• Tue, Nov 13 2012

Shelved Dolls: Coco Chanel – Was She A Nazi?

So Chanel went to Madrid. No one knows specifically what took place, though she was supposed to be obtaining some manner of political information. She worked on improving the sales of perfume in the Spanish market and she met with, among other people, the British Diplomat Brian Wallace, who said that her hatred of the Germans impressed him deeply.

How? How did she impress him?

Chanel apparently said that the Germans did not understand the French and that was making them hate the French to the extent that she was afraid about what would happen. She also said that the Germans had a growing sense of their true position in France, and that it was inspiring perplexity and impotent rage in the people.

Remember – the Germans were having white tie balls and speaking only French. They were tossing off cool bits of Rabelais to the ladies. So, Coco does not seem accurate. Nothing she suggested was remotely accurate, at least not among the circles Chanel ran in. But it does seem like a way to cozy up to an English diplomat, so, well done, Chanel, a victory for evil, there.

Chanel returned to France to find that her nephew Andre had been let out of the POW camp, and that she could concentrate on having her perfume business entirely to herself. The previous owners had been Jewish – and now the Germans were open to returning the company to an Aryan. In the eyes of one of Chanel’s biographers, Edmonde Charles Roux, “They were Jews. In the eyes of the occupying power, in short, only she existed.”

Being a Nazi spy seemed to work out pretty well.

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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.”

    http://www.antisemitism.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/All-Party-Parliamentary-Inquiry-into-Antisemitism-REPORT.pdf
    ===
    That’s expecially true in Europe’s upper crust:
    http://www.israelnationalnews.com/News/News.aspx/139475

  • 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.

    • http://twitter.com/JenAshleyWright 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

      Lol

  • 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.

  • http://twitter.com/ClarisseThorn 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.