'Hitler Youth Hairdo' -Silly Fashion Statement or anti-Semitism?

Some Jewish community officials have expressed concern over the latest style in haircuts - the “Jugend,” or “Hitler Youth” hairdo.

By David Lev, Israel National News, 11/21/2011

Is it a sign of a burgeoning anti-Semitic movement – or a silly fashion statement? Some Jewish community officials, who did not wish to be named in order not to “fan any flames,” as one put it in an interview, have expressed concern over the latest style in haircuts – the “Jugend,” or the “Hitler Youth” hairdo that has begun gracing an increasing number of heads in the more “hip” areas of Manhattan.

The New York Times “outed” the hairdo in a weekend story, interviewing a Greenwich Village barber who says he has been getting many requests for the haircut from young men frequenting his shop. Although he prefers not to refer to it as such, says the barber, Sam Buffa, that's what the customers are asking for - “buzzed on the sides, longer on top and slicked back with a dab of pomade,” as the Times describes it.

The haircut seems to be inspired, the Times said, by retro TV shows and movies depicting the 1920s and 1930s that have achieve popularity recently. The Times piece quoted a photographer as saying that he himself had sported the haircut, and that he had been unaware of any Hitler connections. In “any photography book of Paris in the ’30s, almost all the guys had that cut,” said the photographer, Scott Schuman.

But several activists in the Jewish community are not so sure that the “Jugend” is just another silly fashion statement. “Not that these are members of Hitler youth, but the fact that the term is thrown around so cavalierly is of concern,” said one activist in the New York Jewish community. “I am far from being someone who sees anti-Semitism in every little thing, but we have in recent weeks witnessed numerous attacks on Jews. Anti-Semitism seems to be in the air right now,” the activist said.

Several weeks ago, vandals set fire to several parked cars and scrawled anti-Semitic graffiti on nearby benches in the predominantly a heavily Jewish neighborhood of Midwood in what the police said was a hate crime. The arson took place along Ocean Parkway between Avenue I and Avenue J in what is commonly referred to as the Flatbush section where three cars; a BMW, a Lexus and a Jaguar, were set ablaze. In addition, the epithet “KKK” was scrawled on the side of a red van and swastikas and anti-Semitic slurs were found on benches. This area of Brooklyn, including Midwood and Borough Park, contains one of the largest concentrations of Holocaust survivors outside of Israel. Jewish residents of the area held a march and rally decrying the attack.




Comeback of the Hitler Youth haircut worries Jewish and progressive groups fearing intolerance

by Democrats Ramshield (Written by an American expat living in the European Union)

The truth is though Adolf Hitler has been dead for a good long time, it seems he will haunt Europe forever. I understand the Daily Kos is a serious online community where important progressive issues of the day are discussed. So why am I writing a diary about (yes you guessed it!) hairstyles! Well, quietly some would say insidiously a Nazi haircut known as the Hitler Youth haircut has made a comeback (with 74,000 hits in Google) according to urban legend from German speaking rural Switzerland to becoming a global presence. This has alarmed Jewish groups around the world to the point where they have began voicing concern at the rise of intolerance and anti-semitism that is coming back to haunt Europe in this 100th anniversary year of world war 1, which is 75 years from the end of world war 2. Now recently just last week these fears were realized by the populist Swiss SVP party in an anti-European immigration referendum passed by a majority of Swiss voters. I wrote a diary on that very issue (not that anyone actually read it) entitled "Switzerland far right party of hate declares war on European immigration".

When fashion is allowed to favorably reflect on the Nazi period in terms that put that history in a favorable light then something has happened in Europe and around the world that we need to take notice of. As the old saying would have it, all that needs to happen for evil to triumph is for good people to sit by and do nothing. This last century saw not one, but two world wars come and go, with a warning, which is for those of us who aren't prepared to learn from history are therefore doomed to repeat it. Clearly the history of World War one and two is something that America can ill afford not to learn the lessons of.

