Cavorting around in a pair of diminutive leiderhosen, his chartreuse and fuschia-feathered Tyrolean hat tipped over his left eye, Adolf Hitler made his way through the Reichstag, waving his baton in the air with flair. It was late Spring, Hitler’s favorite time of year, for it was the season for wearing socks with sandals. Although his signature, perfectly trimmed moustache made it difficult to discern whether he was sporting a happy grin, or an evil one, the bounce in his step made it clear that he was in a good mood. That was until he came upon Herr Himmler.
“Nein! Nein! Nein!” Adolf shrieked, freezing mid-goosestep. Himmler’s attire brought the Fuhrer great displeasure. “Vat is zee meaning of zis?”
“Vat do you mean Mein Fuhrer?” Himmler asked.
“Who told you that you could vear zat?” Hitler shoved his baton into Himmler’s shoulder, it’s sharp end puncturing Himmler’s jacket.
Himmler said nothing—he merely quivered in his military boots.
“I’m zee only one who can vear zee double breasted suit viz a cape!” Hitler raged. “How dare you try to copy me you insolent, little scheisskopf. Next thing I know, I’ll see you vearing zee same facial hair as me.”
Himmler hung his head, his cheeks smoldering crimson with humiliation. It was as though the Fuhrer could read his thoughts. He’d never before been so grateful for having thought twice before leaving the house unshaven that morning. Had he not done so, Hitler would’ve taken note of the budding follicles above his upper lip—the genesis of the hair accessory he’d shaved—and Himmler would surely have been sent off to Auschwitz for being a wannabe usurper.
“I’ve told you Himmler, your legs vere made for stovepipe pants. Nicht zis heavy tailored vide-legged pants bullscheiss.”
“Ya, Mein Fuhrer. I von’t make zee same mistake twice. I’ll fire my tailor at once.”
“Don’t bother. I vill take care of him. Go, macht schnell, and see my Hugo Boss today—he vill make you a whole new vardrobe. His new spring line is filled mit zee vonderful brown shirts I commissioned for zee SS.”
Hitler’s outstretched arm was a signal for Himmler to hand over his offending cape. Hitler gave it the once over and removed one of his gloves. He smiled as he rubbed the fabric between his thumb and forefinger. “Is cashmere?” Himmler nodded. “Who made zis for you? A German tailor?”
Himmler nodded his head again. “But, nicht my Hugo? Not zee Boss?” Himmler shook it this time.
“Fine. Zat vill be all.” Hitler waved Himmler away with his baton.
“Heil Hitler!” Himmler nodded his head profusely and backed away, while simultaneously saluting his commander-in-chief. Hitler continued on his merry way to his office, Himmler’s cape thrown over his shoulder.
“Get me Hugo on the phone,” Hitler barked at his secretary, as he stormed into his office.
“Guten Morgen, Dolfie,” Eva chimed. She hopped off of Hitler’s secretary’s desk, where she’d been waiting for him to arrive. Hitler pecked her on both cheeks, lightly tickling her with his moustache. She tapped her watch. “You’re late.”
“I’m never late. If I’ve arrived, I’m on time. You shouldn’t call me Dolfie. We’ve talked about zis, Frau Braun, ya?” Hitler grabbed Eva by the hand, marched her into his office, and slammed the door. “In zee office, it’s ‘Herr Hitler’ or ‘Mein Fuhrer.’ None of zis sweet scheiss.”
“Oh, you worry too much. It’s only your secretary, and she knows I’m your little schatz.”
“Yes, but sometimes you can be my little shit.” Hitler gave Eva the once over. “Nice outfit, by zee vay.”
Eva was wearing one of the ensembles he’d picked out for her: a green silk blouse that topped off a silk, black-and-white polka-dotted skirt. He loved seeing Eva in polka dots.
“You like my new cape?” Eva nodded her head obligingly. In truth, she hated Hitler’s affinity for the whimsical accessory, finding it too feminine for his already somewhat effeminate fashion sensibilities. But, she was smart enough to keep her mouth shut.
“I have Hugo,” Hitler’s secretary advised over the intercom. Hitler waved Eva away, and pointed toward once of the club chairs. She knew he wanted her to sit there instead of perching on his desk. He hated it when she sat on desks—it caused wrinkles in her clothing.
“Guten Morgen, Hugo,” Hitler boomed into the phone. “Ya, ya. Zat’s great. Now, Hugo, I’m sending Herr Himmler to see you today. Make him a nice new vardrobe. And, nicht a single cape—zey are verbieten for him.”
The conversation progressed in an amiable fashion, with Adolf letting loose a chuckle here and there. Suddenly, Hitler began to shake his head vigorously. Only able to hear one side of the conversation, Eva did her best to make out what Hugo was saying.
“I’m telling you, Hugo, make zee shorts shorter. Our fair young Aryan maidens vant to see zee bulging muscles of our strong SS officers in bold daylight. Enough mit zee long leiderhosen. Long leiderhosen don’t say springtime for Germany or for Hitler, isn’t that right, Eva?” Like a good soldier, Eva nodded her head again deceptively. She hated seeing Hitler in his short leiderhosen, and she had no desire to see a legion of SS officers goosestepping in them while wearing socks and sandals in front of the Reichstag. However, to contradict her Fuhrer meant she’d be the recipient of a one-way ticket to Bergen-Belsen.
“Vat do you mean zat socks mit sandals is a bad look for anyone?” Hitler’s cheeks were getting flushed.
“I’m telling you, I’m zee Boss, not you. I’ve been wearing my short leiderhosen mit my socks and sandals for a month now, and everyone loves them. Zey keep asking vere I got zem.”
Hitler’s face suddenly looked as though it was set to explode.
“Vat do you mean you hope I didn’t tell anyone you made zem for me?”
Eva withdrew into her chair, her nails digging into the leather, too scared to breathe.
“How dare you tell me I have no fashion sense. I wrote all about Aryan fashion in Mein Kampf. I’m zee Fuhrer, I invented Nazi chic—I am Fashion. If I say I want to see zee entire German army vearing short leiderhosen mit socks and sandals, then that’s vat zey vill vear. Be careful Herr Boss. You do as I say, or you’ll be vearing something in stripes before zee day is finished.”
Hitler slammed down the phone and slumped into his chair, taking note of Eva’s petrified look on her face. “Vat does Hugo Boss know about fashion?”
“Nothing at all, my schatz,” Eva stammered, practically curled up in the fetal position in her chair.
“Mark my words, if not for me, Hugo Boss vould be nothing. And, if Germany loses zis var, I can promise you that no one vill ever hear of him again. His career vill be over!”
© 2014. Naomi Elana Zener. All Rights Reserved.