relationship between the beautiful looking clothing that was inspired and promoted by such ugly Nazi principles. This dichotomous relationship assists to depict the double consciousness that was figuratively and literally made fashionable by men and women living in the Third Reich. Countering the argument that the Nazis succeeded in forcing all women into the stereotypical Third Reich idealized image, Guenther discusses how many German women did not buy into this form of consumerism. One issue that prevented them from doing so was the women’s financial means. “Clothing cards were issued to all Germans on November 14, 1939” (Guenther, 252). Germany’s depressed wartime economy had a large effect on the whole country and as a result, luxury items such as extra dresses and suits were extremely rare and impractical. Another aspect that also created an impracticality and inconvenience for the Nazi party was the issue of women replacing men who were off fighting in the war at their factory jobs. In her conclusion, Guenther notes how:
Uniforming more and more women, and placing them in positions that had been consistently designated as “male only” convoluted the regime’s intense ‘separate spheres’ propaganda and upended the gender-specific work proposals of the pre-war years. (Guenther, 265)
As can be seen in Nazi Chic? Fashioning Women in the Third Reich, fashion plays a large role in shaping society. Guenther relates the idea that the clothes people wear have the power to relay powerful messages and enforce stereotypical norms such as inferior Jews, superior Germans, and gender norms in the case of Nazi Germany. Guenther offers a critique of the Nazis efforts to stratify German society to an ultimate degree and in doing so also shares the Nazis weaknesses in communicating their ideas through women’s fashion. She does this by illustrating how German women did not buy in to all the propaganda that they were fed by the Nazis. As Guenther notes, sometimes this was not out of choice but out of financial necessity. Other times, German fashion did not correlate to wartime realities such as altering gender roles in the workforce and home. She also reveals the hypocrisy behind Nazi principles through the avenue of fashion (one that is often ignored) by relating firsthand accounts of Jews creating German clothes in concentration camps to reinforce their own marginalization and inferiority in the eyes of the Germans. Guenther offers an honest perspective of Nazi Germany when she discusses the immense power that fashion has on society, and in doing so she shows how we can learn from mistakes from the past.";s:13:"bookReviews_0";s:0:"";s:21:"bookReviews_0_include";s:2:"on";s:20:"bookReviews_0_author";s:11:"Ivonne Houy";s:19:"bookReviews_0_title";s:13:"H-Net Reviews";s:30:"bookReviews_0_publication_info";s:52:"Humanities and Social Sciences Online. 28 Jan. 2010";s:23:"bookReviews_0_link_text";s:49:"http://www.h-net.org/reviews/showrev.php?id=11444";s:22:"bookReviews_0_link_url";s:49:"http://www.h-net.org/reviews/showrev.php?id=11444";s:24:"bookReviews_0_annotation";s:289:"This review discusses Guenther’s take on women and aesthetic politics during Nazi Germany. It discusses how Guenther utilized fashion as a looking hole into Nazi ideals and the manner in which fashion was manipulated in an effort to communicate messages and strict rules of antisemitism.";s:13:"bookReviews_1";s:0:"";s:21:"bookReviews_1_include";s:2:"on";s:20:"bookReviews_1_author";s:35:"History Buff's Review of Nazi Chic?";s:19:"bookReviews_1_title";s:10:"Amazon.com";s:30:"bookReviews_1_publication_info";s:0:"";s:23:"bookReviews_1_link_text";s:43:"http://www.amazon.com/review/R2PT0569GK3YJS";s:22:"bookReviews_1_link_url";s:43:"http://www.amazon.com/review/R2PT0569GK3YJS";s:24:"bookReviews_1_annotation";s:230:"This review encourages Guenther’s book to be read as a piece of history. 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In doing so, it touches on the Holocaust and the fashion industry. It notes how fashion can be utilized as a means for repressing women and an entire Jewish society in Nazi Germany.";s:18:"booksAndArticles_1";s:0:"";s:26:"booksAndArticles_1_include";s:2:"on";s:25:"booksAndArticles_1_author";s:19:"Regina Lee Blaszcyk";s:24:"booksAndArticles_1_title";s:51:"Producing fashion: commerce, culture, and consumers";s:35:"booksAndArticles_1_publication_info";s:16:"2008 - 363 pages";s:28:"booksAndArticles_1_link_text";s:0:"";s:27:"booksAndArticles_1_link_url";s:7:"http://";s:29:"booksAndArticles_1_annotation";s:322:"This book reveals how both public and private insitutions assist to shape the fashion industry and in turn shape the minds of society. It examines how fashion is manipulated to communicate various political and social ideas. 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Hisorical Boys Clothing";s:27:"websites_0_publication_info";s:4:"2002";s:20:"websites_0_link_text";s:47:"http://histclo.com/Country/ger/fi/ger-fina.html";s:19:"websites_0_link_url";s:47:"http://histclo.com/Country/ger/fi/ger-fina.html";s:21:"websites_0_annotation";s:291:"This website discusses the manner in which the Nazis utilized clothing and the fashion industry as a means of exclusion towards the Jews from Aryan society. 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";s:10:"websites_2";s:0:"";s:18:"websites_2_include";s:2:"on";s:17:"websites_2_author";s:19:"Professor Dan Stone";s:16:"websites_2_title";s:28:"The Origins of the Holocaust";s:27:"websites_2_publication_info";s:20:"University of London";s:20:"websites_2_link_text";s:48:"http://www.tlemea.com/testaments/en/DanStone.asp";s:19:"websites_2_link_url";s:48:"http://www.tlemea.com/testaments/en/DanStone.asp";s:21:"websites_2_annotation";s:258:"This website discusses how antisemitism can be found in all arenas of society, including fashion. 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