Shelved Dolls: Coco Chanel – Was She A Nazi?

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.

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    • Lastango

      “In one Iribe drew a naked Coco Chanel – meant to represent Marianne (a symbol of the French state) – being cradled by Hitler who is seemingly defending her from a group of Jews. So that is where Coco formed her political views. It is amazing that you could have these opinions and be open about them and still be part of polite society.”
      Actually, openly-expressed anti-Semitic views are de rigueur in Europe today. In the UK, a parliamentary inquiry found that:

      “Anti-Jewish themes and remarks are gaining acceptability in some quarters in public and private discourse in Britain and there is a danger that this trend will be come more and more mainstream… It is this phenomenon that has contributed to an atmosphere where Jews have become more anxious and more vulnerable to abuse and attack than at any other time for a generation of longer.”
      That’s expecially true in Europe’s upper crust:

    • fionarocks

      So disappointing to hear this. But great article! You’re right, she absolutely should have known better.

    • Deb

      An interesting read is the book “Hitler’s Willing Executioners”. Describes the pervasive antisemitism of not only Germany but the entire continent pretty much.

    • MR

      You know there were a lot fascists in France. The Nazis – after they defeated France in 1940 – formed a French government around them, called Vichy France. Churchill ended any threat it posed to Britain shortly after, in Oran, Algeria, when he ordered the destruction of the (now Vichy) French Navy. I guess Coco wasn’t as much a threat as of the French Navy falling into Nazi Germany’s hands, huh? Lucky for Coco. :)

    • kj

      Well, that’s depressing. At least I don’t have to feel as bad now about not liking her clothes…………

    • Natalie

      I think this is one of those situations that is similar to the founding fathers of America. They all owned salves. That was awful. Yet, we still like them and they still founded America. Not that it is excusable that they owned salves, but we can still like America.
      So we can still like her clothes. I guess.

      • Jennifer Wright

        I mean, I own some salves myself. My skin gets pretty dry in the winter.

      • Kokos

        Yeah,me to. Got to get some slaves to rub it on me,though.

      • jjj


    • Abvilian

      Coco was a British spy, which is well known and documented fact.

    • Kokos

      Still am amazed at the level of admiration uninformed,ignorant and in most cases,desperate left women have for this person. Ladies,grab your pen and notepad: Coce=junkie+golddigger+home-wrecker+nazi+perfume&some clothes. Cheers.

    • Sammy

      After the war, many French women who had been known to “consort” with German soldiers had their heads shaved publicly. Apparently some thought that this should happen to Chanel but Churchill intervened.

    • Clarisse Thorn

      When you’re in a social circle where orgies are common, they usually “just happen,” although sometimes they are explicitly and carefully planned. You know how sometimes you’re on a date and then one thing leads to another and you’re making out and then you both make a million tiny decisions that eventually lead to you leaping into bed naked together? And the next day you’re like, “What decision? it just happened!” even though there were actually a lot of decisions and usually at least one party put a lot of effort into making sex happen? Sometimes orgies happen like that, too.

      But sometimes they really are planned through Facebook events. If you aren’t getting enough Facebook orgies, maybe you should plan one. It’s surprisingly difficult but gets easier with practice.