Whenever you hear the name Coco Chanel the first thing that springs to mind is what the word’ Chanel’ epitomizes:
Fashion, style, opulence, and elegance.
Famous French fashion visionary Coco Chanel worked laboriously to earn her outstanding reputation which gave her world recognition for being one of the most incredible women of the 20th century.
She was the founder of the most famous and exclusive fashion brand names in history, but despite her remarkable achievements the reputation of Coco Chanel the daughter of a French market stallholder and laundry working mother, has come under close scrutiny once again over allegations that she working secretly as a Nazi Agent in World War II France.
Sleeping With The Enemy is a new book written by Hal Vaughan who reveals that Coco Chanel actually worked for the German Military Intelligence as an agent during World war II France.
“Being a Nazi agent was part of her daily life in Paris during the German occupation.
“Chanel didn’t believe in anything except fashion. Chanel believed in beautiful clothes, her business, and she didn’t care about politics or Nazism.
“Ensconced in the luxury of the Hotel Ritz only privileged to several non-Germans, Chanel who had closed her shops in France at the outbreak of war was in constant contact with her country’s new Nazi overlords”, said the historian and writer Hal Vaughan.
But while the extraordinary fashion visionary lived in luxury she is alleged to have had torrid affair with dashing playboy Baron Guenther von Dinklage, who was in fact a German Military Intelligence Officer operating in France since the late 1920s.
Sleeping With the Enemy claims that it was Dinklage who arranged her quarters at the Ritz Hotel and managed her business and occupation affairs but in return for her special treatment the designer was signed up as Nazi Agent F-7124, codenamed “Westminster”.
The new Nazi agent was granted the release of her nephew Andre Palasse from a prisoner-of-war camp in Germany and became tempted further by the powerful German Military Intelligence, (Abwehr) that she would take control of the highly successful and lucrative Chanel perfume business, which she had licensed to the Jewish Wertheimer Brothers in 1924.
Coco Chanel did make a claim for under Nazi ‘Aryanisation’ laws without realising that the jewish brothers had made it safely to the USA but had handed control of their business over to the firm Christian.
Aurhtor of Coco Chanel’s biography The Legend and the Life, Justine Picardie believes that Vaughan’s book does add some new detail to the years she spent in German occupied WWII France:
“Everything she did was a paradox.
“She was so contradictory, on the one hand she did make anti-Semitic remarks, but then some of her best clients were Jewish, like Rothschilds and her business parner was Jewish and continued to be so after the war.”
But according to Vaughan, Coco Chanel travelled to Madrid in August 1941 following the release of her nephew in order to use her business contacts to gain political intelligence for the Nazi’s but despite the historian accepting that the fashion icon was never what one would term a spy, because she didn’t take photgrpahs or take documents:
“She was a facilitator. She knew everyone in Spain. She knew everyone in England and helped out the Nazis. At the end of the war she fled to Switzerland and was spared from being put on trial for a collaborator due to intervention by the British Royal family and Winston Churchill.
Coco Chanel returned to Pairs in 1954 where she died in January 1971 aged 87-years at The Ritz Hotel in Paris.