Thursday, August 18, 2011

Conjecture or truth: Coco Chanel antisemite and Nazi spy

Born in 1883, French fashion designer Gabrielle "Coco" Chanel, rose from poverty to establish one of the greatest fashion empire's in the world. The fashion icon's pet name, timelessly embodies French chic, while the couture and accessories, the crowned jewel of Frances luxury industry stands as a pillar of the economy.

Now a new book written by American historian Hal Vaughan entitled Sleeping with the Enemy: Coco Chanel's Secret Wars suggests Chanel not only had a second World War affair with German aristocrat and spy Baron Hans Gunther von Dinklage, but she herself was also an agent of Germany's Abwehr military intelligence organization. Apparently recruited in 1940.

The new-found allegations about Chanel have been amassed from many documents accidentally found in France's national police archives and only recently declassified. According to Jenny Barchfield of The Associated Press, the book further makes Chanel out to be a Nazi collaborator, suggesting she tried to capitalize on laws expropriating Jewish owned property. Chanel allegedly wrestled control of the perfume lines away from the Wertheimer brothers, a Jewish family who helped make No. 5 a worldwide bestseller. Chanel's camp asked to comment refuted the claim in saying "She would hardly have formed a relationship with the family", who now own the entire brand empire had she not respected and treasured them greatly.

Read it for yourself and draw your own conclusions, one thing is for sure though and purported by all, the brand will not suffer in the least.

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