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Why Choosing ’44’ on New Germany Kits for Euro 2024 is Causing a Stir

Why Choosing ’44’ on New Germany Kits for Euro 2024 is Causing a Stir

Has the world just come full circle with Adidas releasing their new national kit for the German team or is it just Kanye at work again?

Adidas released their new home kit for the German National Football Team and the customization feature of the jersey didn’t go as planned.

When fans personalized their kit with the jersey number ‘44’ on the back and front, the uncanny resemblance between the logo worn by the SS units and the font of the ‘44’ raised eyebrows.

The SS Bolts
The SS Bolts is a hate symbol in Germany.

Originally established in 1925 as a small, elite bodyguard unit for Adolf Hitler, the SS, or Schutzstaffel, was a major paramilitary organization under Adolf Hitler and the Nazi Party in Germany.

In the context of history, the number 44 doesn’t hold major value to Nazi Germany, other than the 44-day siege of Budapest which is famed for the resilience of the Nazi army for 44 days but other than that there is nothing much.

Something like the Swastika or the number 88 (which was code for ‘Heil Hitler’) is more notorious and it is banned from use. Interestingly, in 2020 a Neo-Nazi group called the Die Wolfsbrigade 44, or die Sturmbrigade 44 was banned, and if you didn’t read the number 44 in their name already, their symbol was a skull with two grenades that had the number 44 marked on them. So it is unfair to completely disregard the number 44 in the context of the Nazi regime too.

In today’s world, it is so common to see Germany banning Neo-Nazi groups who still support or romanticize the ideologies of Hitler and the Nazi regime. It is not just disrespectful to be supporting those ideologies but also sad and dangerous.

These groups have been related to many attacks, protests, secret meetings to discuss and spread the age-old ideologies of Hitler’s army, and including hidden messages to take them back to the period that no one wants to go back to.

Can the font used by Adidas to write the ‘44’ be considered a hidden message? All of this may sound trivial but when you consider the slight possibility of it being true, the bigger image looks grim then.

Adidas has been in the news for similar controversy before when Kanye was still one of the designers and collaborators in the Yeezy shoes.

Kanye had told one of the Jewish executives to “hang a photo of Hitler in his kitchen and kiss it every day to practice unconditional love”. As unproven facts appear, he may have done that with all the other pictures of guys that his wife was dating while being separated from him.

So an important question remains at the end – Does all of this matter? And the answer is that it absolutely does.

It is also important to note that no one in the German National Football Team wears the jersey number 44. People took to Twitter to talk about this resemblance too.

The Nazi ideology died with the German defeat in WWII, but it is still present in far-right groups and movements led by them and has caused a lot of geopolitics debate which sometimes influences in the wrong way.

With the release of all of this, a new question enters the debate, is Adidas just another Neo-Nazi group that is too huge to shut down?