ModernityBlog

“Nearly all men can stand adversity, but if you want to test a man’s character, give him power.” Abraham Lincoln

What Did You Do During The War, Mummy?

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Not the type of question that Coco Chanel would like to answer, as Counterfire relates:

“The truth is that Coco Chanel spent the occupation of France holed up in the Paris Ritz with her Nazi lover Hans Gunther von Dincklage. He was a spy sent to Paris as part of an advance party preparing for the Nazi invasion.

She used the law banning Jewish people from owning businesses to try and rob her business partners the Wertheimer’s of their share in their co-founded perfume business. Described by French commentators as “indomitably anti-Semitic,” Chanel moved in the highest Nazi circles in Paris and even played a part in a failed Nazi plot called ‘Operation Modelhut’ that involved her being an intermediary to Winston Churchill.

Disgraced in post war France, Coco Chanel was arrested for war crimes but mysteriously released. Facing the possibility of being attacked and having her head shaved as a ‘collaboratrices horizontales’ she fled to Switzerland with Hans Gunther von Dincklage where she lived in exile for fifteen years. Her comeback into the fashion business in the 1950’s was coolly received in France and only the American market saved her from disappearing into obscurity.

In the new film biopic of her life ‘Coco avant Chanel’ it’s as if none of these things ever happened. Instead viewers bathe in the warm glow of the story of a woman who struggled through hardship to bring us the little black dress, the Chanel suit and Chanel No. 5 perfume.”

Time has more.

The Times on Coco and the Nazis.

On that film.

Tendance Coatesy on it.

Written by modernityblog

06/08/2009 at 02:14

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