Thor Steinar

Last updated

Thor Steinar
Industry Fashion
Number of employees
c. 160

Thor Steinar is a German clothing brand manufactured by Thor Steinar Mediatex GmbH, a subsidiary of International Brands General Trading, a Dubai-based company.

Germany Federal parliamentary republic in central-western Europe

Germany, officially the Federal Republic of Germany, is a country in Central and Western Europe, lying between the Baltic and North Seas to the north and the Alps, Lake Constance, and the High Rhine to the south. It borders Denmark to the north, Poland and the Czech Republic to the east, Austria and Switzerland to the south, France to the southwest, and Luxembourg, Belgium, and the Netherlands to the west.

Brand identification for a good or service

A brand is a name, term, design, symbol or any other feature that identifies one seller's good or service as distinct from those of other sellers. Brands are used in business, marketing, and advertising. Name brands are sometimes distinguished from generic or store brands.

Dubai Metropolis in United Arab Emirates

Dubai is the most populous city in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and the capital of the Emirate of Dubai.


In Germany, the brand is considered closely associated to neo-Nazism by the Verfassungschutz of the state of Brandenburg. [1] In German media, the brand is most often discussed in the light of this association. Wearing Thor Steinar clothes is expressly forbidden in the Bundestag, in the Landtag of Mecklenburg-Vorpommern and of Saxony and in several football stadiums.

Neo-Nazism political ideology seeking to revive the far-right tenets of Nazism

Neo-Nazism consists of post-World War II militant social or political movements seeking to revive and implement the ideology of Nazism. Neo-Nazis seek to employ their ideology to promote hatred and attack minorities, or in some cases to create a fascist political state. It is a global phenomenon, with organized representation in many countries and international networks. It borrows elements from Nazi doctrine, including ultranationalism, racism, xenophobia, ableism, homophobia, anti-Romanyism, antisemitism, anti-communism and initiating the Fourth Reich. Holocaust denial is a common feature, as is the incorporation of Nazi symbols and admiration of Adolf Hitler.

Brandenburg State in Germany

Brandenburg is a state of Germany.

Bundestag Federal parliament of Germany

The Bundestag is the German federal parliament. It can be compared to the chamber of deputies along the lines of the United States House of Representatives or the House of Commons of the United Kingdom.


The brand was registered as a trademark by Axel Kopelke in October 2002 and was manufactured by Mediatex GmbH. In March 2009, Mediatex sold the brand to International Brands General Trading, a Dubai-based company. [2]


Tonsberg store in Berlin Mitte: The facade shows marks from paint bomb attacks and is protected by acrylic glass Tonsberg-Rosa-Luxemburg-Str-Berlin.jpg
Tønsberg store in Berlin Mitte: The façade shows marks from paint bomb attacks and is protected by acrylic glass

Since the inception of Thor Steinar, the company has used two logos. Much of the controversy regarding the clothing label revolves around their first logo, featuring a combination of a *tiwaz rune and a *sowilo rune: the runes were so combined that a part of the logo became very similar to the wolfsangel which is used by some organisations with neo-nazi connections. It was also used by the nazis as exemplified by the insignia of the 2nd SS Panzer Division Das Reich. In addition there is some similarity to the insignia of the Schutzstaffel. The manufacturers of the Thor Steinar brand rejected this interpretation of the former logo. [3]


The Wolfsangel is a German heraldic charge inspired by historic wolf traps, consisting of two metal parts and a connecting chain. The top part of the trap, which resembled a crescent moon with a ring inside, used to be fastened between branches of a tree in the forest while the bottom part, on which meat scraps used to be hung, was a hook meant to be swallowed by a wolf. The simplified design based on the iron "wolf-hook" was often heavily stylized to no longer resemble a baited hook hung from a tree or an entire wolf trap. Other names included Wolfsanker ("wolf-anchor") or Wolfsjagd as well as hameçon or hameçon de loup, a half-moon shape with a ring, or as cramp or crampon in English with a ring at the center, sometimes also called Doppelhaken ("double-hook"), or a crampon with a transversal stroke. All of these symbols are still found in a number of municipal coats of arms in Germany. The crampon is also found as a mason's mark in medieval stonework.

2nd SS Panzer Division <i>Das Reich</i> division

The 2nd SS Panzer Division "Das Reich" was one of 38 divisions of the Waffen-SS of Nazi Germany during World War II. Das Reich served during the invasion of France and took part in several major battles on the Eastern Front, including in the Battle of Prokhorovka against the 5th Guards Tank Army at the Battle of Kursk. It was then transferred to the West and took part in the fighting in Normandy and the Battle of the Bulge, ending the war in Hungary and Austria. Das Reich committed the Oradour-sur-Glane and Tulle massacres.

<i>Schutzstaffel</i> Major paramilitary organization during the Weimar Republic and Nazi Germany

The Schutzstaffel was a major paramilitary organization under Adolf Hitler and the Nazi Party (NSDAP) in Nazi Germany, and later throughout German-occupied Europe during World War II. It began with a small guard unit known as the Saal-Schutz made up of NSDAP volunteers to provide security for party meetings in Munich. In 1925, Heinrich Himmler joined the unit, which had by then been reformed and given its final name. Under his direction (1929–45) it grew from a small paramilitary formation during the Weimar Republic to one of the most powerful organizations in Nazi Germany. From 1929 until the regime's collapse in 1945, the SS was the foremost agency of security, surveillance, and terror within Germany and German-occupied Europe.

