The Honor Dress of the Movement
192 pages, 6 x 9
11 b&w illus.
Release Date:26 Nov 2021
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The Honor Dress of the Movement

A Cultural History of Hitler’s Brown Shirt Uniform, 1920–1933

University of Massachusetts Press
During the era of the Weimar Republic, Germany was characterized by deep contradictions and polarizations. New, progressive social mores and artistic developments mixed uneasily with growing reactionary politics. When the 1929 stock market crash produced a severe economic shock, voters began to shift their allegiances from the parties of the center to radicals on both the left and the right. By 1933, amidst crisis and chaos, the Nazis had taken over.
In The Honor Dress of the Movement, Torsten Homberger contends that the brown-shirted Stormtrooper uniform was central to Hitler's rise to power. By analyzing its design and marketing, he investigates how Nazi leaders used it to project a distinct political and military persona that was simultaneously violent and orderly, retrograde and modern—a dual image that proved popular with the German people and was key to the Nazis' political success. Based on a wealth of sources that includes literature, films, and newspapers of the era, Homberger exhibits how the Nazis shaped and used material culture to destroy democracy.
This finely conceived, well-organized, and briskly written account of the SA uniform is not about clothing but rather how the Brown Shirt symbolized Nazi violence and a desire to discipline a society that seemed 'undressed,' frayed, and dirty. It is a marvelous book.'—Peter Fritzsche, author of Hitler's First Hundred Days: When Germans Embraced the Third Reich
TORSTEN HOMBERGER is assistant professor of history at the University of Nebraska at Kearney.
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