The rest of The Ritz, during those years, was occupied primarily by German officials. Chanel got along with them really well.
Now, look. You can’t fault someone for wanting to live at The Ritz. Look at it.
Christ, I understand wanting to live in a hotel. I mean, I would do a lot to live in The Ritz. I get making nice with the Nazis to live there, but Coco Chanel seemed to really like them. She actually said, “The Germans are much more cultivated than the French.” And at “her table” in the dining room she entertained Joseph Goebbels and Hermann Goring. Really, anyone pretending that Coco Chanel just didn’t know what was going on is misinformed.
Then Chanel became the mistress of a 44 year old German officer named Baron Hans Gunther von Dincklage. The couple dined out at Maxim’s and attended Serge Lifar’s opera and Nazi sponsored black tie galas. Josee, a friend of Chanel’s, described the splendor:
“champagne flowed, and the German officers, dressed in white tie and splendid uniforms, spoke only French. Social life had returned with friends and our new guests, the Germans . . . in a blacked-out Paris there was gaiety. Abetz in a uniform half-civil and half-military [Abetz held the rank of an SS lieutenant colonel] and his wife Suzanne turned out a magnificent buffet dinner while the overweight German Consul in Paris, General Rudolf Schleier, bowed low to ladies, kissing their hands as did Luftwaffe General Hanesse, dressed in a white uniform – his chest covered with decorations . . .
Incidentally – those decorations were almost certainly for killing Frenchmen. Just thought you should know. We can get back to the fun times now.