Hitler or Gogol: why sneakers from Puma did not please netizens

Recently, footwear from the German company Puma was harshly criticized, and the brand itself was reproached by social media users for Nazism. The fact is that people saw a portrait of Adolf Hitler in ordinary sneakers. We are investigating whether the design move could have been deliberate and what the outfitter was accused of earlier.

Why did the Puma collection not please Internet users?

Puma designers have decorated the shoes with black lines. If you look at them from above, it seems that this is the face of a German dictator, who wore a slanting fringe and a short mustache.

This is a pair of Storm Adrenaline from the fall / winter 2019 collection ... The brand itself in an advertising campaign compares sneakers with a bolt from the blue. You can't say otherwise. No one expected the model to resonate so much. It should be said that the scandal might not have reached a large scale if Internet users did not remember the past of the creators of Puma Rudolf Dassler and his brother Adolf, the founder of adidas.

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Connection with the NSDAP: the story of Rudolf Dassler

In 1932, the Dassler brothers actively supported Adolf Hitler's National Socialist German Workers' Party. And in May 1933, the creators of major brands officially joined it.

The National Socialists spent a lot of money on sports and their supporters needed a lot of shoes. So the Dasslers became one of the richest families in Herzogenaurach, a city in Bavaria. Interestingly, in addition to equipment, the Gebrüder Dassler factory produced anti-tank rifles.

During the total military mobilization in Nazi Germany, Rudolf was drafted into service and sent to the city of Glauchau. Soon he was assigned to a customs post in the Polish city of Tushino. There, citing alleged night blindness, Dassler was promoted to a typing bureau.

Until 1945, Rudolph actively collaborated with the Nazis, and fled when the Red Army attacked. From that moment on, the future entrepreneur was under investigation by the Gestapo and managed to be in American captivity. He was finally acquitted and released in 1946. Brand namePuma appeared three years after the end of World War II.

What else was Puma accused of?

This is not the first time that Rudolf Dassler's company has been accused. In 2011, Puma publicly apologized to the United Arab Emirates after the sneakers, painted in the colors of the state's flag, went on sale. The brand found itself at the center of a scandal as soon as the shoes hit stores. The UAE authorities regarded the release as an insult and felt that people would deliberately trample on the symbol of their homeland.

Hitler or Gogol: why sneakers from Puma did not please netizens

Photo: Puma Archive

The situation has significantly affected the company's financial position. Puma had to withdraw the entire batch of sneakers from the market. At the same time, German entrepreneurs assured that they did not mean anything bad and only wanted to celebrate the 40th anniversary of the UAE.

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Hitler or Gogol? Online reaction

In the current situation, the main controversy around the silhouette of Adolf Hitler has unfolded on Twitter. Many users immediately began to argue the design move with the biography of the company's founder. There were also suggestions that the reference to the dictator was deliberate.

Some did not openly talk about the similarity of shoe design with Hitler and only ironically hinted at it.

But the Russians put forward an alternative point of view. They are willing to bet that the color of the sneakers is more likely to discern the features of the writer Nikolai Gogol.

So far, Puma has not provided any comments on this case. Let's hope that the resonance was caused only by the rich imagination of people. One way or another, persistent Russian users can now make a claim for the burning of the second volume of Dead Souls.

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