Fashion as self-authorship, escape from fascist terror, and witness testimony

Phyllis Lassner*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


Although clothing has been represented in the arts as self-expression, as signaling community membership, or resistance, Holocaust memoirs intervene. Clothing represented protection or persecution. Trudi Kanter’s memoir Some Girls, Some Hats, and Hitler dramatizes the transformation of fashion into a woman’s escape plan from Nazi persecution and questions literary meanings of transnational and diaspora. A successful milliner in Vienna when the Anschluss threatened Vienna’s 200,000 Jews, Kanter exploited the patronage of Nazi wives to escape. Instead of celebrating self-determining transnational border crossings and identities, Kanter’s memoir shows how Nazi occupation, with its omnipresent threat of capture, serves as a critique. Kanter’s memoir offers a challenging perspective on representing fashionable literary authorship in the mid-twentieth century.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationFashion and Authorship
Subtitle of host publicationLiterary Production and Cultural Style from the Eighteenth to the Twenty-First Century
PublisherPalgrave Macmillan
Number of pages23
ISBN (Electronic)9783030268985
ISBN (Print)9783030268978
StatePublished - Jan 1 2020

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Arts and Humanities(all)


Dive into the research topics of 'Fashion as self-authorship, escape from fascist terror, and witness testimony'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this