Friday, 19 August 2011
Coco Chanel – Nazi Sympathizer?
In his new book, Sleeping with the Enemy: Coco Chanel’s Secret War, author Hal Vaughan puts forward the argument that, not only was the fashion designer ‘fiercely anti-Semitic’, but she was also engaged in some high-level wartime espionage.
Claiming to have used ‘new archive evidence’ in his research, Vaughan insists that Chanel was recruited by the Nazis in 1940, at the age of 57. Identified only by her agent number (F-7124) and her codename (‘Westminster’, after her ex-lover, the Duke of Westminster), the book claims that Chanel travelled to Madrid and Berlin on secret missions with her new lover, the German spy, Baron Hans Gunther von Dincklage.
A spokesperson from Chanel was today quick to dismiss the book, claiming her close friendships with scions of the Jewish community, including the Rothschild family and the photographer Irving Penn, refuted the assertions that Coco Chanel was an anti-Semite.
'Sleeping with the Enemy: Coco Chanel's Secret War' by Hal Vaughan is published by Chatto & Windus, an imprint of Random House. Out now.