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.