New book says Coco Chanel was ‘fiercely’ anti-Semitic

Chanel was the lover of Baron Hans Gunther von Dincklage, who ran a network for Nazi Germany’s Abwehr military intelligence unit, book says.

August 17, 2011 06:36
1 minute read.
Coco Chanel

Coco Chanel 311. (photo credit: Courtesy)


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BERLIN – A new bombshell book about the French fashion giant Coco Chanel asserts the Nazis recruited her as a spy, and she didn’t harbor hardcore anti-Semitic views only to placate the Germans.

According to the book Sleeping With The Enemy: Coco Chanel’s Secret War, by Hal Vaughan, Chanel was the lover of Baron Hans Gunther von Dincklage, who ran a network for Nazi Germany’s Abwehr military intelligence unit.

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Vaughan, an American who resides in Paris, wrote von Dincklage “ran a spy ring in the Mediterranean and in Paris and reported directly to Nazi propaganda minister Joseph Goebbels, right hand of Hitler.”

According to Vaughan’s New York publisher, Knopf, Sleeping with the Enemy "pieces together how Chanel became a German operative, how and why she was enlisted in a number of spy missions, and how she escaped arrest in France after the war.”

The Daily Mail reported Vaughan said Chanel was “fiercely anti-Semitic long before it became a question of pleasing the Germans. She became rich by catering to the very rich, and shared their dislike of Jews” and others.

Time magazine placed Chanel on its list of the top 100 people of the century. Her life has been depicted in books, film and theater. She gained international fame due to her line of perfumes, including the household name Chanel No. 5 perfume, and her line of highend fashion dresses.

Chanel, an orphan, was born in 1883 in the city of Saumur, France and relocated to Switzerland after WWII in 1945. The post-Vichy government in France under Charles de Gaulle – and successive French governments – did not prosecute Chanel for complicity with the Nazis.

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