What is in a haircut any way? It's just a fashion statement isn't it? The Hitler Youth haircut.Well, sure it's just a haircut but more to the point it's an idea that people want to look like that again. It's a look associated with historical intolerance. It's a look that was associated with the Holocaust, the destruction of Europe and the pain and suffering of millions, that now is being celebrated in making a comeback as a fashion statement in our neighborhoods and schools and on the fashion pages and even on the silver screen. The Hitler Youth haircut is back in the limelight and it's coming to a shopping mall near you!

It comes out of a time when the government failed the people, when jobs were lost, too many of them being shipped abroad, people were losing their homes, people were afraid and people were insecure. People were looking for a new look, new ideas, a new day of hope. Some people think the Hitler Youth Aryan look is in and it's cool. Well let's be honest it wasn't just worn by Germany's Hitler Youth, it was worn by Adolf Hitler himself as well as most German front line troops, but too many people think it doesn't mean anything. It's just a hair style after all? There's no political message attached to it? It's just a lot of silliness. That is what they said about the brown shirts in Nazi Germany in the beginning, they said it wasn't a military uniform, it was a political party uniform (manufactured by fashion designer Hugo Boss that is."It was Hugo Boss who made uniforms for the Nazis.").but then the S.A. got to be 3 million strong. Three times the size of the German army that changed Germany and in turn changed the world. Also please let's remember that at the time this was simply viewed as the fashion business. Ergo by way of a corollary we must conclude that the Nazi fashion business has a dark side and so does the fashion history of the Hitler Youth haircut. Given that history may we simply write the whole thing off as nothing more than a lucrative fashion tread and nothing more in the matter of the Hitler Youth haircut's strong global comeback.

(There should be some sort of a movement brought about to disassociate the hair style from the name of Adolf Hitler). A further danger is that anyone, especially young people Googling the name "the Hitler Youth haircut" will be exposed to voluminous Nazi materials, which is an insidious way of this type of (old and new) propaganda material to find readers. As such this is one more reason why an effort should be brought about to change the name of this hair style.

So when we look back at the 100th year anniversary of World War I and we look back at World War II that ended 75 years ago, perhaps we should also remember the slogan "Never Again". For it is said all that needs to happen for evil to triumph is for good people to do nothing. Perhaps we should therefore this time all do something. To that end I invite you to post your thoughts below and speak out and you will be heard.
Also it is worth noting that this comes at a time, here in Germany as the copyright for Mein Kampf has now expired. it can now legally be sold here legally again.

The truth is though Adolf Hitler has been dead for a good long time, it seems he will haunt Europe forever...

TAGS: Haircut Intolerance Racism Switzerland


Fear of a haircut on children. ...teens no less. And so it has come to this.

by Wisper

First they come for your children then you

by Democrats Ramshield

First your children do stupid symbolic gestures. That looks like the haircut that was popular with the punk kids when I was growing up.  We called them "Skaters" not Nazis and no one was afraid of them. Teenagers grasping at counter-culture iconography with a self-inflated sense of message. In other news, water is wet.

by Wisper

To Wisper - Just Google it  It's all over the internet. It's called solely the "Hitler Youth haircut". The moniker is the name of a name responsible for the deaths of 50 million people. Sorry, but I call that worrying, don't you? They call it the Hitler youth haircut but people of all ages are wearing it all over the globe. It has about 74,000 hits in Google. It's out there.

by Democrats Ramshield

No one calls it that. Just checking in from PDX where you can find this style all over... Never heard it called that ever. No connection between the style and the history. It's like saying you're worried people are eating at KFC because KFC 50 years ago bought out Coons Chicken. No connection anymore.

by Red Tom Kidd

OK.. I googled it. and its other name "The Undercut" and the stylist name of "Curtained Hair". My favorite google link was Buzz feed's Hitler Youth look is so hot right now. It's unlikely that these men are referencing totalitarianism. But even if the the hairstyle feels modern, it's easy for some people who have seen the more than 15 minutes of "Triumph of the Will", the 1945 Nazi propaganda film, to squirm at the sight of those buzzed temples and flopping forelocks. Europeans shy away from terms for it that could hint at fascism. In Stockhom, the haircut is so widespread that television sports announcers wear it, said Sofia Hedstrom, a Swedish fashion journalist in New York. There are lots of names for it, she added, included the "synth", owin to the cuts worn by 80's bands like New Order and Modern English. oh and here is a nice shot of David Beckham fashionably, as always, rocking this oppressive symbol of Holocaustic genocide and dehumanizing dictatorship.

