• Tue, Nov 13 2012

Shelved Dolls: Coco Chanel – Was She A Nazi?

This incredibly complex mission is perhaps best summarized on Wikipedia (which will save you from wondering, like me, whether it was filled with crosses and double crosses and so forth):

Chanel was “a person who knew Churchill sufficiently to undertake political negotiations with him.” For this mission, named “Operation Modellhut,” (“Model Hat”) they recruited Vera Lombardi. Count Joseph von Ledebur-Wicheln, a Nazi agent who defected to the British Secret Service in 1944, recalled a meeting he had with Dincklage in early 1943. Dincklage proposed an inducement that would tantalize Chanel. He informed von Ledebur that Chanel’s participation in the operation would be ensured if Lombardi was included. “The Abwehr had first to bring to France a young Italian woman [Lombardi] Coco Chanel was attached to because of her lesbian vices. . .”Unaware of the machinations of Schellenberg and her old friend Chanel, Lombardi played the part of their unwitting dupe, led to believe that the forthcoming journey to Spain would be a business trip exploring the possibilities of establishing the Chanel couture in Madrid. Lombardi’s role was to act as intermediary, delivering a letter penned by Chanel to Winston Churchill, and forwarded to him via the British embassy in Madrid. Schellenberg’s SS liaison officer, Captain Walter Kutchmann, acted as bagman, “told to deliver a large sum of money to Chanel in Madrid.” Ultimately, the mission proved a failure. British intelligence files reveal that all collapsed, as Lombardi, on arrival, proceeded to denounce Chanel and others as Nazi spies.

So, that threw everything off. However, Chanel wrote a very pitiable letter to Winston Churchill, who managed to get her released. Churchill wasn’t even around when any of this was happening, incidentally. He was in Tunisia with a fever of 102.

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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.