On my last post, I praised the biographical movie Coco Before Chanel. I indeed adore the particular movie, but that does not mean I view Gabrielle Chanel as a role model; she might be a hard-worker and an avant-garde, but she’s also a Nazi supporter.
I do agree that Chanel should be given credit for inventing such a huge fashion brand based on her own name. The word “Chanel” itself has represented glamour, femininity, and affluence for decades.
You see, she invented all of those stuff despite her unfortunate child upbringing. Nonetheless, that does not eradicate the fact that she was a foul, manipulative woman. During the World War II, Chanel was a Nazi agent who had her own secret code F 7124— her description was “Pseudonyme: Westminster. Indicatif d’agent: F 7124. Signalée comme suspecte au fichier” (Pseudonym: Westminster. Agent reference: F 7124. Signalled as suspect in the file). Since she was dating a German spy named Hans Gunther von Dincklage, Chanel had to accompany him around Europe to recruit new agents for the Third Reich (Nazi Germany). Chanel also worked for General Walter Schellenberg, an intelligence for SS (a military organization under Adolf Hitler), who got condemned for war crimes. According to Wikipedia, Chanel even paid for Schellenberg’s medical care and living expenses, financially supported his wife and family, and paid for Schellenberg’s funeral upon his death in 1952.
Due to her timeless beauty, Chanel could sleep with every men whom she found interesting. One of those men was Paul Iribe whose magazine, Le Temoin, she funded. I did some research about Le Temoin and good gracious– it was a Fascist Magazine, with a violent, ultra-nationalist publication that assumed Jewish as a catastrophe for French. Damn, woman! Why would she support such a thing?
Her famous no. 5 perfume was originally distributed by a Jewish family perfume house, which Chanel intended to take over with her Nazi laws. Chanel was definitely an anti-Semitic bitch who attempted to abolish Jewish’s business operations. Once, I read about an article on The New Yorker regarding Chanel’s action during the war. Her grand-niece tried to justify Chanel doings by saying that the World War II was a very difficult time, and people were doing terrible things to get along. In my opinion, Chanel’s action is inexcusable by any means; she was a huge opportunist who gravitated towards power. At that that time, no one can deny if the Nazi was in full power. What a greedy bitch. Her supporters might excuse her disgusting work by saying that she had no other choices. Really, no other choices? Good God, she owned too much privilege to the point that she had no other choices than sleeping and working with several German generals? No other choices than helping to annihilate myriad of innocent Jewish’s lives?
As you know now, the famous Gabrielle Chanel was a revolting anti-Semitic woman who thrived for power, money, and sex. Yet, people are still trying to defend Chanel,up until now. For example, the person who interviewed Hal Vaughan (the writer of Sleeping with the Enemy: Coco Chanel’s Secret War) asked: “If, as you say, you have no feelings against Chanel, what was your motive in writing this book?”
And Hal Vaughn fascinatingly answered: “I didn’t write this book to haunt Chanel. It was just a good story. I’m a newsman, and I have been since I was an apprentice on the New York Daily News in the nineteen-fifties. It’s just as simple as that.”
I mean, come on. Hal Vaughan wrote the book merely to inform people that Chanel was not as innocent and glamorous as she portrayed her brand to be. Still, people were coming at him by saying that Vaughan had things against Chanel, hated her designs, yada yada yada. In reality, Chanel did a lot of wrong-doings which got erased in history, only because she established a massive fashion company, in addition to being pretty. As I think about it, a lot of her biographies have been written and white-washed by her loyal supporters, who diminish any evident of Chanel being a Nazi advocate.