by Wisper

Try 'Hitler youth suspenders'. Many more hits! 'Hitler youth earlobes' got more than 20x the hits. even 'Hitler youth sports bar' bested it. "The right is correct on one thing...we really are a bunch of easily outraged nitpickers."

by potato

The boy who cried haircut. With due respect, I'd be more concerned about real deal far right parties. Greek Golden Dawn for example, they seem to have a significant following. I don't mean to detract from the work put into the diary, it just strikes me as a little, alarmist. I've been keeping my head shaved since my late 20s. Makes life easier, has nothing to do with Neo-Nazism or anything else. You just have to take peoples haircuts as they come, individually, one hairstyle at a time.

by Broken

I dunno. There is some resemblance to punk haircuts, but the skater haircuts I've seen are not so extreme. Here's an example- scroll down to Lorenzo Skater: http://www.kidzcuts.co.nz/...(Kinda fascinating that they show only white boys' haircuts). And haircuts do take on a political meaning- in the 60's they were a better marker than bumper stickers.

by gramofsam1

I though it was called the I'm-a-nerd-and-am-begging-everyone-to-kick-my-ass-cuz-my-hair-is-in-my-eyes haircut. Although, for full disclosure, I once did have a haircut that vaguely resembled some of that back when I was in Middle School.

by tekno2600

I'm more worried about the implicit support this hairstyle provides for a return of "A Flock of Seagulls."

by Tirana Transplant

I still have one of their record albums and enjoy listening to it from time to time. But alas, I have no hair for that style of cut .... Nor care to look like that as well.

by LamontCranston

That's one stupid looking haircut. I'd only ever seen prints or pictures of 'Hitler Youth' in what to me looked like a standard 'businessman's haircut', ie fairly short all over, but with a part and comb to one side. If it had been that one, I would have thought people were worried over nothing. And although I'm sure some kids will actually think that's a 'cool' looking (or 'sick' or whatever word the youngins are using today) haircut, I certainly don't think Ahnold is young enough to feel that way. Sounds like a dogwhistle from him.

by Dr Erich Bloodaxe RN

If it was Hitler mustaches I'd be worried. I mean that was the REAL signature feature of Hitler.

by exlrrp

This was a popular style for men in the 20s - 40s, I've seen it in countless old movies and adverts. Whenever the men got into a fight or were roughed up, hair fell down over the face "Hitler style." Later, shorter cleancut hairstyles for men, that stayed in place better, became the norm. Maybe the WWII military influence? "Rebel" types sported a high pompadour lacquered in place with sticky pomade. Thus the "Grease" of the movie musical. In early 1964 the Beatles destroyed the hair pomade industry almost overnight. Whatever hair style makes a statement that the older generation disapproves of is the one youth will adopt.

by dinazina

"I understand the Daily Kos is a serious online community where important progressive issues of the day are discussed." You would be wrong. It is mostly gossip about Republicans. "Like OMG, did you hear what Palin/Limbaugh/Current Right-Wing Villan said??", followed by a hundred comments about what an idiot said person is... that kind of stuff. A diary about haircuts actually raises the level of discussion here.

by DougInNYC

Then it's time for another circumcision diary.

by polecat

As a historical re-enactor, I would point out that this sort of mens' hairstyle (long on top, very short on sides and back) was quite common during the 1930s and '40's in Europe and North America. It wasn't especially associated with Nazism at the time. In the intervening time maybe it has become so associated, at least in Europe. If so, I agree it's a disturbing trend.