Their second logo is a Gyfu rune, similar in appearance to a Saltire, and has not caused controversy. This rune is known as an apolitical symbol given its historical relationship to pre-Christian mythology.

Gyfu is the name for the g-rune in the Anglo-Saxon rune poem, meaning ‘gift’ or ‘generosity’:

Saltire Heraldic and Vexillogical symbol in the form of a diagonal cross

A saltire, also called Saint Andrew's Cross or the crux decussata, is a heraldic symbol in the form of a diagonal cross, like the shape of the letter X in Roman type. The word comes from the Middle French sautoir, Middle Latin saltatoria ("stirrup").

On occasions Thor Steinar shops have been attacked with stones or paint bombs. [4]


In Germany, public display of Nazi-associated symbols, denial of the Holocaust, and glorification of Adolf Hitler are illegal. Despite that, the Federal Office for the Protection of the Constitution, which collects domestic intelligence for the government, appraises the number of active participants of the far right movement at around 40,000. [5]

Various authorities and organizations, including Brandenburg Verfassungsschutz , [6] [7] have identified the wearing of Thor Steinar clothes as one of the indications of membership in the far right subculture.

Wearing the label is prohibited in the German Bundestag and in the Landtags of Mecklenburg-Vorpommern and Saxony. In addition several football clubs including Tennis Borussia Berlin, Borussia Dortmund, Werder Bremen, Hamburger Sport Verein and Hertha BSC prohibit wearing the label in their stadiums. [8] [9] The online retailer Amazon stopped selling the brand in 2009. [10] Despite this, Amazon have since been criticised for employing internal security guards with far-right connections, who wore the same clothing. [10]


Various designs by Thor Steinar have had Norwegian flags and Norwegian names, such as Trondheim, Nordfjord, Nordstrand or Bergen. The official stores selling the clothes are also named after the oldest Norwegian city, Tønsberg. [11] The government filed a complaint against the use of the Norwegian flag in February 2008. [12] The legal complaint however failed and it is unlikely that a second attempt will be made. The Norwegian Embassy, the Norwegian Office for Foreign Affairs were informed by Mediatex – the company behind the Thor Steinar brand – on the 6th of December 2007 that future collections starting and including the spring and summer 2008 collection will no longer use the national symbol of Norway. The company issued a statement in response to the issue. [13]

Brevik store

Until 2008, the chain operated a store named Brevik, for the town Brevik in Telemark. In February 2012 Thor Steinar opened a new store in Chemnitz also with the name Brevik. Its similarity to the last name of Anders Behring Breivik (who committed the 22 July 2011 Norway attacks) in conjunction with his far-right politics led to public outcry and local authorities are seeking to have the store closed. [14] [15] The store was eventually renamed[ clarification needed ]. [16]

See also

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  1. Scene costumes for right-wing extremists, from the official Web pages of the state of Brandenburg (in German).
  2. "Neo-Nazi Group Calls for Thor Steinar Boycott". Spiegel Online. 27 May 2009. Retrieved 7 March 2012.
  3. "Altes Logo". Thor Steinar News Portal (in German). Archived from the original on January 11, 2010.
  4. "Linksextremisten greifen Thor-Steinar-Geschäfte an". Junge Freiheit . Archived from the original on 6 February 2013. Retrieved 30 April 2011.
  5. Rachel Nolan. Neo-Nazi Fashion: Thor Steinar and the Changing Look of the German Far Right, Spiegel Online International, November 20, 2008.
  6. Verfassungsschutz Brandenburg: „Thor Steinar“ scheitert mit neuem Vertriebsweg, 2008
  7. Verfassungsschutzbericht Brandenburg 2007 Archived 2011-07-18 at the Wayback Machine , p. 162
  8. Radke, Johannes (March 16, 2008). "Hausverbot im Bundestag". Der Tagesspiegel.
  9. HSV-Presseservice (September 28, 2007). "Thor Steinar" und "Consdaple"-Kleidung in der HSH Nordbank Arena ab sofort verboten.
  10. 1 2 "Amazon 'used neo-Nazi guards to keep immigrant workforce under control' in Germany". The Independent . 14 February 2013.
  11. Berglund, Nina (December 4, 2006). "Neo-nazi clothing 'abuses' Norway's flag". Aftenposten. Retrieved 2008-03-14.
  12. Radke, Johannes (February 15, 2008). "Norwegen klagt gegen Thor Steinar" (in German). Der Tagesspiegel. Retrieved 2008-03-14.
  13. ""Thor Steinar" Chef doch nicht vor Gericht!". Thor Steinar News Portal (in German). May 5, 2008. Archived from the original on April 5, 2009.
  14. "Furore over German 'Brevik' clothing shop in Chemnitz". BBC News. 6 March 2012. Retrieved 6 March 2012.
  15. "Neo-Nazi clothes brand opens 'Brevik' shop". 6 March 2012. Retrieved 6 March 2012.
  16. „Brevik“ heißt jetzt „Tonsberg“,, 7 March 2012.