Disgraced Galliano said to have claimed ‘Jewish roots’

“Jonny is obsessed with the idea of being descended from Jews,” source says; Dior fashion house reportedly designed clothes for wives of Nazis.

March 6, 2011 23:53
2 minute read.
Designer John Galliano in Paris, yesterday.

john galliano_311 reuters. (photo credit: Gonzalo Fuentes / Reuters)


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BERLIN – John Galliano, the former creative director of the Paris-based fashion giant Christian Dior, reportedly told a member of his inner circle that he has Sephardic Jewish roots.

Writing in her British Daily Mail column on Saturday, Kathryn Knight first reported on Saturday that “what is less well known is that... the designer loved to emphasize his own Jewish ancestry.”

Galliano apologizes for anti-Semitic outburst
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The Daily Mail noted that “he always insisted that he had Jewish blood from the Sephardi Jews who came from Spain and Portugal in the 19th century.”

John Galliano was born in Gibraltar in 1960 and raised in London. His mother is Spanish and his father a Gibraltarian.

According to the Mail’s unnamed source, “Jonny is obsessed with the idea of being descended from Jews.”

There is, however, no independent confirmation or verification that Galliano has a Spanish or Portuguese Jewish origin. He was raised Roman Catholic. The fashion design house Dior dismissed Galliano last week because of his anti-Semitic and racist tirades.

Galliano declared on a video, which quickly went viral on the Web, that “I love Hitler.” He also told a guest at the bar, whom he believed to be Jewish, that “people like you would be dead.

Your mothers, your forefathers, would all be f***ing gassed.”

After his termination from Dior, Galliano promptly boarded a plane to enroll in an Arizona-based anti-addiction center known for treating such celebrities as Elton John and the fashion designer Donatella Versace.

The spectacular meltdown of Galliano has rocked the high-end fashion industry.

Karl Lagerfeld, the 77-year-old German fashion designer, bemoaned the damage done by Galliano’s anti-Semitic comments. He said Galliano has created a “horrible image” of the fashion sector.

Galliano’s anti-Jewish statements have also, paradoxically, helped to further pry open the history of Christian Dior’s collaboration with the Nazis.

According to reports in the German and British press, Christian Dior (1902- 1957), the founder of the fashion empire, designed attire for the wives and mistresses of leading Nazis during the occupation of France.

While Dior executives have condemned Galliano’s statements as being “in total contradiction to the longstanding core values of Christian Dior,” the Nazi history of its founder was conspicuously absent in the company’s public statements.

Susanne Abetz, the wife of Germany’s Nazi ambassador to occupied France, attended Dior’s fashion shows during World War II. Collusion with the Nazis produced enormous profits for the French fashion industry during the period between 1941 and 1943.

Another source of embarrassment for the Dior image was the marriage of his niece Francoise in 1963 to the British Nazi Colin Jordan. She admired Hitler’s autobiography Mein Kampf. The Daily Mail reported that Galliano, according to its source, said “Jonny was particularly fascinated by the fact that couture in Paris was traditionally a Jewish industry.

Jonny knows that Paris designers were exterminated systematically by the Nazis in living memory.”

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