by Wreck Smurfy

Afraid of a Haircut? Sounds like the reaction of my grade school principal in 1964 when I showed up with a Beatle haircut. I've been a DFH ever since.

by kaleidescope

I'm involved in fair amount of Jewish oriented communities - and I have to say that over all, there's a lot more panic about how long or short some poor woman's skirt is walking through an orthodox neighbourhood than what kind of haircuts people are getting.  Unless you're talking about how long a proper sheitel should be - that's a whole huge drama for some people. OTOH - these same people consider antisemitism to be the norm for non-Jews, so it's not the haircut that makes any difference. It's things like banning kosher slaughter and bris milah that have an impact. 

by Mortifyd

I've had this cut for over a year, not a HY. In fact, this is a common haircut of major league soccer, aka football in the rest of the world, fanboys. It's also a common hipster haircut now as well.

by Patience John

Grüß Gott in Himmel! /facepalm

by polecat

What, no tiny moustaches? I guess that's an ironic bridge too far even for hipsters.

by MGross

This is literally the first time I have heard that. 
It's also Morrissey's haircut and I don't think he's a Nazi. I think you're looking at a small subset of the world when you assume it's universally known as the Hitler Youth haircut.  In Google, I do a search for Hitler Youth hairstyle and get 54600 results. I do a search for Morrissey hairstyle and get 1,070,000 results. The stylist name for it seems to be the Undercut hairstyle which delivers 390,000 results.

by nightsweat

Well, Vigilance is the Price of liberty, but, this is a tempest in a teapot at best. Eh, some of that hair was common then, but except among little neonazis it's not even remarkable. However, I just had a counterintuitive insight about the right-wing hostility to longer hair on men which began in full force in the 1960s - perhaps it really was in part a reaction to Hitler's bangs. Bear with me: prior to World War I, "manly" men grew long hair and beards. The clean shaven and shorthaired look came into fashion after 1900. Razor companies like Gillette and Burma shave promoted it. Small town barbers made a living off it. To the World War II generation that was how men should look. The Beatles changed that. According to Beatle George Harrison it was started by accident. They were late to a performance because they had been in the hotel swimming pool and rushed onstage with hair hanging down and the audience loved it so their imagemakers made it their look. Others imitated them. Paul Revere of Paul Revere and the Raiders - now in his 70s and still playing in Branson - added a lush mustache. Facial hair, ponytails, flamboyant clothes etc. became rebellion against the stinkin' establishment. The Yippie leader Jerry Rubin explained to his critical aunt, "Long hair is our black skin." The loghaired male became "the other" just like racial minorities but usually with better lawyers. Part of the visceral reaction of the right wing was homophobia - but, say, perhaps there was some deep-seated residue of the disdain for Hitler's mop and 'stache, too. After all, Hitler was a delicate man, an artist turned paperhanger, vegetarian, not married except to his mistress days before their joint suicide. Nazi officers were sterotypically cultured, elegant, snide, and impeccably dressed in their comic opera uniforms. And GI Joes hated the Nazis as much as the Japanese even though racist imagery wasn't used in propaganda against the goosestepping Germans. Popular culture of the time derided Hitler and his High Command and may have been been on the minds of sixties' dads admonishing their offspirng to "get a haircut." Now if you want to see some real Nazi-inspired ironic imagery check out the late 70s punkers Gary Neuman and the Tubeway Army and Neil Patrick Harris as the Nazi-knockoff intelligence officer in "Starship Troopers".

by Kangaroo

looks more like a devilock which was a punk haircut popularized by The Misfits. I wouldn't fret over this too much unless the people wearing it actually start acting like Nazis.

by Front Toward Enemy

Much a hairdo about nothing. During the recent winter months I told my hair stylist "Long on top, razor on the sides." It's not an uncommon look around here. I've worn a similar hairstyle off and on throughout my life. Add a little gel or pomade and you can do amazing things with all that hair on top. And it can be really sexy when it flops down into your eyes but when I smolder it's with burning lust not hate so maybe that's what has always kept it from appearing Hitlerish. Apparently I had it cut short all over just in time although not short enough to look like a skin head.

by jayden

Wasn't the same look popular in the United States and other non-fascist, European or European-colonized countries around the same time? Surely the trend would have been driven by electrification and the invention of electric hair clippers in the 1920s.

by cociyo

come on. that haircut is everywhere and has been for like years now. this is like the laziest post hoc ergo propter hoc this week and it's only Tuesday.

by terrypinder

Remember this cut being popular. in the early 1990s. One of the guys on my high school wrestling team even specifically mentioned the Hitler Youth history of the hairdo. The hairdo was still more of a fashion statement than a statement of any kind of ideological affinity with the Nazis.

by NotGeorgeWill

The Confederate Flag is considered by many to be a fashion statement as well. It is cool in many parts of the South to wear shirts or hats with the Confederate flag. I don't see how this haircut is much different. By calling it the Hitler Youth haircut the intent is to intimidate.

by Radiowalla

Take a look at Google Images. Just plug in "Hitler Youth Haircut" and you will see scores and scores of photos. And there is a Tumblr page just for Hitler Youth Haircut. I see no call whatsoever to come to the defense of such a cultural expression. Intimidation is not "trendy." Shame on all who would wear such a haircut.

by Radiowalla

We fear youth...simple as that. Anything that does not look like our perfect darlings, just riles us. The older we get, the spookier we become (I am not a young dude either). Look at how we fear the black youth today, what a sin that we see a haircut or the color of a young man's skin and we cower like a kicked dog.

by jasan

Back in my day, by which I mean my high school and college days in the 80s, this was a very popular haircut in the new wave and punk scenes. Howard Jones sported this. So did my first girl friend in college. Just because some idiots call this a "Hitler Youth Haircut" doesn't make the haircut itself a representation of intolerance or hatred. What if neo-nazis started wearing khakis? What if neo-nazis started shaving their heads bald? What if neo-nazis started driving Priuses?

by Roiling Snake Ball

Baketball haircut? That's what I've heard people call some of the long on the top, shaved on the side cuts that I've seen. Some people also get shapes and even pictures carved into the buzz cut regions of their hair. But, unless they're getting a picture of Hitler carved in there, I think were safe. I think most people are just innocent fashion victims, with no ulterior motives. Kim Jong Un, on the other hand, has a truly shitty side-shaved haircut. 

by tekno2600

Stormfront is celebrating the return of the Hitler Youth haircut: http://www.stormfront.org/... Click at your own peril.

by Radiowalla

Please do not link to that site. Ever. They don't deserve the traffic, especially not from us.

by Brown Thrasher


by Democrats Ramshield

Um, it's a hairdo, guys. Really. One that, as many have already pointed out, has been around under a wide number of monikers and worn by a large number of sub-cultures. Me, I'm mostly familiar with it from the Goth-Industrial and Cyber-punk crowds. It "looks" counter-culture with it's sharp contrasts of close-cropped sides and back and the longer top. For one group, it's an "under-cut", for another, it's a "devil-lock", another, it's simply "punky" and it's worn that way plus being bleached and dyed various bright colours and gelled in spikes. The fact that it originated during the era that saw the rise of the Hitler Youth doesn't logically attach any more political leanings than does the modern counter-culture kid who listens to Goth-Industrial bands and wears it. As mentioned before, it was a popular style with young men back then, and considered the "norm", really. Far more people wore it who had nothing to do with the Hitler Youth, or were even German. Some Jewish folks wore that cut, too, back then. It was just a common hairstyle or men of a certain age. I wore a similar cut not that long ago as part of my Goth look, and I am as far from an anti-Semite as could be imagined. I've known Jews that wore the cut. It's a hairstyle, people. Yeesh. As for the comparison regarding folks who thought sporting a Confederate flag was "cool", I call false equivalence. A hair-cut is a fashion. It sometimes carries a note of political leanings. The style in question, from my experience, was more often worn by people who were progressive and with a large distaste for racism and homophobia, but most of the time, it's "for the pretty" because someone saw someone influential (a band-member, an actor) wearing it and they thought it looked good. A flag, on the other hand, was always meant to be a symbol, whether for a team, a company, a nation or political ideology. It's a "brand", not a style. If we acknowledge our fears, then we must also acknowledge the consequences of our actions when we react to those fears. Hate is based on fear, fear comes from a lack of understanding. When you understand, it is more difficult to hate.

by TheProgressiveAlien

According to urban legend? It's not that a diary about hairstyles is unserious, but one based on "urban legend"? Really?

by Catte Nappe

With due respect to feelings of victims of the Third Reich, give me a break! Just because someone shaves their head, does not make them a neo-Nazi. A person with this haircut, isn't a member of the Hitler Youth! And I'm sure we can agree that, just because of someone is Jewish, should not mean they automatically support everything the State of Israel is doing (Settlements for example)
"There should be some sort of a movement brought about to disassociate the hair style from the name of Adolf Hitler." Only in Europe, not necessary in North America, people have bigger problems over here. Particularly in the U.S. where people still believe the sun revolves around the Earth.

by Broken

Jezebel said it best: But the Hitler Youth? Even if only one single barber in the West Village of New York has ever heard a customer use the term, that is still just not an acceptable thing to call a haircut. Nazi is not a trend! Not for fall or for anytime! How does that even work? Jezebel. I am amazed at the dismissive responses to this diary. Hardly anyone took time to consider the topic except to mock it.

by Radiowalla

Grooming ourselves for fascism? True, not everyone (probably not even most people) who have a haircut like this sympathizes with the far right or neo-Nazis. However, the real issue is that some people are referring to it as the Hitler Youth haircut, and apparently without feeling any misgivings or embarrassment or regard for historical context. And, as you mentioned in a previous comment, Stormfront clearly recognizes it as a Nazi-style haircut and is celebrating its return. So, even though attaining the style of the Hitler Jugend may not be the intent of most people who sport this look, I nevertheless think it's yet another sign that a renewed acceptance of fascism is tiptoeing its way from the fringe into popular mainstream culture.

by IowaBiologist

Thank you! I was beginning to feel that everyone had gone nuts here.

by Radiowalla

It seemed to me that many commenters missed the whole point of the diary, and were actually using one of the very points that the diarist made in order to argue against the main premise of the diary: Some people think the Hitler Youth Aryan look is in and it's cool. Well, let's be honest - it wasn't just worn by Germany's Hitler Youth, it was worn by Adolf Hitler himself as well as most German front line troops, but too many people think it doesn't mean anything. It's just a hair style after all? There's no political message attached to it? It's just a lot of silliness. That is what they said about the brown shirts in Nazi Germany in the beginning, they said it wasn't a military uniform, it was a political party uniform... Also, the diarist isn't saying to get rid of the haircut, but rather to dissociate it from the unfortunate label it has acquired: There should be some sort of a movement brought about to disassociate the hair style from the name of Adolf Hitler. "Hitler Youth haircut" is a meme that needs to be vigorously questioned and addressed. I'm not sure why there was such a quibble about this issue.

by IowaBiologist

To IowaBiologist - Well said

by Democrats Ramshield

To IowaBiologist - You are right. It is quite insidious. In fact many of us find it to be quite worrying. Thank you for your thoughtful comments. Thank you also for your support.

by Democrats Ramshield

I just sent a link to your diary to a colleague who's an expert on the Holocaust, the Nazi era, and neo-Nazism. It'll be interesting to hear what she says about this particular issue. Thank you for writing this diary. I hadn't heard anything about this until now, and was shocked, to say the least.

by IowaBiologist

To IowaBiologist: Thanks for your support of my diary regarding the Hitler youth haircut. I really appreciated being able to read your remarks. Like yourself I am also very interested to know what your friend and colleague who is an expert on these issues may have to say. To that end, please I'd like to invite yourself and others likewise interested to please email me. Here's my email address: democratsramshield@yahoo.com I do very much look forward to hearing from you as your time may permit.

by Democrats Ramshield

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